Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall was caught up in a Twitter battle with a Canadian author and a Stanford University professor after he used social media to ridicule the Leap Manifesto.
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On Monday, Wall took to Twitter to share a video of himself claiming Canada could not afford to implement the Leap Manifesto. The principles of the document, which outlines measures for a shift towards clean energy, were adopted by the federal NDP at its Edmonton convention in April.
Wall suggested the manifesto's claim, that Canada should shift to 100 per cent clean energy by 2050, was absurd.
In the video, Wall specifically mocked the research of Stanford University environmental engineering professor Mark Jacobson.
Leap Manifesto's 100% renewable plan cost? $1.86 TRILLION, 3X Canada's debt. A number so big as to be meaningless. https://t.co/7DyMXtgOwK— Brad Wall (@PremierBradWall) 13 June 2016
Canadian author Naomi Klein, who is an outspoken supporter of the manifesto, responded in its defence on Tuesday.
She also questioned Wall's criticism of the manifesto's clean-energy costs, citing his request in May for Ottawa to provide $156 million to clean up old oil wells.
The premier replied saying his information came directly from the Stanford University professor, kicking off a back-and-forth debate with Klein.
1 more thing @PremierBradWall: Aren't you the guy that wants a federal bailout out to clean up oil + gas wells? But renewables are too $...— Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) 14 June 2016
2/3 @PremierBradWall Annual energy, health, and climate cost savings per person in 2050: $8,887....— Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) 14 June 2016
.@PremierBradWall Annual energy cost savings per person in 2050: $163.— Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) 14 June 2016
+The upfront costs are over 34 YEARS, 0 to do with annual debt!
When Mark Jacobson joined the debate, Klein ended her exchange with a challenge to the premier.
Wall accepted, with a series of tweets claiming to debunk the manifesto claims.
.@NaomiAKlein @mzjacobso Leap: 34 nations incl China eliminating fossil fuels in 34 yrs?? No oil, gas, coal, uranium Great talk. Fun times— Brad Wall (@PremierBradWall) 15 June 2016
Some Twitter users, including Sarah Beuhler who first reported on this Twitter exchange, thought Wall still lost the debate, but the premier had a response for them too.
Yes...I was blinded by the pixie dust and gored by the unicorn. https://t.co/mLxoZGBxWc— Brad Wall (@PremierBradWall) 15 June 2016