Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Trudeau Has Flipped

Maybe it's because he reneged on his promise to present a climate change policy within 90-days of assuming office. Maybe it's his weak kneed support of expanded bitumen exports. Whatever it is, Trudeau has flipped.

Elizabeth May got under Junior's skin when she observed, quite accurately,  that the inferno blazing at Fort McMurray is consistent with a pattern that can be traced to climate change.

“The fact that the forest fire season has arrived so early in northern Alberta is very likely a climate event - very likely related to extreme high temperatures and very low humidity, very low precipitation and it is, as we saw in the quote from one of the firefighters - it’s a firestorm,” she said.

Trudeau, sounding remarkably like a Republican bottom feeder, retorted, " any time we try to make a political argument on one particular disaster, I think it’s a bit of shortcut that can sometimes not have the desired outcome. There have always been fires. There have always been floods." 

That sounds so much like the denialist line about how the climate has always been changing and it's every bit as disingenuous. Maybe Sparky hasn't been paying attention but climate change has brought dangerous changes to the western forest fire season. The season runs longer. It begins earlier and ends later. Fires are more intense, more widespread, more destructive.

British Columbia would like to send large numbers of forest firefighters to help out in Alberta but we can't. Our crews are engaged fighting fires in our province primarily in the northeast section. Saskatchewan is tinder dry and hoping to keep its fires from spreading out of control. The midsection of Saskatchewan is now designated at extreme fire risk.

For Junior to admonish Elizabeth May merely reflects on his own inadequacy. For him to infer that May is turning this into a political issue is appalling. 

David Schindler, a University of Alberta scientist who studies the ecology of inland bodies of water, said there have been increasingly favourable conditions for forest fires in recent years. He noted that climate scientists have been predicting the increase in forest fires for at least a decade.

"What's extraordinary up there is humidity has been very low and temperature very high," Schindler said in an interview with National Observer. "Those are all ingredients for fire weather formulas."

Since Trudeau the Lesser obviously doesn't have even a rudimentary grasp of what is going on maybe he should just stay quiet and go back to building another pipeline.


Dana said...

I couldn't believe it when I read that earlier.

Can explain the idea of quantum computing - albeit rather simplistically - but can still spout anti-scientific gibberish about AGW.

Impressed in a bad way. Not significantly different from a response Harper would have given.

Toby said...

Mound, you aren't the only one to notice that Trudeau isn't living up to his promises. Did you see this in the Huff Post?

"Enough Trudeaumania, Let's See Some Real Progress"

Trudeau and crew look like they are skating by every serious issue.

Toby said...

Mound, I may be a way off base but it seems to me that the weakest Minister is Defence Minister, Harjit Singh Sajjan. The Cold Lake base is south of Fort McMurray. The military could have provided help to the fire fighters or police or opened their gates to evacuees. Sajjan could have at least made a phone call to the Alberta Premier and offered something. Yes, I know this is not as exciting as fighting terrorists in far flung places but it is an at home emergency.

And yes, the fire season is way too early and one doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to make the association with global warming. C'mon, Trudeau, wake up!

The Mound of Sound said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Mound of Sound said...

Actually, I think it would be a shorter drive to go right into Edmonton. The air base is over abutting the Saskatchewan border.

Cold Lake is likely hosting water bombers during the emergency.

Lorne said...

Increasingly, Mound, Trudeau is sounding like a professional politician. It didn't take as long as I thought for the corruption process to set in.

The Mound of Sound said...

I truly wanted his "sunny ways" to translate into genuine progressive leadership, Lorne, but that's not the direction this Liberal government is taking.

He's not Harper. I get that and I appreciate it but he's not what we were given to expect either.

Our country, just like every other nation, is confronted by a maze of serious challenges. When it comes to addressing them sure there are countries doing a worse job than Canada but there are many countries that are similarly developed and affluent that are doing a far better job than we are.

Trudeau wanted the job. He asked for it. We gave it to him. Now he doesn't want to do it. He doesn't want to do the heavy lifting that comes with the job.

Kyle H. said...

I'm glad you have "Disaffected Lib" in your name, I'd never want to have you associated directly with our party.

Troy said...

"British Columbia would like to send large numbers of forest firefighters to help out in Alberta but we can't. Our crews are engaged fighting fires in our province primarily in the northeast section."

There's also the fact the BC Liberals have also gutted the BC forest fire fighting industry. It's probably half the size it used to be in the nineties. They're quietly alarmed about this, and are trying recruit people for fire fighting even in my own community, but after how they've been treated during the past decade, many of the old pros still aren't going back.

The Mound of Sound said...

Oh I was, Kyle, for about 40-years. Your party left me during the Ignatieff term as it followed Harper's shift to the right. It's still Conservative Lite under Junior whether it's maintenance of the surveillance state, BDS, the Saudi death wagon deal, expansion of bitumen production, or the disgraceful retreat from any hope of meaningful action on climate change.

There's nothing remotely progressive about the Liberal Party of Canada. It's very name is a misnomer. There's nothing "liberal" about it notwithstanding Trudeau's "Sunni" ways.

The Dauphin, your clown prince, even retains Harper's industry-stacked National Energy Board and justifies his policies on their rigged decision-making.

I have freely given Trudeau credit for all the good things he's done but they're invariably the easy things, the low hanging fruit. Whenever it comes to the tough issues, however, he folds.

I know you're too young, Kyle, but I remember his father. It was Pierre Trudeau who brought me into your party and it was his legacy that kept me with the Liberal Party even as doubts set in under his successors. I didn't leave lightly or easily but I don't regret the decision, not at all.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Troy. I had no idea about the staffing problem. Thanks.

Unknown said...

Elizabeth May is the only voice of reason these days Mound. Trudeau's dismissive answer to EM, also has a grain of arrogance to it.

Troy said...

It used to be First Nations were the front lines in forest fire fighting. That's how I know this. Few if any of the adults in my own community fight fires anymore. The small crews are pretty much all disbanded, and the larger union crews are fighting each other for the scant contracts that province bothers to create.
It's a failure of leadership starting from Gordan Campbell, and has worsened under Christy Clark. If it's a hot summer, and in addition to her ongoing illegal funding scandal, she'll really become Crispy.

Fort Mac really should serve a a warning. Like the dozens and hundreds of other climate events that've occurred over the past decade. But it won't, at least to our political leadership. As Trudeau is demonstrating, they'll stick their heads into the sand, and cover their ears while they're at it. La la la la!
We can mitigate the worst of fire damage, and lessen the threat to communities with controlled burnings, and understanding what communities are most at risk. But BC, and Alberta went in the opposite direction, cutting fire fighting funding, chopping right into the bone. That's a massive failure in leadership. Right when our scientists, and community elder statesmen are saying loud and clear, we're at greater and graver risk ever year to increasingly ferocious fires every new season. And the fire season is beginning earlier every new year, too.
Most of the old pros are gone from the industry, now. The ones who understood fires in their strange intricacies and behaviors. Most new recruits are going to have to learn the ropes of the industry on the job, and that has the possibility of going pear shaped very quickly. It's a dangerous job.
Perhaps if Christy Clark opens up the province's purse strings, or even promises to donate even half of her own personal illegal funding, perhaps we could afford to bring back the small crews into the industry, although Forests would probably have to pay a hell of a premium.
Still better than being caught flat footed, which is what I expect to happen when the next town goes up in flames.

Boris said...

Oh, JT. Mind you, I've been watching certain members of the press and rightwing idiots on twitter and other places admonishing "climate activists" for gloating and smugness. The public and political discourse on climate and the tar sands is going to be nuts in the fallout. There'll be tremendous pressure to rebuild Fort Mac and to pander/rationalise a la JT's comments because of the vested interests in maintaining the status quo and the emotional pressure from displaced people.

Northern PoV said...

I think both May & Trudeau are correct ...
but Trudeau of course is serving only half a loaf:
Yes it is a single weather event with complex causes that are hard to exactly quantify .. but
Yes it is also very much part of an undeniable pattern.

imho (and with the same awkward timing of E. May) ....

The fires may be Gaia's response - is she trying to convert these regions to a desert ecology that can survive the warming?

Lovelock's Gaia theory includes: "Transitions between stable climate states may be sudden"
Is Lovelock's theory coming true?
Boreal forest-->Northern desert?