By Dr. Tim Ball Friday, October 5, 2007
By Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris
The world is cooling. Global temperatures have declined since 1998 and a growing number of climate experts expect this trend to continue until at least 2030. This, happening while carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (external - login to view) continue to rise, is in complete contradiction to the theory of human-induced (anthropogenic) global warming (AGW). The CBC and other die-hard AGW proponents respond by publicizing selected glacial melts and the impact of dramatic but improbable sea level rises, the only warming issues that seem to grab public attention.
“Climate change (external - login to view) campaigners are frightened that, if the lid is lifted off the Pandora’s Box of modern day climate science, the vast uncertainties and contradictions in the field will become apparent and public support for multi-billion dollar climate change schemes will quickly die.”Canadian politicians simply follow along, parroting scientifically unjustified AGW rhetoric while lamenting that “climate change is real!” They either don’t know, or hope the public don’t know, that climate changes all the time no matter what we do.
For most of the world’s plants and animals, humanity included, cooling is a far greater threat than warming. This is especially true for Canada (external - login to view) where energy usage, and consequently pollution levels, will rise as temperatures drop. More importantly, if we prepare for warming and it cools, Canada’s food supply is seriously at risk since we are already at the northern limit to agriculture.
Even a small amount of cooling would necessitate increased genetic engineering of crops and animals to sustain ourselves and further cooling still would end much of today’s farming in Canada.
Yet, if we prepare for cooling and it warms, we simply adopt farming practices used to the south of us. It is the case in most parts of the world that adaptation to warming is far easier than adapting to cooling. Canada’s situation is just that much worse due to our latitude.
Despite this very real threat of continued cooling, our leaders still press for developed nations to dramatically curb CO2 emissions to counter possible warming. That the forces driving this backwards policy have little to do with protecting the environment was revealed last week at the UN high level climate summit in New York City (external - login to view). Developed nations were chastised for their emissions record in the opening speech by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon while he had no criticism for developing countries that are responsible for most of the recent growth in worldwide emissions. What is now needed, Ban Ki-moon recommended, is “enhanced leadership by the industrialized countries on emission reductions.” Developing nations are merely to be given “incentives… to act, but without sacrificing economic growth”, he said. China’s foreign minister clearly agreed and advised the forum, “Developed countries should meet their emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol,...and continue to take the lead in reducing emissions after 2012.”
But Canada and other developed nations accepted severe targets in 1997 with the understanding that developing countries would follow after the protocol expires in 2012. Now, this is highly unlikely. The next round of UN negotiations starting in December in Bali, Indonesia will undoubtedly formalize new emission restrictions only for the one fifth of the world’s population who live in the developed world. Is it any wonder Osama Bin Laden promotes a UN climate process that threatens to cripple the West, but no one else?
The UN’s approach to climate hasn’t really been about science or ‘saving the planet’ since their Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988. Its goals were firmly positioned in the political and emotional arena at the Rio Conference in 1992. Canadian politicians assume the public overwhelming accepts the IPCC’s AGW claims even though polls show this is increasingly not the case. For example, a March 2006 Ipsos Reid poll revealed that 39% of Canadians believe recent climate change to be natural.
Nevertheless, global warming remains a massive, taxpayer-funded ‘industry’ in Canada. Most of the money goes to institutes, policy centers and government departments that effectively block proper scientific investigation. Scientists who study the impact of hypothetical warming are given significant support even though their research is based on the faulty assumption that AGW is proven. In a frightening circular argument their research is then listed as ‘proof’ of the hypothesis. Dissenting science is also excluded from government hearings, the most recent being the Commons committee hearings into the Kyoto Implementation Bill and the Clean Air Act (external - login to view) where only AGW-supporting scientists were permitted to testify.
In the late 1980s, the Mulroney government ignored scientists’ advice that fishing quotas should be drastically cut and so implemented policies that led to the depletion of the cod stock with the resultant loss of 40,000 jobs in Newfoundland’s fishing industry. Will today’s Conservative government ignore scientists again and implement unfounded policies that lead to the destruction of Canadian agriculture?
In 2006, sixty-one climate experts asked Prime Minister Harper to order open, unbiased climate science hearings, something that has never happened in Canada. Like Jean Chretien and Paul Martin, Harper ignored their request. He must no longer. It is time to finally lift the lid off the Pandora’s Box of modern day climate science and let the public hear what scientists are really concluding about this complex and immature discipline. With billions of taxpayer dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs at stake, not to mention the future of our food supply, there is no other ethical choice.