There’s “something surreal” about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s annual summer visits to the Canadian Arctic, writes Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson, worthwhile though it is for a national leader to pay visible attention to the North. “Every summer, surrounded by the evidence of Northern climate change—melting ice, widening sea lanes, disruption of traditional hunting patterns, shifting tundra, increased sun reflection, changing weather patterns—the Prime Minister spends a week in the region without ever drawing attention to the impact and challenges of climate change,” Simpson writes. This year’s visit coincided with the alarming leak of the IPCC’s synthesis report on climate change impacts, he notes, and “the Canadian Arctic is at or near the top of the list” of regions where those impacts will be felt. “The surrealism of a Harper visit is like that of an explorer who lands in an unknown place, takes careful note in his diary of the animals, flora, fauna, rocks, and trees, but misses all the human inhabitants.” (h/t Lorne Warwick/Newsana for pointing us to this story)
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