Friday, May 29, 2009

Healthy imagination on the politics of greenhouse gas reduction in Washington State.

I am in the mood for a healthy imagination on the politics of greenhouse gas reduction, not the exact imagination contained in our governor's executive order which directs Washington State agencies to: 1) continue to work with six other Western states and four Canadian provinces in the Western Climate Initiative to develop a regional emissions reduction program; 2) work with the Obama Administration to help design a national program that is strong, and reflects state priorities; 3) develop emission reduction strategies and industry emissions benchmarks to make sure 2020 reduction targets are met; 4) work with TransAlta to reduce emissions from the company’s coal-fired power plant near Centralia by more than half; 4) ensure Washington has trees to capture harmful carbon, while creating financial incentives for the forestry industry; 5) work on low-carbon fuel standards or alternative requirements to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector; 6) join with other West Coast states and the private sector to develop and implement a West Coast highway accessible to electric and alternative-fuel vehicles; 7) address rising sea levels and the risks to water supplies; and 8) Increase transit options, such as buses, light rail, and ride-share programs, and give Washington residents more choices for reducing the effect of transportation emissions. When exactly did we become the United States of America and four Canadian Provinces? The first mandate for the State agencies crosses the border and exactly impinges on Canada’s right to be a sovereign nation. Much as we may share some mutual intentions on greenhouse reduction, we cannot make or require a region of another country to work with us on issues that serves our state’s priority.

Can we make agencies in some provinces in Canada to maintain emission standard or uphold standards that may be at variance with other provinces in Canada? Can we make four provinces in Canada to buy strictly wine produced in the six western states in America or Washington State? The answer is probably No, except of course the remaining provinces in Canada are willing to defer their sovereignty on the issue of greenhouse gas reduction or wine drinking. If you ask an average Canadian on the first proposal of the governor’s executive order, they will probably say: “Hell No! We as Canadians can make our laws and abide by them; we do not need another state in America to dictate policy for us, even though it works towards our mutual interests”. The reality of world or regional politics is that, you cannot make citizens of other countries to bear the burden of a decision issued within our National boundaries not to mention the State of Washington.

What we should actually strive to do, is to work within our borders, set a uniform standard with other six western States in America, and under an advisory submit some recommendations to the four provinces in Canada, and hopefully if they still share the mutual understanding on the issue of greenhouse reduction, they will adopt our recommendations subject to deliberation from Ottawa, Canada. The reality of international politics is: we cannot make policies across sovereign borders. It has never worked and it would not work, pronto! I’m I sinister about this proposal? Just look at the United Nations, just look at North and South Korea; just fantasize that possibility between Israeli’s and Palestinians on the issue of Gaza strip. The bottom line of World’s politics is that, even though you share same region and probably same problems with your neighbors to the north, you cannot make them follow through on policy initiatives developed within your state or national boundaries.
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