Harper’s letter dismisses Kyoto as ‘socialist scheme’

A leaked 2002 letter from Stephen Harper to supporters reveals his views on the Kyoto Accord (ratified by the major industrial nations with the exception of the US, Australia, and Monaco -perhaps I have a different idea of what “industrialized” is, unless gambling is an “industry”….).

In 2002, when he was leader of the Canadian Alliance Party, Harper wrote to supporters to raise money to fight the Conservatives on the then-proposed Kyoto Accord.

Some of the key statements in the letter belie his recent seeming “conversion” to being “Green”, a half-hearted and transparent effort to pander to the public’s concerns over the Environment.

Here are a few of the porkers:

  • “It’s based on tentative and contradictory scientific evidence about climate trends.” and “It focuses on carbon dioxide, which is essential to life, rather than upon pollutants.”
  • “Kyoto is essentially a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations,”
  • “Kyoto will not even reduce greenhouse gases” and “it will almost certainly increase emissions on a global scale”.
Harper and others consistently argue that there “is debate” about the reality of the “theory” of Global Warming. In fact, the only “debate” is sparked by the so-called scientists hired by the oil industry to put together anti-Global Warming “theory” material and by the Bush Administration.

In fact, George Bush’s former advisor on environmental issues, Philip A. Cooney, is someone who knows nothing about the environment but is, rather, a statistican and economist whose major claim to fame is his ability to spin statistics in favour of Conservative policies.


Philip A. Cooney, chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, an institution that shapes much of America’s environmental policy, resigned June 14, 2005.


In an article by Andrew C. Revkin (“Bush Aide Softened Greenhouse Gas Links to Global Warming”) it is reveled that Cooney, while in his capacity as advisor to the President, personally reviewed and edited official Government climate reports to put a decidedly non-Green spin on them.
  • “The dozens of changes, while sometimes as subtle as the insertion of the phrase “significant and fundamental” before the word “uncertainties,” tend to produce an air of doubt about findings that most climate experts say are robust.”
  • “In a section on the need for research into how warming might change water availability and flooding, he crossed out a paragraph describing the projected reduction of mountain glaciers and snowpack. His note in the margins explained that this was “straying from research strategy into speculative findings/musings.”
It is these same reports which have become the basis for anti-Kyotoists to play the “debateable”, “controversial”, and “flawed” cards when denouncing Global Warming as a mere “theory”.

It is interesting to note that Cooney is neither a scientist nor particularly knowledgeable on scientific issues. Two days after the article noted above was published, Cooney resigned his position as chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and got a job at ExxonMobil. However, his resignation was planned months before the memo was leaked and he had already accepted the position at ExxonMobil.

In an editorial the Minneapolis Star-Tribune noted that while much of the coverage had focused on Cooeny’s editing efforts “less attention has settled on his collaboration with Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute in making these revisions.”

“Each administration has a policy position on climate change,” Mr. [Rick S.] Piltz [who resigned in March as a senior associate in the office that coordinates government climate research] wrote.


“But I have not seen a situation like the one that has developed under this administration during the past four years, in which politicization by the White House has fed back directly into the science program in such a way as to undermine the credibility and integrity of the program.”

“Before going to the White House in 2001, he was the “climate team leader” and a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute [which is generously funded by Exxon], the largest trade group representing the interests of the oil industry. A lawyer with a bachelor’s degree in economics, he has no scientific training.”

The Bush administration, it seems, “has routinely suppressed or ­distorted communication of climate change science to the public”.

Unfortunately, those opposed to Kyoto and who insist that the reputable scientific community that, as one, gives us dire warnings about our planet’s future, is “in turmoil” and “at odds” over the “theories” consistently cite the reports which Cooney rewrote.


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