The Present Climate

Media Appearances, Environment, Frontier Centre

Canada took quite a verbal beating at the Copenhagen conference in December. So did Prime Minister Harper, who attended without changing his belief that all countries should agree to a treaty, not just the developed nations.

The usual ragtag group of protesters showed up. One even called Canada the "Fossil of the Year" and displayed mock pictures of Harper. In spite of what Michael Ignatieff says, Canada really needs the cooperation of the US in this matter, as they remain our biggest trading partner.

A recent poll by Compas, paid for by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, showed that 73 per cent of Canadians want any treaty on global warming delayed or not signed at all. They probably fear the economic costs, especially at a time when the worldwide recession is hardly over.

But polls are polls, and we all know that the results hinge on which questions they ask and to whom.

Respected climate scientist and former head of geography at the University of Winnipeg, Dr. Tim Ball, is no fan of the "climate change gang," including many scientists and of course Al Gore.

Ball claims that the PR around the science at the Copenhagen meeting was disgusting and dishonest. He claims that the warmest years have happened in recent decades because the world has warmed naturally since the end of the "little ice age" in 1680.

Ball insists that the problem has little to do with CO2, and that global temperatures have declined since 2002. He asks the scientists and leaders to "please stop the deceptions."

Gore, the former US vice president, is back on the climate issue again, long after publishing his book, An Inconvenient Truth. Ball and others claim the book has 35 scientific errors.

One reader expanded on those errors, noting that the pictures of climate change were deceptive and CO2 is less than .04 per cent of the atmosphere.

Polar Bears in danger? The reader notes that Alaska is being overrun with the beasts, whose numbers are 10 times higher than in the 1940s. As well, there are over 100,000 glaciers in North America now, and of course some will melt.

Finally, she calls the claim that tree-cutting is ruining the earth and causing global warming is false, as only two-tenths of one per cent of the earth’s trees are cut down. Plus, trees will grow back.

Let us not forget that today’s Liberals who are now demanding a cap and trade system, signed Canada to the Kyoto treaty then did absolutely nothing to cut emissions.

There is a very interesting environmental group out there led by the Prince of Wales. Its purpose is to save the world’s tropical rainforests.

It is called The Prince’s Rainforests Project, and they have just published a book explaining their proposals. Free to the public, the book is written at a level anyone can understand. The claims, of course, are all one-sided, but very convincing.

They say that over half of the world’s plant and animal species are in rainforests and that the Amazon releases 20 billion tons of moisture every day, helping to water crops thousands of miles away. They also say that deforestation releases more CO2 into the atmosphere than all the world’s cars, planes and ships put together, and that healthy rainforests absorb up to 10 per cent of man’s carbon emissions each year.

The writers recognize that most of the countries with rainforests are poor and that a lot of the land is cleared for subsistence farming or growing food for export. They say most of the rainforests will disappear in 50 years if nothing is done, causing great harm to the world’s climate and economy.

They propose that wealthy countries, which really benefit from the rainforests, pay the poor countries enough money to make it economical for them to keep the forests. The cost is estimated at 25 billion Euros over five years.

The problem is that when wealthy countries give money or aid to poor and mostly undemocratic nations, much of it is stolen or siphoned off by the leadership. If this happened it would leave the poor farmers worse off than at present.

However, the group said a poll of UK adults showed that the majority supports the payment of a small amount of tax money to preserve the rainforests. It is an interesting concept.