“Based on science”

Speeches and press releases by Canadian Cabinet Ministers frequently claim that the U.S. will approve the Keystone XL pipeline assuming its decision is based on science and the economic benefits that Keystone will bring to both countries.

Generally the reference to science is followed by other words that belittle environmental objections to tar sands oil.  Ed Fast, Canada’s Trade Minister, employed these verbal strategies in his latest contribution to the public relations battle that Canada is waging in the U.S.  Mr. Fast added:  “We know that environmental politics has played a role in disseminating misinformation of Keystone XL”.

So what is “the science” on which Mr. Fast bases his claim? These speeches and press releases never contain further information.  Possibly the Communications Officers who prepare these releases understand that trying to be specific on science will only create confusion as Ministers, for example Joe Oliver, try to explain what they were talking about.

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Pointing the Finger at Canada!

The recent Washington demonstration against the Keystone XL Pipeline caused a reaction from the Conservative Government in Canada, which is offended that U.S. environmentalists would point the finger at Canada’s tar sands as a blameworthy source of GHG emissions.  In Canada we tend to be resentful of US criticism of our national policies.   In rejecting …

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Black Joke at Doha

During the Doha Conference the Chairman of the UN International Panel on Climate Change, Dr. R.K. Pachauri, recommended that the deliberations should be grounded in scientific understanding on the risks of climate change.  In his view, each day’s agenda should include a review of elements of climate science. A brief comment of sorts about the science did …

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Doha: Kent agrees to meet environmental organizations

The Globe & Mail used the words “unrivalled access among major industries”to describe the relationship between the fossil fuel industry and the Canadian Government. (Report on Business, Tuesday, December 4th, 2012). According to a study by the lobby group Polaris Institute, senior industry officials held 791 separate meetings with government representatives, including Ministers, members of Parliament, …

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The Doha Conference: Canada’s Credibility

Peter Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister, has to handle all the tough roles.  Last year at Durban he had to tell the world that Canada was not signing on for a second commitment period under the Kyoto Convention. He had to follow that announcement with a statement that Canada was going to withdraw from the Convention …

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