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I liked Cyndi Lauper’s colour scheme better.

February 18, 2010

Confessional time. I am in a rocky relationship with Jim Prentice.

I should have seen it coming, I really should have, as I suppose all good relationships must come to an end. Your true colours showed through, Jim, and not in a good, Cyndi Lauper kind of way.

The Honourable Jim Prentice began his speech to members of the University of Calgary School of Public Policy and School of Business on February 1 – though, at first, I could have sworn he was right next to me whispering sweet nothings in my ear – with soothing words about the federal government’s energy and climate change:

“The complexity of the climate change file cannot be overstated. It cuts across every sector of the economy; it affects every Canadian – rural or urban dweller – on pretty much every level of their daily lives.”

[Note: Weak. In. The. Knees.]

“As the 2010 chair of the G-20 and G-8, Canada is uniquely positioned this year to shape the international dialogue around the [Copenhagen Accord] and its evolution.”

[Note: Marry me.]

“This Government will act on the Copenhagen Accord because it is consistent with Canada’s stated position on climate change because it moves us closer to our ultimate goal of becoming a Clean Energy Super Power.

[Note: I’m having your babies (triplets) who will all fit so cutely in the back of our hybrid smart car mini-van.]

Then, everything changed. An emotional roller coaster emerged inside – suddenly my gut felt unequivocal to eating three slabs of chocolate mocha cheesecake. All in the same bated breath of that speech-giving ear-whispering moment, he turned and said:

“We need to address the challenges of climate change, but not with excessive haste.”

“Our government supports the continued expansion of the oil sands of Alberta.”

“…We are pleased by the recent announcements of Conoco Phillips and Total to quadruple production at their Surmount project. Husky and BP have also pledged to spend $2.5 billion to boost output from their Sunrise project. This is all good.”

“If the issue of climate change is complicated by its ideological overlay, targets are at the very heart of ideology. …Obviously, [the targets are] just not feasible.”

My few words to you JP:

One can call the science of climate change ideological, and it’s easy to say that dealing with it is unfeasible. But until the day that we have the luxury to pass judgment on how fast we should act, it seems that Mother Earth is holding the cards firmly in her hands. We have quite firmly wedged ourselves into a small window of few-to-zero choices from which to choose (similar, I’d imagine, to how Lady Gaga would feel as she opens her pants drawer each morning).

You’re right, Mr Prentice, meeting the mark for emission cuts is not feasible – it is necessary.

Now is your chance to bridge idealism with realism and repair Canada’s international environmental reputation.

And yes, with excessive haste.

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