Perhaps this is a thought that dare not speak its name, yet it has haunted me ever since Canada came under such strong criticism at the UN climate talks in Poznan talks. Could Canada gain geopolitically from climate change, and if so, was that the reason why we were doing so little about it? This is a cold, callous idea, and one that would horrify most Canadians. Yet it is the viewpoint of Atlantic Monthly columnist Gregg Easterbrook, who wrote:
“In recent years, Canada has increased its greenhouse-gas output more rapidly than most other rich countries. Maybe this is a result of prosperity and oil-field development – or maybe those wily Canadians have a master plan for their huge expanse of currently inhabitable land.”
In this article, Easterbrook, author of the Progress Paradox, examines which countries stand to gain and which countries will lose from climate change. Shanghai, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Bangladesh and Venice will obviously will be in big trouble with the sea level rises expected by 2100. But a few countries – like Sweden, Greenland and Denmark, stand to gain greatly. And Canada, as a a cold, rich, sparely populated country, he writes, will likely make a killing.
Machiavellian, isn’t it?