Consevatives, environment, Green Party

Reading the leaves in this most recent tempest…

The response to Elizabeth May’s attack that Stephen Harper’s approach to climate change is “a grievance worse than Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of the Nazis” is interesting. To whit:

Reading a letter from the Canadian Jewish Congress of Canada to the House of Commons during question period, Harper said Liberal Leader Stephane Dion should distance himself from May because her comments had diminished “the Holocaust and using Nazi analogies are inappropriate.”


“It is time for the Liberal members opposite to stand up against outrageous, hateful, mean-spirited comments by their candidate in Central Nova,” Environment Minister John Baird said in Tuesday’s question period.

“It is inexplicable how they could not stand up against people who bash Christians and invoke Nazi-era atrocities.”

Even a cursory reading of her comments reveals that her comments related to the appeasement policy of Neville Chamberlain and not to the genocidal madness of the Nazis, but that is not what you’d believe listening to fools like Stephen Harper and John Baird. Unfortunately, Dion and Layton have essentially followed the misreading and have distanced themselves from her comments, not because they are over-the-top, which they are (though correct), but because they are cowards afraid of somehow being labelled Holocaust deniers.

If global climate evidence is understood correctly by the majority of climate scientists, then not to do something quickly is to behave in exactly the “avoidance of reality” manner that we now in retrospect attribute to Neville Chamberlain. Elizabeth May is right, Harper and Baird are tools and blowhards and Layton and Dion are acting like mealy-mouthed twerps.

Be careful to not step in the leadership.


6 thoughts on “Reading the leaves in this most recent tempest…

  1. Actually, I found May’s comments disturbing, for over-the-top rhetoric, and taking place in a church, where she was preaching about God’s creation and so on.
    Why should Layton defend her? it is one thing to defend May on her stance on climate change, global warming and environmental policy, but it’s another thing, to defend her choice of anologies to “get her message across” and her belief in fundamentalism.
    And what was her messages here?

    “Borrowing a quote she said was made by a foreign dignitary about Prime Minister Stephen Harper, May said his stance on climate change “represents a grievance worse than Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of the Nazis.”

    “This is a time for Christians to say we do believe in miracles, in the life-giving force,” she said.
    The delicate balance God created is under assault as people increased exponentially their use of fossil fuels, unleashing carbon dioxide and destroying the forests that can return carbon to the Earth, she said.
    “We’re playing with the forces that led to creation . . . we’re nearing the edge of the life force and we’re still playing around,” May said.

    For me, May’s first anology was overthetop, with evoking Nazism as an emotionally laden word. And her second thought, was too close to the idea of creatism, you know intelligent design.

    I am very leary of fundamentalism in any form, as these beliefs often justify means to an end.


  2. Canadian politicians such as E. May should seek inspiration for climate change debate in the words of British anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce. In 1791 he gave what is still considered to be one of the greatest speeches ever. He challenged the very powerful vested interests of the day who fought against abolition and justified their view with arguments like “slavery is good for Africans.”

    There is plenty of fodder in that.


  3. I agree with gifted typist, May evoked for me that old style politics of ‘fear’ so for me that is not about doing politics different, it’s just more the same old, same old.

    It’s about challenging those vested interests.


  4. Let’s see. May called for leadership. Harper & Baird mis-characterize May’s position – misdirection. Change the topic so that you’re not the one being criticized. Layton agrees with Harper, and Dion attempts to avoid being caught in the blowback. Where does Gilles Duceppe stand on the issue? Let’s determine whether anyone other than May is actually a leader.


  5. I am not defending May’s statement – I don’t like drawing historical parallels for rhetorical purposes as it risks misrepresenting both history and the argument at hand. The problem I have is with the willful misrepresentation of her statement by the other “leaders” in Parliament.

    Elizabeth May has nothing to retract and the others should shut the hell up about it.


  6. More precisely (IMO), the others should shut up about it because every Party has used the Neville Chamberlain analogy at some point in the recent past. Sometimes, when someone wants cheap Hansard points in the face of inaction, they accuse their political foe of being an appeaser. It’s silly, tired, and never really resolves any issues. In fact, it usually distracts from the actual issue, just as Godwinning derails a thread on these Intertubules.

    If her use of the rhetorical Nazi boogeyman disqualifies her from leadership of this country, it pretty much disqualifies half of the people on the hill. I can think of several reasons why I wouldn’t vote for this incarnation of the Red Green Party, but this isn’t one of them.


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