Friday, August 27, 2010

The "beluga in the room"

From this CP round-up of views on Harper's trip to the north, a disconnect is noted:
While Harper's announcements over the course of the week focused on military sovereignty, environmental protection, social spending and foreign policy, there was one beluga in the room he refused to address: climate change.

All eyes internationally are now on the north, Harper repeatedly stressed. Yet he neglected to mention that one of the key reasons for that increased attention is the easier access afforded by a warming climate.

During his visit, a massive chunk of ice broke off Ellsemere Island in Nunavut — a 5,000-year-old peninsula of ice so large that it's disappearance will cause a redrawing of Canada's map, according to federal officials.

The event went unremarked upon by the prime minister, even as he reannounced federal funding for Radarsat satellite technology that's key to mapping Canada's Arctic.
It is remarkable that a major environmental event like that could go "unremarked," as if the PM was travelling in a vacuum in the north. Given his politics on climate change, it's not surprising. But it still magnifies the political weakness that's there for the Conservatives on the issue. Ignoring the problem and refusing to speak about such events is not going to make the facts disappear from view. It's that "inconvenient facts" narrative rearing its head again.

Nice to see such oddities during the PM's travels being noted.