A New DeSmog Investigation: Operation ecoTRUTH

Fri, 2007-12-07 16:42Emily Murgatroyd
Emily Murgatroyd's picture

A New DeSmog Investigation: Operation ecoTRUTH

This is the first in a DeSmogBlog exclusive investigative series we're calling, “Operation ecoTRUTH.”

One of the Canadian government's banner climate change funds could easily go toward subsidies that actually make the problem worse - and officials in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's administration would neither know, nor care.

Canada's Auditor General, Sheila Fraser, recently reported to the government's Public Accounts Committee that she is investigating concerns about the Conservative government's $1.5-billion Eco-Trust for Clean Air and Climate Change.

The stated purpose of the Eco-Trust is:

“To provide support to those provinces and territories that identify major projects that will result in real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants. The provincial initiatives supported by the Canada ecoTrust for Clean Air and Climate Change will complement industrial regulations and existing federal initiatives. Projects could include provincial technology and infrastructure development, such as carbon sequestration, and clean coal and electricity transmission, that will lead to a significant decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. The Government will invest over $1.5 billion in the trust.”

The problem, as identified by the Auditor General, is that the government has no way to confirm that the money goes to projects aimed at “real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.” The bigger problem, as revealed in committee the other day, is that Environment Minister John Baird doesn't seem to mind.

Public Accounts Committee Chair, Shawn Murphy (Charlottetown, Lib.) expressed concerns over the Eco-trust fund at a Committee attended by the Auditor General on November 20, 2007.

Murphy said that, despite the Ecotrust's laudable goals, the provinces had received the money into General Revenue and therefore, “they do not have to spend it on environmental initiatives; in fact, they can spend it on anything they want.”

The Auditor General appeared to agree:

“We are concerned about very large transfers being made purportedly for certain purposes, but when you look at the actual agreements, there are absolutely no conditions requiring the recipient to use the moneys for the purposes being announced.”

Fraser went on to compare the Eco-Trust to a similar failed health equipment program from a few years back:

“Some members might recall a few years ago there was a great deal of press coverage of money for a medical equipment fund and the criticism of some provinces that they were in fact using that money to buy lawnmowers.”

Fraser concluded that:

“We believe there should perhaps be a little more truth in advertising, and we would like to do a piece for Parliament to inform Parliament about what are the major transfers to the provinces, are there in fact any conditions on them, and if there are conditions, does the government have any process in place to actually ensure those conditions are being met?”

Apparently, the current answer is: no.

The feds have thrown $1.5 billion into the air and have listed it proudly among the shamefully new measures they have taken to address climate change. But the provinces can spend the money subsidizing coal plants or tar sands developments that are precisely contrary to the goal of reducing global warming. Maybe it would be better if they spent the money on lawnmowers.

At least it would be updating the provincial fleet.

Previous Comments

Two detailed investigations by Committees of the House confirm that the IPCC has deliberately, persistently and prodigiously exaggerated not only the effect of greenhouse gases on temperature but also the environmental consequences of warmer weather. http://www.thejakartapost.com/yesterdaydetail.asp?fileid=20071205.!15

Gary prefers House Committee reports to those of National Acadamies of Science and Financial Post articles to scientific publications. Is he a nitwit? Can he tell us why including temperature records for windy days show the same temperature increase as the total record? Can he explain why the high north is warming faster (in accordance with AGW theory) than lower latitudes where cities are growing? No, he reads garbage and believes anything suggesting AGW isn’t real, no matter how nonsensical it is.

that one of those committees was headed by James Inhofe, and heard testimony from that stellar and highly peer-reviewed climate scientist, Michael Crichton. Oh wait, that would be Michael Crichton the medical doctor turned science fiction writer …

More truth…

Contaminated data
Hot cities, not CO2, cause urban thermometers to rise

Ross McKitrick, Financial Post
Published: Wednesday, December 05, 2007

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Below is the famous graph of “global average surface temperature,” or “global temperature” for short. The data come from thermometers around the world, but between the thermometer readings and the final, famous, warming ramp, a lot of statistical modelling aims at removing known sources of exaggeration in the warming trend. In a new article just published in the Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres, a co-author and I have concluded that the manipulations for the steep post-1980 period are inadequate, and the above graph is an exaggeration. Along the way, I have also found that the United Nations agency promoting the global temperature graph has made false claims about the quality of its data. http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=145245

Gary, I’m not sure what your point is by mentioning the process of building consensus among the scientists at the Nobel Prize winning IPCC. You’re not trying to change the subject, are you? I’m sure that the IPCC will agree that they had to change and adapt their forecasts and graphs more than once, but that the overall premise is still intact. And it’s completely clear that the ENTIRE GLOBAL SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY AGREES WITH THE IPCC. Climate change remains a significant threat to our planet, and all that depends on it.

Anyhow, back to Emily’s point. Not only did the Conservatives get rid of the EnerGuide program when they took office (something which still baffles the average Canadian), and not only have they not enacted a single piece of climate change legislation, but now it turns out that they’re potentially sitting on a climate change version of the Gomery inquiry. Any Canadian, or global citizen for that matter, who believes in accountable government must be shocked by this, and the Conservatives pounded the table that they were above this type of behaviour at the last election.

Perhaps Prime Minister Harper and Environment Minister Baird are much closer in style to former Conservative Prime Minister Mulroney than we thought…

The point is posting the Eco-truth.
That is what I am doing.
ENTIRE GLOBAL SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY AGREES WITH THE IPCC.

Really!!? LOL Right.

Yes, Gary. The scientific community is in agreement with the IPCC. That’s what “consensus” is all about.

Posting wild claims about urban heat islands distorting temperature readings (which has already been accounted for - a quick Google search would have saved your reputation) doesn’t constitute the “Eco-truth”.

That’s been determined. We know what the problem is, and despite the best efforts of people like you, the world is moving ahead.

Concensus is by definition; non-science, its old boys clubs.
The only concensus is amoung some Cliamte scientests that have a published agenda and a reputation to try and hold onto. (good luck with that one)
Scientests from other diciplins that use credible research methods instead of primitive computer models, disagree.
Anyway, I know most of you are completely taken in by all the whole AGW theory. I would not presume to be able to pry open any cracks in closed minds. I simply post interesting facts for people that are still able to think critically.
Have a great weekend

Besides:
The gig is nearly up now anyway, so it does not matter.
Yet another research paper came out last week showing what we all knew anyway. It is and always was the SUN.
Now it is conclusive.
The science is indeed finally settled.

Yay! Someone proved that increasing greenhouse gases doesn’t enhance the greenhouse effect. What a relief! What research paper showed that only the sun can affect global surface temperatures? I’m going kiss the authors. Phew! And I was just about to buy some CFL’s to reduce energy use – we all know how that would have caused an economic disaster.

But even if the paper isn’t all Gary suggests, his comment gives me a second reason to be happy: I’m so glad an AGW denier has made a prediction! The gig is nearly up! The science is settled and AGW is a myth! Obviously something convincing has happened. Gary, when do you suppose the major media will pick up on that huge story? How long after that deadline passes until you admit that you’re full of shit?

Wrong. Read Lockwood and Frohlich (2007) here:

http://www.pubs.royalsoc.ac.uk/media/proceedings_a/rspa20071880.pdf

Gary, stop reading the crap on the “Friends” of “Science” site. Instead, read something that had actually passed the peer-review test.

1. Science deals with provable facts - not consensus.

2. Even if consensus was relevant, warmists grossly exaggerate its grip on the “scientific community”. A few thousand faithful among hundreds of thousands of earth and climate scientists do not equate to consensus. Hell, there isn’t even absolute consensus within the IPCC; that’s how science works.

3. If the entire scientific community has been reduced to drooling concurrence, why do I so rarely meet believers within it.” I’ve actually met three in a dozen years, and one of them was Weaver, whose vested interest in defending his models is enormous. (A few years ago I attended a conference where Weaver presented his theories to about 500 scientists. The scepticism was palpable. During the discussion period, he was reduced to pleading, “I’m not an environmentalist, I’m a SCIENTIST.” If you say so Andy.)

4. Climate models are merely predictions reflecting the input data on which they are based. They aren’t evidence and are more akin to astrology than to 21st century science.

Hey Zog, enlighten us regarding whether it’s good for a government to tell the electorate that their tax dollars are going toward one thing, but then have no oversight so that the money can actually go toward something else without the electorate’s knowledge? Can we have a consensus on that?

This was predictable and predicted by almost everybody with any political insight, and you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Fill a trough, and shout “Soooooeeee” and the pigs will come running. We went through this same shit with R & D subsidies about 20 years ago but, governments never learn.

AGW nonsense is the root of a host of scams, not only in Canada but, to an even greater extent, in Europe where there’s gold in them there “carbon credits”.

When the ancient Egyptians squandered their national wealth building pyramids, they at least left something visible and permanent. When modern,industrialized nations piss away their wealth on climate changing ventures, there’ll be nothing to show for it but damaged economies and a lot of angry citizens.

The Conservatives in Ottawa just threw $1.5 billion to the wind with no accountability…

What your saying, ZOG, is that power corrupts and corruption exists in politics. That’s not insight. The Auditor General’s job is to try to minimize the corruption, and she found that there’s no oversight. The conservative gov’t in the Throne Speech said “This government is clean” – it was elected in part to root out corruption and it says it has. The AG suggests a way for them to clean up this mess and they ignore her. It’s important to recognize that this government set up this system to promote corruption. Corruption is not specific to AGW programs in general, any more than any other type of government program (e.g. war, health care, infrastructure, elections, customs and revenue).

BTW, I’d appreciate some links to the discovered scams in Europe, with a particular focus in those that have “damaged economies” there. It seems to me that Europe is largely managing to meet Kyoto commitments while its economy is still strong….

Correct me if I’m wrong, but most government boondoggles seem to occur wrt programs the government supports. This one is occurring wrt a program the government would rather did not exist. Are there precedents for governments actually trying to destroy programs by promoting corruption in those programs?

Hoo Boy! A conspiracy. Tell me Steve, are you a 911 truther too? Seriously, crooks and opportunists don’t need political incentives to do their thing. Just ask Karlheinz Schreiber.

The only reason that there was no major climate looting on the Liberal watch is that hard-nosed Chretien never allowed any significant loot to be placed on the table. By ignoring their Kyoto commitment, the Liberals displayed more common sense than the Conformist Conservatives.

In an environment where people apparently more closely allied with your ideology (sorry for the ad-hom, but I see below that you have no compunction about dishing them) often refer to AGW science as being part of a giant socialist conspiracy, I find it odd that you call me a conspiracy theorist for asking about precedents wrt political motivations. It surprises exactly nobody that crooks and opportunists exist, and I never said that the crooks and opportunists had a partisan political goal. The issue here is the government (1) didn’t ensure, er, rather ensured there wouldn’t be any accountability and (2) rubs it in the electorate’s face when the Auditor General points out their error. Nothing you’ve written is relevant to either (1), which may not need much discussion, or (2), which I think is more curious.

PS. No links still to European corruption wrt reducing AGW and the resulting deleterious effects on economies?

Once again the trolls are dishing out the faeces. There’s more of the same old junk science above, courtesy of Gary & Zog, than we got snow last weekend, and I’m still shoveling!

If they bothered to check the dates on the stuff they put so much faith in they would find it’s ‘way past its sell-by date. Most of it has been debunked by umpteen real climate scientists so many times it’s laughable that anyone bothers to trot it out anymore. I’d be embarrassed, myself.

I doubt the word “embarrass” is in their vocabulary…

This word is being reserved for the Alarmists when they have to explain to all the angry people who were ripped off by Carbon Offset Credit scams.

Barnum would be so proud!!!!

ZOG said: “A few years ago I attended a conference where Weaver presented his theories to about 500 scientists. The scepticism was palpable”.

Mmmmm must have been a meeting of the CSPG. They are one of the few scientific organizations (along with the AAPG) who continue to deny AGW. Thanks ZOG, I now know where you are coming from, and it is not a place with any rich history of open minds when it comes to climate science (nor any scientific knowledge either).

Ian Forrester

Poor call. It was the GAC, an organization that has enough members from various geological surveys, universities and departments of natural resources to satisfy the tender sensibilities of even a failed biologist.

Anyway, thanks for the post indicating that, in your view, scientists who does useful research and contribute to the general well-being of society are inferior to bureaucrats and academics involved in incestuous “projects” where they sit around pontificating and writing learned memos about bugger all. (Hansen comes to mind.)

Is GAC the Geological Association of Canada? Interesting list of corporate sponsors GAC has, including the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board and various oil and mining companies.

http://www.gac.ca/supporters/

GAC appears to lean rather more to emphasis on industry rather than the environment.

If the members of GAC are the hundreds of scientists you sometimes refer to, Zog, they are not likely to be disinterested judges about the need to reduce GHGs. They may be good geologists or whatever; but that does not make them climate experts.

Interesting that most geologists and other geo’s work for the very interests that create the most greenhouse gases. Not exactly an unbiased bunch.

For those not up to date on the various acronyms, CSPG is the Canadian Society of Petroleum geologists, AAPG is the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and GAC is the Geological Association of Canada.

Ian Forrester

Before climatology was recognized as a discrete discipline about half a century ago, the only people who paid much attention to climate were geologists - especially historical geologists, glacialogists and palaeontologists. Other scholars, unassociated with earth sciences, who knew something about climate were anthropologists and historians, whose work is now dismissed by the omniscient computer diddlers.

Large numbers of the current crop of “climate experts” are more properly described as “political scientists”, a fact broadly illustrated by the contents of this thread.
What matters to you and your ilk is repetition of a few mantras:
“- Humanity stinks
- Corporations are evil
- Governments can solve everthing
- I am pure and holy, you are a rapist of Gaia
- You must revert to a 19th century lifestyle. I am exempt
- Real science is boring. Climate change is a moral
problem
- Me like cave. Ooga booga.”

Your blanket dismisal of thousands of decent men and women as thoughtless tools of Big Oil{tm} or whoever is beneath contempt and is a post-modern, gentle representation of the mindset that inspired the Great Terror and the purges of post revolutionary Russia. I think that you and serial-hater VJ are frustrated revolutionaries who needed a sexy political cause and found it in AGW silliness.

ZOG, please do not offer your drivel here. Go and take your meds and come back when you can carry on a respectful conversation.

Ian Forrester

Tell me, Ian, how do you keep your knucles off of the floor long enough to tap your keyboard? Which university actually bestowed a degree on such a bigoted, sophomoric lout?

That’s “knuckles” as in obnoxious knuckle-dragger.

ZOG, bigotry has got nothing to do with exposing liars, fraudsters and other unsavory people like you. Go and read a dictionary before composing your next post.

And your childish comments about my background just show what a nasty person you are. You are getting to the point where the word “defamation” starts to ring loud.

Ian Forrester

What you’re saying is that anyone who disagrees with your “profound” convictions must be a liar and a fraudster. I repeat my question, “What university wasted parchment on someone with such a medieval mindset?”

No, what’s he’s saying is that you’re childish, nasty and that your comments are verging on defamation.

And you’ve just proved it again.

Zog:

Ever notice how similar these alarmists are to the 12th century Clergy?
They always proclaimed that Only the Catholic Clergy were capable of interpreting the Truth.

Sounds just like; Only Climate Scientests can interpret the Truth about AGW. Any other views are obviously lies and disinformation.

They are indeed a laughable, if committed group.

I asked for the research paper from last week that disproves AGW. AGW theory makes a pile of predictions, not one of which has yet been disproved. There are many reasons to dismiss ‘other views’ in discussions of science – an important one is they make no testable predictions (as in your example of the Clergy and Zog’s example of Intelligent Design).

OK Steve. But don’t let anyone else see this. SHHHHH!
Don’t want to scare the faithful.
This is simply the latest in a series of papers that all say the same thing. With near perfect corrolation to actual observational data not computer model projections.
BTW: Every time a new one comes out, realclimate claims to debunk it. Which is actually as good an endorsement as any since they are paid shills for the AGW industry.

Remember„„, just between you and me. OK? http://global-warming.accuweather.com/2007/12/could_solar_inactivity_counter.html

Do you realize that the story (not research article) you linked talks about the sun counteracting AGW. This is very different than showing AGW doesn’t exist.

Regarding AGW predictions (below), I can’t tell because you don’t post relevant links (do you ever?), but those look like El Nino predictions. You would do well to learn the difference.

Steve: Sorry I missed this one:
AGW theory makes a pile of predictions, not one of which has yet been disproved. ”

Your statement is nearly true, since most of the predictions are convieniently for 50 to 100 years from now when all of the predictors will be DEAD!.

The short term ones however leave a bit to be desired.
2007 will be hotest with most storms.
England will have hot dry summer.
Canada will have warm winter 2007-2008.
Austrailia will have continued drought… Etc

Provide evidence that such predictions were ever made. I think you just invented them, troll.

Hey Steve;
I am sure you care deeply for the environment. We all do. (no, really)
But would you like to see; just for the fun of it; where AGW zealotry ultimately leads?
And yes…. They are serious. http://www.vhemt.org/

troll

Ahh, thanks but no thanks. You seem to be attacking the science in most of your posts. Now you are saying that the ultimate goal is human extinction. Big jump. I’m just a fisheries scientist who finds things like, say, the cooling of the stratosphere while Earth’s surface temperatures increase, to be supportive of AGW predictions. I’m interested in risk analyses and policy discussions regarding what to do about it. Zealotry has nothing to do with it.

Now, AFAIK not a single ‘consensus supporter’ here has suggested humans must become extinct. The only people who mention it are AGW-deniers/contrarians/whatever, just like the only people to interview ‘Les U Knight’ are those who want to make the environmental cause look silly (the mainstream enviro movement filters out the fringe whereas Tucker Carlson et al want to highlight it). Shall I insult you by referring to points only a fringe contrarian (e.g., the troll Rob) has made, and telling you that’s where AGW-denial ultimately leads?

“not a single consensus supporter…”

What about noted lunatic Paul Watson? Has the fellowship disowned him? And, yes, I know that he hasn’t personally posted here.

Rob, a “fringe contrarian”? He usually makes a lot of sense. BTW, belated thanks for directing me to his blog.

Right, Paul Watson would not be viewed by most as a mainstream environmentalist, and I don’t see why someone who supports policies to reduce AGW on this blog should be expected to defend his views or methods. Actually replace the first part of that sentence with, I don’t know what Paul Watson is doing these days, it makes no difference to the end of that sentence.
Rob has posted things like, he and most others would buy [some item] made from the tears of burning orphans [I’ll look it up if you need the exact quotation] if it could save him a buck. If that makes a lot of sense to you, I think I just learned something about you I would have rather not known.

I missed Rob’s comment. It sounds over the top but very tongue in cheek. I think that you’ve had your tail twisted, Steve.

On further research I see that GAC has an Environmental Earth Sciences Division with 100+ members. They appear to have expressed concern with climate change. So when Zog implies that all GAC members do not believe AGW is happening, he is not being honest with us and he is insulting many GAC members. (Edited this a bit)

Of course GAC members who work for oil or mining companies are not going to be eager to believe their own industry is so harmful to us all. But the honest ones have admitted or will come to admit that AGW is a problem that we must deal with.

Here’s their newsletters:
http://gac.esd.mun.ca/EESD/news.htm

Funny, Zog talks about “climate experts” instead of climate scientists. And why does Zog avoid mentioning physicists, oceanographers and other scholars involved in climate science? Does he not know what climate science involves?

Edited to add, alot fo geophysicists as well, it seems. http://www.aip.org/history/climate/climogy.htm

Curious that VJ’s nonsense disappeared several hours ago along with my lengthy and comprehensive reply. Now its back with some cutesy editing and without the reply.

Briefly, I NEVER implied that ALL GAC members share my scepticism. I did state categorically that most of about 500 people (GAC members and others) at the session addressed by Weaver were sceptical. He had a rough but courteous ride in the discussion period. What I didn’t state, and will say now, is that the reception he received was more amused than hostile.

Interesting that in her initial reply VJ admited that physicists (not just geophysicists) can contribute much to the debate. I’m sure that after all the dung that slack-jawed warmists have thrown at her, Dr. Balliunis would be thrilled down to her socks by that. (sarc. off)

Baliunas is a denialist. Even physicists can go wrong (if she really is one).

You also didn’t say when that meeting took place. And I doubt that you took a poll of the 500 or so who were there. You naturally viewed it through your own biased lens.

I edited my own post a couple of times, to make one statement more accurate and to add some information. I have that power over my own posts, but I only use it for good.

I don’t know anything about it disappearing, unless the last edit had to be passed by the webmaster or something.

Economies will not be devastated if we take action against climate change. Credible, published economists have shown this. The world will, however, be devastated if we allow climate change to continue unchecked.

Tell me which scenario you’d like to be a part of.

Oh, and to the posters who disagreed with the global scientific community being in consensus about human caused climate change - you’re right. That’s actually not true. The only scientists in consensus about climate change being caused by humans and needing immediate action is the PEER-REVIEWED global scientific community. Good catch - thanks.

And back to the original post - good luck to the Conservatives explaining where the $1.5 billion dollars went. Even though Minister Baird doesn’t care, I’m sure the rest of the country will. But you’re right Gary and Zog - no biggie, eh?

No biggie? Pissing away taxpayers’ money is always a biggie, but the general public doesn’t seem to care. Case in point: The HRD fiasco was described, for convenience, as the “billion dollar boondoggle” but was actually bigger. Nevertheless, no greedy fingers were ever stepped on, and Jane Stewart was easily re-elected.

The R&D subsidies that I mentioned earlier were in the same league.

And of course, there was the sponsorship program - comparitively small beer but more famous than those mentioned above, because a serious atempt was made to get to the bottom of it.

Let’s face it boys and girls, when governments get involved in grand schemes, throwing around big bucks to solve nebulous (or in the case of AGW imaginary) problems, they might as well send out engraved invitations saying, “Come and f–k us.”

As for peer review, it used to serve a useful purpose but it’s degenerated into a meaningless exercise where members of a club drink each others’ bath-water. Mann’s flawed work was peer reviewed; it took an outsider to find the problems in it, and he fought tooth and nail for access to the basic data that a serious ethical scientist should have freely divulged.

Can you imagine Hansen’s work being peer reviewed by Lindzen? Or vice-versa? Me neither.

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People's Climate March

More than 400,000 people took to the streets to have their voices heard at the People's Climate March yesterday in New York City. The record-breaking crowd took up 27 blocks in total, from West 86th street to Columbus Circle.

Photographer Zach Roberts was there to document the biggest climate change march in history for DeSmogBlog. Here are some of his best shots.

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