An Opinion Contributed by Robert Lyman © Sept. 11, 2017
Robert Lyman is an Ottawa energy policy consultant and a former Canadian public servant with 27 years experience in policy roles and with ten years prior experience as a diplomat.
According to an article by Carl Meyer in the September 7, 2017 issue of the National Observer, an environmental lobby group calling itself “Ecojustice” is complaining bitterly about the fact that the federal Bureau of Competition Policy rejected its request to investigate the non-[profit Friends of Science Society for alleged uncompetitive behaviour. In response to a complaint filed by Ecojustice in December 2015, the Bureau launched an investigation in June 2016. In June 2017, the Bureau announced that it had discontinued the investigation. It did not elaborate, saying only that its decision to discontinue was “in order to ensure the effective allocation of limited resources.”
In other words, it did not want to waste its time with bogus allegations.
Ecojustice, however, wanted to put a good face on this result. Throughout the process it posted on its website that the Bureau’s decision to conduct an inquiry was a “victory”.
Now they claim Friends of Science Society is “Off the Hook,” implying Friends of Science Society somehow escaped justice. Nice try.
The Ecojustice application was flawed from the outset, based on the wrong facts and likely the wrong ambit. It presumed that there was a commercial linkage between the energy industry and Friends of Science, it presumed that the major energy companies financially supported Friends of Science, it presumed that anything Friends of Science said and wrote would have advantageous competitive effects on energy companies, and it presumed that it could persuade the Competition Bureau to take its side and thereby silence Friends of Science.
It was wrong on all counts.
It is a shame that the Competition Bureau did not publish the reasons for its decision to reject Ecojustice’s complaint, as it would have been enlightening to see the Bureau spell out in detail how flawed the Ecojustice complaint was and how much a waste of the Bureau’s time it would have been to pursue it. We can surmise, however, that the Bureau reviewed the facts and concluded simply that there was no case worth pursuing.
That alone speaks volumes.
The facts are that the Friends of Science Society is a small non-profit organization founded by a group of retired scientists in 2002 at the time of the Kyoto Accord. They wanted to inject more insight and less propaganda into the public discussion of the hypothesis that humans are causing catastrophic global warming; that the organization they so founded has been active in publishing online, producing videos, holding conferences and occasionally using public advertising to provide the public with better and more balanced information about the scientific, modelling, economic and public policy issues; and that a large and increasing number of Canadians have welcomed this independent and well-informed counter-point to the views generally put forward in the media and by organizations like Ecojustice.
The name Ecojustice, it would seem, is a misnomer. It is not “just” to attempt to silence free speech in Canada. It is not “just” to attempt to use government regulation to suppress others’ views. It is not “just” to support policies like carbon taxes, mandated purchases of high cost solar and wind generation, and intrusive regulations that raise the average family’s costs of living and reduce their choices of how they use energy. In the jurisdictions where these policies have been most applied like Germany, Denmark and Ontario, the result has been hundreds of thousands of people placed into energy poverty. These policy choices make a mockery of justice.
Ecojustice revenues and expenses from Canada Revenue Agency.
Source: Canada Revenue Agency – Ecojustice filing
Perhaps the most bizarre aspect of this attempt by Ecojustice to silence the views of others is that it is a very well funded organization, with plenty of foreign sources of cash to draw upon. Are they so intimidated by the articles and short videos produced by a tiny organization operated by scientist volunteers who are supported by a handful of contracted consultants, on a ~$150,000 a year budget? This paranoia would be hard to explain if the alleged global warming “crisis” were based on sound science and modelling and if the demands to burden Canadians with billions of dollars per year in carbon taxes was credible rather than politically motivated groupthink. The attempted vilification of those who dissent from these positions indicates that the holders of the supposed “consensus” position are in fact threatened by a handful of people speaking the truth.
Ecojustice did not have a real case they could bring against Friends of Science so they made up a story. They are quite proud of the fact that they have a well-known author, Margaret Atwood, on their Honorary Board of Directors. It seems, this time, they had one fiction writer too many.
Friends of Science thank the Competition Bureau for their decision.
We regret the wasted time and public ‘circus’ related to this issue.
Media – please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-789-9597 (ext 1)
The Competition Bureau is a very important federal agency, charged with ensuring fair commercial trade in Canada.
Friends of Science Society has no commercial interests.
More information for the public:
Friends of Science Society questions the public commentary by Ecojustice on the NEB:
Friends of Science Society’s open letter to Margaret Atwood, Vice President of PEN International and honorary board member of Ecojustice:
http://blog.friendsofscience.org/2015/12/10/an-open-letter-to-margaret-atwood-vice-president-pen-international/ (Sent Dec. 10, 2015 – No reply to date Sept. 11, 2017)
Friends of Science Society’s post “An Honest Debate” in response to Ecojustice demands. No response from them. http://blog.friendsofscience.org/2016/05/26/an-honest-debate-on-climate-science-its-time/
Please join the debate.
We welcome your comments and questions:
Our bilingual plain language site:
Feel free to join Friends of Science Society. Become a member and donate to support our efforts to ensure evidence-based science is the driver of public policy on climate and environment.
Our general view on climate science is that the sun is the main direct and indirect driver of climate change. This view does not preclude other human effects.