Friday, April 27, 2007

Kyoto and consumption

In the last couple of weeks, we have been entitled to the professions of faith of citizens, politicians and journalists, towards the dogma of the Kyoto protocol. Hand on the heart, they all proclaim their everlasting support for the norms of this agreement. This is only so much hypocrisy.

It is well known that several interest groups, encouraged by politicians whose good faith can be questioned, succeeded in creating, with the complicity of a few journalists, a psychosis around this question; a Globe and Mail survey reveals that more than 60% of Canadians wish to see the Kyoto objectives respected.

Environmental changes caused by human activity are very alarming; it is essential to take measures to control polluting emissions. Since such is the case, why has nothing been done in the last 10 years? That I know, Mr Harper’s government was not in power in 1998, neither in 2000, nor in 2004… It seems to me that several people who howl today did nothing to ensure the attainment of objectives when they had the capacity to do so.

Are those highly virtuous citizens, allegedly worried about the environment, truly willing to make an effort to change their habits and reduce their consumption? WE have created the consumer society and we all are its accomplices; nobody forces us to consume so much and so badly. Can one ignore the fact that consumption requires production, and that said production causes polluting emissions?

I’ll believe that people are serious about reducing those emissions when I see them consuming less and better. Buying smaller cars, not washing them every Saturday letting water flow for over an hour, not letting the engine idle for ten minutes, often more, in the winter to avoid boarding a cold vehicle, not overheating their houses in the winter and air-conditioning them to excess in the summer, etc.

For the first time, we have a plan and it is realistic. Of course, one can fault Minister Baird for not respecting the letter of the Kyoto protocol; his plan is nevertheless credible and pragmatic. My experience in business taught me that it is preferable to set lower objectives and reach them rather than to have too ambitious a target and miss it. If the opposition parties believe that they can do better, they should overthrow the current government, it is after all a minority government, get elected, propose a better plan and above all that that this plan be more than a theoretical program to get elected, in other words wishful thinking!

I have many other points to develop; I keep them for a forthcoming chronicle. For the moment, I would like to know your opinion on these various questions.

How worried are you about environmental changes?

Are Kyoto objectives attainable?

Are you willing to modify your consumption habits to reduce polluting emissions?

Are you ready to pay more for a product it the company that manufactures it uses more expensive, but less polluting, processes?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How worried are you about environmental changes?
Concerned more than worried.I am not a supporter of anyone party but I lean to the conservative party. I believe in say what you going to do, how you are going to achieve it, then prove it. I've yet to see a politition do this.

Are Kyoto objectives attainable?
Yes, but I don't believe in the Carbon trading part, and I believe there are worse pollutants to worry about than CO2.

Are you willing to modify your consumption habits to reduce polluting emissions?
Yes, and I have but still haven't made as many changes as I should. I've lowered the thermostat to 67 during the day and 65 at night. In the summer I'll set it at 75 during the day and 73 at night. I still drive my 8 cylinder Mercedes, but my wife now drives a honda civic hybrid,

Are you ready to pay more for a product it the company that manufactures it uses more expensive, but less polluting, processes
Depends, quality and functionality are the most important things.