I’m loathe to discuss what appears in the pages of the National Post, but sometimes the ‘look at the car wreck while driving by’ phenomena occurs as I drink my morning coffee resulting in, as you can imagine, a minor case of motion sickness.  In today’s offerings (I refuse to provide a link to it but it’s the May 16, 2011 edition so do you’re own work) there is an editorial by the curmudgeon in chief himself Rex Murphy on the fortunes of Elizabeth May, or as Rex explains, the follies of Elizabeth May.

You see, according to Rex, the fact that Ms. May and her Green Party won a seat in the House of Commons is not something to respect but something to ridicule. Apparently her success is not only wildly overstated but surprisingly minor given the extraordinary amount of attention and sympathy her party enjoys with the national media.  It is not historic, it is trivial. While I’m sure Mr. Murphy hates wasting his mental acuity on such trivialities, as a state intellectual he knows he has a role to play and a job to do.

To that end he describes the win thusly:  “Winning one seat when 308 were up for grabs is no more historic than winning at the weekly parish bingo game…”  Ouch.  Well, that’s one way to look at it.  Another way is to acknowledge the establishment of a voice of reason on the vital issues of climate change within the formal institutions of government.  Her voice may live on the margins of power and influence but it’s a voice nonetheless.

On the issue of climate change (for which Rex has no shortage of disdain), he proceeds to explain the election results:  “It says that the point of view embraced by the Greens, their increasingly apocalyptic warnings, and the condescension with which they deal with non-supporters and critics, has not been persuasive.”  Condescension?  Perhaps he meant condensation from the increased humidity his brain must produce while thumbing through his thesaurus.

He goes on: “Far from global warming, or what they call “carbon pollution” being of deep and serious concern to Canadians, the election of a single member tells us it is a marginal concern at best.”  Ignoring Murphy’s amusing use of quotes around the phrase carbon pollution in an attempt to mock the very notion, it is in my opinion worth asking the implied question of why aren’t more Canadians concerned about climate change.

One reason could be that they are not being informed.  As far as I could tell, environmental issues were completely banished during the recent election cycle along with Elizabeth May’s presence during the debates.  And speaking of debates, it seems those people supporting the Green Party and the idea of global warming are merely victims of what Rex describes “…as the hype of the great Gore machine,”, speaking of condescension.  Climate debate?  No such debate exists according to Murphy, at least among the serious people who frame the issues.

Perhaps if Canadians were told, for example, the findings of some of the world’s most distinguished climate scientists at MIT, their ‘marginal concerns’ might not be so marginal.

The common way of describing climate debate is that of choosing between two positions, namely between ‘I don’t believe it because it’s a fraud designed by tree-hugging left-wing lunatics.’, and ‘Perhaps it’s true but the science is inconclusive.’  There is a third alternative rarely mentioned but corroborated by these scientists which states that the effects of man-made global warming are in fact far worse than the standard models predict, including the enabling effects of such feedback loops as methane release from exposed permafrost.

But for Canadians to know this they need a media that is willing to provide the information in an unbiased fashion.  In other words, in a way which is anathema to the stylings of Rex Murphy and those like him.

To do so, however, would abdicate their responsibilities as state intellectuals duty bound to confuse people as well as the issues that in truth should concern us all.

Now if you’ll excuse me I must take my Gravol.

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