Thursday, March 24, 2011

University of Guelph Economics Department Spreads Corporate Propaganda

My title may be a little unfair, as I have only really heard the opinions of two of its professors, and maybe there are many more who do not spread corporate propaganda. But still, something is going on at the University of Guelph Economics department. For the second time this year I have found out that one of the professors is committed to the anti-global warming cause. A month ago, I wrote about a lecture I attended by Glenn Fox (also a professor in the University of Guelph Faculty of Economics), this blog:

Now I read an article by Ross McKitrick in the Vancouver Sun, about Earth Hour "Why I will leave my lights on".

He also wrote a book "Taken by Storm" skeptical of global warming.

So at least two outspoken critics of global warming or use of green power sources on the UoG faculty of Economics.

Here is McKitrick's CV page at UoG

And, in case you could not predict, it lists him as Senior Fellow, Fraser Institute, Vancouver B.C.

I find McKitrick's piece in the Vancouver Sun "Why I leave my lights on" to be about as offensive as the drivers who tell bicycle riders "Good thing you ride a bike, it leaves more oil for our Hummers." By the way, I am not accusing McKitrick of saying that, because that would be a "straw man argument" and unfair to him.

But McKitrick did say this: "The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity." Now that is straw man argument. In fact his entire argument against Earth Hour is one long straw man argument, that people who turn off their lights hate electricity, instead of showing respect for our resources. I have never seen one single person who turns out their lights for Earth Hour who "hates" electricity, or is trying to demonize it.

Such arguments are not only illogical, but unworthy of university professors. The University of Guelph is letting itself become a source of corporate propaganda, instead of an institution for learning.

And in case you were wondering, I can tolerate debate and discussion. But neither of these professors seem to stick to logic, nor do they seem to consider both sides of the issue. That's why I think they are propagandists.


  1. Precisely.

    Earth Hour has nothing to do with 'demonizing electricity'; it is a global movement to raise awareness about climate change.

    McKitrick knows that but, in his article, has chosen, in turn, to 'demonize' Earth Hour as some kind of Luddite campaign which 'celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness' [McKitrick's words].

    McKitrick, of course, is a notorious climate change denier. As well as his involvement with the ExxonMobil-funded Fraser Institute, he is on the council of the denial propaganda organization, Global Warming Policy Foundation and involved with other ExxonMobil-financed outfits such as the George C. Marshall Institute and the Heartland Institute.

    McKitrick has also collaborated with Climate Audit's Stephen McIntyre in a exaggerating the signficance of minor calculation problems in climate change modelling, especially with respect to the Mann Curve.

    It also revealing to review McKitrick's op-ed pieces: as well as the article in question in the right-wing Vancouver Sun, his articles are carried almost exclusively by conservative publications such as The National Post.

    Although the progress of science relies on skeptical review, what McKitrick is engaged in is not science, but cover-up and denial of the now accepted scientific consensus.

  2. Corporations, of course, bear no responsibility for environmental degradation.

    'Soaring greenhouse gasses, increasing waste generation and energy use, declining stocks of large fish species, and shrinking water supplies in parts of the country'- nothing to be concerned about there.

    The 'markets' will take care of us.