Oh, that’s convenient. Canada’s scofflaw Environment Minister Stephen Guilbeault, who the New York Times correctly says was once “nicknamed ‘Green Jesus’” and “was arrested four times for climate protests in the 1990s and early 2000s while working for Greenpeace”, suddenly repents some of his tactics. Just as his boss tells an inquiry into his own ham-fisted overreaction to a protest that “Using protests to demand changes to public policy is something that I think is worrisome” before clarifying that it really depended on whether he liked the way they did it or not. And Guilbeault, our climate hypocrite of the week, now expects others to obey laws he crafts.
The piece was titled “He Sold a Message of Climate Doom. He Has Regrets.” And again the flexibility is noteworthy. He’s now part of an administration whose political appeal depends partly on the (admittedly absurd) claim that they are fixing the weather. So saying it’s all over, or that it’s all over unless we do really really drastic stuff like destroying art, smashing the economy and eating bugs, is, um, off-message.
Ditto his vocal opposition to pipelines which Trudeau is trying to cancel and build simultaneously. It gets awkward. As for destroying art, he danced artfully around it:
“I think activism is essential and is important. And I often — not that they need reminding, but I tell my ex colleague that it’s not a bad thing that they keep my feet to the fire, that they keep the pressure on. It’s important. Honestly, I don’t think we need to choose between culture, arts, and fighting climate change. I don’t think it’s a choice between those things. But overall, I think activism and protest are essential.”
The relevant Times journalist, Stephanie Joyce, who “grew up in a family of ardent environmentalists” gushes that “refreshingly for a politician, Guilbeault is open to questioning whether his tactics – past and present – are the right ones. It was his uncertainty and willingness to wrestle with his own contradictions that drew me to having him as a guest on ‘First Person.’” As opposed say to someone who questions the “settled science”.
Once again the media are not doing their job. The interviewer Lulu Garcia-Navarro also gushes over Guilbeault, particularly the courage it took to scale the CN Tower on a swaying cable in a lightning storm to unfurl a protest banner. She is not trying to be balanced, let alone skeptical.
Even National Geographic, which used to celebrate the natural world and cultural treasures, is now a shrill shill for climate alarmism and general leftiness. Back in October it even ran a piece on “The First Fascist Leader”, namely Italy’s Benito Mussolini. Why? Well, because “In today’s newsletter, we uncover the Jan. 6-style fascist march that overthrew a nation”.
Meanwhile back at the Times, in the podcast (transcript here) Guilbeault admits that, for instance, he deliberately blocked the entrance to a coal tower to prevent ships from unloading. It wasn’t about getting a message out, it was about using force to change policy without bothering to persuade the public. Today he’s burbling things like:
“Canada is the fourth largest oil and gas producer in the world. So it’s a challenge for everyone to transform our societies and our economies. But for a country like us, who’s — for decades we’ve depended on the revenues and our society has been very influenced by the oil and gas sector. I’d say it’s even more challenging.”
He did also say that we are not doing enough. And that “A third of Pakistan is under water now.” Which it is not and never was.
After which it’s something of an anti-climax that when the interviewer cornered him with “What is the best way to move the needle forward?” he babbled:
“We need to really transform the way we communicate on this. We haven’t, and we still, by and large, not doing a very good job communicating on climate change.”
It’s curious that people like Guilbeault insist that the public totally backs them and the time for debate is over and we must act (a Dec. 6 press release from his department started “Across the country, Canadians are calling for ambitious climate action”), and that they are the ones to lead the effort, because in 20 years of hectoring they have failed to convince the public who are totally on board.
In the end he delivers the stirring message that:
“But, I mean, I’ve evolved in perhaps better understanding that changing things on the scale of a society like mine is more complicated, perhaps, than I thought 20 years ago, for sure. And I’m confronted by this every day as a minister. So I – yes, from that perspective, yes, I have evolved.”
True. From a man who had all the answers to a man who has no answers and is still determined to implement them.
Our view is somewhat less insider. We say people didn’t buy the message 20 years ago and they still don’t because they look out the window and see winter in November.
In 2002, Guilbeault scaled the roof of Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, in a stunt to install a solar panel. Now the Cabinet he belongs to is terrified when protesters show up outside a constituency office, and when truckers set up bouncy castles in front of Parliament.