New DeSmog Site Clears Election Pollution

Go to for News and Analysis

Election fever has captured the U.S. and Canada simultaneously and the outcome of these two contests may affect the future of humankind more critically than any previous elections in this history of either country.

Given the recent (i.e. George Bush-induced) climate policy in the United States, U.S. voters are choosing between one candidate (John McCain) who is better than the last guy and one who may actually show leadership on this, the most important environmental issue in human history.

The situation is more clear cut - if more dire - in Canada. Four of the five credible party leaders have climate change platforms that would take Canada off the list of greedy nations that put their own short-term profits ahead of global environmental safety. But one leader, current Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has made it clear that his most important constituents are the people who want unfettered rights to develop the tar sands - environmental consequences be damned. will help you analyse the position of all the leading candidates. It sorts through policies, checks candidates' rhetoric against past action and grades the leaders. Check out the site. Share it with your friends.

After years of international embarrassment - during which our two countries have done everything in their powers to block international action against global warming, we have a chance to vote for change. Make sure, before you choose, that you have cleared away the PR pollution and weighed the implication of your vote.

And then, wherever you are.


Keep on spinning, won’t change the election outcome. Must be frustrating to know the public rejects your propoganda.

Oh, and it’s nice you want to throw thousands of people in Alberta out of work, and making fuels to heat our homes more expensive, make fuels to get food on our table more expensive. Very responsible indeed.

Hey JR. Looks like your comments are getting through now. Over on our total page views are currently at 400,000. That's just since the 23rd. 50,000 unique visitors.

People from across the country are VERY interested in voting for the environment. They are spending time on the site, viewing multiple pages, and we're seeing 80 percent new visitors each day with our daily visitor number at it highest for today.

With many conservative ridings being won by margins of less that 1000 votes and with 34-36 percent of the vote…well, you do the math.

So if anyone is interested in seeing how to NOT accidentally split the environment vote and  re-elect the disasterous Harper government, head on over to and see who your best candidate is.

Shut up with your neo-con, intellectually-bankrupt rhetoric, JR! You’ve added zero substance to DeSmogBlog ever since you first started commenting. Why don’t you go throw your head in the sand (or the tar sands), back where it seems more suitable given the lack of validity of your arguments.

Ever notice how zealots get really rude just before their cause tanks?
Frustrations of being on the wrong side of an issue does that to people.
It should be very entertaining in the next year to watch them get ever more frustrated and rude as the climate does what it wants and not what they want.
Fortunately few Canadians believe in AGW enough to actually vote to sink the economy over it.

there is a disconnect between the AGW movement and ordinary people for sure. Vast majority of people just don’t talk or think much about AGW at all.

Just today I came across a couple green party activists. Smiling pleasant folks. I chatted with the middle aged man on one side of the street. He offered me a pamphlet - didn’t bring up any issues. then talked to the extremely attractive green party gal on the other side of the street - very pleasant - no issues - pamphlet offer.

I think thats smart - people don’t care about GW so win them over with the cute girl!

The goose that laid the gooey egg, that is…. The only responsible basis for tar sands production is to take enormous profits and apply them to alternative energy development. Pity then that my Alberta Government has pissed the leases away at 1% royalty (until invested capital is repaid). In other words, me and all Albertans are paying the capital costs of Syncrude/Suncor from OUR RESOURCES, so that they can profit. Nice bargaining Ralph. The entire Athabasca basin not only squandered but f$$$ed and we get no money to develop the alternatives. Hello Alberta? They use twice as much water in a year as Calgary…. except for one thing…. when Calgary is finished with the water you can drink it. This will go down in history making Wacky Bennett and his sell out of BC hydro to Washington State look like a brilliant deal. But then history doesn’t matter to believers, right?

The tars sands provides:

1) no sales tax in Alberta

2) no provincial debt in Alberta

3) huge surplus in Alberta

4) thousands of good paid jobs (which the Left complains there are not enough of)

5) keeps home heating fuel prices down

6) keeps motore vehicle fuel prices down

7) keeps food prices down

8) keeps federal income taxes down.

9)…. and on and on.

Tar Sands payoff Submitted by JR Wakefield on Tue, 2008-09-30 09:14.

The tars sands provides:

1) no sales tax in Alberta

2) no provincial debt in Alberta

3) huge surplus in Alberta

4) thousands of good paid jobs (which the Left complains there are not enough of)

5) keeps home heating fuel prices down

6) keeps motore vehicle fuel prices down

7) keeps food prices down

8) keeps federal income taxes down.

9)…. and on and on.

Indeed. Mr.Wakefeild has brought us to the knub of the matter.  It is not about consequences or science or anything else but a grab. Prosperity for now and damn the consequences. Like the Republicans hate taxes FOR NOW but damn the taxpayers of the future who will pick up the tab.  On and on indeed.

So you would rather we live like we did in the middle ages? Tell a new person out of highschool or post secondary institute that they cannot have a job because we can’t have prosperity.

So, how much are you willing to personally pay to save the planet? 100% of your income? Tell us how much.

I love the fact that you fail to answer the question. I can answer for my part. I just spent $30,000 on a year round greenhouse so I can grow food all year. I spent $10,000 on our house adding new windows, doors, and insulation. I just spent $40,000 on a ground source heat pump to get off natural gas. And I have periodically funded various groups who are attempting to rebuild populations of parrots, including in South America and the kakapo in New Zealand.

Now, let’s see your list.

Good for you. (I’m actually being serious here.) Now if Harper didn’t eliminate the Energuide retrofit program, people with lower incomes could have done the same thing and lowered their bills for electricity, natural gas, and other utilities.

If as it seems you have such a concern about the ecology and sustainability of our planet, then how come you can’t seem to get around not realizing how much of a threat AGW poses to humans, animals, plants, and the entire planet? That doesn’t make any sense to me.

Actually, between federal and provincial govs I get $9,000 in grants back for the geothermal. There is a current cap of $10,000 to upgrade your home. One is an injection of insulation behind bricks. Costs about $3500 to get done, which is all covered.

I’m not doing this because of AGW to lower my carbon footprint. I’m doing this because of peak oil as that is the nearest threat. I realized PO 10 years ago, we moved from Toronto 5 years ago from a large house small lot to near London Ont small house large lot. Now I’m just preparing for the chaos coming, or is here now, kinda looks like it. In 18 days at this rate the entire stock market will be wiped out.

As for environmental issues, I have always been an environmentalists. In fact, in my view the biggest environmental threat to the planet is not AGW, it’s overpopulation of humans. That is the biggest problem this planet faces. Peak oil will clean that up as we move into the post carbon era. In 100 years I predict humanity will be on the way down, settling at 10-15% of today. And the planet will be much better off.

But at the same time I’ve fought dogma/pseudoscience too, and AGW is exactly that.

I certainly agree with you (weird, eh?, saying I agree with you!) that overpopulation is a huge concern. It threatens the sustainability of our planet, and without getting control over our own population, any effort in trying to protect the environment will go for naught.

However, another huge cause in terms of AGW is overpopulation. Humans are chopping down old forests, herding cattle, and transporting themselves at exponential rates, which is producing huge quantities of CO2 and methane, reducing the ability of the planet to regulate greenhouse gases (via carbon sinks), and fouling the air, water, and soil because there are simply too many of us for the planet to handle.

Your statement that AGW is pseudoscience is incorrect, though. Aside from that statement, I actually agree with much of your post to which I am replying.

With all the other problems facing humanity and the consequences of humanity on the planet, which will hit us first? Recall the dire predictions of AGW are at least 100 years in the future.

Best estimates of recource depletion gives us less than 25 years. Peak oil is likley on us now. Once that goes into terminal decline what we have enjoyed for the past 60 years – peace and prosperity – will come to an end (it likely is coming to and end now with this economic collapse).

Personally, I give us a 50-50 chance that there will be people around in 100 years who will have a concern that we rose sea level by 2 meters.

What we need to do now is prepare society for life without oil. And for all you who wish this to happen, you are not going to like living as we did in the 1700’s. No health care, no pensions, little food, short lives, 1/3 of children survive 1st year, incurable deseases, etc. But we will return to the horse and buggy days, with a much smaller population size. The question is how do we get there? Smoothly or will Punctuated Equilibium happen? I prefer the smoothly, but fear PE will happen.

… there’s another great, informative presidential record-tracking site at Oil Change International’s Follow the Oil Money ( that shows how much candidates have accepted in contributions from the oil industry. Then, on the Vote Tracker page, you can correlate that with how they’ve each voted on key energy and climate issues. Let “real” facts be known!

Rob, Gary, Rick, et al. When I drop in here to read the comments and see you guys still hanging around, cutting-and-pasting tired red herring stuff from years ago, I really wonder if you haven’t realized that people have just moved on.

Nobody questions any of this any more. The Republican Presidential candidate is onside, for gosh sake.

You guys are right in there with the 9/11 conspiracy folks, the flat-earthers of all stripes, and those guys left over from WW II, protecting an Island nobody wants or cares about. Talk about Lost.

Really, no disrespect is intended at all. I’m not going ad hominem on you. This is just a public service announcement aimed at helping you move on and get some value out of life. I am a caring person.

Have people moved on really?

Isn’t the whole point of desmogs existence the fact that there are a lot of dissenting voices out there that need to be shouted down?

that is my understanding.

As far as the Republican candidate or the current President for that matter accepting the official GW mantra - well it’s called lip service to be honest. It’s the least of their concerns as I’m sure you would agree.

regarding being lost - we’re all lost - Humans have often thought they have it all figured out - and they’re often wrong. That is my take on history. Curve balls are yet ahead.

In other words, return Desmogblog to a boring, preach to the converted diatribe against the right, and against the right to disagree, and against the requirement to be skeptical in science. I’ve dealt with creationism for 20 years. I know what science is and I know all the signs of what dogma is. And attempting to silence dissent is part of the dogma.

“I know what science is”. A statement you have you have entirely failed to demonstrate. Unless you count linking to hacks and rags as science.

Science, through hypothesis and testing results in theory or conceptions about how things work. It’s not absolutely fool proof. Climate is pretty tough to get a hold on. So many variables and unknowns. Clouds and aerosols and Ocean currents and their effects are hard to measure. Assumptions have to be made.

CO2 is easy to measure, but climate measure is impossible. It’s a bunch of arbitrary graphs that are the best guess of a bunch of people armed with data that is impossible to verify and often corrupt (weather stations). It’s nebulous. Just admit it. We don’t understand the climate. It does whatever it does.

To say we have a hold of it now is just laughable and of course very political in nature.

Nice Try. but.
Nobody Questions this any more?
LOL - I can point out 35000 right off the top of my head.

The debate is just getting rolling.
The only people that have moved on are the religiously devout. Their minds are made up and they are not interested in facts.
Kinda like the creationists don’t you think?

And as for Posting old news.
The AGW crowd are the ones that keep refering to the out of date IPCC reports.
You know that submissions were cut off in May of 06 before all the latest research was published on solar infleuences and the PDO shift don’t you. Its public knowledge so you must know that.

Yup We’ve moved on alright. To a more realistic view of climate science.
Go buy some sweaters, you are going to need them.

Here are a couple of up to date posts just for interest sake.

Current temp trend:

AGW science corrupted:

1 further point Admin

you are a caring person and ….
We are miserable trolls and lost in some kind of flat earth existence.

If I’ve done my math right that makes you a superior human being …. but wait that can’t be right. I already claimed that title.

you seem to be on my turf.

By Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu is a former director of the Geophysical Institute and the International Arctic Research Center, both on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Recent studies by the Hadley Climate Research Center (UK), the Japan Meteorological Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of East Anglia (UK) and the University of Alabama Huntsville show clearly that the rising trend of global average temperature stopped in 2000-2001. Further, NASA data shows that warming in the southern hemisphere has stopped, and that ocean temperatures also have stopped rising.

The stopping of the rise in global average temperature after 2000-2001 indicates that the hypothesis and prediction made by the IPCC need serious revision. I have been suggesting during the last several years that there are at least two natural components that cause long-term climate changes. The first is the recovery (namely, warming) from the Little Ice Age, which occured approximately 1800-1850. The other is what we call the multi-decadal oscillation. In the recent past, this component had a positive gradient (warming) from 1910 to 1940, a negative gradient (cooling — many Fairbanksans remember the very cold winters in the 1960s) from 1940 to 1975, and then again a positive gradient (warming — many Fairbanksans have enjoyed the comfortable winters of the last few decades or so) from 1975 to about 2000. The multi-decadal oscillation peaked around 2000, and a negative trend began at that time. The second component has a large amplitude and can overwhelm the first, and I believe that this is the reason for the stopping of the temperature rise. Since CO2 has only a positive effect, the new trend indicates that natural changes are greater than the CO2 effect, as I have stated during the last several years.

Bloomberg, 1 October 2008

China, the world’s most populous nation, called on wealthier countries to slash production of greenhouse gases as much as 95 percent by mid-century and leave developing economies with a lower pollution-cutting burden.

In a preliminary step to tackle global-warming emissions, the proposal seeks cuts of 25 percent to 40 percent by 2020 from 1990’s level, the Chinese government said in a statement on the Web site of a United Nations agency that oversees climate treaties. is a farce. Conservatives have a clear plan for the environment. Thy are developing the technology and know how to solve the greenhouse gas issues from the largest contributors.

Compare with Green Party…

They have the targets (just like Kyoto) but no plan to get there. They are depending on technology that has not even been developed yet.

Regulate vehicle emissions to fall by 85% by 2040, using a variety of methods

Work with the motor industry, the province and other partners to develop a sustainable vehicles strategy, leading to an 85% reduction in emissions below today’s level by 2040.

Green Government will work with the trucking industry and other partners to develop a sustainable trucking strategy, leading to an 85% reduction in overall emissions by 2040.

A Green Government will work with the aviation industry to develop a sustainability strategy, leading to an 85% reduction in overall emissions by 2040.

A Nitrous Oxide Task Force will be established to recommend ways to reduce Canada’s N2O emissions by 85% by 2025.

Oil and gas extraction companies will be obliged to capture and sequestrate an increasing volume of released CO2 beyond that used for enhanced oil recovery. This will start with 10% in 2012, 25% in 2020, 50% in 2023 and 85% in 2040.

See what the Conservatives are doing about the environment.

- Forcing industry to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions;
- Setting up a carbon emissions trading market, including a carbon offset system, to provide incentives for Canadians to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions; and
- Establishing a market price for carbon.

The Government of Canada has established a national target of an absolute 20% reduction in greenhouse gases from 2006 levels by the year 2020 – a reduction of 330 megatonnes from projected levels. This is equal to eliminating the combined greenhouse gas emissions from Alberta, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Existing facilities in all industrial sectors will face tough requirements to improve their emissions performance every year.

These tough regulatory requirements will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands and electricity sectors by about 90 megatonnes, or 55% of the total expected reductions of 165 megatonnes from industry by 2020. This will be challenging for these sectors but the Government is confident that they will step up to meet the challenge.

- Mandatory renewable fuel content in gasoline, diesel and heating oil;
- For the first time in Canadian history, tough new fuel consumption standards for cars, light trucks and sport utility vehicles;
- New energy efficiency requirements for a wide range of commercial and consumer products, such as dishwashers and commercial boilers; and
- New national performance standards that will ban inefficient incandescent lightbulbs.

Provincial governments have already committed to targets that would require achieving greenhouse gas reductions of as much as 300 megatonnes by 2020. Over 200 provincial initiatives have been developed to date to begin achieving those goals. While some of those initiatives overlap with federal actions, they are estimated to provide an incremental 40 megatonnes in emissions reductions by 2020. Most provinces have indicated that they are planning to do even more to meet their own targets. The Government of Canada has provided over $1.5 billion in new funding to the provinces and territories to support their climate change initiatives.

You are basing this election on International Embarrassment? Canada should never have signed the Kyoto accord. Since we did, I suggest we ignore it. After all the planet’s temperature is below what it would have been if all the signatories had reduced their C02 emmissions. Let stop calling C02 emmissions, greenhouse gas emmissions please. Despite attempts to label atmospheric carbon dioxide a “pollutant” it is, in fact, an essential trace gas, the increasing abundance of which is a bonus for the bulk of the biosphere. Since the planet has lost .7 degrees C this year, we need all the C02 we can get to enhance plant growth.

Ever since Kyoto [the protocol] came into our lives, Canadians have been led
to believe that environmental change is inextricably linked to the exchange
of money. Climate change necessitates global deals that create havoc on the
economies of individual countries, emissions trading schemes and complicated
carbon taxes. This, we are told, is the only way we can save our planet from
the inevitable destruction that Al Gore has predicted.

Once we were convinced of that, it was just a short step for Dion and the
Liberals to bring out the carbon tax: Anyone and any industry that dares to
emit carbons will have to pay – whether it’s big industry paying billions
of dollars or individual Canadians paying out thousands more each year for
food, gas, hydro, etc.

Some Canadians actually think this is a good idea. But before we jump on
board the carbon tax bandwagon, we should consider what has happened in
other countries that have already implemented some version of a carbon tax.
It was reported this week that Scandinavian countries have been using carbon
taxes since the early 1990s, yet the results are less than convincing.

Norway’s taxes led to a 43 per cent increase in emissions. Sweden showed a
nine per cent reduction in carbon emissions – but its heavy manufacturers
continue to pump out greenhouse gasses at will, because Sweden only taxes

Denmark’s emissions fell 15 per cent from 1990 to 2005, largely because it
has embraced wind power and eliminated 25 per cent of its manufacturing
jobs. I will add that Denmark is now buying their electricity since wind power did not work out. They also just eliminated subsidies for wind farms.

In England, a host of environmental taxes and charges mean that the average
British motorist now pays nearly $2,000 in fuel taxes per year. Energy costs
have risen by 20 per cent and it is estimated that British businesses now
pay an estimated $45 billion annually in green fees and taxes.

The idea behind carbon taxes is that they can be used to shape consumer
behaviour. But as long as consumers or even industries are willing to pay
the tax, they can continue to pollute at will.

So carbon taxes aren’t a guarantee of taking action on the environment.
Carbon credits are also talked about as though they have some sort of impact
on climate change.

The idea is to balance your carbon emissions by making an investment in some
program that supposedly does something to reduce carbon emissions somewhere
or at some time in the future. But the carbon offset industry is unregulated
and, as a result, there are a host of speculative ideas and ludicrous
theories that are being financed.

An unfortunate example is that of the English band, Coldplay.

They became environmental heroes when they promised fans a carbon-neutral
world tour and publicly purchased 10,000 mango trees in India to offset
carbon emissions from travel and concerts.

A year later, it was found that many of the trees had either died or never
been planted in the first place.

There is little evidence that carbon taxes and carbon credits do anything to
save the environment, and we are wasting a lot of valuable time and
resources in trying to implement them.

Given their dubious record, why are we wasting our time even considering
them? We don’t need more government bureaucracy, we need more environmental

Ockham’s razor is the philosophical theory that essentially says the
simplest idea is usually the best. Applying it to climate change, there are
a number of things Canadians can do now that will have a positive impact on
the environment.

For example, installing a water-saving showerhead can save a family of three
up to 190,000 litres of water and $190 in heating costs in one year.

Water-saving toilets save 45,000 litres of water for a family of three and
reduce water usage by 60 - 80 per cent.

A programmable thermostat can save up to 10 per cent of heating costs in one
year. Every ton of recycled newspaper saves 30,000 litres of water and 4,000
kW of electricity – enough to power an average three-bedroom home.

Each ton of recycled aluminum (e.g. pop cans) saves 75 per cent of the
electricity needed to create new aluminum, resulting in a 95 per cent
reduction in carbon dioxide gases released.

Each ton of recycled glass saves 50 per cent of the energy and 50 per cent
of the water pollution required to produce new glass.

Thermal-pane windows can save up to 15 per cent of annual energy costs and
proper insulation can save another 15 - 30 per cent, depending on the age
and condition of the home. Frontloading washing machines use one-half of the
water and electricity used by conventional top-loading machines.

These measures are not controversial or costly; they have an immediate,
positive impact on the environment and they are practical, common-sense
solutions that every Canadian can undertake.

So why do we insist on talking about taxing Canadians instead of helping
Canadians to do the simplest things that actually help the environment?

Carbon taxes are just an environmental-warrior’s version of the Emperor’s
New Clothes, and now the truth is out: There’s nothing there.