Answering Saskatchewan government talking points #8: “Workable strategies to manage climate change issues”

In response to a 2016 letter from 250 citizens and 9 groups, premier Brad Wall failed to answer any of the ten questions which we asked him. Instead he sent a letter consisting of what amounts to a list of his standard talking points on the subject. We still want answers to our original questions – and as a public servant Mr Wall or his successor should provide them – but as an exercise in public education we are responding to his talking points here.

We will continue to work with the federal government to develop workable strategies to manage climate change issues.

– Brad Wall

Mr Wall’s use of language here may or may not be deliberate, but it conveys accurately what appears to be his approach. His primary concern is not combating or mitigating climate change, but “managing climate change issues”. He does this through careful use of language, designed to implicitly downplay the risks inherent in greenhouse gas emissions and to present the existing – precarious and in many places failing – structure of the Saskatchewan economy as normative.

His White Paper is, above all, an exercise in public opinion management, designed to distract attention away from the need for rapid emissions reduction in the province. He does this by pointing at newly-industrialising countries in Asia, by proposing a spurious list of credits to make Saskatchewan’s emissions look smaller, and by misrepresenting the prospects for carbon capture and storage.

We cannot afford such complacency. We need to hear from government that it will act decisively, comprehensively and immediately to radically reduce Saskatchewan’s massive rate of greenhouse gas emissions, to build a low-carbon economy, to facilitate the retraining and redeployment of current fossil fuel workers into good jobs in the new clean energy economy, and to move to a genuine acknowledgement of and respect for the rights of the Indigenous people of this land.

For answers to more talking points click here


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