Students should ask questions adults dare not
By Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris
TORONTO – OPINION – On August 31st at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School in Gatineau, Quebec, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna launched https://climatekids.ca/, a climate change website for children. Besides being hopelessly biased in favour of climate alarmism, it is yet another example of unwarranted Federal expansionism. Education is a Provincial, not Federal, responsibility in the division of powers in the British North America Act.
Sounding more like a DC Comics fictional superheroine than a serious Minister of the Crown, McKenna asked students, “Are you guys going to help me help the planet?” This is reflective of American Journalist H.L. Mencken’s comment that “The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule.”
In fact, the Minister’s actions and exhortations are an extension of the overarching goal of global environmentalism set out by Canadian businessman and former United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Maurice Strong. After spending days with him at the U.N., author Elaine Dewar wrote in her book Cloak of Green, “Strong was using the U.N. as a platform to sell a global environment crisis and the Global Governance Agenda.”
Of course, Strong’s global environment crisis was global warming and by working through the bureaucracies, it gave him extensive control of politicians for his global governance agenda.
McKenna is also a victim of American author Mary McCarthy’s warning that “bureaucracy, the rule of no one, has become the modern form of despotism.” The Minister’s source of climate change ‘information’ are the bureaucrats at Environment Canada (EC). With a law degree, a Master’s from the London School of Economics, and her work “in the areas of competition, trade, and constitutional law,” McKenna lacks the background to critically assess the talking points she is given by EC officials. Aside from political expediency, there appears to be no reason Prime Minister Trudeau gave the portfolio to someone who apparently has no training in environment, climatology or, indeed, physical science of any kind.
Following EC’s lead, McKenna blindly promotes the findings of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was established in 1988 by the U.N. Environment Program (founded by Strong in 1972), and the World Meteorological Organization. The IPCC is made up of bureaucrats from the national weather offices of U.N. member nations. The founding meeting of the IPCC in Villach, Austria in 1985 was chaired by then EC Assistant Deputy Minister Gordon McBean.
EC bureaucrats controlled the global warming agenda from the start, even preventing ministers from meeting with scientists who disputed the climate crisis. Former environment minister David Anderson indicated this when he announced that he had consulted all Canadian climate experts and therefore was going to support the Kyoto Protocol. Eight leading scientists who did not agree with the government’s position travelled to Ottawa and announced their exclusion from Anderson’s consultations at a press conference. The government ignored them completely.
The same thing is now happening with McKenna. Even though reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (citing hundreds of experts published in peer-reviewed science journals in support of climate skepticism) have been given to her personally, the Minister behaves as if no reputable alternative points of view exist. Indeed, she has repeatedly mocked those who contest the government’s position, Tweeting on July 23, 2016, for example, “BTW – If you’re a climate denier, you should get another hobby.”
It took a massive diversion of funds within EC to pursue their climate change agenda: $6.8 billion from 1997 to 2005, for example, according to the Auditor General, almost all of it spent on programs supporting the alarmist position of the government. An internal report carried out by Price Waterhouse revealed that other legislated responsibilities of EC suffered as a result. Environmental scientist Dr. Ken Green wrote in the National Post (December 12, 2003), that internal documents obtained through an Access to Information request revealed that “Canada’s climate change science program is being driven by a predetermined political agenda with a clear disregard of scientific needs… Canada collects “less climate science data per-square-kilometer of any other major country…the archiving of climate data is so highly fragmented that it is difficult to find out what datasets are available, let alone how to access them.”
Of course, meaningful forecasts of future climate change are impossible when we have so little data about current conditions.
In Hans Christian Andersen’s, The Emperor’s New Clothes, it took a child to cry out, “but he isn’t wearing anything at all!” The adults were much too frightened of being seen as “unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent” to dare say the obvious.
Since most Canadians, even the leaders of the Conservative Party of Canada, are too frightened of political correctness to question McKenna about her ‘new clothes,’ perhaps it will again be left to children to corner the minister. It was reported by the Vancouver-based National Observer on-line newspaper that, in response to the Minister’s silly question to students, “Is climate change real?”, at least one Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School student called out “no.”
Rather than risk being expelled for such sarcasm, students who don’t appreciate being whipped into line for a politician’s photo op might as well get in trouble for doing something valuable. The next time McKenna intrudes into the school system, students should ask what makes her qualified to be our nation’s top climate change official. They should ask her why she ignores the opinions of experts who do not support the government’s position. And finally, they should ask how she can justify spending billions of tax dollars on the possibility of dangerous future climate change when millions of people around the world need help right now finding the food, clothes, shelter, and energy they need just to survive.
Seeing how the Minister handles such questions would give students a real-life lesson far more valuable than any of her carefully scripted talking points.
Dr. Tim Ball is an environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba. Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition.
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