Lesson Learned

Just the other day I told someone “If you bring the media into it they’ll do what they want with it. You can’t control what they say.”

In the National Post Rex Murphy wrote in support of Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver’s earlier calling environmentalists radicals. In response I sent a letter to the editor. I think their edits took some of the punch out of my prose. What do you think?

As Submitted

Rex Murphy sure can string words together. However his support for Resource Minister Joe Oliver is misplaced in asking big environment to present its bona fides. Mr. Murphy trivializes objections to Alberta’s oil sands development by equating them with objections to the seal hunt. He calls for scrutiny of environmental motivation.

For bona fides of those concerned about the oil sands I give you the IPCC. For more than twenty years thousands of fact-seeking scientists have produced, and endlessly chewed-over, tens of thousands of studies to come to agreement on wording that cannot be refuted by known scientific facts. The “I” in IPCC is particularly important because it stands for “Intergovernmental” Panel on Climate Change. Once the scientists have had their say on the reports, communications specialists from more than 190 governments get their chance to edit. This includes governments like Saudi Arabia whose entire economies depend on fossil fuels. They too have agreed that IPCC conclusions can’t be refuted.

In the entire history of human existence there has been no mechanism and no endeavour that has given anything more scrutiny than the IPCC has given climate change.

And what does the IPCC conclude? It concludes that we are already in trouble; that were in trouble mainly because were burning fossil fuels; and that if we keep digging up and burning resources like the oil sands well be in even bigger trouble.

Why do I send my kids to school and feed them healthy meals? I say it’s because I’m concerned about their future. Do I need to present my bona fides on that?

As Published

Rex Murphy sure can string words together. However his support for Resource Minister Joe Oliver — who is asking environmental organizations to present their bona fides — is misplaced.

For bona fides of those concerned about the oil sands, I give you the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). For more than 20 years, scientists have examined tens of thousands of studies. Drawing on their work, the IPCC has concluded that we are already in trouble because of fossil fuels; if we keep digging up and burning resources like the oil sands, we will be in even bigger trouble. And in the entire history of human existence there has been no mechanism and no endeavour that has given anything more scrutiny than the IPCC has given climate change.

Why do I send my kids to school and feed them healthy meals? It’s because I’m concerned about their future. Do I need to present my bona fides on that, also?

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