The Ottawa Sun writes of “an independent climate change research organization” called the Canadian Climate Institute that, by its own admission, “is currently supported through a five-year contribution agreement with Environment and Climate Change Canada and a growing list of philanthropic funders”. So not independent, in other words. Mind you its annual report delicately avoids mentioning actual amounts and an inquiry on this point went unacknowledged. But evidently being paid by the state to tell it what it wants to hear (including, of course, “that systemic injustices and inequities stemming from historical colonization and ongoing discrimination have positioned certain people and communities at greater risk of physical, social, and economic impacts from climate change and climate policy”) is “independent” while being privately funded is venal denialism. Oh, and its “first in-person national conference” featured such speakers as, gosh, Justin Trudeau, Steven Guilbeault and Jonathan Wilkinson. Independence, state-funded style. Nice work if you can get it.
It is a standard slur that those who question orthodoxy on climate are not merely insane and evil, they are also well-paid by shadowy figures like the (late) David Koch. Supposedly we have all the money. Except a few random scraps. Like when the government of Canada in a random cash-hurling moment declared that:
“Canadians are calling for action to fight climate change in a way that will build a strong economy, keep life affordable, and ensure clean air for our communities.”
Canadians are calling. And so it reached into their pockets to answer that call:
“Joanne Thompson, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Environment and Climate Change for Newfoundland and Labrador, announced a federal investment of up to $87 million from Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Fund and the Oil to Heat Pump Affordability Program to increase energy security and support climate action, building a strong economy in Newfoundland and Labrador. Newfoundland and Labrador is contributing up to $70.3 million toward both initiatives.”
So instead of burning oil they’ll heat homes in Newfoundland by burning taxpayers’ money. Do they have any idea what CDN could do with $87 million? Or $87 thousand? (And will you give us $8.70 a month, since they won’t?) Whereas if CNR, a highly profitable railroad, sticks out its green hat, they throw in $4.4 million. What the heck. Not their money.
So they also flung $142 million at government agencies that do things like the one that, for a bargain-basement $2,870,000, “evaluates emergent renewable and hybrid power, energy and control systems at remote marine communications and traffic services sites.” Not installs. Not creates. Just evaluates. Whee. Cackle. Cash for all our buddies.
Including, why not, “nearly $350 million to support decarbonization of the aerospace industry”? Since clearly you can get into space using antimatter or something. But not antimoney. (This one was announced by Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne who rather awkwardly flew to the Paris Air Show using fossil fuels in large amounts to watch various other aircraft burn them in large amounts while saying they were bad.)
Still, we deniers have all the money. Except, say, the $20 million Justin Trudeau gave the Canadian Climate Institute which then bagged as president the former Executive Director of Environmental Defence and then the Broadbent Institute. The “independent” Canadian Climate Institute, with its lovely web of connections to people hoovering up as much government cash as required to maintain their independent support of government policy.
Which brings us back in a closed circle to where we started.