Open Letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from The Friends of Science Society

Prime Minister,

RE: Letter from 265 Academics – COVID19 Recovery – Fight Virus Not Carbon

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Dutch cabinet abandoned any further plans to pursue climate goals, despite the Urgenda court ruling, citing the overwhelming need to address the COVID19 crisis. Sir, it is time to focus on Canadians, not the planet; on the COVID19 crisis, not the climate.

Some 265 academics demand that you abandon support for Canada’s oil and gas sector and not provide financial relief. We ask you, how is modern medicine possible without the energy and product stream, like sterile, single-use medical supplies, without petrochemicals?

In 2018, Canadians were surveyed by Abacus Data for Ecofiscal Commission Canada. The number one priority of Canadians was improved health care. Instead, governments of the day chose to pursue climate change and carbon taxes. Climate change was the least priority of Canadians.

Imagine, had we followed the advice of the 2006 pandemic report, which identified the historic recurrence of pandemics and the likely origin of the next one, had we invested in improved health care instead of climate change projects, we would not have been caught off guard by COVID19 and would have been much better prepared.

In the intervening 2 years since the Abacus poll, some ~$100 billion in investment has been driven out of Canada, as explained by former public servant and diplomat, Robert Lymanin “Prosperity Foregone”. These losses were driven by the foreign-funded and strategically managed, Tar Sands Campaign ideological supporters and poor government climate policy.  Unrelenting ‘Blockadia’ of pipelines, along with foreign-funded agitation of indigenous people by climate activist groups, and international smear campaigns like “Rethink Alberta” have devastated the energy sector. Sir, this is a Green Trade War against Canada.  We must fight back.

Due to recent agitation by environmental law ‘charities’ (which are tax-subsidized by working Canadians) and with the help of foreign funding to them, federal approval processes that had worked well for Canada for 60 years were overturned.  The uncertainty of new regulations like Bill C-69, Bill C-48, as well as the changes to the former National Energy Board process, which was once regarded as the most technically rigorous and fair process in the world have made investors lose confidence in Canada. As of 2018, Canada has been deemed by PPHB Energy Investment Bank to be a country ‘hostile’ to investment.

The 265 academics claim to be climate researchers, but few hold credentials in the physical sciences and none appear to have credentials in engineering.

In terms of climate change, they appear to be unaware that climate prophecies have failed; certainly wind and solar will not stop climate change. These are wasteful uses of precious fossil fuels for little energy return on energy invested.

Rather like the popularized notion of the LEAP manifesto, that an east-west power grid in Canada could simplistically electrify and decarbonize the country, expert evaluation shows this is not technically feasible, would cost hundreds of billions of dollars (plus require vast quantities of fossil fuels for such construction), and would put Canada at risk of national black-outs. The “Shocking Reality” of NetZero2050 and decarbonization for Canada is that we do not have enough power generation, and to build it would require many decades and trillions of dollars.  There appears to have been little due diligence done; we advise the government to “Look Before You Leap” any further into climate emergency claims.

The academics claim that oil has been subsidized in Canada – in fact Chris Ragan of Ecofiscal Commission stated on TVO, in an interview with Steve Paikin, that he did not find evidence of such subsidies.  January 15, 2019:  “…in 2009 and 10, I somehow got assigned to be and labelled as Canada’s expert on the fossil fuel subsidy issue for the G20 discussions because the G20 countries had made a commitment to reduce fossil fuel subsidies.  And one of the things that I learned at Finance Canada is that in fact we as a country do not have explicit fossil fuel subsidies.” (bold emphasis added)

The 265 academics refer to Oil Change International as their source on information about alleged fossil fuel subsidies in Canada.  Oil Change International is a group funded by foreign Tar Sands Campaign funders.

According to the Oak Foundation grant database, in 2016, Oil Change International was granted $500,000 USD by the Swiss-based Oak Foundation:

To enhance the ability of civil society to advocate for the reduction of public and private financial support for fossil fuel exploration.  Oil Change International is a research, communications and advocacy organisation that investigates financial and power relationships among governments, markets and the fossil fuel industry to facilitate the transition to a clean energy economy.

In 2016, Oil Change International was granted a further $1,000,000 USD by Oak:

To advance international commitments for the phase-out of subsidies and public finance to fossil fuels.  This will be done by focusing on the G20, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and other forums of public finance for fossil fuels.  Together, the Global Subsidies Initiative, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Oil Change International and the Overseas Development Institute are coordinating an international campaign to bring global taxpayer-funded fossil fuel subsidies to an end.

To “Keep Canada in the Black” we must abandon this foreign-funded, anti-oil, Tar Sands Campaign rhetoric and ideology and become “Grounded in Reality”.

The 265 academics call for ‘investing in the future’ – but as Robert Lyman has pointed out in his report “Transition to Reality” – the world runs on fossil fuels; there is no simplistic overnight transition to a new energy system as proposed by these academics.  This view is confirmed by numerous books and presentations by Canadian energy expert, Professor Emeritus, Vaclav Smil.

Likewise, advocating for renewables jobs is really advocating for jobs in other countries, like China.

The 265 academics claim that supporting Canada’s oil/gas/oilsands industry will not protect us from global oil price shifts is true – but not having our own energy independence and having all export routes blocked by foreign-funded protestors, will mean Canada will be at the mercy of supply and price of imported oil from despot nations.  Though the cost of supporting the industry at this time appears to be large (said to be about $15 billion), Canadians should recognize that over the past 2 decades, taxpayers have subsidized foreign-funded and foreign-directed environmental federally registered ‘charities’ to the tune of $11 billion dollars, as outlined in “Money Matters”. These groups have drawn “Dark Green Money” from overseas.  They have reveled in hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, in grants of “Big Green Money” from federal, provincial and municipal governments, mostly for make-work projects on ‘climate change’ for which there is no evidence of net public benefit, and much evidence of significant public and economic harm.  Indeed, Canadian taxpayers now face a “Green Titanic” – our economic ship is sinking.

Consequently, a $15 billion support package for the beleaguered oil/gas/oilsands industry can be seen as a fair and reasonable quid pro quo in response to two decades of unrelenting tax-subsidized Tar Sands Campaign.  That campaign was also personal – an attack against the thousands of highly qualified Canadian scientists, Professional Geoscientists, Professional Engineers and skilled trades.  Many of these Canadians have been driven out of the country to seek work or driven into despair as activists and social ‘scientists’ have drummed their careers out of existence and smeared their excellent academic qualifications.

The Tar Sands Campaign must end now.

For all the reasons above, we ask that you reject the letter from the 265 academics and support Canada’s energy sector for the good of our nation, for the benefit of our health care system and workers, and for the enrichment of our economy. In short, to save Canada, we must exit the Paris Agreement, build pipelines to Canadian ports, and return to our senses. We could not fight COVID19 and save lives without modern medicine, which would not exist without the power and products of oil, natural gas and coal.

Save Canada, Quit Paris, Build Pipelines – Fight Viruses Not Carbon

Sincerely,

FRIENDS OF SCIENCE SOCIETY 

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