Canada: ... and back home in Denierville

Science Denying Tory MP Can’t Get Anything Right

The Conservative Member of Parliament from Okanagan Shuswap, Colin Mayes, writing in an error-ridden email to a constituent (reproduced in full below) has questioned the human contribution to climate change.

“Climate warming is happening,” Mayes said. “Just what the cause is has yet to be substantiated. Is it Co2 in the atmosphere, sun activity, or cyclical?  Is this a trend that will change as we have seen recently in cooling of temperatures and rebuilding of ice caps?

“A good book on this issue is “Climate Confusion” written by a Climatologist in the US.  It’s worth the read.”

Climate Confusion is, in fact, not worth the read. It’s author, Roy Spencer, is an increasingly embarrassing scientific outlier.

But it is Mayes general incompetence that is an even greater concern. For example, he tells his constituent that “40% of Canada’s GHGs come from the tar sands,” when the correct number is closer to 5%.

We, of all people, are not here to defend the tar sands, but you’d think a Conservative MP who is trying to block action on climate change might get his facts right on the single biggest Canadian contributor to the problem - not overestimate their impact by 800%.

Mayes says he doesn’t want to “spend billions of taxpayer dollars because a few scientists say CO2 is causing the planet to warm.” Against the findings of the Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, against the opinion of the Royal Society of Canada, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and all the other science academies of every major nation on earth, he distinguishes himself as a shockingly ill-informed representative.

That, perhaps more than all of the obstructive things that Canada has done in Copenhagen, might explain why Canada’s government is taking such an irresponsible position on this issue: they have been bamboozled completely by the denial industry. They have accepted the ridiculous, anti-science line of oil industry shills like Dr. S. Fred Singer, who tell us that tobacco smoke is safe, the ozone hole was a natural phenomenon and climate change is a natural event.

No wonder Canada has been dismissed from the climate talks. We have earned the international status of science buffoon.

From: [email protected]
> To: (Constituent)
> Date: Thu, 17 Dec 2009 10:19:05 -0500
> Subject: RE: Copenhagen
> Ms. Stockdale,

> Thank-you for your email.
> First, I would like to mention that when we became government there was no plan or initiatives to meet Kyoto. We were already 35% over the targets that Canada signed on to meet.
> Second, Canada only emits 3% of the world green house gases so our Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, has worked through the G8 and G20 to try to get all developed countries on a common page to lower GHGs.
> Our focus as a new government was to address the quality of our air, water and natural environment. We introduced a Bill to eliminate Mercury from our environment. We brought in the Chemical Management Program that identifies chemicals in the products we use and the food we consume.  We are the only country in the world to actually ban the use of certain chemicals.  We also started work on a national water shed plan in a effort to protect Canada’s water sheds.
> We have spent billions on renewable energy development and research. By 2012 96 % of our electric power generation will be emissions free. We have invested in solar, wind, and biomass electric generation.
> Our government set exhaust emission targets for the auto industry with mandatory compliance in 2010. Furthermore we have invested hundreds of millions in carbon capture development with the Alberta government in a effort to reduce GHGs at the tar sands development. 40% of Canada’s GHGs come from the tar sands.  
> Climate warming is happening.  Just what the cause is has yet to be substantiated. Is it Co2 in the atmosphere, sun activity, or cyclical?  Is this a trend that will change as we have seen recently in cooling of temperatures and rebuilding of ice caps?  
> A good book on this issue is “Climate Confusion” written by a Climatologist in the US.  It’s worth the read.
> With oil prices up, this will force more development of alternative energy, cut the waste of energy and make people more aware of their carbon foot print. I also believe that as temporary citizens of this planet we should be good stewards of all that has been given to us and make every effort to protect the natural environment.
> Saying this I am careful not to over react and spend billions of taxpayer dollars because a few scientists say CO2 is causing the planet to warm. Scientists, when I went to school, said that there was a coming ice age.  They also said that the ozone layer was disappearing over the Arctic. (Remember the “Black Hole” that ended up being just the 24 hour sunlight (Ultra violet light) breaking down the ozone layer in summer?  Then this was reversed during the 24 darkness of winter.  This proved to be a natural occurrence). This resulted in millions spent on observation  and scientific research. Scientists theorise many things, some prove to be true some not. I want to make certain when I vote my vote is supported by sound scientific facts and less media hype.
> I will continue to be vigilant on the issue of the environment and do all I can to ensure cleaner air, water, and the elimination of toxins in our natural environment.
> Thanks for writing.
> Colin Mayes, MP - Okanagan Shuswap  
> ________________________________________

> From: (Constituent)

> Sent: December 17, 2009 12:31 AM
> To: Mayes, Colin - M.P.
> Subject: Copenhagen

> Canada’s postion on  climate change has been obstructive and dismal. We as a people should feel a sense of responsibility for our high emissions and make every effort to reduce our CO2’s. Our children face a future that we can’t even imagine. With 350  ppm as our goal, even this may not be enough. Think of a world without fossil fuel dependency.  Our environment would be clean, our oceans better able to support fish, our forest and lakes unpolluted. The greatest sin our generation will commit will be the willful contribution to species loss. Now we can add humans to that list. By this time next century we will be reduced to a fraction of our present numbers, and my grandchildren’s children will only ask, Why didn’t they do something when they knew about global warming and had opportunities to make changes.  You Colin Mayes and your Conservative Party are Canada’s only hope. You need to act now before it is too late. Take the leadership role and commit Canada to meaningful reductions. Judy Stockdale

—— End of Forwarded Message


I love the glib Whiticisms in the Article headings.

I would love to move to denierville it sounds so cozy and propserous. Kind of like the suburb where I live. Big houses, big trucks, big standard of living. I’m sure next door in climateville they are busy trying to insulate their mud huts for the winter and cooking eggs on rocks.

Just out of curiosity if the oilsands are only 5% of Canada’s carbon emissions why are they such a big deal? The economic spingoffs generates are ore than 5% of the Canadian economy. Even if you a warmaholic this looks like a small price for the world most important developement. So what gives?

… given how much time you spend here commenting (apparently without reading the articles) that you have to ask. Think single largest point source. Fastest growing. Scheduled to triple in production between now and 2020. Think “sacred cow” that is defining Canada’s (non) negotiating position.

Thanks Richard, Although I doubt it will triple by 2020. Too many projects have been delayed and the only one going forward right now is the kearle Oilsands project by Imperial Oil, so doubling might be more realistic but hey we still have ten years.

Richard, don’t take my slight disagrent with AGW alarmis to mean I don’t read the articles. I read them all first thing in the morning when I get to work and I must commend you guys they are very well done, for message you are trying to convey.

I was even thinking of giving you guys a tip for christmas since I do spend so much time here, but I’m sure you guys wouldn’t need it as you probably get huge donations from suzuki and other well monied foundations. Correct me if I’m wrong.
Merry Xmas, I hope global warming kicks in for the holidays.

Yes, it is highly unlikely it will triple in just ten years, unlikely it will double. There are severe limitations at the tar sands. The big limitation is natural gas. The entire tar sands project consumes 2/3 of Canada’s NG. It uses more than all home heating. Doubling will be very difficult indeed.

The other limitation is rate of extraction. To double would require more in situ, but that method ie even more energy intensive, hence its ERoEI is less than strip mining. ERoEI for the strip mining operation is 6:1 (but that is direct energy input at the project itself, that does not include energy to feed the workers, drive them to work, build their homes, and heat their homes. It also does not include subsequent refining). In situ has been rated at about 3:1 or less. That’s getting pretty close to break even and hence not viable.

Now, Richard is going to jump on me for supporting the tar sands. Yep, because we are in desparation mode. Welcome to the new era of human civilization – peak oil.

Why not extract the oil from the sand using nuclear energy instead of natural gas. Too expensive I guess, but if it were possible, we might spare the NG for other use and reduce the carbon footprint of the oil sands significantly.

yeah I realize greenpeace would protest.

In the 1950’s the scientific consensus was that the best way to extract the oil from the oilsands was to detonate a nuclear bomb within oilsands deposits. The the oil could be safely extracted free from the sand.

This concept still would work but I have no idea about the radioactive contaminents that would be present afterwards within either.
A. the Area of extraction
B. Within the Oil itself as Oil does have genetic markers within that may be subject to radioactive contaminance.

But yeah nuking fort Mac would solve the emissions problem or using nuclear energy like you recomend as well.

That is in fact been planned. But NG will still be needed, a lot of it. This is because NG is used to cap the end of the carbon chains that are cracked. It’s not oil in the tar sands, it’s bitumen. Very long chains of hydrocarbons. To break them they have to use methane to cap the ends of the small chains. Water can’t be used because of the oxygen atoms which tend to make alcohols and other chemicals which are oxidizers to oil.

That said, one CEO I saw interviewed on BNN said for the tar sand to produce 3mb/day in oil from just in situ would require building one thousand nuke reactors. The interviewer had to ask twice to make sure of the answer.

… and for the record, we don’t get a dime from Suzuki, which is itself a non-profit pressed to finance its own operations (although Jim Hoggan and John Lefebvre both support both this website AND the David Suzuki Foundation). The notion that Suzuki presides over some vast wealthy empire is a romantic fiction peddled by people who resent the Doc’s influence. Exxon employees probably spend more on disposable coffee cups (styrofoam, surely) than Suzuki spends maintaining his entire “empire” in an average year.

What a great letter this guy wrote. I can’t believe you guys are now saying that Spencer is an embarassment. Spencer is the only scientist who is looking at causation in the climate system. I can understand you getting mad at monckton, but Spencer and Lindzen are both top notch scientists.

Mayes refers to ice caps rebuilding. What ice cap in Canada can he find that is rebuilding? This is where credibility is completely lost.

I could go on and on.

Maybe he is referring to the efforts in Austria using snowmaking on a glacier.

Nothing happening there that is beyond normal variation. There is no evidence linking our CO2 emissions to any supposed shrinking of glaciers.

Unless the growth of glaciers can also be caused by our co2 emissions:

The list of glaciers growing is to be laughed at.
Briksdalsbreen Glacier is the poster child of retreating glaciers in Norway. Engabreen has retreated 200 meters in the last decade.

Helm Glacier and Place Glacier in Canada are rapidly retreating.
In fact note the loss of 75 of Helm Glacier since 1928

I have worked on glaciers on Mount Shuksan each of the last 26 summers and they are not advancing.
I could go on picking this list apart.