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In a scathing letter to Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver a dozen prominent Canadian climate scientists have ignored a Harper Government gag order and went public with their opposition to the Canadian Government's vigorous promotion of the Tar Sands and the Keystone XL pipeline project to export Alberta Tar Sands oil overseas.

Scientists slam Canada’s tar sands production: Doesn’t address climate change in ‘meaningful way’

By Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian

The Canadian government’s promotion of the tar sands industry is setting the world on a course of catastrophic climate change, a group of climate scientists and economists have warned.

In a letter made available to the Guardian, the academics urged Canada’s natural resources minister, Joe Oliver, to consider the consequences of his support for expanding Alberta’s tar sands production.

Oliver has in recent months emerged as the main proponent for the Keystone XL pipeline in Washington and other capitals. He is due in London this week.

But the academics warned that unlocking Alberta’s tar sands, which are thought to hold some 170bn barrels of recoverable oil, would put a dangerous amount of carbon into the atmosphere.
The academics said that expanding the tar sands ran in the face of recommendations from the International Energy Agency and others that two-thirds of the world’s fossil fuel reserves should not be commercialised – in order to avoid catastrophic climate change.

“The implication is clear: the responsibility for preventing dangerous climate change rests with today’s policymakers,” the letter said.

He has publicly scolded the Nasa scientist, James Hansen, for his opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, and dismissed Canadian critics of the tar sands as “radicals”.

At the same time, however, Oliver has publicly claimed to be concerned about climate change. He told an audience in Washington last month that developing the tar sands and the Keystone XL pipeline would increase greenhouse gas emissions by only a negligible amount.

From Canada's CBC:
Government should 'grow up' on climate change, scientist says

By Max Paris, CBC Environment Unit

A dozen prominent scientists write letter to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver

A group of 12 prominent Canadian climate scientists called out the federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver on his support for the expansion of oil infrastructure in a letter released today.

Meanwhile Joe Oliver is on the offensive attacking Al Gore.
Joe Oliver accuses Al Gore of making “wildly inaccurate and exaggerated comments”

In response to Gore's comments, Oliver told the Globe that Gore is "off the mark" and accused him of making "wildly inaccurate and exaggerated comments."

Oliver's own comments are the wildly inaccurate and exaggerated ones here.


                                                            Joe Oliver.

Government Scientists are finding Canada under Harper to be reminiscent of the US under George Bush's suppression of climate science by the US government.

From Canada's Maclean's

When science goes silent With the muzzling of scientists, Harper’s obsession with controlling the message verges on the Orwellian

by Jonathon Gatehouse on Friday, May 3,  

According to internal Environment Canada documents, obtained by Climate Change Network Canada via Access to Information, the amount of attention the media paid to federal climate change research dropped precipitously—80 per cent fewer stories—once the procedures for gaining access to government scientists were tightened during Harper’s first mandate. In the first nine months of 2008, for example, the department’s four leading researchers were quoted in a total of 12 newspaper stories, versus 99 over the same period the year before.

Meanwhile, the list of cases where government scientists have been effectively gagged from speaking about peer-reviewed research—sometimes even after its publication in prestigious international journals—grows.

Obama has no business acting as Joe Oliver's US enabler by approving the Keystone XL.  

Originally posted to Lefty Coaster on Wed May 08, 2013 at 08:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots, Climate Hawks, Climate Change SOS, and Canadian Kossacks.

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