Canadian Taxpayer Federation on Warming: "Nothing to See Here, Move Along."

Tue, 2009-11-24 13:56James Glave
James Glave's picture

Canadian Taxpayer Federation on Warming: "Nothing to See Here, Move Along."

Maureen Bader, B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayer's Federation

If you’re one of the 65,000-odd supporters of The Canadian Taxpayer Federation, your dollars are fighting government waste and improving public accountability. Good for you!

But you’re also underwriting climate denial.

DeSmogBlog obtained a recent letter sent by Maureen Bader, the group’s B.C. director (shown here), to a former member who was concerned about the Federation’s position on climate change.  In the letter, she characterizes the so-far limited government efforts to address global warming as a “tax grab.” She also calls the U.S. effort to develop a cap-and-trade system “a blatant effort to erect non-tariff barriers to trade.”

Governments, both provincially and federally use conventional wisdom, so-called consensus and even stoop to fear as an excuse to raise taxes.  They are using people’s legitimate concern about the environment as an excuse for a tax grab.

Bader turns to the usual denier playbook: science cherry-picking, pulling data out of context and twisting peer-reviewed science to claim, as she does, that “There is no consensus that man-made CO2 causes global warming.” Right, except for the 800+ contributing authors and more 450+ lead authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Later in the letter, Bader – a former employee of the public affairs bureau of the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources – shares this bit of tortured logic:

For taxpayers, the globe is cooling while CO2 concentration continues to rise, so every penny of taxpayers’ money spent on reducing CO2 is wasted but if the money had been spent on health care instead, everyone would be far better off and in a better position to adapt to whatever change the future will bring.

While Bader sings “Que Sera Sera,” the World Health Organization estimates 150,000 deaths now occur in low-income countries each year due to climate change from four climate-sensitive health outcomes – crop failure and malnutrition, diarrhoeal disease, malaria and flooding. Almost 85% of these excess deaths are in young children.

Her comments on global warming and public health are not only naive, they’re morally abhorrent. The Federation’s members should take note.

Whenever something like this surfaces, we like to follow the money. The Federation doesn’t release financial statements, and reveals little of its funding except to say that it is member-supported. Meanwhile, according to federal public records, the following individuals are listed as directors.


Peter Green
Michael R. Binnion
Jim Silye
Norm Reise
Aady Crooks
John Mortimer

So it’s everybody-in-the-pool time, DeSmogBlog readers. Can anyone out there tell us a little bit more about these gentlemen? We’ll update this post as information comes in.

Comments

Free speech is not an absolute right. In Canada hate speech, such as holocaust denial, is illegal, and we have put people in jail for it before (i.e. Zundel).

Global warming threatens millions of lives, and people who deny it, and publicly promote their agenda, are increasing this risk by preventing action from being taken. We will need to consider how to deal with this at some point. http://www.selfdestructivebastards.com/2009/09/flat-earth-society-ain-so-bad.html

Yes, Fabrication of data, media manipulation and abuse of the peer review process and systemic corruption within climate science is not enough. We need to restrict basic funadamental democratic rights to push global warming through. People have a nasty habit of making up their own mind and forming their own opinions. Who cares if it looks like we’ve all been duped now and that the climate science was hatched together with faulty data, it’s too late, lets just forge ahead blindly. Why don’t we just arrest and detain anyone who has a different point of view than Al gore?
The new global warming regime is starting to look alot like fascism don’t you think?
CRU HACKED Google it!

You forgot the secret conspiracy email that got out. Check Monbiot’s homepage, he has the dirt. It’s a 200 year old conspiracy. We’ve been working hard for hundreds of years, and now our evil plan is finally coming to fruition!

“Yes, Fabrication of data, media manipulation and abuse of the peer review process and systemic corruption within climate science is not enough.”

Um, are you talking about the denier front groups?

“We need to restrict basic funadamental democratic rights”

Oh, yes, I see that you are. Thanks, but we knew that.

I get the sense that you are fairly comfortable with the concept of prosecuting people for their ideas and expressions. It’s pretty easy to see from history how that can lead to some severe injustice and persecution of innocents. It starts with good intentions, but it ends up in a bad place.

Not at all, I consider it a last resort. The whole point in my article is there’s already a lot of speech that is banned. You can’t yell fire in a cinema, you can’t promote hate speech (at least in many countries). I was only suggesting this may fall into that category. There’s never been a black and white line for free speech, even in the US. (Try sending a letter to the US President threatening his life and you’ll see what I mean.)

Jim Silye is a Calgary oil guy, politician and former football player. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Silye

is President and CEO of Questerre Energy Corporation: http://www.questerre.com/

Climate change and the holocaust are two separate things. If you’re going to try comparing them, you have to be very careful. Otherwise you are just making an emotional appeal, rather than an appeal to reason.

Holocaust denial is not illegal in Canada. It is perfectly legal to put into print this belief. What isn’t legal is to accompany this with appeals for retribution, or incitements to hate, Jews.

The Holocaust is a past event. Having an opinion about a future event, even an ill-informed one, is not of the same category. There is a lot more room for honest disagreement about climate change, than there is about the holocaust. Not the least of which is the number of people than will be harmed or killed: one we know of within a narrow range of certainty, the other is greatly speculative, and dependent on many other variables not all linked with climate change.

Where there are similarities is in the efforts of climate deniers, shared with holocaust deniers, to create their own “scientific” realities outside the realms of mainstream science. Many deniers of both types are also not motivated, I think, by earnest disagreement about the facts of climate science, or holocaust history, but more by the severe political ramifications, past, present and future, flowing from the subjects. But, in climate science, while there is a stretch between what “deniers” think, and the “mainstream” thinks, there are a number of honest people within that stretch. This is not so with holocaust denial: there is a dis-populated gulf between holocaust deniers, and those who work within the view of the holocaust developed by standard historical methods.

All in all, it is pretty pointless to make Nazi comparisons anywhere except when dealing with Nazis.

Fair points, but there’s very little space between denial of the Holocaust and the promotion of hatred, if indeed the distinction can even be made. The entire *point* of the denial of the Holocaust is to promote an agenda that would permit another (as I say in the article.)

I suppose you could get away with publishing a purely dry, pseudo-academic diatribe about the Holocaust in Canada and get away with it, but as soon as you start trying to push this belief, you will go to jail, as Zundel and others have many times. So, while the law may not state that Holocaust denial, as such, is illegal, the hate crime laws pretty much cover it, as soon as you try to promote it publicly in any way.

My main point was not to equate the Holocaust with global warming, of course, they are completely different things. One was perpetrated by an evil government and belief system, with evil individuals to carry it out. It is in the past, and we now try to avoid allowing anything similar to happen.

As you mention, the worst consequences from global warming haven’t happened yet. But this is exactly the point. We cannot afford to wait until they happen, and then hold a Nuremberg trial for those who allowed it! By then it is too late. The point of the comparison, which I made in the article is that both agendas (Nazism and Holocaust denial, and the denial of global warming) would permit, or allow for, the death of millions (or potentially billions in the long term, in the case of global warming).

If you read the recent reports, scientists have been *understating* the impacts, at least in public, because they are afraid to sound too alarmist. That’s understandable, and in some cases it makes sense, they don’t want to make the task seem impossible.

In any event, I still stand by my position. I’m not suggesting we criminalize global warming denial today, but it is something we may have to consider in the future. I would suggest that our descendents, assuming they survive, would probably expect that to be the very *least* of our efforts. (Btw, I also have many practical proposals for solutions on my blog to help reduce carbon emissions. I worry, though, that the deniers will prevent any action from being taken.)

(Btw, this site really needs an RSS feed for comments!)

Good call on the RSS feed for comments, I just sent it to our web team to implement.
Where in this article is anyone making a comparison to the holocaust? Are you sure you’re commenting on the right website??

Actually, I mentioned this in the article I quoted, that he or she was responding to. I explain in another comment below the reason I raised this. Please don’t blame the parent comment, they were making an informed response.

Kevin you are paid to spin out a few yarns and throw mud at a few people, it’s just a living but surely you must see the damage to our society global warming alarmism is causing. Civilization has evolved over thousands of years to come to point in time where people are free to speak their minds and naive commentators muse about creating laws to restrict basic, fundamental, democratic rights like freedom of expresion and free speech.
Even you must be shocked to read that their are those radical enough to think that we can persevere as a nation by locking people up with differing ideals and that somehow the ends justifies the means. The holocaust is an erie and unnerving example to bring to this debate. Unfortunately it hilights the extremism and religious zeal that surrounds the global warming theory.
Does it surprise you that some view global warming as a religion? Global warming activists have unwittingly likened a guy like Tim Ball or Ian clark to the butcher of Auschwitz. How ridiculous is that?
How much longer before global warming alarmists are declaring a jihad and flying planes into buildings? The science may or may not be valid but the hardcore rhetoric and spin needs to be turned down a few notches as the weakminded are falling prey to extremism.

Go ahead give me a few negatives, I’m probably the only guy here who served some time standing up for our right to freely express ourselves.

We let you guys prattle on endlessly. The only triggers for getting bounced from the DeSmogBlog are profanity, outright slander or surpassing rudeness of a deeply personal nature. We’re completely tolerant of people saying things that are, at times, past ridiculous. As for Tim Ball (et al), I don’t recall anyone ever, EVER slamming him (or them) with a bizarre Holocaust analogy. It’s true that we have cast Ball as a pathetic dweeb, so desperate to be taken seriously as a scientist that he is prepared to lie about his resume and to say outrageously silly things about climate. He also initiated an unforgivable attack on the ULethbridge scientist, Dan Johnson - a suit that Ball abandoned rather than face the music in court. But Timmy is more tragic than evil, even if the result of what he is doing puts the whole world at risk. Narcissistic, irresponsible, dishonest, badly read and terminally deluded, yes; evil, on the scale of a Holocaust participant? I actually think you would be giving him too much credit.
Tell me what the damage is of moving quickly away from fossil fuels that are at the root of so many problems in the world - war, asthma, climate change…

And please don’t lump me in with those comparing Tim Ball and the other climate conspiracy theorists to Nazis. I have never done such a thing.

“Global warming activists have unwittingly likened a guy like Tim Ball or Ian clark to the butcher of Auschwitz.”

No, they haven’t. If you continue to make stuff up, then make up a few references.

“How ridiculous is that?”

Yes, your claim is ridiculous.

Any other questions?

I guess the denial crowd are sensitive because they have high standards and would never compare someone to Hitler or other scary reference, based on their beliefs regarding climate…

“Climate jihadists want Canada to be embarrassed, but for what?”
By Gary Lamphier, Edmonton Journal, December 12, 2009.
“Oddly, while we Canadians are instructed to be embarrassed by the climate jihadists, Obama isn’t being pilloried for” blah blah blah

“Viscount Monckton calls young climate activists Hitler Youth”,
guardian.co.uk

“Climate Protesters Compared to Hitler Youth”, New York Times