The west is falling for China's climate ruse
Plus healthcare, the House of Commons vaccine mandate, and Alec Baldwin
With just one week until COP26 kicks off in Glasgow, it’s increasingly looking like Chinese chairman Xi Jinping won’t deign to show up. I hope he doesn’t, as his absence from the vaunted United Nations climate summit will affirm what I’ve said for years, which is that China is no more an ally on climate change than on anything else of significance to the west.
Not only does China remain the world’s top emitter, but its CO2 emissions have increased since the “landmark” 2015 Paris agreement. In the lead-up to Glasgow, COP26 stakeholders have aggressively pushed parties to commit to keeping temperature growth to 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels, which would compel countries to take far more aggressive action than the already severe measures born out of the Paris targets.
Earlier this year, American secretary of state Antony Blinken actually said America needed to catch up to China’s supposed climate leadership. Blinken was measuring China’s success by its status as the largest producer and exporter of things like solar panels and wind turbines. This doesn’t make China a climate leader – just a major power cashing in on flawed green policies in countries like the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
It’s quite brilliant, really. China ramps up manufacturing to export to countries killing off their own manufacturing sectors in the name of climate. All the while, Justin Trudeau, Prince Charles and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez paint suburban families with two cars as the real problem.
Despite US climate envoy John Kerry’s repeated attempts to convince China that climate cooperation is more important than pesky disagreements on things like national security, China has kept on doing what China does.
China makes up 28 per cent of global carbon emissions, yet the burden to fix this somehow falls on Canadian families, whose country is responsible for just two per cent. Canada’s carbon tax won’t kill Chinese emissions – just Canadian jobs.
Chairman Xi’s absence from COP26 should put to bed the idea that China is willing to prostrate itself before Big Climate the way western governments are.
Related to this is Justin Trudeau’s woefully underreported “just transition,” which is the poll-tested language for trying to phase out employment in Canada’s hydrocarbon sector.
I hosted a panel on my show to delve into this government-imposed transition, and highlight innovation taking place within the energy sector. Oil and gas companies are able to reduce CO2 emissions without punitive measures like carbon taxes or heavy regulation, but, go figure, the Liberals aren’t interested in these solutions.
I just got back from Calgary, where I was speaking about the choice crisis in Canadian healthcare at the Economic Education Association of Alberta’s Freedom Talk conference. I’ll share the video of my speech when it’s available, but my thesis was that government uses its monopolization of healthcare to claim a moral license to infringe on rights. This takes a few forms, from using dismal ICU capacity (a problem COVID revealed, not caused) as justification for restrictive public health measures, to using the system’s public nature to erode conscience rights for healthcare practitioners.
Whether we’re talking about a vaccine mandate for healthcare workers or if doctors have a duty to refer a patient for an abortion or assisted death, critics of conscience rights argue personal values are incompatible with a publicly-funded, non-sectarian system. Great, let them work outside the public system them – giving practitioners and patients alike choice, and by extension more ownership over care.
Last week I announced a fun and exciting philanthropic project on which I’m collaborating with former Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith. Libertarians Who Care and Conservatives Who Care, will unite people on the right who are willing to mobilize and back worthy causes. This is something the left has always done well, and there’s no reason the right can’t too. Every three months, each member (including Danielle and me) will donate $100 to the cause or organization selected by votes from members. With 100 active members, this would work out to $40,000 per year going towards initiatives advancing liberty, while also building a national network of likeminded people.
Head on over here to sign up for updates on this project. Danielle and I will be hosting a kickoff Zoom call on Wednesday, October 27 at 7pm ET / 5pm MT if you want to see what it’s all about. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you the Zoom link.
Last week, I broke out of the echo chamber to join New Left Radio’s Counterpoint, alongside former NDP candidate Jessa McLean and hosts Rodger Moran and Joe Roberts. We talked about China, public-private partnerships, and Ontario politics. As the show’s name suggests, I was politically outnumbered on a few things, but there was also some common ground.
The vaccine wedge continues
The Liberals are still wedging the Conservatives on vaccines more than a month after the election. Members of parliament elected last month must be vaccinated to take their seats in the House of Commons, a group of MPs meeting behind closed doors decided.
Such a policy is inherently undemocratic. However many of these MPs there are, voters elected them either knowing they weren’t vaccinated or not caring. That this condition is being placed on MPs after the election undermines the will of the voters, and doubles down on the same coercive approach the government is taking to vaccination in the public service and travel by air and rail.
It’s not yet clear whether the hybrid in-person/online House of Commons format will return to this session of Parliament. I predict it will, but if it does not, duly elected members of parliament will be barred from fulfilling their duties unless they get vaccinated.
Alec Baldwin’s avoidable tragedy
The more I read about Alec Baldwin’s accidental shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, the more infuriating the story becomes. This was avoidable at so many different stages. The production’s armourer was inexperienced and uneasy taking on the job, there had already been at least three accidental gun discharges on set, and, according to a court document, the firearm used in the incident was left unsupervised by the armourer then presumed by an assistant director and Baldwin to be unloaded.
I did my firearms certification six years ago, and I still know the mnemonics that guide how to safely handle a firearm. The top rules are to always assume a gun is loaded, and relatedly, to always aim it in a safe direction. If you so much as accidentally point a firearm’s muzzle at your instructor, it’s an automatic fail on your safety course. In other words, every gun is loaded, until you’ve personally cleared it.
This is a tragedy for Hutchins’ family and colleagues, and yes, for Baldwin as well. Whatever carelessness and negligence occurred on-set, this isn’t a launching point for anything but prayers.
These incidents are thankfully rare, but they underscore the importance of safe and responsible gun ownership. Normalizing gun ownership and guns would go along way to ensuring people know what they’re doing if they ever find themselves around firearms.
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