This is a guest post by Andrew Leach, Enbridge Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Alberta. The article originally appeared in...
DeSmog Canada (www.desmog.ca) exists to clear the PR pollution that is preventing us from having sensible public conversations about critical issues around the environment, social justice and the economy. We work to clear the air and to explore solutions for cleaning up Canada's polluted public square.
Our core team, along with a wide range of guest contributors, produces on-line news, opinion and analysis on solutions to the deteriorating public discourse on science and the environment in Canada.
We seek to examine why Canadians often feel powerless to demand that government and industry focus on what’s really important: developing more effective public policies and transitioning to a healthier, more sustainable economy.
DeSmog Canada seeks to provide a credible forum for constructive, engaged public conversations about important issues facing Canada.
We invite you to be part of this conversation. Together, we can clean up the public square and encourage all citizens to pursue their right to take part in decision-making processes that will have a lasting impact on their health, community and the economy for decades to come.
Where we’re coming from
An overwhelming majority of the world’s climate scientists agree the world's climate is changing and that the burning of fossil fuels is to blame. We know the risks are incalculable and, increasingly, we understand the solutions are affordable.
DeSmog Canada seeks to provide a credible forum for engaged public conversations that take the climate reality into account.
DeSmog Canada is incorporated as a non-profit society under the Society Act of British Columbia.
Read Jim Hoggan's inaugural post for more information about DeSmog Canada's mission: Cleaning Up Canada's Polluted Public Square
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DeSmog Canada Team:
Jim Hoggan, President
Jim Hoggan is one of Canada’s most respected public relations professionals and the president and owner of the Vancouver PR firm Hoggan & Associates.
A law school graduate with a longstanding passion for social justice, Jim also serves as chair of the David Suzuki Foundation — the nation’s most influential environmental organization — and as a trustee of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education.
Jim is the co-founder of Stonehouse Standing Circle, an innovative public engagement and communications think tank, and the former chair of The Climate Project Canada — Al Gore’s global education and advocacy organization. He also led the province of British Columbia’s Green Energy Advisory Task Force on Community Relations and First Nations Partnerships.
Jim is the co-founder of the influential website DeSmogBlog and the author of two books: Do the Right Thing: PR Tips for Skeptical Public and Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming. He speaks, writes and presents widely on public attitudes toward sustainability, climate change and the environment.
Carol Linnitt, Managing Editor and Director of Research
Carol is a writer and researcher focusing on energy development, environmental policy, wildlife, Canadian politics, transparency and democracy. She joined DeSmog in June 2010 as a researcher, focusing much of her time on the natural gas industry and hydraulic fracturing.
Carol is the lead author of DeSmog's original report Fracking the Future: How Unconventional Gas Threatens Our Water, Health & Climate. Her work also led to the DeSmog micro-documentary CRY WOLF: An Unethical Oil Story and the Cry Wolf investigative series.
Carol began her environmental career writing and performing interviews for The Canada Expedition, a non-governmental sustainability initiative, and while working in dispute resolution with communities affected by resource scarcity.
Carol has a Master's in English Literature from York University where she studied political theory, natural resource conflicts and aboriginal rights. She also has a Master's in Philosophy in the field of phenomenology and environmental ethics and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Victoria in the English and Cultural, Social and Political Thought programs. Her work has appeared in the Vancouver Observer, the Huffington Post, Think Progress, EcoWatch and Academic Matters.
Emma Gilchrist, Deputy Editor
Emma Gilchrist is Deputy Editor of DeSmog Canada and DeSmogBlog. She is a writer, editor and citizen engagement specialist based in Victoria, B.C.
Emma grew up in a small town in northwestern Alberta where she saw firsthand how oil and gas development plays an important role in Canadian communities. She went on to earn a journalism degree from Mount Royal University in Calgary.
Emma has worked as a reporter and editor in Canada and the U.K., including stints at the Calgary Sun, Calgary Herald, Cambridge Evening News and BBC Essex. While at the Calgary Herald, Emma created a weekly environmental column and website called The Green Guide, which won an Alberta Emerald Award and Canadian Newspaper Association Great Ideas Award.
Most recently, Emma was the Communications Director for the Dogwood Initiative, a citizen’s advocacy group working to help British Columbians have more say in decisions about their air, land and water.
Emma’s writing on travel, health, fitness and the environment has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Financial Post, Montreal Gazette, Ottawa Citizen, Edmonton Journal, Vancouver Province, Up! Magazine, the Huffington Post and the Vancouver Observer.Brendan DeMelle, Site Co-Manager
Brendan DeMelle is Executive Director and Managing Editor of DeSmogBlog.com. He is also a freelance writer and researcher specializing in new media, politics, climate change and clean energy. He has served as research associate for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., researcher for Ring of Fire Radio, researcher for Laurie David and StopGlobalWarming.org, law and policy analyst for Environmental Working Group, campus organizer for Connecticut Public Interest Research Group, environmental justice associate for EPA Region 10, among other positions in his career. DeMelle has provided writing and communications services on a wide range of topics, with a demonstrated ability to simplify complex and technical issues into concise, accessible language for general public consumption.
His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The Huffington Post, Grist, EnergyBoom, The Washington Times and other outlets, including a peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Rural History about the social and ecological impacts of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project. He graduated from St. Lawrence University with a BA in Sociology and Environmental Studies in 1998, and lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife Anne.Kevin Grandia, Site Development and Analytics
Kevin is the President of Spake Media House Inc. a consulting firm that helps people who want to change the world communicate powerfully online.
Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters”on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.
He is formerly the Director of Online Strategy at Greenpeace USA and has been writing on climate change and other pressing social issues for more than seven years. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com, which in 2011 was named one of the top 25 blogs in the world by Time Magazine. He recently helped launch and is a contributor to DeSmog Canada and was designated the first certified expert on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.DeSmog Canada Advisory Board:The DeSmog Canada Advisory Board consists of Canadian academics, thought leaders and celebrities dedicated to enhancing productive conversations about Canada's natural resources, environment and democracy.Alex Himelfarb
In September 2009, Dr. Alex Himelfarb was appointed as Director of the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs, at York University. He guides the expansion of the School’s research capacity and its professional development programming and seeks to strengthen the relationship between the School and the public sector.
Dr. Himelfarb also leads the Centre for Global Challenges which, stressing the interplay of domestic and global issues, brings together decision makers, researchers, practitioners, and students to explore challenges confronting Canada in a changing world.
He was a Professor of Sociology at the University of New Brunswick from 1972 to 1981. During this period, he undertook an Executive Interchange with the Department of Justice as Head of the Unified Family Court Project from 1979 to 1981.
He also served as Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet from May 2002 until March 2006 when he was nominated as Ambassador of Canada to the Italian Republic with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Albania and the Republic of San Marino, and as High Commissioner for Canada to the Republic of Malta.
Allan Gregg is one of Canada’s most recognized and respected senior research professionals and social commentators.
From 1979 through 1993 Gregg was known as the official pollster of the Progressive Conservative Party and participated in over 50 central election campaigns on three continents. In 1995, he co-founded The Strategic Counsel, a research partnership he left in 2007. That year, he set out on his own to form Allan Gregg Strategies, offering high-end, value added, research-based consulting and communications advice to private and public sector clients and assumed the position of Chairman of Harris/Decima, a company he founded almost 30 years earlier that has recently merged with the fastest growing research firm in the world.
Gregg is a pioneer in the integration of consulting, public-opinion research, public affairs and communications. He not only has an intimate knowledge of the dynamics of policy-making but also a deep understanding of cultural change and the communications processes necessary to forge a public consensus around government and business initiatives.
In 2012 he was named as an Adjunct Professor in the Arthur Kroeger College at Carleton University and was inducted in the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends.
Evangeline Lilly is a Canadian actress most know for her role as Kate Austen in Lost and Tauriel in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. She is a writer for DeSmog Canada and an advocate for environmental and human rights issues globally.
Miles G. Richardson is a citizen of the Haida Nation and Canada. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Victoria in 1979. From 1984 to 1996, he served as President of the Haida Nation.
Richardson was a member of the British Columbia Claims Task Force, which, in June of 1991, made recommendations to the Governments of Canada, British Columbia, and First Nations in BC on a mutually agreed process to conduct Treaty negotiations to build a New Relationship and define what the New Relationship should include.
From 1991 to 1993, Richardson was a member of the First Nations Summit Task Group, which is an executive body representing First Nations in BC. In October 1995, Mr. Richardson was nominated by the Summit and appointed as a Commissioner to the BC Treaty Commission. He was elected to a second term in April 1997. In November 1998, he was chosen as Chief Commissioner by agreement of Canada, BC and the First Nations Summit for a three-year term and was reappointed in November 2001.
Richardson is one of the original members of the David Suzuki Foundation and has been a board member since 1992. In 2007, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Currently, Richardson owns and operates his own business providing strategic advice on relationship building and business development between First Nations and the private sector; First Nations governance development in partnership with the Institute on Governance; and Sustainability policy and business development.