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Response to John Ibbitson article in the Globe & Mail - PM gambles that voters care about the deficit, little else

Response to John Ibbitson article in the Globe & Mail - PM gambles that voters care about the deficit, little else

 

Ibbitson concludes: "...people will ask how they plan to balance the books while investing in green jobs and pre-kindergarten teachers."

The argument that policies to improve our environment come at the expense of a healthy economy is a tired one and ignores the fact that Clean Tech development is one of the world’s fastest growth industries.   China, the US and members of the EU, such as Denmark, Germany and Spain are competing to see who will lead in renewable energy production. The only way they can compete is by creating attractive (meaning stable) investment environments for private sector backers. This means legislating such policy initiatives as green taxes and feed-in-tariffs. The country that leads in this area retains the talent and fosters a work force to create, manufacture and export these products that will increase in demand as the price of oil continues to rise.

Green jobs are tied to Clean Tech development or other related industries, obviously. One of the many benefits of investing in green is diversifying the economy through the fostering of a variety of manufacturing sectors. A diverse economy is a strong and stable one. Harper wants Canada to continue business as usual, which means relying heavily on our oil and coal exports. The problem with this plan is that oil is one of the world’s most volatile commodities. Alberta’s economy took a big hit when the price of oil plummeted in 2008 when demand dropped after the market crash. The world is running out of access to cheap oil (hence the interest in the expensive Tar Sands), so we can expect to experience these sorts of price shocks in the future. The strength of our dollar depends on how well the oil sands are doing. And a high dollar is bad news for our manufacturing sector.

I’m afraid that with the Conservative budget, we are heading the wrong way.

Glossary

Citation

McNamara, C. (2010). Response to John Ibbitson article in the Globe & Mail - PM gambles that voters care about the deficit, little else . Retrieved from http://www.trunity.net/climateresponse/view/blog/51cbec0e7896bb431f68aef2

2 Comments

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Cheryl McNamara (Author) wrote: 03-07-2010 01:27:57

Nice one Christine. We defiinitely need to expand our voices, don't we.

Christine Penner Polle wrote: 03-06-2010 04:47:27

Hi Cheryl - I posted this earlier (looks like you and I are the only ones so far:): Cheryl is right - As Tim Weis, of the Pembina Institute wrote regarding this week's budget: In spite of studies that have shown investments in renewable power actually generate a net financial gain for the government, it appears that this government still believes that taking action to protect the environment is at odds with building a strong economy. (In fact, Pembina’s analysis shows that we can take strong action to address climate change while growing our economy and creating nearly two million net new jobs.) Perhaps that perception is in part why Canada ranked 14th out of 17 countries for innovation, according to a recent report card from the Conference Board of Canada. Without strong federal leadership, Canadians will continue to lag behind as other countries take the lead in the emerging clean-energy market. (The U.S., for instance, set aside $98 billion for environmental and sustainable energy projects in last year’s economic stimulus package, outspending Canada 14:1) (http://re.pembina.org/blog/76) The Conservative's approach is to keep their heads firmly stuck in the oil sands, and the green future that could be available to Canadians if only our government had vision and foresight, will dissolve away right into those toxic tailing ponds.