Toronto Sun columnist Lorrie Goldstein says “If the next federal Conservative leader is looking for a coherent policy on human-induced climate change, a good start would be honesty.” And we’re all for honesty. Goldstein wants the Tories to be frank that Trudeau’s plan is symbolic and Canada’s emissions are a tiny part of the global total especially given what China is doing. So far so good. The hard part is when they’re asked whether they believe climate change is an emergency and they make the jump to hyper-vague. How about an honest discussion on that point?
Goldstein calls on “a new Conservative leader” to be “unafraid” and to lay “the groundwork for an honest debate about what we should do going forward with climate policy”. After summarizing the range of views among the public on whether climate change is even a problem, he brushes it aside, saying “The real question is how much of their standard of living — given Canada’s abundant oil and gas resources — are Canadians willing to sacrifice to symbolically address climate change? A Conservative leader willing to raise that question, and answer it honestly, would be a worthy prime minister.”
Not true. Because before long the new leader would be assailed for not working to convince Canadians that they ought to be willing to sacrifice more. The real question isn’t how much Canadians are prepared to sacrifice but how much they should be, and you can’t discuss the latter without discussing science. And until a Conservative leader is willing to do so, nothing he or she says will help us confront the issue or help them win elections.