Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Debunking the 'skeptics'

For a great overview of the Canadian global warming denial lobby, read this piece by Donald Gutstein (in The Tyee).

Here's a quote, talking about Jim Hoggan's deSmogBlog:

In a recent post, Hoggan discusses a column by Globe and Mail columnist John Ibbitson, who complains that here's a letter from 90 scientists urging action; there's a letter from 60 scientists urging Harper to ignore calls to action. "What's a layman to do?" Ibbitson whines.

His solution? Forget about global warming and instead work with the US to improve air quality. "After all," he writes, "a continental agreement on air quality would do far more to improve the lives of both Americans and Canadians than any actions specifically targeted at reducing greenhouse-gas emissions."

It's called bait and switch. We're alarmed about the health of the planet our grandchildren will inherit. But (thanks to the lies and deceptions of the deniers) nobody can agree on what's happening, let alone what should be done. So let's do something that we can all agree on instead.

Ibbitson's column makes clear the political purpose of the deniers' letter -- to help Harper out of a tight corner. His goal of capturing a majority government depends on winning seats in Ontario and Quebec, the provinces where support for Kyoto is strongest. He could court their support by giving them Kyoto, but this would infuriate his oil industry masters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting example of the range of legitimate scientific debate today:

A scientist explains in some detail how global warming causes more hurricanes. A more cautious scientist says, "...when President (George W.) Bush claims that hurricanes are entirely natural disasters, he's not correct."

Story: How humans help brew hurricanes (Toronto Star).

There's also an ironic ad occasionally running right next to this headline on the Toronto Star website: GM offers discounted gasoline to entice people to buy more cars ("Pump and Save... 20 Cents Off Per Litre For a Year -- Drive Away a Pontiac and Save at the Pump"). Screenshot:
GM Brews Hurricanes with Discounted Gas? (image hosting courtesy of allyoucanupload.com).