Climate skeptics gathering influence on Tory senators

published by Postmedia News on Jan. 21, 2012

OTTAWA – Some of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s newly-appointed senators are emerging as global-warming skeptics in the wake of aggressive government positions to abandon the Kyoto Protocol, slam environmentalists and downplay potential damage caused by Canadian oil and gas exploration.

“I felt like it is kind of an insult to be a denier for a long time,” said Sen. Bert Brown, last month at a parliamentary committee studying energy policies. “It feels pretty good this morning.”

Brown made the comments as the committee heard from four well-known academics who don’t believe humans are playing a major role in warming the planet. The session took place three days after Harper’s government confirmed it would withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol, the world’s only legally-binding agreement that requires countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Scientist surfaces to praise ozone monitoring amidst federal review

published Oct. 21, 2011 by Postmedia News

OTTAWA – A senior Environment Canada scientist whose job may be eliminated through budget cuts has highlighted the importance of maintaining the country’s world-leading atmospheric monitoring network after new research showed a record hole in the planet’s ozone layer above the Arctic.

David Tarasick was among four Canadian authors of the international study, published Oct. 2 in the British scientific journal Nature, that reported on the hole – twice the size of Ontario – in the ozone layer that protects life on Earth from the sun’s harmful radiation.

Until now, the Conservative government, facing criticism about its decision to review resources in the monitoring network, has prevented Tarasick from speaking publicly about the research.

“We’ve been doing this (for) about 45 years now,” Tarasick said in a telephone interview supervised by Environment Canada officials. “The Canadian stations have been the backbone of the global network (of monitoring) ever since we started measuring ozone.”

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Feds try to track whistleblowers on ozone monitoring costs

published Sept. 29, 2011 by Postmedia News

OTTAWA – Revelations about the federal government’s plan to cut monitoring of the ozone layer have prompted denial at the highest levels of Environment Canada, along with an attempt to pinpoint who blew the whistle, alleges an American atmospheric chemist.
Jennifer Logan, a senior research fellow from Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, was contacted by the department’s top bureaucrat a few days after sending him a letter on Sept. 15 to stress the importance of Canada’s monitoring network of the ozone layer, which protects life on Earth from the sun’s harmful radiation.
But instead of discussing the science, Logan alleged that the department’s deputy minister, Paul Boothe, was more interested in denying the government’s plans to downsize the monitoring and also to identify Canadian sources of an article about the cuts that was published in the British scientific journal, Nature.

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