Time has run out for the Harper Strategy on climate change.
If the goal is to keep climate change off the public agenda, the most effective strategy is not the ‘hard denialist’ strategy of rejection but the soft strategy of omission: saying as little as possible, preferably nothing, to keep the topic off the agenda.
“Nowhere in Canada is the impact of climate change more increasingly evident than the North. And yet, the words ‘climate change’ are never heard from Mr. Harper in the North, as if the idea they connote are so distasteful that he cannot bring himself to utter them.”
No denial, just no recognition. And hence a standard for others in power to follow, whether politicians, business people or editors: serious people don’t have serious public concerns about climate change, so that decisions today need not take into account tomorrow’s probable reality.
The strategy works only so long as nothing too serious happens too frequently. That results in fear, and then anger, and then bad things politically. And then you have to say something. If you have nothing substantial to say about climate change – because the whole strategy was never to do anything substantial – then you’re in trouble. As George Bush quickly discovered in his indifferent response to Hurricane Katrina.
And as Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison just found out.Read more »