Homer-Dixon’s one-way ­conversation (National Post – April 4, 2013)

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CBC provides ­platform for anti-oil sands guru

I really need a second bite at the watermelon (green on the outside, red on the inside) of Thomas Homer-Dixon’s claims — published in The New York Times — that Alberta’s oil sands are perverting Canada’s economy and democracy.

The lefty lecturer’s accusation that the Canadian “conversation” is being suppressed by a “coercive climate” was rendered even more ludicrous this week by the fact that he was instantly invited onto two major CBC programs: As it Happens, and Q. Can an invitation from Michael Enright be far behind?

And, come to think about it, when did any part of Mother Corp. last express skepticism about “official” climate science, or fail to report the latest oil sands scare or pipeline spill non-horror? Two dead in Arkansas. Ducks, that is.

Towards the end of his interview with CBC Radio’s Q host Jian Ghomeshi, Mr. Homer-Dixon was kind enough to mention my own spirited response to his Times piece. I am apparently the sort of shill that lonely voices of sanity such as himself have to face in this nascent Northern “petro-state.” He didn’t have time actually to refute anything I wrote.

It becomes increasingly clear that Mr. Homer-Dixon’s idea of a conversation is one in which he is the only one allowed to speak. He also displays that common trait of the morally-bloated liberal-left that they interpret any counterargument (or withdrawal of taxpayer support) as a desire to “silence” them.

Mr. Homer-Dixon got a predictably soft ride on As It Happens, but Mr. Ghomeshi was balanced enough to include a couple of his critics, notably the Calgary Herald’s Licia Corbella, and federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver.

Ms. Corbella noted the oil sands’ contribution to all those social programs that Canadians hold so dear, pointed out that the oil sands are responsible for only 5% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, and remarked that — far from having a lock on public debate — oil companies tend to be vilified. Mr. Oliver recorded that U.S. government studies had confirmed that the Keystone XL pipeline offered no extraordinary threat to the environment.

Mr. Homer-Dixon’s response was instructive. Apparently Ms. Corbella’s citation of the small proportion of Canadian emissions produced by the oil sands was “misleading.” Mr. Oliver too was portrayed as a Prince of Lies because what U.S. studies had in fact demonstrated was that Keystone wouldn’t make any difference to emissions because Canada would still produce the oil and sell it elsewhere.

For the rest of this column, please go to the National Post website: http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/04/03/peter-foster-homer-dixons-one-way-%C2%ADconversation/

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