Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Brian Topp weighs in on Canada's history of raw resource exploitation that should offer a lesson for anybody interested in learning. And pogge points out why Thomas Mulcair is right to dig his heels in, while Frances Russell observes that Mulcair is just plain right.

- Meanwhile, this may be the most appalling example yet of the Cons combining a short-sighted obsession with the export of raw resources with an utter unwillingness to do anything about climate change:
Although greenhouse gas emissions from the oilsands have more than tripled since 1990, according to the same inventory statistics, their emissions per barrel have decreased by 26 per cent over the same time period. But Kent suggested that some of the reductions were achieved by transferring activities and their associated pollution to other sectors such as the refining industry.
"This reduction is due to technological innovation and equipment turnover, increased reliability across operations and the avoidance of upgrading emissions by exporting more crude bitumen," said Kent's statement.
So it's not that anybody is pretending that less emissions are being produced as a result of the exploitation of the tar sands - only that Kent is trying to claim environmental success by moving actual emissions off of Canada's balance sheet onto somebody else's with a level of brazenness that would make the minds behind Enron blush.

- Karl Nerenberg and Michael Qaqish raise effectively identical questions about the NDP's strategy - wondering in particular whether it's being too reasonable in responding to the Cons' childish smears and bullying tactics. But I'll note that the long-term path to success for the party involves changing how Canadians view politics rather than engaging on the Harper Cons' terms - and the more it's possible to build public support by raising the standard people expect from political leaders, the better.

- Finally, Pat Atkinson makes the case for full-day kindergarten.

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