Canadian climate-change deniers are the Neville Chamberlains of our time

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      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 Mark 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




      Dec 3, 2011 at 10:39am

      Charlie, sorry to debunk your reading list on climate change:

      Ross Gelbspan, Journalist working for Hoggan, the Suzuki F. Chairman
      Tim Flannery, fearmongerer who purchased million dollar waterfront properties after warning of impending sea level gloom...
      Jeremy Legett, Geologist, Greenpeace and solar businessman
      Andrew Weaver, mathematician and activist
      David Suzuki, geneticist and propagandist
      Gwynne Dyer, journalist
      Christian Parenti, journalist
      James Hansen, NASA activist
      Jeffrey Simpson (along with Marc Jaccard and Nic Rivers), political pundit, economists proud lobbyists of the imposed Carbon Tax without any electoral consultation. BC Hydro paid "consultants" bringing out big green billion dollar smart meters control in our homes.

      Woaw Charlie with this many climatologists no surprise you need to reference Hitler in your little number! LOL

      Mark Fornataro

      Dec 3, 2011 at 10:43am

      Right on Charlie! What a tragic state of affairs that so many prominent journalists -and citizens in general- are so dangerously deluded. I believe younger people, on the whole, are in less denial about the fact of man-made climate change, and that for that reason it is imperative that the voting age be lowered.


      Dec 3, 2011 at 11:56am

      "Maybe we should pity them because I have a hunch that history isn't going to be kind."

      That's probably too nice. I have a hunch that they will want their remains cremated so future generations aren't defecating on their graves.


      Dec 3, 2011 at 12:56pm

      One of the saddest illustrations of the problem is the mainstream media's sad attempt to "balance" coverage of climate change.

      Every time a credible scientist is interviewed, the media races around to find someone who disagrees ... failing to recognize, of course, that one-for-one balance is inherently UNBALANCED when the vast majority of experts sit firmly on one side of the fence.

      The other thing I don't understand is why the climate change deniers think it's just fine to spew trillions of tons of toxic pollutants into the atmosphere. Even if they refuse to accept that such pollutants are contributing to accelerating global warming, wouldn't it make just a wee bit of sense to stop poisoning our air?

      The conclusion I came to long ago is that climate change deniers simply don't want to know. If they DID know, they might feel compelled to do something. And doing something is much, much harder than doing nothing.


      Dec 3, 2011 at 1:33pm

      Jimmy B you kindness makes you a perfect little helper ready to wear your green shirt and do dirty deeds. Green is the new brown!
      David H, LOL you should read emails of the"credible scientists" none of them read by Charlie, and see for yourself how corrupt they all are. Finally you also need an education before being so sure of your opinion: Tutu may have an opinion about space travel but his competence on the subject is zero.
      Mark, young people are gullible and indoctrinated by Suzuki with the help of our taxes and the NFB. Is this informed democracy to you or propaganda you wish to young generations?
      Ahhh the beautiful democrats we have here!!!


      Dec 3, 2011 at 2:25pm

      Charlie, the meter I use most to measure sincerity and truthfulness is the same as yours. The "ego meter"!

      Suzuki and Hoggan and all those associated with them, are tainted by that same measure and of course those two have been sleeping in the very same ego softened bed for years now.

      As for Hoggan, his transparency starts just below the surface. A BC Liberal supporter in the PR business who starts a blog called "desmogblog" and writes a book about climate change. He is so skilled at PR, that people actually believe his spin.

      Making a case for Climate Change is not hard, but placing the right amount of doubt in our minds is even easier and the likes of James Hoggan & company know how to play that game and are winning that battle of the minds.

      I believe though, that we can win too, but we must continue to educate the public with the facts that make a difference and your Neville Chamberlain example is a good start in showing how truly naive the likes of Hoggan & Suzuki really are, just as history has shown that Chamberlain was.


      Dec 3, 2011 at 2:36pm

      @ Goldorak: I have read the leaked emails of the credible scientists. The difference between you and I is that I understand what they're talking about, and you don't.

      A little knowledge is a dangerous thing when the person trying to absorb the knowledge (you, for example) has scarcely progressed beyond mystical belief systems.

      By the way, did you take your use name from a really bad comic book? lol. I rest my case.


      Dec 3, 2011 at 3:04pm

      I think Charlie is accurate in his assessment of the mindset of prominent warming deniers. Pretty well all them are also rabid supporters of the neoconservative (fascist) cause.

      I used to put it down to some sort of fundamentalist Christian influence, but after all the work done on analyzing low information Tea party types the psychology or more accurately the pathology is well understood.

      The real crime here is how the mainstream media give these wack jobs the airwaves and print space to publish the nonsense.
      Following the money as all journalists learn in journalism 101 leads us as expected to Big Oil which provides the advertising funding and originates the junk science that keeps the wacko's in the face of the public.

      That influence is detailed here


      Dec 3, 2011 at 3:30pm

      David H, hubris now? When you claim CO2 is a "toxic pollutant" is that a fair illustration of your knowledge? LOL
      Really save the planet, hold your breath!