Canadian climate-change deniers are the Neville Chamberlains of our time
Last night, I had the misfortune to endure a dreadful editorial by right-wing talk-show host Charles Adler on the topic of climate change.
The head of Adler Nation, who's given a big soapbox every night on CKNW Radio by Corus Entertainment, compared David Suzuki to a sleazy television evangelist who was only interested in draining the pockets of naive widows. Adler also had had this to say:
Global warming “science” is nothing more than a faith-based religion with a doomsday prophecy. All those who question their faith are heretics. Thankfully they don’t yet have the power to launch an inquisition.
The faithful ignore the latest studies from their own commune that take dire global warming projections off the table. “Green” technologies have all proven both expensive and even environmentally hazardous.
The facts bear repeating. There is no proven connection between man-made CO2 and global temperatures. Their shaky system of fear can’t hold up to scrutiny.
I've heard similar rubbish from Rex Murphy, who is given a national platform by the CBC to host the Cross Country Checkup show and to appear every Thursday night on The National.
Over at the National Post, Murphy offers more of this nonsense, as do a fleet of other columnists, most notably Peter Foster.
The Globe and Mail lets Margaret Wente spew her crappy views on climate change. The Vancouver Sun's Jonathan Manthorpe has previously questioned the scientific consensus on climate change, as has Jon Ferry at the Province.
Most of them continue prattling on even though 13 of the planet's hottest years on record have occurred in the past 15 years.
For every one real scientist who questions the climate-change consensus—such as Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—there are likely hundreds who disagree with him.
As a result, the Canadian climate-change deniers sometimes have to rely on an economist from the University of Guelph to buttress their arguments.
I've read numerous books about climate change by such authors as Ross Gelbspan, Tim Flannery, Jeremy Leggett, Andrew Weaver, David Suzuki, Gwynne Dyer, Christian Parenti, James Hansen, and even Jeffrey Simpson (along with Marc Jaccard and Nic Rivers).
Long ago, I came to the conclusion that only a moron would deny that carbon-dioxide emissions caused by human activity are contributing to climate change.
But people like Wente, Adler, Ferry, and Murphy are clearly not morons, even though I disagree with them. They're high-functioning people who've done remarkably well in life. They're articulate and, on occasion, quite amusing commentators.
I'm perplexed why they would so steadfastly deny the reality of human-induced climate change in the face of disappearing glaciers, disappearing Arctic ice, huge droughts between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, and massive fires in Greece, Australia, and Spain. This is not to mention the years of careful scientific work that has made the case that we're creating a potential catastrophe.
It's easy to suggest that they're bought off by the oil industry. I used to think that Murphy, for instance, might have arrived at his views because it generated hefty speaking fees from greenhouse-gas emitting industries.
But I was convinced otherwise after recently seeing Murphy taking obvious glee on CBC at poking a stick at Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who is concerned about Canada's dreadful record. Murphy truly believes what he's saying. And I think Wente, Ferry, and Adler are in the same camp.
The only explanation I can come up with is psychological. They're so full of hubris—so full of egotism—that they're incapable of admitting they're wrong. To do so would be to acknowledge their own imperfection.
All this points to a troubling degree of narcissism within the Canadian media.
One day, I'm sure, they'll be held up as complete fools by subsequent generations. They're the Neville Chamberlains of our time.
The former British prime minister tricked himself into thinking that he could negotiate with Hitler. And many Canadian commentators have deluded themselves into disbelieving something as obvious as human-induced climate change.
Maybe we should pity them because I have a hunch that history isn't going to be kind.
Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.