Is David Suzuki a science denier? – by Margaret Wente (Globe and Mail – May 1, 2018)

Folks in the oil patch are mad as hornets over the University of Alberta’s decision to give an honorary degree to David Suzuki in June. Big donors are threatening to cancel cheques and pull the plug on future contributions.

A petition calling for the university to change its mind has garnered 14,000 signatures. Even the deans of business and engineering have issued anguished letters of apology to distance themselves from the decision.

Are they being too thin-skinned? I don’t think so. The U of A has just given them the middle finger. Mr. Suzuki has compared making a living in the oil sands to profiting off the slave trade.

He clearly wants to take their livelihood away – at the very moment when their one and only hope for getting oil to tidewater, the Trans Mountain pipeline extension, seems hopelessly stuck. He is their chief tormentor. Even Rachel Notley, Alberta’s Premier, was moved to say that the university’s decision was “a bit tone-deaf.“

Honorary degrees don’t mean much anymore. Any celebrity can get one (and has). Their main purpose is to gain some cheap publicity and reflected glory for the granting institution.

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