Sunday, February 12, 2012

Not Everyone Can Graduate from the Charles Koch Institute

Ezra Levant, above, when he was running for the Canadian Alliance Party.  After a heated battle, he stepped aside so that Stephen Harper could run in a safe riding, after being voted head of the Alliance Party.

Close confidant of Jason Kenney and Stockwell Day (coined the term "Stockaholic") Levant is now a personality on Sun TV or Fox News North.

As much as I feared Fox coming to Canada  (thank you Stephen Harper), I still can't take Levant seriously.  He's just too excitable.  He starts to shudder even before he squeals some silly "revelation".  I think the clinical term is "premature elation".

However, Levant really has no chance of turning Canada to the right.  He's just singing to the choir.

His "white guilt" rants have already been done and overdone.  He just watches Fox News and tries to imitate the worst of them.

However, it's his silly antics when trying to discredit the science of climate change, that have a foundation.  Or maybe, it's a Foundation that causes Levant's silly antics in trying to discredit the science of climate change.  Either way, Levant is proud graduate of the internship program at the Charles Koch Institute, who taught him everything he has no clue about.

The Institutes partner organizations include the Heritage Foundation, Paul Weyrich's old haunt; the Federalist Society of Kenneth Starr and the Institute for Energy Research, a front group funded in part by Exxon and Koch Industries.  A well orchestrated campaign of misinformation, twisted logic and when all else fails, outright lies, on behalf of dirty oil.

Friends of Science and Enemies of the State

In William Johnson's 2005, Stephen Harper and the Future of Canada, he speaks often of Harper's close friend John Weissenberger.  They met at the University of Calgary and both became active in the conservative movement.

Weissenberger introduced Harper to the writings of William F. Buckley Jr. and they would watch Firing Line together, helping to mold  their political views.  They also became devotees of Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and paleoconservative Peter Brimelow.

When being named prime minister in 2006, Harper followed the adage of keeping your friends close and getting them to do your dirty work, so he didn't forget his school chum Weissenberger.  Knowing that climate change was an issue that wasn't going to go away, he appointed fellow denier Weissenberger to his Science Board. (1)  In fact, he stacked these boards with climate change deniers. (1)  Just like George Bush.
The first six months of the Bush administration were a giddy time for the fossil fuels and nuclear industries. After eight years of treading lightly around Bill Clinton's centrist energy policies, the "Old Fuels Club" was warmly welcomed back into the White House. Not only were their opinions sought, but these companies were even asked to help write the largest review of energy policy since Jimmy Carter preached conservation in a cardigan. (2)
And since coming to power, Harper has awarded billions of dollars to the oil and gas sector, not only in enormous tax breaks, but actual hard earned Canadian taxpayer dollars.  Just like George Bush.
By the time the Bush-Cheney energy policy was announced, in June 2001, the oil, gas, coal, and nuclear industries were slated to be awarded $28 billion in tax breaks and the keys to some of our country's most precious natural assets. Indeed, the debate over energy—how it's supplied, how it's financed, and how it's consumed—has been one of the defining issues of George W. Bush's presidency. The Bush energy plan was developed in closed-door sessions by Vice President Cheney and his National Energy Policy Task Force. (2)
Dick Cheney's National Energy Policy Task Force, also had their sites on Canada, with John Baird (then with the Mike Harris government of Ontario) and Guy Giorno leading the way.  They called their little group, the Canadian Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions, but it was nothing more than a front group for the oil patch.  At the time, Giorno, was their number one lobbyist.

And Dick Cheney's friend and fishing buddy, Barry Cooper, took things one step further, by creating an organization called Friends of Science, which was operated out of the University of Calgary.  This allows them to keep their donors names a secret.

However, in August of 2006, a Globe and Mail feature article by Charles Montgomery revealed that Friends of Science had "taken undisclosed sums from Alberta oil and gas interests". The money was funneled through the Calgary Foundation, to the University of Calgary and on to the FOS though something called the “Science Education Fund.”   All this appears to be orchestrated by Stephen Harper’s long-time political confidante and fishing buddy, U. Calgary Prof Dr. Barry Cooper. It seems the FOS has taken a page right out of the US climate change attack group’s playbook: funnel money through foundations and third party groups to “wipe the oil” off the dollars they receive.

To recap, John Baird and Guy Girono (Harper's former chief of staff) establish a front group for Dick Cheney, which by the way was in response to Ralph Goodales' plans to promote energy conservation.
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources at the time, Ralph Goodale, commented that conservation was an essential part of the energy planning of “any intelligent society.” Where will the US find the vast amounts of energy it demands for its massively inefficient and polluting economy? George W. Bush has stated, “We’ve got a plan to make sure that gas comes — flows freely out of Canada into the United States.” (The Energy Onslaught: The Impact of the Bush-Cheney Energy Plan on Canada’s Wilderness. the Sierra Club)
Friend and fishing buddy of both Harper and Cheney, Barry Cooper, establishes a front group at the University of Calgary, funded by the oil and gas sector, and devoted to climate change denial, dubiously called Friends of Science

And guess who else is involved with FOS?  Yep.  John Weissenberger

Levant, Cooper, Baird, Giorno, Weissenberger, Harper et al, are nothing more than shills for the oil and gas sector.  None are climate scientists, and in fact the only one with any science background is Weissenberger, who is a geologist.

Harper's plans to build pipelines for the Koch Brothers and other foreign interests in the tarsands, is about furthering the interests of the oil and gas sector, who want to find cheap labour.

Former Alberta premier, Peter Lougheed, spoke recently of this massive outsourcing of jobs.  "We should be refining the bitumen in Alberta and we should make it public policy in the province" ... He added that the resource belonged to Albertans and that the jobs should stay at home. (It also takes less energy and smaller pipelines to ship gasoline and diesel fuel than it does heavy bitumen.)

His name has now been added to the growing list of "terrorists" and "enemies of the government", because he wants to protect our jobs.  That's all it takes.  The Koch Brothers are gods, the oil and gas sector a heavenly body and it's becomes sacrilegious to take their name in vain.

Ezra Levant's work of fiction Ethical Oil, was probably ghost wrote by the fellows at the Charles G. Koch Institute, or at least inspired by his indoctrination into the theology of the Church of Oil Soaked Bucks.


1.  Global Warming Critics Appointed to Science Boards: Harper government's actions are 'dreadful' and undercut public pledges to tackle climate change, leading glaciologist says, by Bill Curry, Globe and Mail, May 11, 2009

2. The Book on Bush: How George W. (mis) Leads America, By Eric Alterman and Mark Green, Penguin Books, 2004, ISBN: 0-670-03273-5, p. 16.

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