If you want to stoke fear about the environment, talk to the people who are most afraid. Talk to people who are taught to fear climate change. Talk to young Canadians.
The federal government did that, paying Leger Marketing $56,500 to interview more than 2,000 people between ages 18 and 34.
The poll found that 74 % of young Canadians live in fear, generating headlines like “Poll finds most young Canadians are afraid of climate change, feel helpless.”
It would have been better to look into the plausibility of the dire predictions. Do people have reason to be scared? Farmers Forum genuinely wanted to side-step the climate hysteria to get to the heart of the matter. We wanted to hear from the experts.
So, I went to the 15th International Climate Change Conference last month in Orlando, Florida, sponsored by the independent think tank Heartland Institute, where the world’s top scientists and researchers, who have no political or commercial ties, get together to discuss what they are most passionate about: the truth.
There were a lot of takeaways but, most importantly, Canada was not held in high esteem. Our government was accused of using a worst-case climate model that no credible study agrees with. Sure, the climate model was produced by the United Nations’ experts, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But the IPCC created numerous models and even the IPCC points out that the worst-case scenario model that Canada has embraced just isn’t going to happen.
Canada is off to a bad start.
Since Canada has now targeted nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizer, I also wanted to hear from leading expert, Dr. David Legates, former professor of climatology in the department of geography and spatial sciences at the University of Delaware, who has co-developed methods to correct bias in gauge-measure precipitation data that affects climate change impact studies. Yes, nitrous oxide is increasing in the atmosphere, he said. So, did Canada get the restrictions right? If nitrous oxide was represented by people, there would be 2,400 of them in a population of 8 billion, meaning they would never, ever, be noticed, even if their numbers doubled or tripled or more, he said.
He argued that fertilizer brings a lot of people out of poverty and highlighted the fertilizer ban in Sri Lanka that last year caused famine, riots, and forced its president to flee. “The left doesn’t know science,” he said.
I asked Dr. Legates directly about the situation in Canada.
“There is no possibility that nitrous oxide is going to increase the temperature of the earth substantially over the next 400 years,” he told me. “It’s advantageous in that it is produced as a byproduct of fertilizer, which feeds people.”
So, what does he think about governments like Canada considering fertilizer restrictions?
“I think they are crazy. I think they hate their people.”
There was one Canadian expert speaker at the conference. University of Guelph environmental economics professor Ross McKitrick said that Canada could see a small increase in temperature over 100 years but these small increases will benefit agriculture. (See full interview on page A17)
Should methane be targeted? No, it is increasing at a rate 300 times more slowly than carbon dioxide, and lasts 8 to 10 years in the atmosphere and becomes water, McKitrick said. “There is no reason to regulate methane.”
What about “evil” carbon dioxide?
Not so evil, said former professor of mining geology at the University of Adelaide, Australia, Dr. Ian Pilmer, who has published more than 130 scientific papers. We’ve had six ice ages in which we have had more CO2 in the atmosphere, he said. Most heat, that includes CO2, is being released by the oceans and most of what is being released ends up back in the soil, giving nourishment to plants, he said. If there weren’t enough CO2 the planet would be too cold to support life, he said.
“We don’t have a crisis of climate,” he said. “We have crisis of common sense.”
Oddly, the IPCC models don’t include the influence of water. Water vapour is a greenhouse gas but because there is so much of it and it is so difficult to calculate, the IPCC researchers ignored water, including the influence of clouds, and focused instead on carbon dioxide. It’s like coming to a crime scene, looking for clues, but neglecting the murder weapon in front of your face.
But it gets worse. The IPCC has a history of fudging the data. World-renowned American physicist and pioneer of solid state physics Frederick Seitz was one of the first scientists to point out that the IPCC report on climate change in 1995 omitted all references that expressed uncertainty that human activity was causing climate change. Said Seitz then, in a Wall Street Journal article: “I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report.”
In the real world, we have nothing to worry about. But we live in Canada, where we have an appetite for fear that seems only satisfied by following flawed data from an untrustworthy source. If we continue down this path, the best we can hope to achieve is impoverishment.
— Patrick Meagher, Editor, Farmers Forum