Return of the Green Shaft – by Peter Foster (National Post – November 13, 2015)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

According to a front page splash in another newspaper on Thursday, the Liberal cabinet is “going all in on climate change agenda.”

It would be advisable for us all to look before the cabinet leaps into the grand Paris conference that starts in two weeks. This is especially important if scientific input is coming from the government’s new Minister of State for Science, Kirsty Duncan.

Even more caution is called for since Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion, who also heads a key cabinet committee on climate, is the man calling for the full court press reported in the Globe and Mail.

As a piece by Tom Blackwell in the National Post on Thursday noted, Duncan is a controversial figure who has supported the debunked Zamboni treatment for Multiple Sclerosis, and clashed with eminent scientists outside her specialization (she is a geographer who has taught about the health impacts of climate change).

According to McGill’s Dr. Michael Rasminsky, Duncan has vociferously supported “profoundly non-scientific” ideas. “This is the most curious appointment since [the Roman emperor] Caligula named his horse as consul.”

Then there is Dion, who is leading the government’s climate charge on the barricades of common sense. When Dion was Liberal party leader, his “Green Shift” – a melange of setting “the right” prices, subtly shifting taxes from consumption to production, and assiduously selecting technologies of the future – was as big an electoral lead balloon as it was a policy fantasy. But he’s back!

According to the Globe, Dion suggested that “all major economic decisions will face a climate-change test.” But it’s far more important that that all climate policy decisions face an economic test, lest we be sucked further into making damaging and pointless commitments.

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