Financial Post: Disinformation Central

Loyal readers of the deSmogBlog will know that in our paranoid moments we are most outraged by “climate sceptics” whose goal is not to present a reasonable argument that challenges climate science, but merely to suggest that there is an argument, that there is doubt. Because, in suggesting that the science is not clear, they can argue for inaction; they can argue that we should stand back and do nothing – let market forces act as they may, without interference from government (or science).

If such a disinformation lobby exists (and we're convinced it does), the principal Canadian spokester must still be Financial Post Editor Terence Corcoran, whose column today is a triumph of just this sort of assault on certainty. Corcoran begins:

“Two weeks ago on this page 60 scientists, most of them climate specialists who are skeptical of official global-warming theory, signed an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The Skeptic 60 called on the Prime Minister to launch a review of the science behind Canadian climate policy. This week, 90 scientists from the other side of the issue rallied with a competing letter, arguing that the science is settled and we should move on to action.”

“So it looks like we have at least the beginnings of a debate, long overdue and of vital importance to Canada and its economy.”

We are, of course, well past having “a debate.” Every reputable scientific group in the world has already pronounced on the reliability of climate change science. (See Is Climate Change Real?) And Corcoran makes no effort to challenge the science. Rather he attacks the scientists, suggesting some degree of perfidy because many have earned peer-reviewed government funding because of the high quality of their research.

It is interesting that Corcoran made no similar effort to question the 60 “accredited experts” whose earlier letter appeared in his pages.

The Financial Post  and all those critics who challenge the Canadian participation in the one (inadequate) international climate convention (Kyoto) continue to argue for a further review of the science. Great. We're all for more research. But in saying that government should stand back, abandon all climate change policies, and let the fossil fuel industry do whatever it pleases while such a review is occurring, Corcoran is not arguing for clarity. He is urging government paralysis, a condition that we can ill afford.


As Terry Corcoran would say, you can’t beat the free market: the best thing to do is join the legion of readers who have cancelled their National Post – increasingly a dull, stripped-down version of its original ebullient self. CanWest Global has slashed the budget and the good writers have mostly bailed, leaving only the most doctrinaire corporate apologists.

The other tack is, again, to speak up. What these people are saying is wrong, and dangerously so. It can’t be allowed to go unchallenged.