Inconvenient truths of climate change

Misuse of climate change data and attacks on skeptics troubling

Premier Christy Clark and Environment Minister Mary Polak have joined the thousands of jet-setters in Paris to once again stage negotiations for a global climate treaty.

The embarrassing failures of these United Nations events, such as the one in Lima, Peru last year, have been forgotten. Canadian TV only showed file images of an effigy of Stephen Harper receiving a “fossil of the day” award for his alleged failure to rein in Canada’s two per cent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.

Now Justin Trudeau leads our biggest-ever delegation to COP21, as the Paris meeting is called.

Trudeau hasn’t even begun to develop a plan for Canada, asking provinces to come up with their own first, but he’s already hailed as a visionary. This is similar to the newly elected Barack Obama, who modestly predicted in 2008 that history would record his win as “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

Perhaps Obama wasn’t completely full of CO2, since in this century, global temperatures have increased by only about a fourth of what UN climate models predicted. This 20-year slowdown of the long run of post-Ice Age warming, which has dominated most of the last 10,000 years, is referred to as the “pause” or “hiatus.” It is usually explained away with reference to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation or other long-term warming and cooling trends in oceans.

Other countries have put new emission reduction proposals on the table for COP21. Danish environmental economist Bjorn Lomborg did the math, and concluded that if every major emitting country keeps its word this time, the total of all their efforts would reduce global warming by about 0.2 degrees by 2100.

What? A statistically meaningless decrease after 85 years of energy austerity? That Lomborg, he’s just a “denier,” trying to get more publicity. Oh wait, here’s a study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that finds the same thing – two tenths of a degree by 2100.

Wobbly climate models aren’t the only problem for global warming alarmists. NASA recently confirmed that contrary to UN projections, total ice mass in Antarctica is increasing. This is much more likely to slow sea level rise than an Obama or Trudeau speech.

Arctic ice, meanwhile, is rebounding rapidly after receding in recent years. And while UN climate conferences always cause a spike in sightings of people wearing polar bear suits, here’s another inconvenient truth.

B.C. polar bear researcher Susan Crockford reports that the world bear population is up to 26,500, a 50-year high. That Crockford, she’s just a denier…. Oh wait, the International Union for Conservation of Nature “Red List” says that’s about right, and the population trend is no longer “decreasing” but is now “unknown.”

None of this is to deny that our climate is warming, or that the Industrial Revolution and carbon fuel use are part of the picture. It’s the religious zeal, misuse of data and attacks on skeptics that are troubling.

B.C. already leads the country with its small but broad-based carbon tax, about which Clark will boast at every opportunity in Paris. We won’t see the B.C. Liberal government’s final “Climate 2.0” plan until next spring, but their advisory committee wants to start jacking up the carbon tax in 2018.

Northern and Interior B.C. folks are assured they will receive bigger rebates to reflect the fact that they pay more carbon tax to drive long distances in the cold.

And B.C.’s aggressive 2020 greenhouse gas target? The government admits we’re not going to make that, because the economy is growing.

Tom Fletcher is the Black Press legislature reporter and columnist. tfletcher@blackpress.ca

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seattle Mariners field coordinator Carson Vitale before a game at T-Mobile Park during the 2020 season. Vitale, who grew up in Victoria, has pledged to run 10 miles a day for 2021 and to donate 50 cents per mile to the United Way of King County. (Ben Van Houten/Seattle Mariners)
Mariners coach running 10 miles a day for United Way

Saanich-raised Carson Vitale, Seattle Mariners field coordinator, plans to run 3,650 miles in 2021

Gordon English, construction manager of the Habitat for Humanity project in North Saanich, shows off the current interior of a townhouse part of the affordable housing project. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Families set to move in to affordable housing project in North Saanich by spring

Pending completion of Habitat for Humanity project comes against backdrop of new housing report

A rainbow graces the departure of CCGS John Cabot as it leaves Victoria Jan. 7. (Canadian Coast Guard/Facebook)
Follow a coast guard ship’s trip from Victoria to Halifax, through Panama Canal

Canadian Coast Guard Ship John Cabot left for St. Johns on Jan. 7

Johnathan Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight charges including sex-related offences against children and accessing, possessing and making or publishing child pornography. (Courtesy of Saanich Police)
Sentencing date moved for Saanich nanny guilty of child porn charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight sex offences against children

(Google Maps)
Sophisticated glass-removal crime returns to downtown Victoria

Several businesses on Fort Street targeted overnight, say police

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Most Read