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How Green is Stephen Harper?

04/29/2011

Very green! If by green you mean orange-brown.

In 2010, an Environics Research poll found that 85% of Canadians think we need an economy that respects the environment, 80%  think that too much focus on consumerism and economic growth is a primary cause of climate change, and 70% support redirecting money from the military to efforts that reduce CO2 emissions.

The Canadian public is clearly concerned about the environment. Are Harper’s Conservatives?

Under the Kyoto accord Canada agreed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 6% from 1990 levels by 2012. Since then, Canadian emissions have increased to 35% above that target. Stephen Harper has called the Kyoto accord a “socialist scheme,” and his government has adopted a target only 3% below 1990 levels, which they don’t plan to achieve until 2020.

For our government’s repeated efforts to disrupt and undermine UN climate talks, international environmental groups have given Canada the “Fossil of the Year” award, four years in a row.

In 2008 the Conservative party fired Arthur Carty and eliminated the position he filled, of National Science Advisor. The same year, Canadian oil companies received $2.8 billion in government subsidies–an amount nearly twice the 2008 budgets of Environment Canada and Alberta Environment combined. Most of the money went to operations in the Alberta tar sands.

Also in 2008, Harper condemned the Liberals for their Green Shift plan, which entailed taxing investment and innovation less (to get more of it) and taxing pollution, CO2 emissions and waste more (to get less of it). Harper said it would hurt the economy. The UN says otherwise.

This year, federal funding to the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Science has been completely cut. The Amundsen, a coast guard icebreaker previously set to study climate change, is now being leased out to Imperial Oil and BP (of oil spill fame) for oil exploration instead.

I’m no expert, but aren’t Conservatives supposed to conserve stuff? Like, Canada, for instance?

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