Joe Oliver on climate change: ‘Scientists have recently told us that our fears are exaggerated’

The Natural Resources Minister explains his perspective

The Natural Resources Minister talks to La Presse.

“I think that people aren’t as worried as they were before about global warming of two degrees,” Oliver said in an editorial board interview with Montreal daily newspaper, La Presse. “Scientists have recently told us that our fears (on climate change) are exaggerated.” Oliver was not able to identify which scientists he was using as a source, the newspaper reported.

Less than four years ago, Stephen Harper identified climate change as a profound threat.

In the interests of time, allow me to focus my remarks this afternoon on the fight against climate change, perhaps the biggest threat to confront the future of humanity today.

Canada may be a small contributor to global warming – our greenhouse gas emissions represent just 2% of the earth’s total – but we owe it to future generations to do whatever we can to address this world problem.

Last year, the NDP’s Megan Leslie tested Mr. Oliver’s views on climate change—see here, herehere and here. At the time, Mr. Oliver told the CBC that he wasn’t a “denier.”

Update 7:33pm. The Canadian Press adds some of Mr. Oliver’s comments.

In an editorial board meeting with La Presse in Montreal, Oliver cited scientists who say that fear of climate change has been exaggerated. His comments were confirmed through a transcription of that part of the meeting, provided to The Canadian Press on Friday by Oliver’s spokesman.

“I did not say that there is no problem, and I do not say that others (scientists) have said that there is no problem. Instead, they say there is a big problem. But now they say that the problem is not so urgent that they previously thought. Maybe it will take more time,” Oliver said, according to his spokesman. “But … I do not deny the problem, which is a fundamental problem.”

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