Wednesday, December 02, 2009

GP Canada's Elizabeth May debates Climate Change.

Be it resolved climate change is mankind's defining crisis and deserves a commensurate policy response.

That was the proposition debated last night in Toronto. The participants were:

  • George Monbiot: author of the best selling books Heat: how to stop the planet burning;
  • Bjørn Lomborg: adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School. He is the organizer of the Copenhagen Consensus Center
  • Lord Nigel Lawson: was Chancellor of the Exchequer between June 1983 and October 1989
  • Elizabeth May: L eader of the Green Party of Canada and is an environmentalist, writer, activist and lawyer active in the environmental movement since 1970.
A running blog comment stream came from:
  • Dave Roberts ( staff writer), 
  • David Boyd (co-author, with David Suzuki, David Suzuki's Green Guide), 
  • Jim Harris (former leader, Green Party of Canada), 
  • Nic Rivers (co-author, with Jeffrey Simpson and Marc Jaccard, Hot Air: Meeting Canada's Climate Change Challenge), 
  • Peter Tertzakian (Chief Energy Economist of ARC Financial Corporation, Author, A Thousand Barrels a Second), 
  • Krystyn Tully (Vice President, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper)
Read the following comments about Elizabeth May's performance. Who in all of the Green Party US has the stature to be invited to debate and the capability to actually deliver?

David Roberts:
Crucial point from May: climate science based on multiple overlapping strands of evidence from multiple scientific disciplines. Not some fragile edifice based on one "hockey stick."

David Roberts:
May is kicking Lomborg's ass. Asks, pertinently, why is it only spending on climate change that he objects to? What about corporate bailouts? Fossil fuel subsidies? Military spending? He's curiously quiet on those.

[Comment From Doug Brown: ]
I agree with Elizabeth on this point -- I've lived and worked in Africa for many years and that is the same observation I would make on this point -- climate change is negatively impacting the very things related to poverty and underdevelopment that we are concerned about

MAy is getting close to the heart of Lomborg's duplicity. Why is the choice limited to spending money on foreign aid OR climate change? Added together, the amount of money needed to address the UN's Millennium Development Goals and climate change is a substantial yet affordable sum. We can and should do both!

David Roberts:

Good point from May: why aren't we talking about benefits? Efficiency is an oil well we could never exhaust, and provides energy cheaper than any other alternative. Why not tap it?

Krystyn Tully:

When May says we waste energy, she isn't kidding. Generating electricity on the Great Lakes consumes more energy than any other sector. Our current approach to energy creation is incredibly inefficient (p. 248) :


Martin Zehr said...

The debate is no longer about climate change but is more to the issue of energy transition. Is it a viable option to maintain our dependence on carbon-based fuels? Who stands to gain from a transition to renewable sources and how to we win them over politically?

Wes said...

Oh, but the debate still is over climate change in the US Senate.. Just ask Inhofe.

Part of my point in this post was that, while I could imagine Elizabeth May doing much of what Cynthia did in the 2008 campaign, I can not imagine Cynthia in this debate. Ill equipped. Un-interested.