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Faulty Logic Fuels Fossil Fools

Faulty Logic Fuels Fossil Fools

Suncor tar sands mine in Canada

Apparently, fossil fuel companies protect watersheds and rivers by removing oil. That’s according to comments on the David Suzuki Foundation Facebook page and elsewhere, including this: “The amount of contamination occuring [sic] from extraction is far less than if we just left the oil there to continue polluting the waterways.”

The “logic” of climate change deniers and anti-environmentalists is often baffling. Although the person who posted that comment doesn’t appear to claim professional background or knowledge, Canadian anti-environmentalist Patrick Moore — who capitalizes on his science degree and long-ago association with Greenpeace to shill for polluting industries — told the Vancouver Sun in 2011 that oil companies are “leaving the soil cleaner than they found it because they’re removing the oil from it.”

Those who coat their “alternative facts” with a veneer of “expertise” often employ twisted logic. Take a petition letter urging U.S. President Donald Trump to withdraw from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Letter author Richard Lindzen, a climate skeptic whose work has often been debunked, claims “more than 300 eminent scientists and other qualified individuals from around the world” signed the petition. What kind of “eminent scientists” would sign something claiming carbon dioxide “is not a pollutant but a major benefit to agriculture and other life on Earth” and that “warming from increased atmospheric CO2 will be benign”?

The idea that CO2 is little more than plant food is common in denier circles, floated recently by the U.S.Heartland Institute, its affiliated industry promoters like Canadians Patrick Moore and Tom Harris, and others. In a 2014 book, two signatories to the Trump letter, retired Environment Canada scientist Madhav Khandekar and retired Australian geology professor Cliff Ollier, along with database marketing consultant Arthur Middleton Hughes, wrote the world should burn more coal “to produce electricity and increase CO2in the atmosphere.” They also argue for more use of the pesticide DDT.

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