Catherine McKenna and Greta Thunberg are favourite targets of fossil fuel junkies and climate denying trolls
A Commentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted October 30th, 2019 on Niagara At Large
When it becomes more and more obvious that those who chose to deny or doubt climate change do not have facts and science on their side, the only recourse they have left, short of voting for politicians like Doug Ford, Andrew Scheer, Jason Kenney and Donald Trump, come down to this – shamelessly showcasing a wilful ignorance of the facts and science, and hurling insults, right up to and including vulgarities that are not fit for prime time, at those advocating for more action on climate change.
That proved to be the case again this fall, just a day or two after this October 21st’s federal election, when the mostly female volunteers working in Catherine McKenna’s Ottawa, Ontario campaign office arrived to find the C-word (yes, that c – – t word) sprayed across a poster of McKenna’s face on the office’s front window.
“I was not happy to see that and it was actually really upsetting for the people that are in my office,” McKenna, a Liberal MP who easily won back her seat in her Ottawa riding, told a television news crew as she appeared to be holding back tears, but “you can’t let the haters get you down.”
For the past four years, Catherine McKenna, a native of Hamilton, has also served as Canada’s Environment Minister and, in spite of any and all disappointments those of us who want more action may with her boss and prime minister, Justin Trudeau, on the climate file, has at least tried to put herself out there as an advocate for action – so much so that she has weathered more than her share of verbal threats and insults, and has been dubbed ‘Climate Barbie’ by her detractors.
As Environment Minister, McKenna has visited the Niagara area more than a few times, including once last year to announce funding for protecting Great Lakes waters and a year earlier, during Canadian Environment Week, when she and the prime minister made a stop in Niagara-on-the-Lake for a media briefing and a short visit with a group of school children after paddling canoes on the lower Niagara River.
“I look at these kids,” said McKenna during the Niagara-on-the-Lake stop, “and I have three children of my own.”
The fight against climate change, she added, is very much a fight for our children’s future.
Another climate change fighter – at least a few generations younger than McKenna and arguably far more formidable on the world stage – had this to say at a United Nations Climate Summit this past September about the failure of so many of her elders in leadership to more aggressively address what she and others, including teams of scientists, now view as a category one “climate emergency” –
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” she said in an address that made international headlines and drew a condescending “she seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future” tweet from Trump.
“The eyes of all future generations are upon you,” 16-year-old Greta Thunberg from Sweden added. “And if you choose to fail us I say we will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line.”
Greta Thunberg who, over the past year, has inspired young people all over the world to hold mass rallies for climate action has also drawn more than her share of trolls.
This very bright and knowledgeable young girl has been called everything from “mentally ill” and “retarded” to “creepy” and “ugly.”
While on her way to attend a climate rally in Alberta earlier this October, she was characterized by some tar sands supporters as a ‘s – – t disturber’ who should be refused entry to the country.
Then, a few days later, there was the C-Word sprayed on Catherine McKenna’s campaign office in Ottawa.
“I don’t even have the words to describe what kind of person would do this,” McKenna told reporters later. “It’s the same as the trolls on Twitter. It needs to stop.”
It does, but probably not any time soon as the walls continue to close in on a world far too dependent on fossil fuels, and one that a hard-core segment of the human population, including powerful interests in the petro-chemical industry, is showing little no willingness to shift away from easily.
Indeed, it will be interesting to now see if Catherine McKenna, assuming she is still interested in serving as Canada’s Environment Minister after all the heat she has taken in fighting for her government’s efforts to put a higher price on climate-changing carbon pollution, will be given that job back when Trudeau announces his cabinet in the days ahead.
Right now, what role, if any, McKenna plays in a new Trudeau cabinet seems like a wide open question.
During a press conference he hosted the day after the October 21st election, Trudeau sounded more determined to follow through on plans to complete a Trans Mountain pipeline for the Alberta tar sands that no private business group would invest in – even though his investment in last year of billions of dollars of our tax money in this pipeline won him not one seat in Alberta and possibly helped lose him his majority in other parts of Canada where climate change became a major election issue.
“I care greatly about the environment, but the thing I’ve learned about climate change is it’s not just the environment minister who has got to carry this file, this is as much an economic file,” added Catherine McKenna the day after that vulgar word was sprayed on her campaign office window. “Everyone’s got to work together and I will always be passionate about this, because it is the most important issue.”
We will now find out how important the issue really is to Justin Trudeau.
Will Trudeau show the courage to stand up to the climate deniers and laggards, and take the real action that is needed to address what is a climate emergency?
Or will he trade away progressive action for more of what United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote off before the UN’s Climate summit began this September as “beautiful speeches (that) are not enough.”
We’ll be watching.
To watch and hear Catherine McKenna discuss the obscene graffiti that greeted her and her campaign office staff after the October 21st federal election, click on the screen below –
For one report on the vulgar attack on Catherine McKenna’s campaign office this October, click on – https://election.ctvnews.ca/absolutely-disgraceful-catherine-mckenna-s-office-tagged-with-vulgar-and-sexist-graffiti-1.4653750
NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.
A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.
For More News And Commentary From Niagara At Large – An independent, alternative voice for our Greater Bi-National Niagara Region – Become A Regular Visitor And Subscriber To NAL At Www.Niagaraatlarge.Com .