[Sust-mar] Canadian politics hurt the climate: renowned climate scientist (The Green Interview)

Laura Landon laura.landon at bellaliant.net
Mon Dec 2 20:14:24 EST 2013

Text Box: www.thegreeninterview.com

Dec. 3, 2013


 Canadian politics hurt the climate, says renowned


One of Canada's leading climate scientists-now a politician-says that if our
politicians behaved more like scientists and less like opportunistic
lawyers, we might have a fighting chance to curb climate change. 


"Politics is filled with lawyers," says Dr. Andrew Weaver, who put his Nobel
Prize-winning scientific career on hold this year when he won a seat in the
British Columbia legislature as its first Green Party MLA. "In law the
person with the best argument is the person who wins. In science, it's the
person with the best evidence that actually wins the debate. I think we need
more of that."


Weaver, who is actually the first Green elected to any provincial
legislature in Canada, shares his insights into politics and science in a
newly released  <http://www.thegreeninterview.com/> Green Interview
conversation with host Silver Donald Cameron. A long-time professor at the
University of Victoria and a member of the Nobel Prize-winning
Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, Weaver also shares his grim but
still hopeful news about our climate. His foray into politics has deepened
his conviction that political reform is a necessary step if we want to stop
climate change.  


"The people who are making the decisions today actually don't have to live
the consequences of those decisions in the next generation, because either
their political career is finished or they are no longer on this Earth,"
says Weaver, who blames career politicians and a first-past-the-post voting
system for fostering policies that favour the quick fix over the genuine,
long-term solution. He encourages more scientists to get involved in
politics, and urges everybody to vote-no matter our political system. 


Weaver also points to the need for more potentially unpopular political
decisions that make good public policy, such as B.C.'s carbon tax-the only
one in Canada. 


"The evidence is very clear: since the carbon tax was introduced, emissions
have come down, and our economy has grown at a rate faster than the national
average," says Weaver, noting B.C.'s emissions have also dropped much faster
than the national average. "So, no, the sky hasn't fallen. We've done well.
In fact, we've done better than average, as a direct consequence of the
carbon pricing."


Andrew Weaver has authored or co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed, scientific
papers and is former editor-in-chief of the Journal of Climate. He has also
published two popular science books on climate change: Keeping Our Cool:
Canada in a Warming World and Generation Us: The Challenge of Global


The Green Interview is a subscription website of extended interviews with
some of the world's greatest thinkers, writers and observers-people whose
ideas and perceptions are leading the way to a new era of sustainability.
Visitors to the site can watch the interviews for one week free of charge.
In addition, the interviews are available in thousands of libraries
worldwide through  <http://www.gale.cengage.com/greenr/> GreenR, the
environmental database service of Gale Cengage Learning. The host and
executive producer of The Green Interview is Silver Donald Cameron, and the
interviews are produced and directed by Chris Beckett.

For further information about this interview or others at
<http://www.thegreeninterview.com/> www.thegreeninterview.com, please
contact: Silver Donald Cameron at  <mailto:sdc at silverdonaldcameron.ca>
sdc at silverdonaldcameron.ca or 902-446-5577.




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