I completely agree with fourhorses that the ultimate aim is to create a situation where the CPC can say assertively, "The science no longer supports the assumptions of the Kyoto Accord."
However, politically this cannot be done overnight without the Conservatives taking what they consider to be an unacceptable hit (do people think they would really lose votes with this statement (from Canadians who would otherwise vote for them, that is?).
So, the solution put on this site a little while ago by Tina is one I would support as well - namely, they don't take sides at all and admit they don't know and so are holding unbiased, public hearings in which scientists from both sides are invited to testify.
The resulting chaos, with claims all over the map, will do enough to thoroughly confuse everyone (which is appropriate, actually, since the science is so immature and, frankly, confusing) and take the wind out of the sails of the "we are causing a climate disaster and must stop it" camp entirely, and the CPC can quietly turn to important issues without really having had to say much at all.
What's wrong with this approach?
Well, this approach did prove effective for a long time--for the tobacco industry, as they tried to hold off anti-smoking legislation. From the Union of Concerned Scientists report, "Smoke, Mirrors, and Hot Air":
In reviewing the tobacco industryÂs disinformation campaign, the first thing to note is that
the tobacco companies quickly realized they did not need to prove their products were safe. Rather, as internal documents have long since revealed, they had only to Âmaintain doubtÂ on the scientific front as a calculated strategy.
As one famous internal memo from the Brown & Williamson tobacco company put it: ÂDoubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the body of factÂ that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.Â
Maintain doubt and call for "sound science" was the tobacco lobby's clarion call for years. However, they were eventually found out. The oil companies and their astroturf groups (like Tom's) have been running the same set of plays vis-a-vis global warming, but as the above noted report demonstrates, they've already been caught.
And, interestingly enough, it appears today that Exxon has thrown in the towel. It has admitted the reality of anthropogenic global warming and is now engaged in talks with the U.S. government as to how carbon emission regulations might look. It has also stopped funding the Competitive Enterprise Institute, as well as "five or six other" of its astroturf groups. Since one of these, The Fraser Institute, funded the earlier research of Tim Ball, one of Mr. Harris' compatriot's at the NRSP, we should know fairly soon whether these two fellows are still in business or flipping burgers for a living.
(Maybe that's why Tom's scrounging for fins at the Free Dominion)
h/t to one of my anonymice.