12 Jul 2012, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada --- Canada, Manitoba, Churchill, Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) standing on melting ice floe on summer evening --- Image by © Paul Souders/Corbis

Canada Cracks Down on Scientists Who Talk About Climate Change

The government tells its meteorologists to focus on the day-to-day weather—and forget about longer-term trends

Meteorologists are paid to talk expansively about the weather. But in Canada, they have to choose their words a little more carefully.

The government has made it clear that none of the meteorologists on its payroll should be talking about climate change, according to a new report. It’s uncertain how long this rule has been in effect, but Environment Canada, the government entity that shares weather and meteorological information publicly, explains its position in a statement to us.

“Our Weather Preparedness Meteorologists are experts in their field of severe weather and speak to this subject. Questions about climate change or long-term trends would be directed to a climatologist or other applicable authority,” says Danny Kingsberry, a spokesman for Environment Canada.

Some scientists aren’t too happy about it. “It’s all very scary,” says Chris Metcalfe, director of the Institute for Watershed Science at Trent University. “It’s all about controlling the message. In my estimation, the government doesn’t want the work of environmentalists running counter to their official policies.”

Environment Canada declined to answer additional questions, but Metcalfe says the rules around referencing climate change are part of a broader effort by the government to muzzle scientists whose messaging interferes with key industries. He says some of his peers in government are calling it quits rather than abiding by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s language police. “Several scientists are choosing to retire over their unhappiness with the present situation,” he says.

Canada has a reputation for being thoughtful and progressive on most matters. But, by some metrics, it doesn’t stack up so well on its greenness. “Most Canadians don’t realize they are lagging behind most of the rest of the world. They come in 27 of the 27 richest countries in environment,” says Owen Barder, a Europe-based economist who helped produce the Center for Global Development’s “The Commitment to Development Index” study. “I don’t think most Canadians would see themselves that way.” He says the country’s low ranking is the result of its lax gas taxes, high fish subsidies and greenhouse gas emissions.

Greenhouse gas emissions have been one of the big sticking points for environmentalists with the new Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry crude oil from the Alberta oil sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The Obama administration has yet to give its approval for the U.S. portion of the project. Opponents argue that because the project involves extracting lower-grade petroleum, it would create higher greenhouse gas emissions than typical crude oil drilling. Backers of the project include the Canadian government, oil companies and some unions, who say it will create jobs and reduce the United States’ dependence on oil-producing countries in the Mideast and South America.

A TransCanada Keystone Pipeline pump station operates outside Steele City, Nebraska.

REUTERS/Lane Hickenbottom

Canada, it should be noted, is certainly not the only country where the government has tried to play down climate change. But climate change is even more of a political hot potato in Canada now than in some other countries, in part because of the Keystone project.

Metcalfe says the current government has dispatched minders to keep scientists in check at climate change conferences. “They want to make sure they don’t say anything untoward.”

Meanwhile, the Carbon Expo 2014, an annual conference for world leaders to find common ground on clean energy, ended last week, and Canada was a no-show. “There is no national contingent from Canada,” says Christine Hackmann in a phone conversation from Cologne, Germany, where the three-day conference was held. “There were a few Canadians who came to the conference privately.”

A Canadian energy company called Conestoga-Rovers sent staffers to the conference, a rep confirms. The company praised the conference as “a unique event that offers industry leaders from across the world a platform for exploring the issues and challenges related to the global carbon market.”

The U.S. also didn’t have a physical presence at the conference, but on Friday Secretary of State John Kerry beamed a video message promoting a call to protect the planet, saying: “We can live up to a fundamental responsibility that we all share—leaving future generations with a planet that is clean, healthy and sustainable.”

Uploaded By: U.S. Department of State

Hackmann says that while it was not as good as attending in-person, Kerry’s video statement was “at least something.”

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  • as a Canadian I can tell you I am happy to hear this. There is no such thing as climate change. As history has shown (not corporate sponsored science), and increase in CO2 levels is what happens when the earth is entering a cooling cycle..just like it has been for the last 12 years. When Lake Superior still has ice in at the beginning of June (it was about 95% frozen over this winter), this is a sure indication that there is NO SUCH THING AS GLOBAL WARMING. Pollution on the other hand, IS a very real thing. Pollution in the form of chemicals being burned, dumped into our water ect. If oyu want to fix the earth..look at pollution. CO2 is a naturally occuring gas. It is the most predominant in our atmosphere, and has nothing to do with a coal plant. It is used by plants during photosynthesis. We expel it as a by product of breathing. Stop buying into the government approved money grabbing lies. Do your own independent research. Look for the facts, not what’s on CNN.

  • Don’t you just love these right-wing sudo Christian groups and politicions who use God’s name to rationalize cutting services that help the everyday joe’s and Joan’s of our country.I vaguely remember Jesus throwing out the money lenders, not welcoming them with open arms

  • Climate change is fact. Something like 3% of scientists are sceptical. Many of these are paid by oil companies, others are in completely different fields. A logical look through the evidence by someone that actually knows: http://carrboropub.files.wordpress.com/2014/5/hayhoe1.mp3

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    • no, more like 3% of the scientists have agreed to be the govenment lackies and say whatever is required of them in order to get government funding. Most scientists agree that looking at earth temperature patterns has nothing to do with CO2 emissions. It has to do with the tilt of the earth, solar flares from the sun, and other normal earth related things. Wake up. You’ve been swallowing propaganda for too long now.

  • There have been many instances where data manipulation by advocates of climate change have been exposed.  Two top tier scientists (one in England and the other in Pennsylvania) were caught disregarding certain studies that did not fit in with their theories.  Also a recent UN report on global warming disregarded the last 10-15 years because global temperatures had plateaued and more current figures undermined their premise that the world is in a dire situation.If we are facing cataclysmic climate changes because of man’s industrial and technological developments, then why isn’t there a crackdown on China and India, countries that have been growing economically and pose a gigantic “threat” based on the size of their populations alone?  In China they had to “televise” the sunrise in Beijing because the smog was so bad you couldn’t see the Sun.  Also, there have been giant pollution clouds from China that moved across other countries in Asia.  Pollution in China has even affected their agricultural output in some areas because sunlight cannot penetrate the smog.  And we’re supposed to oppose energy development in the US?I believe man must be a shepherd of the Earth and be mindful how we use its resources, taking into consideration animal habitats, etc.  However, this “henny penny-ism” of climate change is just not credible.Kudos to the Canadian government for telling the meteorologists to do their job and stop scaring the children.  The Progressive environmentalists (like President Obama, John Kerry, Al Gore, etc.) would like us to believe that global warming is the new atom bomb.

  • Do you know why this is? I can tell you exactly why, a few months ago, they came out with a new study in which 10,000 scientists were asked to give their opinions on Climate change, out of 10,000 respondents, 79 claimed absolute belief of the Climate change theory, and 78 of them believed MAN caused it, so therefore 98% of all scientists believe in global warming caused by man.  In this same study, 62% of meterologists who were asked, flatly denied that man made global warming was taking place. You know, people that actually STUDY the weather?

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    • Ted sweetheart where are you getting your information from??  Please post the study you are refering too, so I can make fun of you Thanks.

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      • The exact same study you cite when you talk about “97% of scientists”. You never bothered to look at the methodology, did you? Here’s a thought: instead of blindly accepting what the high priests of global warming tell you, how about opening up your climate bible yourself and see what it actually says? Trigger warning: you may learn something that challenges your religious beliefs.

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      • Thank you Seanstr for posting the study. It’s very helpful to work off the original document rather than second and thirdhand sources. 

      • 97% of scientists agree….government approved statements are propaganda!I can make up facts to suit my purpose as well as anyone else. Something to note.

  • Um, if they work for the Government, the Government can tell them to say whatever the Government wants them to. If they don’t like it, they can quit. It’s really as simple as that. 

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    • Sweetheart you “simpel-folk” are so cute. The data tells us what to say, not the government.

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      • Holy mackrel! Talk about cute simple folk!

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  • Well, Canada has got to be one of the most “carbon friendly” places on earth. They have so darn many trees that it is like a laundromat for the planet’s air. Heck, the US has some pretty amazing forests to for that matter. If CO2 is such a big deal then it is not places like Canada that are the culprits.  It is heavy polluters like China and high population density places like Europe that would be most to blame. 

  • It’s not a dangerous precedent. It’s telling it’s specialists to talk about what it specializes in. Meteorologists do not specialize in long-term climate studdies. They specialize in prediction and interpretation of current and short-term weather patterns.The Canadian government is basically saying, “We’re not going to pay you to commit false appeals to authority.”For an appeal to authority to be appropriate, the authority figure has to specialize in the area of discussion. Having a foot surgeon provide evidence for a position regarding a heart condition. They aren’t qualified.

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    • Climatologist are not good about predicting long term change.  To the most part they always get it wrong, I have to admit they are on a fools errand but they seem to love being on it so much.  Maybe to be a climatologist the first is to be a fool at least the one whom beleive in AGW are.

    • “Meteorologists do not specialize in long-term climate studdies.”Neither do structural engineers or electrical engineers, but both structural and electrical engineering papers (among other non-climate disciplines) were used in the study to prove the “97%” consensus of “scientists”

  • oh look ………. metcalfe does like being called on his scam and propagandaBravo to the Canucks

  • Meteorology is a science. Environmentalism is a CULT. There is a distinct difference between the two.

  • “The government tells its meteorologists to focus on the day-to-day weather, and forget about longer-term trends”Great news. Why were they allowed to blather on about their weather religion in the first place? If some other religious nut claimed 40 days and nights of rain was going to happen, thaey would be fired. How about fireing these religious nuts?

  • If we could actually figure out a way to get the climate to warm a few degrees, I’d think Canadians would be all for it.

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    • Thanks, David. That is actually one of the nuances here. Warmer weather means less slips and falls, less car accidents, better harvests and as I’ve been told less brain drain–as in more people would stick around. But then one must consider if the short-term benefits of balmy weather would be worth it in the long-term. 

  • The government just believes that global warming is silly and they are right.  Last winter the Saskatchewan crown corporation that supplies natural gas for heating almost ran out because it was so cold for so long. 

  • The climate is always changing as it has been for billions of years. Only imbeciles think the SUV has anything to do with it. 

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    • J BondYou are so right Jambu! These might be the very same imbeciles who voted for Dear Leader…

  • The weather and The Climate are not the same things

  • Global warming, cooling climate changing disrupting and confusing the public is a leftist Marxist socialist scheme to take even more control of the means of production and control of all of our lives m! At it’s heart it’s also a money making scam for the radical leftists becuase all these lying leftists produce and create nothing ie. Billy Bob Clinton, Gore, Hillbilly Clinton, Obama etc., and on and on. They produce nothing while damaging the economy yet grow rich running their left wing scams. 

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    • You’ve got it covered, Steve!!

  • You don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows!

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    • Perfect… Just perfect.

  • !

  • weather is not a topic to ban 

  • Global warming advocates use natural disasters to ramp up the fear mongering. My only question is why is it that any natural disaster like hurricanes etc always have a reference point in the past? Some dates back to 1900. What caused them back then? SUV’s, coal plants? etc give me a break!

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    • Precisely so, Andrew.  It has now been 18 years with no global warming.  What do you bet with another such 18 years the climate fear mongers will still be pitching the very same fear mongering.

  • About time that non-scientists, paid for with taxpayer dollars, are shut up.  If only the US government would shut up all the government paid “environmentalists” who don’t have a clue what they are talking about when it come to “climate change”.Glad to see that Canada has given those government freeloaders a choice, shut up or quit and get a real job.  

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    • Amen Brother!

  • Environment Canada long range forecasts were known as the “David Phillips hour of wrong”. They get them wrong, always, and badly. Why would you want their opinion on long term climate change when they can’t get the next month right?

  • The problem with climate change is it’s just too big of a topic to pin these crazy libs down on anything.  They’ll talk about ice melting as proof of climate change, but once that is debunked then they say polar bear numbers prove climate change, but once it is pointed out that polar bear numbers are up they move on to an increase in tornadoes across the midwest.  The problem is the libs are just behind climate change and they have no ability to define how they’re measuring climate change.  They just point to things after they happen and say that proves their point.  It’s frustrating to those of us who rely on logic.

  • It started with banning hate speech. Then banning other kinds of words. It’s not over, there’s more speech to be banned in Canada.

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    • Good question: are certain words off-limits?

  • Has Frenchsois Kerry paid the sales taxes on his yacht yet or is he still lecturing Americans on patriotism.

  • Shouldn’t you all be arguing in favor of global warming because it can get a bit chilly up there? This is no time to muzzle up, it’s time to follow the Obama motto and get down with hope and change. Pump more oil and hope for climate change and a warmer Canada.

  • WHen I

  • Weather people can’t reliabily predict the weather for today, there is no way they can do it years in advance. Hense, call me denier. Obviously I don’t agree with global warming/climate change/whatever name tag is used today, but I also don’t agree with clamping down on mentioning it. It is a topic, false or not, and to give the uberleft the ammo of saying it is being suspressed, could backfire.  Let the people, with the real truth at their disposal, make the call.

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    • Hard to imagine not wanting to be armed with all the information that’s out there before taking sides. You make a valid point here, OlderAndWiser. 

  • Problem is that anti-capitalist lefties mixing false “science” to further their political agenda.  Total disgrace.

  • TRANSLATION: We’d like to keep LYING about the non-existent rise in temperature to further rape the pockets of the people and we’d like to do so without being contradicted. Thanks.

  • Hasn’t global cooling –> global warming –> climate change, now become “climate interuption”?You guys are pretty behind on the times. Once the “science” gets exposed, just create a new catch-phrase and keep going with the agenda.

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    • Thanks a lot

  • Sounds like the grown-ups are in charge in Canada! Kudos to them!

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      • The leftist socialists are the Fascists.  Read your history.

      • can’t take the truth ………. just got to have YOUR warming scam working for your idols?

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      • To paraphrase Orwell, this is the Warmists’ vision of the future, a green boot stomping on a human face – forever.

    • Hurrah for Canada.  Finally some commonsense.

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    • Thanks. Over here in the US I guess we have been hijacked by the misinformed,the indoctrinated and political Scientist or science politicales. Even when defeated in the argument they will say “But”.But what?

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      • As I postede above.To paraphrase Orwell, this is the Warmists’ vision of the future, a green boot stomping on a human face – forever.

  • If this keeps up, some of us Americans will have to move to Canada in order to have some common sense restored in our lives and also in order to save our livelihoods.

  • Meteorology and Climatology are different fields of study.  It would be like your doctor diagnosing a cat.

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    • Correct.  Climatology is phony left-wing voodoo focused on stealing taxpayer funds.

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      • I like that. Europe and the rest of the world ganged up for leverage with the US and this is thier best Strategy. Climate change climate disruption, AKA Global Warming. Please.

      • They call their study “climatology”, but its real name should be “climastrology” — a creative blend of observation and mystical insight.  And its spokesmen (& spokeswomen)should be called “oracles”, not “scientists”.

  • Canadians should be thankful that tree huggin wackos haven’t killed off the energy sector as it, in large part, pays for their generous social programs. The loony left wants it both ways, spend money like drunken sailors, yet make the generation of wealth near impossible.

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  • A crackdown on the Klimate Con?  Fantastic!  Sounds like Canada is the place to be!  Bravo for Canadian officials. 

  • Great! At least we wont have a lot of untrained wannbe scientists runnign aroufn souting climate change nonesense that they heard and are just repeating.

  • I’m so sick of the climate change mantra.  Sure the planet has warmed or we’d still be in the ice age.  But these enviromental extremists need to be reigned in and ignored; their power stripped.  I’m glad to be a Canada and glad we are 27 or 27 countries.  We do have a green conscience and it’s taught in schools and promoted in the community but for practical things like litter, recycling, dumping, and so on.  To say you can’t use the oil sands or run a pipeline is rediculous and I support the government on this one.  We all know the climate change garbage that came out of East Anglia and the IPCC not to mention the 15 year cooling period and lowest hurricane count plus super cold winter.

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    • Your point is taken. This is a complex issue with many facets and there must be proper credit given for the “green conscience” instilled throughout Canada. 

  • Ya for once the gouvernment does it s job and stop the propaganda , but the propagandist are crying now.

  • I’m glad our government is curtailing its employees from speculation and gossip. Aside from the fact that science does not work by consensus; The proof is our attempts at controlling weather changes by changing our lifestyle is a ridiculous failure and a waste of money. It is a good thing we lag behind Europe in its attempts at impoverished its people by making heating their homes and eating extremely expensive.

  • The religion of Climate Change didn’t deserve an actual appearance, just s short video clip.  Climate is and has ALWAYS been changing.  Humans can not stop this or it appears, get it right.  First it was cooling (remember?), then warming, now….possibly cooling.  This is all HARDLY settled science. Besides, all these ‘experts’ are all concerned with man made change they are failing to properly consider the PRIMARY source or temperature, Sol.

  • That’s because climate change/global warming is a hoax. There is absolutely no solid proof of either change or warming. The ‘scientists’ at East Anglia University who started the whole mess have admitted publicly that none of it was true – that it was a HOAX. Unfortunately some political types won’t admit the truth because the scare tactics the hoax engender are very useful in their control of the stupid and gullible. Good on you, Canada! You prove there are sensible people in the world. 

  • Nicolaus Copernicus

  • I cannot condone stifiling of free speechEven if it is over politicized science#GreenIsTheNewRed

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    • There is a difference between free speech and propaganda.  They work for a news station.  They can say whatever they want on the corner. 

    • It’s not really “free speech”, when you are in a job, and what you say and do reflects on your employer. In that instance, they can and do tell you what you can and cannot say, and if you don’t like it as the article implies several so-called scientists in Canada do not…you are free to leave.

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    • Thanks, Kelsonus. No doubt there can be healthy skepticism, but many interviewed here worry the government’s silence on this controversy coudl set a bad precedent.

  • Glad that Canada isn’t falling for all this nonsense. 

  • Glad that Canada isn’t falling for all this nonsense. 

  • What Canada is realizing is this is another liberal hoax and a way to scam money out of the world’s Population.  

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    • BRAVO for the Canuck TAXPAYERSNOW…… if we could only get the Anericans to show/exercise some common sense


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