[Update: 7 March 2012] It’s not entirely clear if the early news reports about Climate Prosperity – on which the blog post below was largely based – were accurate reflections of the nature, purpose, or conclusions of the group. The view expressed below may not be entirely accurate.
Canada’s government seems to have sunk to a new low:
The Conservative government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has launched a huge Suncor-sponsored campaign to reframe climate change as a good thing for Canada’s economy.
This takes selfishness to a new extreme. The serious scientific and economic analyses that have been undertaken have concluded that unrestrained climate change will cause far more harm than benefit, particularly in the developing world. To argue that climate change may be good for Canada, therefore we should not worry about it, takes the implied right to pollute to absurd new lengths.
Even if some degree of climate change would cause benefits for Canada, that doesn’t mean Canada has the right to impose the risk of dangerous or catastrophic climate change on others. Furthermore, we have many reasons to believe that climate change will not be a benign phenomenon in Canada, despite the drool-inducing possibility of more oil and gas development in the north and the possibility of longer growing seasons.
Mountain pine beetle and Russia’s wildfires are a couple of examples of how climate change can harm even cold countries. It is worth remembering that all of our infrastructure – from roads to cities to hydroelectric dams – was designed for an unaltered climate. The more change humanity produces, the more unsuited our infrastructure will be to the world in which we live.
[Update: 18 October 2010] It is worth noting that Climate Prosperity is an initiative of the National Round Table on Energy and the Environment (NRTEE). NRTEE was created in 1988 and operates under an independent mandate.