Expect the Climate Inquisition

The United States has posted a new ambassador to Ottawa, Kelly Craft. She is the first woman to hold the post, which ought to endear her to progressives, and she carries with her a reassuring and timely message from Washington about working closely with Canadians on cross-border security and trade.

Craft was interviewed by CBC's Rosemary Barton on Tuesday and, predictably, the conversation touched on climate change. Barton's first question was the right one to put to the ranking American diplomat in Canada. Canadian and U.S. approaches to the Paris accord are different, she noted, so "how do you navigate that?" Craft replied: "We all have the same goal, and that is to better our environment." Barton: "So you can still fight climate change even if you're not part of the [Paris] agreement?" Craft: "Absolutely." The interview should have ended there. No such luck. Happy in the role of Climate Inquisitor, Barton pressed on. "Do you yourself believe in climate change?" 

Just in case you've been so long in the world of secular erudition that you can't quite place the allusion, that sort of question used to be called a test of orthodoxy. Such undiplomatic hubris from Canada's national broadcaster tells you all you need to know about the impoverished state of the climate conversation circa 2017.