Some of the more interesting claims made in the letter are that the Kyoto Accord is "based on tentative and contradictory scientific evidence", that it "focuses on carbon dioxide, which is essential to life", and that "Kyoto is essentially a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations."
In response, an unidentified spokesman for the Harper office demonstrated the party's general lack of reading comprehension by saying that the letter was "pointing out that the Liberals had no plan to meet the (Kyoto) targets." Neither the words "plan" nor "targets" appear anywhere in the letter.
Times have changed a bit in the five years since the letter was written. The Tories have now been forced to recognizing global warming to a certain degree, but they still have a long ways to go. In fact, new polling results from McAllister Opinion Research and GlobeScan Inc. indicate that Harper's hostility towards the environment has probably played a key role in galvanizing Canadian support for the issue.
According to pollster Angus McAllister, who conducted the research, the Harper government's inaction or even hostility to environmental issues, at least until recently, has actually accelerated public concern.
"Until their death-bed conversion a few weeks ago, they were actually throwing gasoline on the fire," Mr. McAllister said of the Conservatives.
The complete letter can be read at canoe.ca.
So Harper has been shooting himself in both feet. Not only is his minority government reeling under opposition attack, but he is also failing a Canadian public that recognizes the need for strong environmental leadership and is demanding solutions to the global warming crisis. In response, Stephen Harper needs to make a full reversal of his anti-global warming stance and leave himself one good foot to stump around Parliament Hill on. At least until the Conservatives are forced from office in the coming months.