The Canadian Energy Center (CEC), commonly known as Jason Kenney’s ‘War Room’, used taxpayers’ money to promote a column downplaying the emergency of climate change.

Michael Shellenbeger, an American environment and energy commentator, recently wrote an opinion piece for The Australian, apologising for creating a “climate scare”. 

He wrote: “On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologise for the climate scare we created over the past 30 years,” wrote Shellenberger in his 1,700-word article.” Quillette also published his opinion piece on their website. 

The CEC, created by the Alberta government to promote the province’s oil and gas sector, paid to sponsor the article published on Quillette as a Facebook ad. 

One of Shellenberger’s claims is that ‘climate change is not making environmental disasters worse’. However, there is plenty of evidence to suggest this is not the case. According to an article published by the Public Health Institute, “a warming planet does create the conditions that make…extreme weather events more likely, and more severe.” 

Shellenberger also claims that “fires have declined 25% around the world since 2003”, when this, again, is a disputable claim. Yale Environment 360 quoted James Randerson, a scientist at The University of California, in an article on two decades of wildfire, who said: “Even as the global burned area number has declined…we are seeing a significant increase in the intensity and reach of fires…because of climate change.” 

While the founder of Quillette, Claire Lehmann, has called the online magazine a space for “fearless creativity to thrive”, others have suggested it “normalizes the alt-right.” 

The CEC is funded by the Alberta government. Before recently slashing its budget, the ‘energy war room’ had a $30 million budget, mostly for paid advertisement campaigns.


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