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Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

April 29, 2003

U of G prof nominated for Donner Prize

University of Guelph professor Ross McKitrick has been shortlisted for the 2002/2003 Donner Prize for Taken By Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming. The winner of the $25,000 prize for best book on Canadian public policy will be announced at an awards ceremony in Toronto May 8.

Taken By Storm, which McKitrick co-authored with University of Western Ontario professor Christopher Essex, explores the growing conflict between science and policy-making. The book was also shortlisted for the Canadian Science Writers' Association Prize for best adult science book of the year.

The Donner Prize, created by the Donner Canadian Foundation in 1998, is the largest award of its kind in Canada. In addition to the top prize, two runners-up receive $10,000 each. Other nominees include books on trade, water, immigration, prison and climate policies.

"Chris and I were really pleased to have our efforts recognized by the Donner Prize jury," said McKitrick. "While Taken By Storm covers a lot of technical issues related to climate change, at heart it is a book about the policy process, how it was unprepared for the complexity of the global warming issue and how we can handle these challenges better."

The nominees were announced by Donner Canadian Foundation chair Allan Gotlieb. "In bestowing the prize, the foundation seeks to encourage public policy debates and increase general awareness of their importance, as well as providing a springboard for authors who can make an original and meaningful contribution to policy discourse," he said.

McKitrick and Essex examine how the debate over global warming is conducted under "a Doctrine of Certainty," the false assumption that we know what is causing climate change and how to control it.

"The world of science works on one set of rules, and the world of politics works on another, and we have to be honest about the perils of linking these systems when public decisions are being made," said McKitrick. "We knew we were touching on some controversial points in the book, but the feedback so far has been extremely positive. I think this is a discussion people were ready to see get started."

A faculty member at Guelph since 1996, McKitrick specializes in the economics of environmental policy and has been studying climate change and related policy issues for about 10 years. He is a senior fellow of the Fraser Institute in Vancouver.

In addition to academic publications, McKitrick has published several newspaper and magazine articles on the Kyoto Protocol and has given presentations on climate and environmental policy to the Canadian and U.S. governments.

Taken By Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming is published by Key Porter Books. For more information about the book and the authors, visit

Prof. Ross McKitrick
Department of Economics
University of Guelph
(519) 824-4120, Ext. 52532, or

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