Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 8 to 13
- Grade: 3 to 8
- Reading age: 8 to 13
Why have democratic governments failed to take serious steps to reduce carbon emissions despite dire warnings and compelling evidence of the profound and growing threat posed by global warming?
Most of the writing on global warming is by scientists, academics, environmentalists, and journalists. Kevin Taft, a former leader of the opposition in Alberta, brings a fresh perspective through the insight he gained as an elected politician who had an insider's eyewitness view of the role of the oil industry. His answer, in brief: The oil industry has captured key democratic institutions in both Alberta and Ottawa.
Taft begins his book with a perceptive observer's account of a recent court casein Ottawa which laid bare the tactics and techniques of the industry, its insiders and lobbyists. He casts dramatic new light on exactly how corporate lobbyists, politicians, bureaucrats, universities, and other organizations are working together to pursue the oil industry's agenda.
He offers a brisk tour of the recent work of scholars who have developed the concepts of the deep state and institutional capture to understand how one rich industry can override the public interest.
Taft views global warming and weakened democracy as two symptoms of the same problem — the loss of democratic institutions to corporate influence and control. He sees citizen engagement and direct action by the public as the only response that can unravel big oil's deep state.
About the author
Kevin Taft never thought he?d be a politician. A public policy analyst and head of his own Edmonton-based consulting company, Kevin's life took a sharp turn when he returned to Alberta in 1994 after a year away studying for a business degree.?Alberta had changed,? he recalls. “The government was gutting our health care system without a plan, throwing people's lives into chaos.? Kevin watched in growing dismay as the government took aim at education and other public services Albertans had carefully built over many years.In 1997, Kevin wrote Shredding the Public Interest, a national bestseller which confirmed many Albertans? concerns about the PCs. Clear Answers, a second bestseller in 2000, co-authored by Gillian Steward, exploded the myths of private, for-profit health care.Kevin stepped into public life in 2001, handily winning his Edmonton Riverview seat in the provincial election. In 2004, he was elected Leader of the Alberta Liberals and of the Loyal Opposition in the Alberta Legislature. In 2007 his third book was published, Democracy Derailed, and in 2012 his fourth book, Follow the Money, which he co-authored with Mel MacMillan and Junaid Jahangir. Both books continue Kevin's critical analysis of Alberta politics and public policy. Kevin stepped down from the Legislature when he chose not to run in the 2012 election. He continues to live and write in Edmonton.
- Winner, The Hill Times' List of 100 Best Books
"Taft combines his insider knowledge with a crisp and hard-hitting writing style."
Other titles by Kevin Taft
Politics in the New Alberta
Follow the Money
Where is Alberta's Wealth Going?
A Breakdown of Government Accountability in Alberta--And How to Get it Back on Track
The Economics and Politics of For-Profit Medicine
Shredding the Public Interest
Ralph Klein and 25 Years of One-Party Government