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Minister Jonathan Wilkinson’s Call for an Adult Debate on Environmental and Climate Change Policy in Canada-Open Letter

Aug. 2, 2021
Open Letter to the Competition Bureau, Canada Revenue Agency, Parliamentary Budget Officer, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Canadian Association of Journalists, National News Media Council, CRTC, Canadian Chambers of Commerce, Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses, Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, and Canadian Securities Commissions, Canadian Senate, Bank of Canada

RE: Minister Jonathan Wilkinson’s April 15, 2021, call for an adult debate on environmental and climate change policy in Canada

PDF VERSION

  1. Introduction – Urgent Need for an “Adult Debate”
    We agree with Minister Wilkinson’s statement that “We are long overdue for an adult debate on environmental policy in this country…” which he stated as part of his critique of the Official Opposition’s climate plan. That adult debate must be generated by both informed citizens and by scientists who hold rational, dissenting views on the “Climate Emergency” claims, and who can provide the science to support the reason for their dissent. Before Canada goes any further with climate policies, we must have open, civil debate, full cost-benefit analysis, and open media coverage of opposing views. Recent publications and peer-reviewed papers in climate science show that:
    a) Climate computer models (simulations) relied upon as the basis for setting public policy (like carbon taxes) are deeply flawed and predict far too much warming; the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) relies on about 100 models run under the new Coupled Model Intercomparison Project’s CMIP6. About half of the models ran too hot because of a change in cloud algorithms, far hotter than in previous models CMIPs 1-5. This presents the climate modeling community and IPCC with a dilemma. Either the models have been wrong for 40 years or they are wrong now. The Science article says they are wrong now. What the IPCC says remains to be seen. The community may well split over this. In 2014, at Friends of Science Society’s 11th Annual Event, Prof. Ross McKitrick explained then that the climate models were running far hotter than observed temperatures by 2-3 times. Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) are the economic models that are calibrated to climate models – and this is how climate policies like carbon taxes are set – meaning present Canadian carbon taxes are also ‘too hot’ and set far too high.

Regarding recent news of the new model failures: “It’s become clear over the last year or so that we can’t avoid this admission”, Gavin Schmidt – director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies – told the renowned journal Science. Schmidt also said: “You end up with numbers for even the near-term that are insanely scary—and wrong.”

The Canadian model runs are from the tax funded Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis. This model runs the hottest of all models and have done so for a long time, as detailed in this commentary and analysis by Ken Gregory, P. Eng. Failure of analysis of this extent in the private sector would be cause for closure of the department or operation.

b) Climate scientists have been relying on outdated data, using the most implausible climate scenario (known as RCP 8.5) as if “business-as-usual” when it is not, and misusing these scenarios as if they are optional ‘pathways’ when they are not and are not meant to be compared. Thus, there is no ‘climate emergency’ – the ‘emergency’ is only seen in this implausible scenario; Climate sensitivity (warming effect) of carbon dioxide has been greatly over-estimated; the inherent benefits of nominal warming and the fertilization effects of carbon dioxide have not been accounted for against alleged costs of climate change;

c) The financial, investment, and banking communities are relying on and promoting scenarios and information based on the implausible scenario of RCP 8.5, aka “Risky Business”, thus compromising investment in necessary energy infrastructure and resources while diverting funds to unreliable wind and solar which cannot support basic society in terms of Energy Return on Energy Invested. Climate models are not robust enough to provide climate risk information suitable for business risk assessment.

d) Claims of increasing extreme weather events as a reason to phase-out the use of oil, natural gas and coal are not supported by the evidence. The ‘heat dome’ in BC, that resulted in at least 770 people dying, was a known, but rare, meteorological phenomenon, explained by Prof. Cliff Mass, world expert on Pacific Northwest climate and weather patterns. Wildfires in British Columbia are exacerbated by forests at life cycle end and deadwood from pine beetle infestation. Both of these serious risks have been forewarned about for many years, but almost nothing practical has been done to address the matter. Instead, billions have been spent on ‘climate mitigation’ and related grants – when, for a few hundred million, deadwood could have been cleared in critical areas near populations, and for urban heat events, cooling centers could have been built or set up in modified community buildings. Lytton, unfortunately, is in a high risk fire location. There is an ongoing investigation into possible arson. On average 42% of BC wildfires are caused by humans; last year 59%. It is unclear if FireSmart guidelines had been adopted by the community; it has burned down before in similar circumstances. These many tragic losses are not due to climate change, but a combination of human-wildland interface and lack of advance adaptive/mitigative action. It is not possible or necessary to “climate proof” Canada through greenwashing on reducing emissions; we will just have to adapt, as humankind has successfully done for centuries. There are no extreme weather trends, as noted by Roger Pielke, Jr., an consultant to insurers. As Parker Gallant notes, his insurance company raised rates claiming increase climate disasters, none of which exist in fact; TD bank that owns the company crowed about increased profits and reduced insurance claims in its quarterly report. “Costs of climate change” has become a convenient consumer con.

e) Based on global carbon offset prices of between $3-5 dollars, Canadians are presently paying a $40/t carbon tax that is 10 times the market value, which is disadvantaging enterprise and oppressing and impoverishing the middle class. If, as noted above, the warming effect of carbon dioxide is nominal and an implausible future climate scenario has been used, giving a false image of a climate emergency, then there is no need for a carbon tax or climate accountability laws;

f) Post-COVID, it is unclear how Canada can meet Paris targets without destroying the Canadian economy, nor do we have the financial resources to contribute several billion/year to the $100 billion dollar a year Green Climate Fund, which was set up to bribe developing nations into the Paris Agreement. China and India have already demanded that the West “pay up” and the West has not been able to. As of August 2017, only $9.6 million had been raised for the Green Climate Fund – a far cry from $100 billion/year.

  1. Recent Expert Testimony to the House of Commons Committee on Industry, Science and Technology
    One of our main policy contributors, Robert Lyman, presented the following brief to the House of Commons Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. He testified before the committee on May 11, 2021. Robert Lyman was a public servant for 27 years and a diplomat for 10 years, working on issues related to climate change policy, greenhouse gas emissions targets and their implications.

French:

LA PLACE DE L’ÉNERGIE VERTE DANS LA REPRISE ÉCONOMIQUE DU CANADA APRÈS LA PANDÉMIE

English:

THE ROLE OF GREEN ENERGY IN CANADA’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY FROM THE PANDEMIC

In his brief, Robert Lyman references an analysis by Prof. Ross McKitrick:
Policy discussions in Canada, at least since the days of the Kyoto Protocol, have looked at the costs of reducing our total national emissions by some 10 to 30 per cent depending on the base year. At present this would amount to a reduction of about 0.01 to 0.03 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, which, if achieved, would eventually reduce the rate of increase in the global CO2 concentration by about 0.01 parts per million (ppm) per year, 17 orders of magnitude smaller than the natural monthly fluctuations in the global record, and hence on a scale that for all practical purposes would have no discernable global effects. Complete cessation of all Canadian CO2 emissions would reduce the global concentration by only about three ppm over the next 100 years.” (bold emphasis added)

What are the costs and benefits of the policies and programs to reduce emissions through support for “green energy” and electrification of the economy?

Efforts to increase electricity production from renewables are especially puzzling in Canada, where eighty-two per cent of current electricity generation is already from sources that do not produce greenhouse gases, one of the highest rates in the world.

  1. No Sign of Carbon Dioxide Driven Warming in Canadian Climate Records
    We appeal to all parties named in this Open Letter to ensure that you open up this debate and that you call for full cost-benefit analysis of proposed policies like those of “NetZero2050”. The demand for a NetZero future is based on the theory that greenhouse gases from human industrial activity, principally carbon dioxide (CO2), is driving global warming in a potentially catastrophic way.
    The temperature record in Canada does not show signs of a climate emergency, certainly nothing driven by carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere.

Source: “The Sun Also Warms” 2019 Friends of Science Society Annual Event https://youtu.be/KazGXAqgkds

  1. Faulty Climate Models Mislead Policymakers

The major goal of Friends of Science Society is to provide insights on climate science and related energy projects. The evidence shows the public that the theory of warming claimed to be caused by increasing greenhouse gases as quantified by climate models and incorporated into the IPCC reports is grossly exaggerated.

The most important issue is that the climate emergency narrative is based on climate models (computer simulations). These simulations exaggerate the global short-term warming by a factor of two, and long-term warming by a factor of three. We know this by comparing the observed temperatures versus the projections of the models (see graph below of Global Sea Surface Temperatures, 1979-2021). The main reason is that climate modellers ignore natural climate variability which is driven mainly by the Sun. The models also warm the atmosphere above the tropics by up to four times the rate of the measurements by weather balloons, which is very strong evidence that the models are wrong.

Two other issues are that:
• about half the recent warming over land as measured by weather stations is caused by urban warming (i.e., the retained warmth over cities, generated by human activity, heat exhaust from buildings, vehicle heat exhaust, and heat absorption/reflection by dark pavement and buildings). This warming is not caused by greenhouse gases.
• the social benefits of warming and CO2 fertilization are much larger that the costs of warming. For cold nations like Canada, warming is extremely beneficial in terms of reduced winter heating costs and improved summer growing days. These benefits are excluded from cost-benefit evaluations and the alleged costs of warming are exaggerated in economic models, because economic models (Integrated Assessment Models – IAMs) are calibrated to the faulty climate models which exaggerate warming by two or three times.

  1. The Paris Agreement 1.5°Celsius or 2°Celsius Targets are Unscientific
    The 2 degree C Paris target and the prospect of an impending Climate Emergency is not supported by the scientific studies used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which is often referenced by Climate Alarmists. The IPCC itself is clear that no long-term prediction of climate can be made, due to the ‘coupled non-linear chaotic system’. Therefore, claims of a climate emergency are not founded in science, but rather speculation.

The 2 degree C Paris Target is a figure that was arbitrarily set by William Nordhaus some 40 years ago. In his more recent works, he shows that temperatures could go to 3.5 degrees Celsius with less economic harm than throwing money at ‘green’ projects.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/world/2018-02-08/two-degree-delusion
  1. Undue Influence on Markets and the Media by Activist Institutional Investors leads to Greenwashing the Public
    How can the Charter Right of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press be observed when activist investors are telling media outlets and banks wherein, they have investments, that they must support the Paris Agreement, the 2 degree C target and the work of groups like Ecofiscal Commission (which has now morphed into Canadian Institution for Climate Choices – a body funded by the federal government for some $21 million, and which has no dissenting views whatsoever represented within the group)?

Even the Ad Standards Council is fraught with representatives that are deeply entrenched in climate change ideology, with, for example, VISA having a direct association with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UNFCCC’s political definition of climate change is not supported by the scientific evidence, nor is it a scientific definition. The public are being greenwashed and there is no recourse for open, civil debate. So it is good and right that Minister Wilkinson has recognized this and made the right call for an ‘adult debate’.

How can economically sound decisions be made when the media is flooded with hyped up stories of how renewables are set to take over from oil and gas as prime energy, when the evidence does not support this claim at all? “What Energy Transition?” discusses the evidence.

There is no conceivable likelihood that any country can reach ‘NetZero 2050” without the development of some presently nonexistent, magical technology – which, even if invented, could take 70-100 years to transition into society. Robert Lyman outlines these issues in “Magical Thinking – Why NetZero is Neither Possible nor Desirable”.

The push for NetZero is driving essentially fraudulent capital markets because the proposed replacements – wind and solar – do not displace fossil fuel use to any great degree. Wind and solar impose high costs on the rest of the electrical grid, making them uneconomic, both in terms of the cost of the electricity they provide and the claimed environmental benefit of reduced carbon dioxide emissions.
A thorough quantitative analysis of wind and solar energy, such as our new report “What You Really Need to Know About Renewables (That Pembina Institute Won’t Tell You)” shows that society cannot reliably replace conventional forms of power generation with wind and solar; and climate activist claims that battery storage or complete electrification to replace natural gas are simply dangerous, energy illiteracy.

The costs of proposed policies and the cost-benefits are not being presented to the public and the market dominance of federally funded media or institutional investor-directed media and banks mean there is no forum for full analysis. The public and markets are being greenwashed and this is carried out, to a large degree, by tax-subsidized Environmental Non-governmental Organizations (ENGOs). As shown in the film “Global Warning”* by Mathew Embry, ENGOs appear to have very favorable access to government officials via lobbying and at major climate events. (* https://www.globalwarningdocumentary.com/en/?utm_source=friendsofscience Sponsored Content. This link provides a paid viewing option, of which Friends of Science Society will receive a small fee)

When climate activists are shown that carbon dioxide is not long-lived in the atmosphere, by a scientist in the laboratory, they continue to spew climate emergency claims. Federally registered charities have a requirement to provide a “net benefit” to the public. What is the ‘net benefit’ of the destruction of our major energy export industries in a way that only assists competitor nations to sell more oil? How can this charade go on? Many of the climate activist organizations have received or still receive foreign funding which has been shown, in some cases, to directly impact Canadian energy policies to the negative.

The tax subsidized ENGOs have tremendous social media presence, have billions in funding, some of which is showered upon them by governments at all levels, and they seem to have excellent media cachet. Some evidence suggests that many are funded proxies for various green corporate plans – which we understand is forbidden by the Competition Act and by the Charities Directorate Guidelines.
It is alarming to read that the tax subsidized McConnell Foundation provided significant funding to a group of about a dozen of the largest ENGOs in Canada, known as the Strathmere Alliance/Strathmere Group.
From: https://mcconnellfoundation.ca/grant/equiterre-strathmere-group/

https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/06/04/04greenwire-us-canadian-groups-gear-up-to-halt-oil-sands-d-53217.html

It is equally concerning that the tax subsidized McConnell Foundation gave a grant of $10 million to one of the world’s largest companies – BlackRock. What is the net public benefit to Canadians?

In addition to this, the McConnell funded Strathmere Group appears to have tremendous influence in the media and on political framing of messaging for elections. As noted in the grant information above, the Strathmere Group “have over 358,000 members, 420 staff and annual budgets totaling over $50 million.”

According to Boothroyd Communications:
Strathmere Group (Greenpeace, Pembina Institute, WWF-Canada et al): In 2014, we planned and facilitated the Toronto skills-building workshop Campaigns and Communications 2014, where directors from Canada’s 12 leading environmental organizations learned from leading market researchers, journalists and organizers, and agreed to work on shared frames and messages in advance of the 2015 federal election.”

This suggests the media are accepting the framing of issues from ENGOs in advance of an election period. Consequently, there is little to no public debate on climate change or energy policies.

Prior to Minister Wilkinson’s call for an adult debate, any dissenting scientist would not be given a platform in the media and would be mobbed by the tax-subsidized climate crowd that is putting forward unattainable, ideological proposals for climate and energy policies. Without Minister Wilkinson’s call for an adult debate on climate and environment, like Minister Guilbeault’s now halted Bill C-10 plan to censor the internet, and Bill C-36, which may expand risks of fines or deplatforming of dissenting scientists/citizens who reject the federal government’s ‘party line’ on climate change, will further destroy open, public debate on these important issues.

The current situation contravenes all common sense, all best business practices, all tenets of democracy, all principles of parliamentary procedure, and therefore we are ecstatic that Minister Wilkinson has called for an adult debate on environmental policy in Canada.

We ask you, as various bodies charged with protecting consumers, rights and freedoms, fair reporting, and fair market dealings, to require the tax-subsidized media to open the access to dissenting scientists, like those in our group or those signatory to the CLINTEL World Climate Declaration, so that there can be full, free, and open debate on the topic of climate and environmental policies. This requirement to equitably reflect the views of all Canadians is already part of the Journalistic Standards of most broadcasters and news publishers but is not followed by many.

It is our view that the federal government climate plan “A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy” will impose “A Cruel and Unusual Punishment” on Canadians, as will Bill C-12 and the push for a NetZero2050 society.

We demand that these plans be halted until proper debate can be heard in the public forum, in the taxpayer funded media, and in the marketplace, without restriction and without bullying.

We believe that the role dominance of institutional investors directing media outlets or banks to promote the Paris Agreement contravenes the Competition Act. As Roger Pielke, Jr. and Justin Ritchie have shown, climate emergency claims are based on outdated science and the misuse of an implausible scenario known as RCP8.5.

It is crucial that Canadian media and markets reflect these findings and that the adult debate on climate change policies and a full cost-benefit analysis begin immediately – an adult debate, absent Greta Thunberg, absent the child proxies of climate activist parents pushing them into courts of law, and absent childish bullying.

We are surprised that it is Minister Wilkinson calling for this adult debate and are pleased that he has seen the light.

To kickstart this debate, we have made our recent online events free to the public. Learn from Donna Laframboise, investigative journalist and a former VP of the Cdn Civil Liberties Association, how “Climate Activists are Undermining Your Freedoms” and from NASA Award-winning scientist, Dr. Roy Spencer, “The Main Reasons Why There is No Climate Emergency”.

We look forward to prolific media reports and fulsome debate from their information.

We hope recipients of this letter will take appropriate steps to encourage the adult debate required to achieve sound public policy on climate and energy issues for the net public benefit of Canadians.

Sincerely,
Friends of Science Society

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3 Comments

  1. Tom Farrier

    anyone else note PM Trudeau went all in on spending … in his climate change policy but not one dime was spent on infrastructure, particularly on growing (let along mentioning) an electrical grid to support commitment of Canada to electric powered vehicles (including financing an EV production plant for GM). It has been estimated scientifically that electrical needs will double in an EV society, which means Terawatts more power will be needed in Canada. Trudeau did commit to a $28 million pilot plant producing biofuel additives to jet fuel … with no mention of the amount of land needed for production of the world’s largest consumer of agricultural land.

  2. Stephen Edwards

    Dominating the debate on energy is an important step towards dominating the control of energy. Will it be Trudeau and his communist inspired globalists or will we be able to maintain a reasonably free market? Those who advocate “New energy” are packaging what they have to sell in a way that gets their politicians elected and their regulations and laws put in place.

  3. robert cochrane

    You mean the guy that said he was going to talk to Biden about banning gasoline? That kind of adult conversation? Is there a more flea-brained line of thought covering climate change, energy … etc? Hybrid cars have proven to be far more efficient and with a smaller environmental footprint than EV’s … EV’s are the hair brained idea from his boss, who just can’t subsidize enough “green energy”, which the Germans proved is not be sustainable, even with subsidies (so they dropped the subsidies!)

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