Kim Campbell was infamously quoted (or misquoted) as saying that a 47-day election was no time to discuss serious issues.
Fortunately, we are in the early days of an election campaign that is almost twice that long, and will stretch on into late October. It’s also unusual to have an election campaign during the height of summer, when the weather is often top of mind.
So let’s have a debate about global warming.
Not whether or not it exists, which has been thoroughly established. There is a worldwide scientific consensus, and every major political party accepts that it is happening, whether grudgingly or not. There is also ample anecdotal evidence in the form of temperature records that have fallen by the score across B.C. We also have the raging wildfires and water restrictions to show us what global warming will mean for us on a local level.
We need to determine what the best course of action is towards change.
There are dozens of options, including changing the way we generate power, increasing energy efficiency, tax incentives, more spending on public transit, and changes in urban planning.
Depending on how we choose to proceed, we could find ourselves in a future with electric cars springing up everywhere, as in Norway, and with solar farms popping up across the Prairies, or we could pioneer a new generation of safe, efficient nuclear power projects, or we could simply hunker down and concentrate on using less energy and using what we do create more efficiently.
Any of those options are better than our current course, which is barely better than nothing. Our major opposition parties may be willing to attack the government on the environment, but they are still following rather than leading the debates on energy and climate change.
As usual, it’s up to Canadians to push for the changes we need in Ottawa.