Julie Payette takes on junk science—and tests the limits of her job title - Macleans.ca
 

Julie Payette takes on junk science—and tests the limits of her job title

Opinion: The Governor General caused a stir with comments about climate change, evolution and medicine. But it’s the tone, not the facts, that should rankle


 

On Wednesday evening, Governor General Julie Payette said a few things that are true—and a controversy broke out.

In a speech to the Canadian Science Policy Convention this week, the viceregal representative affirmed that climate change is real and caused by humans, that junk science is junk, and that we noble beasts are the product of a random, natural process. All of this checks out according to, well, the scientific method and generally accepted facts.

Admittedly, Payette’s remarks bordered on mockery, which is a problem. “Can you believe…” she started, the usual sign that you’re about to launch into saying that you think someone or some group is really quite stupid. (Reporter Mia Rabson of the Canadian Press described the Governor General’s tone as “incredulous.”) For Canadians who are used to most of their Queen’s representatives contentedly milling about the country as if they were participants in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show—a long, if not unbroken, tradition—her remarks and her delivery of them may be unfamiliar and upsetting, especially those who adhere to a faith that features a divine creation story.

I can understand that. The position of governor general is appointed, non-partisan, and meant to be above—no, let’s say “separated from”—the politics of the day. The man or woman who holds the position is, after all, unaccountable to the public, except circuitously through a prime minister who might choose not to recommend him or her for an extended appointment. Because the position requires a certain distance from the muddy fields where politicians roughhouse, and because the role entails acting as the ceremonial representative of all Canadians (whether you prefer it or not), the governor general ought to refrain from treating the stage as an invitation to practice her material for Yuk Yuk’s.

Tone and content, however, are not the same thing. One could imagine a world in which the existence of human-made climate change isn’t a political issue—indeed, in the future (if we live to enjoy one), I suspect it won’t be an issue because we’ll be too busy dealing with its effects. As for the substance of Payette’s message—that climate change and evolution are real, and that sugar pills are bunk—she might as well have been acknowledging, as political scientist Emmett Macfarlane pointed out, “the existence of gravity.” Indeed. But the controversy seems to be less about Payette’s recognition that climate change, evolution, and the value of mainstream medicine are accepted as fact, and more about her pointing out that, in the 21st century, there are Canadians who doubt that.

Still, while stating facts is one thing, criticizing those who don’t believe in those facts is another. Those are different sorts of utterances and therefore different sorts of acts. The question is whether and when the governor general ought to cross that line. To the former, I say “yes.” To the latter, I say “sometimes.” That’s the wisdom of good governance: knowing when to speak, how to speak, and what to say. In this instance, Payette got the when and what mostly right, but slipped up a bit on the how. It is what she said that is most important, and for that, she ought to be commended. Today, it is more important than ever before for leaders—including the governor general—to make these kinds of statements, to speak the facts.

There are commentators, politicians, “scholars,” and day-to-day citizens who will swear up and down to the Flying Spaghetti Monster that climate change is a hoax or just a naturally occurring phase, that human beings were dropped onto the planet as-is 6,000 years ago, and that crystals cure everything from rashes to cancer. There will always be a collection of people who cling to beliefs that have been categorically rejected by science, others who buy whatever junk science happens to confirm their pre-existing beliefs or jive with their worldview. In that sense, the matters are not “settled”—but in that sense, no matter is settled or ever will be. What should we do? Fit the Governor General with a gag because a small but vocal minority who prefer to ignore the facts are comfortable being mistaken?

Yes, had the Governor General delivered her remarks in a different manner, this little kerfuffle might have been avoided. Phillipe Lagassé, a political scientist and student of all things Westminster, rightly noted that “nobody would have noticed if she called for greater action on climate change”—it was the “pointed way” in which she did it that raises reasonable concern. He cited Prince Charles as a model—who, typically, is a misadventure waiting to happen—in how he phrases his opinions in ways that “please rather than poke.” He’s on to something.

But whereas the Prince shares beliefs that fit well in the category of “opinions,” Payette stated demonstrably true facts. Climate change is real, and it is caused by humans. Humans evolved from other primates through a process of random, natural selection. Mainstream medicine works and sugar pills don’t. On these matters, not only is it fine that our scientist-astronaut-Governor General spoke the facts: it is her duty. It is well-established that Canada, as a country, accepts climate change and evolution and (most of) mainstream medicine as scientifically settled, even if some parliamentarians may not. Payette was not just doing her job as a scientist and educated human being with her remarks; she was also reflecting the position of the state, which she represents, and thus fulfilling the duty of her office in her own way, which is refreshing.

At a time when politicians are constantly tempted to tinker with definitions and to tip-toe around facts to build a world conducive to their agenda and ambitions, Payette standing for the facts should be lauded. If the climate change and evolution deniers and sugar-pill poppers ever take power—which I doubt, thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster—then they can threaten to ignore settled science. But until then, they will just have to live with reality as most of us—including the representative of the monarch in Canada—experience it.

MORE ABOUT JULIE PAYETTE:


 

Julie Payette takes on junk science—and tests the limits of her job title

  1. Like all things done during Justin Trudeau’s “sunny ways” approach to ruling, one small step made for Laurentian Establishment directed social engineering, a giant leap made towards a major national constitutional crisis. Justin Trudeau has even pointed to Louis XIV of France as the originator of “sunny ways.” Great system that one was in its very short run within French history.

    • I see you’re into junk history as well.

  2. There are no rules on what the GG may or may not say.

    So the oldfuddy-duddies can go tut-tut about it elsewhere.

    Personally I’m very pleased.

    At long last, the 21st century!

    • Oh for Christ’s sake leave the woman alone. She has done nothing wrong and unlike her recent predecessor who wouldn’t say shit about any issue our
      new GG has every right to say what is wrong with our planet. If you don’t like it
      go join the others in Trumpland!

      • I think you’ve completely misread E1’s statement.
        .
        And this of all times …. finally, like a broken watch, Em has got it right.

      • You have confused me with someone else…..I’m the futurist on here, and fully support Payette.

    • The GG is the Queen’s rep in Canada and should not be commenting on anything that is political – and thanks to all the activist scientists climate change is political now – even to the point of demanding that NO dissent is possible

      By commenting on religion etc she has also offended many people of faith.

      Just another Liberal appointee who doesn’t know what her job actually is.

      • There are still people who believe earth is flat. Should Julie Payette not have the right to say that earth is undeniably round?

        Strange articles here and elsewhere on this day when the White House authorized the publication of the Fourth National Climate Assessment. Conclusion : Climate change is real and very costly. There is no other conceivable reason for it than human activity.

        https://science2017.globalchange.gov/

        As for the way Payette says things, I believe that Canadians will never accept a female GG who opens her mouth to speak intelligently on anything. A woman GG is always the perfect opportunity to shame the occupant. Canadian women should act like children : be seen and not heard cause when they open their mouth they don’t sound like real – men, of course.

        • Loraine asked, “Should Julie Payette not have the right to say that earth is undeniably round? ”

          She may as well have said that.
          Despite the fact that there hasn’t been a single scientific research paper published clearly demonstrating that mankind has any more than an insignificant effect on global climate, there are still those, solely for political reasons push the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming agenda.
          Being an astronaut, I would hope she would know better. In fact, in 2012, a letter containing the names of 49 former scientists and astronauts of NASA, sent a letter to the then NASA administrator, Charles Bolden which included the following statement:
          “We, the undersigned, respectfully request that NASA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) refrain from including unproven remarks in public releases and websites. We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated, especially when considering thousands of years of empirical data.”

          So, does a dissenting astronaut pushing a Liberal agenda, using no scientific evidence at all, outweigh the others? I don’t think so.

          • The dissenting astronaut does not outweigh the others, but those 49 are not the holders of the one and only truth. Such is scientific debate, and political debate.

            Which brings me to your « Liberal agenda », the left vs the right concepts that politicians develop and sell us with our own money. Do you know of any creation of God or man that flies with only a right, or left, wing? Would we not always be going around in circles with only one wing?

            Julie Payette is there to do what the governement tells her to do because a majority of the representatives elected by Canadians support that agenda. I have no problem with that.

          • Silver Rider, I’ve read many of your past comments in support of Tom Harris and his misleading essays on behalf of The Heartland Institute.

            It’s too bad you choose to believe outright lies like “there hasn’t been a single scientific research paper published clearly demonstrating that mankind has any more than an insignificant effect on global climate” when we have a whole series of papers that demonstrate that humans do, in fact, have an effect on Earth’s climate. I’ll leave you with one of many examples:

            “Our results provide direct experimental evidence for a significant increase in the Earth’s greenhouse effect that is consistent with concerns over radiative forcing of climate.”
            http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v410/n6826/abs/410355a0.html

  3. This is a watershed moment for Canada. And for the national political parties and the national media. There’s no middle ground on this one.
    I see Rex Murphy has arrived early to lead the lynch mob. Says a lot.

  4. It is one thing to support science which is indeed laudable, however a Richard Dawkins clone as GG wont fly..

    • She is speaking as a normal member of her society, and the times she lives in.

  5. If there was ever a moment of hypocrisy, this is it. The woman represents one of the most successful oppressive regimes known to recent history. What is a joke science is giving credence to anything purported by a particular family due to a supposed birthright. Having a representative appointed holding some kind of stature in a truly democratic society is counter-intuitive to sanity. The sooner Canada rids itself of this family and this oppressive revision history we can extract the country from these ridiculous discussions from people who’s words are essentially tripe. In a modern democratic country giving credence to a single family from a failed governing system in a separate country is extraordinary and shameful. Time to end this in-justice and grow some big-boy pants Canada.

    • Andrew G. Brown: That’s funny!

  6. One notes that on this day in 1935 John Buchan, an adult, took an oath as the Governor General.

    • A truly great American, a far more esteemed historical figure than Buchan (who?), Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, you are entitled to your own opinions (translate beliefs), but you are not entitled to your own FACTS.

  7. The author’s issue seems to be something to do with style and tone but then goes on to equate a conference on science policy to a dog show. The author then goes on to pillory science for its presumed uncertainty; science would be a futile profession if there were no questions small to great yet to be solved. Science and engineering does involve degrees of uncertainty; thankfully, someone invented statistical methods; for those who want simple definitive answers to complex problems it may be easier to run to myth, conjecture and/or urban legend. Another knock from the author is the conflation of demographics and democracy: only a small fraction of the population can be brain surgeons consequently there is no sensible democratic solution to operating on the brain; the fact that the UN council never voted the theory of relativity up (or down) says nothing about it’s validity.

  8. It is extremely disappointing that Julie Payette took advantage of the high regard in which she is held, to show where her bread is buttered with her blatantly Liberal comments on climate change. Certainly, as a private citizen, that would have been quite in order but, she is supposed to be above political commentary. Moreover, the personal resume on which she trafficked is certainly no better than that of former astronaut, moon walker, earth scientist and US senator Harrison Schmitt who cheerfully accepts the title of “denier”. Her snarky attitude was uncalled for. She could have at least shown the class of the late Piers Sellers, a “believer”astronaut who was a logical and courteous presenter of his viewpoint.

    A few years ago, eight former astronauts and forty-one other retired senior NASA employees, alarmed by the growing politicisation and warmism within their agency requested, in a letter to the NASA director, “… that NASA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies refrain from including unproven remarks in public releases and websites.” Good words for a science-based agency and a newly-minted GG to live by.

    • There is nothing Liberal about the science and reality of climate change. There is nothing Conservative about it either, there is only the fact of it.

      Those denying climate change are the only ones politicizing it.

  9. The GG can do a great service to Canadians if she can change a few viewpoints on science/medical issues such as vaccines and other therapies in the physical and mental health fields.

  10. Payette should write a book on how to offend a lot of people in 10 minutes!!
    -25% of Canadians are regular church goers. I’m not one of them but, I doubt they go to listen to Darwinian talks about evolution. I guess they’re just stupid.
    -There is NOT scientific consensus on man’s role in a warming climate. The often quoted “97% of scientists agree” statement was based on the answer to the question, “Do you believe the climate is changing?” To that, 97% said “Yes.” Only a fool would say “No” since the climate has changed dramatically over the last 100,000 years+ as evidenced by 5 major ice ages coming and going. And it will continue to change for the next 100,000 years+. However, when asked, “Do you believe man plays a significant role in climate change?”, 37,000 + scientists replied “No.” A study co-authored by University of Montreal researchers suggests that while 79 per cent of Canadians do not doubt the reality of climate change, 39 per cent don’t believe it is caused by human activity. So, 50% of those Canadians who believe the climate is changing agree with those 37,000 scientists (and I’m one) who don’t believe man plays much of a role. So I guess that 50% of believing Canadians as well as 37,000 scientists are just stupid too.
    -Sugar pills for sure don’t cure cancer but it’s well established that many desperate people with psychosomatic disorders get well just because they really believe the pill is their solution.
    Nice to see a GG have a little more spunk but perhaps she should pick topic where there truly is consensus rather than come across as arrogant and haughty.

    • Oh Jerome cut it out. None of your guff is true.

      • Another, normal broad-brush reply of crap from Emily-she will never change.

        • Another broad-brush load of crap from Jerome……who has been told the truth dozens of times

          • I have never heard much in the way of truth from you Emile, just a bunch of nonsense from someone who is unable to listen to any opinion other than her own.

        • Jerome- E1’s so dumb she thinks Taco Bell is the Mexican phone company…

      • Jerome’s comment gave me a laugh though, and I needed that.

    • 37,000+ scientists said “No”, so wondering how many said “Yes”? I.e., what percentage of scientists said “No”?

      • The 37000 scientists thing is a discredited hoax from the 90s.

    • Bravo – you are correct about the non-existent consensus and offending people of faith is not the way to build relationships.

      But more to the point, she is just another Liberal who likes to lecture us deplorable on what we should think – sorry, but less than two months on the job and she has blown any credibility.

      The GG position is largely ceremonial and only comes into play when there is a change of government. She has shown her stripes and any decision that she makes about any new government etc will be tainted.

    • Not every churchgoer is a creationist. Far from it, as a matter of fact.

      As for writing a book on how to offend in 10 minutes, a much more authoritative one has been written by someone south of the border called How to offend everyone in 140 characters.

      Her exasperation speaks to her scientific credentials. It’s a bit like having to explain that the moon landings were real.

    • To your first point: I’m a churchgoer and to my knowledge, all the mainstream churches accept evolution and see the Bible creation stories (there are two of them) as poetic and symbolic renderings. So no, we don’t all believe in a talking snake. (Not that you have suggested that, Jerome. I mean it’s a common thing for people to say on comment boards.)

      • Below is the results from a Gallup poll:
        “More than four in 10 Americans continue to believe that God created humans in their present form 10,000 years ago, a view that has changed little over the past three decades. Half of Americans believe humans evolved, with the majority of these saying God guided the evolutionary process. However, the percentage who say God was not involved is rising.”
        So, I guess Payette only offended 40% of the population on this bit of her arrogant rhetoric!

        • Yes, fundamentalism is stronger in the U.S. than in Canada.

  11. Like so many she’s just another hypocrite flip flopping between science and ideology as it suits her narcissistic personal agenda.

    Will she stand up to voice her support for the science that proves a fetus is a unique living human being?

    Will she support the fact that gender dysphoria is a mental disorder and not a normal condition?

    What’s it gonna be?

    • What did YOU think a fetus was…..a giraffe?

      • Not the woman’s body.

        • Yup, just like the heart and the liver and the ……

  12. Will she voice her support for the science that proves marijuana causes mental illness?

    What’s it gonna be?

  13. In what universe can the GG criticize people for their beliefs?
    The rational universe, post enlightenment, science/fact based universe. Not the Mumbai jumbo, phony spiritualism and creationism, celebrity junk medicine universe where deranged parents kill their children by quackery and faith healing, and anti vaccine insanity. The universe where science asserting that polar bears are in trouble is believed, and the moon landing wasn’t faked.
    Good article by writer named Andersen in recent Atlantic.
    Religion is fine. But specific religious beliefs can not be allowed to twist the real world into incomprehensible knots.

  14. I am not an official member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (although am considering getting a colandar), but I’d wager a year’s wages that the vast, vast majority of Pastafarians do not believe that “human beings were dropped onto the planet as-is 6,000 years ago”. Just saying.

  15. How refreshing. Honesty and passion. I certainly would not want to argue with her about science. No Governor General has ever had the background, knowledge and experience of the universe in which we live than Julie Payette. I met her long before she went into space, at the launch of STS 90. She came up to me and introduced herself. She hadn’t flown and as yet did not have to suffer the indignities of fame. We discussed some aspects of the shuttle with which I was unfamiliar. She spoke of the shuttle and her pending mission with the same passion I see in this video. The passionate it took for her to pursue her career has not been extinguished. People with knowledge and opportunity should do everything they can when it comes to speaking and acting for those with no voice. How it is to be done? How she does it is who she is. There’s always a first time. I look forward to watching Julie Payette’s passion, evidenced in everything she does.

    • She wasn’t even properly vetted. You’ll recall that from when her past assault charge surfaced. But she is a close friend of Sophie’s. I guess that explains a lot.

      • Not true…..stop making stuff up.

        • How can you assert this? It was even published in the VERY left leaning Toronto Star.
          Your habitual denial is something you need to seriously discuss with a therapist.

  16. How refreshing. Honesty and passion. I certainly would not want to argue with her about science. No Governor General has ever had the background, knowledge and experience of the universe in which we live than Julie Payette. I met her long before she went into space, at the launch of STS 90. She came up to me and introduced herself. She hadn’t flown and as yet did not have to suffer the indignities of fame. We discussed some aspects of the shuttle with which I was unfamiliar. She spoke of the shuttle and her pending mission with the same passion I see in this video. The passion it took for her to pursue her career has not been extinguished. People with knowledge and opportunity should do everything they can when it comes to speaking and acting for those with no voice. How it is to be done? How she does it is who she is. There’s always a first time. I look forward to watching Julie Payette’s passion, evidenced in everything she does.

    • In 2012, a letter containing the names of 49 former scientists and astronauts of NASA, sent a letter to the then NASA administrator, Charles Bolden which included the following statement:
      “We, the undersigned, respectfully request that NASA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) refrain from including unproven remarks in public releases and websites. We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated, especially when considering thousands of years of empirical data.”

      So, does a dissenting astronaut pushing a Liberal agenda, using no scientific evidence at all, outweigh the others? I don’t think so.

      • Typo – First sentence should read, “In 2012, a letter containing the names of 49 former scientists and astronauts of NASA, was sent to the then NASA administrator,…”

      • Discredited hoax……sorry.

        • B.S. You call everything that is counter to your misinformed opinion a “hoax”

          • Not my opinion dude…….it’s science.

  17. Actually David Moscrop, there are only two types peddling the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming agenda, the scientifically illiterate and liars. If you knew anything about science at all, you would realize that to date, there hasn’t been a single published scientific research paper clearly demonstrating that mankind has any more than an insignificant, if any, effect on global climate.
    Being an astronaut should enable Ms. Payette to have at least some basic knowledge about climate science. Therefore, we have to assume that she is not being truthful.
    In fact, there is a list of nearly 50 past NASA members who are scientists and/or astronauts who definitely question the very murky and unsubstantiated claims of those pushing the CAGW hypothesis.

    • Rubbish

      • All right Emily, please supply us with the accredited peer reviewed study generally accepted by the scientific community as proving mankind is responsible for global warming..

        • The UN has all the studies worldwide.

          Enjjoy.

          • Have you ever read about “Climate-gate” Emily? The IPCC chairman resigned because of data falsification. He said their reports on Climate Change had become totally political and not based on science and his ethics would not allow him to continue to preside over such a body.

          • Either read the science papers or clam up.

          • That’s an organization funded by scientific bodies which are dependent on continuing the myth of man made climate change for their ongoing research funding. They are part of what has become a dependent, addicted industry.

  18. Madame la Governeuse General came off looking like an airhead in this outing. Not just regular know nothing but a biased, opinionate light-weight know-it-all. She is not much of a student of the history of Science – an entry level course she might be forgiven for missing, but she obviously also doesn’t read the introductory chapters to most scholarly works.

    Otherwise she might have known that those arcanities she mocked and that we, now-days, call ‘junk’ were, at one time, all the Science humanity had. Even then they gave rise to philosophy – the framework of all thinking, to mathematics and ‘the method’ that gave rise to what she believes. Even here again she could be wrong, for modern science has not yet reached any definition in our origins, except that some think their declarations override the observations of equally great minds of earlier times. The Ascent of Man is little clearer than it ever was and the ‘divine spark’ that made humanity infinitely different among the multitudes of life forms on Earth, is still far beyond a chemical explanation – even the mathematical fluke.

    But her greatest failure lies in one of the main reasons she was an attractive candidate for the ultimate office in the land. Like the intrepid few who have truly slipped the surly bonds of Earth, the experience, even scientifically left her with all the answers and none of the awe. She had a chance to ‘See the face of God’ and is not poet enough to have known that. Her opinions are those a of small heart and a lesser mind.

    I hope she’s hiding her real talents but, if this is it, she can do her Country little good.

    • Science began thousands of years ago.

      Religion has tried to snuff it out ever since.

    • “Her opinions are those a of small heart and a lesser mind.”

      While you’re so focussed on your own superior intelligence, you might stop to think that you’re not doing yourself any favours by misspelling French words and casually projecting your own ill-formed opinions onto others.

  19. Below is a statement based on a recent Gallup poll.
    “The percentage of U.S. adults who believe that God created humans in their present form at some time within the last 10,000 years or so — the strict creationist view — has reached a new low. Thirty-eight percent of U.S. adults now accept creationism, while 57% believe in some form of evolution — either God-guided or not — saying man developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life.”
    So, I guess Payette only offended 38% of the population on this subject!

  20. I don’t understand why Julie Payette thinks it’s so irrational to believe in a creator God in today’s day in age.
    A creationist like myself believes not in blind faith in God but in evidence based faith and there is mountains of evidence if you view the data and everything we see in the universe through a biblical lense. It lines up perfectly with the data we see in the real world! Most people, even most Christians have not looked into this! The God of the bible describes himself as “The Great I Am” who stood outside space and time to create it. And the buck stops there with him!

    On the other hand an evolutionist who bases his worldview on naturalism must explain his/her existence in one of three ways:

    1. He came to be because the universe caused him and the universe is eternal. But the second law of thermal dynamics rules out an eternal universe and most naturalists don’t like the idea of eternity cause they don’t like the idea of an eternal God.

    2.The universe caused him to be and the universe made itself out of absolutely nothing.

    3.The universe caused him to be and the universe was created by something else, but then what created that cause, and what created that cause and on and on to infinitum and it all breaks down into nonsense.

    So where does the buck stop for an evolutionist?

    The God of the Bible claims to be uncreated. And I don’t think too many people in today’s day of age would choose to believe in a created God. Another word for that would be an idol!

    So…in the biblical worldview…the buck stops with God.

    Can any evolutionist enlighten me on where the buck stops for them? It’s got to stop somewhere right?

    • ..There is no ‘god’, there no devil……..that’s a fairy tale.

      The buck doesn’t stop anywhere

    • RYMAR74, for me, questions about where the buck stops are meaningless. I get that if you’ve grown up with a biblical worldview you’ve been trained to look for First Causes, but that’s just another way of projecting human values onto the Universe and then taking our reflection to be The Truth. Sorry, but accepting Biblical evidence and rejecting the last 500 hundred (or 5000, if you want) years of human learning seems like a poor exchange.

      And why is it necessary to argue about evolution, for example? You know very little about biology, and it’s not our job to teach you the basics. Why not read some science books, instead of complaining that your Biblical knowledge is inadequate?

    • You must have the courage to say: “I don’t know”.

  21. Good for the GG. I believe in science, therefore in evolution and not creation. But, if I’m wrong and and come face to face with God in the not to distant future, I will give him/her a serious tongue lashing for creating all the suffering, misery, wars, carnage, starvation and so many other horrors experienced by humanity.

    • I believe Payette is right about a few things in her speech. The point is, however, that she shouldn’t try to make others feel stupid if they believe differently. She demonstrated about as much tact as a toilet bowl.

      • Jerome, please don’t be offended because others think differently or know more than you. There’s only one person who can change that situation.

        • I said she was right about a few things in her speech. However, if you don’t believe she offended anyone, you are as insensitive as she is.

    • It boils down to truth and lies.

      Truth is reality. Lies are unreal,

      The psychology is that the more wrong we do, the more difficult the recognition, repentance, correction, forgiveness, forgetting and moving on.

      The slippery slope is the “easier” choice to live a lie, continue doing wrong with the delusion of happiness.

      I keep putting truth out there. I show the irrefutable logic and science. Like throwing a cold bucket of water on a drunk. It helps. It’s all we can do.

  22. Some of the right wing columnists are saying Payette attacked religion. That’s not strictly true. Listening to the quote it’s clear she is focusing on creationism.
    The majority of religious people believe in evolution. She knows that.
    Her words are being distorted for political purposes as usual.

  23. Also posted on another thread. The tone is of course a big deal but the facts, in particular the lack thereof, are the real problem. Anyone with a legitimate picture of the actual state of debate wouldn’t take her tone.

    While it is appropriate at times for social or political groups to take inflexible stances on something it is never excusable for science, and by definition isn’t science. The science is not settled – and in a much more relevant way to the public and political spheres – to the degree that it is settled it isn’t in the way Payette and others who say so think it is.

    The near scientific certainty regarding human influence on warming is that CO2 doubling from pre-industrial levels will have a direct warming effect of 1 degree. I believe it was Richard Lindzen who projected around 3/4 of a degree accounting for knock-off effects, if you will, while any other warming model projection of more than one degree is accounting for knock-on effects. There is obviously plenty of room for debate on knock-on and off effects several decades into the future when we may still be in a pause that was not predicted in previous models and appears to be the result of heat going into the ocean. Multiple classes of kids were born, grew up, and graduated during the surface temperature pause and chances are neither they or their teachers ever knew about it because of how unscientific this debate is.

    Even more relevant to social or political settlements – not on whether there is a CO2 warming effect, which literally everyone I know of who calls themselves or is called a skeptic completely agrees with – but with whether there will be a negative amount of warming including knock-on warming effects is that it doesn’t even matter what you believe. This is the truly incredible thing here. If you asked a group of economists to come up with a scientific policy on how to deal with a potential warming danger they would likely come up with large scale research and development funding as the focus. Carbon taxes are the most effective current policy and by Bjorn Lomborg’s numbers at this point they return 7 cents on the dollar by the end of the century. That makes them a lot better than regular taxes with no inherent extra value, and a lot better than most subsidization and regulation climate policies that are currently going on. And so far as I know, most skeptics would be on board with large scale R&D, which Lomborg projects to have several times their cost in benefits. In fact they seem to support it more than the very much self titled science gals and guys who apparently spend more time distracted by straw-men than developing policies that don’t push low-income people into fuel poverty, divert food for the poor into fuel for the wealthy, and otherwise waste resources for little, no, even negative gain.

    Again, regardless of whether you believe in a potential catastrophe or even more benefit than harm from warming, in terms of the actually effective policies there is no fundamental reason for differences even between the “skeptic” and “likely catastrophe” groups except in how much to invest. That this has been lost in the noise is incredible. And very, very much unscientific.

  24. She is supposed to represent the Queen who is the titular head of the Church of England. She does not represent the Queen by ridiculing religion. She should apologize or resign

    • Creationism, not religion.

  25. For those of you who believe that scientists are infallible you might want to read the forecast of “The Club of Rome ” In The Limits of Growth” forty years ago. 66 prominent scientists and economists predicted that fossil fuels would run out starting in the 1970″s, global industry would decline, food would be in short supply by 2015 and so on. Perhaps Payette could be less condescending, like Hillary she thinks those who don’t think like her are “deplorables” Enough hubris and arrogance, just represent all Canadians.

  26. The Supreme Court just heard a case this week involving a First Nations tribe that believes a “Grizzly Bear Spirit” inhabits a large part of the BC wilderness. I’d love to hear Mme. Payette’s views on that.

    Assuming she is consistent and expressed those views with the same vehemence with which she sneers at evangelical Christians, I bet the very same people applauding her now would take a decidedly different view about our very modern governor general.

    • What did the Supreme Court say?