Army of Climate Lobbyists Descends on Ottawa

Ever wonder why Canada is so resistant to moving on climate change? Maybe it has something to do with the 1,500 climate change lobbyists pounding the halls of Parliament.

An illuminating article from the Montreal Gazette spills the beans on the explosion of carbon lobbyists shilling in our nation’s capital.

According to the Gazette, since 1996, an army of 1,570 lobbyists have descended on our nation’s capital with a specific focus on climate change. Their client list has steadily increased since that year from just 13 to 109, and you can bet that they are not representing Greenpeace.

In the first eight months of this year, the oil industry compromised the largest lobby on Parliament Hill representing 24 different companies and associations and of course all the big oil corporations. This lucrative stable of carbon clients also includes ten massive carbon emitters within the coal and mining industry.

According to the Gazette: combined, all these major producers have employed about 465 lobbyists since 1996 or about one third of the total climate change lobbyists. Other companies and organizations that have climate change lobbyists include manufacturers, power utilities, agriculture, transportation and environmental and health groups.

While environmental groups may have tried to crack this nut, clearly their penetration into the regime of Prime Minister Stephen Harper  has been minimal. According to Dale Marshall of the David Suzuki Foundation, “”the last time an environmental group met with Harper was when he was leader of the opposition.”

The oil industry is not stupid and of course would not part with their hard-earned petro-dollars unless they felt they were getting something very valuable from the this massive arm twisting effort.

According to former Environment Minister Stéphane Dion, “It’s almost daily. They say, ‘What can we do? There is no technology possible (for emission cuts). Can you exempt us? Please.’ This kind of pressure (is) always, everywhere.”

Clearly the untold millions spent creating access to decision makers that is completely unavailable to ordinary Canadians is having an effect, and a cost.

Last week, well-known British climate writer George Monbiot broke his self-imposed ban on air travel to fly to Toronto and inform Canadians how our previously stellar international reputation was being rapidly eroded by our wretched record on climate change.

Until now I believed that the nation that has done most to sabotage a new climate change agreement was the United States. I was wrong. The real villain is Canada. Unless we can stop it, the harm done by Canada in December 2009 will outweigh a century of good works.”

He went on to describe Canada as a “thuggish…corrupt petro-state” and give the emerging reputation of our nation from the other side of the pond: “Canada’s image lies in tatters. It is now to climate what Japan is to whaling.”

Evidence of this chilling corruption of our national governance comes directly from the oil industry itself. According to the Gazette:

Mark Rudolph, a 20-year veteran lobbyist who represents Suncor Energy Inc. and Shell Canada Ltd. in Ottawa, said that lobbying the province of Alberta is virtually unnecessary since, he said, the government is entirely on the industry’s side. Alberta, in effect, represents the single most powerful lobby in Ottawa.

“The (Alberta) government … takes somewhat the same point of view as the denialist companies,” he said. “And they basically say to the feds - despite the fact that they are political brethren and the majority of the cabinet is from Alberta - ‘Back off. This is our domain. Don’t bother us.’ “

The unstoppable force of the tar sands has become an ugly political reality in Ottawa that enfeebles what puny political will exists in Canada to move towards a low-carbon economy.

“No government in Canada has ever gotten in the way of the oil industry. … You can reduce emissions in one area of the economy, but they will just be wiped out by the addition of a tar sands project,” said one senior federal policy analyst, who did not want to be named.

We as Canadians can of course continue to sell our souls for the sake of short-term jobs in Alberta in hopes of creating yet another short-lived oil boom. Is this a good deal? For the record, Alberta is projected to run a deficit of almost $6 billion this fiscal year and bizarrely did not salt away a cent during the last colossal oil boom. So much for sound fiscal management in the free enterprise capital of Canada.

And as they say in business, there’s no free lunch. The cost of our continued political petro-corruption will be the death of our well-deserved international stature forged in blood, toil and good efforts throughout the world over the last century.

 

Comments

Hmmm. Less then 1/3 of the 1500+ climate change lobbyists represent major energy firms. So that implies that the majority of lobbyists are environmental NGO’s.

And the ongoing demonization of the tarsands is hypocritical when Canadians show no inclination whatsoever to reduce their own CO2 emissions. Ontario’s CO2 emissions are higher, BC’s CO2 emissions are higher; year after year.

When you start lowering your own CO2 emissions, you can start lecturing others about theirs, but until then it might be best to lay off the hypocritical hectoring.

http://www.copenhagenclimatechallenge.org/

8 December 2009

Dear Secretary-General,

Climate change science is in a period of ‘negative discovery’ - the more we learn about this exceptionally complex and rapidly evolving field the more we realize how little we know. Truly, the science is NOT settled.

Therefore, there is no sound reason to impose expensive and restrictive public policy decisions on the peoples of the Earth without first providing convincing evidence that human activities are causing dangerous climate change beyond that resulting from natural causes. Before any precipitate action is taken, we must have solid observational data demonstrating that recent changes in climate differ substantially from changes observed in the past and are well in excess of normal variations caused by solar cycles, ocean currents, changes in the Earth’s orbital parameters and other natural phenomena.

We the undersigned, being qualified in climate-related scientific disciplines, challenge the UNFCCC and supporters of the United Nations Climate Change Conference to produce convincing OBSERVATIONAL EVIDENCE for their claims of dangerous human-caused global warming and other changes in climate. Projections of possible future scenarios from unproven computer models of climate are not acceptable substitutes for real world data obtained through unbiased and rigorous scientific investigation.

Specifically, we challenge supporters of the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused climate change to demonstrate that:

1.Variations in global climate in the last hundred years are significantly outside the natural range experienced in previous centuries;

2.Humanity’s emissions of carbon dioxide and other ‘greenhouse gases’ (GHG) are having a dangerous impact on global climate;

3.Computer-based models can meaningfully replicate the impact of all of the natural factors that may significantly influence climate;

4.Sea levels are rising dangerously at a rate that has accelerated with increasing human GHG emissions, thereby threatening small islands and coastal communities;

5.The incidence of malaria is increasing due to recent climate changes;

6.Human society and natural ecosystems cannot adapt to foreseeable climate change as they have done in the past;

7.Worldwide glacier retreat, and sea ice melting in Polar Regions , is unusual and related to increases in human GHG emissions;

8.Polar bears and other Arctic and Antarctic wildlife are unable to adapt to anticipated local climate change effects, independent of the causes of those changes;

9.Hurricanes, other tropical cyclones and associated extreme weather events are increasing in severity and frequency;

10.Data recorded by ground-based stations are a reliable indicator of surface temperature trends.

It is not the responsibility of ‘climate realist’ scientists to prove that dangerous human-caused climate change is not happening. Rather, it is those who propose that it is, and promote the allocation of massive investments to solve the supposed ‘problem’, who have the obligation to convincingly demonstrate that recent climate change is not of mostly natural origin and, if we do nothing, catastrophic change will ensue. To date, this they have utterly failed to do so.

Signed by:

141 scientists, read the list.

Jr, that letter is well reasoned, intelligent and makes common sense. unfortunately, I don’t expect the bed wetters to respond with anything other than “deniers”! Most of these people are not able to think through a problem rationally, to them 2+2 always equals 5.

WE really need to examine the benefits of global warming, the actual chance of occurance and weigh that against all the benefits that carbon emissions bring to our lives. When you get down to it living in a cave with a solar powered flashlight and earning minimum wage working in a wind farm is not much of a life compared to what we have now.

That there are some people in Ottawa standing up for the little guy. The oilsands represents Canada’s future prosperity and the worlds energy security, what are we supposed to do limit production so we can all purchase oil from the middle east? What about peak oil? Shouldn’t we ramp up Oilsands production to meet demand? The oilsands developement in Canada has ensured that the price of gasoline is much lower due to the additional supply that has come on the market, and Canada deserves the worlds praise for providing affordable,safe and secure oil.

Carbon emissions are a shell game based on shaky assumptions that have little to do with science and more to do with politics. Now we know this for sure with the leaked e-mails from the CRU.

When science is able to offer up some credible evidence to back up the alarmist rhetoric behind “tipping points” and “positive feedbacks” then it will be time to examine the issue of carbon emissions. Until these two points have some sceintific evidence to stand on rather than conjecture there is no reason to reduce emissions one iota, as any resulting global warming that will occur will be modest if at all. Even the IPCC points out that Carbon emissions have a diminishing return, IE when its cold and you go outside and put on a jacket you have increased yor r factor, when you put on another jacket you have increased your r factor by half of the first jacket. When you put on the 350th jacket the effect to your r factor is minimal. Same with C02 as far as the IPCC is concerned. Where they get their 6 degrees rise in temperature is from positive feedback loops and tipping points of which their is no evidence to support.

Time to ditch the bed wetters and let people with brains set public policy. I’d rather be able to affordably heat my home than have to count on global warming to do so for me.

(T)wo recent results published by top scientists cast doubt on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s theory about the link between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global warming…

Paul Pearson of Cardiff University and his international team achieved a breakthrough recently, published four weeks ago in arguably the world’s top scientific journal, Nature.

They unravelled records of atmosphere, temperature and ice-cap formation 33.6 million years ago, when the Earth cooled from a greenhouse without ice caps, into something quite similar to our present day…

Pearson’s work contains a couple of remarkable results. First the greenhouse atmosphere pre-cooling contained a CO2 concentration of 900 parts per million by volume, or more than three times that of the Earth in pre-industrial days… Second, while the cooling of the Earth took place over a time-span of around 200,000 years, the atmospheric CO2 first dropped in association with the cooling, then rose to around 1100ppmv and remained high for 200,000 years while the Earth cooled further and remained in its new ice ages cycle.

We can compare these huge swings (both up and down) in atmospheric CO2 with current computer-modelled estimates of climate sensitivity by the IPCC which suggest that a doubling of CO2 relative to pre-industrial times will produce a temperature increase of 2.5C to 4C.

If the Earth started a cycle of ice ages 33.6 million years ago while having its very carbon-rich atmosphere, and if the Earth showed cycles of ice-age activity when atmospheric CO2 was four times the level that it was in humankind’s pre-industrial times, what new information must we incorporate into our present climate models?

Another key parameter in climate modelling is the warming amplification associated with increasing CO2 in our atmosphere. This amplification factor is generally believed to be greater than one, giving rise to an understanding that increases in atmospheric CO2 amplify warming (a positive feedback in the physical process)…

However since the IPCC’s fourth report, our Laboratory Earth has also delivered new data on this CO2-induced amplification factor…

UPDATE

Dr Ben Buchler of the ANU says Asten misrepresents Pearson’s findings, which include this line:

Overall, our results confirm the central role of declining pCO2 atm in the development of the Antarctic ice sheet (in broad agreement with carbon cycle modelling) and help to constrain mechanisms and feedbacks associated with the Earth’s biggest climate switch of the past 65 Myr.

Returning to Asten’s article:

(C)limatologist and NASA medallist John Christy and colleague David Douglass studied global temperature impacts of volcanic activity and ocean-atmospheric oscillations (the “El Nino” effect) and separated these from global temperature trends over the past 28 years.

The result of their analysis is a CO2-induced amplification factor close to one, which has implications clearly at odds with the earlier IPCC position… What this means is that the IPCC model for climate sensitivity is not supported by experimental observation on ancient ice ages and recent satellite data.

So are we justified in concluding that the concentration of atmospheric CO2 is not the only or major driver of current climate change? And if so, how should we re-shape our ETS legislation?

I don’t know the answer to these questions, but as Nobel prize winning physicist Richard Feynman observed: “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/the_warming_theory_is_falling_to_bits/