Canada’s New Environmental Plan
Friday April 27th 2007, 11:07 am

I just finished reading some newspaper articles about the government’s new plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution in Canada. Of course, there are criticisms that the plan is both going too far and not going far enough, depending on the agendas of the critics. The plan appears to need more work to provide more details on targets, but as far as I can see, it appears to be a reasonable plan. I don’t pay attention to the opposition parties, because they always feel they have to pick everything apart to make the government look bad, and that is their job. I also don’t pay attention to the various industries, because no matter what is done, it will effect them, because they are for the most part, the source of the problem.

I have always voted Liberal in Federal elections, because they always seemed a better choice for Nova Scotians, but they dropped the ball when it came to the Kyoto treaty. To be fair to the Liberals, timing is everything. There was very little public opinion in the early days after Kyoto, for the Liberal government to put much effort into reducing greenhouse gases in Canada. It wasn’t until the recent UN report on global warning that the majority of Canadians forced our Conservative government into doing something. Everyone is now on the band wagon and demanding action from the government.

Even if we completely stopped 100% of all greenhouse emissions in Canada, it won’t make much difference to the total amount produced in the world. Canada produces only 2% of the greenhouse gas emissions. Our neighbour, the United States, produces 25%, which is the highest in the world, and China is set to become the worst offender by 2009. Our greenhouse gas production is insignificant compared to most of the countries in the world because of our small population.

I don’t believe that we can do much to change the inevitable global warming. But if we can reduce air pollutants, to make it easier to breath and improve the health of Canadians, the plan would be worth it. We have already lost ten years since Kyoto was signed, so it isn’t reasonable to expect that we can make up that much time as some of the environmentalists have stated. According to the government, this plan will cost us, with higher prices for cars, appliances and fuel, so it is better to have a reasonable plan, which we can live with, rather than a plan which isn’t reasonable. Even the report of a loss of $8 billion to the economy in one year with this plan, sounds very unreasonable to me, if it actually happens.

The only way we will know the true cost of this plan, and how effective it will be, is to wait 15 or 20 years and look back. Everything else is guesswork at this point.

Have a good day,
Anne