Deep in the cold, cold ground

Of the major initiatives taken so far by Stephen Harper’s government, the clean air act sparked the most derisive reaction. Environment Minister Rona Ambrose released it last week to criticism from environmental groups and opposition politicians, pundits and political cartoonists — most mocking her for setting far-off 2050 as the target year for cutting Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions roughly in half. Given the urgency surrounding climate change, that date struck many as laughably remote. If only Ambrose had promised something bold for the near future, a step that didn’t seem either too marginal (weather-strip the screen doors of the nation) or too radical to fly (a wind turbine in every pot).

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