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There have been a series of climate change related scandals, dubbed ‘gates,’ cluttering up the mainstream media in 2010: Climategate, Glaciergate, and most recently the failed attempt by Sunday Times journalist Johnathan Leake to launch ‘Amazongate’… Although subsequent investigations into these ‘gates’ have consistently determined that the subject of scandal is irrelevant to the overwhelming scientific consensus that green-house gas induced climate change is happening and that humans are responsible for it, Climate Change Scepticism is on the rise. In fact, odds are you’ve encountered at least one climate change denier today. But don’t worry, this week Terra Informa will arm you with the tools to effectively combat the spread of misinformation. In a segment inspired by the Feb. 18th Blog post by Marlo Raynolds ‘How would we respond to an equal threat that wasn’t called climate change?’, Rebekah and Andy bring us… “Dealing with Deniers!”
Next on Terra Informa, we turn to the curious world of politics in Alberta. The pattern of governance in this province leaves many Canadians scratching their heads. In over one hundred years, only four parties have ruled, and each time, they’ve held power for decades. Stranger still, after being disposed of, each political party has disappeared completely. Albertans might give their governments generous terms, but once the love is lost, it’s lost forever. The current government is formed by the Progressive Conservative party, who have held office for almost forty years. But current Premier Ed Stelmach is sharply down in the polls, and he faces a new threat in the form of the upstart “Wildrose Alliance party.”
Some pundits are wondering whether the next election will deliver a rare change of government. Even though the Progressive Conservatives occupy the centre-right of the political spectrum, the Wildrose Alliance is finding resonance with an even more conservative pitch. Their leader, Danielle Smith, is a former journalist and business lobbyist. She describes herself as an economic libertarian and social moderate – in favour of small government, low taxes and free enterprise. Her support base lies primarily in the conservative and influential oil patch business community of Calgary. We at Terra Informa are particularly interested in the changing political landscape in the province of Alberta. The oil boom province has a lot to answer for with regard to Canada’s environmental record. Decisions made over the oil sands will impact the nation’s CO2 output, and its international reputation. The health of the boreal forest and the Athabasca river, as well as indigenous land rights issues, all hang in the balance. Will the province implement stronger environmental regulation? Will rapidly rising carbon dioxide emissions be curbed? The answers to these questions may just depend on the outcome of the next provincial election, to be held in 2012. David Kaczan spoke to Wildrose Alliance leader Danielle Smith last week, in an effort to discover where this party stands on environmental issues. Their reputation on green matters is certainly not good. And as heard here, Ms Smith holds a number of controversial views which could suggest a rocky time ahead for the environment. However, with several years before the next provincial election, who will be the next premier is far from certain.
“Terra Informa has requested an interview with Premier Ed Stelmach to hear
his vision for future environmental protection in Alberta, and we are
awaiting a response from his media office. We’ll let you know if he agrees
to speak to us.’