Tuesday, September 09, 2008

AFP: Bad news for French wine harvest
"The cold snap in late March had a direct impact on some vineyards," Viniflhor said.

"From the Bordelais region to Provence, there was frost on April 6 and 7, at a critical period when the grapes are very vulnerable," it added.
Lorne Gunter: Dion learns the hard way that cost can defeat conservation - Full Comment
In Monday’s National Post, my colleague John Ivison wrote that the Conservatives have chosen to run a “low-risk, defensive” campaign. They’ll be making easy promises and taking few bold steps. In keeping with this picking-the-low-hanging-fruit strategy, let’s start today’s column by poking fun at the easiest target on the hustings — St├ęphane Dion’s campaign plane.

Christen it Hypocrite One.

Among the three national leaders, Mr. Dion’s plane is far and away the least fuel-efficient. His 30-year-old Boeing 737 — leased from a northern Quebec airline and fitted with landing gear that enables it to put own on gravel runways -- is as much as 35% more fuel-guzzling than the Airbus 319 being used by Stephen Harper or the A310 leased by the NDP for leader Jack Layton.

A man who intends to make the environment the centrepiece of his campaign starts off on Day One flying off on a carbon-belching pig of a plane....

On Sunday, in his first interview after the election call, Mr. Dion puffed “We’ll tackle the climate-change crisis. We’ll increase energy efficiency.” But, apparently, not until after this election. No sense practising what he preaches now, if he isn’t going to win.

“I want to lead the green revolution around the world,” he added. Yeah, sure, from aboard the airborne version of an old, carbon-spewing SUV.

Mr. Dion’s jet is like Al Gore’s house -- which uses 20 times as much electricity as the average American home -- or the former U.S. VP’s use of private jets and air-conditioned limos to get from one speaking engagement to another.

Recall, too, how eco-fundamentalist David Suzuki used a diesel bus last winter to ferry himself and seven others across the country so he could lecture elementary schoolchildren on the evils of the Conservatives and their environmental policy. When asked why his boss wasn’t at least using biodiesel, a Suzuki staffer said it was because biodiesel would invalidate the bus’s warranty, and the Suzuki Foundation didn’t want to bear the extra cost.

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