‘I’m not a denier’


After Megan Leslie tried once on Monday and three times on Tuesday to get Joe Oliver to explain his position on climate change, Evan Solomon gave it a shot on CBC’s Power & Politics yesterday evening. Here’s how that went.

Evan Solomon: She asked you three times, Do you believe in climate change, are you a climate change denier? She said she couldn’t get an answer. Could you give us an answer? She asked you, Do you believe in man-made or human-made climate change?

Joe Oliver: Look, I’m not a denier, but you know, this is a matter of science. It’s also a matter for my colleague, the Minister of the Environment, you know, and I don’t think we want to get into that. What I said to her and what I said to the House was we will not proceed with any project unless it is safe for the environment and safe for Canadians. That’s my responsibility.

Evan Solomon: So I just want to clarify one last time and then I want to ask you one last question. So you would say you do believe in the science of climate change?

Joe Oliver: Well, look, I’m not a scientist. Most scientists, overwhelmingly it seems, do believe, you know, do have that view. There are a number who do not. And I certainly take account of the fact that overwhelmingly, as I said, scientists appear to have that view.


‘I’m not a denier’

  1. The bit that got edited out during commercial:

    Evan Solomon: Okay. Somewhat related then, does Mr. Harper have your balls in a small box somewhere or is the lack of them more appropriately called con-genital?

  2. Look, I’m not a denier, but …

    Here’s the thing… any time someone says “I’m not an x, but…”, it generally means they are an X. The minister is confirming that notion.

    • Here’s a thought: maybe he’s really not certain either way. Just like he said.

      • He’s a smart guy. He clearly is a denier as all smart guys should be.

      • Possibly, but I doubt it. That said, my comment should have been better worded. The second sentence should have read “The minister would seem to be confirming the notion.” 

  3. “Well, look, I’m not a scientist. Most scientists, overwhelmingly it seems, do believe, you know, do have that view. There are a number who do not. And I certainly take account of the fact that overwhelmingly, as I said, scientists appear to have that view.”

    There are a couple of ways you could parse that beauty. It could be literally his position; or you could take the view that he’s hedging: I’m with the do not crowd but since its unpopular i can’t quite bring myself to say that, since that would take courage and besides i haven’t cleared it with the man yet!
    It’s a politicians answer i suppose.

     Did a nice job of getting some coded between the lines stuff out there though didn’t he?

    …overwhelmingly it seems, do believe…scientists appear to have that view.

    Don’t despair deniers he’s with you alright, unless Steve says he aint.

    • Strikingly familiar:

      Jane Taber: So you do believe in evolution. You believe in the theory of evolution. Let’s just get this off the table right now.

      Gary Goodyear: We are evolving, every year, every decade. That’s a
      fact. Whether it’s to the intensity of the sun, whether it’s to, as a
      chiropractor, walking on cement versus anything else, whether it’s
      running shoes or high heels, of course, we are evolving to our
      environment. But that’s not relevant. And that’s why I refused to answer
      the question. The interview was about our science and tech strategy,
      which is strong…

  4. ‘The business of Canada is business’……according to Cons, and they ignore or deny anything that might interfere with that business.

    • Um, yea and?

      • There is more to life than business.

        • It’s not like those turkeys could run a business well anyway. Well, maybe organized crime…

          • LOL well gawd knows they haven’t done anything useful with the economy…except giving a throne speech in Davos.

            And gazebos!

  5. Well, according to the British Metropolitan Global Warming Office and the climate experts at East Anglia, none of which can be classified as “deniers”, there has been no warming in the last 15 years.

    So if he’s not a denier, my question is…what more will it take to make him one?

      • Really? NASA eh? Impressive, Emily…

        Would this be the same NASA that published this?

        Again…if Oliver is not a denier…WTF is he waiting for, the next ice age?

        • That doesn’t say what you think it does.  LOL

          Climate denial articles need to be read closely.

          We aren’t heading towards any ice age.

          • NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth’s
            atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than
            alarmist computer models have predicted
            , reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing.
            The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than
            United Nations computer models have predicted
            , and supports prior
            studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less
            heat than alarmists have claimed.

            Oh I’m quite certain it says pretty much exactly what I think it says. LOL.

            Boy, for someone who claims not to like Conservatives, you sure do practice a lot of the same “nothing to see here folks, move along now” techniques that they do.

          • That is not from the linked research article in Remote Sensing, that is the reporters take on it, i.e. the research article does not contain a single instance of the phrase ‘global warming’, and definitely doesn’t make any statements about how much or how little is going to occur in the future.

            It’s not a case of nothing to see here, as much as it really doesn’t have any relationship to the headline. Also the statement that the study was published by NASA is also misleading.

          • I find it mildly amusing how commited deniers have only lately starting resorting to cherry picking through actual scientific papers that may contradict GW theory, having only recently it seems abandoned relying soley on weathermen and other qualified sources for their infomation. I guess that’s progress? 

          • @kcm:disqus

            For my part, I’m amused at how the climate alarmists can continue to sound the climate change alarm, despite their own acknowledgement that the doom they’ve been predicting hasn’t shown up for 15 years, and they don’t have the slightest idea why

          • @john_g2:disqus 

            Probably because of all the deliberate wilful ignorance out there….by people like Glenn Beck….that appeals to people like you.

          • Awesome. I’ve just been lectured about “deliberate willful ignorance” by OriginalEmily1. My day is almost complete. If I hurry I might be able to make Jon Corzine’s lecture on how to safeguard your clients’ money.

          • Oh not you again OriginalEmily1. The trolls have arrived folks.

          • Ahhh the minute I dent the denier theories, I get called a troll.

            Well that’s not what ‘troll’ means, and your gimmick is obvious.

            Stop it.

          • In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic
            messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum,
            chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an
            emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[4] The noun troll may refer to the provocative message itself, as in: “That was an excellent troll you posted”.

            While the word troll and its associated verb trolling are associated with Internet discourse, media attention in recent years has made such labels subjective, with trolling describing intentionally provocative actions and harassment outside of an online context. For example, mass media has used troll to describe “a person who defaces Internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families.”[5][6]

        • I like how the headline manages to get “New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole in Global Warming Alarmism” from:

          “Abstract: The sensitivity of the climate system to an imposed radiative imbalance remains the largest source of uncertainty in projections of future anthropogenic climate change. Here we present further evidence that this uncertainty from an observational perspective is largely due to the masking of the radiative feedback signal by internal radiative forcing, probably due to natural cloud variations. That these internal radiative forcings exist and
          likely corrupt feedback diagnosis is demonstrated with lag regression analysis of satellite and coupled climate model data, interpreted with a simple forcing-feedback model. While the satellite-based metrics for the period 2000–2010 depart substantially in the direction of lower climate sensitivity from those similarly computed from coupled climate models, we
          find that, with traditional methods, it is not possible to accurately quantify this discrepancy in terms of the feedbacks which determine climate sensitivity. It is concluded that atmospheric feedback diagnosis of the climate system remains an unsolved problem, due primarily to the inability to distinguish between radiative forcing and radiative feedback in satellite radiative budget observations.”

          The research article has nothing do with whether or not global warming/climate change is occurring, it’s about the level of certainty on the error bars on one aspect of climate models.

          • Not sure if you’re the same Guest as above, but check the link I posted. The headline is derived from the press release from the University of Alabama which accompanies the paper. Fair to say that it’s an interpretation of the paper for laymen.

          • I did, and that is even more shocking that the university press office misrepresented the research to that degree. Is the actual paper behind a paywall (I’m at a library so I could follow the link in the newspaper article), the manuscript does not say any of the things that you bolded in your earlier comment.

            Here is the final two paragraphs of the discussion/conclusion

            “Finally, since much of the temperature variability during 2000–2010 was due to ENSO [9], we conclude that ENSO-related temperature variations are partly radiatively forced. We hypothesize that changes in the coupled ocean-atmosphere circulation during the El Niño and La Niña phases of ENSO cause differing changes in cloud cover, which then modulate the radiative balance of the climatesystem. As seen in Figure 3(b) for the ocean-only data, the signature of radiative forcing is stronger over the oceans than in the global average, suggesting a primarily oceanic origin.What this might (or might not) imply regarding the ultimate causes of the El Niño and La Niña phenomena is not relevant to our central point, though: that the presence of time varying radiative forcing in satellite radiative flux measurements corrupts the diagnosis of radiative feedback.”It’s a bit of a stretch to jump from that to “New NASA data blow gaping hole in global warming alarmism”. It is discussing a source of error in the models, not invalidating the models, as the headline states.

        • When the article is full of emotionally loaded terms like “alarmist” (15 times in 9 paragraphs) it is probably not from any kind of scientific source, reputable or otherwise.  In this case, it was written by James M. Taylor for the Heartland Institute.  Check who pays his bills then consider the fact even he appears to find himself forced to concede that anthropogenic climate change is a fact and that it is only the magnitude that is in question (“…far less…” as opposed to “…no…”).

    • Y’ever wonder why temperature didn’t exist before 1997 for climate change deniers?  I mean, it’s always the same graph.

      • Why what happened in 1997?

        • “this was the moment when the
          rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal”…11 years earlier than otherwise thought. :)

          • Um I’m not sure that it was 11 years earlier, I think it was 11 years worse or more alarming than otherwise thought.

        • It was a particularly warm year, that is exploited to use for base effects. It’s blatant cherry-picking. When your conclusion relies on a single data point, it’s not a good sign.

      • You mean, like the climate change that happened since before 200 years ago all the way back to the beginning of the Earth?

        What’s remarkable is how warmists attempt to airbrush past ice ages, the maundar minimum and the rest, right out of Earth’s history.

        Apparantly before the industrial revolution, the climate of the planet was always the same, no change.

        • There’s always been mercury in drinking water, so clearly you should not mind me dumping my hazardous waste next to your drinking water.

          • You mean like in Sarnia?

        • About two years ago some ‘researchers’ decided that they could show that anthropogenic climate change could be traced back to 10,000 years ago. I guess they were burning too much buffalo dung back then and were responsible for altering the climate. The paper was peer reviewed so that means it is true. The alarmists just ate it up. Lol!

          • I have no idea why this was posted twice.

        • Post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy.

          Or in simpler language, “Every dog I’ve seen today is black, therefore all dogs are black”

          Do you understand why that line of reasoning is pathetic now?

    • my question is;  How long will alarmists observe normal climate variability before they will admit they have been observing normal climate variability?

      • For my part, when the bulk of qualified scientists say that that is the only thing occurring. 

  6. The follow up question:

    “How as an energy minister in 2012 can you possibly make decisions about Canada’s energy future without considering the relationship between fossil fuels and climate change? (hint, the Environment Minister can’t help you)

    • It requires little time to consider the relationship since there is none.

      • But the MInister claims he isn’t a climate change denier so he can’t have it both ways. He either believes that man made climate change is occurring, in which case he has an obvious responsiblity to understand the relationship in the context of energy planning, or he doesn’t believe it’s occurring, in which case he should say that.

        Which is it? Is he massively derelict in managing his own portfolio or is he lying?

  7. See, this is why he didn’t bother answering the question, the socialist brain, if you can call it that, is incapable of processing the fact that the Harper government is investing in clean energy and CO2 emission reduction to the tune of $10 billion and has been since day 1.  They just can’t wrap their heads around it.

    The Conservatives actually increased Environment Canada rather massively, and even with recent cuts are spending far more that Liberals ever did.  Again, this breaks a socialist’s brain, when you present them with these evidence-based facts they go all esoteric.

    It’s strange to see two Jewish guys using language (deniers) appropriated from the struggle to recognize the victims of the Holocaust, they’re usually very sensitive about that sort of thing. 

    • So “yes” is too hard a word?  Which of the letters do you think gave him the most trouble, after all, there are *three* to choose from.

      Also, perhaps you didn’t notice, but nobody was asking about government policy, but rather about the minister’s belief. So you enjoy your red herring, but the rest of us will keep fishing for a real answer.

      • There are only 2 letters in “no”, and that seems to have stumped most of the socialists here.

        Mr. Oliver has superior academic and private sector experience to virtually every single member of the NDP caucus, and he gained it at a time of intense antisemitism at a university which had Jew quotas within his lifetime, and by quota I mean the bad kind of quota, not the kind of quota from which the privileged Miss Leslie benefited.  

        The NDP caucus is largely comprised of kids not old enough to shave and campus bar serving wenches, so it’s a bit ridiculous for you or Leslie or anyone else to be condescending towards him.

        • You’ve read the story about the drugs for ADD, right?

          Because you seem to be having a hard time staying on topic.

        • I’m sorry but what has Mr Oliver’s cultural background or the so called privileged background of Ms Leslie to do with anything, even accepting her condescension? Are you suggesting his background and experience should excempt him from being accountable?

        • Yes, they should mind their manners and respect their elders. 

    • “The Conservatives actually increased Environment Canada rather massively, and even with recent cuts are spending far more that Liberals ever did”

      I’d like to see some evidence for that statement. I’m prepared to believe the cons have spent some more than the liberals, and even done some good expanding parks where the libs didn’t follow through; but recent cuts have all been targetted at EC’s ability to monitor or plan for the effects of CC.

      And stop calling everyone who disagrees with you a socialist. I’ve a pretty good idea you wouldn’t know a real socialist if it bit you in the ass. 

      • On two occasions in the past two days I’ve had links deleted by the moderators here, one to the Congressional Budget Office, one to Environment Canada.

        I don’t know, maybe they find evidence-based commentary and facts to be offensive.

        You’re a big boy/girl/questioning/twin spirit.  Type “Environment Canada funding by year” into Google and you’re on your way, tell us what you find.

        • “Idon’t know, maybe they find evidence-based commentary and facts to be offensive”

          I don’t know. Maybe it had something to do with the way you deliver your evidence based commentary and facts?

      • Oh come now. I think if you are going to refer to conservatives as cons, you should at least attempt to be fair and refer to liberals as lib-tards.

        • Libs – cons, get it? I’m lazy but you’re still stupid.

    • “The Conservatives actually increased Environment Canada rather massively, and even with recent cuts are spending far more that Liberals ever did”
       From whom did you receive this gem of “truthiness?” Tony Clement?

       I call BS in a big, big way

    • Relax. OriginalEmily, Holly Sticks and Thwim all appear suddenly whenever MacLeans has an environmental topic for discussion. I think they all work in the same place or they know each other somehow. They always try to hijack the blog. They are the resident environmental trolls.

  8. Does it not concern any of you, even a little bit, that people are being tested on the purity of their faith? Never mind the particular debate, don’t you think it’s a combination of creepy and embarrassing that political actors and the media are hectoring people by calling them “deniers”?

    None of you people who claim to “know the science” really know anything about it. You’re taking it on faith and you’re vilifying people who – quite wisely – are willing to reserve judgement.

    • Because the issue is simple. Either you agree with it, or you don’t. If he doesn’t — if he’s “reserving judgement”, then the answer is “No, I do not agree. Because while an overwhelming number of scientists agree, some do not, and I am reserving judgement as I am not a scientist”

      The problem isn’t what his belief structure is, it’s that he refuses to give voice to it.  As an MP, he’s supposed to be representing us. How can we know if he’s effectively representing us if he refuses to tell us what he believes in?

      • What he believes is not the issue, it’s what he does and what policy is implemented by the government. Only zealots demand to examine the souls of others to see if they are idealogically “pure.”

        No faith-based politics please, this is Canada.  

        • PS – you people sound exactly like those bigots who swore that JFK couldn’t be president of the US because of his Catholic beliefs. Or those Catholic morons who tried to excommunicate Chretien (or was it Martin?) because he wasn’t upholding Catholic doctrine.

          • Actually, you’re the only one implying any sort of consequences for what he believes/doesn’t believe.  We’re just asking what the hell that actually is.

            Or are you trying to assert that JFK refused to acknowledge that he was Catholic?

          • JFK was viewed – by bigots – as being tainted with the wrong beliefs.

            This Minister, Mr. Oliver, is being accused of the same kind of taint. “He refuses to profess his faith in OUR beliefs, therefore he is unsuitable.”

            What’s really hilarious about this is the fact that not 1 in 1000 of you “true believers” has a genuine understanding of your own doctrine. You’re just following fashion with all the zeal and enthusiasm of Pennsylvania Shakers.

            JFK didn’t deny his Catholicism, he just had to reassure the bigots that his religious beliefs would not dictate his government’s policy. Just as you all have been demanding – in a lesser light – of Mr. Oliver. You’re subjecting him to a purity examination. And in the same way, Mr. Oliver has been forced to re-assure Canada’s bigots that he won’t let his filthy impure thoughts contaminate his actions. Again, playing along with the fiction that any Harper Minister formulates any policy in the first place.

          • That’s simply over the top. The analogy doesn’t even come close. Thwims answer would have been reasonable.””No, I do not agree. Because while an overwhelming number of scientists agree, some do not, and I am reserving judgement as I am not a scientist”…but that will not stop me doing my job so, if Ms Leslie has no actual evidence that i’m not doing my job she should piss off…i could have respected that.

             I’m not  a fan of this gotcha stuff either despite poking fun at Mr O in my post. Sure it’s what he does that counts, but with this govt as in no other previous Canadian govts [within my memory] we have a question raised about whether appropriate govt ministers support the prevailing scientific orthodoxy and whether that affects how they do their jobs on our behalf – it’s become a legit question, much as i find it distasteful and even unfair, particularly in the way it is being delivered.

          • I think it’s kind of silly to pretend that anyone in the Harper government implements any policy on their own initiative. Mr. Oliver might well believe that the moon is a communist plot for all the influence he has on his portfolio. Everyone knows this, Mr. Oliver, Ms. Leslie, Evan Solomon, me, you, and anyone else who pays the slightest attention to this theatre of the grotesque.  

            This idiotic behaviour by the opposition and the media would serve to increase my cynicism about politics beyond it’s current level of 100%, were such a thing possible. But it’s not possible of course; let me assure everyone, I believe in math.

          • Get no real argument from me. It’s doubly depressing that the arrival of a party in power not interested in genuine accountablity in the house rather than just to its core constituency has coincided with the opposition and some parts of the media joining the boy scouts. Someone has to alter their strategy; it wont be Harper, it’s working fine for him.

        • Actually what he believes is the issue. Try reading the questions posed.

          I agree, there are more important matters than what he believes, but that is what the current issue is, and his constituents deserve to know what their representative believes in.  Would you happily vote for someone who believes that Native Americans should be forced to stay in reserves, even if they promised never to act on such beliefs?  Beliefs are relevant, especially in representative democracies.

          More importantly, by refusing to answer the question, he keeps the attention focused more on his beliefs than what the government is actually doing.  So if he actually answered the question, he could then move on to “And/But this is what our government is doing on the issue, which is much more important, don’t you think, Evan?”

          • Horsesh*t. It’s a “when did you stop beating your wife” question and it illustrates perfectly why this opposition can’t put a scratch on a government that is truly, deeply, profoundly flawed.

            What the fu*k are we paying these people for when everything they  do makes the government look intelligent, serious and respectable by contrast?

            I really, really, dislike this Conservative government but I constantly keep coming back to the same discouraging observation: there really is no alternative. Maybe we should stop demanding accountability from the government (like we’ll every get it anyway) and start demanding accountability from the opposition parties and from the morons who endorse this inane political buffonary.

          • Kindly explain how it’s a “When did you stop beating your wife” question, because I’ll be honest, I’m not getting it. If it’s that kind of question, both answers implicate the respondent in something bad.

            Kindly explain what this is and how either a yes or no implicates Oliver in this case.

          • In reply to Thwim.

            The premise of the question is inane and prejudicial. It presupposes a context that does not exist in nature. You “believe” in matters of faith. You are either aware of – or ignorant of – facts. Confusing such simple concepts should get you laughed out of an adult conversation, luckily for Ms. Leslie you can’t actually find one of those in the House of Commons.

            The only proper response to that particular question is as follows: “Science is not a belief system. Are there any intelligent questions on your paper?” A shame he didn’t think to say it.  

          • @igarvin:disqus Except, where science is disputed, it actually is a belief system.  If the science were not disputed, there’d be no question about belief would there?

          • In reply to Thwim.

            A belief is based in faith.
            A fact is based in evidence.

            I think what Ms. Leslie and her chorus are really looking for from Mr. Oliver is that quaint notion of an opinion, whether informed or not.  Unfortunately it’s not easy to call people Deniers or Blasphemers on the basis of a boring old opinion. So everyone has to get up on their soapboxes and loudly proclaim their “certainty” about things they know nothing about. Anyone who refuses to join in that display of moralistic self-congratulation can then be mocked and derided as a DENIER.

            Honestly, I can’t imagine how any of these people manage to take themselves seriously.

          • That’s exctly correct, it is a  “when did you stop beating your wife” question. Good point.

      • He’s a climate denier, so he represents me perfectly.


        • Is he though? After all, he says specifically that he’s not. You’ll note that’s the title of the original article.  Is he lying to you? (Which again brings us around to why statements of belief are important)

          Of course, that’s not an answer to the question.  That’s like someone going, “Do you think women should be allowed in the work place?” and answering “Well they shouldn’t be locked up inside their houses.”

          • Ok he’s not a denier, he represents you perfectly then.


    • Climate alarmism is faith based, so true.

    • To some extent you are right about the general public accepting the work of others rather than conducting experiments themselves and having in depth specificed expertise in areas of climate change.

      Know who does? Scientists who study the climate change.  And I listen to them on the topic, same way I listen to doctors about medicine and plumbers about plumbing. 

    • “Does it not concern any of you, even a little bit, that people are being tested on the purity of their faith?”

      The very notion that this is now a matter of “faith” means that climate change denial propaganda has been ridiculously effective.

      Not unlike evolution being treated as a matter of “faith.” Unbelievable.

      • Maybe so!
        But I think[?] that may be one reason why Igarvin is hot under the collar about this. By putting him on the spot with a gotcha question like that you somehow legitimize the govt’s or Oliver’s position; that the govt is acting responsibly all along and Megan starts to look like the bully in the publics eyes. I think the question has become legit because of this govts record but maybe it’s not the smartest way to go after the govt? As in this case you don’t get an answer anyway and i’m not so sure Leslie has won the pr battle in the end. 

        • Actually, I think the very point of this has become that this government and these ministers refuse to answer questions. This point could be very quickly defused if they.. well.. answered questions.

          And considering that that’s a part of their job description, I don’t think it’s at all wrong to point out that they aren’t fulfilling the roles their jobs require of them.

          • There is that too.

          • There is a huge chasm – an unbridgeble chasm – between “he’s not doing his job” and “he’s a denier.” The first is a legitimate (but unsupported) criticism and the second is…. well, I guess I’ve already said what I think of the second.

          • “This point could be very quickly defused if they.. well.. answered questions.”

            But they don’t need to, they have a majority, they don’t need answer to anyone until the next election.

  9. The problem is the question makes a mockery of the complexity of the issue. The following statements are incontrovertable (based on our current understanding). A) The average annual temperature has increased steadily since the end of the little ice age and the rate appears to have increased since the industrialization of our civilization. B) Concentrations of Tyndall gases (used to be called greenhouse gases) have increased in the atmosphere due to the effects of human civilization. 

    The following issues are still up for debate 1) What is the sensitivity of the global climate system to increases in Tyndall gas concentrations? 2) Are the primary feedback mechanisms positive or negative? and 3) Will increases in Tyndall gas concentrations result in approximately linear increases in global tempratures or does some tipping point (due to positive or negative feedback mechnisms) exist? 

    Ultimately how you answer these (and many more) questions will define where you fit on the scale of concern over anthropogenic global warming. Until reporters can figure out that disagreeing on the answers to questions 1, 2 and 3 does not automatically make you a denier of facts A and B then you are going to get people weaseling out of giving direct answers to loaded questions. Because Evan Soloman’s questions were both uninformed and loaded.

    • I fail to see how the question “Do you believe in man-made climate change” is loaded, since either answer “Yes” or “No” doesn’t say anything about A or B, in fact, it strikes me as much more reflective of your stance on 1, and since the minister was not confined to a simple yes or no answer, he could go on to explain exactly that.  

      • Thwim,

        The entire
        first question was: Do you
        believe in climate change, are you a climate change denier? “Climate
        change” is a term used by the politically driven and is an ineffectively
        defined term that depending on your audience may include athropogenic global
        warming (AGW), catastrophic antropogenic global warming (CAGW), or even
        regional changes in climate due to the effects of population increase,
        deforestation, redirection of water bodies (as writ large in the former Aral
        Sea) etc…..

        If you want
        to know about AGW then ask that question. Moreover,the alternative to CAGW is
        not denier since the consensus view of science is not CAGW regardless of what
        some excitable and under-informed reporters might believe.

        • Thwim is usually pretty fair. Your nuanced position is unusual around here – or anywhere. 

          • Politicians live on nuance since they know their every comment will be broadcast…in this case literally so.

            In this case the questioner was not even slightly nuanced. By including the loaded term “denier” into the question he clearly showed where he was coming from. In case you are wondering the polite term is “skeptic”  

          • Blair is a denier pushing “natural climate change” BS: ‘It’s warming up because it’s natural!’ which of course explains nothing but gets the fossil fuel producers off the hook. They can claim that Nature is causing the warming. And the creationists can pretend to call it “Nature” when they mean “God”.

            The use of “CAGW is a giveaway.

          • Holly Stick , how you can come to that conclusion based on what I have written is simply astounding? Either you choose not to read comments before you comment or lack the comprehension skills to understand what I’ve written. My actually view is that AGW is real and that warming will be at the lower end of the predicted range as expressed by Santer et al., 2011. I use CAGW because that is the term used in the blogosphere.

        • Oh good lord. So you’re saying because Evan Solomon isn’t a pedant the question was loaded? Seriously?

          You do understand it’s a general audience TV show, right? You do understand that most people have a general understanding of what is meant by “climate change” and “climate change denier” that doesn’t involve requiring a microscope be shoved up their ass?

          And finally, you do realize that the minister was not at all constrained in his (non)answer? If that was really his concern, he could have simply said, “Well what exactly do you mean by climate change?” Or he could have said, “I don’t believe that we change the global climate in any significant fashion.”

          Or even “I don’t know what to believe,” would have been acceptable, but this gobbledy-gook about there being these facts and those facts and he keeps them all in mind tells us nothing. Hell, I keep a lot of the denialist “facts” in mind simply because they keep getting brought up. Does it mean I give them any credence? No.

    • The question could be phrased: Mr Minister, do you have a political opinion on the nature of scientific fact?

  10. The thing is, you can believe (as I do) that AGW exists and is caused at least in part by CO2  emissions, and still think Suzuki, May, Monbiot, and the Sierra Club are full of it, as are the majority of AGW scaremongers.  

    The IPCC rejects the “runaway” global warming hypothesis, most AGW scaremongers embrace it.  Their methods for combating it – dicking around with light bulbs, telling people to inflate their tires, and (this is not exaggeration if you’ve read Monbiot’s “Heat”) sabotaging Canada’s economy back to the stone age while letting China and India emit to their hearts’ content – is stupid. 

    I also reject that global warming will be unambiguously destructive; this is Canada, for pete’s sake.  Causation between carbon and AGW isn’t sufficiently proven, and the exclusive focus on carbon instead of a myriad of other possible factors is another reason why we reject their hysteria.

    Perhaps AGW scaremongers think they are doing good by over torquing their arguments in order to convince people – it has, in fact, the opposite effect.

    • AGW is sufficiently proven and will cause more harm than good, including in Canada. We are not an island, and we are already experiencing extreme weather, as well as importing trouble from other countries.

      • What do you mean, like immigrants?

  11. I have to say Oliver has given an amazing performance on this question. Since he knows there is no answer he can give that will satisfy his diehard opponents who just waffles on with the “I’m hedging my bets” schtick (which is probably pretty close to a swing voter’s position on the issue anyway) while Goodie Leslie and co. go after him like it’s 1692.

  12. I’m a “believer”.

    I believe that the ice breaker required to bring fuel to Alaska’s frozen in cities this year was a hoax for I am told the ice would mostly gone by now and I believe.

    I believe that the earth’s temperatures continue to rise at an alarming rate due to the alarming rise in CO2.  The models predicted this and so it must be true.   I believe that the temperatures flatlining or dropping over the past 16 years must be false.  Or if it is not false, then there must be some explanation that fits in with AGW theory, since AGW theory is incapable of being disproven.

    I believe that there is no need to look beyond man’s brief period on earth to ascertain what caused the earth to drastically warm and cool during it’s history.   Because I believe man must have caused THIS warming period, there is no need to examine other causes.  All other causes which have been ongoing for hundreds of thousands of years must have ceased since man’s arrival.

    I believe that those scientists who study the sun, and who study what caused the Earth to warm and cool prior to the last two centuries and conclude that there are other factors that cause the earth to warm and cool cannot be correct.

    I believe that those who even mention those other scientists, regardless as to what academic accomplishments they may have or how renouned they are, must be labelled deniers, for they do not believe.

    I believe that all scientists who dissagree with AGW theory must be in the pocket of “big oil”.

    I believe that all scientists who agree with AGW theory are pure at heart and are incapable of vices of ordinary men.

    I believe that the climategate emails were a mass fabrication, or blatant exaggeration.

    I believe that it is important to label those who choose to read the “other scientists” and worse, consider their work with an open mind, and even worse, to view AGW scientists with skeptism, as “deniers” akin to those who denied the plain facts of millions of Jew being exterminated for the world to see.

    I am a believer. 


    • None of those things you mention will make me a skeptic..La la la..I can’t hear you..la la la …still can’t hear you!!….

  13. How about a former believer?
    I need better evidence than the “they say” to condemn my kids and billions of other kids to the greenhouse gas ovens in a CO2 catastrophic climate crisis. Since it was science that made environmentalism necessary in the first place thanks to their pesticides and cancer causing chemicals, I have no reason to trust these exploitive lab coat consultants. And ask yourself, if this truly was a climate crisis (nothing is worse other than a comet hit), we would be seeing the millions of experts in the world of science marching in the streets as the world walks away from CO2 mitigation. Scientists have kids too. They don’t act like it’s a crisis and consensus was an exaggeration. Exaggerating isn’t a crime because studying the effects, not causes of a worst case scenario is academic license. There is the tiniest thread of truth when they say; “CO2 has an effect.” and sure enough 26 years of wrong CO2 crisis predictions proves CO2 has about as much effect as passing gas in a tornado. YES, pollution is real. Death for all from Human CO2 for our kids was not real and real planet lovers are happy about the good news, not disappointed a crisis was avoided.

    • “if this truly was a climate crisis… we would be seeing the millions of experts in the world of science marching in the streets”

      Oh but they recently sent a strongly worded letter to the Wall Sttreet Journal saying climate change was a crisis. That’s pretty good, right?

  14. The overwhelming
    majority of the millions of scientists and experts all over the world are warning
    us of the worst crisis imaginable; a climate crisis. Nothing could be worse
    outside of a comet hit. The scientific community is comprised of millions of
    concerned scientists and experts but in good conscience, I can no longer
    condemn my kids to the greenhouse gas ovens based on what is obviously
    exaggeration and exploitation. Exaggerating a theory isn’t a crime and this
    planet lover is happy a crisis was avoided. The new denier is a climate change believer.

    • “I can no longer condemn my kids to the greenhouse gas ovens ”

      The utlimate goal was to condemn your kids to the greenhouse carbon trading scheme. The target was to issue everyone a carbon credit card, where your children would be forced by law to buy and sell carbon on the Chicago or Montreal Climate Exchange. This legislation was closely considered in the UK, and if it arrived there it would spread to N America. We would all be trading carbon, making carbon trading the single largest market on earth.

      Just imagine your children receiving their first carbon credit card, it would be a right of passage. They’re all growed up..Sigh..

      Of course, it wasn’t about the money, it was all to save the planet…sniff…


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