Letter can be submitted via email to editor@trailtimes.ca

Letter can be submitted via email to editor@trailtimes.ca

Majority of scientists see climate change threat, says reader

Letter to the Editor from Joslyn Sharp of Trail

With respect to Thorpe Watson’s letter (“Seeking the truth about climate change” Trail Times, Nov. 28) in which he takes exception to my apparent “audacity” to challenge the scientific skills of a metallurgical engineer, I agree there is an element of audacity involved here. However, I don’t believe I am the audacious party. I am not the one who is challenging climate scientists the world over.

While I argue in support of the validity of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change findings based upon comprehensive reviews of thousands of scientific papers published in peer-reviewed journals, Watson feels he is on solid ground with his own findings and those of a minority of scientists whose opinions are not taken seriously by most well-informed members of the public. Who is being audacious here?

While I am happy to concede that Thorpe Watson, PhD’s scientific credentials and knowledge about science far exceed my own, I believe he, in turn, should be willing to concede ground to the preponderance of scientists who have been trained in climate science and have published papers in their professional journals about the threat of climate change. I respect his independence and diligence as a scientist to research the facts and theories behind this important issue. Surely, he must admit, however, that the odds of his research on climate change being supported by the majority of his scientific peers are slim. He cannot deny that peer support in the scientific community is the standard by which validity and reliability are judged.

I admit that some individual scientists have stood alone in the face of ridicule and harsh criticism and, as pioneers, have eventually carried the day with their theories and discoveries. I suspect that Mr. Watson is not a pioneer, however, but rather one of the die-hards who will not stop criticizing a new paradigm regardless of the fact that it has been well and truly validated by the majority his fellow scientists.

I respect Watson’s right to express his opinion publicly but as someone who is deeply concerned about the very serious consequences that the majority of scientists are predicting if we do not significantly reduce our generation of CO2, I too feel moved to speak out. In democracies such as Canada, our leaders need solid support to make tough decisions regarding cutting CO2 emissions. The global community desperately needs to collaborate to cut humanity’s impact on warming. The time for debate has passed just as it had passed when a massive UN vaccination program was implemented and successfully wiped out smallpox on this planet by 1977. Yet, of course there are those who still argue that vaccinations are too dangerous and disregard the millions who have been saved by vaccines.

As a non-scientist I would ask Watson, if our planet is not warming, how is it that cruise lines are now booking cabins for trips through the Northwest passage? Why has the globe faced increasing fire, flood and hurricane power over the last decades? Why are glaciers melting at an accelerating rate? Why are species who have confined themselves to southern climes starting to show up in the north? Does this reflect the shortage of CO2 as he contends or is the opposite true; that CO2 that is edging quickly upwards to a dangerous tipping point? Of course, carbon dioxide is necessary for plant life as Watson points out. What reputable scientists are telling us is that there is getting to be too much of it for our planet to maintain the delicate temperature balance that has supported life so well for so long. We don’t need to go back to geography, chemistry or geology texts to see things on this planet are changing for the worse and respected scientists like David Suzuki and Richard Cannings are telling us that our fossil fuel dependent behavior is part of the problem. I wish they were wrong and Watson was right but I’m afraid his tempting theories would be regarded by most of his fellow scientists as incomplete, outdated and misleading.

Joslyn Sharp

Trail

Just Posted

Shoes and toys were placed by the altar at the Circle of Indigenous Nations of Castlegar Indigenous Peoples Day gathering on Monday. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar Indigenous Peoples Day gathering focuses on remembering

Occasion was more somber than previous years

Manager Cora Muellner (left) and employee Rachel Ronson at Buddy’s Place in Nelson. Muellner is among local cannabis retailers welcoming changes to provincial regulations. Photo: Tyler Harper
Nelson cannabis retailers welcome provincial changes to delivery, hiring options

As of July 15, private retailers can deliver their products to your door

Waneta Manor is located on Laburnum Drive in Trail. Photo: Sheri Regnier
New elevator coming to Trail manor this summer, says head manager

The elevator in Waneta Manor has been out of commission since February

Greater Trail barrel racer Hunter Weishaupt will race for a coveted spot in the Calgary Stampede
West Kootenay barrel racer takes run at Stampede

Hunter Weishaupt is inviting sponsors to get on board in her quest to compete in Calgary Stampede

Refusals to wear masks had Trail police called to two separate scenes on Saturday. Photo: Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash
Trail police called to mask confrontations

The Province of BC has masks being mandatory indoors

A person stands in a tower on the perimeter of the Number 3 Detention Center in Dabancheng in western China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on April 23, 2021. Human rights groups and Western nations led by the United States, Britain and Germany accused China of massive crimes against the Uyghur minority and demanded unimpeded access for U.N. experts at a virtual meeting on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 denounced by China as “politically motivated” and based on “lies.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mark Schiefelbein
VIDEO: Trudeau demands truth from China about Uyghurs

PM says Canada has admitted broken Indigenous relationship, unlike China on Uyghurs

CELEBRATING INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY
Council members and witnesses from the Hupacasath First Nation, left, and Tseshaht First Nation, right, prepare to raise their respective flags in front of Port Alberni City Hall on Monday, June 21, 2021. The flags will permanently fly as part of the city’s reconciliation work. See more coverage from the flag raising ceremony on page A5. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Vancouver Island First Nations flags to fly permanently at city hall

Addition of flags are one Port Alberni response to reconciliation

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran, middle right, participates in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in honour of the launch of Kelowna’s plasma donor centre at Orchard Plaza Mall on June 22. From left to right: Canadian Blood Services’ business development manager Janna Pantella, Canadian Blood Services’ operational excellence manager Tyler Burke, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran and Canadian Blood Services’ centre manager Janine Johns. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
B.C.’s first dedicated plasma donor centre opens in Kelowna

The Kelowna location is the third dedicated plasma donor to open in Canada

Children walk with their parents to Sherwood Park Elementary in North Vancouver for the first day back to school on Sept. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Study reassures parents, teachers that COVID-19 infrequently shared at school

Federally funded study in Vancouver finds risk in the classroom and in the community identical

Conservative MP Kevin Waugh rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday April 13, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Single-game sports betting about to become legal in Canada

Senate passes bill to take sports gambling away from overseas agencies

Point Roberts is part of the mainland United States but not physically connected to it, to reach the community by land one must pass through Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Closed Canadian border leaves Point Roberts’ only grocery store on verge of closure

‘We’re Americans but we’re not attached to America. It’s easy to forget we’re here,’ says owner Ali Hayton

Robin Sanford and her fiance Simon Park were married in an impromptu ceremony at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on June 16. (Submitted photo)
Mom dies day after witnessing daughter’s hospital wedding in Abbotsford

Nurses help arrange impromptu ceremony in 3 hours for bride and groom

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. home owner grant won’t be altered, despite expert advice

Tax break for residences worth up to $1.6 million too popular

B.C. conservation officer Sgt. Todd Hunter said a black bear is believed to have killed local livestock. (THE NEWS/files)
Black bear believed to have killed miniature donkey in Maple Ridge

Trap set for predator that has been killing livestock

Most Read