Jan 20, 2011: The gorilla in the room…

On January 20th, 2011, a bureaucrat with “Environment Canada” tells his bosses the truth about an upcoming conference.

Environment Canada is an official body whose “business is protecting the environment, conserving the country’s natural heritage, and providing weather and meteorological information to keep Canadians informed and safe.

They were organising a conference on the “win-win” bits of the climate problem. A bureaucrat made a move that many wouldn’t/don’t – he pointed out to his bosses that this agenda would sidestep the “gorilla in the room.”

After being called by an official from Royal Dutch Shell regarding the April 2011 conference in Banff, Alta., that was to focus on “less controversial” aspects of the climate-change debate, such as energy efficiency and transportation demand management, Beale felt compelled to state what was missing.

“I had to point out – nicely – that the initiative seems to sidestep the gorilla in the room of emission reductions from O&G (oil and gas), but that otherwise, it seems like a great idea,” wrote Beale in the Jan. 20, 2011 email, released to Postmedia News through access to information legislation.

This sadly rare honesty has come to light thanks to the diligence of a journalist Mike De Souza. All Our Yesterday’s Canadian spy rates Mr De Souza highly, which is good enough for us.

See also:

On the pressures on bureaucrats and politicians to compromise/play the game, see the first pages of Guy Pearse’s excellent “High and Dry: John Howard , Climate Change and the Selling of Australia’s Future”

Other things that happened on this day:

2008 CBS News presents rescreens three climate stories

2014 John Gummer calls some green extremists “close to trotskyists”in Guardian interview. (On Gummer, see Jeremy Leggett’s approving comments on him at Geneva in 1996. Gummer “gets it.”)

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

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