For the attention of Ambassadors & Permanent Representatives
of Small Island Developing States to the United Nations, New York
and Sr. Antonio Guterres
June 12, 2020
We are deeply concerned about the misrepresentations about the Alberta oil sands of Canada in a recent letter from climate activist Greta Thunberg, co-signed by certain Marshall Island youth activists, and 22 scientists.
First of all, the Small Island Developing States that advocate for climate action should not be passing judgement on other countries of the world regarding the use of fossil fuels. The Marshall Islands is home to the second largest ship registry in the world (RMI). Large container-ships can emit the equivalent of 50 million cars in terms of pollution and the carbon dioxide of 20,000 cars.
It is thus hypocritical for Small Island Developing Nations to claim any moral superiority over other nations when their global presence and finances rely on this fossil fuel-based industry.
Despite the Small Island Nations concern for the impacts of climate change, Dr. John D. Harper, FGSA,FGAC, PGeol., former director of the Geological Survey of Canada, explained in a 2016 interview that small islands are more subject to effects of erosion by the sea than sea level rise from climate change. Research indicates that some small islands are even growing in size. Other islands, like the Maldives, have made significant investments in paving their precious and small land base into airports to encourage tourism. One report indicates that: “Maldives, the most dispersed country on the planet with 1,192 islands spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometres, already has 11 airports, including three international airports.”
Clearly, these nations must have access to these fossil fuel powered industries of international shipping and international aviation/tourism in order to survive economically. Therefore it is hypocritical of such nations to accuse others, like Canada, of not meeting climate targets when only one nation is close to meeting said targets – that being the United States – which pulled out of the Paris Agreement, and the other being the EU (as a body), but at the expense of an ‘industrial massacre’, as stated by Antonio Tajani, former EU industry commissioner, due to high energy prices.
While we don’t expect young people like Greta and her co-signatories to appreciate the complexities of global economics, the adult scientists who signed the letter certainly should.
Robert Lyman is a former Canadian federal public servant of 27 years and was a diplomat for 10 years. He has authored several insightful reports on climate and energy issues. In “Promises vs. Performance: The World’s Largest Emitters since COP-21” it is clear that targets will be missed by virtually all the Paris signatories. Therefore, Canada should not be singled out by Greta and her colleagues. Likewise, in “Futile Folly: Canada’s Climate Policy Goals in the Global Context”, Lyman points out that China emits more in a month than Canada does in an entire year. Indeed, he writes: “Canada’s total emissions represent about three and a half months of China’s emissions growth. If someone one could instantaneously wipe Canada off the map, so that it produced zero emissions forever after, this would have a modest-to-negligible effect on global carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere in 2100, and it would make no difference whatsoever as to whether the IPCC emissions reduction targets (i.e. 1.5 degrees or 2 degrees C.) were met.”
Indeed, Bjorn Lomborg has shown that if all signatories of the Paris Agreement met their targets, global warming would only be reduced by 0.05 degrees Celsius (five one hundredths of a degree), but the costs would be in the trillions of dollars. Surely that money could be better spent on improving the lives of millions of people and adapting as necessary according to changes in climate.
False and Misleading Claims about the Alberta Oil Sands
Greta and co-signatories make false and misleading claims about the Canadian oil and gas industry. They make false claims about subsidies to the Canadian oil and gas industry which are not born out by the evidence from credible authorities like economist Chris Ragan. In an interview with Steve Paikin on TVO, Mr. Ragan stated: “In 2009 and 10 I somehow got assigned to be and labelled as Canada’s expert on the fossil fuel subsidy issue for the G20 discussions because the G20 countries had made a commitment to reduce fossil fuel subsidies. And one of the things that I learned at Finance Canada is that in fact we as a country do not have explicit fossil fuel subsidies.“ (bold emphasis added)
Greta and colleagues do not understand the fact that Export Development Canada offers loans to various industries in Canada, that are to be paid back with interest. This is not a subsidy. Canada does not directly subsidize oil and gas, though during the COVID19 recovery, it may be prudent for the nation to offer substantial support. We advocate for that in our open letter of March 30, 2020 to Prime Minister Trudeau. Industry should be supported particularly in light of the fact that governments have allowed the foreign-funded ENGO-led Tar Sands Campaign to decimate Canada’s excellent reputation world-wide, creating a sense of fear and loathing of this exceptional technological and engineering marvel, where once it was a source of national pride and a driver of about one third of the Canadian economy.
Certainly, if Norway can own 67% of its petroleum company, surely Canada can and should provide simple interim financial support for its oil, gas, and oil sands corporations – particularly as Canada is the coldest, second largest nation on earth.
There would be mass deaths through rapid decarbonization as proposed by Greta and colleagues – and as you will see below, NetZero2050 is unnecessary.
Greta and colleagues attempt to smear Canada regarding oil and gas and Indigenous relations. Canada’s oil and gas sector has been one of the strongest supporters and job creators for Indigenous people in Canada, developing the innovative trades training program with the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) which takes a mobile trades training facility directly to remote communities. Hundreds of successful graduates immediately found work during the oil sands boom.
It should be noted for those who care about social justice, that the oil sands companies are the largest employer of indigenous people in Canada and the National Coalition of Chiefs sees the resource industry as crucial to lifting aboriginal people out of poverty. In fact, leading aboriginal scholars like Calvin Helin decry the damage that ‘eco colonization’ has done and that it is the main obstacle to improved lives for aboriginal people.
Government Ownership of Pipelines
It is hypocritical of Greta and her co-signatories to speak of Canada’s ‘government-owned’ Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) pipeline when the tiny nation of Vanuatu is associated with West Coast Environmental Law, a foreign-funded, Canadian-based activist environmental ‘charity’ which, according to their own documents, ran Kinder Morgan out of Canada and off the TMX project by threatening them with legal risks at several of their AGMs. These legal risks were based on stories of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster. The Exxon Valdez was a single hulled oil tanker with no modern GPS (which was not invented then); today’s tankers are double-hulled and hi-tech. It seems likely that the Canadian government chose to buy the TMX pipeline from Kinder Morgan rather than face legal demands for compensation for the Canadian government allowing the on-going obstruction of the federally approved project by numerous Canadian-based, foreign-funded, foreign-strategized Tar Sands Campaign ENGOs.
Hypocritical Greta et al
Indeed, very hypocritical of Greta and colleagues to speak of ‘government-owned’ oil facilities when Equinor (formerly Statoil) of Norway is 67% owned by the government of Norway, and Sweden’s Lundin Petroleum is part of the Johan Sverdrup play. In fact, it was Lundin Petroleum of Sweden that discovered the Johan Sverdrup field in 2010. But there is no mention of the Swedish oil company in Greta’s letter. Surely Greta and friends should clean up her own backyard before wading into international matters.
Geopolitics and Carbon Offset Activists
Of course, the underlying issue is said to be climate change, but as illustrated above, the letter from Greta et al more appears to be part of a geopolitical trade war against Canada based on misinformation.
Indeed, one of the parties associated with the Tar Sands Campaign is the Citizen’s Climate Lobby group, the executive director of which is on the board of the non-profit foundation of the carbon offset/social media/social engineering firm “We Don’t Have Time” with Greta Thunberg. Citizen’s Climate Lobby (CCL) is dedicated to pushing a price on carbon. Most recently, US climate scientist James Hansen has been advocating on the CCL’s behalf for a Canadian-launched petition demanding that the government impose a $210/t carbon price on citizens by 2030. This suggests serious conflicts of interest from Greta and her colleagues, though we suspect her passion and trusting nature is being exploited. She and her youthful colleagues are likely unaware of these extended connections.
Note: Canadians were already paying a carbon tax equivalent of $192/t in fuel taxes prior to the April 1, 2020 hike, and Canada has some 600 various greenhouse gas reduction regulations and incentive programs. None have been audited for effectiveness. https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2019/06/Lyman-carbontax-1.pdf
James Hansen incited global hatred of the Canadian oil sands by calling this natural resource a ‘carbon bomb’ – which was nothing more than empty rhetoric. Weaver and Swart (2012) found that even if all the oil sands were extracted for use, which would take over a century to accomplish, the cumulative global warming impact would be 0.02 to 0.05 degrees Celsius (two hundredths to five hundredths of a degree Celsius) – probably much less than the impact of all the ships in the Marshall Islands’ marine registry.
Regarding climate change, Friends of Science Society has studied this issue in detail for the past 18 years. We have long held the view that the sun is the main direct and indirect driver of climate change as an external force, dynamically interacting with terrestrial and oceanic forces.
In 2004, numerous scientists in “Vegetation, Water, Humans and the Climate” determined that human activities of agriculture and deforestation were more influential than human industrial carbon dioxide emissions. In 2005, the National Research Council coordinated a review of the theory of the “Radiative Forcing of Climate Change”. This large body of scientists began a search for a new metric for human effect on climate, rather than the radiative forcing theory as it had many uncertainties and no longer explained the evidence. However, in 2006, Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” alarmed the world and inspired investors to get into renewables, low-carbon concepts and carbon trading.
The scientific message of the uncertainties of the carbon dioxide forcing theory did not get out to the public. However, by 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued the AR5 report which clearly stated there had been no statistically significant rise in global warming for the preceding 15 years – before Kyoto was ratified – despite a very substantial rise in human industrial carbon dioxide emissions (CO2).
This led Dr. Judith Curry to state in testimony to the US Senate in 2014 that: “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.”
“Carbon dioxide is not the control knob that can fine tune climate.”Dr. Judith Curry, Jan. 16, 2014, Testimony to US Senate
No Climate Emergency
The view that there is no climate emergency is shared by these climate experts in this NATURE commentary, who called for the IPCC SR1.5 authors to speak out and calm down the frenzied population’s fears of imminent threat, which the media and climate activists like Greta had extrapolated and exaggerated from the IPCC SR1.5 report, saying: “This rise of climate deadline-ism raises a central question about the role of science in politics. Despite good intentions, the rhetoric of a 2030 deadline is the political (mis)use of science for setting an artificial deadline. Although the rhetoric is usually seen by scientists as a misleading interpretation of the IPCC findings, the IPCC and most climate scientists have so far kept silent, thereby implicitly seeming to endorse it. However, given that the IPCC’s SR15 report helped to create the condition for this rhetoric, as the institutional authority for climate science the IPCC should take responsibility for more actively engaging in political conversations around it.”
Indeed, the authors of the NATURE commentary also correctly perceived the unfortunate political and social outcomes that we are witnessing today with demands for sweeping changes to society, an enforced climate lockdown like that of the COVID19, demands for a Green New Deal and centralized Great Depression-style management of the economy or World War II-style industrial focus on wind and solar. Michael Moore’s film “Planet of the Humans” has shown that renewables cannot perform or exist without fossil fuels. Others have demonstrated that 100% renewable goals are not possible with existing technology. Therefore it would seem the fearful public are demanding something that cannot be done, but in their fear and rage, driven by the presumed existential threat, some have resorted to desperate acts that are harmful to themselves or others, or to society at large.
“Pushing hard to meet a deadline may also cause (unintentionally) dangerous political side effects. For example, deadline-ism incubates the political opportunism of declaring a climate emergency. It is no surprise that new political movements calling for the declaration of a climate emergency in parliaments, cities, schools and universities have arisen in the months after the release of the IPCC SR15 (see https://www.theclimatemobilization.org/climate-emergency-campaign ). The rhetoric of emergency emerges from the worldview of millenarianism and its conception of ‘compressed time’ that calls for immediate actions before it is too late. However, regardless of the original intentions, an empty call for emergency actions can be interpreted in myriad ways. In the worst case, the emergency rhetoric could become ‘stolen rhetoric’, used as justification for solar geoengineering and potentially for more authoritarian forms of governance and regulation.”
The “Climate Mobilization” campaign referred to in the link above is the material frequently spouted by Greta Thunberg, claiming “Our House is on Fire”, when this is not the case. The “Climate Mobilization” material was developed by a clinical psychologist, using psychological techniques to scare people into compliance, an immoral aberration of the healing techniques of psychologists. This fact further explains the powerful influence of this apocalyptic material on the unsuspecting public.
In addition to the scientists noted above, who object to climate deadline-ism, more than 800 others who are signatory to CLINTEL – climate intelligence group of The Netherlands say:
• there is no climate emergency,
• natural factors are more influential on climate than human forcings,
• carbon dioxide is not the main driver of climate change, but rather it is the sun and other natural forces and that
• we should address adaptation, rather than impossible mitigation plans like decarbonization/NetZero2050 or
• we must stop impoverishing ordinary people with carbon taxes, renewables subsidies, unaffordable energy – all inherently associated with global cap and trade.
CLINTEL issued a letter to Sr. Antonio Guterres last fall when Greta attended the UN and claimed that we had all stolen her future. That is untrue. Surely a group of more than 800 scientists, scholars and professionals have a clearer view of climate, energy, and economic policies than a young woman frightened by the musings of a clinical psychologist.
“Material Change” in the role of human industrial carbon dioxide on climate has not been picked up by the banking, insurance, and investment communities. The public is being greenwashed.
Much of the climate industrial complex relies entirely on the premise that carbon dioxide is a tradeable commodity. In fact, this industry entails ‘the lack of delivery of an invisible substance to no one.’ This is an important material change that global bankers and investors should have noted in their offerings of stocks and bonds, but in 2014, two ‘green billionaires’ reportedly promoted the most alarming but least likely climate model scenario, known as the RCP 8.5, in a publication entitled “Risky Business”. This appears to be at the heart of Mark Carney’s view of climate, and that of many investors and major businesses, but it does not reflect reality. This catastrophic view became embedded in scholarly publications, insurance company references, institutional investor directives, and media reports. Roger Pielke, Jr. and Justin Ritchie have studied the “Systemic Misuse of Scenarios in Climate Research and Assessment”.
These revelations suggest serious conflicts of interest between certain parties and the Task Force on Climate Related Disclosures.
CDP Worldwide and UNPRI Skew Investment Markets with Misinformation on the Oil Sands and CO2
The letter by Greta to the UN and the Small Island Developing States is another misinformed, international attack on the Alberta oil sands and part of a geopolitical trade war against Alberta, in this case, apparently led by someone representing the oil competitor nations of Sweden and Norway. Perhaps the intent of the letter is also to force global carbon prices higher or to institute a global carbon tax law – something that several of the signatory scientists to Greta’s letter have advocated for over the years. We believe a Global Carbon Tax Law is a Road to Ruin.
Read our report: Faulty Premises = Poor Public Policy on Climate
For the past decade or more, investment markets have been skewed against the Alberta oil sands by the Rockefeller CDP Worldwide reports, a transnational body that has no government authority of any kind and no due process; a body that creates ‘black and white’ lists of corporations and cities, upon which trillions of dollars of investment decisions are made based on the faulty premise of a climate emergency. The UNPRI, a body of some ~1,000 institutional investors with ~$90 trillion in assets under management, rely on CDP reports to direct their ‘sustainable’ investments. Thus in 2016, the CDP report “In the Pipeline” seriously damaged investor interest in the Alberta oil sands, coincidentally driven by the hateful hype of the international Tar Sands Campaign. It appears that much of this activity is related in some way to the ClimateWorks push for global cap and trade.
The Calgary Declaration
Just as tiny islands have attempted to sway global politics with things like the SUVA Declaration, so our organization also speaks up with our Calgary Declaration. The preamble states:
We believe that every nation has its challenges and Canada’s are not being heard. In particular, our unique climate and weather conditions do not permit our country to reduce or eliminate fossil fuel use without causing death. Current #ParisAgreement greenhouse gas reduction targets for Canada are unattainable without causing the destruction of Canada. This is contrary to the fundamental principles of the UN Charter – Article 2.1 which guarantees equal sovereignty and Article 55 which promotes economic development, full employment and higher standards of living.
In Closing – Reject Climate Change Hysteria and Stop the Denigration of Alberta and Canada
We are not interested in the further destruction of the economy and reputation of Alberta or Canada and we ask that you reject the hypocritical misinformation presented by Ms. Thunberg and her collection of signatories related to the Alberta oil sands. The oil sands are a great natural resource like any other; Canada’s scientists and engineers have met world class environmental standards in oil sands development and established innovative new technologies.
We also do not want our children going to bed afraid of the end of the world or feeling rage against their parents and grandparents for the false claim that we have imperiled their existence through the use of oil, natural gas and coal. Nothing could be further from the truth. Climate change is real and mostly natural. We do have time. Let our children enjoy it!
We are not commenting for or against any country’s participation on the UN Security Council. We are demanding a stop to the Tar Sands Campaign against Alberta and Canada.
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About Friends of Science Society
Friends of Science Society is an independent group of earth, atmospheric and solar scientists, engineers, and citizens that is celebrating its 18th year of offering climate science insights. After a thorough review of a broad spectrum of literature on climate change, Friends of Science Society has concluded that the sun is the main driver of climate change, not carbon dioxide (CO2). Friends of Science Society does not represent any industry or government agency; we are funded by our member/subscribers and operate as a mostly volunteer-run non-profit. Friends of Science Society is not a charity and cannot issue receipts for donations.