By Judi McLeod
Friday, February 9, 2007
Canadian environmentalist and well-known broadcaster David Suzuki has taken a leaf from Al Gore's book in using celebrities to fight global warming.
Special guest singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer will join Suzuki, who will be in Hamilton as part of his national speaking tour on Feb. 17. Celebrities Anne Murray, Randy Bachman and Robert Bateman have already logged on to his website, which asks Canadians to log on and tell the world in a 20-second or less video clip what they would do if they were Canada's Prime Minister.
A media darling--especially to the publicly funded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)--who pays his salary Suzuki's advice to journalists is specific: They should ignore scientists that cast doubt on global warming, since they don't represent a consensus within the scientific community.
"I don't think anyone could have predicted six months ago that the environment would rocket up to the No. 1 concern of Canadians across the country," Suzuki told a packed auditorium at Dalhousie University in Halifax last week.
Suzuki's own solutions to save the environment are heavily focused on the Kyoto Protocol and include firm targets and timelines to reduce greenhouse gases and other emissions.
The David Suzuki Traveling Show has a real problem: The Stephen Harper-led Conservative Government in Ottawa still rejects the emission-cutting targets of the Kyoto Protocol and have said they will vote against an opposition motion in Parliament to implement the treaty.
In a five-year-old letter that somehow resurfaced last week, Prime Minister Harper called Kyoto a "money-sucking socialist scheme".
"Stephen Harper is a political animal, so he's paying attention to what the public is saying," concludes Suzuki.
Suzuki said a report released in Paris last Friday that concluded global warming is "unequivocal" and man-made should be all the evidence the Harper government needs.
"I think it finally puts the nail in the coffin of the naysayers," he said. "There's been a handful of people who have said, `No, the evidence isn't in and humans are not part of it.' It's a tiny group, many of them funded by the fossil fuel industry."
Thousands of letters flooded in after Canadian climatologist Dr. Timothy Ball's column was posted on the Drudge Report. The letters were overwhelmingly in support of Ball's contention that global warming is not man made.
In his column, Global Warming: The Cold, Hard Facts? Dr. Ball wrote, "Global warming, as we think we know it, doesn't exist. And I am not the only one trying to make people open up their eyes and see the truth. But few listen, despite the fact that I was one of the first Canadian PhDs in Climatology and I have an extensive background in climatology, especially the reconstruction of past climates and the impact of climate change on human history and the human condition.
"Believe it or not, Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide (C02). This in fact is the greatest deception in the history of science. We are wasting time, energy and trillions of dollars while creating unnecessary fear and consternation over an issue with no scientific justification. For example, Environment Canada brags about spending $3.7 billion in the last five years dealing with climate change almost all on propaganda trying to defend an indefensible scientific position whole at the same time closing weather stations and failing to meet legislated pollution targets."
Like Gore, who jets around to deliver his Man-made-global-warming-is-killing-Mother- Earth message, Suzuki claims his tour will be entirely "carbon neutral" and carbon offsets will be purchased to compensate for climate impacts from travel and other activities related to the tour.
Carbon offsets are credits for emission reductions achieved by projects elsewhere, such as wind farms, solar installations, or energy efficiency projects.
The cross-country tour, during which Suzuki will visit 40 Canadian cities, often ends in sustained standing ovations for the broadcaster environmentalist.