Among the many casualties of the recent political culture wars has been rational debate and pragmatism.
This is particularly true in the climate area where one can quickly find oneself on the receiving end of name-calling and accusations of wishing for the destruction of the world if they don’t submit to climate dogma. [emphasis, links added]
NDP MP Charlie Angus thinks he has found the answer: criminalize fossil fuel promotion. Angus recently introduced a private member’s bill, C-372, the Fossil Fuel Advertising Act.
To call this bill anything other than environmental propaganda would be misleading. Indeed, such lunacy could only be produced by an ideological adherence to beliefs that jettison reality and sanity in the name of semi-religious cant.
As written, the bill contains provisions that would punish Canadians with up to two years in jail for the sin of promoting fossil fuels.
The bill begins with the environmentalist’s stock preamble telling us we will all soon perish if nothing is done about the climate crisis before proceeding to make the extremely dubious analogy of comparing fossil fuels to smoking and tobacco use. Then the real fun begins.
The proposed act’s purpose, the bill states, is to provide a “legislative response to a national public health and environmental problem of substantial and pressing concern” and, among other things, “to prevent the public from being deceived or misled with respect to the environmental and health hazards of using fossil fuels.”
This is a curious position for Angus to take. Of the misinformation out there, a good deal, if not a majority, comes from groups opposing fossil fuels.
Whereas any oil or gas company must provide national regulators with scientifically valid proof of the safety or viability of their projects, there is no equivalent standard or scrutiny for the hyperbole and panic-driven messages emanating from eco-groups doing everything they can to stop fossil fuel development.
The bill then gets down to its most serious business: punishment. The penalties proposed are fines of up to $1,500,000 and two years in prison for the promotion of fossil fuels.
What constitutes “promotion” you may ask? The bill specifies that among the acts to be deemed illegal would be promoting a fossil fuel or its production “in a manner that states or suggests that the fossil fuel, its production or its emissions are less harmful than other fossil fuels, their production or their emissions.”
The bill continues that it would also be illegal to suggest that “a fossil fuel or the practices of a producer or of the fossil fuel industry would lead to positive outcomes in relation to the environment, the health of Canadians, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples or the Canadian or global economy.”
So let us say that in simple English and understand what it means.
It means it would be illegal for an oil or gas company or employees thereof to say that natural gas emissions are 40 percent lower than coal and 20 percent lower than oil (a scientific fact) and therefore we should exploit more natural gas resources.
It means that noting the enormous opportunity for economic prosperity that oil and gas offers multiple First Nations communities would be criminalized, even if it were a First Nation itself making the argument.
It means stating the fact — I emphasize not opinion, but verifiable fact — that oil and gas contribute billions of dollars to our economy and therefore are a vitally important economic engine that should be exploited could land someone in jail.
This is not a public policy that deserves to see the light of day. It is environmental propaganda dressed up and pretending to be serious and well-thought-through legislation.
As a private member’s bill, there is every hope that C-372 will die the death it deserves. It remains, however, a poor harbinger of the future of the economy, business rights, and political freedom in our country.
Economic reconciliation with First Nations is being offered to us on a platter if Canada pushes ahead with fossil fuel projects the world wants. Further, massive revenues will flow to government coffers and make Canadians richer.
Given their way, the NDP would make saying so illegal.
Will rational thought prevail among our elected officials or is the ideological rooting deep enough to turn a doctrine of eco-lunacy into government policy?
Read more at National Post
Trackback from your site.