Regina mayor asks committee to reconsider Patrick Moore's involvement in sustainability conference

After social media backlash, Mayor Michael Fougere has asked organizers to reconsider the role Patrick Moore will have at the city’s sustainability conference this spring. “He is controversial, that is clear and so I’ve asked the co-chairs to look at this again,” said Fougere in an interview Monday, adding he doesn’t want anyone to lose sight of the overall goal of the conference, which is to spark debate and discussion on how to reach renewable energy goals. Speaking to the Leader-Post late afternoon, Moore urged people not to “pre-judge” his presentation, but to come and see it. “These people don’t know what I’m going to talk about because I have a new presentation that I haven’t given to many audiences before.” Moore is on the board of directors of the CO2 Coalition, an organization that promotes the idea creating carbon dioxide is beneficial to the world. He has been widely criticized for calling the climate crisis fake news and fake science. “There is no climate crisis,” he said on an episode of Fox & Friends last year. Moore denied he’s a climate change denier. While he agrees the climate is changing, “I don’t agree that we have any serious evidence that CO2 is actually the main driver of the whole world’s climate,” he said. “We do have an effect on the climate, at least at that local level. At a global level there is no actual hard evidence that we are in charge of the global climate,” he contended. Calling Moore’s position “problematic,” Andrew Szava-Kovats, a physician from Calgary started an online petition to have him removed as a speaker at the conference. “The fact is there’s a strong scientific consensus that it is CO2 that’s driving (climate change) and it is manmade CO2.” He likened Moore’s participation in the conference to having someone spreading misinformation about vaccines at a public health conference and called it inappropriate. The petition, started three days ago, had more than 1,300 signatures as of Monday afternoon. Some local groups are also raising issues with the Reimagine Conference. “It was evident on social media, the growing number of folks who wanted to address it,” said Shanon Zachidniak, founder and co-chair of EnviroCollective in an interview Monday. “It’s very concerning to us as well and we feel that by partnering with others to come up with a collective response, we’ll have more of an impact.” EnviroCollective planned a strategy session for Monday night at the Artesian. She said the city’s decision to bring in Moore, as well as a lack of diversity among the keynote speakers in general “who are all male and almost all white” inspired them to invite other individuals, groups and environmental organizations to brainstorm ways the conference could be improved. It may result in recommendations for the city. “Some have pointed to the fact that we don’t actually really need a conference to access strategies to become a renewable city. There are lots of places that have done this work already,” said Zachidniak. “What we could do instead is just talk to these different jurisdictions and learn from them and build on best practices.” Asked if speakers should at least agree on the causes of climate change, to participate in the conference, Fougere said that’s not what it’s supposed to be about. “I don’t think that we’re having a discussion on the science of this,” he said. “I think we all would agree that there is man-made climate change happening and we need to respond to that.” He also reiterated the committee’s goal to bring a variety of viewpoints and approaches to the conference, but it’s an argument Szava-Kovats says should come with a caveat. “Having a discussion about opposing viewpoints is an important part of democracy, but those viewpoints should be backed by real science,” he said. Fougere said residents can expect an announcement regarding Moore’s role in the conference “in short order.” The Reimagine Conference is meant to help guide the development of the city’s Environmental Sustainability Framework, a plan to reach city council’s target to become a fully renewable city by 2050. The cost to register for the conference is $300. Residents interested learning more can visit regina.ca/reimagine.   This article appeared on the Regina Leader-Post website at https://leaderpost.com/news/local-news/regina-mayor-asks-committee-to-reconsider-patrick-moores-involvement-in-sustainability-conference]]>

Subscribe to Our Informative Weekly Newsletter Here:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.