LETTER: Climate Lobby members should follow founder’s advice

Reader accused by other readers of being a big oil lobbyist responds.

Re: “Harris’ letter a lot of hot air,” May 27

It is vital that everyone involved in the climate debate encourage leaders in science, engineering, economics, and public policy to contribute to the public discussion. At stake are trillions of dollars, countless jobs, and, if people like Citizens’ Climate Lobby founder and president Marshall Saunders are right, the fate of the environment itself.

So it is a tragedy that because the debate is now riddled with censorship and personal attacks, many experts are afraid to comment publicly. Saunders should consider whether some of his Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers are exacerbating this problem.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby assert on their website that they “believe in respect for all viewpoints, even for those who would oppose us.” Former NASA scientist and now Citizens’ Climate Lobby advisory board Member Dr. James Hansen writes “Founder Marshall Saunders espouses respect and love for political opponents of a carbon fee …”

So how well did Citizens’ Climate Lobby members, Jan Slakov, Laura Sacks, Michael Jessen, and Kate Polle follow this approach in their May 27 letters to the editor?

They accused me of being part of a public relations effort to mislead the public about climate science. In an apparent attempt to “disgrace the messenger” they linked me to industry campaigns in the tobacco and the hydrocarbon fuels sectors.

The suggestion that my opinion is for sale is seriously offensive, and begs the question: how does this fulfil Saunders’ goal of “respect and love” for opponents?

It does not matter who funds us. All that matters is whether what we are saying is correct or not. If funding sources did matter, then what does Citizens’ Climate Lobby have to say about the David Suzuki Foundation having accepted donations from the oil and gas sector? Why is Citizens’ Climate Lobby apparently not concerned that most climate scientists are employed by organizations that promote climate alarm? These researchers obviously have a direct interest in supporting their employers’ point of view.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s charges against me are unjustified anyways. They could not possibly know who the International Climate Science Coalition’s donors are since they have been confidential since I started as executive director in 2008. And I have always opposed smoking; both my grandfather and aunt died from smoking excessively. As an airworthiness engineer at Transport Canada, I contributed to getting smoking banned on long haul flights for safety reasons.

Saunders should remind Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers that passionate belief in their cause does not give them license to abuse opponents.

Tom Harris

Executive Director

International Climate Science Coalition


Just Posted

Nelson Women’s March joins others across globe

The event was held to promote equality and an end to violence against women

Born 1 pound, 11 ounces, Winlaw premature baby comes home

Indra Greaves was born at the Nelson hospital after just 24 weeks of gestation

Leafs stretch winning streak to 8 games

Nelson downed Grand Forks 5-2 on Friday

RDCK moves ahead with Castlegar rec complex upgrade plan

Board approves grant application for $13 million from provincial, federal governments

Cottonwood Lake preservation group surpasses $50,000 fundraising goal

In 28 days, 393 donors have contributed to the fund

Keep focus on helping Canadians at home, Trudeau tells MPs at start of meeting

Trudeau said the Liberals will offer Canadians hope amid issue like climate change and global tensions

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Most Read