Serious discussion needed

April 29, 2015   ·   0 Comments

Mark van Trigt attempts to discredit my April 1st opinion piece about how the Ontario government did not report the input of citizens who disagreed with them on climate change at the Ottawa town hall by calling my article “a general mail-out.” It was not. It was an opinion piece sent to a number of carefully selected media outlets, the Orangeville Citizen being one of them.

Van Trigt next tries to discredit the group I lead, the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC), as having “close connections to the Heartland Institute”, a group he apparently dislikes and asserts are funded by groups he seems to disapprove of.

There are two logical fallacies (errors in reasoning) here:

It is a “guilt by association” logical fallacy to discount ICSC’s arguments because we occasionally work with Heartland on climate change. All that matters is whether what we are saying is correct or not, an issue that Van Trigt does not address.

It is also a “motive intent” logical fallacy (assuming that what someone says is wrong because they appear to have a motivation to lie) to condemn Heartland’s point of view because of their rumoured funding sources.

Next Van Trigt attempts to discredit ICSC further by again discrediting Heartland, asserting that one of the scientists that works with them supposedly holds positions on other issues Van Trigt does not like. This is a double guilt by association logical fallacy, in that he is trying to discredit us by pointing out our association with a group who is associated with someone he disapproves of.

Instead of encouraging people to look at the data themselves and make up their own minds about climate change, people like Van Trigt attempt to divert readers to think about supposedly nefarious connections between groups he seems to assume readers will disapprove of. Such a strategy has no place in a serious discussion about climate change.

His letter is useful, however, as a demonstration of how the climate debate often degenerates into the ridiculous. No wonder most climate debates end up in angry name-calling.

Tom Harris

Executive Director,

International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)


Make Orangeville Shine all year

On behalf of the Rotary Club of Orangeville, the Orangeville Sustainability Action Team and the Town of Orangeville we would like to thank all the “green” environmentally-conscious residents of all ages who came out on Saturday, April 25th to Make Orangeville Shine, plant 500 trees and enjoy a lovely barbeque.   Special thanks go to sponsors Tim Hortons, TD Friends of the Environment, Credit Valley Conservation, RBC, Montgomery Village Seniors Community, Watermaker, Best Western, Orangeville BIA, Dufferin County and Zehrs.  Partnerships and sponsors are critical to ensure the success of this event and we couldn’t do it without them.

The Orangeville Police Services also receive kudos for making their presence visible during the cleanup to keep our volunteers safe on the major roadways.  Thanks to Chief Kalinski for coming out and supporting our event.

Although it was a slightly chilly start to the day, the weather cooperated with clear sunny skies and no rain or snow.

This event has been going on for 25 years, and serves as a reminder of how we have to look after our planet.

Maybe the cleanup should be an ongoing process, rather than a one shot deal.  Do you have some green space around your property that you could keep tidy on a regular basis?  If you have a business in town, do you make a point of clearing the parking lot areas and gardens around?

If you see a pop can or bottle lying on the ground, please take a minute to pick it up and find a trash can. Or if tissues fly out of your car when you open the door, make an effort to gather them up instead of letting them blow down the street.  Every little bit helps towards keeping the town “Shining” 24/7.  Although they are small, and thank goodness there are less of them now than when this project started 25 years ago, cigarette butts are also considered litter.

Together we can all make a difference to keep our town clean and healthy.

Rotary Club of Orangeville

Orangeville Sustainability Action Team

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