So, I consumed way too much blogosphere to tell people that I have no real position on the Upper Fort Garry
debate. I'm still having trouble getting my dander up about one side or the other. However, a recent post by one of my all-time favorite blogs, Comments Closed
, really snaps off something very funny, and very profound:So, its stupid. A bunch of ridiculously wealthy Manitobans have started arm-twisting a Premier who loves having his arm-twisted. All so we can tear down some buildings and show the world we mean business by building a fur-trading fort. Seriously. Winnipeg is building a fur-trading fort.
Okay, so I don't think it's so stupid, but that doesn't mean I don't recognize a good burn when I see one. It also made me think about a scene in Michael Moore's
breakthrough documentary, Roger and Me
. In one seen, the city fathers in Flint Michigan conjure a plan to turn their city into a major tourist attraction by building an exact replica of Flint in its glory years. The real downtown was a rat and crack infested oozing wound, but the city spent millions recreating downtown flint in an indoor amusement park. I've always thought that was a fantastic example of how misdirected some people are in their pursuit of the next big idea.Hey, perhaps I'm getting close to actually taking a position.*****
A story in this morning's Globe and Mail
describes a federal government plan to force oil sands projects and coal-fired electrical generating plants to spend money retrofitting their projects to caputre CO2. At first blush, it's a great plan.As the story notes, the oil sands projects in Alberta are expected to contribute 25 per cent of the entire country's greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Canada's plan is to cut emissions by 20 per cent below 2006 levels by the middle of this century.A good start, but why does it seem that all the federal green programs put off the inevitable? Reduce emissions below 2006 levels by 2050? The mathematics of emission reductions appears to be a "smoke screen" (sorry) for the fact that we're moving at a glacial pace.In the end, forcing emission reductions later rather than sooner will just put Canadian businesses at a disadvantage in the future. The faster we retrofit heavy industry to reduce emissions, the more competitive we will be. In the future, those industries that have delayed investments in green technology to reduce emissions will be left behind; those who have made the changes will be sitting pretty. Surely it's a good idea to make the necessary changes now while oil is hovering near $105 a barrel and profits are flowing much faster than the bitumen is being excavated?I guess half of a good idea is better than a bad idea. I guess.-30-