“I have this… power.” Thus spake Kramer, in the hilarious Latvian Orthodox episode on Seinfeld. He was referring to what the Latvian Orthodox priest called Kavorka, the lure of the animal. Mainstream greens in Canada could say the same thing about their influence over current and former Canadian politicians. Except Kavorka in this case would mean “the lure of the politically correct celebrity”.
It gives me no pleasure to report that my prediction, that the launch of Canadians for Climate Leadership would be a complete non-event in terms of new policy, has come true. The only reason I am writing about this is that CCL got a ton of press. Why? Because four former prime ministers have endorsed the initiative’s policy recommendations.
And what are the recommendations? Slap a $30-per-tonne tax on carbon emissions—at a time of record-high energy prices. Make “staggering” investments in green technologies—wind, not nuclear. Hey, Germany is doing it; why can’t Canada.
In other words, same old, same old. Mainstream greens’ policy recommendations are as hare-brained as Kramer’s get-rich-quick schemes in Seinfeld. Only not as entertaining.
It is depressing that this amounts to the sum and substance of mainstream thinking on the environment in Canada. What is even more depressing is that the former PMs, formidable politicians in their day, have jumped onto the CCL bandwagon.
Why does the green Kavorka hold so much sway over them? Maybe because the CCL juggernaut appears to be mainly celebrity-driven. Assemble a lineup of society heavyweights, issue a few press releases, and watch it all play. The former PMs see their names in print, in close proximity with Naomi Klein and Margaret Atwood… and it’s the good old days all over again.
Of current Canadian politicians, only the federal Conservatives and the federal and British Columbia NDP appear immune to the green Kavorka. Interestingly, the Conservatives and NDP appear to be doing well in the race for federal seats in carbon-taxed BC.