Margaret Wente

Tue, 2012-10-02 06:00Kevin Grandia
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Andrew Coyne's Connections to Free Market Think Tanks; Disclosure Lacking

Andrew Coyne, the a former editor of Maclean's magazine, founding opinionator for the National Post and frequent political pundit on CBC, has a rather long history tying him to free-market think tanks in Canada. 

According to the Canadian government's charity registry, Coyne has been a director for at least the last six years in a group called the Aurea Foundation. The Aurea Foundation was founded by Peter Munk, the head of Barrick Gold, and is a major funder of a small but influential network of free-market think tanks in Canada, including: The Fraser Institute, the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, the Frontier Center for Public Policy, the Montreal Economic Institute and the MacDonald Laurier Institute. 

Most of these groups espouse a philosophy similar to US free market think tanks like the Competitive Enterprise Instiute, the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation. In fact, most of these think tanks and some of their Canadian counterparts have been a major focus of the DeSmog team's work dissecting and exposing the climate change denial machine.

Making this complicated for Coyne is that the fact that some of these Canadian think tanks have been used as sources of information for Coyne's articles and op-ed pieces without the disclosure by Coyne that he sits on the board of Aurea.

Mon, 2011-12-05 23:15Jim Hoggan
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Denial Of Facts Is No Way To Understand Science

On Thursday December 1st, Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente declared herself a defender of scientific integrity by calling upon the scientific community to replace the “rhetoric” of climate change with open, honest debate.

According to Ms. Wente, the impacts of climate change remain a future fantasy, unquantifiable by data collected through “insanely complicated” climate science. Her perspective is informed by the omission of facts, falsehoods, and fake experts. In a dance with smoke and mirrors she creates issues where none exist and ignores others that do.

There was a time when I couldn’t understand what motivated writers like Wente to stand so firmly against such clear and solid science. The psychology of “confirmation bias” has provided the answer for me. 

Like all of us, Wente has her biases, and most of us, like her, like to have those biases confirmed. So we seek out the information that confirms what we already believe and disregard that information that might prove us wrong.

As a columnist, Wente presents the information which confirms her ideological beliefs as truths and facts to the readers of the Globe and Mail. She excels as a columnist in part because she mocks and jeers her detractors. This pleases the people who agree with her but makes her loathed by those who don’t.  It provokes reaction on both sides, and eliminates any possibility of civil conversation.

Fri, 2010-08-06 10:23Emily Murgatroyd
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Regina Newspaper Calls on Skeptics to Put Their Money Where There Mouth Is

Local Regina publication, Prairie Dog Magazine, is laying down the gauntlet by asking climate change skeptics to record their doubts on paper.

The magazine has created a declaration that outlines various scenarios for rejecting scientific consensus and has mailed it to several public figures who have openly expressed skepticism on the issue of global warming, including Stephen Harper, Margaret Wente, Rex Murphy, Tim Ball and Ross McKitrick amongst others. 

The plan to check in with the skeptics in 10 years is all about “accountability” and the magazine states that should they be wrong they will give credit where credit is due. And if they’re right…..it’s a sad bet to win.

Fri, 2008-01-11 09:34Richard Littlemore
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Patterson, Wente: bringing ideological blindness to the people

In a laughable Margaret Wente column (forgiving the redundancy) in the Globe and Mail this week, we were called upon to feel sorry for Carleton University professor Dr. Tim Patterson:

Prof. Patterson never set out to be a global-warming dissenter. “It’s my bad luck. I just go where the research takes me.”

This may be true in some parallel universe, but Prof. Patterson is famously reticent to let his research take him beyond 1980, when the evidence for his favorite thesis falls to ruins.

Thu, 2006-10-26 10:39Richard Littlemore
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Climate Change: It's Just Too Difficult, Darling ...

Enviro Minister AmbroseGlobe and Mail columnist Peggy Wente, so recently converted to the cause of climate change, weighs in again today to say that she “almost” feels sorry for Canadian Environment Minister Rona Ambrose.

While acknowledging that Ambrose's proposed Clean Air Act is a joke that won't begin to address climate change within a realistic time frame, Wente goes on to say that nothing Canada does will solve the problem worldwide.
Tue, 2006-09-12 11:11Richard Littlemore
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Margaret Wente's Climate Conversion: From Denial to Despair

Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente, who was still contesting the science of climate change as recently as last December, has become a convert.

In her column today (we regret that the Globe finds her prose too precious to share online) she begins by saying:

“Last week a clear-headed woman (Frances Cairncross, president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science) got up and said in public what no politician, not even Stephen Harper, is brave enough to say.

Thu, 2005-12-08 14:22Jim Hoggan
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And Margaret Wente: Facts make me itchy

In columnist Margaret Wente's periodic rant (to which the Toronto Globe and Mail denies access unless you are an online subscriber), we are treated to the rhetorical question: “Why wreck a good story with the fine print?”

Why, indeed? Certainly, Wente is careful not to offend on that count.

 Her general tack on climate change – an issue into which she regularly dips her toe, but no more – is to dismiss the issue as unknowable, and to castigate anyone who expresses concern as a wrong-headed enviro-whacko or a dupe. In a recent column, for example, she made fun of her uptown friends who have switched to driving hybrid SUVs, a gesture that Wente condemned as hollow. It turns out that fuel efficiency in a hybrid SUV, while an improvement, is still much worse than, say, a bicycle. Wente ridiculed her friends' unwillingness to make a bigger sacrifice as a show of insincerity. Really, if you're going to be cavalier, why not deny the problem altogether?

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