Lorrie Goldstein, writing in the Toronto Sun, adds a bit of common sense to the climate change debate. The issue isn’t about climate change, per se, or greenhouse gasses or anything like that; the issue that he illuminates is how stupidly and dishonestly Canadian politicians and the media talk about the subject. His key take-away is that: “In this year’s federal election, the debate over what we’ve been repeatedly told is the most important issue of our era — man-made climate change — will be a farce … [and he advises us all to tune out when May, Scheer and Trudeau all make extravagant promises that none know or care how to keep] … It will prove again,” he says, “the validity of former Progressive Conservative prime minister Kim Campbell’s observation during the 1993 federal election — for which she was widely mocked — that an election is no time to discuss serious issues … [but, he adds] … In reality, the political debate over man-made climate change in Canada has been a farce for three decades.” He’s right of course, I remember Jean Chrétien slavishly following Al Gore’s climate change approach back in the 1990s and setting Canada’s greenhouse reduction goals “without,” as Jeffrey Simpson put it a few years later, “the foggiest idea how to achieve it.“
Mr Goldstein says “Over the past 30 years, Conservative and Liberal governments have repeatedly promised to reduce Canada’s GHG emissions to wildly optimistic targets they have never met and will not meet, whatever they say leading up to the Oct. 21 election and whichever party wins it … [and] … The absurd continuing insistence of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna that the Liberals are on track to meet Trudeau’s 2015 commitment under the United Nations’ Paris climate accord to reduce Canada’s emissions to 30% below 2005 levels is nonsense … [because] … Even the federal environment ministry reported earlier this month we’re further away from meeting our impossible-to-achieve 2030 target than we were a year ago … [and, he adds] … The Trudeau government has quietly abandoned its 2020 target of reducing emissions to 17% below 2005 levels for the simple reason that it’s no longer possible to even pretend that’s attainable.“
I’m not a climate change denier … my problem with climate change in the Canadian context lies in figuring out how Canada can make any meaningful contribution to helping ameliorate the effects of global climate change as long as we live in a large, cold, sparsely populated place.
Mr Goldstein describes Trudeau’s climate change plan as “a train wreck” and Scheer’s as “absurd.” I agree and all Canadians would be well advised to “tune out” when our wannabe leaders tell us how they plan to save the planet … neither has the foggiest idea. If you plan to cast your vote based on climate change then I suggest that you give it to the party that says the least about it because none appears to have anything really useful to say and those who say the most about climate change are just trying to lead you and me astray.
I really wish that Andrew Scheer would say something like: “I don’t know exactly what to do about global climate change and I will not be stampeded into maiing promises I cannot keep. If you, my fellow Canadians, entrust our government to me and my team then I promise that I will listen to the best scientific and economic and social advice and I will try to do what we can to combat global climate change without destroying our economy or asking you to go back to a 16th century subsistence farming level of existence.”