In today’s National Post is an article by Timothy Ball and Tom Harris on the Kyoto non-debate. Conservative MP Bob Mills, as opposition environment critic, once put forward a very sensible motion:
"That given the importance and impact of the Kyoto Protocol on Canada and the entire world, and given that this committee has never studied the science behind the Kyoto Protocol, that several prominent climate (and other related fields) scientists from both sides of the issue be invited to testify on the science behind the Kyoto Protocol before the Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development at a mutually agreeable time and date."
Very sensibly, Mills argued:
"To just hear one side of an issue is certainly not what I think a committee should do and it's not in good conscience that we can do that."But Liberal MP Charles Cassia, disagreed:
"I couldn't think of a more undesirable use of the committee's time."
And "the motion was soundly defeated."
Now, with the Conservatives in power, Mills has done a complete about face. Apparently he, like the opposition Liberals, NDP and BQ, has become a Kyoto "true believer". There is no longer any need to hear from anyone who might have different ideas on climate science.
Well, as disappointing as this is, I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised. Kyoto never was about sound science. Despite the facts that the GHG hypothesis remains unproven, that there are good reasons to doubt it and that there are compelling alternate theories, human-induced global warming has become an article of faith. So, as with any religious dogma, it's sacrilege to question it. And since 'Kyoto' has been so effectively ‘sold’ to the public, it is now completely politicized. The Tories know if they don’t manage it carefully their re-election prospects could be seriously damaged.
So, non-true-believers are in a bind. Beyond continuing to delude ourselves that there will ever be real debate on the science, we can only hope our government doesn't do anything to wreck the economy for negligible effect. Because, even if Kyoto science were accurate, given the small size of our economy, no matter what Canada does, or does not do, its effect on global climate will be somewhere between unmeasureable and nil.