Ever notice that whenever a politician strays from the accepted climate narrative, the media are quick to point out the “errors” of his ways?
Case in point Maxime Bernier, leader of the nascent People’s Party of Canada who took issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau planned carbon tax.
Bernier had the temerity to point out that CO2 emissions were not pollution and that the proposed tax would accomplish nothing save raising costs for Canadians:
“CO2 is NOT pollution. It’s what comes out of your mouth when you breathe and what nourishes plants,” he wrote.
“We can debate the effects of too much CO2 in the atmosphere on climate. That doesn’t make CO2 a form of ‘pollution.’”.
Incroyable. You could almost hear the gasps in newsrooms across the country. Mon dieu, Mad Max is truly crazy.
Columnists and reporters lined up their “fact check” articles and opinion pieces and proceeded to chastise the party leader, claiming he knew nothing and was, in fact, very thing wrong with conservatives when it comes to climate policy.
Globe and Mail columnist Gary Mason, for example, tore a strip off Bernier and sought to belittle him:
“This is a man who came within a whisker of becoming leader of the federal Conservative Party. Think about that. Now he’s making a comparison between greenhouse gases generated by oil projects and cars to the air we expunge with each breath.”
In other words, what does Bernier know?
Then there was Global News’s so-called fact check of Bernier in which they quoted professors who argued CO2 was pollution:
“Myrna Simpson, a professor of environmental chemistry at the University of Toronto, said the fact that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are “beyond natural levels,” and that these “increases in concentrations are fundamentally altering climate patterns” justifies calling CO2 a pollutant.
“Pollutants are everywhere in the environment but it is the concentration of the pollutant and not their presence that is more important,” she explained.”
Now, there are scientists who would argue that CO2 is pollution. Of that there is no doubt. But there are many scientists, with impressive degrees, who would argue just the opposite.
Dr. Will Happer, for example, says:
“I keep hearing about the ‘pollutant CO2,’ or about ‘poisoning the atmosphere’ with CO2, or about minimizing our ‘carbon footprint.’ This brings to mind another Orwellian pronouncement that is worth pondering: ‘But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.’ CO2 is not a pollutant and it is not a poison and we should not corrupt the English language by depriving ‘pollutant’ and ‘poison’ of their original meaning….CO2 is absolutely essential for life on earth.”
Nor is Happer some wild eyed climate denier. He was until recently a professor of physics at Princeton University and is now serving as Science Adviser to President Donald Trump.
Then, too, there is Dr. Murry Salby, literally the author of textbooks on atmospheric physics, who argues that the rise in CO2 is natural and that human emissions are insignificant.
The point is that Bernier’s position is not unreasonable, nor ill-informed. In fact, it is clear he knows more about the subject than most journalists.
Today, however, most journalists have lost sight of what it actually means to be a journalist. Gone is the requirement we present both sides. In its place is the false notion that there are false equivalencies.
It is patent nonsense. We present both sides because we know that objectivity is impossible to achieve. We are all biased. By presenting both sides we provide fairness and a free press should at least be fair.