The Liberals’ 2050 net-zero carbon vow is pure delusion

Rex MurphyRex Murphy

It’s good to see the Prime Minstrel, as some wit on Twitter termed him, back on familiar waters. In their desperate fervour to chase away the images of Justin Trudeau in blackface, this week the Liberal campaign brought him out in a more familiar guise, paddling about on some sweet lake, and returning to the one element of his ferociously “woke” brand, P.M. Climate Superman, not in tatters.

The image could not have been more bucolic — the lone Voyager for Global Warming. Add a hooting owl or two on the soundtrack and another loon skipping along on the water and we’d be back to those classic Hinterland’s Who’s Who vignettes of the ’60s and ’70s.

He may have sworn off costumes and cosmetics, but it was clear from this little parable on film that campaigning by photo-op is still very much in the Liberal arsenal. It was the Liberal campaign’s way of signalling that there was still some gas (so to speak) in Mr. Trudeau’s global warming credentials. It didn’t seem to matter that no Liberal commitments to reduce carbon emissions, as CO2 is now designated, from when they were first made by Jean Chrétien in 1997, up to this present minute have been kept. (See Chris Selley’s column in the National Post this week.)

Nor did that broken record stop the campaign from yet another pledge, an outlandish promise of net-zero emissions by 2050, the achievement of which is either a fantasy or a fraud. It might be thought that a government that has a very spotty record concerning its promises of 2015 — balancing the budget by 2019, end of first-past-the-post, are but two eminent examples — would be wary of any fresh vows, particularly one whose due date is 31 years out.

But on global warming, such is the sponginess of the issue, and the ooze of righteousness that surrounds it, that politicians give themselves all sorts of licence to make promises that not only they have no hope of keeping, but they will be long, long, out of office, or even passed over to the exquisite atmosphere of heaven, or to the more sulphurous ambience of the other place, when the time comes to check their record. The 2050 pledge is pure delusion.

Sadly, many people are comfortable with delusions when it comes to global warming. What else are we to make of the phenomenon of a 16-year-old wandering or sailing the planet, a Joan of Arc of our times, being offered access to the highest deliberative chambers — at the UN, the U.S. Congress, the U.K. Parliament and others — to preach her naïve, testy, panic-laden message?

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