Extent of the Laurentide ice sheet from the Glacial Maximum to midHolocene (modified after Dyke and Prest, 1987). J.P. Paul Jasinski

While debating a bill about toxins on May 29, Conservative MP Earl Dreeshen spoke about how glaciers that once covered Canada melted, and was mocked for it by federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault.

In other words, compared to 10,000 years ago, the climate changed, according to the MP for Red Deer—Mountain View. But Guilbeault called that “Shocking disregard for basic science,” despite the fact Dreeshen was a 34-year math and physics teacher.

In response, Guilbeault posted a video of a clip of Dreeshen’s speech and tweeted, “Shocking disregard for basic science. ‘Things change, climate changes, that’s how we got our rivers.’ Despite all the increased fires, floods, droughts facing Canadians, the Conservative Party still doesn’t believe in human-made climate change. When will they wake up?”

Here’s Guilbeault’s tweet:

It wasn’t clear if the “shocking disregards of basic science” Guilbeault was referring to was the fact the Laurentide ice sheet, which was one to two kilometres thick across most of Canada for about 80,000 of the last 100,000 years, melted before cars and coal plants existed, or that he thinks mankind is the principle cause of climate change. Nor was it clear if the tweet was in retaliation for Dreeshen pointing out Guilbeault’s past actions as a Greenpeace activist.

Glaciers covered Canada

For the record, here’s an expanded portion of Dreeshen’s speech:

“When we speak of the environment, we need to speak of some of the things that are being said. Back when I was a young lad in the early 1960s, I remember we had a civil defence system that was made up of volunteers. This had to do with the fact that we were just a few years out from the Second World War, and there was a concern about nuclear bombs. These things were scaring us at that particular point in time: the missile crisis and the nuclear bomb attacks.

“In the 1960s, we were talking about global climate cooling, and we had everybody scared then as well. In the 1970s, we spoke about acid rain and concerns existing around that. In the 1970s and 1980s, it was all about global climate warming. In the year 2000, it was Y2K. Since global warming and global cooling did not seem to match what was happening in reality, we now simply talk about climate change. When we think about the environment, we think about the things that have to be done.

“In the seventies, when I was going to university in Edmonton, I remember that there was this choice: One could take the electric trolley or stand out there and smell the diesel exhaust. Being a farm kid, I kind of knew what that was like, but nevertheless, it was important for us to make choices and recognize the difference. It was decided that the electric system would not work under those circumstances, so it went directly to diesel buses. Now, of course, we are going back. We are trying to take a look at electricity, providing we could get a grid that could handle it.

“I mention that because it has been 60 years of catastrophic snake oil salesmen predicting different things that could happen. They have predicted how, in 10 years’ time, we are going to have cities flooded, how we are going to have all these issues and how animals are going to go extinct. We hear that all the time.

“Every once in a while, I go to Drumheller. I take a look at a sign above the canyon there saying that, 10,000 years ago, we were under a kilometre of ice. If one wanted to talk to the Laurentian elites, Montreal actually had two kilometres of ice over top of it at that time.

“Things change; the climate changes. That is how we got our rivers. I know I deal with the effects of climate change right now when I have to go out into my field and pick rocks, because that is how they got there. These are the sorts of things we have to realize. Things do change.”

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Elizabeth May interrupts

Dreeshen started to talk about Greenpeace leader and founder Patrick Moore, and his push was in nuclear power, but was interrupted by a point of order from Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, saying the bill wasn’t about climate change, but toxins.

Greenpeace

Resuming his speech, Dreeshen said, “Mr. Speaker, since it is up to a minister who has a very shaky track record, it is important that I discuss that. However, I will attempt to put all those statements in context, because, of course, we think about the minister and what he has done. It is a new generation of Greenpeace that he was part of. Patrick Moore has completely looked at that group and said the only thing green about it is the money it has brought in, and that comes because of the antics of the group.

“Therefore, it is important that previous Greenpeace people and previous people who were involved in the environment look and advocate for a common-sense management of our environment, where we would be 180 degrees opposite to the eco-activists who are now influencing all left-wing parties here in Canada. That is the point I had wanted to make on that particular issue.

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Europe begging Canada for Energy

“When I was on the environment committee and, now, as a member of the natural resources committee, I have talked about the need to recognize the contribution that Canada can make to the world. Europe is begging Canada to help stabilize its energy needs. For Europe, the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russia has solidified the need to have stable energy partners. Further to that, people in many countries in Europe are seeing the light, evaluating their previous policies and pivoting to return to traditional energy resources. Germany is bringing coal plants back online to meet its energy demands. The Netherlands has temporarily shut down wind farms because of their impact on migratory birds. They are doing a few other things that are hurting their farmers; this, I am sure, is something that we could speak about in another debate.

“Last summer, I attended the OSCE meetings in Birmingham, England. We were there to discuss food security, energy security and security in Europe. Certainly, the energy security topic was hotly debated. The Canadian government delegation was led by ideology. I had the privilege of working with other European parliamentarians to push back on this ideological rush to unreliable energy sources at a time when our allies need to be assured that we have stable energy.

“Ideology corrupts science. One does not start with an ideological position, look for markers that can be manipulated to support one’s position and then proclaim that the science is settled. That is not what science is all about. However, the minister and his people seem to do that just about every time they develop a plan, regulation or new environmental bill.”

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EVs, reduced fertilizer, phase out oil sands

Dreeshen said, “Domestically, the government seems to believe that its greenhouse gas targets will be met primarily through the three items of a rapid expansion of EVs, a reduction in fertilizer use and the eventual phasing out of Canada’s oil sands. These beliefs are so far out of touch. Sadly, there will be major repercussions for Canada and the world because of these short-sighted policies.

“As we move forward as a nation, we should ensure that every action we take is measured. I have spoken many times about this at environment and natural resources committees. Perhaps because of my 34 years as a math and physics teacher, I believe that whatever technology we consider, we should measure the impact from the first shovel we need to dig it up to the last shovel we need to cover it up.

“EVs require much more energy to produce than ICE vehicles. There are environmental impacts from rare-earth mineral excavation and chemical processing for any electrical components. Even revamped electrical grids will never be fail-safe. Windmills require hydrocarbons for both manufacturing and maintenance. Used solar panels will need to be disposed of properly. Fortunately, as Canadians, we have the know-how to meet the challenges that we face.”

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Guilbeault scaled Ralph Klein’s house

Guilbeault seeking to embarrass Dreeshen may have been in response to Dreeshen speaking about Guilbeault’s history of activism. Dreeshen said, “The history of the environment minister is a case in point of activism and the damage that is done because the Liberals just do not care who they hurt. Most Canadians are aware of the minister scaling structures to get arrested to make his point, but they probably do not know that he also trespassed on the modest home of then premier Ralph Klein, and in doing so dramatically upset Ralph’s wife Colleen, whom I knew personally. He has no remorse and still to this day is proud of his actions, and the Prime Minister rewards his reckless criminal behaviour while Liberal members, along with their NDP coalition partner and the opportunistic Bloc members, just sit back and smile. I would have thought that a regional party like the Bloc would have voted against further provincial encroachment, but they voted in lockstep with the Liberal-NDP coalition.

He continued, “Alberta has always had pristine water, fresh air and fertile soil. We produce the cleanest oil and natural gas in the world. That is why the Lougheed government embarked on a program to get natural gas to every rural resident possible. That could happen for all of this country if we would think our way through this problem.

“Alberta, through the oil sands, has financed and carried this country through some tough times. In fact, the oil and gas sector is the feedstock for the products that will be covered under CEPA, as well as the feedstock for every other type of energy source that this world needs. However, as I mentioned before, the minister and the government do not care who they hurt or how they damage industries or interprovincial relationships.”

 

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