Joe Oliver vs. The world -

Joe Oliver vs. The world

The Natural Resources Minister takes on James Hansen, Al Gore, Europe and environmental scientists


The last three weeks for the Natural Resources Minister have been fun.

Vs. James Hansen, April 24.

A leading climate change activist and former NASA scientist is “crying wolf” with his “exaggerated” comments about the effects of oilsands development on the environment, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver charged Wednesday … “It does not advance the debate when people make exaggerated comments that are not rooted in the facts. And he should know that,” Oliver said to reporters, following a speech to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Vs. James Hansen, April 24.

I couldn’t help myself: I asked Oliver what he thought of Hansen’s willingness to chain himself to the White House fence to protest the pipeline. He couldn’t help himself either. Given the dirty oil in California, he replied, “he should be chaining himself to a mannequin in Rodeo Drive.”

Vs. Al Gore, May 6.

Oliver told CTV’s Power Play Monday that Gore’s remarks were “over the top,” but he doesn’t think the prominent Democrat’s criticism will have an impact on Keystone’s approval in the U.S …  “I think that what is happening here is that, as the decision approaches, some of the more strident voices in opposition to the development of hydrocarbons are out there with their exaggerated, over the top comments,” Oliver said in a phone interview from Europe, where he’s lobbying against proposed legislation that would require a reduction in the greenhouse gas intensity of vehicle fuels.

Vs. the European Union, May 9.

Canada’s Natural Resources Minister is raising the prospect of a trade fight with the European Union over its proposal to label oil-sands crude as dirty even as both sides try to seal a major deal to liberalize two-way … “This fuel-quality directive is discriminatory towards Canadian oil and not supported by scientific facts,” Mr. Oliver said.

Vs. some concerned scientists, May 9.

He also took a swipe at a group of scientists who have sent him an open letter raising concerns about the environmental impact of pushing ahead with pipelines and other oil projects. Mr. Oliver said every major resource project has been opposed by some groups. “The position of these scientists is unfortunately unrealistic in the real world because what they want to do is to see a diminution of the use of hydrocarbons and they look upon the oil sands as a symbol, as an example of that,” he said adding that the global demand for energy will increase by 33 per cent over the next 25 years. “Even under the most optimistic scenarios for renewables, hydrocarbons, fossil fuels, will represent at least 63 per cent of the source of energy by the year 2035. So we have to be realistic. The world needs energy.”

Vs. Marc Jaccard, May 10.

“I wouldn’t characterize it as desperate,” Oliver said of the recent barrage of federal emissaries travelling the globe to talk up Canada’s oilsands in the face of projects like the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Rather, he said, it’s oilsands opponents who are starting to sound panicky. “It’s pretty clear that opponents are getting desperate, hence the shrillness of their arguments, the hyperbole and the exaggeration that we’re hearing from some sources.” …

At the same time, Mark Jaccard, one of Canada’s leading energy economists, is about to take a European tour of his own — to denounce the federal government’s penchant for pipelines at a time when they have no solid plan to reduce emissions from the oilsands. Jaccard’s arguments only serve to undermine Canadian and global prosperity, Oliver said, because they would result in a shortage of affordable energy. “I think there are some people who really have a vision of the world which isn’t realistic,” he said. “They would like to see the world powered by alternative energy. I think that would be great if it could be achieved, but it can’t be entirely, or even to a majority extent.”


Joe Oliver vs. The world

  1. … “I think that what is happening here is that, as the decision
    approaches, some of the more strident voices in opposition to the
    development of hydrocarbons are out there with their exaggerated, over
    the top comments,” Oliver said in a phone interview from Europe, where
    he’s lobbying against proposed legislation that would require a
    reduction in the greenhouse gas intensity of vehicle fuels.

    Oliver is eminently qualified to know all about exaggerated over the top comments.

    Climate change worriers should not try to predict a future that may not be as bad as worst case scenarios posit…according to Joe. No one really knows how bad it’ll really be, right.

    Yet he feels somehow qualified to confidently predict what the mix of energy need will be to the precise % , at least 20 + years down the road. These guys didn’t even see 2008 economic crisis coming, but they know how much energy we’ll need 20 years out – and what the mix will be. Anyone see anything odd or hypocritical bout this correlation between energy needs and the availability of lots of the worlds dirtiest fossil fuels? And we can’t change that eh.
    The future is just about unknowable for everyone who isn’t on your side of the argument Mr O…gotcha!


    • As George Craven so elegantly points out in ‘What’s the Worst That Could Happen’ (,
      given the possible catastrophic consequences — devastation to life on
      earth for generations to come — the onus is not on the climate
      scientists, but on the deniers to provide incontrovertible evidence that
      humans are not having a catastrophic effect on the climate.

      If they are wrong, if there is any uncertainty, the price to be paid by future generations is far, far too high. To quote The Economist, “Everything else — the financial crisis, the life or death of the euro, authoritarianism or democracy in China and Russia, the Great Stagnation or the innovation renaissance, democratisation and/or political Islam in the Arab world, Newt or Mitt or another four years of Barack — all this will fade into insignificance beside the question of
      whether we managed to do anything about human industrial civilisation
      changing the climate of Planet Earth.” (

  2. He continues to remind me of Homer Bedloe, both in appearance, and disposition.

  3. Joe Oiliver knows his science. As a child, while other kids were playing baseball, or catching tadpoles, or watching TV, wee Joey was in the basement experimenting with his alchemy set.

    • Oliver might have been ‘experimenting’ with things in his basement when he was young but it was not with alchemy.
      Sir Isaac Newton, the famous seventeenth-century mathematician and scientist, though not generally known as an alchemist, practiced the art with a passion. Though he wrote over a million words on the subject, after his death in 1727, the Royal Society deemed that they were “not fit to be printed.” The papers were rediscovered in the middle of the twentieth century and most scholars now concede that Newton was first an foremost an alchemist. It is also becoming obvious that the inspiration for Newton’s laws of light and theory of gravity came from his alchemical work.

      • Interesting. That means Joey O. and Sir Isaac have at least one thing in common: the Royal Society would, in all probability, find Joey’s scientific pronouncements also “not fit to be printed”.

  4. Where are the crazies? I came in here fully expecting comments from Lord Monckton devotees. *disappointment face*

    • Well, if it’s on, then it must be irrefutably true. Because is thoroughly objective and non-partisan.

  5. Former Climate Blame Believers are Better Planet Lovers
    Science can say asteroid hits are real but won’t say their CO2 climate crisis is as real as an asteroid hit is. It’s been 28 years of a “maybe” crisis and science has never said any crisis “WILL” happen. Not one IPCC warning isn’t smothered in “maybes”.
    28 years of “maybe” a crisis proves it “won’t be” a crisis.
    Occupywallstreet now does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by politicians and the CO2 exaggeration is doomed to be Liberalism’s Iraq War, another war without a real enemy.
    Who’s the fear mongering neocon now?

    • You are the walrus
      coo coo ca-choo

  6. How does one defend condemning billions of helpless children to an exaggerated climate crisis? It was a war cime and everytime time you doomers say climate blame crisis is really going to happen its like issuing CO2 death threats to our own children. Grow up!

  7. One word best describes Joey O, “Buffoon”