A day after journalists started noticing the leading parties aren’t talking about tar sands or the environment in the Alberta election, and two days after a Wildrose candidate wrote about how gays and lesbians will ‘suffer the rest of eternity in a lake of fire’, Wildrose party leader Danielle Smith has unveiled herself and her party as climate change skeptics. Danielle Smith was asked (in the Edmonton Journal forum): “on climate change, do you believe in the science, and how do we address the issue?” She responded: “We have always said the science isn't settled and we need to continue to monitor the debate.”
With protests against the tar sands growing in British Columbia, the United States and the EU the question is: what are the international implications of electing a climate skeptic government responsible for the third largest deposit of petroleum on the planet? Many jurisdictions are already questioning Alberta’s ‘green credentials.’ Having a government that openly questions the scientific consensus on climate change could have widespread political and economic implications.
Do Albertan’s understand the risk of electing a government that denies science? Do we understand how the domestic and international scrutiny will increase in a world that has accepted the climate crisis and is trying to figure out how to deal with it? Do we understand the environmental and human rights implications given that Alberta sits upon one of the largest carbon bombs on the planet? And finally will Alberta be the first province to elect a government that openly questions the scientific fact on climate change?