Downplaying Global Warming

Climate Change, Commentary, Environment, Frontier Centre, Media Appearances

Mother Earth “is doing wonderfully” despite alarmist reports about global warming and unfounded warnings about pending environmental catastrophes, a Regina audience was told Wednesday.

Lawrence Solomon, author and newspaper columnist who has long been involved in environmental issues and organizations, said there isn’t any scientific proof that global warming is caused by the burning of carbon-based fuels.

Speaking to an audience of about 50 people at a lunch organized by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, Solomon readily conceded there has been a trend toward global warming, at least in the last century or two.

But there isn’t any scientific consensus that global warming has been caused by industrialization or by the burning of carbon-based fuels, said Solomon, the author of the book The Deniers, which deals with global warming-related issues.

The modest increases that have occurred in the Earth’s temperature and in the amount of carbon dioxide in the air has actually produced some positive developments, Solomon said.

Carbon dioxide “is nature’s fertilizer, plants love it,” he said.

The increased carbon dioxide and the warming has contributed to the greening of the planet, he said.

“We are doing extremely well,” said Solomon, who is executive director of Energy Probe.

He noted implementing costly measures to deal with carbon emissions “would be the height of irresponsibility” unless science can prove that carbon emissions are causing global warming.

Lower-income people would be the hardest-hit by the carbon tax proposed by federal Liberal leader Stephane Dion, Solomon said.

And the term “fuel poverty” will soon creep into the vocabulary, as people with limited means struggle with dramatically increased costs associated with unnecessary measures to curb carbon emissions, Solomon said.

The use of agricultural crops to produce ethanol for fuel consumption has contributed to a rising of food prices and to food riots in some developing countries, he noted.

As well, he said the push to curb carbon gas emissions may also lead to an increased reliance on nuclear-powered energy — which might not be a good idea.

The media, the public and ultimately the politicians have been led to believe that there is a broad consensus in the scientific community that carbon gas emissions are causing global warming, Solomon said.

But that is not true, he said, adding that many very reputable scientists don’t make that link and believe that other factors are more likely the causes of global warming.

One common theory is that changes in the activities of the sun, including changes in sun spot activity, are changing the temperature on Earth, he said.

Yet another theory holds that Earth is simply going through a normal cycle in which temperatures vary, he said.

And temperatures may cool on Earth sometime in the future, depending on the activities in the sun and on cyclical factors on Earth, Solomon said.

The Frontier Centre for Public Policy is a non-profit organization that encourages discussion on public policy issues.