Peter Jackson’s Dec. 30 column on climate change news and views prompted me to respond.
Yes, Ted Cruz, one of a field of oil-backed GOP presidential candidates recently said that “science does not support” man-made climate change. This Canadian citizen-renouncing, Texas senator is bold-facedly perpetuating the big lie in support of the fossil-fuel industry that caused the problem.
No surprise here. Cruz is but one of many deniers who take comfort in the false premise that their privilege and wealth will eventually shield them from any negative impacts of climate change.
No piece on climate change shysters is complete without reference to the oil giant Exxon, the fifth largest corporation (by revenue) in the world. Yes, it appears it had scientific evidence of this crisis decades ago, hid it and then peddled doubt but it continues to promote denial. It siphons multi millions of dollars to organizations like the Heartland Institute, a powerful club of climate change deniers.
One scientist with Heartland, S. Fred Singer, sold his scientific reputation and credentials to both the tobacco and oil industries. In the 1990s, he launched a publicity campaign for the tobacco giant Philip Morris to suggest that second-hand smoke is not a human carcinogen.
I loved it that Peter acknowledged the contribution of two locals in the big lie, Raggedy Andy and Ignoramus Rex.
Rex is not just a bionic mouth; it’s a mercenary one. He is paid handsomely by the oil sector for his “hollow rhetoric” at its black-tie dinners and conferences. He is an orator of distinction whose words have value, albeit, not measured in truth and wisdom, but in dollars and cents.
And then we have our very own Andy Wells. According to Andy, climate change is “a farce” and that the statistics given by scientists are “corrupt, erroneous and false.” Never mind that Well’s views place him opposite the likes of U.S. President Barack Obama, Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama, Al Gore, Desmond Tutu, David Suzuki, Bill Gates and 97 per cent of the world’s credible scientists, just to name a few.
Alarmingly, is that he is chairman of our energy regulator, the PUB, charged with applying a sound mind, keen intellect and unrelenting objectivity to such important matters as regulating petroleum prices and decisions regarding our energy infrastructure.
On the Paris summit, I do not share Peter’s positivity. While the Trudeau government brought a much-needed and more responsible position and attitude to the climate talks (compared to the climate change denier Harper), there was no binding agreement with binding targets and penalties.
As well, the so-called agreement lacked a commitment to adequate financing for mitigation, adaption and for loss and damage and no protection from transnational corporate lawsuits (i.e.: protection from investor-state provisions in trade deals).
Albert Einstein was said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
It seems to me that the COP21 agreement and the policies and actions of the governments of the developed economies are doing exactly what Einstein warned against. The predominant thinking in seeking solutions to climate change is to use the principles, values and levers of “the market” (carbon pricing as an example) which is the very thing that caused the problem in the first place.
St. John’s Chapter — Council of Canadians