Saturday, July 05, 2008

Look, bright shiny object over there says Baird

Don't be distracted by John Baird's hyperventilation, which seems to have reared its ugly head once again in this Globe report: "G8 won't set emission targets: Baird." Read that title, that's the big story. Baird, however, would like you to focus on a Garth Turner blog post from the other day and turn your focus toward Stephane Dion as he heads to the G8. Not. Gonna. Work.

Canadians can see the bigger picture here. The G8 meeting is occurring this week and Baird is frantically trying to spin expectations for Canada to a devilishly low level. Nothing will happen on the emissions reduction front in respect of 2020 targets, folks, announces Baird. Putting the kibosh on any agreement to come out of the G8. That'll happen in Copenhagen in 2009, says Baird. Mr. Baird is instructing us that we should all just ignore the useless banter from those silly European nations who will seek to lead the world while a neo-conservative void exists in North America. Bow down to the great Bush obstructionist. Throw up your hands, shrug your shoulders. They're not even going to try to work on the 2020 levels. That's what we're hearing from John Baird.

Paul Kurugman wrote a great column Friday about Rovian tactics, the politics of elevating obscure sideshows to frenzied levels of concern. All the while, important issues are relegated to the sidelines. Baird's frothing at the mouth today is a prime example of that phenomenon.