Some Albertans reacted angrily to a column I wrote yesterday about the impact of climate change on the careers of right-wing politicians.
I merely pointed out that climate-change deniers, such as former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and former Australian prime minister John Howard, each lost elections for taking this position.
And I suggested that the same fate could easily befall Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has modelled his career on Howard's.
That prompted Alberta progressives—and a few trolls—to attack me for characterizing Alberta as "Canada's centre of climate-change denial".
Some comments were fairly abusive. One questioned whether I had been dropped on my head as a baby.
Another accused me of dumping hate on citizens.
A third called me a "smug, judgemental prick" and expressed a desire that my home collapse in an earthquake.
I guess this is what happens when you add the Alberta politics hashtag #abpoli to a link on Twitter. In B.C., commenters usually aren't nearly as vitriolic.
Another commenter cited Environment Canada's page discussing climate-change adaptability studies—as if that wiped out years of denial and efforts to silence scientists by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Let's get real. There's a large number of climate-change deniers in Alberta. What else could explain a dinosaur like Rob Anders winning six consecutive elections with more than 50 percent of the votes in Calgary West?
Then there's Wildrose Party of Alberta Leader Danielle Smith, who claimed just over a year ago that the science wasn't settled on climate change. She heads the Official Opposition in the Alberta legislature when she should have been laughed out of political existence.
Exhibit three: Barry Cooper, a friend of Harper's, who's been on the vanguard of Canada's climate-change-denial movement.
Vancouver journalist Charles Montgomery revealed in 2006 that Cooper, a University of Calgary political scientist, channelled money through a university trust account to the nonprofit group Friends of Science. It has promoted the views of such cimate-change deniers as retired professor Tim Ball and economist Ross McKitrick.
That's not to say there isn't also a progressive bent in Alberta.
Provincial Liberal leader Raj Sherman has a 21st-century view of the world, as does NDP MP Linda Duncan.
Keep in mind that Calgary is home to one of Canada's greatest environmental writers, Andrew Nikiforuk. And I recently interviewed an adventure athlete from Canmore, Will Gadd, who's extremely progressive in his views.
So when I write that Alberta is Canada's centre of climate-change denial, I'm not saying every Albertan denies that human-induced carbon emissions contribute to global warming.
Far from it.
Calgary elected Naheed Nenshi as mayor, and he's about the farthest thing you can imagine from Toronto's Rob Ford.
I came to admire Nenshi after reading a chapter about his family in Adrienne Clarkson's 2011 book Room For All of Us.
My respect for Nenshi has been enhanced by his response to the terrible flooding in his city.
We can expect more of these extreme weather events as humanity keeps pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
But don't expect this to be on the agenda when the Conservative Party of Canada finally gets around to holding its annual convention in Calgary later this week.
The Conservatives can't even have a reasonable conversation on whether Alberta's energy industry is contributing to Dutch disease in Canada, let alone wrap their minds around the impact of rising greenhouse-gas emissions on the state of the planet.