Via Sarah Pullman, a handy guide to the history and practice of Canadian Astroturf.
The link goes to Andrew Landeryou’s site *[Fixed. Thanks TDL]*
In the United States, once President Bush leaves office, I think momentum is building towards addressing climate change in a serious way. There have been a number of bills, some of them bipartisan, introduced in congress that would require deep reductions of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. If they pass Bush will never sign them of course, but it is laying the groundwork for the post-Bush era.
I get the sense from a number of articles I have read that momentum in Canada is actually going the other direction and they are becoming less willing to cut emissions. I wonder if they have taken into account all of the U.S. illegal immigrants that will be heading north if climate change wreaks havoc here in the U.S.
I have a theory. Most of the world’s oil reserves are in the form of tar sands, most of which are in Venezuela & Canada. Unfortunately, as I understand it, some of extraction processes require large amounts of energy, the production of which will emit large amounts of CO2. Ergo, the Canadian government has a rather large incentive to get out of the Kyoto Protocol.
A bit of a backgrounder here, for non-Canadians.
All politics is local. The current Conservative minority government, elected in January, has its political base in the province of Alberta, home of the oil sands, and their longest-serving MPs are from Alberta. The previous Liberal government ratified Kyoto, but did nothing for implementation, hence the distinct lack of progress on that front.
However, reality is always more important for minority governments and less powerful countries, so the Conservative desire to deny AGW is foundering, although they may not want Kyoto, less yet Kyoto 2. As Canada has a significant Arctic presence, the scientific community is very clear that AGW is real, and the serious media are onside, although columnists are amazingly variable. Also, a good proportion of western water sources are glacial. Even the Alberta government, while previously denying global warming, has been forced to develop a water plan for the future (and tar sands exploitation is EXTREMELY water intensive).
Just for interest, the other 3 major political parties are pro-Kyoto and for emissions reductions. Alberta also has the largest proportion of Green Party voters in Canada, and one of the founders of the current Conservative party has identified Green issues as likely to be the next major anti-incumbent source. Roll on PR! (Alberta also has the largest installed base of wind turbines in Canada right now).
Politics is never as simple as the politicians want you to believe.
Do you think that oil industry and chemical companies and conservative scholars should just “not present their views” or would you be ok if they presented them with more of an appropriately labeled front? I think you need to at least leave them the allowance for neutral names, given that they see environmentalism as not purely driven by people who like wilderness, but by people who are general blue state…err…statists.
One other Canadian thing to add about Stewart’s post. When he mentions “Also, a good proportion of western water sources are glacial. Even the Alberta government, while previously denying global warming, has been forced to develop a water plan for the future…” something that non-Canadians may not know is that Canada is worried, almost to the point of paranoia, about their fresh water.
Canada has lots of fresh water and they’re probably as much, if not more, worried about that resource being diverted to somewhere else (typically the USA). The reason it’s “almost” to the point of paranoia, but not actual paranoia, is that … well, you know the old joke about how you’re not paranoid if they’re really after you. Well, that’s the thing; people are really after Canadian fresh water. It’s too expensive at present to really do it on a huge scale, but they’re worried about the future on this. If you don’t know this some Canadian actions and attitudes may seem odd to you.
Just something to remember when the subject of water and Canada comes up.
TCO said: “Do you think that oil industry and chemical companies and conservative scholars should just “not present their views” or would you be ok if they presented them with more of an appropriately labeled front?”
No-one is suggesting that industry companies and conservative scholars should not be allowed to present their views. However, what is expected is that they will base those views on accurate information which has scientific validity and is not a distortion of the accepted scientific facts, obfuscation or cherry picking of data to confuse the reader. All that is asked is scientific honesty, which unfortunately, in too many cases, is lacking.