The dangers of doomsaying

The Ottawa Citizen‘s Dan Gardner has a good analysis of the way in which environmentalists have undermined their case with their extreme rhetoric:

If we fully develop Alberta’s oilsands and burn the oil they produce, we will raise the temperature measurably all over the planet. That’s the conclusion of an analysis by University of Victoria scientists Andrew Weaver and Neil Swart and published in the journal Nature.

Rather a big deal, one would think. But that’s not what we read in the media this week.

The banner headline on the front page of the Globe and Mail: “Science rides to aid of oilsands.”

Mr. Gardner’s argument is applicable to just about any public policy debate, of course, but perhaps the more important the issue, the more important it is that you don’t sabotage your own position.

Jonathan McLeod

Jonathan McLeod is a writer living in Ottawa, Ontario. (That means Canada.) He spends too much time following local politics and writing about zoning issues. Follow him on Twitter.