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Sceptics in the Canadian Senate

Very interesting testimony session in the Canadian Senate from a panel of prominent sceptics, including Ross McKitrick.


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Reader Comments (18)

I watched this some time ago.

What hit me was the obvious lack of any knowledge on the part of the senators. They clearly had taken very little time over the last 20 years to inform themselves.

Jan 2, 2012 at 8:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterbroggle

broggle - Lack of knowledge and clinging to the precautionary principle along with the notion that science is done through consensus and sceptics are only a tiny vocal minority.
Anyway we shouldn't complain, it's an breach that can only get wider. We'll see as 2012 progresses.

Jan 2, 2012 at 9:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn in France

broggle: To a large extent we cannot blame the politicians, they make policy and have to be guided by the best scientific advice. The could not be aware, and neither was I, about how corrupt the great and the good of the scientific establishment are. The UK is the second most successful scientific community in the world, but Beddington, Nurse, May, Oxburgh, King et al will give the politicians pause for thought when, as it will, this whole, unbelievable fiasco unravels as it will, and we tally up the damage done politically, (because the people trusted the politicians and will wreak their revenge on them) and for the funding of science, should the Tories stay in power they are bound to ask, and I'd be with them, for our money back from a scientific community that has deceived the public into squandering huge sums of money on useless energy sources. Scientific advice that has added hugh costs to our transport systems making our industry even less competitive. It is a scandal beyond belief, and it purely the hubris of our scientific great and good and the climate "scientist/activists" that have infested our halls of learning.

Jan 2, 2012 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo


I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for these Tories to do anything. They are just as clueless as Labour and no doubt they too have just as much political capital invested in the religion of Mann Made Global Warming as labour does.

So in effect all we have done is exchanged one political party for another that is nothing but a mirror image of the last lot of ignorant clowns!


Jan 2, 2012 at 9:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Mailman: Here comes the new boss.......Same as the old boss...Won't get fooled again

Jan 2, 2012 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterchrisl

The UK should forsake the EU and form an economic union with Canada. Heck, that would make the UK part of NAFTA and would mean all trade with the US and Mexico is domestic trade. We would probably have to change the name of NAFTA from "North American Free Trade Agreement" to "North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement" but what the heck.

Canada might not go for it, though. Their economy is doing pretty well and the UK might be a drag on it. They could revive the old commonwealth, though, and make a bit more of an economic union and maybe invite the US in.

Jan 2, 2012 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered Commentercrosspatch

Politicians make laws. Climate legislation is amongst the most costly ever for the people politicians represent. Legislatures in the liberal west have bent over bckwards to demonise co2 and yet none of the measures, taxes, etc. will impact on co2 and any resulting climate change/warming/disruption at all. I.e. the net effect on the alleged problem will be nil. And yet many politicians are making money directly or indirectly from these measures they have taken with their legislative hat on, whilst publicly some explicitly tell their electorates that they have no idea how much this will cost or whether it will have any effect at all, but it's better than doing nothing. And that is the extent of their justification for huge tax and power grabs.

Any politician is obliged to inform him/herself on climate issues. They are required to have enquiring minds. They are supposed to hold the executive to acount, not to feather their own nests and play yes men for advantage and advancement. The fact that they have so ignored their responsibilities indicates the contempt in which they hold their citizens and the security they feel in their positions. Both will prove to be mistakes in the long run. But let's please not say don't blame the politicians. They are at least as much to bllame as the clique of ipcc scientists and the cut and paste msm.

Jan 2, 2012 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterbroggle

Mitchell, the Liberal senator just before the end, I think, did his AGW cause no favours, with his long rushed rant (instead of a question) stringing together as many alarmist slogans and attacks as possible, trying to tell other senators what the outcome of their hearing would conclude. He may have just been the catalyst needed for undecided senators to look more closely at the skeptics position.

I thought McKitrick was best, with clear, to the point explanations and his economics background more important to the sentor's policy decision needs. Next came Tim Patterson who I think was the best of the 3 scientists. He rang a bell with his Ice Road relation to the Senators policy making decisions. Ian Clark dazzled the senaotrs with too much science. His good graphs left them puzzled. So it was a shame that he didn't explain at a level the senators could understand more easily. Jan Veizer, came through as a typical ivory tower academic, which was a shame too, with all his excellent research. His emotion at the end somewhat reduced the skeptics impact on the senators, playing a bit to Mitchell's position.

All through, I could feel for the other senators, trying to understand, for their voters, the real problems with new policy decisions they must now make, given the obvious public debate on climate science now. They thought the science was settled and now they must come to terms that they have made wrong policy decisions.

We skeptics would do well to realize how much the average person doesn't know about science, let alone climate science. As one senator noted, after a long days work the tired average citizen expects the scientists to keep their own house clean and give people accurate information. Lets hope more panels like this spread to other senates in the West.

Jan 2, 2012 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrady


We skeptics would do well to realize how much the average person doesn't know about science, let alone climate science.

Couldn't agree more. I described my latest 'elevator pitch' to an average person (well, an Oxford PPE graduate) to reconsider the climate consensus two days ago. Skip the first two paragraphs if not interested in software development and internet startups - but of course the context can be important. I've since used the same 'four number' approach with a Silicon Valley entrepreneur of around 25 who's just got seed funding of $1.5 million and a member of the Royal Society aged 75. Improvements and criticisms extremely welcome.

Jan 2, 2012 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

'Lets hope more panels like this spread to other senates in the West.'

Wishful thinking within the EU Carbon Curtain. To query the sacrosanct edict of AGW is tantamount to heresy. Forbidden, verboten, nie wolno.

Jan 2, 2012 at 2:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

The Canadian Senate is essentially a body of patronage appointments having little political power, unlike the US body of the same name. I have a lot of faith that the current majority government will gradually pull the "charitable" (and thus tax-free) status of many NGOs, and gradually shuffle the science funding deck, and do the same with many politically active civil servants in the envo and other "science" communities.

The Senate hearings were apparently not newsworthy in other media outlets here.

Jan 2, 2012 at 4:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark F

It would have been very interesting, had the politicions beeh asked what information they had read in connection with climate change. I got the impression that they followed the mainstream (so called) experts because they could not entertain the possibility that they might not be entirely honest and trustworthy. It seemed obvious that none of them had read the climategate E-Mails.
None of the politicions appeared to acknowledge that attracting funds for research required the scientists to tow the party(cause) line and are consequently not entirely free to follow the research wherever it would normally take them, the destination being pre- ordained.

Jan 2, 2012 at 5:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Listened to the whole lot (not much to look at).

Impressed with how level the tone of the evidence was, including the most antagonistic of the interlocutors (Grant Mitchell 1hr 53m or so) who nevertheless trotted out the old saws:

* diagreeing with the "consensus" position necessarily means you think there's a conspiracy

* that "thousands" of scientists must be conspiring if it isn't true (clearly unfamiliar with ther way the 97% figure is arrived at)

* that you can draw parallels with evolution, vaccination etc.

He also made a point of saying that if humans aren't the primary influence, we should all be very afraid because it's unstoppable under any circumstances and we're all doomed.

Interesting to see belief in CAGW used as a security blanket in this way.

Measured, cogent discussion and explanation from the experts giving testimony- a great job of drawing out some of the distinctions in an easily digestible way and leaving a very credible imnpression.

Jan 2, 2012 at 5:59 PM | Unregistered Commentermrsean2k

I'm with you on this one Broggle. There is still much naivete about that politicians are simply being misguided by a few bad scientists and that as soon as the real science is heard then they will take the right decisions and everything will be OK.

Problem is that the 'science' has been deliberately skewed by senior politicians and bureaucrats in the various govts (particularly the UN/EU) who have ensured that the vast bulk of funding is available only to those 'scientists' that support the CAGW meme. The solution of 'global governance' has long been the aim regardless of what the actual science says and there are too many careerists in national govts now who are only too willing to sacrifice their country's best interests to their own career prospects. Other politicians are guilty of not doing due diligence and just taking the easy route by backing the so-called 'consensus'.

One only needs to look towards Ed Miliband to see the disgraceful lack of awareness of/interest in the actual science behind the CAGW theory. Bearing in mind that Ed Miliband was our Secretary of State for Climate Change and Energy and a long way responsible for bringing in the frightfully expensive Climate Change Act 2008 one can be forgiven for being somewhat apoplectic at the sight of him touring the country preaching the dangers of runaway global warming based on 'negative feedback loops' when any cursory examination of the science would aknowledge that it is heavily dependent on positive feedbacks.

Here he is with Fannie Armstrong of 10:10 video infamy -

'The Age of Stupid' indeed!!!

Corruption or incompetence, the effects are the same - people are actually dying as a result of inflated energy bills.

Jan 2, 2012 at 6:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

2:14 PM | Brady .... and others.

The comments and questions from all politicians show them up to be unbelievably dumb when it comes to anything concerned with science or engineering. Hell, I have no formal science or engineering qualification, but to me their ignorance is quite unbelievable.

Jan 2, 2012 at 7:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterHuhneMustGo

Echoing some earlier comments, it is difficult to remain optimistic when looking at the politicians' poor understanding and lack of preparation plus the nearly total lack of media coverage on the topic.

Some of us in Ontario are very proud to live in the home province of both Ross McKitrick and Steve McIntyre - both well known influential figures in the Climate Change debate.

However, Canadian media including the CBC, Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail have totally ignored the Senate subject hearings.

Jan 2, 2012 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterPolitical Junkie

Interesting that this panel was heard on the 15th December. By then, Canada had already pulled out of Kyoto. Sen Mitchell can go on with the usual warmist stuff, but the worm has already turned. Shame the politicians in UK won't reconsider. Perhaps when Huhne gets banged up......

Jan 2, 2012 at 8:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobB

Re: Jan 2, 2012 at 7:43 PM | Political Junkie

On the contrary, I think we have every reason to be optimistic. Watching the video it was so refreshing to see the sceptic side given an airing without the usual barrage of hostile questions from politicians intent on pushing CAGW. We have the data, actual science and truth on our side, all they have are the inadequate models of the now discredited IPCC 'scientists'.

On most forums now CAGW proponents are having to resort to false 'consensus' claims and usually fall back on ad hom comments to any who disagree. The sceptic side are winning the debates hands down so that MSM blog forums are having to resort to censorship of sceptic posts - one can see numerous examples of this on the Guardian's 'comment is free' site - not so 'free' in their case!

The general public aren't stupid and are quite aware that the Met Office's constant predictions of warmer winters have been wildly inaccurate. Weather, indeed, but since when has that stopped CAGW proponents claiming that any warmer than usual weather was 'proof' of global warming.

Now that so many are being adversely affected by wind turbines in their neighbourhoods there is a greater interest in the 'science' and it is getting to the stage where politicians simply cannot ignore the real science and data any longer - we need to help things along by writing to our own politicians and making sure they are aware of the evidence against CAGW such that they will find it difficult to deny at a later date.

The tide is turning and the rats are deserting the sinking ship - note the back-peddling on the part of some politicos with one such example -

Jan 2, 2012 at 8:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

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