Alberta’s Danielle Smith Claims Climate Science Is Not Settled

A strong contender to become Alberta’s next Premier, Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith, has been in the hot seat lately over her statement that “the science [of climate change] isn’t settled, and we need to continue to monitor the debate.” She made the comment in an online leadership debate that two Alberta newspapers had organized.

Despite repeated questions from media and other candidates for Alberta’s upcoming election, Smith has so far avoided clarifying her stand on man-made climate change. Instead, she focuses on her support for extracting oil from the province’s tar sands.

Her stand has not wavered from her 2010 speech to the Wildrose annual general meeting, when she insisted critics of the oil sands were distorting the truth. Reacting to charges that “oil sands oil produces three times the greenhouse gases of conventional oil,” she said:

Now the fact is, by the time you take it out of the ground in Saudi Arabia, ship it, pipe it, truck it, refine it, it’s practically the same. They say mining the oil sands produces more carbon dioxide than is produced by all the cars in Canada combined. The fact is oil sands emissions make up just five percent of Canada’s total emissions, a fraction of the amount that’s produced by other sources.

That is as close as Smith comes to making any substantive comment on climate change. On her website, she slams the Alberta government’s “massive funding for selected carbon capture and storage experiments and oilsands lease cancellations under the guise of a land-use framework.” She goes on to say,

A better alternative is examining Alberta’s total emissions from all energy sources and working with energy producers to develop economically viable solutions that will yield measurable improvements to air, land and water province-wide.

Her statements are in line with Wildrose Party policy of skepticism toward climate science. Smith insists she is a realist, not a denier.

University of Alberta ecologist David Schindler reacted quickly to her statement that the science is still unsettled. “For a party leader to say, ‘Oh, we’ve got to procrastinate more until the science is settled is just disgusting. We have to expect more command of science in our leader than this, for crying out loud.’”

Related Care2 Stories

Canadian Minister Promotes Tar Sands at a Climate Summit

Who Are the Real Advocates for Oil?

Half of Canadians Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Dale Overall

Lol, when was the last time that a conservative or like-minded government has NOT been in charge of Alberta!
Nothing surprises me although yes, there are many residing in Alberta who do not subscribe to such 'ideals' of dig it up and ship it out!

Michael O.
Michael O6 years ago

What a relief that Danielle Smith lost the election. We have more than enough ignorant political leaders hailing from Alberta as it is (hello there Prime Minister Harper...)

bob m.
bob m6 years ago

uh huh.. and in the last 150 years.. we hilarious humans ..(now what 6-9 billion of us have been doing increasingly funny things too... time out.

bob m.
bob m6 years ago

ooh Mark; hey ..Don't bomb us all pal... harper a Psychopath?... my my .... a sociopath? maybe but ...
as to Seal penis .. hey ... I've been pushing that one a long time but China rates WAYYYY ahead of the harp... you just do a bit of research about Asian , Chines cruelty ... Harpers a piker in that.... An idiot ,insensitive corporatist running dog .. yes.

Mark Donners
Mark Donner6 years ago

This kind of weaselly immoral statement is what is to be expected from Canada and its thuggish "ministers". Canada has turned into one of the most renegade environmental nations on earth led by that psychopath Harper. It's about time today's Canada is isolated and shunned by the world community. Canada is now not only a threat limited to Canada, it has become a threat to the future of the entire earth. Even China is disgusted by Canada's bloodbath seal pup massacres, and Harper running to China to peddle seal penises fails there too after the entire world bans Canada's bloody trade.

Tia Simon
Tia Simon6 years ago

To the 10% that voted "yes", instead of reading peer-reviewed scientific journals from climate scientists (whom 100% agree human-caused climate change is real, and is urgently catastrophic), you must be getting your "real science" from Fox news talk shows. Good job. The worst of it is, you are not the ones who will be making all that money from fossil fuel extractions. Nope, you are funding your 1%, who don't give a hoot about you.

Thomas Syck
Grover Syck6 years ago

Another far fight corporate owned politician.

Jonathan Netherton

What else does one expect to come out of the mouths of those who are running for the high seat of the world's newest petrostate?

Nimue Pendragon

She must have been taking Palin's stupid pills.

Dave C.
David C6 years ago

must be like American politicians and only reading the propoganda their financial supporters ask them to read.........