Recently we learned that the Competition Bureau is going to investigate several climate change denier groups that have publicly misrepresented climate science on billboards and the web. This is great news for those who want an honest conversation about climate change.
So, why would denier groups continue to misrepresent climate science when the overwhelming majority of credible climate science supports the reality of human-caused global warming? One likely motive is to protect fossil fuel business interests from cleaner, greener competition.
Meanwhile, even fossil fuel companies that have changed their tune publically on climate science are still denying that science in court. Syncrude, Canada's largest tar sands operator, recently argued before the Federal Court of Appeal that "the production and consumption of petroleum fuels is not inherently dangerous." Syncrude asked the court to rule that the federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions using market mechanisms. This would have been devastating for national efforts to meet our Paris Agreement climate goals. Thankfully the court rejected Syncrude's argument and dismissed its appeal.
What makes Syncrude's position so galling is that its controlling shareholder, Suncor Energy, publically promotes its acceptance of the scientific consensus on climate change and claims to be "developing long-term, sustainable solutions" to the problem. Kneecapping the federal government's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions is no "solution" for Canada.
Overall it looks like the bottom is falling out of the climate science denial movement -- and not a moment too soon. With temperature records piling up monthly the need to act on climate change couldn't be more urgent.
We're happy the Competition Bureau has taken the first step toward accountability for those who would misrepresent climate science to promote business interests. If the investigation uncovers evidence showing contraventions of the Competition Act it could lead to legal proceedings.
In the meantime, let's keep moving Canada forward on climate change.