The government falsely accuses us of wanting to shut down all industry and call us hypocrites because we are unable to completely disengage from the fossil fuel economy. They can say we're radical if it makes them sleep better at night, but we prefer the term "rational."
Stephen Harper is aggressively selling Canada's tar sands and other energy and natural resources to China and willing to give it investor rights unavailable to Canadian firms operating domestically.
If the Northern Gateway pipeline is approved, Canada's emissions will rise. But roughly 70-80 per cent of the emissions won't show up on Canada's carbon account, but on China's, where the oil would be burned. And then we can criticize China's rising emissions during international climate talks as further justification for doing nothing but digging up tar sands as fast as possible.
Like Lady Edith of the hit series Downtown Abbey, Prime Minister Harper must feel frustrated that Obama expects him to stand aside while the U.S. courts China and simultaneously wait around for a decision on Keystone. Worse still, there is the fear that Chinese interest in Canada is only a ploy, Beijing using Ottawa to spark Obama's jealousy and get Washington's attention.
There's nothing that the Chinese government likes more than Western leaders dropping all that human rights stuff and instead coming around to kowtow before them, as Steven Harper will do with President Hu Jintao this week. And what has brought about this change? In a word: Oil.