Control of Climate Policies by Unaccountable Bureaucracies: The Canadian Example

Commentary, Environment, Tim Ball


CanadaFreePress published some of this article a few years ago but few saw it because it was quickly pulled after I received a legal threat I was financially unable to fight. Legal threats to silence people are a common practice of supporters of human caused global warming. I related my experience to Dr Fred Singer and he immediately named the lawyer. How did he know? He and others had received threats from the same lawyer.

The threats are part of personal attacks and other tactics perpetrated by nasty web sites like Desmogblog, organized by James Hoggan, Chairman of the Board of the David Suzuki Foundation. William Connolley perpetuated many of the smears through his control of climate entries on Wikipedia. We now know those who were attacked were viewed as real threats by the CRU gang and their supporters at Realclimate.

Now the web of lies and deception associated with climate science are exposed it is time to revisit what triggered the legal attack on the CFP article. It involved the role of bureaucrats at Environment Canada (EC) in determining national policy on climate change, particularly the role of Gordon McBean former Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM). Canadian bureaucrats were more important than most appointed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) about who MIT Meteorology professor and former IPCC member Richard Lindzen wrote, “Most of the 2500 members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are bureaucrats appointed by their governments to push a political agenda.” “It is no small matter that routine weather service functionaries from New Zealand to Tanzania are referred to as ‘the world’s leading climate scientists.’ It should come as no surprise that they will be determinedly supportive of the process.”

Bureaucratic Bastions

Scientists associated with the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) also controlled the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) whose Reports became the bible for politicians developing global energy and economic strategies.  Their corrupted climate science needed a permanent conduit to the politicians. Maurice Strong, mastermind of the IPCC, used his skills with bureaucratic systems and through the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) involved national weather agencies that then controlled politicians. Strong’s close connections to former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin apparently meant early Canadian involvement. It continues as the government web page notes; Environment Canada is a strong supporter of, and an active participant in, the IPCC. Dr. John Stone (Environment Canada, retired), holds a position on the Bureau and Working Group II, Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Art Jaques, Director, Greenhouse Gas Division, Environment Canada, is a member of the Task Force Bureau on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. As well, over 30 Canadian scientists from government, universities and the private sector are participating as authors and editors for the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. John Stone’s position is critical as the liaison between the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) group and the IPCC. The ACIA Reports are almost the sole source for Arctic coverage in the 2007 IPCC Report.

Years ago, I warned Henry Hengeveld of EC that convincing politicians of global warming due to human production of CO2 was difficult, but twice as difficult once they were convinced. The theory was unproven and total adoption so early placed them on a treadmill of denial. No bureaucrat would risk telling those politicians who adopted it as their political position that it was wrong. EC bought the theory completely. Instead of following scientific method of disproving the hypothesis Environment Canada worked to prove it was correct by ignoring evidence and stifling questioners.

Gordon McBean was the person responsible for the singular and devastating direction the department took.  He came with a PhD and quickly achieved high rank. He brought his political view of environmental issues and particularly global warming expressed in a speech to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1995. He spent his career promoting these views and virtually destroyed the Canadian weather service while wasting billions of dollars. The Auditor General put the cost at $6.8 billion from 1997 to 2005.

McBean also established his post-bureaucratic career by using $61 million of money to set up the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences (CFCAS) a climate research organization that he took over as Chair in the month he retired. This agency only funded research that proved the human caused warming theory or the impact of warming. The current government stopped the funding.

Interestingly, McBean’s bio on Wikipedia makes no mention of his role as a bureaucrat. It does mention he orchestrated a letter with another CRU associate and IPCC member, computer modeler Andrew Weaver, in response to the letter signed by 60 scientists asking the Canadian Prime Minister for an open debate.

Why were they afraid of a debate? They got 90 signatures but the majority were Environment Canada employees or people benefiting from government largess. In the fall of 2008, McBean pushed for more funding. Foundation Chair Gordon McBean met with new Environment Minister Jim Prentice late last fall and walked away hopeful the minister would fight for foundation funding at the budget table. McBean continues as a lead author for the ACIA.

McBean’s influence went beyond his role with EC. He was a principal participant in the formation of the IPCC and chaired the preliminary meeting in Villach, Austria in 1985 attended by the CRU leaders Jones and Wigley. Canadian appointees to the IPCC always excluded most Canadian experts, a situation that continues today. He directed department funding and resources into studying global warming, but only to prove the hypothesis. I realized what was going on years ago when they spent $300 million on a computer incapable of simulating global climate or climate change.

To cover these wastes they took money from other programs that now make any hope of good science impossible. There are fewer weather stations in Canada now than in 1960, and many were replaced with Automatic Weather Observing Stations (AWOS). Many important activities and data collection practices were abandoned. When I chaired the Assiniboine River Management Advisory Board (ARMAB) in Manitoba the worst flood on record occurred. We asked Water Resources why they didn’t forecast the event. They said they had no data on the amount of water in the snow in the valley.  We learned EC had canceled flights that used special radar to determine water content. Savings as I recall were $26,000. The cost of unexpected flood damage was $7 million to one level of government alone. Loss of weather data means long continuous records essential to any climate studies will fail. This data cannot be replaced or replicated.

Another egregious example of ECs failure was cancellation of support for a joint program with the National Museum of Canada in the 1980s and 1990s. Run under the auspices of the National Museum of Natural Sciences it was titled “Climatic Change in Canada During the Past 20,000 years.” This program brought together a multitude of experts in all different aspects of climate and climate reconstruction and produced volumes of collected papers that put Canada in the forefront of climate research and reconstruction. To my knowledge none of these experts was called to testify before Parliamentary hearings on Kyoto or were appointed to the IPCC. EC deliberately excluded Canadian climate experts ‚Äì something that continues to this day. Although climate change became political the unaccountable bureaucrats at Environment Canada controlled it.

They took the singular and unsupportable position that climate change due to human CO2 was fact. It put them on the treadmill I warned Henry Hengeveld about. They thwarted the standard method of science to disprove a theory. They deliberately excluded experts who challenged the science. When Natural Resources Minister David Anderson said they had consulted all Canadian climate experts on the Kyoto Accord, I traveled to Ottawa with seven others and in a press forum announced we were never consulted. They used all the power and vehicles of government to promote their false claims to the public. The EC web site continued to carry the ‘hockey stick’ graph long after it was discredited among other erroneous information. A wider problem was all other government agencies had to accept their claims as the basis for their policies and planning. The inclusion of so many bureaucrats in the IPCC almost guarantees that similar situations occurred in most other governments.