We now have a provincial Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and a federal department of the same name. Climate change must be a big deal.
The Ontario government website explains. “The world is warming faster than ever and weather patterns are changing because of human activities.” That makes it a crisis and the province is committed to limiting the earth’s warming to below 2 C.
The Ontario government can’t fix health care but now the province and federal government say they can fix the weather. That’s impressive.
I feel like a victim of the old bait and switch. We’re told the issue is climate change. Two ministries changed their names to make that somewhat clear. Then our governments revert back to the old arguments about manmade global warming. When I asked the provincial ministry to explain, I was burdened with a report that doesn’t take into account that the models predicting ever-increasing temperatures have been heavily criticized. The United Nation’s own International Panel on Climate Change, the world’s temperature judge, reported that global temperature has stopped rising.
Specializing in environmental economics, University of Guelph professor Ross McKitrick notes that in the graph that I was emailed, the province doesn’t address the cause of one of the largest increases in temperature of about 0.4 C, from 1900 to 1950, when there were no manmade greenhouse gases. And when temperatures dropped, between 1950 and 1980, there was a lot of manmade greenhouse gas.
It must be hard to blink when the bandwagon is full. It must also be hard, since we’ve come this far, for governments which overspend like spoiled brats, to turn down some fantastic tax money in a cap-and-trade plan to penalize carbon dioxide producers.
While the province has a hunch that people are the problem, McKitrick points out that there is no consensus on it. There’s the repeated claim that 97 per cent of climate experts believe global warming is manmade and serious, but that number can be traced back to a survey that didn’t even ask the question, McKitrick says, adding that the American Meteorological Society surveyed its 7,000 members and found that they are split on the issue.
Some scientists are now predicting global cooling by 2030, suggesting that maybe there’s more about the earth’s temperature that we don’t know than what we do.
There is an avalanche of skepticism.The largest U.S. farm lobby group, the U.S. Farm Bureau (with 5.9 million members), consults scientists too, and is not convinced that manmade global warming is a crisis. The lobby group opposes a tax on carbon use or emissions, mandatory cap-and-trade provisions and “any climate change legislation that would make America less competitive in the global marketplace.” The economy is its top priority. The farm lobby is clear that if the government is going to stick it to farmers, it will only support legislation that equally impoverishes agriculture in all countries.
Summing up the world’s weather history, University of Innsbruck professor Gernot Patzelt told the International Climate and Energy Conference in Munich in 2011: “Over the last 10,000 years, it has been warmer than today, 65 per cent of the time.”
So, are we coming out of a cooling trend? Historical data tells us global warming and cooling are normal. Manmade global warming is another matter altogether and if it’s at a crisis point, I’d like to know. Look, if there’s credible evidence that people are causing the oceans and temperatures to rise to a point where they will soon be out of control, I’m just as interested as the next guy in the survival of mankind. What we know is that manmade global warming is more theory than threat. And that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in climate change. Climate change is easy to prove because, well, climate changes. It also doesn’t mean I don’t believe in global warming and cooling. That’s provable too.
But a lot has happened since Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth turned manmade global warming into the world’s number 1 issue, including a court-ordered disclaimer before you can even show his documentary to school children in England.
Gore still flies around the world on a manmade carbon-dioxide-producing jet — Ontario paid him $20,000 last year for a speech — warning people about the harm of carbon emissions and the evils of oil. He’s so worried about it, he sold his television station to a Middle Eastern oil producer, those same terrible people he holds responsible for causing global warming.
The National Post’s Rex Murphy pointed to Tennessee law professor Glen Reynold’s axiom, which we would all do well to live by: “I’ll believe it’s a crisis when those who tell me it’s a crisis start acting like it’s a crisis.”