In his scathing assessment of our prime minister, 350.og founder Bill McKibben says that Trudeau is, in fact, a fellow traveller with Donald Trump when it comes to climate change, something I suspect more and more thinking Canadians are discovering:
Trudeau says all the right things, over and over. He’s got no Scott Pruitts in his cabinet: everyone who works for him says the right things. Indeed, they specialize in getting others to say them too – it was Canadian diplomats, and the country’s environment minister Catharine McKenna, who pushed at the Paris climate talks for a tougher-than-expected goal: holding the planet’s rise in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius.Trudeau's rhetorical shape shifting capabilities were on full display last month in Houston as he received a standing ovation from a petroleum gathering when he said,
But those words are meaningless if you keep digging up more carbon and selling it to people to burn, and that’s exactly what Trudeau is doing. He’s hard at work pushing for new pipelines through Canada and the US to carry yet more oil out of Alberta’s tarsands, which is one of the greatest climate disasters on the planet.
“No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there.”And therein lies the crux of Trudeau's hypocrisy.
If Canada digs up that oil and sells it to people to burn, it will produce, according to the math whizzes at Oil Change International, 30% of the carbon necessary to take us past the 1.5 degree target that Canada helped set in Paris.In that regard, we are certainly punching above our weight:
Canada, which represents one half of one percent of the planet’s population, is claiming the right to sell the oil that will use up a third of the earth’s remaining carbon budget.Trudeau and his cabinet acolytes would have us believe that we can continue to pump out tarsands bitumen and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I have a theory as to why he thinks this kind of magical thinking can be credible to anyone with even a modicum of critical-thinking skills:
Justin Trudeau has fallen into the trap of believing his own press. The fawning hyperbolic language used to describe him in worldwide journals has, I suspect, led him to believe he can do no wrong or, if he does, Canadians will be too blinded by his 'radiance' to notice.
In this, I hope our young prime minster is badly mistaken.