(/sites/default/files/uploads/2012/05/davidsuzuki.jpg)Predictive failure does not deter an ideological zealot, who feels sure that a disaster must arrive someday to confirm his forecast and justify his program for salvation. It matters little if his timetable is off by 10, 20 or 1000 years since, under the aspect of eternity, a cataclysm is bound to happen in seculae seculorum. The mathematics can always be redone in the light of a grisly but accommodating future to which only he has privileged access. It is he who stands before the burning bush of the world and hears the voice of the Lord. For this eccentric mentality, being wrong over and over is a sure sign that he will be right once. The end-of-the-world fanatic merely keeps revising his calculations, relying on a new revelation to perfect his reckoning and reinforce his delusion. But what he has really accomplished is to turn rational thought into spurious divination. This is as true of those who gaze into the crystal ball of Nature as of those who claim insight into the mysterious workings of the Lord.
Enter David Suzuki, Canada’s leading climate guru, who predicted some 20 years ago that we had only 10 years remaining before environmental collapse. In the meantime what has collapsed is Dr. Suzuki’s objective credibility—though his prophetic authority persists among the naïve and impressionable. Abetting the strategy of endlessly renewable computation is the complementary trick of selective disinformation. A good example of this technique is provided by the controversy over the discovery of a “mutant” fish near Lake Athabasca which, as University of Calgary economist Frank Atkins wrote, was jumped all over by “the David Suzuki crowd” (NP Posted, March 12, 2009). Of course, the presumed “find” was immediately blazoned in the media and among environmental groups as indisputable evidence of oil sands pollution. Unfortunately for the proponents of this factoid, the “mutation” was nothing of the sort but a natural development that follows on decomposition (Fort McMurray Today, the only news source to report on the scientific reassessment of the canard).
Similarly, one recalls Suzuki’s comrade-in-arms Al Gore who, in Earth in the Balance, blames the Antarctic ozone hole for causing blindness in animal populations: “hunters now report finding blind rabbits; fishermen catch blind salmon.” Reality check: not only has the Antarctic ozone hole begun to close (NASA Science, December 12, 2000; Nature, May 16, 2011), but Chilean scientists investigating the phenomenon had already accounted for the blight as owing to an epidemic of pink eye disease (NewScientist, August 21, 1993).
So it goes: bad math, wrong predictions, the application of a Bozo filter to disagreeable facts, and profitable indoctrination. There can be little doubt that, like aspiring carbon billionaire Gore, David Suzuki is a master in the lucrative field of environmental exploitation. Ezra Levant of Sun News Network has uncovered evidence that Suzuki is allegedly stuffing his coffers with money from multi-national organizations that finance his campaigns against Canada’s oil sands production (The Source, February 7, 2012). Suzuki received a million dollar gift from Canada’s Power Corp, which operates in totalitarian China, one of the world’s leading carbon emitters. This may explain why Suzuki, lecturing by video feed to two hundred Canadian schools, has praised China as a nation “committed to developing a green economy.” Indeed, Suzuki, as Levant has shown, grosses $10 million per annum for his mega-Corporation, apparently only a fraction of which is spent on hands-on environmental concerns.
In an informative talk at the National Archives in Ottawa on March 19, 2012, independent researcher Vivian Krause confirmed the details of Suzuki’s windfall from the U.S. based Moore, Hewlett and Packard foundations. Writing in the Financial Post for April 21, 2012, Krause goes on to state that Suzuki’s American funding was for many years “underreported or not reported at all.” This is rather telling, especially when one considers that since 2009, the Canada Revenue Agency “requires nonprofits to report the total amount of funding that they receive from foreign sources.” For 2009 and 2010, the Suzuki Foundation reports “accounted for 5% or 6% of total revenue.”
No less interesting, the great Canadian redeemer has no compunction against soliciting funds from children. His Foundation appeals for help from the toddlers of the world, letting it be known that “Santa Claus is in trouble! Due to climate change, the North Pole is not safe enough for his elves to make the millions of toys he delivers to nice boys and girls.” Kids and parents are exhorted to “purchase a gift to help Santa and the elves temporarily relocate their workshop elsewhere in Canada” (sofii.org). As radio/TV personality and newspaper columnist Rex Murphy comments, “there’s something of an all-points bulletin,” and, without leveling charges of immorality, concludes that “Scaring kids and guilting parents is monumentally tacky” (FullComment, December 3, 2011). It is certainly that, and possibly more than that.
Does Suzuki really believe what he preaches? After all, he did buy carbon credits to run his supersized, emission-belching tour bus—though, according to reports, it carried only eight people (The London Fog, February 23, 2007, etc.). And seeking to avoid media embarrassment, his Foundation released a statement to the effect that “the carbon emissions associated with the tour are offset through its investments in sustainable energy projects, such as wind farms, solar installations, or energy efficiency projects” (Canadian Press, January 29, 2007). The reasoning is circular and smacks of self-justification. Producing what you condemn in order to condemn what you produce seems distinctly disingenuous. Nor does Suzuki seem at all fazed by his predictive incompetence or his cavalier attitude towards unassimilable facts.
Ultimately, only Suzuki really knows whether his convictions are genuine or not, which is no consolation for the rest of us. Perhaps we can take some comfort from the fact that he has just stepped down from his Foundation’s board of directors “over fears that his political views could put its charitable status at risk” (National Post, March 14, 2012). It seems that Suzuki may have been right about one thing at least; the National Post reports that his Foundation “may soon be probed for alleged violations” (April 25, 2012).
Nonetheless, whatever decision may be rendered by the Canada Revenue Agency, it is becoming increasingly difficult not to regard David Suzuki, formerly a fruit fly geneticist, as the Fu Manchu of the environmental movement. Or perhaps as the reincarnation of Rashid ad-Din Sinan, aka the Old Man of the Mountain, fundamentalist leader of the infamous 12th century Hashshashim sect. Immured in his high castle and convinced he was carrying out a sacred mission, the “elder of the mountain,” wrote Marco Polo in his Travels, enchanted his minions with “a certain potion” and proceeded to sow havoc among the people. Suzuki’s ideological potion has certainly been effective among the flock of true believers while the leader himself retains his Teflon immunity in academia and the compliant media, in particular the left-leaning and tax-funded CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). Like his medieval precursor, Suzuki, whose dogmatism resists the influx of fresh data and operates selectively to keep his hobbyhorse rocking, remains safely ensconced among his retinue in his fortress of debatable and self-infatuated rectitude.
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