Matter Commented on: “Textbook Climate Denialism”: A Submission to the Public Inquiry into Anti-Alberta Energy Campaigns

PDF Version: “Avoiding the Evidence – Tar Sands Campaign DenialismRebuttal-Open-Letter-to-Martin-Olszynski-FINAL-2Download


The Alberta Inquiry has recently posted a few commissioned reports that are part of its investigation into anti-Alberta activity by foreign funded groups.


Predictably, various activists or Environment Nongovernmental Organizations (ENGOs) are expressing outrage.

DisclosureI am the Communications Manager for Friends of Science Society. I also formerly worked at Alberta Environment in 2005 as an Information Coordinator, the year that the foreign-funded Sierra Club gave Alberta an F on environment, and Ontario a B+ in their “Rio” Scorecard. At that time, and today, Alberta is a leader on climate and energy initiatives, as outlined in this post from 2016.

Preamble
At the University of Calgary, Martin Olszynski, Associate Professor of Law, has written a detailed blog post, expressing his view that the recently released three reports are “Textbook Climate Change Denialism”, stating his outright rejection of the fact that there are valid dissenting views on the alleged ‘consensus’ position of human-caused global warming (Anthropogenic Global Warming – AGW), apparently rejecting the truth that science progresses, often proving wrong today what was deemed a certainty yesterday.


In 2013, just prior to the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR5 report, in an interview in Der Spiegel with Dr. Hans von Storch, German climate scientist whose research group had first identified human influence on climate, the scientist noted that the unexpected 15-year hiatus in warming (dating back to before the ratification of Kyoto) offered “… two conceivable explanations — and neither is very pleasant for us. The first possibility is that less global warming is occurring than expected because greenhouse gases, especially CO2, have less of an effect than we have assumed. This would not mean that there is no man-made greenhouse effect, but simply that our effect on climate events is not as great as we have believed. The other possibility is that, in our simulations, we have underestimated how much the climate fluctuates owing to natural causes.”


Climate models [computer simulations] have been tuned to match the strong warming trend from 1976 to 2002. This period follows a cooling trend in the Northern Hemisphere from 1944 to 1976 when carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions were increasing rapidly. The warming since 1976 was due in part by the natural warming from the Little Ice Age, being the coldest period of the last 10,000 years, the natural 65-year cycle dominated by the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, and strong increases in the urban heat island effect (UHIE) that contaminate the government temperature datasets. About half of the warming over land in the temperature record is due to uncorrected urban warming as shown by numerous studies. The underestimate of the natural warming and the UHIE caused climate modellers to overestimate the CO2 warming effect.


In January 2014, Dr. Judith Curry testified to the US Senate that ‘carbon dioxide is not the control knob that can fine tune climate change.’ Likewise, contrary to Olszynski’s claim, and references to Canadian court filings that extreme weather events and wildfires are supposedly evidence of human-influenced climate change, Dr. Curry also testified that there has been no increase in extreme weather events, a position supported by the 2012 IPCC “SREX” – Special Report on Extreme Weather, with Curry even stating ‘Evidence reported by the IPCC AR5 weakens the case for human factors dominating climate change in the 20th and early 21st centuries.


It is interesting to note that in 2014, ‘green’ billionaires, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg, both of whom are referred to in the Alberta Inquiry commissioned reports, appear to have promoted the most catastrophic climate simulation scenario known as Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP 8.5) as the ‘business as usual’ scenario, when it is the least likely (See: “Risky Business”). Today, many mainstream climate scientists from Zeke Hausfather to Mike Hulme to Judith Curry acknowledge that this RCP 8.5 simulation bears no relation to reality and yet it forms the basis of claims like those of youth climate activist Greta Thunberg and those of various governments that there is a so-called ‘climate emergency’. Throughout reports like “Canada’s Changing Climate Report 2019” to “Alberta’s Climate Future” comparative images of the RCP scenarios are used when as Roger Pielke, Jr. and Justin Ritchie have found that these are sheer distortions and abuse of these scenarios. These are not comparable ‘pathways’ and were never meant to be used in this way.

Source: Page 5 of “Alberta’s Climate Future” – images sourced from Environment Canada “Canada’s Changing Climate Report 2019”


Unlike the certainty of a climate crisis espoused by associate law professor Martin Olszynski, referring to statements in law, mainstream scientists are far less certain there is a crisis, and many, like Mike Hulme and colleagues, specifically caution against such rhetoric.


This questioning is not a new phenomenon in climate science. Inquiry and persistent skepticism are the essence of scientific research.


“What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably…”
28 Mar 2007 16:37:09 +0100
Tommy WilsClimategate emails


“Time series of sea-level rise are fitted by a sinusoid of period ~ 60 years, confirming the cycle reported for the global mean temperature of the earth. This cycle appears in phase with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO).”
François Gervais
Anthropogenic CO2 warming challenged by 60-year cycle, April 2016

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0012825216300277

“According to my search of academic citations (using Google Scholar) more than 4,200 academic papers have used “business as usual” and RCP8.5 together since 2011. If each is cited 10 times, that would mean that more than 42,000 papers have cited papers that mistakenly refer to RCP8.5 as “business as usual” and many improperly compare RCP scenarios as policy options. Of those papers that cite papers misusing RCP8.5 as “business as usual” about 2,000 of them (involving just the two Risky Business lead researchers) refer to work originating in the investments of Steyer-Bloomberg-Paulson and continuing at the Climate Impact Lab.


Further, not only has the USNCA adopted the flawed methodology of the Risky Business projects, but so too has the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, most notably in its 2019 Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. There can be little doubt that climate science has been profoundly influenced by this campaign.


Of course, the Steyer-Bloomberg-Paulson investments are not solely responsible for the misuse of scenarios in the scientific literature, but they are clearly a significant part of the story.


The corruption of climate science has occurred because some of our most important institutions have let us down. The scientific peer review process has failed to catch obvious methodological errors in research papers. Leading scientific assessments have ignored conflicts of interest and adopted flawed methods. The media has been selectively incurious as to the impact of big money on climate advocacy.


This is a story of how wealth and power have corrupted science in pursuit of political goals. Climate change is important, there is no doubt. But the importance of climate change does not mean that we should abandon high standards of scientific integrity. We are going to need good science in the future — so it is best to keep it that way, no matter what cause it is enlisted to support.”


How Billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg Corrupted Climate Science by Roger Pielke, Jr.


See also the peer-review detail:
Distorting the view of our climate future: The misuse and abuse of climate pathways and scenarios Roger Pielke, Jr., and Justin Ritchie


Consequently, Olszynski clings to outdated science because the theory of an existential climate crisis has been incorporated into Canadian law, with the help of persistent badgering by foreign-funded environmental lobbyists when the world of science has progressed. Now an international collection of more than 900 scientists and scholars have signed the World Climate Declaration of CLINTEL that there is no climate emergency, and that natural factors are more influential in climate change than human influence through greenhouse gases.


This preamble is meant to provide additional context for Olszynski’s out-of-hand dismissal of scientific perspectives that do not align with his ideology.


Expertise


One concerns Olszynski’s repeated emphasis on the needed “expertise” of those who comment on these issues. Yet:


• Olszynski does not meet his own criterion. He is a lawyer, with no expertise in any of the scientific disciplines that are relevant to the issue of whether carbon dioxide emissions are causing climate change, the modelling of such changes and their economic impacts, the economic analysis of the costs and benefits of mitigation measures, or the formulation of public economic and environmental policies.
• The range of expertise required to understand the climate science and policy-related issues is definitely not confined to the physical sciences, as implied in the previous paragraph. Even there, the relevant sources of expertise include not only climatology, but also meteorology, physics, chemistry, oceanography, solar studies, and many other fields of specialty. The Alberta inquiry is not, indeed, a scientific inquiry – it is an inquiry into the role that outside groups have played and attempted to play if influencing public policy in Alberta and about the potential economic harm done by those interventions.


Oil Sands Facts

Another of Olszynski’s central points is the allegation that “Alberta’s oil sands reserves have been and continue to be amongst the most energy intensive in the world.” In support of this, he relies on a ten-year-old report from the Royal Society of Canada and a five-year-old report from the Council of Canadian Academies. The first simply says that oil sands-related emissions are “large” and the second that improvements in the GHG emissions intensity of bitumen have “stagnated”.

His sources are out of date. As indicated by Natural Resources Canada (i.e., the federal government), “recent independent studies have shown oil sands emissions are similar to a number of crudes, both heavy and light, imported and refined in the EU, in particular when emissions created by flaring and venting practices are considered.” Further, “In 2014, oil sands GHG emissions per barrel were 31 per cent below 1990 levels. It is expected emissions per barrel will continue to decline over the coming years.” Seventy to eighty per cent of the lifecycle GHG emissions come from a vehicle’s tailpipe. See here: https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/publications/18731

Allegations that treat all crude oil from Alberta’s oil sands as the same are simplistic. No jurisdiction is more rigorous is assessing the carbon intensity (CI) of the crude oil refined within its market than California. Yet, the most comprehensive review done by the California Air Resources Board found a wide variation in the oil sands crudes, ranging from Christina Dilbit Blend with a CI of 17.90 to Albian Heavy Synthetic (CI of 20.52) to Premium Synthetic (CI of 21.39) to Suncor Synthetic (CI of 26.16) to Hardisty Synthetic (CI of 36.96). Venezuelan, Nigerian and some California crude oils have higher carbon intensities, but none of them have been subject to the concentrated attacks directed at Canadian oil sands.

The Reports in Question

Nemeth Report
One report by UK historian Dr. T.L. Nemeth gives a comprehensive history of the Transnational Progressive Movement that has coalesced the financial power of institutional investors and pension funds, green billionaire crony capitalists, ENGOs, and governments, showing that the Tar Sands Campaign against Alberta is just a subset of this much larger, coordinated movement to effect large changes in society. However, the powerful visuals of the Alberta oil sands pit mining process, an integral visual part of the ‘Tar Sands Campaign’ has been a useful poster child for these various actors.

Cooper Report
Another report by Prof. Barry Cooper at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy discusses the ideological framework of climate activists and anti-oil activists and how such people with this worldview are so resistant to other evidence and facts.


In my opinion, Olszynski’s response could be said to be ‘textbook ideologue’ in this regard.

Cooper also briefly refers to the ClimateWorks Foundation’s plan to change the world – “Design to Win”. ClimateWorks Foundation is a collaboration of 19 of the worlds’ richest and most powerful philanthropies. They made the “Design to Win” plan in about 2007 to create global cap and trade systems, put a price on carbon dioxide, and to install some $12 trillion in vested interest renewables world-wide. To implement this plan, they funded local environmental groups worldwide in strategic locations to agitate for the policies they wanted, making it appear to be a local grassroots demand. As noted by Nemeth and Energy-in-Depth, this method distanced the funders from the ENGO efforts to change public policy and laws, and also thus bypassed national or provincial/state sovereign government regulations and competition/trade regulations.

design_to_win_final_8_31_07Download


Energy in Depth

A third report by the US think tank “Energy-in-Depth” does follow the money on funding from major philanthro-capitalists to various ENGOs. The sums of money are quite astounding, though when doled out by $100,000 here and $80,000 there, as noted throughout their document one gets the feeling that it is not so much money. Olszynski rejects their work, indeed he barely comments on their findings of massive, foreign-funded, intentional interference in Canadian and American energy infrastructure. He does find it is ironic this foreign organization that is a research arm of the petroleum industry was contracted to ‘follow-the-money’ on foreign-funding against Alberta energy projects (many of which have parent or associated companies in the USA).


Supreme Court Framework for Expert Evidence in Civil Litigation


Olszynski outlines three principles for evaluating expert evidence, based on Supreme Court of Canada’s approach and he encourages the Commissioner of the Alberta Inquiry to apply these to other reports and publications.


The three points are:


1) Relevance: is there a relationship between the contents of the Commissioned Report or publication and the material facts in issue before the Commissioner, which tends to prove those facts?


2) Expertise: Does the author of a Commissioned Report or other publication posses the relevant expertise (i.e., qualifications)?


3) Impartiality: Is the author of a Commissioned Report or other publication impartial, independent, and without bias, or does there exist a relationship or interest that renders the author unable to provide fair, objective, and non-partisan assistance to the inquiry?

I. Relevance of Reports

Olszynski seems to see the reports as being irrelevant, largely because they mention climate change as a raison d’être for the funding and for the attacks on Alberta, and the larger attempts to change global socio-economic structures. He mocks the reports as being filled with conspiracy theories, as they all discuss coordinated efforts by foreign funders to change global or regional energy policies or to block/litigate energy infrastructure projects related to oil, natural gas, or oil sands. One wonders what other term best describes a more than two decades long coordinated effort by these rich and powerful philanthropies and their fundees, to intentionally cause a ‘sea change in the global economy’ as Matthew Nisbet described ClimateWorks in one of his early 2013 works, or those who intentionally act to ‘Phase-Out Tar Sands’ in Alberta, as stated in the funders/fundees own documents? Not all conspiracies are secret. Some of the best are out in the open, but simply operating under the umbrella of acting for the public good. Thus, the power of the ‘charitable’ status of many of the foreign-funded environmental groups, giving them that halo of social morality. Likewise, anyone challenging such groups that say they are ‘saving the planet’ ‘for our children’ is easily rejected and labelled as someone who is greedy, uncaring, and only out for profit – in fact, a ‘denier’.


Olszynski does not see the relevance of the Nemeth report describing the historical development of a vast global anti-oil/anti-capitalist/Marxist-style movement. He dismisses the relevance of Prof. Cooper describing the ideological foundations of these movements and the dangerous power of a highly indoctrinated ‘lone wolf’ individual bent on ‘saving the planet’ by risking their own life or the lives of others. Martin Olszynski does not see the relevance of a foreign petroleum industry research arm reporting on foreign funding against the petroleum industry. He seems to be unaware of the influence of the $1.5 trillion dollar climate industrial complex, as discussed by Alberta researcher William Kay in his “Post-Paris Trilogy”.


Yet, without the umbrella theme of catastrophic human-caused climate change, the deemed existential ‘threat’ of the Alberta oil sands (labelled a ‘carbon bomb’ by US climate scientist James Hansen), there is no need for anti-oil sands martyrs or Blockadia of any kind.


Rather than appreciate this pivotal point, Olszynski offers proof that climate change is real and dangerous by presenting a number of excerpts from the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act and noting that no party has questioned this in court – the only question before the courts on the carbon tax is that of constitutional jurisdiction.


Olszynski fails to disclose that, according to one of his papers posted on Social Science Research Network (SSRN) entitled “Breaking Ranks (and Precedent): Reference re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, 2020 ABCA 74” “In the interests of disclosure, Professor Olszynski is co-counsel for an intervener group, Progress Alberta, in support of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act when the matter comes before the Supreme Court of Canada. Progress Alberta’s submissions, available at https://www.scc-csc.ca/WebDocuments-DocumentsWeb/38663/FM270_Intervener_Progress-Alberta-Communications-Limited.pdf .”


According to a Dec. 28, 2018 report in the Edmonton Journal, Progress Alberta has been funded by TIDES. [1]


The fact that something is written in law is not proof that it is correct or good. And since laws take a long time to write and institute, sometimes outdated laws linger while societal norms or scientific evidence moves far ahead. By way of example, Caulfield and Robertson have written Eugenic Policies in Alberta: From the Systematic to the Systemic, 1996 CanLIIDocs 169 noting that Alberta had a sterilization law in place for 44 years.


“Eugenics derived from Greek meaning “well born” has had a long history in Alberta. It began in 1928 with the first Sexual Sterilization Act which permitted a Board to authorize sexual sterilization of those discharged from mental institutions. Further amendments to the Act expanded criteria to allow sterilization without consent in certain circumstances. The Act in all of its forms was influenced by the eugenics movement and U.S. legislation, which in turn was based on questionable social and scientific assumptions. Most prominent in eugenics thinking was the idea that mental illness, criminal and immoral behaviour were hereditary. As these traits were considered a financial and social burden on the state, it was believed to be in society’s interest to eliminate these traits via sexual sterilization. However, though the Act was repealed in 1971, there is a danger of a new eugenics emerging. With advances in genetic testing and research, individuals -without state coercion can make choices about reproduction through genetic services which can identify what may be considered genetic defects in fetuses. Even more, there is a strong element of autonomy in the law which reinforces personal choice. Thus, it is of the utmost importance that genetic equality, tolerance and broad view of normalcy, with a respect for an individual’s health care decision, be promoted to avoid potential pitfalls of a new eugenics.” [bold emphasis added]


Regarding climate and greenhouse gas pollution laws, one could say the same as about the eugenics law:


And indeed, at its roots, Canada’s greenhouse gas policies were based on questionable social influences and scientific assumptions, originally driven by 2005 foreign funding from the Oak Foundation to ENGO Sierra Club, then under Elizabeth May.

grants-env-oak-pdf-75-pageDownload

The grant description reads: “To provide overall coordination of Canadian NGOs working on climate change in Canada; to have greenhouse gas emissions classified as pollutants under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act; and to create and administer a Climate Change Action Fund.” [bold emphasis added]

It should be noted that at that time, Charities Directorate Policies did not permit a charity to try to change a law in anyway. Indeed, all charities were forbidden to undertake such activity to change a law or to support a partisan cause until a change in law came into effect in the spring of 2019, which also allowed charities to use 100% of their revenues to engage in political activities for their cause. [2]


Excerpt from Ecojustice Society’s 2018 CRA filing online:

Under Charities Law, federally registered charities are required to provide a net public benefit, and to provide a service that is tangible, measurable, local, and beneficial – (i.e., the Halifax Food Bank serving X number of food hampers to X number of Haligonians).


Climate change is none of these things – it is not local but global in nature, it is not measurable other than via the poorly designed “Global Average Temperature” or “Global Mean Temperature Anomaly” which simplistically focusses on one of a myriad of climate forcings and probably the least valuable, according to climate scientist Mike Hulme . [3] Atmospheric scientists Richard Lindzen and John Christy explain how misleading such a measure is in this report. Climate change is not tangible because climate change is measured in periods of 30, 50, 100 and millennial time scales, and the changes are due to many ‘wicked’ factors in the chaotic climate system. Buying e-cards from the federally registered charities David Suzuki Foundation or writing cheques to Ecojustice will NOT stop climate change. Thus, this also appears to violate certain principles of fund-raising related to the Charities Directorate policies.


When Friends of Science Society applied for charitable status some years ago, we were told in no uncertain terms that climate change is not a charitable cause.


Thus, the issue of climate change, though not central to the Alberta Inquiry’s activity, is relevant because foreign-funded entities are using the claimed threat of existential climate change risk, allegedly caused by Alberta’s various energy industries, as an umbrella for most of their anti-Alberta/anti-energy activities.

II. Expertise


Olszynski dismisses the expertise of the authors of the three reports, in part because he claims they do not have climate science credentials (Nemeth and Cooper), or they are conflicted as a research arm of the petroleum industry (Energy-In-Depth). Despite Olszynski’s later statement that Freedom of Expression is important and that all sides of a policy debate should be heard, he does not think these three parties should be heard and he rejects them as non-experts on climate, when climate change is not central to the Alberta Inquiry – ideology and the flow of money from global funders and their stated intentions (or those of the fundees) vis a vis Alberta’s reputation or energy industries are central to the inquiry.

III. Impartiality


Olszynski takes special note that Prof. Cooper once headed up research accounts at the University of Calgary and quotes a 2008 Globe and Mail article which claims that money was funnelled to Friends of Science Society, the organization where I am presently the Communications Manager. According to co-founder Albert Jacobs, in emails to me in 2013, Friends of Science Society did not receive any money from the University of Calgary research accounts. Long-time director and a past president of Friends of Science Society, Ken Gregory, confirmed to me in emails at that time, from our records, that a “2004 [donation] from Talisman, was made to a University of Calgary account, NOT to Friends of Science.

The University of Calgary, via Dr. Barry Cooper, used the funds to create a DVD on climate change. Friends of Science provided technical [and script consultation] services at no charge to the DVD project. The Friends of Science had no ownership in the DVD as we did not contribute any funds to create it. Subsequently, the University of Calgary decided they no longer wanted to be associated with the DVD as it threatened its grants from governments on climate change, so they transferred ownership to Friends of Science, and we removed the references to University of Calgary from the DVD.”


The CEO of Talisman at the time was Dr. Jim Buckee, who holds a PhD in solar physics from Oxford University. The documentary produced is entitled “Climate Catastrophe Cancelled” and features earth scientists and solar physicists discussing how the sun drives climate change.


Olszynski thus sees Prof. Cooper’s report as being tainted in some way by either possible conflict of interest related to events of almost two decades ago, or by Cooper’s open mind and perspective on climate change. While Olszynski claims in his response “MO3” that Section 2 of the Charter (freedom of expression) should apply to all sides of a given policy debate, he appears to reject any side that questions any aspect of Anthropogenic Global Warming/Climate Change.


Note: Dr. Cooper was not consulted in anyway about this commentary.


By contrast, Olszynski does not state his own current real or perceived conflicts of interest in his response, as a fellow of the Smart Prosperity Institute. Smart Prosperity is funded by one or more parties named as Tar Sands Campaign funders – TIDES being one of them.


Retired international banker, Parker Gallant, has written many articles on the interwoven community of ENGOs and in a recent report on the “Task Force for Resilient Recovery” he discusses the links and some funding of the Smart Prosperity Institute and how influential the related individuals and organizations (which are unelected and unaccountable) are on Canadian climate and energy policy.

Excerpt:
Part 4 of this series referenced Gerald Butts and his role as one of the 15 members of the Task Force for a Resilient Recovery (TFRR). As noted therein, TFRR released their final report “Bridge to the Future” on September 16, 2020 recommending the government commit to spending $55.4 billion over the next 5 years on “5 Bold moves” for a Resilient Recovery.


Is it truly coincidental that just one week later we were the recipients of the Throne Speech which effectively blessed TFRR’s recommendations?


TFRR on their website state: “Funding for the initiative is provided by: The Jarislowsky Foundation, Ivey Foundation, The McConnell Foundation, The Schad Foundation, The Echo Foundation.” TFRR don’t disclose their financial resources, nor do the “Foundations” who provided funding disclose their donations.
Now a little background on the founding partners; Smart Prosperity Institute, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Insurance Bureau of Canada and the Ivey Foundation before looking at those “5 Bold moves” and how the Throne Speech responded to them!


Smart Prosperity was formerly Sustainable Prosperity and “The Sustainable Prosperity Project (SP) was originated by law professor Stewart Elgie “. “In early 2008 SP received $155,000 of additional funding from three Canadian Foundations, and was awarded $1.8 million over seven years by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC) for the Research and Policy Network.” It is based at the University of Ottawa. The above came from the McConnell Foundation who granted them $725K. SSHRCC falls under the responsibility of Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry in the Trudeau led government.

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The Energy-in-Depth report refers to West Coast Environmental Law and its efforts to coerce cities into suing ‘Big Oil’ for climate damages. Olszynski does not acknowledge that he co-authored a paper on the “Big Tobacco – Big Oil” comparison (a project discussed as a Rockefeller approach in the Energy-In-Depth report) entitled “From Smokes to Smokestacks: Lessons from Tobacco for the Future of Climate Change Liability”, published in the Georgetown Environmental Law Review in 2017. He acknowledged the review by a lawyer from West Coast Environmental Law who co-authored “Taking Climate Justice into Our Own Hands” – described as a model for how to take legal action against fossil fuel companies. [4] This appears to mirror the strategies described in the Energy-In-Depth report for the Alberta Inquiry.


Likewise, Olszynski is signatory to a demand by 28 law professors for a Climate Accountability Law, something that is effectively in progress now with Bill C-12, a style of litigation commented on in the Energy-In-Depth report. According to his C.V., Olszynski also submitted a brief on Bill C-69, commonly referred to in Alberta as the “No more pipelines” bill. The link to this submission appears to be broken, so it is unknown to me what his comments were.


In his ABLAWG commentary, Olszynski had drawn particular attention to the fact that radio ads that mentioned Friends of Science Society in 2006 ran during an election campaign (Elections Canada subsequent review agreed this was simply a booking issue and not a breach of the act; the ads had been booked and while running, a surprise writ was dropped). Olszynski also refers in his responses “MO4” and “MO9” to connections between pro-oil advocacy groups and conservative political parties in Canada. Is he aware of the scope of anti-oil/climate activist charities operating as a coordinated group known as the Strathmere Alliance? It seems unlikely that Olszynski is unaware of this group, given other public events and documents where he partners with some of these activists.


In an article by Parker Gallant, Gallant illustrates how the Strathmere Alliance, a group of the top 12 ENGOs in Canada, had skillfully provided election direction to their followers through a graphic representing survey results, thus avoiding the Canada Revenue Agency Charities Directorate against partisan positions, but clearly influencing election choices of their followers.

*Denotes Strathmere members—9 of the 12 members! “The survey represents the collective priorities of all of the following organizations: Canadian Environmental Law Association, CPAWS, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecology Action Centre, Ecojustice, Équiterre, Environmental Defence, Greenpeace, Nature Canada, Pembina Institute, Sierra Club Canada Foundation, West Coast Environmental Law Association, Wildlife Conservation Society Canada, and WWF-Canada.”


Most of these parties are federally registered charities.


In Question 7 (Q7) of Commissioner Steve Allan’s query of Martin Olszynski, he asks about the advantages or disadvantages of ‘permitting law firms with focused objectives to have charitable status’. Olszynski responds that he is ‘not aware of any reason or rationale for why a charity should be treated differently’, ignoring the fact that charities are subsidized by all taxpayers through the donor deductions from the tax pool and their tax-free assets. Yet most of the foreign-funded ENGO charities have acted against the socio-economic interests of hundreds of thousands of taxpayers by the use of legal actions contesting legally authorized infrastructure projects, resulting in job losses and the loss of more than $100 billion in investment in just two years, as reported by Robert Lyman in “Prosperity Foregone”.


Though Olszynski refers to two reports of funding of some $100,000 granted to Canada Action by an energy industry player (thus disputing the claim of Canada Action being grassroots, intending to frame it as a proxy for Big Oil), he is silent on the many millions of foreign funding that has flowed to Canadian environmental law charities. Perhaps he is unaware of these millions. These sums flowed to these organizations from 2000 to 2018 and were compiled by Robert Lyman in the report “Big Green Money”.


Source: Big Green Money, Robert Lyman 2019

These numbers are drawn from public records. It should be noted that many of these environmental charities, including law charities, receive large sums of funding from federal, provincial, and municipal governments. For instance, one of the oil sands loudest critics, Environmental Defence, showed that nearly 30% of its funding in 2018 came from government. Canadians must question, as the Alberta Inquiry is doing, whether a tax-subsidized charity working against jobs and socio-economic development, receiving, or having received substantial foreign funds from agenda-driven donors, should also be recipients of large sums of public moneys from any level of government?

Source: CRA Environmental Defence


Again, the issue is not whether a party has a right to criticize energy or infrastructure development, or request changes to accommodate legitimate concerns, the question is to what extent does foreign-funding to such groups negatively affect Canadian energy policies (without cause or with cause related to foreign interests, not those of Albertans), especially when these parties engage in ‘street theatre’ public activities intended to damage Alberta’s international reputation and energy industries.


Strathmere Alliance


Olszynski mocks the reports commissioned by the Alberta Inquiry as filled with conspiracy theory. According to the Collins Dictionary online, “A conspiracy is an agreement between a group of people which other people think is wrong or is likely to be harmful.


In Canada, few people are aware that the top 12 environmental organizations, many of them charities, have been coordinating their activities for many years under the umbrella of the “Strathmere Alliance.” The alliance was formed by Marlo Raynolds, a year after he took the helm of the Pembina Institute. (See the following paragraph in context on pg. 18)


“After leading the Pembina Institute for a year, I realized that the environmental movement’s organizations really did not connect with each other very often, in fact hardly at all, and almost never at the executive director level. As a result, I initiated meetings between the different groups and for seven years, I led what became known as the “Strathmere Group”, which brought together the executive directors of 12 major Canadian ENGOs directly engaged in public policy. There was outside pressure to make this group the strategic centre for the movement, but the primary purpose was to start by building stronger personal relationships between the leaders of the very different organizations in the movement. Over the years, there has been an increased level of genuine collaboration across the participating organizations.”

Pembina Institute’s Marlo Raynolds and Equiterre’s Steven Guilbeault published a joint op-ed in 2008, perhaps the first time the Alberta oil sands were publicly labelled “dirty oil”.


In Parker Gallant’s series on the Strathmere Alliance, and in part 3 he discusses how the Strathmere Alliance partners are funded by the federal government. (Those members of the alliance which are charities are tax-subsidized by all Canadians.) Likewise, he ferrets out what the combined force of this alliance entails. (the number of members seems to fluctuate from time to time). (See following paragraph in context on pg. 19)

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Those on the opposing side of eco-charities and Greenpeace might wonder what is “The Strathmere Group” about and what are the initiatives they plan to develop? Trying to find specific information on the “group” is difficult beyond what the McConnell Foundation has under their grant message. They note the 11 member organizations “have over 358,000 members, 420 staff and annual budgets totaling over $50 million.”

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That is certainly a powerhouse of anti-oil/anti-pipeline influence. Most of the Strathmere Alliance members have a number of registered lobbyists in Ottawa, not to mention vast numbers of social media followers, donors, and youth volunteers.


Gallant has also found that these unelected, unaccountable, often foreign-funded groups are also granted authority to pass judgement on large infrastructure projects like that of the Teck Resources mine. They are also paid by the federal government for this service.


In reviewing Federal contracts awarded to the six eco-warrior it is also interesting to note Pembina Institute received ten (10) contracts since Raynold’s appointment and they averaged $24,857.00 each putting them under the limit requiring competitive bids. Surely just a coincidence! The only other contract awarded was one to Environmental Defence for $24,999.99. The bulk of the 11 contracts were made by the Ministry of Natural Resources where Trudeau’s buddy Seamus O’Regan is the Minister whereas earlier contracts came from the Ministry where Raynolds is the Chief of Staff. Seems extremely co-incidental!


In an effort to search for grants to those on the Strathmere list, the discovery was made it was a difficult task despite the claim from the Liberals in their 2015 “Real Change” campaign book: “We will make government information more accessible,”. Nevertheless, I managed to locate a few and as one example the Frontier Oil Sands Mine Project was one studied by a collaboration of 21 groups who were principally First Nations communities joined by two of the Strathmere Group members. Those two were the Pembina Institute and CPAWS who respectively received $29,980 and $20,440 of the total study’s cost. Teck Resources cancelled this $20 billion dollar project earlier this year right around the time rail blockades sprang up across the country despite having the support of First Nations! Interestingly enough CPAWS reports they receive Federal Government grants in their CRA filings BUT the Pembina Institute doesn’t!

Strathmere Group Part 2 According to Parker Gallant’s research:


What is an unknown is; was Raynolds still in charge of the Strathmere Group when they obtained that grant from the McConnell Foundation in 2016 as by then he was firmly in the position of “Chief of Staff” to Minister McKenna? If so, perhaps the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada should investigate. I would note the date of the ECHO’s grant is an unknown!


Just two years before Raynolds ran as the Liberal candidate he wrote a book titled: “Prepare your Non-Profit Organization to Help Create a Wave of Positive Change”. The only reference to the Strathmere Group is in Chapter 12 on page 89 of this “how to” book and he subtly pats himself on the back. The following is the excerpt:


After leading the Pembina Institute for a year, I realized that the environmental movement’s organizations really did not connect with each other very often, in fact hardly at all, and almost never at the executive director level. As a result, I initiated meetings between the different groups and for seven years, I led what became known as the “Strathmere Group”, which brought together the executive directors of 12 major Canadian ENGOs directly engaged in public policy. There was outside pressure to make this group the strategic centre for the movement, but the primary purpose was to start by building stronger personal relationships between the leaders of the very different organizations in the movement. Over the years, there has been an increased level of genuine collaboration across the participating organizations.”


The 124-page book was not advice for the hundreds of NGO formed in Ontario to fight against the intrusion of industrial wind turbines that harms birds. bats and humans and damages rural well water! It was advice for the proponents who favoured shutting down our use of fossil fuels and believed it would save the world while creating jobs. A related excerpt from Raynolds about jobs in his “how to” book says: “Your job is to help the politician tell the story you want to be told. You need to show how your policy idea fits into their broader narrative of what is important to them. If they care about jobs, you need to find a compelling way to connect your policy idea to a good story about jobs.”


… The leaders of the Strathmere Group’s 12 members, months before the COP 15 conference; met in late May and/or early June 2009 “outside of Washington, D.C. to discuss solutions and areas for Coordination”. At that point Nature Canada had dropped out and Equiterre (a registered charity) along with Climate Action Network Canada (CAN-RAC) a not-for-profit had been added. The” Strathmere Group” member’s leaders met with 21 U.S. environmental and conservation “leaders” for the purpose of expanding the “silo” and setting combined targets to “protect our fragile natural areas such as the Artic and the Boreal Forest.”[Note: CAN-RAC is an umbrella group with about 100 ENGOs, unions and faith groups as members.]

Strathmere Alliance Part 1


Collaboration Amongst Eco-Warrior Charities and ENGO

Somewhere between 2007 and 2010 the McConnell Foundation (a charity registered with the CRA and assets of $628 million) donated $338,000 to: “The Pembina Foundation for Environmental Research and Education supports initiatives to develop our understanding of the ways we produce and consume energy, of the impact of these means on the environment and on communities, and of options for the more sustainable use of natural energy resources. It goes on to note: “Pembina acts as the coordinating partner for The Strathmere Group.

The “Full Description” on the McConnell Foundation site identifies the “Group” consists of the following familiar climate change advocates:
Pembina Institute, World Wildlife Fund, Ecojustice Canada, Nature Canada, * Sierra Club of Canada, Pollution Probe, Greenpeace, Environmental Defence, Equiterre, David Suzuki Foundation and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.


All are registered charities with the Canada Revenue Agency with the exception of Greenpeace! The latter lost it’s charitable status in June 1989 when “Revenue Canada’s charities division says that the Greenpeace Environmental Foundation can’t be considered a charity because its activities “have no public benefit.” One could easily say the same about the others in the group!


It should be noted that 4 of the members (David Suzuki Foundation, Pembina Foundation, Environmental Defence and Equiterre) of the “Strathmere Group” were at one point being investigated by the CRA however those audits were cancelled by the Trudeau led government when they attained power in 2015.


Those on the opposing side of eco-charities and Greenpeace might wonder what is “The Strathmere Group” about and what are the initiatives they plan to develop? Trying to find specific information on the “group” is difficult beyond what the McConnell Foundation has under their grant message. They note the 11 member organizations “have over 358,000 members, 420 staff and annual budgets totaling over $50 million.”


One should wonder why didn’t the “group” organization with 358,000 members simply use 0.67% of their annual budget or ask members to cough up $1.00 each instead of asking for a tax supported handout?


The specifics of the McConnell message included a reference to a paper written by environmental lawyer Jerry Demarco, dated June 8, 2005 titled “Ideas for a More Effective Environmental Movement in Canada”. At this juncture it is worth mentioning; Demarco was the former Associate Chair of the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal [2018 income of $214K]) and is now Ontario’s Commissioner of the Environment reporting to the Ontario Auditor General so he is still dependent on Ontario taxpayers for his salary. The “Law Times” touts Demarco as an “Expert in environmental policy and law” whatever that means! Demarco’s paper, as one of three recommendations, suggested: “environmental non-government organizations (ENGOs)** must overcome the “silos” isolating them from one another in order to “think and act like a movement”.


It would appear the “Strathmere Group” was created to break the “silo” holding them back! Back then the Pembina Institute was reputedly headed up by Marlo Raynolds. Today Marlo Raynolds holds the title of “Chief of Staff” with the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.

~~~~


The foregoing long discussion of the Strathmere Alliance is simply intended to illustrate that in contrast to Olszynski’s reference to Canada Action and the funding from an energy company, reportedly of some $100,000, pales before the numbers and coordinated activities of the Strathmere Alliance and its foundation funders in Canada.


Aside from the previously noted real or perceived conflicts of interest of Olszynski, according to public records, the University of Calgary has received some $2 million in funding from TIDES and more than $900,000 in funding from the Oak Foundation, both organizations named as funders of the Tar Sands Campaign. It is not clear if Martin Olszynski is aware of these foreign funding/donations to his institution.


Global Emissions


Martin Olszynski includes reference to the relative greenhouse gas emissions of Alberta versus other provinces in Canada, suggesting that other provinces will bear the brunt of climate change ‘caused’ by Alberta’s emissions. He points out that Alberta’s annual emissions in 2016 were 262.9 megatonnes. Robert Lyman explores the global scale and the futility of stringent, crippling climate policies for Canada and Alberta in his report “Futile Folly”. “China emits in one month (819 Mt/month) about what Canada emits in one and a half years.” (pg. 12)


Design to Win


Matthew Nisbet is a professor of communications at Northwest University, a noted author and researcher on the topic of strategic philanthropic funding to environmental groups. He has been tracking the ClimateWorks/Energy Foundation billionaire philanthropies for over a decade. In one of his earlier reports, “Climate Shift” he was almost excommunicated from his own climate community for daring to report that the green billionaire philanthropies spent more money on their ENGO proxies than Big Oil or other energy corporations spent on so-called ‘denialism’. His 2018 peer-reviewed paper “Strategic Philanthropy in the Post Cap-and-Trade Years” shows that about $600 million a year has been spent by the ClimateWorks Foundation alone. This sum does not account for additional direct funding by any of the ClimateWorks partners to specific ENGOs or intermediaries, nor does it include the ‘downstream’ flood of tax subsidies and individual/corporate matching donations made to the funded ENGOs, which amount to billions of dollars in Canada, and obviously many billions more world-wide.


Martin Olszynski and other critics of the Alberta Inquiry, like past Alberta premier Rachel Notley, have mocked the concept of Alberta’s ‘war room’ calling it wasteful and ridiculous. Yet, as we read the “Energy-in-Depth” report, they quote the Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF), Rockefeller Brothers Foundation (RBF), and Rockefeller Philanthropic Advisors (which begat the voluntary Carbon Disclosure Project, now known as “CDP Worldwide” or “CDP”) as having intentionally set up a war room to engage in litigation against Exxon, the poster child of “Big Oil” in this geopolitical energy war. RBF and RFF are identified as key funders and drivers of the campaign against Alberta.

It is interesting to note that I attended a University of Calgary climate law event on April 23, 2016:


Sharon Mascher, Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary, made a presentation on “Climate Change Law and Policy in a Post-Paris Agreement World”, as part of the Saturday Morning at the Law School lecture series, funded by the Alberta Law Foundation. There were 80 registrants.


The event was sponsored by the Canadian Institute of Resources Law, a registered charity situated at the University of Calgary. From my notes at the time, Sharon Mascher started off with smearing Exxon saying, “we know NOW that they knew a lot about climate change back in the 80’s“.


Exxon/Imperial Oil is a key oil sands developer. In the Rockefeller Philanthropies CDP Worldwide report “In the Pipeline” of November 2016, Exxon and other oil sands developers were denigrated and given a ‘failing’ grade by not investing in wind and solar. Shortly thereafter, an exodus of institutional investors, banks and insurance companies ensued, undoubtedly influenced by UNPRI signatory status which requires them to comply or explain on investment policies – and they are all directed to invest in ‘clean’. The UNPRI is obsessed with climate change and its fiduciary responsibility guru is Al Gore.


If we look at the timeline of events in Alberta, in April of 2016, the Calgary Herald was reporting that the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers was predicting a loss of $50 billion in investment by year’s end. In our view, that was largely due to the “Undue Influence” of UNPRI and CDP signatories on markets.

As we wrote at the time:


One has to ask – is it right for international philanthropies and charitable organizations who benefit from special tax rules and are effectively subsidized by taxpayers, to be funding efforts to demonize necessary energy industries, resulting in skewed financial markets, destruction of market value of shares, the hyping of climate catastrophe thinking that is not supported by the evidence, with the end result that governments adopt climate change policies that are not based on a Cost-Benefit Analysis, and industries face exorbitant energy prices. This ends up putting taxpayers out of work. And energy shares are snapped up by speculators at low market prices.


This appears to violate several principles of fair trade and competition. Many Canadians see these agenda-driven activities as nothing more than a trade war cloaked in green.


As noted in my 2017 paper “Merchants of Consensus: A Public Battle Against Exxon” there appears to be a market war against Exxon, confirmed by many of the findings of the Energy-In-Depth report. In fact, historic records reveal that Exxon was a responsible corporate citizen and far ahead of its time in terms of addressing real pollution


Environmental charities have boasted that they have blocked $19 billion in pipelines in Canada. Environmental charities Ecojustice and West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL) have celebrated their wins in court against pipelines and development, apparently unaware that Canada’s GDP relies on international trade in commodities like oil, gas, oil sands, and coal.


Consequently, while Alberta Inquiry critics like Olszynski, Progress Alberta, National Observer, and Notley stake their claims based on fear of a looming climate catastrophe, they are apparently unaware of the intense geopolitical competition for oil, gas and coal reserves, and the even more intense competition within those markets to increase market share. By blocking Canadian energy projects and product from market, our competitors win big, as does any energy competitor that is pushing wind, solar, carbon price, cap and trade, geothermal, tidal, or other niche market option. The Tar Sands Campaign and related Blockadia intentionally harms Alberta’s reputation and its socio-economic power. Evidence shows that stranded assets are a myth, as non-OECD economies will continue to boom. Consequently, Alberta is simply being cut out of world markets to the favour of competitor nations, the top five of which observe no climate change policies whatsoever.

Whether the goal of the Tar Sands Campaign and related activist effort is to establish a new global economic system as Christiana Figueres stated, to entirely change the world to a Marxist system as the Nemeth report outlines, to force cap and trade as the ClimateWorks “Design to Win” project outlined, to create an international ‘equalization’ system to underwrite the economic losses of Europe as it struggles to remain an industrial powerhouse, while paying some USD$600 bn/yr. to acquire the fossil fuel resources to power its economy as posed by William Kay, whether it is a green trade war funded by competitor nations to block Alberta energy products from market, or whether it is simply a green trade war where vulture investors, hedge funds and mutual funds lurk, waiting to acquire Alberta’s rich resources for a song, there is an obvious coordinated and/or opportunistic attack on Alberta, often led by foreign-funded Canadian entities, principally environmental nongovernmental organizations and related charities.


To put things in stark Medieval terms, Alberta is a province under siege from all sides. In fact, those pushing the global cap and trade system can use pressure, as they are using it now from many fronts, to extort compliance on carbon pricing and cap and trade from the province that dared to challenge the constitutionality of the federally imposed carbon tax.


In the context of this green trade war, it is amazing that a moral quality has been ascribed to a scientific topic – climate change – in the document filed by Martin Olszynski on behalf of Progress Alberta’s intervention in the carbon tax constitutionality trial.


Both Courts confirmed that climate change is an evil that Parliament may address through the criminal law power: “the evil of global climate change and the apprehension of harm resulting from the enabling of climate change through the combustion of fossil fuels has been widely discussed and debated by leaders on the international stage…”36 [bold emphasis added]


Climate change is a fact of life on earth; 4.5 billion years of earth’s history proves this to be so. It is not ‘evil’, and no such morality can be ascribed to the use of fossil fuels, which have lifted much of humankind from lives that were ‘nasty, brutish and short’, to ones that enjoy access to freedoms, high culture, technology, and modern medicine.


As climate scientist Mike Hulme explains in “Can Science Fix Climate Change?”, the notion of constraining global temperatures leads to many false assumptions. “The idea that global temperature is a suitable object of global governance and one through which the well-being of humanity can be secured is a delusion.” He further explains that climate change is a ‘wicked’ problem – “…which emerge from unbounded, complex and imperfectly understood systems…. solutions to wicked problems are impossible to effect because of complex system interdependencies…. Climate change possesses all the attributes of a wicked problem.”


Clearly, Canada’s GGPPA, at its roots, is based on such faulty premises, is the product of foreign interference and like Bill C-69 and Bill C-48, should be repealed; and like the pending Bill C-12, should not become law.


Climate Science Insights


The sensitivity of the Earth’s global average surface temperature can by estimated using an energy budget method. The energy budget framework provides a physically-based climate model that follows directly from energy conservation. Surface and ocean temperature changes in the historic record net of estimated natural and UHIE warming are compared to the estimated forcings from greenhouse gases over the same time period. Ken Gregory shows that using the energy balance method developed by climatologists Nicholas Lewis and Judith Curry, the expected increase in global temperatures that would result from a continued exponential increase greenhouse gas concentration from 2019 to 2100 is 0.63 °C with a likely range of 0.51 to 0.79 °C. However, with the lower projected solar activity, natural climate cooling may offset much of that projected warming.


The global economic impact of this projected GHG-induced warming can be estimated by the FUND integrated assessment economic model. Unlike other economic models, FUND considers adaptation and benefits of climate change and the CO2 fertilization effect on plants and crop growth. A paper by Lang and Gregory shows that the energy impact function in FUND overstates the temperature impact of energy use for space heating and cooling. A paper by Dayaratna, McKitrick & Michaels recommends that the CO2 fertilization effect in FUND be increased by 30% due to recent studies of the effect. Incorporating these changes in FUND shows that a 2 °C global temperature rise from 2000 would increase global wealth by 1.45%, equivalent to 2019US$1.26 trillion. CO2 emissions are therefore net beneficial throughout the 21st century. Policies to restrict CO2 emissions are harmful and misguided.

In Closing

This commentary has shown evidence that challenges the comments made by Martin Olszynski about the Alberta Inquiry and the three commissioned reports in question.


Much has been made of the sums of money spent on the commissioned reports – they are a pittance compared to the billions of dollars in financial losses to Alberta due to the Tar Sands Campaign. Under the NDP, the “Alberta’s Climate Future” report was commissioned for some $70,000 and in that same time period, more than $700,000 was paid to the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the US, presumably for climate data which is normally provided free of charge. No opposing view was sought by the then NDP government, though Friends of Science Society has prepared a rebuttal report – “Facts vs Fortune Telling”.


“Alberta’s Climate Future” relied on climate models. NASA award-winning scientist, Dr. Roy Spencer, has shown “The Main Reasons Why There is No Climate Emergency” and in a subsequent article he shows that Canada is warming at only half the rate of modeled predictions.


Perhaps it is time that, like the laws on eugenics, the laws on greenhouse gas pollution pricing, should be reviewed and repealed in light of the scientific findings presented in this document.


Without the false claim of an impending climate catastrophe driven by carbon dioxide emissions from human industry, there is no need for anyone to attack the Alberta oil sands, or any other Alberta energy project, as Alberta is a reliable, environmentally responsible producer of energy for the world. Certainly factual, open, and transparent debate about energy and infrastructure projects, with full disclosure as to who is making and financing the claims is welcome.


Respectfully,
Michelle Stirling
Communications Manager
Friends of Science Society
media@friendsofscience.org

[1]

https://edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/ucp-files-complaint-against-left-leaning-third-party-advertiser  But Tides also funds research, education and organizing against what it calls “dirty fuels and pipelines.”

Progress Alberta, which describes itself as an “independent non-profit dedicated to building a more progressive Alberta,” was one of a handful of non-profits across Canada that received funds for that purpose, accepting $38,559 in 2016 and $24,284 in 2017.

In a letter sent to election commissioner Lorne Gibson on Dec. 20, Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills UCP MLA Nathan Cooper alleged that Progress Alberta receives the foreign cash, then recycles it back into an account to pay for political advertising.

To do so would be in contravention of Alberta’s third-party finance rules.

“It’s widely accepted that Progress Alberta speaks on behalf of the NDP,” Cooper said, adding it would be “extremely disturbing if they’re taking money from a foundation that’s working against our energy industry.”

[2] The Trudeau government passed legislation as part of the Omnibus Budget bill in 2018 authorizing charities to carry on unlimited “public policy dialogue and development activities” to influence laws and policies. In July 2018 Justice Edward Morgan of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that the Income Tax Act’s 10 per cent limitation on partisan political activity was unconstitutional. The Trudeau government decided to not appeal the ruling. As a result of this legislative change and court decision, registered charity status now gives an organization, including activist environmental organizations, the freedom to spend up to 100% of its revenues on political activities, so long as these are consistent with its “charity” objectives. Page | 3 The Trudeau government has directed CRA to stop requiring charities to report on how they spend on political activities, so it is unclear how anyone will be able to judge in future whether the activities carried out are consistent with charity status. These developments open the door wide to potential abuses of political spending by radical ENGOs and other organizations that want to get heavily into political funding and can afford to do so. https://blog.friendsofscience.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Green-Titanic-FINAL-RevA-April-29-2019.pdf

[3] “Can Science Fix Climate Change?” Mike Hulme, Polity Press 2014

[4] This report, co-released by West Coast Environmental Law and the Vanuatu Environmental Law Association, explains how well-established principles of private international law allow the courts and governments of individual countries to take action against fossil fuel polluters. The report also includes the first public proposal for the text of a Climate Compensation Act that clarifies the principles of liability for large-scale greenhouse gas emitters, and which could be enacted by countries around the world.

The post “Avoiding the Evidence – Tar Sands Campaign Denialism” – An Open Letter Response to Martin Olszynski’s Submission to the Public Inquiry into Anti-Alberta Energy Campaigns first appeared on Friends of Science Calgary.

via Friends of Science Calgary

By: Michelle Stirling © January 2020

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January 28, 2021 at 11:36PM