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PR can go twice too far
“Science Matters” is a most inappropriate heading for David Suzuki’s column of Sunday, July 23 (“PR can go too far”).
Dr. Suzuki states there is “no debate about the cause of global warming (human activities, mostly burning oil, coal and gas)”.
Most of us sense this declaration is contentious. For example, we learned in school much of North America was covered with ice year round just a few millennia ago. It warmed up to a habitable state long before humans used oil, coal and gas in earnest. There must be reasons other than human activity and burning fuel.
Still, Dr. Suzuki has the gall to tell us there is no doubt. He goes on to castigate those who suggest other reasons for global warming. He claims they are pretending to be experts to confuse the public. Then we are told that Dr. Suzuki’s friend, Jim Hoggan, has set up a website, desmogblog.com, to “expose the liars and the frauds” who challenge the dogma of catastrophic human induced global warming. Those are extreme allegations.
I reviewed the website. There is essentially no science there. There is little to help us understand the global warming issue. It simply provides a forum to mount a viscous, vehement attack on those who question the causes. The primary case for this assault is that some inherently evil industry controls anyone who raises alternative global warming theories. Interestingly there are connections between environmental organizations, public relations agencies and opinion polling firms revealed at the site. Intriguingly, some of their interrelated “studies” are even sponsored by the oil industry.
One is reminded of the wisdom that those who live in glass houses should not cast stones. Canadians will tire of having their thoughts and opinions manipulated and voiced by organizations with vested interests in global warming.
Better understanding of climate change will eventually emerge from research that is being done. That could happen much more quickly if the energy of intelligent people could be re-directed to finding and explaining science based answers to challenges.