Fri, 2014-09-12 15:40Carol Linnitt
Carol Linnitt's picture

David Suzuki Headlines DeSmog Canada's Kickstarter Campaign to Clean Up Canada's Climate and Energy Debate

DeSmog Canada is excited to announce the launch of our new crowdfunding campaign: “Let’s Clean Up Canada’s Climate and Energy Debate.”

For the past 18 months, DeSmog Canada has delivered cutting-edge investigative journalism to clean up Canada's polluted public square and foster science-based debate on climate and energy issues. Now, we are ready to take it to the next level.

Over the next thirty days, we need your help to raise $50,000 to fund our upcoming work that will focus on three priorities:

  • leading in-depth investigations of government and industry spending on multi-million dollar ad campaigns to sell oil development and pipelines instead of clean energy solutions,
  • shining a light on fake grassroots groups designed to confuse the public debate,
  • exposing Canada’s war on science and the scientists who are prevented from sharing critical information with the public.

Climate and energy debates have never been more important to setting the course for Canada's future. Yet conversations about Canada’s energy have never been more polarized, divisive and polluted with misinformation.

The stakes have never been higher.

Sun, 2014-08-31 21:53Brendan DeMelle
Brendan DeMelle's picture

DeSmog UK Launches To Combat Climate Denial in Europe Ahead of Paris Climate Talks

A welcome message from DeSmogBlog executive director Brendan DeMelle.

We’re pleased to introduce DeSmog UK, a brand new investigative journalism and research outlet dedicated to clearing the PR pollution that clouds climate science and exposing the individuals and organizations attacking solutions to global warming.

Thu, 2013-10-10 11:08David Ravensbergen
David Ravensbergen's picture

Building a Popular Front Against Climate Change

German Energy Transition climate movement DeSmog Canada

This is the third part of three-part series exploring the German Energy Transition or Energiewende, by David Ravensbergen. In Part 1, The Land of Wind and Solar, Ravensbergen describes how decentralized, small-scale changes can amount to a broad energy revolution. In Part 2, Is the German Energy Transition Everything It's Cracked Up to Be?, he takes a closer look at the promise and the reality of the German response to climate change along with energy researcher Tadzio Müller. In this third and final installment, Ravensbergen asks what the German experience can teach North Americans looking to make the transition away from fossil fuels.


In Canada, hopes of implementing a national strategy on climate even remotely equivalent to the German Energiewende are continually sabotaged by the federal government’s unwavering commitment to propping up the fossil fuel sector. For Canadian climate activists struggling against the expansion of tar sands pipelines and Harper’s Paleolithic energy policies, one big question looms: how do the Germans do it?

According to Tadzio Müller, the explanation is simple. “What the German government has done was the result of 35 years of social struggle by movements.” While it may be tempting to chalk up the change to a healthier public discourse or more reasonable elected officials, Müller insists it wouldn’t have happened without the tireless work of activists. “The laws that were passed were fought for by movements. The government has done only what it has been forced to do.”

Nowhere is this lesson more visible than in Chancellor Merkel’s 2011 decision to completely shut down German nuclear power in the wake of Fukushima. Müller notes that Merkel’s government at the time was “a conservative-neoliberal coalition that had being in favour of nuclear power as one of its key brand elements.”

Wed, 2013-10-09 15:51Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

Influence in America: A Report on TransCanada Corporation's Keystone XL Lobbying Activities

According to a new white paper by DeSmog Canada, TransCanada Corporation, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline proposal, has spent more than $4 million lobbying U.S. federal lawmakers and government department staff since 2010.  

The results can be found in a new white paper released today by DeSmog Canada that you can view here: Influence in America: A report on TransCanada Corporation's Keystone XL Lobbying Activities [PDF].

(or click on the image below to download the white paper)

Mon, 2013-10-07 15:15David Ravensbergen
David Ravensbergen's picture

Is the German Energy Transition Everything it’s Cracked Up to Be?

This is Part 2 of David Ravensbergen's series on the Germany Energy Transition. Read Part 1, In the Land of Wind and Solar and Part 3, Building a Popular Front Against Climate Change.

In the bleak realm of climate politics, Germany's progress on renewable electricity has been hailed as proof that another world may still be possible. In countries like Canada, addressing the energy crisis at the heart of climate change is something to be talked about now but accomplished later, once the economy has been adequately strengthened.

But economic growth is never sufficient: the goalposts are always moving, and there will always be more sacrifices to be made to ensure that the GDP continues to rise. As long as there’s bitumen in the ground, Canadians will be told that investment in clean energy will have to wait.

Things seem to work a bit differently in Germany, at least when it comes to electricity. Of course, Germany is just as committed as Canada to the sacred mission of securing economic growth. But this heavily industrialized exporter of high-quality manufactured goods has managed to maintain the world’s fourth-largest economy while undergoing a major transformation away from nuclear and fossil fuels. In this second installment in DeSmog Canada’s series on the German energy transition, we’ll take a closer look at the promise and the reality of the German response to climate change along with energy researcher Tadzio Müller.

Sat, 2013-10-05 12:13Guest
Guest's picture

Tecumseh's Ghost

tecumsehsghost allan gregg desmog canada tecumseh

This is a guest post by Allan R. Gregg, one of Canada's most recognized and respected senior research professionals and social commentators. Gregg is Chair of the Walrus Foundation and is a member of the DeSmog Canada Advisory Council. The original article is published on his website

200 years ago today, in what is now called Moraviantown, Ontario, the great Shawnee warrior, Tecumseh was killed defending Canada against invading American troops during the War of 1812.  After waging a fearsome battle with the encroaching American militia for over five years, Tecumseh had struck terror in the hearts of American settlers, soldiers and commanders alike. His alliance with the British General, Isaac Brock, and their victory at Detroit, decisively shifted the early momentum in the War to Canada’s favour.  No longer could the Americans boast that victory would be (as Thomas Jefferson promised then President James Madison) “a mere matter of marching.”  Indeed, it can be said that it was Tecumseh - as much as any other single individual - who saved Canada in the War of 1812.

Read more: Tecumseh's Ghost
Wed, 2013-10-02 11:31David Ravensbergen
David Ravensbergen's picture

In the Land of Wind and Solar: Germany's Energy Transition

solar germany

This is the first installment of a three-part series. Read Part 2, Is the German Energy Transition Everything It's Cracked Up to Be? and Part 3, Building a Popular Front Against Climate Change.

Last Sunday, German voters handed Chancellor Merkel a comfortable mandate for a third term in office in elections billed as “the most boring federal elections ever.” 

The victory of Merkel’s ruling Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) was nearly a foregone conclusion. With Merkel’s hardline policies on the Euro safeguarding the German economy in the midst of a Europe wracked by crisis, and her main rivals the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) failing to offer any serious alternative, German voters saw no reason to try any new experiments  

But behind the bland façade of German prosperity major changes are afoot. What the predictable election results don’t show is the ongoing long-term transformation of the German energy sector, referred to as the Energiewende or energy transition. Building on the support of an unlikely coalition ranging from radical environmentalists to conservative CDU/CSU voters, the Energiewende aims at the kind of progress on energy and climate that most western governments argue is both politically and economically unfeasible.

Tue, 2013-08-20 09:57

Surveillance in Canada 101

surveillance in canada

This article originally appeared on

The information leaked by Edward Snowden about the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA)’s data collection programs is driving a nation-wide debate in America over the future of privacy and national security. Americans, however, are not the only ones who should be considering the consequences the NSA’s activities. Other countries, including Canada, operate similar surveillance programs and participate in national security data sharing partnerships that crisscross the globe. Given this reality, and the fact that much of Canadians’ online data flows though servers located in the U.S. where it is not subject to any Fourth Amendment protection, we think the tenor of the privacy-security debate within Canada is too quiet. Expanding the debate will require engaging more Canadians with what we know and don’t know about surveillance in Canada. To this end, here is a modest exploration of what we’ve learned since the Snowden story broke.

What kind of data is the Canadian government collecting?

Mon, 2013-08-12 09:58Carol Linnitt
Carol Linnitt's picture

The Chill Effect: Wild Salmon Advocate Learns $75,000 Lesson in Court So You Won’t Have To

wild salmon farmed salmon don staniford bc mainstream canada

Recently the BC Court of Appeal fined an anti-fish farm activist named Don Staniford $75,000 plus court fees for defamation. Staniford’s work to advertise the dangers fish farms pose to wild salmon stocks did not constitute fair comment, said the judge, because he failed to adequately cite scientific information.

Staniford, a British citizen visiting BC, campaigned against Norwegian fish farming giant Mainstream Canada with mock cigarette packages reading “Salmon Farming Kills,” “Salmon Farming is Poison,” and “Salmon Farming Seriously Damages Health.” The Court of Appeal found these statements to be defamatory.

Although the BC Supreme Court ruled Staniford’s message legally fell within his right to ‘fair comment,’ the BC Court of Appeal overturned that decision, saying Staniford’s claims failed to fully meet the requirements needed to invoke fair comment protections. What he neglected to do was ‘sufficiently state’ the factual basis of his claims on what the court deemed to be the defamatory pages on his website and a press release.

Sat, 2013-07-06 08:46Elizabeth Hand
Elizabeth Hand's picture

The CFIA's PR War On Salmon: Internationally Renowned Canadian OIE Research Lab Loses The Battle They Shouldn't Have to Fight

salmon prespawn mortality
Early detection of a lethal virus in salmon won’t win you any gratitude in Canada, but it could get you internationally discredited. That’s what happened Dr. Frederick Kibenge and associates at his lab at the Atlantic Veterinary College of Prince Edward Island when he positively identified the presence of the Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus (ISAv) in samples taken from B.C. fish. 
Dr. Kibenge, internationally renowned expert on the ISA, runs one of only two independent research labs recognized by World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). His lab is responsible for diagnosing Chile’s fish farms with the ISA in 2007. The virus was tracked back to eggs originating in Norway. When he detected the ISA virus in B.C. salmon, he found that he was up against more than just a lethal epidemic—he had to fear for his scientific credibility. 
Because of his findings, “Dr. Kibenge was subpoenaed to testify at the Cohen Commission. In December 2011, he told he Commission about the positive test results for ISA virus sequences he obtained from Rivers Inlet Fraser River Salmon.” The CFIA claimed that because his lab could not recreate the original results, his international certification ought to be revoked. 


Subscribe to General