Monday, February 7, 2011

Kim Campbell on Maher

I'm a bit late to the party on this one, but I just watched that episode of Bill Maher from a couple weeks ago that had two climate change deniers and one of them (Republican Representative Jack Kingston) is also an evolution denier (so was DL Hughley).  I can't link to a clip because HBO seems quite zealous about DMCAing even small obviously fair use clips off the internet and they don't post much up on their site

One thing I enjoyed was that the guest who did the best job defending the obvious need and rationality of accepting human caused climate change was former Canadian Prime Minister, Kim Campbell.  One thing the show neglected to mention and might have mattered in the minds of some is that Kim Campbell was a conservative.  Back then our right wing party was called the Progressive Conservatives, and they were more moderate than the current version.  Still, I wish it had come up, particularly since at one point Kingston dismissed all the climate science as "Democrat funded" and Hughley complained about people simply dismissing factual claims from those perceived to be in other camps.  That would have been an interesting moment for Maher to mention "By the way, Kim Campbell here is a conservative and thinks you're wrong..."

Of course, our contemporary Conservative party is rife with climate (and evolution) deniers so it's likely that Campbell is and maybe always was an outlier. She became leader under rare circumstances and I wonder how representative she was of conservatives even in the early 90s, who may have wanted a moderate face to make up ground lost under Mulroney.  Still, along with Margaret Thatcher she joins a very short list of conservatives who can accept science even if it implies bad things for their ideology.

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