IT'S a sad day when Canada needs a leader from another country to nudge its policymakers in the direction of common sense.
This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made headlines on this side of the ocean with a planned visit to Halifax, where she would tour a display on climate change's effects on fish stocks. As was widely remarked, the side trip underscores the stark difference between Merkel's approach to the issue of global warming and our own government's.
The hard-as-nails chancellor, hardly a tree-hugging hippie, is a believer in the science of climate change and an advocate both for mitigation and adaptation. Our government, meanwhile, pays lip service to these ideas, but has made clear by its actions that the issue is nowhere on its agenda.
Where it should be working to reduce emissions and hatch a strategy to deal with the coming shift, Ottawa is instead pushing to accelerate development of our tar sands and muzzle or fire the scientists who might question the wisdom of doing so.
This attitude is economic folly. A glance south shows why.
As with any weather event, America's crippling drought can't be tied to a longterm trend, but it does illustrate the impact that global warming's predicted effects, left unchecked, would have on our country's bottom line. Agriculture, fisheries, forestry, healthcare - all stand to suffer in the face of rising global temperatures.
Our government, especially given its promise to care for our economy, should take a page out of Germany's book, and start taking this issue seriously.