Ten years on, and we haven’t learned a thing from “Climategate”
In April, 2014, the Globe and Mail published an article, “Climate change and health: Extreme heat a ‘silent killer.’” In it, the reporter cites the claim of an alleged expert from a non-profit, Clean Air Partnership (CAP), that maximum temperatures in Toronto could be expected to rise 7 C by 2045.
The reporter did not query the figure in her write-up, and her editor apparently didn’t take a good look at what she had written, or else he or she would have reared back and yelled, WTF? A predicted rise of 23 C in a single century? Get hold of that guy and check that you got the right figure.
Imagine if some alleged expert on health care had told the same Globe reporter that Ontario would require a budget of a trillion dollars to cover coming claims on the provincial health services. She would have gasped and challenged him. When it comes to climate alarmism, most media people have simply muted their powers of critical thinking, because they see themselves as conduits for alarmism Kool-Aid, not independent observers.
Thankfully, not all journalists march in lockstep on the issue. In an article for the American Thinker, Canadian researcher Sierra Rayne poured scorn on it: “To say [the 7 C theory] is insanely large would be an understatement.”
Rayne pointed out that a cursory perusal of the Environment Canada Adjusted and Homogenized Canadian Climate Data database would illustrate that the daily summer maximum temperatures in Toronto showed no upward trend whatsoever. She further noted that a database for the WMO-certified Pearson Airport site demonstrated there was “absolutely no temporal correlation” for extreme July or August maximum temperatures between 1938 (when the database was initiated) and 2012.
In fact, there was no source in Canada then—and still isn’t—from which CAP could have plucked that ludicrous figure. University of Guelph economics professor Ross McKitrick had at that time just created his invaluable site, yourenvironment.ca, which sets out a complete temporal record of officially recorded air and pollution levels everywhere in Canada. The data for the site is culled from provincial environment and natural resources ministries, or from Environment Canada. Over many decades, no matter where you look in Canada, the graph trends remain resolutely horizontal with tiny upward and downward spikes indicating extreme weather blips.
Every layperson who identifies as an alarmism skeptic has his or her own pivotal moment, and that idiotic “news” story in the Globe was mine. When reporters and editors act like deer in the headlights in the reception and dissemination of demonstrably impossible “information,” it’s clear evidence that they have been gripped by a socially contagious virus. These are the people who in the 19th century would have believed tulip bulb prices were never going to peak, even if every single family on the planet had enough tulip bulbs to fill a half-acre garden.
The late writer Michael Crichton, author of the best-selling 2004 techno-thriller, “State of Fear,” was one of the first independent students of environmentalism to define environmentalism as a “religion,” and to observe that its principal characteristic was to cater to the state of alarm he believed is an inherent human need. Its dogmatists act as though they have been appointed Morals Police. And they do not take kindly to dissent.
Al Gore, whose 2006 documentary film An Inconvenient Truth was received with uncritical awe, (one of my friends, normally very brainy, described it as a “religious experience”) was later found by a UK court to contain “nine key scientific errors.” It was deemed rife with “serious scientific inaccuracies, political propaganda and sentimental mush” and the judge ruled that the “apocalyptic vision” presented made it not an impartial scientific analysis, but a “political film.” He continues to hector the world as though that never happened from the depths of a home whose electricity kilowatt hours exceed twenty times the national average.
In 2007, environmental guru David Suzuki stormed out of a Toronto radio station interview when the host suggested global warming was not yet a “totally settled issue.” The incident revealed the mindset of the enviro-ayatollahs. (We see its 16-year-old version in little Pied Piper leader of the Children’s Crusade Greta “how-dare-you” Thunberg.) Suzuki perceived the radio host as a blasphemer, unworthy of his rational rebuttal. Suzuki actually felt enviro-infidels should be literally suppressed, and even opined that politicians who aren’t on board with his views should go to prison. You’d think a guy that far down the rabbit hole would be minding his own enviro P’s and Q’s, but like Al Gore, his real estate portfolio is humongous and his carbon footprint immense.
Ordinary Canadians were afraid to criticize Suzuki, but he got his comeuppance in 2013 in Australia when, speaking to an audience of actual scientist who knew their stuff, he revealed his ignorance about actual climate data. I confess to a very satisfying hour of Schadenfreude in watching him make him a fool of himself on camera. Thankfully, hopefully feeling a bit chastened, he retired from the scene in 2014.
Hard to believe, but we’re now marking the tenth anniversary of what journalist James Delingpole dubbed Climategate. The astonishing truths of the climate-change religion’s seamy underbelly revealed in the masses of internal communications by supposedly authoritative and honest alpha climatologists might have acted as a therapeutic purgative to the credulous masses, but the collusive rush to exculpation by the usual suspects put paid to any such hopes.
Let me offer a word of advice to my fellow non-scientists who think they do not deserve to have a voice in this discussion for lack of credentials. Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by those who wield the scimitar of “authority” to speak on this issue because you are not a “peer-reviewed” PhD or because you don’t cite “primary sources.” You’ll notice they don’t scold Greta Thunberg for her reliance on others.
You have a working brain. You have the ability to read and assess the argumentation of those who have been researching climate change at the primary-source level for many years. You have a pretty good understanding of the difference between actual facts and “projections.” As time passes and prediction after prediction fails to come true, you have a right to question where scientific objectivity ends and ideology begins. It’s your tax dollars that are gushing forth in the service of a policy that is very likely based on false assumptions, and which could be better spent in fighting pollution and human misery. You have a right to interrogate the premises that are turning the spigot.
Keep reading. There are many excellent websites and books that lay out evidence-based skeptics’ position. For a one-stop enlightening, comprehensive, reader-friendly and entertaining overview, I recommend the above-mentioned journalist James Delingpole’s 2012 book “Watermelons: The Green Movement’s True Colours.” In the seven years since it was published, Delingpole told me, nothing has happened to change his mind. If anything, the passage of time has confirmed his challenges to alarmism.
Twenty-nine climate activist youths occupied the offices of several figures of the Coastal Gaslink pipeline in Toronto today. The group also had a protest on Bay Street which temporarily shut down traffic.
According to reports from ClimateJustice T.O., a group focused on achieving “climate justice,” 29 youth occupied the offices of the prime financiers of the Coastal GasLink pipeline in Toronto “in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en peoples.”
The group stated on their Instagram page that they also occupied the office of RBC’s CEO David McKay, stating that the bank “is the exclusive financial advisor to CGL, which means they’re responsible for man camps leading to MMIWG (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women), fossil fuel extraction, and land theft at gunpoint.”
The group had a large protest circle at the intersection of Bay and King street in Toronto which halted traffic for a number of hours.
“As major financiers of the CGL natural gas pipeline, these corporations must divest their involvement in a project that is attempting to illegally construct a pipeline on Wet’suwwet’en First Nation territory, facilitating a colonial invasion by the RCMP, and locking us into decades of fossil fuel extraction. We unite in solidarity with Wetsuwet’en land defenders,” the group said in a statement.
Australia takes legal action against 183 during bushfire season; celebrities claim they were caused by climate change
Australia’s rampant and destructive wildfires were started by arson and other causes, as well as fueled by dry conditions and high temperatures, but you’d never know it from the Golden Globes or mainstream media outlets.
In November, a teenage volunteer firefighter from New South Wales was charged with setting 7 bushfires in the region, and then returning with his brigade to fight them. Apparently, he has set 17 fires, and the pyromaniac has now been barred from access to any firefighting equipment.
“When one country faces a climate disaster, we all face a climate disaster,” Cate Blanchett said.
Meanwhile, Russell Crowe’s statement at the Golden Globes, read aloud by Jennifer Anniston, stated that “the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change based. We need to act based on science, move our global workforce to renewable energy, and respect our planet for the unique and amazing place it is. That way, we all have a future.”
Switching the script, Joaquin Phoenix took personal responsibility for his own actions, and advocated for a plant-based diet. “It’s great to vote, but sometimes we have to take that responsibility on ourselves and make changes and sacrifices in our own lives and hope that we can do that. We don’t have to take private jets to Palm Springs for the awards. I’ll try to do better, and I hope you will too.”
According to The Australian, “Police arrested 183 people for lighting bushfires across Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania in the past few months. NSW police data shows 183 people have been charged or cautioned for bushfire-related offences since November 8, and 24 arrested for deliberately starting bushfires.”
This claim was later revised to 183 people who Australian authorities have taken “legal action” against. Still, that’s 183 people who have acted illegally with regards to fire safety during this period of catastrophic bushfires, displacement, property loss, and deaths of both people and animals.
So why do so many Hollywood celebrities claim that the massive fires in Australia are a result of climate change? There’s a years’ long drought along Australia’s Gold Coast. There are rising temperatures. This has been the driest year on record, and the fire and cyclone seasons are just around the corner. But without those 183 irresponsible or malicious people since August, these blazes would probably be substantially less bad.
Climate change, greenhouse gases, pollution, air quality, and other threats to life and quality of life are of course real concerns. But the predilection of media and stars to taking any tragedy and using it as a fulcrum for their own cause celeb does less to amplify the need for action and policy change, and more to highlight the myopia that makes the public at large roll their eyes. Extinction Rebellion, devotees of teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, and simplifications of complex issues make it easy for people to dismiss climate concerns as baseless. Stating facts and offering solutions will do more to convince people of the need for change than easily dismissable hyperbole.
A $182.5 million federal government program has so far subsidized 102 electric vehicle charging stations across Canada, but some locations are used barely once-a-day according to an audit by Natural Resources Canada.
“Overall, the demand for electric vehicles has increased significantly in Canada,” reports NRCan despite a 1,254 percent increase in electric vehicle sales between 2013 and 2018. The 44,000 vehicles purchased in Canada in 2018 represented just three precent of the total new car market for that year.
Ottawa’s Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure initiative provides half of the cost of electric vehicle charging stations up to a value of $50,000 and the same deal for natural gas or hydrogen fuel cell stations up to a value of $1 million.
Proponents include municipalities and businesses and in addition to electric stations, seven natural gas fuelling stations and three hydrogen fuel cell stations have been built to date, and their construction exceeded NRCan’s expectations.
“EV stations are present in densely populated areas, selected remote locations, and along the cross-Canada main corridor,” according to the department, which reviewed each site before approving the funding.
Unfortunately, fewer than six percent of the units were in service long enough to provide any measure of success.
“As of March 31, 2019, only six of the 102 EV stations reported usage data to NRCan; the data were not provided for the remaining stations because they have not yet been in operation for a full year,” according to the NRCan audit.
Of the half-dozen stations NRCan was able to glean 365 days of usage data—two in Peel Region (Ontario) and four in Quebec—the electric vehicle chargers were utilized an average of 2.6 times-per-day.
The pair of EV chargers in Notre-Dame-des-Prairies, Que, barely registered one charge-per-day (1.2) compared to nearly four-times (3.7) for Peel’s stations. Based on an average charge time of 38 minutes for Peel’s EV charging locales, the infrastructure sat idle more than 21 hours each day.
The federal program is intended to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, for which transportation accounts for approximately 25 percent of Canada’s annual GHG output, which in 2016 was 704 megatons.
In order for Canada to meet its Paris Agreement commitments, total annual GHG emissions must be brought to 512 mT/year, or 30 percent below 2005 levels.
Norway is heavily involved in the ongoing climate change debate on a national and worldwide level. The Scandinavian country is also on course to drill more oil wells in the future than they ever have in the past.
It is estimated that the country will drill 130 wells this year—16% more than in 2018. According to Rystad Energy, 55 of the wells are meant for drilling for new sources of oil. This is sometimes referred to as “exploration drilling.”
According to Fortune, drilling is expected to take place in the Norwegian Continental Shelf, where much of the oil production occurs in the North Sea.
Rystad analyst Eivind Drabløs, said, “This brings activity levels in line with the record pace last seen in 2013 and 2015 before the effects of the oil price collapse took hold on the drilling market in Norway.”
The agency has also predicted that between now and 2023, there will be around 30 to 50 drills per year for “exploration” purposes.
Consultancy Wood Mackenzie noted in January that there is a “promising year ahead” for North Sea oil exploration with help from raised budgets for the oil companies.
Around the same time, analyst Neivan Boroujerdi wrote, “Norway will be at the heart of the uptick, with drilling expected to reach pre-downturn levels.”
Norway is at the forefront of the green movement, which puts them in an interesting situation. The country has embraced many green technologies though much of their wealth has come from the drilling of oil.
In 1969, Norway began drilling offshore, making the country one of the biggest producers of oil in the world. This brought in a large amount of wealth to the Norwegian people. The oil coming from the North Sea also contributed profit to the U.K.
Many Norwegians are not happy with the oil industry and have been making themselves heard. Some parties such as the Greens and the Socialist Left party have been gaining support as they are against heavy drilling in the industry, while parties supporting the growth have taken a hit.
The political division has been growing in the country as the drilling continues alongside green initiatives and an ever-increasing awareness of the impact drilling is having on the climate.