Selfish Percentdollarnumberatexlamation? I’ve Been Called Worse.

First I would like to offer an apology for misspelling a fellow blogger’s name – Ms. Julie Johnston. I had mistakenly spelled her name with an “e” (Johnstone).

Having committed that seemingly rather simple, human mistake, I was rather taken aback to find that I had “lost any last shred of credibility” because of the error.

Ms. Johnston (no “e”) recently blogged:

“And why should I live in a cold house all winter to lower my carbon footprint when that selfish %$#@! I wrote about a while ago doesn’t give a crap about today’s children or future generations? (By the way, turns out he’s read one book on climate change written by a denier, which of course makes him an expert. And he couldn’t even spell my name right when he slagged me in his blog … he kinda lost any last shred of credibility when I saw that.)”(

So, let me see if I have this correctly – in Ms. Johnston’s world, one lost “e” in a name shred’s credibility.

Well, I must admit I have been marveling at the hypocrisy of Ms. Johnston chiding me for making such a simple error in her name, while spewing so much misinformation about me in one paragraph.

1. Contrary to her above assertion, I do “give a crap” about today’s children AND future generations. I have written extensively about the fact that simple solutions to real, existing problems like lack of water, sanitation, food, medicine, education, and habitat worldwide have fallen by the wayside in the name of CO2 reduction. It is estimated $37 trillion would be required to meet Ms. Johnston’s carbon reduction goals, while one trillion would feed the world’s starving children for 200 years. While 16,000 children a day die because of their current “environment,” Ms. Johnston is happy to extoll the virtues of her sitting, shivering in her “cold house,” to combat CO2. And, the colder it gets, the more bitter a winter I’m sure it will be in her world.

2. Contrary to her assertion I have read only “one book on climate change written by a denier,” I have, in fact, read dozens of books (not “one book”)  on climate change, written by a myriad of scientists, quoting hundreds of studies, and have been interested in the subject for years. I have never proclaimed myself and expert, just an interested individual who enjoys learning more. The information I use is from scientific studies, or based on them. Since Ms. Johnston does not know me, and has never asked me how many books I have read on the subject, and without any explanation to the contrary, I have to conclude she is also comfortable creating baseless allegations and lying to her readers in an effort to discredit myself and my views.

One must ask the question of Ms. Johnston – why is it necessary for someone to use ad hominem, emotionally charged attacks to support your position and beliefs?

The answer to that question can be found in an examination of the associated fundamentalist theory – Anthropogenic Global Warming – which gives rise to the “belief” man is destroying the planet.

So, sorry about spelling your name wrong, sorry about the self-imposed temperature of your living quarters (I’ve got my thermostat set at 70), sorry you are so bitter, sorry that the science behind manmade CO2 global warming is falling down around your ears, sorry for the grief this must all cause you, and sorry you are such a sad, sad, sad individual.

There are my apologies…where are yours?

PS – Durban is not going to make you a happier camper.





Law and Disorder

I have been in a minor state of disbelief these last few weeks. I have watched as the controversy over the filing of the petition against our elected officials has eclipsed the substance of the petition itself.

As a former Trustee, allow me to wade into this discussion.  First, the notion that members of the public should simply turn a blind eye to what they perceive as wrong-doing by politicians is ludicrous. The applicable laws and policies are well established and relatively clear in this case.

To use the defense – “the means justify the ends” is so open ended, I’m sure H could have used it to justify the purification of the human race. But, that is obviously the most extreme of examples. A more applicable example is perhaps insider trading for the benefit of a not-for-profit society – say “Save the Children Society.” Would the fact that starving children would benefit from insider trading be all right? If a CEO was charged with such a crime, would you object and say let him go, he was only trying to be a nice guy? I’m just askin’

In my opinion, the primary problem here is political overreach into private societies, and, make no mistake about it, these are private societies with limited memberships. The Climate Action Council Society for example does not allow just any representative from a community organization, such as the Chamber of Commerce, to be a member. According to Trustee…I mean Chair Torgrimson, the proposed individual representative has to be first vetted, and then deemed “appropriate” by the Board of Directors, a process which could take several months. This clearly sets the stage for a private lobby group of like-minded souls to do what? Oh, yes….lobby the very local government organizations of which some of their Directors or Chairs are elected representatives.

If you do not see the conflict or bias problems inherent in this, allow me to quote the CAO of the Islands Trust, Linda Adams on the matter: “While there is nothing improper with a trustee being a member of a community group, the usual advice is not to remain in a leadership role of a group that has regular interaction with the local trust committee or that might make an application of some sort to the local trust committee.  If, however, a trustee did have such a role, and the group was seeking a decision of some sort from the local trust committee, then the trustee would likely be advised not to participate in the decision.” A good example of this is when Peter Lamb stepped down as the President of the Salt Spring Conservancy prior to his running as a Trustee. That was the right thing to do (even though he evidently had to be told to do it.)

The questions which people should be asking themselves are these:

(a) did the Trustees declare their membership, in the three societies which they are Directors and/or Chairs of, to the Chair of the LTC and/or the public?

(b) if not, why not?

(c) how can a Chair and Director of a private society be unbiased about the very purposes of the society, especially if the society’s bylaws require members to uphold its bylaws?

(d) on an island full to the brim with dedicated volunteers, why would elected officials think it was necessary, or proper, to take leadership roles in private societies?

(e) how can a quorum of a local government (in this case 2 Trustees) meet behind closed doors, in their capacities as Chairs and Directors of private societies, decide to request funding from the LTC, then change into their public trustee hats, and propose and pass motions for the very same funding?

The petition is not about improving water quality, reducing carbon footprints or increasing affordable housing. It is about shining a light on accountability, transparency, established ethics, and the laws surrounding them. It is about politicians wearing three hats too many.

The petition is not malicious. It is the accumulated result of three years of questions surrounding the accountability, openness, transparency, cronyism, and due processes of the current administration.

The era of:

  • banning of video taping of public meetings,
  • attempted banning and then regulation of free speech at private society meetings,
  • special LTC meetings held without the public having been properly notified,
  • minutes of public meetings drastically altered behind closed doors to hide inconvenient truths,
  • questions asked of public trustees at Town Hall sessions but never answered,
  • secretive committees formed and convened outside of the public’s eyes and ears with no minutes taken, and now
  • the formation of three private, select members-only, societies which raises the question, how can publicly elected trustees serve two masters without bias or conflict,

is hopefully over.

I challenge each and every critic of the petition to take the time to carefully think this through and then publicly propose their changes to the existing Provincial legislation, ethics and Islands Trust policies surrounding conflict of interest, bias, and meetings of a quorum behind closed doors.

I’m curious to see just how much disorder they are prepared to accept in the name of good intentions. Or, in their view this is just a “one-off” we should all ignore?

I await your proposed amendments with baited breath.  Seeing none, this motion will pass……