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China has the highest city smog/polluton rates on the planet. Environmental progres? I laugh.

Considering that their industrial revolution has been compressed into a few decades, the legislation on their side has come in much faster than ours:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2011/apr/12/china-green-plans-america

On Monday, a senior Chinese official said mandatory emissions trading systems will be rolled out in six of the country's most advanced regions by 2013. After the pilot schemes in Guangdong, Hubei, Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing, the government has promised to ramp up the use of carbon-based financial instruments to a nationwide level by 2015.

It is a sign that China is both desperate and ambitious enough to try almost anything. The widely trailed move towards a cap-and-trade system will provide an extra tool for China to achieve its Copenhagen commitment to reduce carbon emissions relative to economic growth by 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2020.

Compare it to North Korea:

"The UN and officials in Pyongyang have agreed the first-ever assessment of the state of the North Korean environment.

The report lists a catalogue of neglect and over-exploitation of resources, and says time is short to put things right."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3598966.stm

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What ? How about the emergent Chinese middle class ? How about technological progress ? Environmental progress too - there wasn't much talk about that sort of thing 30 or 40 years ago when China was an agrarian communist backwater.

Yes, because they were in danger of losing trade.

The all-or-nothing approach does not create better results. Bangladesh progresses with trade, just as individuals progress when they are socialized.

A lack of engagement doesn't lead to meaningful change. China started to change after rapprochement with the US.

How about the emergent Chinese middle class ? How about technological progress ?

Those arent political reforms. I already conceded that the capital injection does increase the standard of living in some cases. But that middle class has absolutely no say in how they are governed, and the communist party is stronger and more stable than ever.

Yes, because they were in danger of losing trade.

Master of the obvious are ya?

The all-or-nothing approach does not create better results.

Yup and isolationism is the nothing approach, and free trade is the all approach. I would advocate for a middle ground.

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Those arent political reforms.

A strong middle class represents a challenge to the ruling power. It's not a political reform per se but it is a change for the better.

Master of the obvious are ya?

Maybe - but the example shows why more trade ties countries together.

Yup and isolationism is the nothing approach, and free trade is the all approach. I would advocate for a middle ground.

Has anybody negotiated a deal like that recently ?

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History has limited use when looking at these things. It's probably more relevant to look at how technology has shaped things. You admit that force of arms has historically united Europe, for example, so I ask: is a pan-european war in the cards anytime soon ?

To not know history is to be doomed to repeat it. And Russia's attempt to re-establish its empire may well trigger such a war.
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Rick Steves is a successful American travel author and video producer who specializes in Europe. He is often featured on PBS and local public broadcasting stations. He is famous for editorializing in scenic tour videos about how much better Europe is even as he describes the ruins of two world wars, Allied/Axis monuments and cemeteries, concentration camps, Holocaust, etc. The irony is not lost on me.

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Why should Canadians get any special consideration compared to other nationals who want to cross into the United States ?

That's the money quote, BC.

-Because we have a really long border with you

-Because we represent no threat to you

-Because US security is impossible without Canada

=====

If Obama (or you) want to treat Canada as "just another country", then maybe Canada should start to act like Nigeria or Indonesia; or imagine the Russia-Chinese border.

The US couldn't wish for a better neighbour, and neither could we Canadians.

Edited by August1991
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If Obama or you want to treat Canada as "just another country", then maybe Canada should start to act like Nigeria or Indonesia.

President Obama would be quite at home in Indonesia....much more so than in Canada.

It is America's choice to enhance border security and entry protocols. Canada can do whatever it wishes as well...and does.

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No my idea is that we should only have FREE trade with nations where there is not a large disparity.

So, according to you, rich families should only trade/deal with other rich families. And poor people should be restricted to trade with each other; but not the rich.

dre, if I understand properly, you oppose rich people hiring others to clean their clothes. I guess that you even oppose rich people buying a Big Mac - if it's made by a poor person.

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America's choice? No. It is the US federal government's choice to do stupid things.

And to me, as a Canadian, this increasingly matters.

That is the main issue....Canada has continued to treat border control mostly on economic terms, regarding security as a "stupid" American expectation and policy that inhibits the flow of goods and people. The U.S. federal government is responsible for securing national borders, and it will do so regardless of the inconveniences imposed on Canadians (or Americans) wishing to treat an international border as if it doesn't even exist. The previous "undefended" status quo is no longer acceptable.

Some observers espouse an insufficient commitment to security on the part of Canada. York University professor Daniel Drache, in Borders Matter: Homeland Security & the Search for North America, presents the attitude of the Canadian government as still treating border politics as an economic issue.10 C.P. Stacey also cites a 2004 DHS report that refers to the Canadian border as being, “…too porous and poses a threat to US security.”11

On the policy side, some consider the Canadian attitude as being too liberal. Paul Rosenzweig, ex-Assistant Secretary for International Affairs for the DHS, wrote an article entitled, Why the US doesn’t Trust Canada.12 In this article, he denounces several Canadian policies as being too liberal with respect to the terrorist threat. He gives as an example the Canadian asylum policies, which, he believes, permits visa-free travel to the citizens of too many countries. Kent Roach of the University of Toronto also presents major differences between Canadian and American anti-terrorism policies. According to Roach, “[The] Canadian Counter-Terrorism Act is more respectful of human rights, its definition of human rights, preventive arrests, investigative hearings and secrecy provisions are more restrained than those of some other democracies.”13

http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca/vol14/no1/page32-eng.asp

Canada is different, and has the right to be different, just like any other nation state. But that doesn't mean the U.S. Feds should just roll over so Canadians can buy cheaper gas, tobacco, or plane tickets.

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To not know history is to be doomed to repeat it. And Russia's attempt to re-establish its empire may well trigger such a war.

Sure, but stating that Europe has "never" done this or that is not "knowledge" of history. You're just reading a factoid on the back of a baseball card.

If you know history, explain what forces in the past are happening again today, don't just repeat observations - show some understanding and back up your theory.

Here's your quote again:

The difference is that historically Europe has always tended towards union of some sort, albeit usually of the coerced variety, under the force of arms. The U.S., Canada and Mexico don't really have such a history in spite of one or two wars apiece. Very different situations.

You indicate that European union is a natural tendency (by way of invasions) but North America doesn't. Isn't the fact that NA hasn't been at war with each other since the 19th century a possible reason that they could unite ?

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if I understand properly, you oppose rich people hiring others to clean their clothes. I guess that you even oppose rich people buying a Big Mac - if it's made by a poor person.

Good point. How about: you should only trade with somebody whose neighbourhood is as clean and safe as yours too ?

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That is the main issue....Canada has continued to treat border control mostly on economic terms, regarding security as a "stupid" American expectation and policy that inhibits the flow of goods and people.

At a certain points, extreme security doesn't aid your safety, it is merely a sign of vanity and an expression of one's ego and falsely virtuous self-image, and as I have read here : Economics trumps Virtue.

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At a certain points, extreme security doesn't aid your safety, it is merely a sign of vanity and an expression of one's ego and falsely virtuous self-image, and as I have read here : Economics trumps Virtue.

I would like to see all borders erased, Michael. It would make a much better world for all.

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.....You indicate that European union is a natural tendency (by way of invasions) but North America doesn't. Isn't the fact that NA hasn't been at war with each other since the 19th century a possible reason that they could unite ?

Just because they could doesn't mean they should. Why would any of these nations want the domestic headaches of each other in exchange for easier trips across the border ? If Canada really desires a "union", then clearly Europe is a far better match than evil, gun toting 'murica.

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The US couldn't wish for a better neighbour, and neither could we Canadians.

100% agree. Maybe BC2004 would like the Israel-Gaza border? But with tunnels rather than bridges.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes harmonization of immigration policy has been an unmitigated disaster. Shared currency has been as well.

Unmitigated? The euro has obviously got a massive downside but there have been mitigating advantages that came with it. Prices are now easy to compare and trade has been considerably simplified. If you talk to businesses within the eurozone, they still support the currency by and large.

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