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 with Rob Miskosky

What's the Truth?

I recently read an article in The Narwhal, a Canadian investigative online magazine that focuses on environmental issues (read left-wing) titled, “It isn’t arson: untangling climate misinformation around Canada’s raging wildfires.” The article went on to talk about how climate change is “real” and that we shouldn’t be buying into the fact that arson has played a large part in this year’s wildfires stating, “Supposedly it’s arson, not natural forces or human carelessness coupled with a hotter and drier climate, that’s the real culprit for the choking smoke...”

In fairness, The Narwhal admitted that “some” wildfires were started by arsonists. “Arson happens, but it is rare,” they wrote.

The article went on to say that “Everyone is carrying the anxiety of a changing planet” thus the reason many are buying into conspiracy theories saying, “And there’s the long-running classic, that the wildfires are purposely lit to give the Trudeau government cover to increase the carbon price, which is one of the most effective tools to reduce industrial emissions.”

I wish someone would explain to me how the ridiculous (carbon tax) price of gas for my vehicle and to heat my home is going to save the planet?

The Narwhal then went on to blame Conservatives for not taking climate change as real and then blamed social media, claiming, “Since July 2022, when Elon Musk took over the platform (Twitter), the Climate Action Against Disinformation coalition has observed an increase in climate denial content on Twitter.”

Not once in the article does The Narwhal talk to a scientist on the other side of the climate change debate, and there are many on that side with exemplary credentials speaking out.

According to an article in True North, a Canadian digital media platform focused on breaking news and investigative reporting (read right-wing) titled, “FACT CHECK: Trudeau and legacy media’s wildfire fear mongering not grounded in evidence”, tells a different story. No, not that arson is the reason for this year’s wildfires but rather, the fact that wildfires are not increasing and, “In reality, Canada has experienced several years where the area burned by forest fires was much larger including in 1989, 1994 and 1995.”

“Data from the Canadian National Large Fire Database shows that the number of wildland fires has been decreasing over the past 40 years. The area burned by wildfires each year also does not show a clear enough trend to support the extraordinary claims about climate change.”

Also from True North, “In 40% of recorded cases, humans have caused wildfires as a result of activity such as open burning, vehicle use, industrial activity, fireworks or discarding burning items. Intentionally set fires due to arson can also be a cause like in the case of the 29 Okanagan fires from 2014 to 2018 that were discovered to be deliberately set by an RCMP taskforce.”

The Narwhal lost me when they brought up COVID and added in their article, “... [when] health officials advised people to stay indoors or wear masks outside it activated people who felt COVID-19 lockdowns had curtailed their freedoms—and ignored that N95 masks prevent both the spread of viruses and inhalation of harmful smoke.”

Huh! I thought it’s been proven that masks do not prevent the spread of viruses! Pretty sure. And COVID lockdowns did curtail our freedoms.

In a CTV news article, Dr. Shawn Aaron, respirologist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute says, “Since N95 face masks can protect from fine particulates, they may not be able to fully protect people from volatile gasses being produced by the fires that continuously pollute the air.” I assume that would include viruses?

The Narwhal article never said that, they said, “N95 masks ‘prevent’ both the spread of viruses and inhalation of harmful smoke.” Not really true.

Prior to The Narwhal article, Justin Trudeau said in a Tweet, “We’re seeing more and more of these fires because of climate change.” Again, completely false.

According to Ross McKitrick, professor of environmental economics at the University of Guelph and a senior fellow of the Fraser Institute, “When it comes to climate change, we’re constantly told to ‘follow the science.’ Yet the same people who say that also regularly fabricate claims about trends in forest fires, both here in Canada and globally, and the connection to climate change. Science tells us forest fires are not becoming more common and the average area burned peaked 30 years ago.”

Regardless of our political stripes, we all need to be asking the same question, what’s the truth? For me, the truth isn’t coming from The Narwhal.

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