Saturday, 30 September 2006

Conservatives talk the environmental talk

Conservative Environment Minister Rona Ambrose says she will abandon the voluntary deal with the auto sector that the Liberals made and will especially tackle the oil-and-gas and transportation sectors, the two biggest culprits in the greenhouse gas emissions department.

The David Suzuki Foundation has been cautiously optimistic in its reaction.
Environmentalist Pierre Sadik of the David Suzuki Foundation said Ms. Ambrose's strong language “sounds promising” but requires tough action to be credible.

“It has to lead to meaningful cuts in pollution emissions,” Mr. Sadik said. “Regulations in terms of intensity are a waste of time because emissions continue to rise.”

It remains to be seen whether they will walk the walk also. I certainly hope they do. There is wide-spread support for some meaningful action on the environment, even among Conservatives. If the oil industry can't read the writing on the wall, they need to get their heads out of the oil sands and start cleaning up their act.

The environment has been one of the major weaknesses of the Conservatives, and even while I voted for them, I hoped they would give me some pleasant surprises in this department. It makes great political sense. Follow the Bismarckian strategy of stealing your opponents' best policies and consolidate your hold on power. If they can reverse the Liberal strategy of "Talk loudly and carry a small stick" they'll gain a lot of supporters, and solidify some of their softer support too. The industry may not like it that much, but even they must be resigned to the inevitability of it. We just can't go on fouling our own nest indefinitely. Jobs are important yes, but a balance has to be struck.

I'm not a single-issue voter, so the more areas that the Conservatives can show decisive and positive leadership in, the longer they'll have me voting for them.

Hat tip to The Prairie Wrangler

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