Terence Corcoran: Tricks and treats from Peter Foster
In 2007, Foster wrote of his daughter and her Grade 6 class being shown Al Gore’s apocalyptic PG movie, An Inconvenient Truth. Another column explores a Morgan Stanley Investment Foundation use of children to stage a policy session at a G8 meeting in Germany. “The political manipulation of children is age-old and disgraceful,” wrote Foster in 2007. “It has become particularly egregious during the modern age of environmental hysteria.”
Foster has more fun with Pope Francis, Mark Carney and David Suzuki than with Thunberg. A chapter sub-section, titled “Pope Francis: Papal Bull,” contains pointed commentary on assorted Papal declarations and concludes with the idea that the Pope sounds like “the theological wing of the Occupy movement.” A 2014 column asks “Is God green?” and in 2015 Foster declared the Vatican’s climate encyclical “The Pope’s Eco-munist Manifesto.”
Other icons of climate alarmism, sustainable development theory and corporate do-goodism are awarded their own chapters and sections. There’s “The nature of David Suzuki,” a 15-page run of six columns on the green activist, including an Oct. 31, 2007, column. “In Canada, the grand wizard of eco-fright is David Suzuki, who has been throwing around Halloween references himself recently.”
Five columns (from 2007 to 2016) are assembled under the heading “Naomi Klein: no logo, no logic,” including a 2015 review of the Klein-driven Leap Manifesto, still relevant today. Foster calls it the Great Leap Backwards and reports it is “taken up with peddling the fantasy of a total switch to alternative energy within a couple of decades, and demanding an end to fossil fuel activity.”
Joe Biden and Justin Trudeau are still trying to make that great leap backward, evidence that Foster’s columns are as relevant today as when he wrote them for this page over the past two decades.
As a bonus, How Dare You!, which is published by the London-based Global Warming Policy Forum, enhances Foster’s wit with a collection of original and equally cutting illustrations by Josh, the British cartoonist, who cleverly captures the spirit of the columns — including the caricature below of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.