Yesterday, Carl Meyer, a reporter for the National Observer, was kind enough to contact us to ask for a comment on the Aug. 25, 2017 blog post by Ecojustice lawyer, Charles Hatt, about the fact that the Competition Bureau had discontinued its inquiry into Friends of Science Society.  We sent a reply to Mr. Meyer, but likely missed his press deadline for the story published by the National Observer on Sept. 07, 2017.   Here is our response to his inquiry, with the addition of one reference to Mr. Meyer’s statement in his article about our alleged relationship to Peabody Coal. 


Dear Mr. Meyer,

Thank you for the courtesy of asking us for a response.

Regarding Mr. Hatt’s blog posting, these are our opinions on the matter:

  1. Ecojustice asked for an honest debate. We provided one. [1] They never responded.
  2. The Competition Bureau is a very important enforcement agency. We regret that any of their time had to be wasted on this matter.  We are not a commercial entity, we do not have federal lobbyists, we are not tax-subsized as environmental charities are, we do not represent any industry. We only present the professional insights and expertise of our core team and represent the views of our individual members (not corporations). The typical process for Competition Bureau inquiries is confidential; Ecojustice appeared to use this call for inquiry to grandstand.  They then proceeded to use this ‘cause’ as a means of raising funds. This seems contrary to the intent of the Competition Bureau and Competition Act.
  3. Mr. Hatt and his colleagues are lawyers, apparently very good ones because they have managed to block pipeline development claiming that we need to ‘keep fossil fuels in the ground.’  However, they do not appear to understand that all their ‘clean energy’ solutions are only possible with fossil fuels.  We did a video rebutting Mr. Hatt’s earlier “False Choice Café” on this very topic. https://youtu.be/TVJZdJZ6PwQ  We promote common sense and evidence on this issue.
  4. As Blair King @AChemistinLangley pointed out in his “Thought Experiment,” [2] modern society would collapse into anarchy within days without Fossil Fuels.  Thus, it appears that Ecojustice is presenting false and misleading information that puts society at risk.  Maybe someone should complain. Perhaps to the Canada Revenue Agency which has granted Ecojustice the status of being a federally registered charity on the basis of providing a ‘net public benefit.’ [3] For this status, charities are required to provide fair and balanced information. We don’t think they are doing that – especially in regard to the NEB- National Energy Board. [4] It is hard to see what the alleged ‘benefit’ of Ecojustice’ actions are when Canada’s economic strength is being damaged, investors are being scared off and hundreds of thousands of workers are jobless, thanks to pipeline “Blockadia” – driven by Ecojustice and groups like them.
  5. Mr. Hatt claims: “Canada and the world must decisively break away from fossil fuels to alternative energy sources that do not pollute our atmosphere with dangerous levels of greenhouse gases.”  There are no alternative energy sources that do not pollute or that do not require fossil fuels to exist. Wind and solar require 24/7 back-up by conventional power sources. In most places, this is thermal (coal, natural gas, oil).  Wind and solar devices are typically produced in developing nations with NO environmental controls, resulting in the worst climate injustice – people’s lives and regions are literally poisoned and they have no recourse. [5] [6] [7]  Wind and solar are niche markets for “Big Oil” and are generally attached to natural gas plant developments because their rapid spikes and slumps drive the peaking plants, generating the best incomes for natural gas plant utility companies. [8] [9]
  6. Mr. Hatt claims that there is a consensus on climate change and refers to the NASA website.  We have asked NASA to update this section. [10] [11] Our study shows the claimed 97% consensus to be nothing more than a social proof, [12] illustrated in the Asch Conformity Experiment. [13]
  7. We dispute Mr. Hatt’s statement: “It is crucial for every government agency to use its authority to facilitate the shift to a low-carbon economy to mitigate climate change.” 
  8. a)First, government agencies should serve the needs and interests of the electorate.  Therefore, people who work for the government are known as ‘public servants.’ Public servants should rely on facts, evidence and cost-benefit analysis.  Their authority should never be misapplied to foist unsuitable forms of energy systems on Canadians who live in one of the most extreme climates of the world.

b)Secondly, presently there is no such thing as a ‘low-carbon economy’ because everything in the modern world is made from or powered by fossil fuels – even hydro dams, nuclear facilities and geothermal require fossil fuels to create the power plant. This is explained in our report: “Grounded in Reality: Challenging Smart Prosperity on Clean Tech.” [14]

c)Thirdly, climate change is mostly driven by natural factors and might only be marginally mitigated by the Paris Agreement.  Robert Lyman, former public servant of 27 years and 10 years a diplomat prior to that explains this in “Just the Facts.” [15]  Judith Curry, atmospheric scientist explains that natural factors ‘will be sources of unpredictable climate surprises:

“Motivated by the precautionary principle to avoid dangerous anthropogenic climate change, attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be futile. The stagnation in greenhouse warming observed over the past 15+ years demonstrates that CO2 is not a control knob on climate variability on decadal time scales. Even if CO2 mitigation strategies are successful and climate model projections are correct, an impact on the climate would not be expected for a number of decades owing to the long lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere and thermal inertia driven by the ocean (AR5 WG1 FAQ 12.3); solar variability, volcanic eruptions and natural internal climate variability will continue to be sources of unpredictable climate surprises.” [16]

d)Fourthly, despite claiming humans caused most of the recent warming, the IPCC, perhaps inadvertently, revealed in its 2013 AR5 report that climate change was mostly due to natural factors.  This is explained by Dr. John Christy’s presentation to the US Senate. (see esp. pg 9, simplified graph) [17]  And how much warming have humans caused? [18] Not much.

e)Finally, the Paris Agreement targets are unattainable and if attempted, would lead to the complete destruction of the Canadian economy, as explained by Robert Lyman in this post [19] and video. [20]  This is contrary to the UN Charter’s explicit principles:

Article 2

The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.

  1. The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members. [21]

Article 55

With a view to the creation of conditions of stability and well-being which are necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, the United Nations shall promote:

  1. higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development;[22]

Considering the foregoing, it appears that Ecojustice is misleading the public on climate change and a low carbon economy, and blocking pipelines for no reason.  Looks like it is Ecojustice and the many other alleged ‘environmental charities’ in Canada and the world who are misleading the public in the way the tobacco industry used to do – by claiming benefits when there is nothing but risk.

Regarding the persistent ‘tobacco analogy’ to the use of fossil fuels – one should consider the fact that the choice to smoke a cigarette lies entirely with the individual.  However, the choice to use fossil fuel energy or spin-off products is also yours – it’s just that you will have to go and live in the woods, by a river, and make all your tools yourself, grow your own vegetables, perform your own surgery, weave your own cloth, and you won’t have Netflix, youtube, Google or a car or truck to help you out.

The benefit of fossil fuels in your daily life is discussed in our report “Keep Canada in the Black” which was a rebuttal to Ecojustice and the “Green Budget Coalition” of some 19 anti-oil “environmental” charities and groups who tried to mislead the public on ‘clean’ energy and ‘fossil fuel subsidies.’ [23]

Friends of Science Society represents our members, who are scientists, Professional Engineers, economists, and business people – thus we represent the interests of society.  For 15 years we have reviewed climate science literature, hosted expert speakers on climate science and policy topics and we issue regular briefs on climate science news from around the world, and recent climate science findings.

These are our opinions, protected by the Charter of Rights. [24]

ADDED: Mr. Meyer, in response to your statement in the National Observer article of Sept. 07, 2017 regarding Peabody Coal, Friends of Science Society’s email came up in the procedural cull of all business contact emails, as explained to us by the bankruptcy trustee.  Each party in a corporation’s email is contacted to see if they are creditors. We were not.  Our email was in the Peabody system because we had sent the company a copy of our rebuttal to a Greenpeace letter. We got their name by simply using the same list Greenpeace had set up. People can search the KCC bankruptcy creditor administration files themselves and see if we are in the system as a creditor.

Sincerely,

Michelle Stirling

Communications Manager

[1] http://blog.friendsofscience.org/2016/05/26/an-honest-debate-on-climate-science-its-time/

[2] https://achemistinlangley.wordpress.com/2016/08/03/the-husky-oil-spill-its-effects-on-the-pipeline-debate-and-a-thought-experiment-about-a-world-without-fossil-fuels/

[3] https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/charities-giving/charities/policies-guidance/policy-statement-024-guidelines-registering-a-charity-meeting-public-benefit-test.html#N102AF

[4] https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/08/25/ecojustice-competition-bureau-inquiry-the-competition-bureau-has-discontinued-the-inquiry-into-friends-of-science-society-that-ecojustice-publicly-called-for-on-dec-3-2015/

[5] http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5650

[6] http://business.financialpost.com/commodities/energy/solar-panel-makers-grapple-with-hazardous-waste-problem

[7] http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/big-winds-dirty-little-secret-rare-earth-minerals/

[8] http://energypost.eu/wind-solars-achilles-heel-methane-meltdown-porter-ranch-means-energy-transition/

[9] http://iveybusinessreview.ca/blogs/acornhillhba2013/2013/09/23/peaking-plants-will-provide-a-jolt-to-transaltas-flagging-performance/

[10] http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/03/prweb12556265.htm

[11] http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/06/prweb14386652.htm

[12] https://friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/97_Consensus_Myth.pdf

[13] https://youtu.be/NyDDyT1lDhA

[14] https://friendsofsciencecalgary.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/grounded-in-reality-may-03-2017-final.pdf

[15] http://blog.friendsofscience.org/?s=just+the+facts

[16] https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/curry-senatetestimony-2014-final.pdf

[17] https://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HHRG-115-SY-WState-JChristy-20170329.pdf

[18] Human Influence on Climate since 1950: The temperature change from 1951 to 2010 was 0.61 ºC using the annual data, and 0.50 ºC using the five-year average. The five-year average temperature change appears to be more representative. Therefore, the >50% of the warming as per HadCRUT4.5 means > 0.25 ºC.
However, recognize that this includes the effects of urban warming. If we take McKitrick and Michaels calculated urban warming of 0.042 ºC/decade and assume that the urban heat island effect (UHIE) is proportional to the logarithm of population, the urban warming effect from 1951 to 2010 was 0.26 ºC.  The global warming net of the UHIE from 1951 to 2010 was 0.50 – 0.26 = 0.24 ºC.  Considering the UHIE contamination of the HadCRUT4.5 dataset, >50% of the warming from 1951 to 2010 as per HadCRUT4.5 corrected for UHIE means >0.12 ºC, a nominal amount driven by many human factors, not just carbon dioxide or GHGs.

[19] http://blog.friendsofscience.org/2017/05/10/can-canada-survive-climate-change-policy/

[20] https://youtu.be/acjGXJvgTBs Full video.

Short overview: https://youtu.be/ByARMnv59pQ

[21] http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-i/index.html

[22] http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-ix/index.html

[23] http://blog.friendsofscience.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/a-business-review-of-green-budget-2016-final-mar-11-2016.pdf

[24] http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-15.html

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