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"Climate Prosperity" or "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Global Climate Change"

okanogen's picture

Well, it was bound to happen. Canada is now seeking to frame global climate change as maybe not such a bad thing, by describing all of the good things that may happen as the planet heats up. From Desmogblog:

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.

In a joint project between the government's National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy and the (in this case compromised) Royal Canadian Geographic Society, the Conservatives have introduced "Climate Prosperity," on the face of it, a benign educational program that "lays out the physical effects of climate change on Canada."

But (points for transparency), the government also admits the thrust of the campaign on its tar-sands-funded  website:

"While the phrase ‘climate change’ is familiar to many — and a scientifically accepted phenomenon —  the phrase ‘climate prosperity’ is newer. It is a phrase the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy wants Canadians to embrace."

Canada, which has been actively blocking international efforts to negotiate an extension or useful replacement for the Kyoto Protocol that would actually begin to deal with the threats of global warming, has a different plan. As NRTEE President and CEO David McLaughlin explains it: “Adapt and prosper will be increasingly central to Canadian governments, communities, and businesses as these effects become more and more evident.”

It is, perhaps, to the Conservatives' good fortune that they have allies in Canada's newly remade national newspaper, the Toronto Globe and Mail. For more than a week, the Globe has been rolling out a series of stories celebrating all the great benefits that will accrue to Canada in a climate changing world. On Saturday, Sept. 24, the paper began with a long John Allemang feature on the bright future that awaits Canada in 2050.  This past Saturday, Oct. 2, columnist Doug Saunders cheered on the news that the "Inuit of Greenland have weather on their side." And today, John Ibbitson, who often seems to play the role of Prime Minister Harper's unofficial press spokestser, cherry-picked his way through the NRTEE report to crow about "The Silver Lining in Climate Changes's Clouds." Kudos, then, to the Editorial page staff who, at lest urged, "Don't Accentuate the Positive."

It seems to be a message lost on the NRTEE. If you pick your way through its membership, through the collection of politicians and business people, you will, perhaps, not be surprised by the direction of the spin. The Round Table lacks any representation from science and, as environmentalists, must settle with the CEO of a biodeisel company, and the executive director of Environment Probe, "a public interest organization that promotes property rights and market mechanisms to protect the environment," (appearing like a well-funded, green-cloaked business lobby to fight government regulation).

In defence of some of the actual material, if you look past what spin doctors like Ibbitson promote as the exciting bits - eg., an expansion in the Canadian cruise-ship industry and easier access to northern oil and gas - much of the rest of the material appears to be accurate, scientifically sound - and horrifying.

But let's not concentrate on the negative, shall we. Let's turn away from the rest of the disenfranchised world and embrace Climate Prosperity.


Huge h/t to The Roar of the Masses Could be Farts that notes Why focus on apocalyptic scenarios when we can instead think of the megabucks climate change is going to bring to the oil companies? .

So, just like for Dr. Strangelove, there is always a silver lining.

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okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

I like how they want Canadians to "embrace" the manufactured coinage "Climate Prosperity".

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

They're probably already rebranding the tent cities that are springing up as something like "Homeowners' Relief Program" or "Natural Dwelling Initiative."

They're the worst kind of evil, hiding the horrendous behind a happy face sticker.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

At least Canada is embracing the science, I mean, can anyone find a publication like this one? That said, is it better to claim ignorance while eating a shit sandwich, or highlight all the good things about a shit sandwich?

The original topic/post came out over a month ago, but I hadn't seen anyone else mention "Climate Prosperity" either here or anywhere else. I apologize if it has already been posted about.

Submitted by hipparchia on

global warming probably will help canada's agriculture, lengthening the growing season, and expanding the land area that has warm enough temperatures to farm.

of course, the same climate is going to decimate huge portions of u.s. agriculture, so we'll be invading canada for their food... and we'll be bringing our health care system with us! won't they be in clover then!

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

And in to Canada. That is just one of the predictions. The PDF linked above has a map/chart of what they predict.

Submitted by hipparchia on

you didn't see my invisible /snark tag?

but yes, on a serious note, the canadian plains would be subject to desertification. canada's population is small emough that they could perhaps [if they remained their own isolated world] weather that ok, but they have the misfortune to have a very belligerent and populous nation on their southern border, one that thinks nothing of invading other countries to steal their natural resources.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

We need to get back to the days where we call it "Global Warming" or something that sounds more dangerous. "Climate change" only sounds like a changing season, where we're headed is much, much different and dangerous than that.