In a desperate bid to sell Alberta oil to a world that is more concerned about green technology and an ailing environment, Oliver has resorted to using the same Bush-style politics to get a point across - deny climate change. There is no denying climate change and its effect on the future of human civilization.
During a visit to Washington DC, Oliver lashed out at world-reknowned and award winning NASA climatologist James Hansen telling an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, "He was the one who said four years ago that if we go ahead with development of the oil sands it's game over for the planet. Well, this is exaggerated rhetoric. It's frankly nonsense. I don't know why he said it but he should be ashamed of having said it."
The attack made international headlines, not to mention the British media's scathing review of Canadian environmental policy, calling the Conservative offer at the Copenhagen summit in November 2009 “A pathetic 3% cut on their 1990 emissions levels by 2020 – an offer mired in thick black tar.”
Hansen responded, "Well, the current government is a Neanderthal on this issue."
Hansen said the science of climate change is "crystal clear."
"But ... many of the governments are denying and trying to ignore what's going to happen a few decades downstream. They're only worried about the next two or three years."
Meanwhile, NOAA has revealed daily carbon emissions to have reached 400 parts per meter per day, the highest rate of carbon emissions in the time humans have been on earth. The consequences are telling and already starting to show. Stronger storms, abnormal weather events, abnormal paths of storms. New Yorker's don't need to look farther than Hurricane Sandy to know no region is immune to the power of climatic events.
The Keystone XL pipeline has led to controversy and divided both the US and Canada on the issue. In the United States, pressure mounts on President Barack Obama to reject the pipeline after Obama made his priority for this term to clean up the environment. In Canada, the Official Opposition NDP have taken a wide range of stances against the pipeline, first saying it was causing 'Dutch disease' which supposedly harms other parts of the economy. They then moved to oppose it on the basis of its environmental impacts and now seem to be more on the same page as the Liberals who say the pipeline, if handled properly, can benefit Canada's economy.
In terms of the European Union decision to designate Canada's tar sands as "dirty," Oliver fought back calling the move discriminatory.
“It's discriminatory, it's not based on science and it would potentially hurt Canada's ability to access markets for its resources,” Oliver said in an interview with CBC's The House.
“We will act if, as a last resort, there are no changes... we will look at all the alternatives and we may possibly take action before the [World Trade Organization].”
“But under this directive, they're treated as if they have much lower emissions than Canada.”
The opposition pits the negative global response on the Conservative approach.
“The government unfortunately has taken a ‘bull in a china shop’ approach and now they’re getting a lot of backlash, they’re acting as though they don’t understand why.”
NDP Natural Resources critic Peter Julian calls the government's approach reckless, citing “The Transportation Safety Board tells us since the Conservatives came to power the number of pipeline spills has actually gone up 2½ times. They've been incredibly irresponsible,” Julian said on CBC's Power & Politics.
Gore responded, saying, “The sky looks like a vast and limitless resource, but the pictures brought back to us by the astronauts from space confirm what the scientists have long told us — it's a very thin layer of atmosphere, and we are filling it up as if it's an open sewer.”
The letter also says: “If we truly wish to have a ‘serious debate’ about climate change and energy in this country, as you have rightly called for, we must start by acknowledging that our choices about fossil fuel infrastructure carry significant consequences for today’s and future generations.”
What do you think of the way the Conservatives' views on climate change have negatively impacted Canada's reputation on the world stage? Do you believe the Conservatives are taking the right approach with the KeyStone XL pipeline? Share this article and join the discussion and let us know what you think: Facebook, Twitter, Google+.