A voice of reason was heard from the Hill. It was not God.
It was the House of Commons Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. In a 57-page report, the committee concluded that farmers should not be forced to reduce fertilizer use if it reduces yield.
Among 22 recommendations, the one that crop farmers are most interested in is recommendation 10. It urges Canada to “Recognize that Canadian agricultural producers are leading the world in the efficient use of fertilizers and that it not proceed with any mandatory fertilizer emissions reduction policy that would jeopardize farmer’s yields, but instead encourage them to implement best nutrient management practices such as the 4R program.”
Wonderful. The good and faithful servants of the land can put in their crop without worrying about more burdensome regulations. We can now all just get back to work.
Not so fast.
The federal department of Agriculture is trumped by the Federal department of Environment and Climate Change and our prime minister is deeply concerned about climate change. Our government is so concerned, that in spite of the fact that every doomsday climate prediction has so far been wrong, climate change is still our country’s top priority and the government department that handles it requires extra special attention. So, we’ve put the entire department under the care of a former Greenpeace activist.
Battling climate change is so important that the next phase in saving the planet requires volunteers. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced a voluntary goal for farmers to reduce emissions from fertilizer use by 30 % by 2030. He told Bloomberg News that “We’re serious about reaching net-zero” by 2050. He wants to “decarbonize quickly” because as he puts it, “it’s the right thing to do for the planet” and there is “no longer a political debate” on this in Canada.
No debate? Are farmers are just lining up to volunteer to save the planet by slashing revenue? Why is there an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada draft discussion paper that supports “policy options” to arm-twist farmers if they don’t volunteer?
If debate were really over, we would all be behaving differently. If airplanes and beef were so bad, we’d all stop flying and stop eating burgers and rib-eye. But the debate is not over. Far from it.
Let’s start with where our country is getting its doomsday information. We use data from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an arm of the United Nations. The IPCC, which was once caught discussing by email how to skew the data to make global warming look worse, comes up with climate models that predict the future. In some models, the researchers input a higher number here, a lower number there, to calculate a variation of future temperatures, some that are alarmingly high. All of the models predict higher temperatures than what we have experienced. Even though the IPCC doesn’t believe its own scarier models and said so, we embrace them. We like those scary numbers. Maybe it will make it easier to mobilize Canadians.
But I like to live in the real world. So does Ross McKitrick, professor of economics at the University of Guelph with a specialization in climate.
He highlights an important new study on climate change and is quick to point out that it doesn’t come from the IPCC, which he says “has departed from its original mission of providing objective scientific assessments.” To be blunt, the IPCC is stuck in fantasy land.
The new study from the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres was written by a group of scientists at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) headed by Cheng-Zhi Zou. The study presents a new satellite-derived temperature record for the global troposphere (the atmospheric layer from one kilometre up to about 10 km altitude) that shows that temperatures are simply not rising as fast as any of the IPCC model predictions.
Zou was able to modify climate models to reduce factors that invariably created errors, such as when splicing data together when taking one weather satellite out of service and replacing it with another. Zou’s new study correlated much more closely with actual temperatures and found that the atmosphere has warmed at half the average rate predicted by climate models.
Zou also concluded that his findings are consistent with McKitrick’s findings from 2020 that climate models have pervasive global warming bias.
What McKitrick found was astounding. “Since the 1990s, the records from both weather satellites and weather balloons have shown that climate models predict too much warming,” McKitrick writes. When he looked at 38 of the newest climate models, he found that “All 38 exhibited too much warming, and in most cases the differences were statistically significant.”
He concluded that “In the real world the evidence against the alarmist predictions from overheated climate models is becoming unequivocal.”
He doesn’t expect that the IPCC will notice the new evidence. It’s hard to imagine the Department of Environment and Climate Change will notice it either.
Patrick Meagher is editor of Farmers Forum and can be reached at email@example.com