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Michelle Stirling

Contributed by Michelle Stirling © 2017 

In a Sept. 21, 2017 op-ed in the Ottawa Citizen, Nancy Peckford asserts that Minister Catherine McKenna was ‘right to take on the trolls’ and makes a plea for respectful public dialogue toward females in politics, denouncing the twitter epithet “Climate Barbie.”  As a woman in business and the arts, I make a plea for critical thinking, competency and common sense from female politicians as a requirement for respectful dialogue.

Ms. Peckford is speaking on behalf of a group that calls itself Equal Voice and she claims the term is a sexist slur. Equal Voice want to encourage more women in politics.  That’s great.

As a woman, I don’t want more women in politics for their biology, but for their brains.  I want women in politics to make thoughtful decisions for me and my country, not for someone else’s country or interests.  I come from the West – where the Famous Five women made constructive change for everyone – especially women – in their fight to have women recognized as persons.  They were very competent and concerned with the best outcomes for women and children.

That will not be the case with Minister McKenna’s climate change policies and Canadians know it.

In frustration, Canadians have resorted to name-calling instead of addressing the evidence. Let’s bring the conversation back to the facts.

Upon Minister McKenna’s return from the COP-21 Paris event, she told Rosie Barton on Power and Politics on CBC that it was urgent we attend to the ‘climate crisis’ because the Marshall Islands were drowning due to sea level rise (allegedly due to human caused climate change from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions). She even had a cute little palm frond on her jacket to prove it.

However, that is not the truth. Dr. John D. Harper, FGSA, FGAC, P.Geol., former director of the Geological Survey of Canada, explains that these tiny Marshall Islands are eroding by the constant battering of the huge Pacific Ocean. Feels like sea level rise – but it’s not.

Did the Minister just accept the Marshall Islands claim at face value and then mislead Canadians?

Based on the Minister’s Marshall Islands misinformation, the Minister adopted the 1.5 oC target, because, as she told Calgary Chamber audiences this spring “I am an ambitious person.” Sadly, she also told us she knew nothing of the climate file going in to the Paris COP-21 event, laughing as she said, “What is this ‘COP’ (Conference of the Parties)?”

Great. An ambitious, misinformed person negotiating a deal that can sink our economy. She apparently values the future of islanders living in the tropics over those of her own countrymen who face half a year of cold, dark winter and vast distances for transport of goods.

But she assured us that upon her return from Paris, the “rubber had to hit the road.”

How so? The Minister claimed that putting a price on carbon would prevent wildfires and floods. This is utter nonsense. Calgary’s eight worst floods were before 1933, and two of the greatest flow rates were in the late 1800s. Likewise, ask British Columbia how their carbon tax worked for them this year as fire protection.

The Minister’s persistent, perky video clips in English and French, exhorting Canadians to take “climate action” are embarrassing to those who have studied the more than 4 billion years of climate change on Earth. Her claims that the “environment and economy go hand in hand” revel her obvious lack of appreciation for Canada’s exception environmental record during booming economic times.

Visit Your Environment and you can see complete air and water quality records for you own community. Look at the 100 year temperature record there. Most places show no signs of global warming.

The Minister believes “clean-tech” will save us. All clean-tech is made from oil, gas and coal! Her GHG reduction targets are unattainable with present technology and will destroy our economy. Did she ever bother to ask an economist about it?

The carbon taxes the Minister’s government is imposing; the push for coal phase-out in Alberta, will lead to a tripling of power prices for Albertans, and will be the final blow for struggling female entrepreneurs here in Calgary. How will heat-or-eat poverty help women and children?

Further, as President Trump has pointed out, the Paris Agreement does nothing for the environment or climate.

I don’t want women with “equal voices” in politics if they are misinformed and doing damage to working women, men, and families.

Give me someone with critical thinking, competency, and common sense. I care about how they use what’s in their brains. I don’t care about what’s in their pants.

Michelle Stirling is a member of the CAJ and AAAS. This is an expression of her personal opinion. She is also Communications Manager for the Friends of Science Society and author of a number of books on Kindle, including “My Tar Sands Tipping Point with CBC.”

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