THIS IS A PORTION OF THE ARTICLE PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 15, 2020 IN THE GLOBE AND MAIL | Bob Wheeler
If truth is stranger than fiction, it is scarier, too. For proof of that, look no further than the books shortlisted for this year’s Donner Prize, to be awarded Wednesday in recognition of excellence in public policy writing by Canadian authors.
DENNIS MCCONAGHY, BREAKDOWN: THE PIPELINE DEBATE AND THE THREAT TO CANADA’S FUTURE (DUNDURN PRESS)
Truly, prior to 2020, I seldom, if ever, would wake up in the night gripped with great anxiety about the future and what it portends for my children and grandchildren. Now, I fear the developed world is losing its capacity for growth and economic rationality, as it is seemingly ever more obsessed with redistribution and historical redress.
No issue illustrates this better than climate change. It is a real risk to be dealt with collectively, led by the developed world, but only based on a rational assessment of the net, risk-adjusted costs and benefits of continued use of fossil fuels. Underscore “net” and “risk adjusted.” But it should not be considered as some absolute moral imperative.
The United Nations process to deal with the risk has been problematic since its inception. No country has been more vulnerable to that process than Canada. Historically, climate policy for Canada has been driven by virtue signaling and robotic conformity, regardless of our economic self interest, especially in respect of the costs Canada is expected to bear relative to those countries it trades with.
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