Mark Cameron, executive director of Canadians for Clean Prosperity (CFCP), put up a spirited defence of his organization’s ostensibly “market-based” approach to climate policy in Wednesday’s FP Comment. As a former senior policy adviser to Stephen Harper, Cameron is the public face of an organization that claims “conservative” credentials.
On Friday, CFCP will hold an invitation-only conference in Toronto featuring some prominent conservative voices, such as those of Preston Manning and David Frum, but does Clean Prosperity really represent a principled conservative position on climate?
Such a position would not merely emphasize the power of markets, it would look with intense suspicion at any rationale for a vast increase in the size and scope of government, which is what the climate agenda demands.
Perhaps out of fear of being condemned as “deniers,” many prominent conservative figures have been prepared to accept the alleged underlying problem, and have more or less willingly shuffled on to examining “efficient” solutions that in fact represent a parody of the market.
If Canadians were told that Gaia had demanded that they each sacrifice a leg, they would not so easily be hurried towards examining how the policy would be structured and administered. However, the implications of bad —that is, poverty-inducing and freedom-threatening — economic policy are much more difficult to grasp than losing a limb.
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