Gordon Campbell

Cannibalizing Environmentalism: Tzeporah Berman under attack

Updated March 9, 2010 to take note of Oil Sands Truth

There’s nothing mainstream media loves more than the spectacle of environmentalists ripping one another limb from limb. Witness, for example, the CBC Vancouver Early Edition interview this morning (starting at 1:23:21) in which a little-known activist (Macdonald Stainsby) was invited to slag Tzeporah Berman, co-founder of Forest Ethics, founder of PowerUp Canada and, soon, the chief climate campaigner for Greenpeace International.

Stainsby was all fired up, questioning Berman’s environmental bona fides and calling her “a Trojan horse” whose true purpose was to “hand all power over to corporations.” As proof, Stainsby said that “Ms. Berman actually gave an award to (BC Premier) Gordon Campbell at the Copenhagen talks. While hundreds of thousands of people were in the streets being tear-gassed and arrested, she was on the other side of the picket line giving an award over on the basis of the carbon tax.”

How could you not be outraged? Well, easy enough if you look past Stainsby’s rhetoric.

Carbon Tax Wins: Cheap Politics Loses in B.C. Election

The only government in North America to implement a carbon tax to fight climate change has been re-elected handily in British Columbia.

Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell introduced a carbon tax in February 2008 and launched it officially in July, regardless that the introduction date coincided with the highest oil prices in history. The Premier, surprisingly, held his ground, The left-leaning (and traditionally environmentally conscious) New Democratic Party on the other hand opted to attack the tax, characterizing it as an unfair effort to pick the pockets of the poor. She campaigned on a promise to “axe the tax.”

On Tuesday, British Columbians said, loudly, that they couldn’t believe her. The carbon tax stands; Carole James falls.

B.C. NDP - Greens = Liberal victory Tuesday

“As citizens of the planet, it is our responsibility to put the planet before politics and urge the next B.C. government and federal politicians to do the same.”

Mike Harcourt, et al, Globe and Mail Online, Saturday, May 9, 2009

At a critical time, B.C. New Democratic Party leader Carole James decided it was expedient to put politics first, and tomorrow, it looks like she will pay the price.

The B.C. election campaign that wraps up today has been  both shocking and inevitable. It was shocking, for example, that so many traditional New Democratic Party (NDP) supporters, from David Suzuki and Tzeporah Berman to (most surprisingly) former NDP Premier Mike Harcourt, should speak up in praise of Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell’s carbon tax.

And it was inevitable that the NDP would dismiss THAT as politics, making a strained claim for environmental high ground on the basis of the party’s other policies.

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