On the eve of President Obama’s first foreign visit to Canada, a group of over 50 prominent Canadians have signed an open letter telling Obama that the tar sands don’t fit in the new energy economy.
“In your discussions with the Canadian government, we encourage you to raise concerns over the environmental and social problems associated with tar sands production and make no exemption for the tar sands in any binational agreement addressing climate change” says the open letter.
Actress Neve Campbell, authors Ann-Marie MacDonald and Farley Mowat, musicians Anton Kuerti and Jim Creeggan of the Barenaked Ladies, athletes Adam Kreek (Olympic Gold Medalist) and Andrew Ference (Boston Bruins defenceman), and political leaders Jack Layton of the NDP and Elizabeth May of the Green Party, are just a few of the many prominent Canadians to sign the letter.
It is unclear if Mr. Ference’s views on Alberta’s resource sector will change now that Oiler ticket holders — many who work in oil and gas — will be paying his salary.
Or will Ference insist he plays for the Edmonton Tarsanders?
“My humble plan was to become a hero of the environmental movement. I was going to go up to the Canadian Arctic, I was going to write this mournful elegy for the polar bears, at which point I’d be hailed as the next coming of John Muir and borne aloft on the shoulders of my environmental compatriots …
“So when I got up there, I started realizing polar bears were not in as bad a shape as the conventional wisdom had led me to believe, which was actually very heartening, but didn’t fit well with the book I’d been planning to write.”
Members of the public with the highest degrees of science literacy and technical reasoning capacity were not the most concerned about climate change. Rather, they were the ones among whom cultural polarization was greatest. This result suggests that public divisions over climate change stem not from the public’s incomprehension of science but from a distinctive conflict of interest: between the personal interest individuals have in forming beliefs in line with those held by others with whom they share close ties and the collective one they all share in making use of the best available science to promote common welfare.
So here we learn that “deniers” aren’t dumb or scientifically illiterate. But one rhetorically wonders which group they refer to that suffers from a “distinctive conflict of interest” that is driven by “personal interest” that “individuals have in forming beliefs in line with those held by others with whom they share close ties.”
This from the peer-reviewed journal of the prestigious Nature Publishing Group.