E-letter: Carbon grizzly footprint


It is interesting, lately, how people decide to support their ideas with what they saw recently in a movie. It’s as if the world of make-believe has become the world that is and should be.

Kerry Knudsen
Kerry Knudsen

Take The Revenant, for example. It is described as an “epic, semi-biographical western film.” Semi-biographical? Folks will come away with the impression that Hugh Glass did things he did not do, such as kill his partners, and did not do things he did. Which means the other historical record of those incidents, a book called Lord Grizzly, which is a 1954 biographical novel that recounts a very different journey for Hugh Glass, got ignored. And, while the case cannot be made that Lord Grizzly is “pure truth,” (it is a novel, after all), it is beyond question that both accounts cannot be true. One is closer than the other.

My vote is with the novel. Leonardo DiCaprio is a cute, agenda-driven, self-involved, self-impressed apologist for the impossible, and the movie is a typical, 2015-ish exercise in naval-gazing and emotionalism. Yet DiCaprio thinks he is a scientist.

Which brings up Justin Trudeau. My, my… Doesn’t he look great?

Trudeau announced last week that he is imposing a “carbon tax” on Canada. And there isn’t a thing you can do about it, he thinks.


I am agnostic on carbon footprints and global warming. I sometimes wonder such things as “What was the carbon footprint of WWII?” or “If the atmosphere is a passive element in global warming, and if the sun is the active element, how much effect can we have, actually?” or “How much greenhouse gas is emitted by a volcano?”

However, this carbon tax is going to cost taxpayers. It is especially going to cost businesses. In fact, it is going to have a huge effect on small-to-medium-sized, family-owned businesses. In fact, it’s going to put some of you out of business.

Rather than simply pay the tax because it is as inevitable as the sun rising, I have three issues with this idea that I would like to see discussed.

First, I am told the idea of climate change is “settled science.” It is no longer up for debate. It is, as Justin would tout, a fait accompli.

Quel dommage.

But the fact is, science is never settled, it is based on proving the status quo wrong, and the science of climate change may be the least settled of any sector. Take Hurricane Matthew, for example. One day it was megadeath on the hoof; the next it was a yawner. Another botched prediction.

Climate change was claimed to be settled science in the ‘60s when it was global cooling; it was claimed to be settled science in the ‘90s when it was global warming and it’s claimed to be settled science now that it’s climate change.

I remember them all, having been a formative dinosaur in the ‘60s. The first huckster to make a fortune off the idea was Paul R. Ehrlich with his book, The Population Bomb: a treasure-trove of missed predictions. You would do better with a palm reader.

Money is a big interest in the issue of climate change. Since scientists must “publish or perish,” vast sums of tax dollars are available for researchers that can make up the strangest hypotheses, and all the easy stuff has already been studied. Climate change promises an infinite number of grants for combinations, permutations, variables and objectives of climate change, so it will be very lucrative for researchers for all of geological time, or whenever the electorate is broke, whichever comes first.

Anyway, if it’s settled, it’s not science.


Second, I am actually not aware of any real science that addresses climate change, and I am anxious to see some. There actually ARE quite a few studies, but the studies are all computer projections or computer models. Computer models may be a part of science, but projections from models are dependent on the quality of the data entered and the quality of the programming. As an illustration, go back 10 days and look at the computer models trying to predict climate micro-change along the Florida coast last week. They called it the path of Matthew. Nice sound to that: the path of Matthew. Might make a great movie. Anyway, their data and models could not accurately predict the climate on a 200-mile beach 10 days out, let alone the water levels in Manhattan 50 years from now. If it’s a computer model, it’s not science.

Another BIG problem (number three) I have is the falsification of that data by the researchers entrusted with keeping and interpreting it. There was a huge scandal a few years back when University of East Anglia (in England) and falsified, destroyed and manipulated the raw data collected about temperatures and climate, worldwide. I won’t bore you with all the details or try to direct your research. Just google East Anglia global warming scandal and take your pick.

I am not going to try East Anglia’s case in the press. I will just say there is only one reason to falsify data, and that is to affect the result. And, if you are trying to affect the result, you must have had a prejudice toward how the results will factor. And, if there is money involved and you stand to gain or lose by the results, you may be committing fraud.

Interestingly, back in the dinosaur days of the ‘60s, it was commonly and falsely held that the press would research, report and protect the electorate from institutionalized fraud. That was before the press figured out how to get a cut. Now, everybody’s about climate change and getting a cut…. Well, almost everybody. There remains the issue of who can be forced to pay for the conferences, the publications, the faux research and special appearances by Leonardo DiCaprio and even the possibility of getting an autograph. So today you cannot count on the press to report, which is why you may not have heard of East Anglia as an extortion racket, when it used to be a school.

In my opinion, Trudeau has taken a page from the Obamas and it’s PARTY TIME!!! It’s time for $500,000 trips, conferences and studies. It’s time for t-shirts, slogans, celebrity appearances and new university degrees. It’s time for movies, ads and non-profit corporations against people. It’s time for Canada to become New Rhodesia. It’s time for “business” to be punished, and Trudeau is just the guy to do it.

And the interesting thing this time around for the rest of us is that we don’t even need to pull out our cheque books. They can take it automatically through our accountants, and we will never even miss it.

A tax, of course, is another name for an income stream. A new carbon tax is a new income stream, and all the little elites can set up their little MEC tents along the new income stream and dip their ever-so-organic purification systems into the stream and pull out a free trip to Ecuador.

The story of Lord Grizzly was one of economics. A small group of associates went into business together. There was a conflict, and one got left behind so the others could benefit. The tale ends in a bar, however, when the one that was left returns as if from the dead, and what happens next is….

Well, to be fair, you will simply have to read it. Had DiCaprio played true to the script, he would be a different man. But he didn’t. Because he can’t. Not in a thousand years.



  • Sorry Chris,
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but you’re basing your argument on what? Certainly not science. You state that there is no evidence that climate change is real because you “are not actually aware of any real science that addresses climate change”??? Not being aware of something doesn’t actually mean it doesn’t exist.

    • Hi, Bryce,

      Not to be corrective, but to let other readers know, you likely meant to address this to me, Kerry, not Chris. No Chrises here.

      You are absolutely correct. You cannot prove the absence of something by being unaware. Another example is zombies. I have no evidence of the non-existence of zombies, yet I am firm in the opinion there are none.

      These little editorial essays are intended to get people interested or involved. They should never do what I call “preachifying.” As you look at other magazines, you will see the standard fodder for editorials runs from “what I did on my vacation” to “look at the great story we did on page 18.” I swore over 40 years ago that I will never write such an editorial. I have more respect for my readers than that.

      Of course, when you step off the beaten path, you can expect to get responses, and I do. And I enjoy them. It is absolutely mandatory in my opinion that the elements of our sector communicate, and disagreeing is a perfect form of communication.

      Going back to this month’s e-letter, I am not so concerned with the reality of global climate change. To me, the geological record is definitive. There have been ice ages, and there have been warming periods.

      What concerns me are two facts. First, computer models are being presented as science in order to win grants and enact laws, and those computer models do not seem to be accurate. Secondly, and most important, the people entrusted with keeping the data for those models got caught modifying it. That is the reference I made to the University of East Anglia.

      As a long-time skeptic and critic of government, I cannot imagine any reason to falsify data and exile critics other than to cash in, both in status and in money. As you probably picked up from reading our stuff, I take my hat off to anybody that can better him or herself, professionally or financially, as long as it’s legal.

      The greater problem, though, is what I said about cost. Who pays for lying technicians posing as learned professors? Who pays the carbon tax? Who benefits?

      In this case, the problem is not what I cannot see or prove, it is the meaning of what I do see and can prove. The data was falsified. Money traded hands.

      Under these circumstances, it seems to me it is incumbent on the proponents of a carbon tax to show me the evidence, not vice versa.