Climate change real and natural

Letter to the Editor; Thorpe Watson, PhD, Warfield

This letter provides information refuting the messages suggested in the Artizans cartoon published in the Trail Times on Sept. 28, 2017. It also refutes Sylvain Charlebois’s belief that we can “curtail climate change” (“Coffee industry is slowly getting roasted by climate change,” Trail Times, Oct. 5 ) and rejects Canada’s environment commissioner’s (Julie Gelfand) criticism of Canada’s failure “to cut emissions” (Oct. 4 – CP report).

The cartoon depicts penguins being welcomed by a banner hanging on the USA White House. It also shows a penguin carrying a placard with the plea to “Save our ice caps” and another penguin with a placard stating that “Climate change is real”.

Anyone familiar with the history of climate knows that climate change is real and has been happening since the beginning of time. Climate is always changing and, frequently, quite dramatically. For example, Canada has been covered more than thirty times for prolonged periods with a sheet of ice in excess of a mile thickness.

Moreover, it has never been scientifically proven that we can stabilize climate by reducing our carbon dioxide (“CO2”, aka “carbon”) emissions from hydrocarbon fuels – coal, oil, and gas (aka “fossil fuels”). Nature supplied additional support for this position when global warming stopped almost 20 years ago in spite of increasing CO2 emissions.

Climate alarmists have even claimed that CO2 is capable of causing runaway warming. Such alarmism is a superstition lacking any scientific merit. However, it is a scientific fact that CO2 is the gas of life without which the planet would be a desert devoid of plant and animal life.

Furthermore, the consumption of all known reserves of hydrocarbon fuels will not materially enrich the atmosphere. The atmosphere will remain CO2 impoverished. According to the alarmist temperature projections of fatally-flawed climate models, the temperature might increase an insignificant 0.5o C over 1,000 years.

Contrary to the message in the second placard, the ice coverage in the Arctic is well within natural variability while the Antarctic ice cap (90 per cent of planet’s ice) is growing. In addition, it is well documented that the extent of sea ice surrounding the penguins’ homeland, Antarctica, is setting a new record every year. The recent breaking off of the large ice shelf from Antarctica is the normal behaviour of a growing ice sheet and is not a unique event.

Commissioner Julie Gelfand correctly states that “climate change is one of the defining issues of this century.” But then she wrongly recommends that government must “move from planning to action,” implying that Canada must curtail its CO2 emissions from hydrocarbon fuels.

Unfortunately, CO2 does not give us the power to stabilize the planet’s ever-changing climate. Nevertheless, it is ludicrous to even suggest that Canada could ever play a meaningful role with its 1.6 per cent share of the world’s CO2 emissions.

It is a well known historical fact that global cooling has been, and will continue to be, the greatest climate threat to civilizations. A modern, carbon-fueled economy will enhance our ability to successfully cope with cooler temperatures and concomitant crop failures.

Thorpe Watson, PhD


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