NewSpeak Environmental Economics

According to an article on the CBC website:

Canada remains committed to the principles of the Kyoto protocol, but meeting its promises on reducing greenhouse gas emissions would require taking Canada into a recession, Environment Minister John Baird said Thursday.

Appearing before a sometimes hostile Senate environment committee in Ottawa, Baird said a Liberal bill calling for the government to honour Canada's commitment under the Kyoto treaty is "bad economic policy" that would result in 275,000 Canadians losing their jobs by 2009.

The economics just don't add up," Baird said, and warned that gasoline prices would jump 60 per cent and natural gas prices would double.

There is only one way to make it happen: to manufacture a recession."

I do not know what definition of a recession the Environment Minister uses but it is not the one I was taught. In a recession economic activity and productivity declines as does employment, disposable income and spending. This inevitably leads to a reduced demand for energy such as gasoline and natural gas. The Minister thinks this will lead to an increase in the price of gasoline and natural gas. I do not know what definition of the law of supply and demand the Minister uses but it is not the one that I was taught, that requires a reduction in price in response to a decline in demand.

I suppose, given that level of understanding of economics, we cannot expect the Environment Minister to understand the economic benefits to be gained from a more energy efficient economy driven by new environmental technologies that will be in high demand by countries and economies that understand what the disastrous economic impact of failing to act on global climate change will be.

I suppose we should be thankful that Mr Baird is not the Minister of Finance.

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