In the face of another diplomatic disappointment in Cancun's climate change talks, we have just left the hottest year on record. While experts again try to ring alarm bells, our media still gives voice to the pseudo-intellectual pursuit of climate skepticism. Perhaps while Rome burned, some bravely questioned the finer qualities of fire. Perhaps on Easter Island, as the last trees fell, some elders courageously debated the necessity of wood. These days, Margaret Wente and Rex Murphy sing in tune with the likes of Glenn Beck, sincerely believing their skepticism to be a form of intellectual virtue. It is not.
In a review last week of the year's best and worst, Rex Murphy offered up his choice for the most overrated politician of the year: Stephen Harper.
Speaking on the "At Issue" panel on CBC-TV's The National, Murphy mused that the Prime Minister is not nearly as menacing a character as his enemies make him out to be: "He doesn't have the power that they think he has. He doesn't have the depth of animus against all the rest of the world that he's painted as."
Murphy, for all his posturing as an independent-minded contrarian, was delivering a message the governing Conservatives would dearly love to plant in the minds of Canadians: that Harper is not an extremist.
"The deformed human mind is the ultimate doomsday weapon."
I was reminded of this chilling warning from the late British historian E.P. Thompson, while listening to Rex Murphy's Cross-Country Checkup on CBC Radio on Nov. 20.
Murphy was interviewing Terry Glavin, a B.C. author, about Glavin's latest book, one endorsing Canada's so-called "mission" in Afghanistan. Murphy was little less than fawning in his praise of the book's refutation of all those silly notions of imperialism.
Well, a theme is beginning to emerge.
I was listening to Cross Country checkup. Starting with John Manley's appearance on the show, Rex Murphy slowly build up the meme that the NDP is not going to be able to function, after it is ripped to shreds by its Soverigntist friendly Quebec caucus.