Conservative politicians have the potential to lead on climate change
The issue of climate change is one of concern for a majority of Canadians. In fact, a 2018 Angus Reid poll found that 88% of Canadians, to varying degrees, view it as a threat to the planet.
This will not come as a surprise to most, considering the increased political rhetoric and policy that has emerged on the topic over the past twenty years. More and more Canadians are realizing that climate change is an issue which could affect not only themselves, but also future generations.
This emerging consensus has given Canadian politicians the runway to ramp up the rhetoric on climate change and promote policies which reduce its effects. Much of this has come from progressive politicians who promote policies like carbon taxation and aggressive green energy subsidies.
Most recently, the climate change charge has been led by none other than our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.
Trudeau, and his Liberal Party, view carbon taxation as the primary driver their plan to reduce carbon emissions. The NDP position is quite similar, albeit more aggressive and free of fossil fuel subsidies.
However, there is an inconvenient problem with carbon taxes — they’re not actually very effective.
Environment Canada’s own documentation shows that unless the government wants to bankrupt us all with a $300 per ton carbon tax, there is no way a carbon tax will allow us to meet our own carbon emission reduction targets.
The Conservatives, for their part, have been largely inactive on the file, both during the years of the Harper government, and now under the leadership of Andrew Scheer. While Scheer has promised that a policy plan is in the works, the public has yet to see that materialize.
Though Scheer did originally whip his MP’s to vote in favour for the targets set out by the Paris Climate Agreement, he walked that back a bit in December saying that his plan “will be reducing our targets in a meaningful way.”
As a conservative, if Scheer is looking to make “meaningful reductions,” he would do well to consider some of the practical solutions being advocated by folks like Bjorn Lomborg and Bill Gates.
Both of these men are firm believers in the fact that climate change is happening and that the activity of mankind is one of the main causes. That’s why they both favour an innovation heavy approach which seeks to create a breakthrough in green energy.
The top down governmental approach favoured by progressive politicians like Trudeau is actually a regressive stance which limits individual choice, hampers economic growth, and fails to meaningfully reduce carbon emissions.
Lomborg has made this point many times, highlighting the fact that unless a carbon tax is adopted worldwide to prevent carbon leakage, it’s an ineffective policy proposal.
It’s because of the futility of current climate change policies and renewable energy options that billionaire philanthropists like Gates, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Michael Bloomberg have funded Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) to “speed up the cycle of innovation.”
In October, BEV teamed up with the EU to invest $115 million into “radical” new clean energy technologies.
Perhaps Canada, instead of spending $2.9 billion in fossil fuel subsidies and millions more investing in current inefficient green tech, could pursue such a partnership and redirect those valuable taxpayer funds to more productive means.
Such an partnership would make sense from a limited government approach and would also be the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions.
While the Canadian government already does invest in cleantech research, having the government partner with a private organization will greatly improve its ability to assess which companies are worthy of continued investment.
Governments could in theory provide that kind of investing, but in reality, they aren’t great at identifying promising companies and staying nimble to help those companies grow. That’s where this partnership can shine. It allows the European Commission, which is funding cutting-edge research and development, to partner with investors who know how to build companies well. Because the fund will be privately managed, it can avoid some of the bureaucracy that slows things down and makes it hard to support new companies. We’ll have the resources to make a meaningful difference, and the flexibility to move quickly. That’s a rare combination.Bill Gates, October 2018.
Scheer, and his provincial conservative counterparts, should be all over this idea. It’s a venture which places individual ingenuity and innovation front and centre.
Guided by experienced business stewards from the private sector and funded in part by the government, a partnership with BEV could be a fantastic policy for Scheer to campaign on this fall.
Opposing the carbon tax is a good start. However, if Scheer wants to show Canadians he’s ready to lead this country, he needs to start putting forward bold ideas and solutions. A climate change policy would be a great place to start.
Quebec politician says that you should be able to commit suicide if you're worried about climate change
Quebec politician Luc Ferrandez has suggested that euthanasia could be extended to those who wish not to be a burden on society.
Writing in a Facebook post, the former mayor of Plateau Mont-Royal said, “Could we, for environmental, social and economic reasons, decide that we want to receive help to die so as not to be a burden for our family and society in general?”
When confronted about his comments, Ferrandez stated that he merely intended to “deepen the discussion” on assisted dying, according to Journal Metro. “Is it immoral to ask a question,” he added indignantly.
Currently, for assisted dying to be permitted, a patient must be suffering, and their death must be imminent. Ferrandez appeared upset as the law does not consider the possibility that a patient may want to die for environmental or economic reasons.
In 2016, several advocates requested that the government expanded euthanasia legislation so to fit Ferrandez’s definition, however, the provincial government is not ready to rethink the legislation in the immediate future
Greta Thunberg has left North America and is traveling back to Europe with the use of a catamaran. Thunberg will now head to Europe where she will attend the UN climate summit, according to the Daily Mail.
Thankfully for Thunberg, an Australian couple offered to sail her back from Virginia in the United States. It will take her two to three weeks to get to Portugal, depending on the Atlantic Ocean’s temperament.
During her time in North America, Thunberg met with world leaders, famous actors, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Swedish activist even took time to visit Alberta where she received a cooler reception than other stops on her tour.
Controversial climate activist Greta Thunberg will appear at the Vancouver climate strike planned for this Friday.
According to a release by organizers, “the movement will take to the streets again this Friday for a post-election climate strike featuring local Indigenous activists.”
Organizers told CTV News that the purpose of the event is to ensure that climate action remains a top priority for politicians following the federal election.
Thunberg has been touring Canada for several weeks, having made stops in major cities nationwide. September’s Montreal march brought out an estimated 500,000 people participate, with last week’s Edmonton march seeing over 10,000 people congregate.
Thunberg, a figurehead for climate change activists globally, has made waves since her initial splash in Sweden. In late 2018, Thunberg began the school climate strikes and public speeches for which she has become an internationally recognized climate activist, skipping out on class to raise awareness.
Not everyone is a fan of Thunberg’s antics, though. A mural of Thunberg painted in downtown Edmonton was vandalized with pro-oil graffiti only days after it’s completion. As CBC cameras collected footage of the event, local resident James Bagnall etched the words “Stop the Lies. This is Oil Country!!!” across Thunberg’s face.
“This is Alberta. This is oil country. My father has worked in the oil industry. We don’t need foreigners coming in and telling us how to run our business, support our families, put food on our tables,” Bagnall told CBC.
Only hours later, another man defaced the wall with a more vulgar message, calling Greta a “petite salop,” a French vulgarity
Though not popular everywhere in Canada, Vancouver, is expected to accept Thunberg’s message more openly than some other cities out west. Vancouver has already had numerous climate protests in the last few months.
On September 27, hoards gathered outside Vancouver City Hall to march into downtown for the General Strike for Climate Justice.
An October 7 event, this time by Extinction Rebellion, shut down important veins of traffic such as the Burrard Street Bridge. Another event by Extinction Rebellion saw downtown Vancouver shut down after a small group of protesters marched through the city’s core.
Downtown Vancouver can expect heavy traffic tomorrow as eco-radical group Extinction Rebellion will be protesting during rush hour, according to CTV.
Protests are expected to begin at 4:30 pm at Georgia and Hamilton streets. As per the Facebook event, 100 people say they will be in attendance, with an additional 400 people noting that they’re interested.
As for the route to be taken, there is currently no route set in stone for Friday’s march.
Some may remember when just weeks ago, Extinction Rebellion clogged up traffic in a stunt wherein protestors blocked off the downtown bridge for 12 hours. Ten people were arrested during the incident for obstruction.
Extinction Rebellion has made international headlines for stunts of similar nature. Just this week, Extinction Rebellion members were assaulted following their halting of a London tube train.