Big dose of skepticism needed

Moore says the subsidies to highcost wind and even higher-cost solar power that Ontario and various European countries have adopted are unnecessarily driving up energy prices. And poverty, he notes, is the worst environmental problem of all.

By Jon Ferry, Vancouver Province

People sometimes ask me why I keep mentioning global warming in my articles. The answer, I think, is obvious: It’s the hottest topic of our times, at least in our privileged corner of Mother Earth.

Climate change itself isn’t the real issue here. The world’s climate was changing long before humans could ever be considered a cause of it. And I believe more folks than ever are coming to understand that.

No, the big problem now is the erosion of our freedoms, including the freedom to think, by self-righteous control freaks bent on setting up suffocating, cripplingly costly eco-bureaucracies to police everything from light bulbs to garbage . . . as Metro Vancouver now plans to do.

Don’t take my word for it. Just ask Patrick Moore, the former top Greenpeace activist who grew up in the hippie era but eventually became disenchanted with negative-minded eco-extremists, often with far-left, anti-business agendas.

Moore, who has a PhD in ecology, was branded a Judas for his pains. And many of the attacks on him for “selling out” to industry -which makes money, creates jobs and helps feed families -still border on the hysterical.

However, I’d suggest that it’s Moore, the hard-nosed corporate consultant, rather than prickly eco-prophet David Suzuki, the current media darling, who has the most workable energy and pollution solutions.

Moore, who was born into a Vancouver Island logging family, has been busy of late promoting his new book Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist (Beatty Street Publishing). He has a lofty goal.

“I’m trying to change the way people see the entire issue of environmentalism,” he told me Friday. “I’m trying to get people to recognize that human beings are part of the environment . . . and that we are not a plague or a cancer as many suggest, and that we are part of the solution and that there are solutions to these issues.”

The trouble is, he says, many of these solutions are opposed by environmentalists who, for example, say they want to stop fossil-fuel consumption, yet oppose nuclear energy and hydroelectric power.

“And those are the two main technologies that could actually replace fossil fuels,” he says. “Wind and solar haven’t got a hope in hell of ever doing that, partly because you can’t count on them.”

Moore says the subsidies to highcost wind and even higher-cost solar power that Ontario and various European countries have adopted are unnecessarily driving up energy prices. And poverty, he notes, is the worst environmental problem of all.

He himself is a great believer in hydro power, which B.C. has in abundance. He favours building the Site C dam on the Peace River.

“The Site C up in the Peace is 900 megawatts of reliable power at much less cost than wind . . . and yet they’ve been dragging their feet on that, and David Suzuki is against it,” he said.

Unsurprisingly, Moore strongly questions the so-called consensus on human-induced global warming: “I’m a skeptic in the healthy sense.”

Sensible, skeptical environmentalism? Now, that’s an idea whose time has come. It sure beats cockeyed certitude.

11 thoughts on “Big dose of skepticism needed

  1. Why do most people have to depend on “Authority” figures like Moore, Suzuki, Strong or any other so-called “environmentalist to speak for them?

    Each and every person on this planet is or should be quite capable of researching these issues and when faced with a debate about AGW or some other matter that “doesn’t sound quite right” has a moral obligation to find the “truth” amongst all the babble and rhetoric.

    Humans should “get over themselves” as they are not the centre of this universe! We are all just sharing this planet for a very brief period with millions of other organisms that are just as important to the overall environment as we are.

    Nobody speaks for the animals, the trees, the fish or the microrganisms that make our lives possible. When you do then your labelled a “tree hugger, a Nimby, and in our case a “terrorist or Bully” as we are now.

    To require the Moore’s, Suzuki’s or May’s to be quoted as “your” spokesman in this debate means your input has been neutered or basically nullified.

    Common sense and the reality of what is going on in the environment is OUR issue, not a person who has ulterior motives for speaking on our behalf, like trying to sell a book they just wrote!

  2. So right Q!

    Unfortunately the self-nominated “spokespeople” who are first and foremost self-promoters, suit the control oriented government agenda which is to herd sheep,
    far easier than herding cats…

    We should all be cats; curious about our environment, self-sufficient, and ferocious when pushed about rudely.

  3. This post of yours, Q, is worthy of framing.

    No one has ever put the issue more succinctly or so clearly.

    Many thanks.

  4. The comments about his treatment by Moore were interesting…

    Here is a similar situation regarding a Canadian who should be know to everyone here.

    ABC == Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

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    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/bias-at-the-netional-broadcaster-is-as-easy-as-abc/story-fn59niix-1226009060141

    THE ABC’s charter calls for balance and professionalism but it seems these values are no longer held by some of its staff. Don’t believe me? Here’s just one example.

    In late November last year Sara Phillips, ABC’s environment editor, posted an opinion piece about climate negotiations at Cancun to her taxpayer-funded blog. I left a comment suggesting she might be better off covering a recent paper published in the Journal of Climate co-authored by Steve McIntyre. This work refuted an earlier study published in Nature in the summer of 2009 and widely covered by the ABC which claimed there was unusual warming in west Antarctica due to man-made global warming. McIntyre and co-authors O’Donnell, Lewis and Condon proved the statistical methodology of the Nature study was flawed and the results erroneous. I directed Phillips to a post on the subject by McIntyre, at his Climate Audit website.

    It’s not about shutting down the debate, it’s about moving it to an appropriate venue. One where the taxpayer does not have to wear the cost, or bear the risks of paying out on defamation cases brought about by poor moderation.

    *****************************

  5. And we have to keep looking over our shoulder — as if dealing with wind turbines was not enough…

    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2049255,00.html#ixzz1ESPmLXZx

    Foodies Can Eclipse (and Save) the Green Movement

    “These are dark days for the environmental movement. A year after being on the cusp of passing landmark legislation to cap greenhouse gases, greens are coming to accept the fact that the chance of national and international action on climate change has become more remote than ever. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is under attack by newly empowered Republicans in Congress who argue that the very idea of environmental protection is unaffordable for our debt-ridden country. Accustomed to remaining optimistic in the face of long odds, the environmental movement all at once faces a challenge just to stay relevant in a hostile political climate. In 2004, authors Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus faced a harsh backlash from the greens when they released a polemic essay called “The Death of Environmentalism,” but now it appears they might have been ahead of their time.”

    “Even as traditional environmentalism struggles, another movement is rising in its place, aligning consumers, producers, the media and even politicians. It’s the food movement, and if it continues to grow it may be able to create just the sort of political and social transformation that environmentalists have failed to achieve in recent years. That would mean not only changing the way Americans eat and the way they farm — away from industrialized, cheap calories and toward more organic, small-scale production, with plenty of fruits and vegetables — but also altering the way we work and relate to one another. To its most ardent adherents, the food movement isn’t just about reform — it’s about revolution.”

    ************************

    Maybe if we installed fewer of these stupid turbines we could keep up our agricultural production…

  6. “How climate taxes are hurting the most vulnerable working families” ,Feb.21,11 at MONEY WEEK a U.K. business publication.

    From Jan.2000-Jan.2009, LME/low & middle earners, saw the costs of an average LME life rise by 18%. LMEs spend 40% of weekley net income on housing,food,transport and fuel.

    This article also has a link to the Taxpayers Alliance website to see how the taxes related to climate change policy will add ~ 300-500 pounds on to each current electricity bill.

    http://www.moneyweek.com/blog/climate-taxes-hurt-vulnerable-working-families-00322

  7. Yes, I remember this article and it’s worth reviewing again. More voo-doo economics for Canada.

    Poor and low income Ontarians simply can’t afford more taxes and the unnecessary addition of higher energy bills due to installing very costly wind and solar power. HST to be paid on wind and solar energy costs. Does lots for the poor and working poor.

    The poor and working poor simply can’t afford to purchase compact fluorescent light bulbs. Must they choose between food and light bulbs? Others can do as they please about this issue. Buy them if you like them.

    Flourescent light bulbs are a good example of environmentalists banning conventional bulbs and sending the fluorescent production to China at the expense of Canadians. More jobs lost here.

    Same goes fo electric car batteries, wind turbines and solar panels. In effect environmental activism has cost Canadians jobs for no good reasons.

    Consumption taxes hit the poor and working poor the hardest. Fooling people with phony rebates won’t help this situation either and just shifts more of the tax burden onto the middle class in the end.

  8. Gaia’s pews aren’t as full these days, but educators are still preaching the false religion of Moe and Gore.

    We can thank the unknown CRU insider who released the Phil Jones treasure trove Nov. ’09.
    Take note Mother Corpse neglected reporting on both Climategate and Kiwigate, while they continue pushing their global warming and wind energy agenda today – go figure.

  9. Skepticism needed….????

    Sometimes it lands you in the wrong place.. England is still full of Flat Earthers — and it’s not the Climate Skeptics and Green Power Bashers that I am referring to …

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1359350/Zoe-Balls-father-Johnny-vilified-questioning-global-warming.html

    The cult of reducing carbon emissions shapes everything we do, at local, national and global levels. The very future of the planet, we are told, hangs on our dispensing with fossil fuels and adopting renewable energy sources as quickly as possible.

    But here’s the problem — 25 years may have passed since I tried to make that TV programme and the technology has improved a little, but the sums still don’t add up.

    I’m quite sure renewable sources have a minor contribution to make to our energy needs, but they still don’t produce anything like enough energy at anything resembling the right price to offer a viable future. { no kidding! }

    If it costs 2.3p to produce one unit of electricity using gas, it costs 2.5p to produce the same electricity using nuclear energy and perhaps 2.9p using coal. Using wind power, the cost is an astonishing 9.8p.

    In the face of such figures, most reasonable people interested in cleaner, sustainable energy would surely go off and build carbon-free, nuclear power stations or gas-fuelled ones. { yup }

    But there are still lots of people with Doctorates who Refuse to do the math. I believe the can do the math. It’s simply a question of the equations being ideologically unsatisfying… You have to wonder how equations can develop ideology. Whooda thuunk it?

  10. David, Thanks for the link. It has capped a skeptic’s reading for the day – love it.

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