Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Jimmy Carter's Bonfire of the Vanities | Main | Responsible reform »

Thursday, February 22, 2007

David Suzuki: an ad hominem

I do not usually like ad hominem arguments.

Actually, to be honest, I usually do like them when they attack people with whom I disagree, but I do not find them persuasive. And sometimes they are just too much fun to resist. Here is a great one, attacking the integrity of noted Canadian geneticist and environmentalist, David Suzuki.

... Suzuki dismisses questions about the scientific integrity of Kyoto, characterizing as "a lot of baloney" [interviewer, John] Oakley’s observation that "a lot of scientists feel they're intimidated from speaking out…"

"2,500 scientists signed the IPCC (Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change) Report on February 2!" Suzuki exclaims. (To hear the audio clip click here.)

... I decided to check this out for myself – and discovered that, in fact, only 51 individuals signed the IPCC Report released on February 2.

... After Suzuki insinuates that scientists who disagree with him are "shilling" for big corporations, Oakley asks him where he gets his funding. Suzuki replies that his foundation takes no money from governments and complains that “corporations have not been interested in funding us."

... Actually, the David Suzuki Foundation’s annual report for 2005/2006 lists at least 52 corporate donors including: Bell Canada, Toyota, IBM, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Microsoft, Scotia Capital, Warner Brothers, RBC, Canon and Bank of Montreal.

The David Suzuki Foundation also received donations from EnCana Corporation, a world leader in natural gas production and oil sands development, ATCO Gas, Alberta’s principle distributor of natural gas, and a number of pension funds including the OPG (Ontario Power Generation) Employees’ and Pensioners’ Charity Trust. OPG is one of the largest suppliers of electricity in the world operating 5 fossil fuel-burning generation plants and 3 nuclear plants... which begs the question – is Suzuki now pro-nuclear power?

This is a man who has his own television show on a network sponsored by Canadian taxpayers and then claims that he takes no money from gubmnt. Yeah, sure.


Posted by EclectEcon on February 22, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference David Suzuki: an ad hominem:


It's interesting watching the response to evidence that CO2 levels are a poor fit with observed temperature patterns including the Medieval Warming and the cooling period of the mid 20th century.

The response of "you're cherry-picking" will be used for any data which challenge the received wisdom of the AGW fear-mongers.

Just as every weather event, or non-event, is being divined as supporting this 'consensus', every piece of contrary evidence can now be dismissed as cherry-picking, no doubt from someone co-opted by big oil.

If the theory doesn't explain all the facts, then clearly those facts are wrong. Nice science...

Posted by: Halfwise | 2007-02-22 6:04:36 AM

Suzuki is primarily an actor. His pro forma is ideally designed for the people's network (CBC)
but in the real world of environmental engineering
and technology the Suzukis' and Gores' don't contribute much of significance. Hard working and high quality Scientists and Engineers in the international technology sector are devoting thousands of hours and millions of dollars directed to focused solutions for real and continuing environmental problems. The Canadian bureaucrats who wrote the ill coceived Koyoto Accords look upon
Suzuki as some sort of Saint - MacLeod

Posted by: Jack MacLeod | 2007-02-22 6:08:41 AM

This is not an ad hominen attack. Proving that Suzuki has made false statements is not attacking him personally. It's attacking what he says. If he ends up diminished in the eyes of the reader it's because he's made false statements, not because of a generalized attack upon his character or personality.

Posted by: Terry Gain | 2007-02-22 6:55:24 AM

does anyone know how much money the doc. or his foundation receives from the peoples network.he seems to be on cbc a lot and must get some reward for his appearences.hbw

Posted by: harold | 2007-02-22 8:55:17 AM

Suzuki is the Vincent Price of the global warming frenzy. Have a laugh here.


Posted by: Duke | 2007-02-22 9:12:27 AM

Where does he get his money ???

Socialist will take anyones money anytime, anywhere ... They have none of their own since they don't believe in the free Capitalist tradition of creating and building wealth then sharing with OTHERS.

The prefer to be and remain the "OTHERS",

And with obvious ingratitude.

Posted by: Duke | 2007-02-22 9:23:23 AM

Lost all respect for Suzuki when one of his columns noted how much more energy we use per capita in Ontario then in NY State as an example of how much better we could do with conservation.

I was puzzled until I realized the primary employer in NY is probably banks or corporate head offices etc. Not nearly as high a % of pulp and paper processing plants, aluminum smelters, car plants or other high energy users per capita in NY. Suzuki obviously knows this but used that stat to fit his agenda.

Posted by: Paul Stevens | 2007-02-22 9:50:54 AM

By Suzuki's own reckoning regarding the number of scientists who signed the IPCC report (stated 2,500 - actual 51) his foundation would receive funding from at least 2,500 corporations? LOL

Posted by: Fed-Up in NWO | 2007-02-22 9:59:52 AM

Celebrities like David Suzuki, Paris Hilton and that guy on TV are much better accountants than they lead people to believe - they know exactly where the money is and where it's going - they have to, they know that their value lies entirely in their celebrity status, it's a tenuous position.

Posted by: philanthropist | 2007-02-22 10:26:57 AM

Don't you just love these armchair socialists like suzuki? We can't really blame him for not getting off the gravy-train, after all who is willing to give up such a good thing. I do take issue however with these people not walking the talk. They are not about to give up their lifestyle but are hell-bent on imposing what they term as required sacrifices on the masses.

Posted by: Alain | 2007-02-22 11:46:52 AM

Actually, it is still an ad hominem. Instead of debating the merits of his position, it is attacking his motives.

Too bad for Suzuki that his only position seems to be attacking his opponents' motives...

"Deniers work for big oil, Bush, yada, yada."

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-02-22 5:25:53 PM

re: "too bad for Suzuki that his only position sees to be attacking his opponent's motives..."

I remember vividly Mr Suzuki's speaking tour in support of his short-lived science (periodical-type) magazine back in the 80s. When I saw him in Prince George, he spent the pretty much the whole time saying bad things about Guccione and OMNI (mostly snide references to the Penthouse connection and the fact that Guccione wasn't a scientist) and almost no time at all talking about how good his magazine was or why it would be better. I learned more about Suzuki than science or magazines that night.

Posted by: Ron Good | 2007-02-22 6:19:48 PM

Suzuki is an idiot. What worries me is the uncomfortable notion of Encana bucks in Suzuki's wallet. I thought they were smarter.

Posted by: peterS | 2007-02-22 11:57:01 PM

Not only does dave take money from Suzuki he plugs their hybrid on his website.

16 web pages,

Here he drives a tour bus to help kill the whales.

could have used a GM express for 8 people,

Do as I say, not as the prophet for profit does.

Posted by: ghollingshead | 2007-02-23 5:52:50 AM

It is reasoning by analogy as well: He lied about his donors therefore he lies about climate change.

Posted by: Fred Z | 2007-02-23 9:46:44 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.