If Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is this frightened, then we can only assume that the visual artist from Toronto, Franke James, is THAT scary!
As reported most recently in the Toronto Star, the Canadian government - so often now referred to as the “Harper government” - stands accused of trying to block a presentation of James’s art in capitals across Europe. And in a way, who can blame them? The official Canadian position these days is that toxic stuff is good for you (or good for us - and who really cares about you?). Whether it’s “ethical oil” dredged out of the tar sands in one of the most environmentally damaging variations of any oil exploitation, or asbestos, peddled to any impoverished nation still so desperate as to use it, Canada is officially in the poison-for-profit business. When some lippy woman stands up and suggests that this is a bad thing, it makes the government look - well, like shills for dirty industries - and it compromises the chances that those dirty industries have of enjoying even greater profit. No wonder Stephen Harper’s henchpeople refer to James as “that woman!”
In an editorial under the headline: “Carbon tax battle may not be over,” the Toronto Star has taken note of the issue that is currently dominating the BC election conversation.
The Star concludes:
“…American commentators, ranging from New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman to right-wing economist Arthur Laffer, are calling for a carbon tax as an alternative to cap-and-trade. ‘Since the opponents of cap-and-trade are going to pillory it as a tax anyway, why not go for the real thing – a simple, transparent, economy-wide carbon tax?’ asked Friedman in his column last weekend.
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.