“Smoke, Fire, Politics” letter to the Globe and Mail, 23 Aug 2018
Letter to editor, Globe & Mail 23 August 2018, A10
Gary Mason is right on climate change when he says, “There isn’t a bigger issue before us.” But the header, “While the planet burns, our politicians fiddle,” sends the wrong message. Politicians who have put forward concerted plans to tackle climate change have been punished at the polls.
In Canada, Stéphane Dion’s “Greenshift Plan” was excellent (a little tweaking needed), but he went down in flames. The Ontario Liberal government under Kathleen Wynne brought in cap-and-trade and abolished coal-burning plants. Doug Ford ran openly on getting rid of cap-and-trade. While it’s true he won only 40% of the vote, his party got more support than any other.
In the United States, think of Al Gore, so well versed on the subject, and defeated. Then there is Trump, pro-coal and against clean energy, after Obama signed the Paris Accord.
In Australia, a carbon tax was brought in, attacked immediately, weakened, then abolished. Axe the Tax worked. In B.C., fortunately, “Axe the Tax” did not work and the government that introduced the carbon tax (Liberal) was re-elected.
Voters must support parties with good plans, not fall for “Axe the Tax.” Citizens must punish governments that refuse to think of the future.
Former NDP MP and NDP Environment critic, Toronto