An Open Letter to Mayor Jyoti Gondek and Calgary City Council; Child Indoctrination & Errors in Climate Risk Assessment

January 18, 2024

An Open Letter to Mayor Jyoti Gondek and Calgary City Council

Cc: Premier Danielle Smith

Hon. Ric McIver, Minister of Municipal Affairs

Hon. Minister Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Education

Common Sense Calgary

Kris Sims – Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Dear Mayor Gondek and Council,

RE: City of Calgary tax dollars must not fund child indoctrination on climate change; Significant Errors in Climate Risk Assessment Report Issued Jan 11, 2024

PDF of letter

We have been reviewing recent climate change reports issued by the City of Calgary.

It is alarming to find that the City of Calgary plans to spend tax dollars to indoctrinate children on climate change, when we do not believe this to be in the City’s mandate, this is a misuse of tax dollars; Alberta already has a very substantial education budget and we have seen children and teachers actively participating at Calgary City Hall for the Greta Thunberg inspired #ClimateStrikes on Fridays.

In the City of Calgary 2023-2026 Climate Implementation Plan, on page 25 of the plan, it is alarming to see that the City of Calgary is engaging in a purposeful behavioral modification program, working with unscientific activist organizations which primarily use emotional pleas and threats to motivate people, not reasoned, scientific debate.

Schools should be teaching pure science, not propaganda.  Taxpayers who are struggling with the rise in city taxes should be outraged that they are paying for propaganda, not practical city services that they need (or enjoying a reduction in their taxes if such wasteful spending was eliminated).

Our children must be taught critical thinking, not indoctrinated into a fearful, victim view of our natural world.

The City of Calgary – indeed all cities, especially those in industrialized nations – has dozens of practical climate adaptations that are so helpful people do not even notice them anymore, but it makes it possible for us to live in this climate.  Simple examples are paved roads, pumped water and sanitation, and the heating and lighting infrastructure that kept all of us from freezing in the dark during the recent polar vortex.  People do not understand how the power grid works.  The City of Calgary in its climate implementation plan advocates for retrofitting buildings with renewable energy.  This is obviously unnecessary and unworkable based on recent experience in a Polar Vortex.  But activists within the City of Calgary or its imagineCalgary cohort of citizen lobby groups keep making unrealistic demands to go to 100% renewable when this would be deadly.

Significant Errors in Climate Risk Assessment Report Issued Jan 11, 2024

As with the aforementioned City of Calgary 2023-2026 Climate Implementation Plan in the “Climate Risk Assessment Framework and Process Guide – v4” which was issued January 11, 2024, there are glaring errors. 

Both reports have used the impossible scenario known as RCP 8.5 (Representative Concentration Pathways – a computer simulation that uses different parameters to evaluate the warming effect of carbon dioxide). (See graph on next page for the RCP scenarios) As Dr. Judith Curry pointed out in testimony to the US Senate on March 23, 2023 “Climate crisis isn’t what it used to be.”

The “climate crisis” isn’t what it used to be. Circa 2013 with publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), the extreme emissions scenario RCP8.5 was regarded as a baseline business-as-usual emissions scenario, with expected warming of 4 to 5 oC (7 to 9 oF) by 2100.

Now, there is general acceptance that the RCP8.5 scenario is implausible. The Conference of Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC Agreement dropped consideration of the RCP8.5 scenario in COP26 (2021) and COP27 (2022). COP27 is working from a baseline temperature projection based on RCP4.5 (SSP2-4.5) of 2.5 oC by 2100, relative to temperatures in the late 19th century (note: 1.1oC of warming has already occurred). Only a few years ago, an emissions trajectory that followed RCP4.5 with 2 to 3 oC (4 to 5 oF) warming was regarded as climate policy success.

As you can see from the graph, if RCP 8.5 is eliminated, as it has been by the scientists at the IPCC, then there is no climate crisis.

Certainly, if these climate scientists are not using RCP 8.5 as the ‘business-as-usual’ case, the City of Calgary should not be using it at all in any assessments.  But we find it referred to in the 2023-2026 Climate Implementation Plan as well as the Climate Risk Assessment and even the Marda Loop assessment.

No Consideration of Cold Weather Risks or Cooling Climate Patterns

In the Climate Risk Assessment, we find NO reference to the likelihood of the very real scenario that unfolded in the 3 days after that report was issued – unbearable cold, Polar Vortex, and near blackouts across the province due to a lack of dispatchable power generation vs too large a component of weather-dependent renewables on the grid.  Wind accounts for 22% of Alberta’s power generation capacity at present; solar 8%.  Both suddenly vanished on the evening of January 12, 2024, putting the Alberta power grid at high risk of implementing rolling blackouts.

It is irresponsible of the City of Calgary to issue a Climate Risk Assessment report that solely focuses on the risk of global warming, when there is every possibility of global cooling, and it is known that Calgary can experience seasonal weather periods of up to a month of extreme cold.  Cold is far more deadly than heat.

In reviewing the Climate Risk Assessment, we did find that it seems that in order to obtain funding for municipal projects from the federal government, the City of Calgary is obliged to fill out a “Climate Lens” document from Infrastructure Canada, which also improperly uses the RCP 8.5 impossible scenario as its ‘business-as-usual’ baseline.

The misuse of RCP 8.5 is skewing investment, urban planning and energy systems planning throughout society. This is putting contemporary society at risk through degrowth and deindustrialization and instability of power grids due to too many renewables.  Roger Pielke, Jr. is a long-time climate policy analyst and consultant to the global insurance sector on disaster risk evaluation. He and his colleague Justin Ritchie have written about the problems of the misuse of the RCP scenarios.  Canadian energy economist Robert Lyman has written this plain language report on the problem of using RCP 8.5.

Consequently, we hope that the City of Calgary will point out to its partners in the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and to the federal and provincial governments that it is being forced to comply with a fraudulent representation of our climate future by being coerced into using RCP 8.5 as the ‘business-as-usual’ case, when it is far from it.

In short, RCP 8.5 includes wildly impossible parameters by 2100 such as these: (plain language)

  • The burning of more coal than exists on earth.
  • The burning of more oil than is presently deemed to be recoverable.
  • A global population that is 3 to 6 billion more than the 9 billion the UN projects.

IF such projections had any basis in reality, then there might be some cause for claiming that there is a potential climate emergency.  But no such evidence exists. The public and policymakers are being misled on climate change by the fraudulent misuse of the RCP 8.5 scenario – fraudulent because this scenario has been abandoned by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreement as of two “COP” meetings ago as Dr. Judith Curry testified to the US Senate.

Canada is signatory to the UNFCCC; therefore, its own policies should align with it.  RCP 8.5 must be abandoned, and the citizens of Calgary can therefore be freed of the burden of the $87 billion Calgary Climate Plan.  Without RCP8.5 there is no climate emergency.  While humans do have some impacts on climate and environment, we do have time to address these without fear-mongering or excessive burden of taxes for ‘climate initiatives.’

It should be clear that funding from Infrastructure Canada or from the provincial government originates in the pockets of taxpayers – therefore, City of Calgary taxpayers should not be prevented from access to appropriate funding for essential infrastructure because of this fraudulent misuse of RCP 8.5 as the ‘climate lens,’ nor should the City and taxpayers be coerced into wasteful ‘climate initiative’ projects just to access some funding when more practical municipal needs are not being met.

And finally, imagine that there are Calgary seniors who grew up during the 1930’s Great Depression dust bowl, in abject poverty and heat.  Many of our seniors now live in heat-or-eat poverty due to energy policies.  Should their hard-earned money and their lived experience be squandered by the City of Calgary funding climate propaganda in schools to their grandchildren and great grandchildren?

We want our children to engage in critical thinking, not to be puppets of behavioral modification at the hands of the City of Calgary and climate activists, all of whom have been misled by thinking the RCP 8.5 scenario represents the future of the planet when it is completely untrue.

We have many resources and reports we can offer you.  Feel free to call us for more information on climate and energy topics.


Ron Davison, P. Eng.


Friends of Science Society


  1. Gordon Weir

    Well said. Please include my support in the follow up.
    Thank you

  2. Alvin Shier

    The future will center around the the outcome of this experiment with net zero idiocy , and the absolutely horrible effects of it to take hold in the bodies, minds and soles of the millions thus affected. Only then, after the catastrophe can we can return to a common sense normality. Until that day the fight will rage over who wins – those who willingly wish a return to life as it was prior to 1859 when commercial grade oil was “discovered” or the dream shanghai-la pushed by a Swedish teenager running off at the mouth about something she couldn’t possibly have any serious knowledge of, and who mysteriously was able to get a sizable portion of the worlds population to run like mad dogs over the cliff of stupidity.

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