Ontario Energy minister Greg Rickford got in trouble recently for mentioning the familiar runaway costs and sorry performance of alternative energy in Germany. His apparent crime was not saying something false. It was letting slip that he read it on Climate Change Dispatch which publishes skeptical articles about global warming and climate policy. In a painfully familiar pattern, after he was pilloried as a “denier,” his bosses panicked and marched him in front of a camera to recite “I believe in climate change and I believe it is a consequence of human activity”. The forced confession won’t do him any good, of course. So please, if you’re in public life and want to say sensible things about climate change, first do your homework. Start by familiarizing yourself with the facts and arguments available on this site which are based on mainstream science and data from groups like Environment Canada and the UN IPCC, whose material does not say what the alarmists claim. You might be surprised what you’re allowed to say if you stick with the evidence.
The funny thing is that politicians can even get themselves in trouble for quoting the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with its very cautious assessments of things like extreme weather, rather than parroting what alarmists claim the IPCC has said. Which frankly would be rather a neat PR trick if performed deliberately by someone who’d done their homework and was prepared to stand their ground when challenged. But there’s no excuse for not realizing you will be challenged, aggressively and unfairly, if you so much as hint at a balanced view of the issue.
So brace yourself intellectually and psychologically because the abuse is coming. But it will come from people who by and large don’t know what they’re talking about, they only assume they’re in the right because they so rarely face a challenge. Pick some sound facts to inject into the discussion and prepare to stand your ground. And whatever you do, don’t run away in a panic at the first sign of criticism. Taking a stand then running away is the worst possible way to advance rational discussion.