Lawrence Solomon: Massive Canadian carbon sink disappears

(Nov. 25, 2010) Federal government pulls the plug on funding for carbon-related research.

The Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, a recipient since 2000 of $110-million in federal taxpayer funding, is shutting its doors after failing to convince federal and provincial governments to keep it afloat. The foundation describes itself as “Canada’s premier funder of university-based weather and climate research.”

In 2010, this foundation, one of Canada’s biggest sinks for carbon-related research dollars, funded, among other works, “Wind Energy in Canada: the Basics, the Resource, the Opportunity” a video for high school and university students whose goal “is to expand knowledge about wind energy and to encourage its acceptance and increased use.”

The foundation’s coup for the year, however, may have been “Integrated Climate Change Learning Resource for Grade 6.” Produced by Andrew Weaver at the University of Victoria, considered by many to be Canada’s most accomplished climate scientist, this work addressed what it saw as a pressing elementary school need – introducing children to the climate change imperative: “While global warming is the most significant environmental issue of our time, it receives little attention in the Canadian school system,” the foundation explained.

All told, the foundation supported over 200 major scientific initiatives through research grants totalling more than $117-million at 37 Canadian universities.

It will be sorely missed by its many grant recipients.

Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, November 25, 2010

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