Earth Day: Danielle Smith, other prominent climate change deniers identified in Canada

·Politics Reporter

Ahead of Sunday's Earth Day, Alberta's Wildrose Alliance leader Danielle Smith has made headlines because of her views on the environment. Essentially, Smith, the front-runner in the race to become the province's next premier, isn't convinced climate change is real. According to the Edmonton Journal, she was forced to defend her position again at a leader's debate Thursday.

"We've been watching the debate in the scientific community, and there is still a debate," Smith said amid the deafening jeers from live audience.

"I will continue to watch the debate in the scientific community, but that's not an excuse not to act."

Believe it or not, Smith isn't the only right-leaning politician in Canada to discount the climate change hypotheses. In January, Postmedia News 'outed' several deniers in the federal Conservative caucus.

The list includes Stephen Harper's senate appointees Nancy Greene Raine and Bert Brown. Brown, described by his colleagues as the party's 'resident denier,' rose in the senate to speak about the topic earlier this month.

"Despite government spending over $30 billion on climate research, there is still no empirical evidence to show that carbon dioxide has any effect on global climate," he said.

Maxime Bernier, the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, is another doubter.

He, according to Postmedia News, believes climate change scientists from around the world are involved in a conspiracy to exaggerate warnings about the dangerous impacts of fossil-fuel consumption and rising greenhouse gas emissions.

"Every week that goes by confirms the wisdom of our government's modest position," Bernier wrote in a letter defending the Harper government's climate change policies.

"There is, in fact, no scientific consensus. What's certain is that it would be irresponsible to spend billions of dollars to impose unnecessarily stringent regulations to resolve a problem whose gravity we still are not certain about."

And, as for the prime minister, he has actually changed his tune in recent years.

Harper, Postmedia notes, used to question the credibility of scientific evidence linking human activity to global warming, but has recently softened his rhetoric.

"I have said many times that climate change is a great problem for the world," Harper recently said in Parliament.

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