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The Invisible Truth: Kyoto: took yo' toy!

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Kyoto: took yo' toy!

The Canadian Government recently released a study of the costs of following through with Canada’s plan to accomodate the Kyoto Protocol. It said that such an act would cause the economy to shrink by 4.2 percent, equal to the recession in the early eighties. Well, this is ridiculous. First of all, the long-term costs of NOT accomodating the Protocol are greater than the inverse because much of Vancouver will be underwater within a few decades if we don’t implement the Protocol. Second, the study did not take the economic growth aspects of rallying around the Kyoto Protocol. My brother-in-law, who works at a fibreglass plant said recently that Fibrelaminations, a company I also used to work for, is starting to quote prices on wind-generator blades.

His company, should the Kyoto Protocol be followed to the letter, stands to gain from a business point of view because the taxes proposed to limit greenhouse emissions will increase the interest in greener forms of energy production such as the wind. Harper, an Albertan, and his government are looking to protect the economic growth promised by the oil sands. Ironically, it was Conservative Brian Mulroney who privatized Petro-Canada, which was previously a Crown corporation. Had Petro-Canada not been privatized, the government of Canada would be able to cut taxes even more than Stephen Harper has done.

Furthermore, the cost of greenhouse emissions on the health care system, largely unknown and unstudied, could undo any economic benefits that failing to live up to the Kyoto Protocol might bring.

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