Two Climate Crisis Quotes

Normally I wouldn’t devote a post to reproducing what others have said, but 1) I’ve already made a real post today, and 2) these are both too good to ignore.

The first extract is the final paragraphs of Jeffrey Simpson’s column in yesterday’s Globe and Mail. The second is a letter to the editor, also published in yesterday’s Globe, from Green Party leadership contestant Elizabeth May.


The government’s entire political/re-election strategy is based on adopting tangible, easily understood policies that touch the daily lives of citizens. Whether those policies make good sense is almost beside the point, politically speaking, provided they are popular.Climate change doesn’t meet that tangible test, except in the Arctic or perhaps regions infested by the mountain pine beetle (whose spread is aided by the lack of cold winters). Air pollution such as smog is much more tangible, which is why the Conservatives were much more specific about that challenge, promising to “develop a Clean Air Act.”

If the Conservatives ever got serious about climate change — and that’s a very big if — they would start using the price mechanism to encourage behavioural change.

As in, adopting much tougher, California-style vehicle-emissions standards and allowing the auto companies to price their fleet mix differently. As in, mandating emissions for companies such as oil and natural gas extraction, but offering companies taxation incentives for disposing of the carbon dioxide. As in, a beefed-up, domestic carbon-emissions trading plan.

As in, a whole range of initiatives that a government even half-serious about climate change would adopt, remembering that the root of the word Conservative is “conserve.”

The Stanley Cup contest provided an iconic backdrop for a climate-change debate. As a Canadian, I rooted for the Oilers, but my money was on the Hurricanes.We know from Katrina that hurricanes hit oil production hard, whereas producing and burning more oil only makes hurricanes stronger.

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