National Post "Rabid Response Team" Assails Suzuki Over Jail Quote

Fri, 2008-02-15 20:25Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

National Post "Rabid Response Team" Assails Suzuki Over Jail Quote

The Post's pages of outrage (O'Neill, Gunter) were inspired (this time) by a Suzuki speech to the students of McGill University.

“The Doc,” as he is known to friends and insiders, apparently took full flight in exhorting students to action on the environment and, especially, on the issue of climate change. The Post reports the following, culminating quote:
 

What I would challenge you to do is to put a lot of effort into trying to see whether there's a legal way of throwing our so-called leaders into jail because what they're doing is a criminal act.”

This, The Post rails, amounts to “environmental fascism,” “enviro-totalitarianism” and/or the beginning of an “enviro-inquisition.” Lorne Gunter actually says that Suzuki is “picking up the time-honoured tradition of Tomas de Torquemada, inquisitor-general of the Spanish Inquisition.” We're on the verge, apparently, of a 140-year reign of terror, torture and intolerance.


It's perhaps too much to hope that we could unpack any of this rationally, but let's try.

First, did Suzuki really utter the quote? Probably. Suzuki spokester Dan Maceluch as much as confirmed it when he said Suzuki is “not advocating locking anybody up, but he's pulling his hair out.”

Given the healthy state of The Doc's own locks, I have to assume (and explain to the literalists at The Post) that this, too, is intended as metaphor. It suggests that Suzuki is frustrated, outraged by decades of political inaction and driven to urge - what? - that young people find “a legal way” to make their “so-called leaders” pay a social price for having so completely abdicated their responsibilities.

It's interesting that, in the Post's first report on this story, reporter Gary Offman confirms that, by current law, federal politicians are, indeed, guilty of a legal offence, though not one captured in the Criminal Code. Offman writes:

The Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, a Liberal-sponsored private member's bill that passed and was given Royal Assent last year, legally requires the Conservative government to abide by the international pact's short-term environmental targets. In the event that conditions are not met, government officials are held liable.

Every person who contravenes a regulation made under this Act is guilty of an offence punishable by indictment or on summary conviction, as prescribed by the regulations,” the act reads, “and liable to a fine or to imprisonment as prescribed by the regulations.”

As it happens, the federal Cabinet has the power to promulgate regulations - or not - so it's unlikely anyone is going to wind up doing time on the strength of this law. But in Suzuki's search for justice, it's a start.

While straining, at least that far, for balance in his initial coverage, Offman (or whoever edited his story) took the time to end Suzuki's send-them-to-jail quote with the mention that The Doc is “a former board member of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association,” implying, I suppose, that he should know better.

Too right. Suzuki is also a former “guest of the state,” having spent his formative years in an internment camp for the crime of being born to Canadians of Japanese descent. One assumes that would sensitize him to the risks of totalitarianism and intolerance. But it wouldn't prevent him from wanting to hold others accountable when they actually do something wrong.

The whole story descended to a particularly goofy level at the hands of Post columnist Terry O'Neill, whose diatribe included this paragraph:

        “… (Suzuki) told the McGill crowd there is actually no difference between human beings and the environment in which they live. 'We are the environment. There is no distinction,' he declared, thereby equating, for example, a newborn baby with a mud puddle. How heartening.”

Imagine equating a newborn baby with a mud puddle!? That's the kind of outrage that hasn't been committed since, well, since the Book of Genesis.

Before going any further in saying how very bizarre I find the Post's outbursts, I should disclose a few things. I like David Suzuki. A lot. It would be fair to say that I admire him as a person and respect him for what I find is a quite dazzling intellect. I have also taken money from the David Suzuki Foundation, having written the first round of global warming advocacy information for DSF in 1996. I was grateful at the time for the work and have been grateful ever since for the opportunity to learn as much as I did about the risks of global warming. Although, there have been days in the dozen years that have passed since that I have spent time pulling my own hair out.

Two minutes on Google will also confirm that Jim Hoggan has been on the DSF board since its inception and is now the Chair. I like, respect and take money from him, too.

But here's the bottom line:

Canadians believe that the globe is warming and that humans are to blame. And when they look for credible information on this issue, who do you think they believe? Industry executives? Nope. Last year's Environmental Monitor showed that, on this issue, industry execs are credible with three per cent of the population - a group apparently concentrated in the offices of the National Post. Provincial environment ministries are trusted by 13 per cent of the people; Environment Canada and “environmental groups” by 25 per cent. “Scientists and experts” have the trust of 44 per cent of those polled and, at Number 1, with a bullet, David Suzuki tops the list at 50 per cent.

That means that, to some degree, the quibblers are winning; they have spread around so much disinformation that half the population don't know who to trust. But there's no reason there for the bashers at the Post to take any pleasure in that knowledge. Because - again - on this issue, The Doc rocks.

I don't for a minute think that Stephen Harper - or Jean Chrétien - will wind up behind bars for their perfidy. I don't suppose David Suzuki thinks so either.

But you can't stop us from dreaming.

Comments

Before the usual crowd turns up to work their magic trying to trash you & The Doc, thank you for an excellent post. I have never really understood why Suzuki draws such intense, personal fire. Although I have not met the man, I have great respect for his work raising awareness and getting science out to people using the popular media.

And he is not the only person to call for our political "leaders" to be held accountable under the law for their actions. What's going on now falls into the category of "folly" as defined by Barbara Tuchman in The March of Folly, tracking the actions of leaders through history who have had the best advice and information available, all the tools they needed to avert disaster, and marched headlong into it anyway. One of her examples was the Vietnam war . . .

Anyway, good article, Richard.

Fern Mackenzie

There are civil court actions. Six conservation groups are suing John Baird for not fulfilling his duty to identify sage grouse habitat; see the two pdfs for Feb. 14/08:

http://news.albertawilderness.ca/

But I would like to see criminal charges against politicians and corporate executives who choose to cause great harm to the environment; and large punitive fines for polluters.

Why not advocate criminal charges against most Canadian citizens too VJ? Charge your neighbours, your friends, your family. I'm serious.

Most pollution in Canada is committed by its citizens so if your intention is to charge those criminally responsible, most of your effort should be directed towards yourself, me, your neighbours, family, etc..

Sound good to you?

Let's wait until Suzuki checks himself into the nearest police station for using a 54 passenger bus to haul 8 people across the country to lecture us about using less oil.

Any excuse to wait, right Stan? We really don't know anything about anything; it's all just so complicated. And there is no value in education because we don't even believe what our most educated are telling us. The truth gets in the way of living in McMansions, driving Hummers, eating Porterhouse steaks, and buying cheap "goods" from China that we can throw away when we get tired of it a month later. Who gives a shit about the future when we can party it up today! Oil sands megaprofits are so good for the country it completely outweighs the little oil smudge it leaves. What about the air and water? No problem. All that wealth we're creating means that we can buy both in bottles.

Most pollution in Canada is committed by its citizens...

BS.

BS? Nope. Take your blinders off.

Once again Paul S/G is showing is ignorance and support of big business. What you said is absolute nonsense and you must know it. That is what makes you such a disgusting person.

Check out the pollution by Monsanto and Solutia and the way they hid it for years while people were poisoned by their polluted wastes.

Read the internal memo where they acknowledge that what they were doing is harmful, not just to the environment but to people and that they should hide the information since it would affect profits if word got out about what they were doing.

You are acting in a criminal manner if you are suggesting that big business is not responsible for the pollution.

Check out these sites for more information on what I have described , and note this is just one example of how large companies have got together with government to hide the horrible effects they are having on the environment and are actually poisoning people.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/2l4n54

http://www.ewg.org/reports/anniston/

http://www.chemicalindustryarchives.org/dirtysecrets/annistonindepth/intro.asp

http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/Commentary/News/2002-press.htm

'23 February 2002. A jury found Monsanto/Solutia guilty of "outrageous behavior" for releasing tons of PCBs into the city of Anniston and then covering up its actions for decades. According to reports in the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Anniston Star, the jury held Monsanto and its corporate successors liable on all six counts of the allegations: negligence, wantonness, suppression of the truth, nuisance, trespass and outrage. The finding of outrage is especially telling, as the standards of Alabama law require behavior "so outrageous in character and extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency so as to be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in civilized society.'

And you blame the people! One of the most outrageous forms of "blame the victims" I have come across.

You are just disgusting with your lies and support for these companies which are willing to poison thousands (at one facility) to improve their bottom line. This is not an isolated case but is how large companies and governments have shown no regard for the health of citizens.

Ian Forrester

Well put, Ian!

You are acting in a criminal manner if you are suggesting that big business is not responsible for the pollution.

Give it a break Ian. The majority of pollution in Canada is caused by citizens, not corporations.

Sure, charge corporations. And criminally charge the majority of Canadian citizens for their wanton actions towards the environment.

And you blame the people! One of the most outrageous forms of "blame the victims" I have come across.

Of course I blame the people Ian. Because we are the biggest polluters; far, far bigger then industry.

We aren't victims and never have been. It's time for Canadians to step up to the plate and accept responsibility for being the biggest cause of the pollution problem instead of constantly scapegoating industry.

"The majority of pollution in Canada is caused by citizens, not corporations."

Prove it.

Paul S/G, did you read any of the information I cited? You are a completely disgusting person by trying to turn the blame for all the pollution, including global warming, on the backs of average citizens, when you know it and I know it, that it is the large corporations and their government buddies who are responsible.

How can the citizens of Anniston be held responsible for the criminal activities of Monsanto when Monsanto withheld the information for decades?

You are a disgusting person.

For your information they were found guilty of the following crimes: negligence, wantonness, suppression of the truth, nuisance, trespass and outrage".

I think that also applies to the companies and people who are distorting the truth about AGW, and that includes you. The fine was $600 million. You had better start saving up because people like you are next.

Ian Forrester

. . . you know it and I know it, that it is the large corporations and their government buddies who are responsible.

That is one of the most immature assertions I have read in a long time Ian.

I stand by my claim. Canadian citizens are responsible for the majority of all pollution, including C02, in Canada.

Most of the crap in the landfills is from us. Most of the vehicles on the road driving gawd knows where are driven by us. Most of the sewage in the river is from us. Most of the idiots flying across the country for no important reason are us.

We are mostly responsible. We are the main polluters. You're childish claims are for the most part untrue.

Indoctrinated socialists (and a few too many environmentalists) love to blame every societal ill on corporations and you are little different.

You are a completely disgusting person by trying to turn the blame for all the pollution, including global warming, on the backs of average citizens,

Most pollution and most global warming is because of the lifestyles of average citizens, so you betcha, the blame should be put on the backs of average citizens, yourself included Ian. :)

Paul, I'm sick of your BS. If the average Joe and Jane are the main polluters, and that's something I don't believe for a second, as it is apparent that the tar sands projects are the largest single source of greenhouse gas pollution in this country (see: www.birdday.org/resources/factsheetbsitarsands.doc), the only reason why this would be the case is that governments have failed to take science into account and have bent over backwards to please the fossil fuel and auto companies.

The only reason why green technology has not been pushed here is because these companies would face a loss of profits. These companies have such access to governments (especially in Alberta where there is such an incestuous relationship between the oil patch and the PCs that any sort of justice in policy is impossible to achieve) to the point where the lobbyists are the ones in control.

It is time for Canada (and all nations) to stand up to the lobbyists and let the government decide based on the science. No agenda-driven lobby group (i.e. the Fraser Institute, Friends of Science, or the Natural Resources Stewardship Project) should be able to trump reason-based policymaking. After all, we are living in a democracy and not a lobbyocracy, aren't we?

Joe and Jane are the main polluters . .

Glad you're finally seeing it my way Stephen. Let's start throwing those Joes and Janes in a the slammer! Those polluting idiots deserve it. ;)

The only reason why green technology has not been pushed here is because these companies would face a loss of profits.

I disagree. Nobody is stopping Canadians from adopting green technology. It's a free market, Joe and Jane Consumer decide. Few consumers choose green technology because it is a lot more expensive.

It is time for Canada (and all nations) to stand up to the lobbyists and let the government decide based on the science.

It's not lobbyists holding up action on AGW, it is ordinary Canadians. And our governments mandate only extends as far as we allow them. Collectively, Canadians will not yet allow government to impose draconian measures.

You are correct that we are a democracy. And it is precisely this democracy which is not allowing our government to take radical action, at least not yet. We rule, not the scientists.

"It's a free market, Joe and Jane Consumer decide. Few consumers choose green technology because it is a lot more expensive."

Green technologies are more expensive because in your so-called "free market", oil companies, automakers and associated infrastructure are being massively subsidized by their government friends.

Your claim is untrue Hugh.

There are huge taxes on oil, gas, etc.. The public, and industry, pays over and over for infrastructure. Far from being subsidized, it is a cash cow for government.

Green tech tends to blame others for their own market failures whereas in most cases, green industry is to blame for their lack of acceptance by the public.

Tobacco taxes are also a cash cow, but most jurisdictions have been able to see beyond that ... and survive ... just as they could do by breaking the collusion with developers and the auto/oil industries.

"Green technologies are more expensive because in your so-called "free market", oil companies, automakers and associated infrastructure are being massively subsidized by their government friends."

Okay then, tell us to what extent Exxon, for example, is "subsidised" by the government?

Are you blind, Rob? Exxon's received billions of dollars in tax breaks from the Bush Administration. If you don't know this, you must have had your head in the sand for the last seven years!

Gee, then I guess I must have had my head in the sand, Stephen?

I was requesting some specifics about these alleged "tax breaks" to which people like you regularly allude, yet strangely, never seem to be able to provide any details.

I'm really curious to know about these "tax breaks", which you claim Exxon has received? Do they come anywhere close to the $30 billion in taxes which Exxon paid in 2007 alone?

Please be gracious enough to share your secret insights on these "tax breaks" which you seem to believe Exxon has been receiving, since you evidently know all about them?

Rob is a troll. It's a waste of time trying to educate him, since he only hears what he wants to hear. Ditto Paul S.

You can't back up the preposterous claim.

Thanks for the "education".

I never said I thought Joe and Jane were the main polluters. I said that hypothetically, IF (IF!!!) they were, then the reasons would be what followed. Paul, you have not only selective thinking and listening, but also selective reading, too.

Also, green technology, such as plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, has not reached the market as the auto industry is reluctant to change their already failing business model. Also, the oil industry is quaking in their boots thinking that if these vehicles make it huge, their profit margins would disappear. Green technologies have not been given ONE IOTA of a chance because governments and industry groups are standing in their way.

More than two-thirds of Canadians say they would make a sacrifice to fight AGW. Governments and industries are not listening to them, though. It's time they do or else face the consequences.

"More than two-thirds of Canadians say they would make a sacrifice to fight AGW."

And more than 2/3 of Canadians say they'd give their left nut to own a Porsche. Only half of those would actually go through with it, though.

See, nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing is stopping them from making all the sacrifices they want. Whether that be switching to fluorescent bulbs, or sacrificing their first-born to Gaia -- nobody is standing in their way. Not the government, and not the evil, nasty industries.

Nope. If people were so eager to make "sacrifices" in the imaginary religious quest to appease the weather gods, they'd already be doing it. Instead, clearly what people mean, when they answer these fatuous polls, is that they want other people to make the sacrifices. Outside of that, all they'll ever do is talk about it until the whole craze goes away, which is already beginning.

Rob, whatever you may think of your fellow humans, they are, for the most part, willing, but not stupid.

Most people who are prepared to make changes in their lives are not going to do so as long as Hummer-driving, garbage-spewing, science-denying fantacists are allowed to continue making the problem worse, regardless.

For example, many rational people - no matter how willing they are to sacrifice personally - might wonder why THEY should tighten up their carbon account when any gesture will be overwhelmed in an instant by the INCREASE in CO2 spewing out of the tar sands operations.

As to your equally fantastic - and oft-repeated - fiction that this "whole craze" is about to go away, how about if you set out a set of measurements that would indicate that climate change is happening, or not, over the next couple of years. Why don't you tell us what you would find convincing, or what you would offer as proof to the contrary. Which is to say, why don't you commit yourself to something of substance; then we can actually have a debate, rather than just listen to you hurl abusive non sequiturs.

Most people who are prepared to make changes in their lives are not going to do so as long as Hummer-driving, garbage-spewing, science-denying fantacists are allowed to continue making the problem worse, regardless.

Richard, that is a very strange viewpoint. How do we know then that "most people" are serious about making changes if they never make them?

The real truth is that "most people", at present, are not prepared to make serious changes in their lifestyles. Blaming it on the "Hummer-driving" crowd is a sad cop out.

I didn't mean to cop out. I was trying to be offensive.

Also, I didn't say that "'most people' are serious about making changes." I commented on the barriers affecting "most people who are prepared to make changes."

 

Read whatever you will, you still seem to see whatever you want .... 

... if you want to re-post your comment again in all its fulsome fury - and you can keep your commentary above the waist - bring it on. I'm always entertained by your charges of being a "lickspittle" and a "sycophant." Although I am not yet clear on how it contributes to the debate, you can call me all the names you like.

But if you want to talk about oral sex, I suggest that you take yourself in hand and toddle off to another website. There are quite a few that may be more appropriate to your tastes.

I saw it last night Richard, and it reminded me of that old TV show "Outer Limits".
Totally bizarre....

I have a theory that he is deliberately trying to get himself banned, so he can brag to the other trolls and deniers about being "censored" on the "left-wing moon-bat AGW-alarmist" deSmogBlog. That's why he keeps ramping up the rage. Sounds like he's getting a bit frustrated.

Fern Mackenzie

I guess that would make him a troll in good standing.
A definite oxymoron.

But, he does make a great poster-child for the denier set...

Check below, Tom. He's still at it, and I suspect he will keep repeating himself until he gets thrown out for good (or starts foaming at the mouth & falling over backwards). Richard's phrase Rabid Response Team is quite appropriate. Still, it gives everyone who missed the post the first time a chance to read it and decide for themselves whether it should have been pulled in the first place.

I don't suppose that it has occurred to him that he has caught my attention again after a long while, not because of some point he has made that bears discussion and might conceivably lead to a productive debate, but rather by his display of the depraved depths to which he is willing to sink to grab blog space. He must be trying to compensate for some inadequacy.

Fern Mackenzie

Now he's confused about season change and climate.

Thank you, once again, for confirming the true motivations behind the Global Warmening cult:

"Most people who are prepared to make changes in their lives are not going to do so as long as Hummer-driving, garbage-spewing, science-denying fantacists are allowed to continue making the problem worse, regardless."

Like the odious statements of Suzuki, which you defend in such and obsequious lick-spittle manner, you betray what's really eating you. Basically it's the burning resentment that there are people allowed to own more expensive vehicles than you. But what's really pathetic, when you get right down to it, a Hummer isn't even all that expensive.

Your chronic obsession with Hummers would seem to indicate bitter jealousy against the owners of such, and you'd just love to clip their wings -- lest they be allowed to remind you of your own inadequacies. Surely that's a "hate crime" worthy of a complaint to some human rights commission, or other?

What is it with you and Hummers? Are they worse for the environment than the several luxury mansions owned by John Lefebvre, David Suzuki, or Al Gore? Do the few Hummers one actually sees on the roads really cause more pollution than their jet-setting lifestyles or pollution-spewing cross-country tours in giant rock star diesel buses, to promote the latest redundant book, which fell off the printing press like another fresh, steaming turd, as in the case of Suzuki?

How many Hummers would have to be sold to equal the pollution caused by your decision to breed three teenagers, and all the Earth-raping pollution their existance will cause in their lifetimes? 500? 1000? 10,000? By pursuing that selfish course, you have already multiplied your own "carbon account" by a factor of four times -- minimum.

So before you start passing your petty fascistic judgements on who is, and who isn't allowed to do anything -- maybe you need to take a long look in the mirror ... if you can stand it?

I submit that it's not the relatively insignificant number of people with Hummers which destroys the resolve of those you imagine will happily make "sacrifices" -- it's hypocrites like Gore, with his mansions and private jets, Lefebvre, and his limousine liberal lifestyle, Suzuki -- and you.

While you slobberingly fellate the aforementioned charlatans, most people who drive Hummers, I assume for the most part, don't even pretend to pay homage your faux-environmentalist ideology to begin with. Is it their pretense you hate?

"For example, many rational people - no matter how willing they are to sacrifice personally - might wonder why THEY should tighten up their carbon account when any gesture will be overwhelmed in an instant by the INCREASE in CO2 spewing out of the tar sands operations."

LOL! That's not so much "rational", as it is rationalizing. If the resolve is so weak, then I posit those people were never willing to make "sacrifices" to begin with. There's always an excuse for the weak-minded. Hence, your target demographic.

But thanks for restating my point: these people don't want to make actual sacrifices -- they want others to make them on their behalf.

"As to your equally fantastic - and oft-repeated - fiction that this "whole craze" is about to go away, how about if you set out a set of measurements that would indicate that climate change is happening, or not, over the next couple of years."

What gives you the idea I don't believe climate changes? Of course it does. It always has, and likely always will. There will also be tides, earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, famine and wars, as usual. So what? Should I spend my days curled up in the fetal position under my bed worrying about this? I actually don't feel entitled to a constant room temperature, like you seem to. No amount of whiney complaints and feverish scheming against people, who drive models of cars I don't happen to care for, will ever change how nature manifests itself.

Sure, I can see how railing against the weather -- as though the weather only recently came into existence -- would give people like you, Fern Mackenzie, or Ian Whatsisface a sense of strutting self-importance and imaginary purpose (or even a salary from a PR firm), in their otherwise nihilistic, miserabalist lives. However, most normal, well-adjusted people are increasingly becoming bored with that charade.

In my own region, within the space of a single year, the climate will literally change within a span of 65 - 75 degrees Celcius. It does this every year. And yet, somehow we manage to survive, as people have done around here for tens of thousands of years. It doesn't take a super-genius climatologist like Al Gore to realize that we can probably figure out how to survive a temperature change of a mere 2 degrees over an entire century.

That fact alone trumps all of your sad propagandizing and PR. For the most part, people may be vain, sanctimonious, and drawn to facile slogans -- but most people still retain a modicum of common sense. As Abraham Lincoln so wisely put it, "You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time".

And your time is just about up.

Ezra Levant has a Hummer. Ezra? Is that you?

Yep, like every other left wing advocacy group in Canada now the Escalade Environmentalists want to pass the buck onto the government. It's never their fault, it's the governments fault. They can't do anything...only the government has the answers. They need the government to tell them what to do. They spout all these marvelous pie-in-the-sky solutions but they seem to be aimed only at some mysterious "others" whether it be industry, another province, another country, so long as the finger doesn't point in their direction. And primary among their solutions is to build another monster bureaucracy to regulate us all to death with ill-conceived and wasteful schemes.This way they'll have a new debating forum where anything that adversely affects them can be argued until doomsday and they'll have a clearer target to blame their own shortcomings on.
Powell B. Lucas

Dear PBL, okay, let's each one of us blame him/herself. Let's imagine that 50% of us actually reduces emissions to the level of, say, the average Indian. That would be a huge accomplishment, right? Well, what happens then? The oilsands would likely continue producing without a hiccup and the costs of polluting for the 50% of people who decide not to pollute would decrease. Therefore, the folks who decrease their pollution pay the costs and those who don't suck up all the benefit. What would you do to remedy that tragedy of the commons?

Does the fact that I ride my bike, eat a (nearly) vegetarian diet, and do my best to use less energy in the home give me more credibility?

lathamorama:

"Does the fact that I ride my bike, eat a (nearly) vegetarian diet, and do my best to use less energy in the home give me more credibility?"

I don't think it matters, since PBL is obviously just trying to regurgitate the conlibertarian "Big Government Bad" mantra at every opportunity... even in places where its relevance is zilch: http://www.desmogblog.com/biofuels-once-the-silver-bullet-of-global-warming-are-causing-more-emissions-than-fossil-fuels#comment-192774

And I'm sure that right after extolling the virtues of personal responsibility, our conlibertarian friends will then go on to preach and practise personal irresponsibility... :)

To BI:
For your information, as well as all the others out there who think conlibertarian is some sort of pejorative, I can only say thank you for the compliment. You see, we conlibertarians happen to believe in personal resposibility. I don't care if 50% of the population does nothing but run off at the mouth and pat themselves on the back because they whined about government inaction. I don't believe government is a tool to club those who don't follow my beliefs into submission.
As for acting irresponsibly: my wife and I moved out of 1,700 sq. ft. of living space to a more modest 1,200 sq. ft. Our electrical and gas usage fell considerably. The first thing I did on moving in was tear out the electric garage door opener (it went to a metal recycler) The garage is not heated and never will be. My grass gets cut by hand and my snow removal is also manual. We have a single mid-size vehicle that is kept tuned up, and into which we pour 50 liters of gas per month. (and most of that goes to my wife's travels to the grandkids' school where she volunteers)We both car pool or walk to our part time jobs. We walk an hour each way to the shopping centre except when our pickups are more than we can carry. Our garden gets fertilized with compost and it gets turned over each spring by hand, not with a rototiller. Our deck gets lighted by a single outdoor lightbulb (neon type) and we don't use an electric bug zapper. Most of our cooking gets done on a barbecue and that takes a single tank of propane every four months. Any furniture that gets replaced goes to Habitat for Humanity and all recyclable materials get saved and taken to a county facility every couple of months (bottles go to the grandkids) And this gets done by a guy who believes that global warming is a problem, but who also believes it's a natural phenomenon...not man made. I just don't think I should exacerbate the situation but, unlike all the government lovers who need some kind of glorious leader to tell them what to do, I think for myself and act accordingly.
Powell B. Lucas

Hi PBL, it's good to hear from someone like you. I have some similar viewpoints with the exception that I think the weight of the evidence (and known physics) supports a strong anthropogenic component. Although there is often left-right polarization on this issue among the commenters here, I think some of us appreciate that love of big government isn't a requirement for being part of the solution.

"who think conlibertarian is some sort of pejorative"

No, the real pejorative in my reply, if you were looking for one, is "regurgitate".

Still want to "thank" me for my "compliment"?

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Frank Bi, http://zompower.tk/

Far from trashing Doc or anyone, I would rather he gain some real ground.

If his intellect is really as shiny as you suggest, Suzuki would have simplified things and provided focus for us who are trying to be effective.

A simple 10 item list of *things to do* would help people to choose their *project*. He does have various lists, but not in priority or simplified order.

It could begin with . .

[1] Organize for a slow down of the Alberta Tar Sands. Oil man and Conservative wise man Peter Lougheed suggests this is a priority. Shouldn*t the Doc run with this?

[2] ... Well you get the idea. Checked Greenpeace, Sierra and others and no priority list. They should all agree on a list and then campaign on it. = TG

Everybody has their own way. Suzuki has had an impact. I think Suzuki draws such intense fire because of the astute way he has succeeded in building his public persona over the years, which has given him a lot of respect in Canada, hence when he takes aim at something or somebody, they feel clobbered. Plus, because he has an effect, people fear him. But I wonder if Suzuki feels like he's accomplished something. All he wanted to do was save nature. I think its the same for us all, you just feel like you've been able to accomplish nothing, but something drives you to keep trying. He actually wanted to call one of his autobiographical books "Outsider". I'm glad there are guys like him around.

I find the problem of newborn baby / mudpuddle to be intriguing. Remember, according to [some reference] God gave souls to humans. The issue of human dignity is very important especially with respect to religion, and is frequently shown to be a motivating factor or source of cognitive dissonance when it comes to evolution. I can imagine the editor wondering if monkey was a better word than mudpuddle.

But it's obvious, to me at least, that Suzuki wasn't talking about evolution (and as we are both geneticists you might think it weird that we weren't talking about evolution). Some environmentalists have in the past been accused of distinguishing humans from nature with the attitude that humans are at war with nature, that humans destroy nature. No, no, some people have said (including other environmentalists), we are nature -- putting nature outside ourselves is part of the problem so we have to use language that shows we are a part of nature. Yes, that fits in well with the idea that whatever damage we do to nature, we do to ourselves. That the Post would try to turn such an old and civil philosophical point into a barb for poking at emotionally and religiously inclined people (trying to politicize the issue further by bundling it with ones that are already very left and right [abortion and religion]) is not surprising, but disappointing nonetheless.

On a somewhat related note, I'm wondering about this: Do the denialist shills seriously think they themselves will be immune from the effects of global warming? Are they really that deluded, or do they reckon that the moolah they get from shilling from Big Oil will greatly offset the harm that global warming will inflict upon themselves?

Frank Bi
http://zompower.tk/

Hi Frank, I think it's hard to judge motivations but I'm quite certain that there are several motivations behind the antics of various AGW-denier folks. For some it's just an occupation, for some it might be very personal (about who to trust, etc), for others it's completely ideological, and for some (who've not done the calculus well) it's practical. For most it's probably a mixture.

It's funny (not ha ha), though, that so many of them are motivated to deny the science when their objections seem better applied to discussions of policy. I think the 'AGW-denial machine' realizes that the battle for independent thinkers is lost and is now trying to tie the AGW science issue to the predispositions of the last holdouts who might otherwise 'see the light.' That is, I think we'll be seeing fewer AGW-denial items in the daily media, but a higher proportion of those items will be things alluding to evolution (appealing to creationists) and abortion (appealing to anti-abortionists). A while ago the Edmonton Sun published a column wherein Mike Jenkinson wrote that AGW-believers and evolutionists were probably all one and the same; with a triumphant thrust he ended by wondering why evolutionists don't think life will simply adapt to global warming. The obvious problem that evolutionists are well aware that extinctions occur would probably be missed by the majority of his target audience.