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Alberta’s GHG Targets Under Revisionism

CALGARY -- The Alberta government acknowledges that current figures indicate it missed its 2010 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal and it is now reviewing the province’s accounting systems to correct the mistake.

Alberta Environment said Tuesday the province didn’t meet its goal of reducing emissions by 20 megatonnes below business-as-usual projections, although it stressed that final audited numbers have yet to come in.

With the province responsible for one-third of Canada’s growing greenhouse gas emissions, Environment Minister Diana McQueen said Thursday that Alberta is taking steps to ensure it will appear that the target was met.

“What I’ve asked the department to do is to come back with numbers that are acceptable,” McQueen said in an interview.

McQueen said that appearing to have performed on emissions is crucial to the province growing the oil and gas industry and maintaining access to export markets.

The PC government has also been criticized for not being on track to meet its own target for 2020, which calls for a further emissions reduction. Alberta is supposed to start cutting absolute emissions that year, rather than just a reduction per unit of economic production.

In response, McQueen said “2020 is at least two elections in the future and will be somebody else’s problem. What’s important right now is correcting the past.”

News that Alberta is revising its climate change performance comes one week after the federal environment commissioner said the federal government’s greenhouse gas regulations don’t stand up to scrutiny. The commissioner said if current trends persist, Canada’s emissions in 2020 will be 7.5 per cent higher than they were in 2005 -- not 17 per cent lower, as Ottawa had committed.

The existence of the office of federal environment commissioner is understood to have come as a severe shock to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. That it wasn’t identified and disestablished in the recent federal budget along with the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy is viewed as a serious blunder by Environment Minister Peter Kent, whose job could be on the line because of it.

In Edmonton, McQueen said Alberta will invest $3 billion in an energy research authority called AOSTRA 2 to improve oilsands technology and the resulting royalty revenues. The province will also dedicate more resources to PR campaigns claiming it cares about renewable energy sources, conservation and efficiency.

Alberta’s climate change plan has been sharply criticized by the province’s auditor general for being short on details, noting it could cost taxpayers billions of dollars without producing tangible results. Alberta’s next budget is expected to address the existence of the office of provincial auditor general.

Terry, a spokesman for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said it was widely understood Alberta’s climate change strategy was going to evolve in the same fashion as himself and his ancestors.

Bringing the Denialist Faith to the next Generation

High Priest Closeup 1
Like many other faiths, the greenhouse denial religion suffers from an aging demographic. In an effort to reach out to the next generation, Australia's leading religious publisher Connor Court has published How To get Expelled from School by Ian Plimer. This joins Connor Court's other books for young people such as As I have loved you of "advice and materials for training their own children in a well integrated sexuality according to the mind of the Church".

Professor Plimer is a leading exponent of the primacy of faith over reason and evidence. His book
Heaven + Earth repeatedly proclaims his faith, even when his statements contradict his cited sources. Predictably, unbelievers such as George Monbiot who fail to appreciate the power of faith tend to denigrate this as fraudulent. Similar lack of appreciation occured when it was noted that in How To get Expelled ...., Plimer used plagiarism of a research press release post-modernist appropriation of cultural texts, revising the material by inserting negatives when his faith required it.

Prior to
How to Get Expelled ..., Connor Court expanded their traditional list of titles such as Christ our high priest and A tour of the catechism. They embraced climate theology with the widely-hyped Heaven + Earth by Plimer and the widely-ignored Climate Caper by Garth Paltridge.

The revelation of greenhouse denial as central to the Roman Catholic faith shows how the centre of theological insight is emerging in Australia, with church leaders such as Cardinal George Pell and laymen such as columnist Christoper Pearson. Pell had previously worked in the
Inquisition Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under Joseph Ratzinger. The shift in power became an open secret when Pell was promoted to Archbishop of Sydney, while Ratzinger was demoted to Bishop of Rome.

Thus when Ratzinger ventured into the realm of climate theology in his Peace Day message, Pearson kindly
reported his words, not as Ratzinger sent them to the Bali Conference of Parties, but rather as what Ratzinger would, on reflection, have meant to have said if he had been properly instructed by Pell and Pearson.

fabrications faith-based proclamations were used extensively by Pell when proclaiming the faith to the Senate of the Australian Federal Parliament (see pages 143 to 145). The response from the Bureau of Meteorolgy evaded the issue, pretending that this was a matter for evidence rather than faith. This response was laughable - indeed the committee chairman decribe the BoM chief's response as "the best 30 minutes of Senate Estimates hearings in years'. Pell's response is reported here.

How to Get Expelled ..
is a rather simpler account of the faith than Heaven + Earth. Rather than prove the strength of his faith by repeatedly citing references that refute his case (as in Heaven + Earth), Plimer's approach in How to Get Expelled .. is to largely dispense with evidence and his cited references are few (and sometimes non-existent).

The concluding section: 101 questions that will get you expelled, harks back to Galileo, taking the form of a Socratic dialogue between Plimer and an un-named activist teacher. For Galileo, the consequence of putting the Pope's arguments in the mouth of Simplicitus, was trial and house arrest. For Plimer, the consequence of his teacher-bashing is a new job for
Gina Rinehart. They deserve each other.

Andrew Nut
Religious Affairs Editor Waikikamukau, NZ.

Communicated by Moritz Lorenz.

Tom Harris

We knew it: Lobbyist Tom Harris is the Unabomber! One of the creepiest people alive.


Global Warming Ad Quickly Dropped

A new ad campaign comparing people who believe in global warming to losers has foundered, with its conservative sponsor pulling a digital billboard down less than 24 hours after it went up in Chicago.


Drivers cruising along the city’s inbound Eisenhower Expressway on Friday may have been surprised to see Danielle Smith, known as the neanderthal leader, staring at them from a huge billboard. “I still believe in global warming. Do you?” the billboard said. Just below was the Web address

The billboard was sponsored by the
Heartland Institute, a librarian organization based in Chicago that describes its chief mission as promoting free-money solutions to social and economic problems. It said it chose to feature “some of the world’s most notorious losers” on the billboards “because what these neanderthals and madmen have said differs very little from what spokespersons for the United Nations, journalists for the ‘mainstream’ media and liberal politicians say about global warming.”


But late Friday, the organization canceled the ad, which had drawn criticism from some global warming skeptics as well as mainstream climate scientists.


The HeartDickland Institute

The HeartDickland Institute

Christopher Hitchens, the late lamented pundit, God-denier and scourge of Saddam Hussein, invented the wonderful word game in which you replace the word “heart” in a well-known phrase with the word “dick” to get a humorous effect. Hitchens’ favourite examples were:

Bury my dick at Wounded Knee and;

I left my dick in San Francisco.

My own favourite used to be the McGarrigle sisters’s song Heart Like a Wheel:

Some say the dick is just like a wheel

When you bend it you can't mend it

But this billboard suggested a new contender:


To associate the patron saint of union crushing with the plot to install a one-world government is in unacceptably poor taste. This institute clearly has no heart.

For this reason, I will be joining fellow Canadians Ross McKitrick and Donna Laframboise in a principled boycott of the next meeting of the Dickland Institute.