May 15 – What are you reading?

In times of evasive truth, some solid information sources you can rely upon

A few weeks ago, a friend shared a link to a climate story by the Fraser Institute, a think tank based in Vancouver.  The Fraser Institute has long been an advocate of classic right-leaning economics and politics, but has more recently moved into the realm of climate change and now self-declares as an expert in that space too.

The institute’s story claimed that the threats posed by climate change are greatly exaggerated.  To an unsuspecting reader, it sounded credible enough – but in actuality it was full of misinformation, supported by cherry-picked data and citations from the same small pool of people (including the author himself) who still deny climate change.

So why would a well-meaning person like my friend believe or share something like that?  I suppose it’s because of two sad realities:

  • First, if all you read on a subject comes from one perspective, you’ll come to accept that perspective as truth (it’s not totally surprising that people who read only the National Post and the Wall Street Journal question climate change because those publications rarely give the topic any coverage)
  • Second, if you don’t take the time to think and discern when you read, you’re very vulnerable to being misled (and, perhaps worse, further spreading misinformation).

It underlines the importance of getting information from credible sources; sometimes checking second or third credible sources for confirmation and consistency; and assessing everything with a discerning eye, if one wishes to be well-informed on an issue.

If you’re intent on being well informed on climate science and solutions, credible sources matter.  I strive to set a high bar in my work, and here are a few sources I trust to be accurate, helpful and credible.

Environmental measurements and climate forecasts:

Emissions data:

Forecasts, trends, policies:

  • Global forecasts of energy needs, energy sources, trends in renewables, electric vehicle adoption and more: the International Energy Agency, an intergovernmental organization with over 30 member countries representing the world’s biggest economies.
  • Global updates for everything from renewable energy technologies to hydrogen to energy storage, including analysis and data: IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency, an intergovernmental organization with 169 member countries.

News and stories about recent developments:

  • About the Canadian transition to renewables, with specific expertise in electric vehicles: Clean Energy Canada; its free weekly e-letter, the Clean Energy Review, never fails to provide interesting and useful information.
  • In the world of sustainability in health care: The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care; its biweekly newsletter The Green Digest shares educational resources, case examples, best practices and upcoming events.
  • In the world of sustainability in financing: the biweekly GreenMoney newsletter
  • Great general roundup on all of the above: The Energy Mix, a non-profit Canadian news site with a focus on stories about climate, sustainability and solutions; if you have time for nothing else, its Energy Mix Digest newsletter will give you a pretty solid background on what’s happening in the world of climate and energy.
  • Great data about a broad range of subjects: Our World in Data, a non-profit platform run out of Oxford University in England

It’s rare to find a source that doesn’t have at least some degree of bias, so a discerning eye is always a good thing.  But if you want to be confidently well informed about climate change and its solutions, I hope you’ll find the above links informative, credible and helpful – maybe even worth saving and sharing!

(And – this is only a sample; do you have a favourite source you trust?  If so, please hit reply and share!)

In the news:

Ouch: NB Premier Blaine Higgs admits on national radio that he has more faith in the carbon pricing analysis of the Fraser Institute than that of Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer.

Most of the 380 top climate scientists who responded to a recent survey believe the planet will warm far above the Paris Agreement target of 1.5 degrees C this century because insufficient action is being taken; this former head of the IPCC process believes stubborn optimism may be our only hope.

Vermont becomes the first US state to pass a bill to charge fossil fuel companies for damage from climate change.


“Climate policies are not a significant driver of the rising cost of living. Nor will removing policies such as carbon pricing materially improve the situation.”

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