Judging by the response of mainstream environmentalists, British Columbia’s recent provincial election was a referendum on how to fight climate change. The Liberal incumbents proposed no change to the carbon tax they introduced last year. The opposition New Democratic Party wanted to replace the tax with “a ‘cap and trade’ plan — just like U.S. President Obama.”
Prominent green NGOs, including the David Suzuki Foundation, the Pembina Institute, and ForestEthics, blasted the NDP for taking a “backward step.” A Pembina representative wrote: “The carbon tax is already showing results. It is important for British Columbia to keep moving forward on climate change rather than starting over again.” The Liberals won the election, so BC’s green future is assured. Right? Wrong.
Jeffrey Simpson, Mark Jaccard and Nic Rivers belong to the second group. In Hot Air: Meeting Canada’s Climate Change Challenge, they show convincingly that, if government doesn’t act, this country’s appalling record on greenhouse-gas emissions will get much worse.
In Canada, ecosocialism is new, and still a distinctly minority current. Most progressive movements address ecological issues from time to time, but few have made them a key focus of their activity. And while socialist views are beginning to get a hearing in green circles, few ecology activists advocate anything more radical than the market-based “solutions” of the Kyoto Accord.
Canada’s federal government is fiddling while the world burns. The Tories’ “Action Plan” to deal with climate change, announced by Environment Minister John Baird on April 26, is actually a recipe for inaction and delay.
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