Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Murky Issue

The Toronto Star is coaching Stephane Dion this morning. The editorial, "Opportunity for Dion" suggests that Dion should take advantage of the CPC contrast ads to outline his own plan:

As Dion tries to take political ownership of the climate change issue, one of the ads attempts to paint the former Liberal environment minister as someone who did nothing to stop Canada's greenhouse gas emissions from growing by 30 per cent.

That claim could certainly hurt Dion unless he seizes on the lesson that is implicit in the ad.

Dion, who was environment minister only for a short period during the minority Liberal government of Paul Martin, needs to convince voters that he, in fact, has a workable plan for fighting global warming.

His plan must be simple and straightforward. It must be effective, capable of producing quick and large results.

Considering that the usual Liberal solution is to just throw piles of taxpayer money at a problem, this could prove to be a challenge indeed - especially for an ex-professor more comfortable with theories and rosy ideals than harsh, economic facts.

Lorrie Goldstein
("There's No Big Green Machine") reminds us that there is a difference between justifiable concern about the environment in general vs. panic about climate change specifically. Although the opposition parties would like to frame those concepts as synonymous, Goldstein points to surveys that suggest that Canadians are more worried about exposure to smog and toxins than melting ice-caps:

But global warming and climate change, the issue Kyoto is meant to address, actually finished fourth on the list of environmental concerns of Canadians. The top three were more traditional worries such as toxic chemicals linked to human health (which 61% identified as "life threatening"), followed by air pollution and smog (55%), water pollution and quality (54%) and then global warming and climate change at 52%.

I think Canadians are being fleeced by a global-warming snow-job. Few in the media are willing to differentiate between the subtleties of a very complex issue. The Star's editorial is providing Stephane Dion with tactical suggestions for the Liberal leader's future; not necessarily that of a healthy Canadian environment.

The politics of fear are not used exclusively by our elected officials.

* * * *

Related Links: Brilliant ChuckerCanuk - "Do you believe the science of climate change?"

Kathleen Harris (Sun) - "Green gets red hot".

The Strong Conservative - "Counter Culture to Global Warming, It's a Natural Cycle".

Used to be that Conservative bloggers were called bigots; now we're heretics.

UPDATE: New poll from Decima! (Star) Canadians seem skeptical. I wonder why...

I love this bit at the end:

Jamey Heath, a former NDP communications director, posted an op-ed rant on the left-wing rabble.ca website recently, excoriating those who criticize the NDP for attempting to help the Tories rewrite their much-criticized Clean Air Act.

"That's how low this debate has sunk," wrote Heath. "Just scream `Harper Helper' and watch facts and possibilities fly out the window, all because that's how Liberals say politics work."

Jack's Newswatch - "The Sky is Falling". Great rant & links.


Alberta Girl said...

"The politics of fear are not used exclusively by our elected officials"

It is my humble opinion that "climate change", "global warming" or whatever the "cool" term is nowadays is one way the MSM can continually take the Tories to task because they cannot diss the fact that they have done more in one year than their Liberals did in the 13 years they were there.

Making Climate Change the new "top of mind" issue for Canadians takes their minds off how successful the CPC were in their first year and keeps Canadians from thinking they might like more of what they see.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Sometimes MSM uses "climate change" instead of the general "environmental concerns" phrase simply out of lack of information; not necessarily due to an agenda.

That is where we as ordinary citizens need to point out to the media when they make a mistake in terminology.

I just finished a very pleasant email exchange with a local newstalk personality who said that "climate change" was the #1 concern for Canadians. After he forwarded the surveys in question, we both found that it was the general category of environmental concerns that was actually the phrase that was used.

A simple correction is often all that is needed.

The problem is that if people are told that climate change is the number #1 concern, they may start thinking, "Gee, I'd better get on board too." Then they start buying into the Kyoto solution which is more propaganda without much substance or effectiveness for Canadian needs.

We must stay vigilant so we don't unwittingly become pawns for those who actually do have a 'hidden agenda'. Read Lorrie Goldstein's column. A wealth of information.

Calgary Junkie said...

Dion is being played like a fiddle here, by his more astute political opponents Harper and Layton, and Duceppe (who seems to be helping the anti-Liberal cause now too). Together, they will drive this environmental file to enough of a "conculsion", that it will be off the table as far as an election issue is concerned. Then what cards will Dion play ? It will be back to the National Day Care file I guess, what else does he have ?

Cherniak_WTF said...

joanne, editorials often have advice for politicians - Harper received such largesse many times from the Gazette. I don't really see your point here....

As for "environmental concerns" it will not be as big an election concern as many would like.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

As for "environmental concerns" it will not be as big an election concern as many would like.

I agree. My point is that we all need to try to become better informed about environmental issues so that we are more discerning when trying to separate the political spin from the facts. There is big money riding on both sides of the equation; hence the lobbying and political pressure.

liberal supporter said...

"astute political opponents Harper and Layton"


Joe Calgary said...

I'll say here what I said at Chuckers:

"Mssr. Dion, do believe you believe it's okay to depopulate the world supply of Frogs Legs all to satisfy the needs of well-heeled Frenchmen everywhere, or do you deny that white wine goes best with the every decreasing supply of Frogs legs?"

Do you? Huh? Huh? Answer me that Dion. What about the fricken frogs eh?

Do your part for climate change Dion, stop eating the frogs.

liberal supporter said...

C;mon Joe, stop speaking code. You really want to say "don't vote for Dion, the fricken frog"

Cherniak_WTF said...

It's amazing the anti-French sentiment that joe calgary and cohorts seem to have.

If there was an IQ test for partisan supporters, I'd fear that the Cons would fall below the Communist Party in terms of members....

PGP said...

A plan to meet the utopian fantasies of the moonbats:

"His plan must be simple and straightforward. It must be effective, capable of producing quick and large results."

It must fly in the face of reality and facts!
These dufusses just never learn.

PGP said...

Overheard outside a mensa get together:
Mary "There sure were a lot of liberals in there tonight!"
Joe " How can you tell who's a liberal?"

Mary " The ones that are bragging about how smart they are!"