The most depressing thing about this campaign is the way the climate change debate has gone. Any hope that it might rise to the level of an informed argument about which strategy for cutting greenhouse gas emissions is better—the Tories’ suspiciously complicated cap-and-trade plan, or the Liberals’ more straightforward carbon tax—is all but dead.
Instead, this epochal issue is being reduced to merely one campaign theme among many, and Stéphane Dion is forced to reassure audiences that his Green Shift wouldn’t hurt them, rather than focusing on how it might be Canada’s first real contribution to the global effort to avert a planetary crisis. And while our election turns on the psychology of short-term self-interest, the real news is about science warning us that climate change is likely to turn into an even worse problem, even faster than we imagine.
FOR MORE: Meanwhile, under the Arctic Ice… (Part II)