The question of the weekend

by Aaron Wherry

Liberals are spending much of the day discussing the concept of “evidence-based policy”—this curious and revolutionary and courageous notion that the government’s actions and promises should acknowledge demonstrable reality. Munir Sheikh, the former chief statistician, addressed the convention this morning. Delegates have spent the rest of the day in sessions dedicated to discussing this novel approach in the context of various policy areas.

One of these sessions was to deal with the environment, which thus seemed like something of a test: could the Liberal party have a discussion about evidence-based environmental policy that didn’t deal with the preferred prescription of the vast majority of expert analysts?

The answer is: almost. But with a few minutes to spare in the hour a young man from the riding of Mount Royal stood and put the Liberal soul up for discussion.

“I have one question,” he said, proceeding to table it in rapid and insistent fashion. “Considering that most parts of Europe use a carbon tax and Australia is developing a carbon tax and so is China and so is India and so is many other parts of the world, and only Canada, with the exception of course of Quebec and British Columbia that have a carbon tax, and considering that many states and many countries that have a carbon tax have been able to grow economically even though they have it, does this not show merit for adopting a carbon tax?”

He added his concern that despite the issue being discussed, not a single person on the stage at the front of the room was using a reusable water bottle.

Seated on stage were environmental Steven Guilbeault, scientist Gordon McBean and two Liberal MPs, Joyce Murray and Kirsty Duncan. Another Liberal MP, Pablo Rodriguez, stood to moderate. It was Mr. McBean who offered a response.

“Let me just say that it is the opinion of almost every leading economist in the world dealing with the climate change issue and related issues that a carbon tax is by far the most economically and administratively efficient way of dealing with the issue,” he said. “We should have a carbon tax in Canada. In my view.”

There was applause for this. And then everyone moved on.

The question of the weekend

  1. And then the journos all broke for drinks, having heard the only phrase they wanted to report from the weekend.

  2. The “solutions” experts.  Political/economic “experts”.

    All premised on the “certainty” of the science that man can can control the temperature of the earth like a thermostat with the handy dial being the left’s favourite tool – taxes (and correpsonding government control).

    Leaving aside the preposterous (and inherently socio-narcissistic) notion that man has such control, and leaving aside the fact that the actual science behind AGW theory is so full of holes that most respectable scientists (the real ones, not the fuzzy social scientists – physicists, computer model experts etc. etc.) will not say with any certainty the degree to which (if any) man can affect the earth’s temperature,

    that such “experts” so gladly agree to such measures all the while continuing to drive their cars, fly their planes, soak in their energy using jaccuzi’s, show’s just how much this whole affair is about appearances, and meaningless self soothing/self importance, than a genuine desire to save the planet from this supposed.near certain planet-destroying disaster.

    • Ahhhh the anti-science creationist crowd shows up with the fantasies.

    • You’re making an appeal to emotion. That’s what you call a fallacy. Which means your argument is bogus.

      The earth’s climate is undoubtedly a complex system. To suggest it is immune to human understanding is ridiculous. To suggest it is immune to human influence is even more ridiculous. Humans have the power to reduce the entire planet to a glowing radioactive ash-heap. We can deforest continents. We can wipe out thousands of species. We can double the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. We’ve already done it. We can thereby acidify oceans.

      No one is suggesting we can control the climate like turning a dial. If only. If we were to stop emitting carbon dioxide tomorrow, the climate would go on warming for decades. The goal here is to avoid a human, economic and environmental disaster resulting from rising sea levels, acidifying oceans and change in weather patterns. But one only assumes you also deny that sea levels have been rising, and at an accelerating rate. Or is it just a coincidence? Yes, reducing the use of fossil fuel through a shift in the tax burden from things we like (like income taxes) onto things that we don’t much care about (the go-juice we need to put in the car to earn that income) might be a bit of a drag. But not as much of a drag as having to abandon NYC, London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Vancouver, Montreal, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and dozens of other cities representing trillions of dollars of capital investment as sea levels rise and put large swaths of these cities underwater. Not to mention the wars, death,  and all-round human misery that will result from changing weather patterns and availability of fresh water and food. Much better that the go-juice stay a bit cheaper for a few years longer. Let the kids clean up the mess.

    • Given that you are likely totally unqualified to evaluate the work of those “experts” you so cavalierly dismiss, I for one would rather behave as if they may be right than assume they’re not.

      If I’m wrong, the consequences of my error are not as serious as the consequences of yours.

      • Except the inherent fault in your logic is that a “solution” to a non- problem, doesn’t have negative consequences.

        Indeed even a well intentioned solution to a real problem often has negative consequences. 

        From an historical perspective the banning of DDT, that purportedly evil pesticide, is a good example.  Millions died of malaria as a result.

        In the instant case, the “solution” is suffocating regulation and the increase in the price of energy.  Affordable energy is one of the single biggest drivers that allowed us to achieve the standard of living over the past century.   The saddest part of it all is that the economy destroying “green” intitiatives won’t much hurt the wealthy.  They have enough to care for themselves.

        No, like the malaria victims, it will be those in the developing world who will suffer most under the high minded, self congradulatory, road-to-hell paved with good intentions, “green” war on energy.
         
         

  3. I would cite scientist after scientists, and study after study to back up what I’m saying, but invariably each one would be personally (and viciously attacked) on this thread.

    I do not fault those doing the attacking, as I understand AGW is the left’s principle religion. 

    Of course that doesn’t change the facts of the matter or the basic notions of science which support my statements.

    At the heart of the matter is the theory that CO2 (notwithstanding that it represents only a tiny percentage of greenhouse gasses – water vapor being the largest) causes an increase in the greenhouse effect, which in turn causes an increase in temperature.  As we increase C02 we heat the planet.

    Yet unlike real science where when an observation or test in the theory contradicts that theory, the hypothesis is rejected, with AGW the opposite is the case.

    As such, while CO2 has sckyrocketed in the last 10 years, there’s been no noticeable increase in planetary temps.  Those who study the feedback loops acknowelege that they are very complex and the role of clouds and other variables are still not well understood enough to explain the complex mechanism.  Those who understand computer modelling also know that all but the simplist mechanisms cannot be replicated or predicted using models, and which is why the models have utterly failed with AGW theory.

    Those who choose not to see AGW as a religion further note that there are many other variables that effect the Earth’s climate, and indeed MUST HAVE, given that we know that the Earth’s climate has radically changed over its history, and as such MUST be operative today – the Sun being an obvious and well studied one.  In short, the Earth’s climate has radically changed (Ice ages, tropical periods) when Man wasn’t even on the planet.  AGW warmists choose to simply ignore them (and sadly as revealed in the climategate releases v1 and v2 manipulate the data and seek to professionally destroy legitimate scientists simply seeking to test/question this complex equation).

    Sadly most in the media (being devout leftists) actively repress any study, information, individual or institution that supports my above statements.

    I say sadly because although the truth will eventually reach the masses, notwithstanding the media’s overt agenda driven journalism, there will be much harm done to our economies in the process, all in the name of this religion.

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