Canadian Conservatives Clash over Carbon

December 9, 2014

I posted last week about an American Republican legislator calling for conservatives, or what passes for conservatives these days, to recognize the reality of climate change.
Now news of a leading Canadian conservative calling for a price on carbon. In listening to the interview above, I did not hear him use the words “climate”, “warming”, or “greenhouse”. Kind of shows the bind “conservatives”, in both the US and Canada, have put themselves in, by replacing their intellectual wing with anti-science, conspiratorial wack-jobs.

Global News (Canada):

The idea of a carbon tax has long been anathema in the ranks of Canada’s Conservative party. But now, there appears to be a rift. Preston Manning, one of the architects of conservatism in Canada, is breaking ranks. He says carbon, like any other commodity, needs to have a price put on it.

But, he says, the idea does not run against the fundamental idea of conservatism.

Manning’s idea: Put a price on all energy production — whether oil, gas or hydro — then use the revenue to fund research into technology to help reverse the environmental degradation.

The Conservative government, though, has all but ruled out the option.

Meanwhile, the Washpost publishes a thought piece on how to reduce the gulf between rabid partisans.

Washington Post:

Social psychological research shows that inviting partisans to affirm their sense of self-worth can help them escape political traps. Defensive partisan reactions, such as blindly opposing the other side’s ideas, are largely driven by the desire to see one’s political group — and, by extension, oneself — as moral, correct, and good. To protect one’s own political identity, people oppose competing ideological perspectives and the people who hold them — a politically destructive defense mechanism. Yet these reactions are not inevitable. When people engage in acts that affirm who they are — as good people, not as good partisans — they become more tolerant of threats to their political identity, and more open to the other side.

..asking people to write about their core values unrelated to politics — a self-affirming activity — shrunk this partisan divide. Self-affirmed Democrats became less enamored of Barack Obama, and affirmed Republicans became more open to him. Ten days after the election affirmed Republicans even thought Obama would be a better president.

_

Self-affirmation reduced people’s conformity to polls. When participants were affirmed, they were less swayed by polling information and more influenced by evidence about the actual effects of Obama’s policies on the economy. Moreover, these acts of self affirmation had lasting effects on people’s reactions to polls: In one study, partisan Republicans conformed less to the polls and were more influenced by economic evidence four months after they had been affirmed.

Maybe.
The problem is, today’s Fox addled, conspiratorial, information-deprived “conservatives” would see this as new age gobbledegook from the Agenda 21 global cabal.

3 Responses to “Canadian Conservatives Clash over Carbon”


  1. What did those closing comments about Alberta tar sands production actually mean? ” The biggest obstacle to tar sands production is it’s environmental impact, so if you are wanting to move these products to market, you have to deal with the environmental impact”
    I would have thought the only way to deal with the environmental impact, is not to produce the products in the first place!

  2. MorinMoss Says:

    “Not a betrayal” – he should count himself lucky to not be run out of town and horsewhipped all the way to the border of British Columbia.

    Nice touch for not giving true credit to Stephane Dion’s Green Shift – “wrong source to be communicating that….”

    Translation: it wasn’t our idea and the proposal didn’t offer our favorite corporate contributors a way to profit.

    Flippin’ putz.

  3. neilrieck Says:

    Both Manning and Harper each have a degree (B.A.) in Economics so their apparent differences are only due to political views; maybe. While many people prefer to see Alberta as Canada’s version of Texas, I find it interesting that Alberta has had a Carbon Tax in place since 2007; something the Harper conservatives wouldn’t ever openly support for fear of hurting their conservative base. Since Manning and Harper were once close allies in the same political party, I now wonder if Manning’s recent interview was done with Harper’s quiet blessing in hopes of seeding party hardliners with economically-based alternatives. It doesn’t matter if you are politically left or right; a federal carbon tax would have better protected the Canadian government from losses due to falling oil prices.

    p.s. the conservative party currently running Australia came to power promising that removal of their country’s carbon tax would increase jobs; they removed the tax in July-2014 but the only change noticed was a drop in tax revenue (which was mostly being paid by China). You saw the same thing in California where the hardline no-tax-increase position by Schwarzenegger drove the state into near bankruptcy. Jerry Brown replaced him then increased taxes a small amount which reversed California’s bleak financial picture. Bill SB-1156 was passed and it looks like California will be getting a carbon tax Jan-1-2015.


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