On March 20, 2012, an unelected Canadian representing an unaccountable NGO presented to the US House of Representatives the discredited position that carbon dioxide is a pollutant and that the Alberta government should slap on a carbon emission tax on the oil sands.
Days later, a furor was kicked up in Alberta when Wildrose leader Danielle Smith publicly questioned human-caused climate change theories. One Calgary political commentator mocked Smith expressing the odd view that …”issues of global warming are only questioned in places like Saudi Arabia and Iran.”
Odd indeed. The Canadian Senate held hearings on this issue just last December wherein prominent Canadian scientists questioned the scientific accuracy of human-caused climate change hypotheses. Ottawa is not the Middle East.
Much was made in the media of Smith’s supposed backward thinking. The other candidates seemed dedicated to Catastrophic Anthropogenic (Human-caused) Global Warming (CAGW). Despite being mocked, Smith chastised PC leader Alison Redford for Alberta’s $2 billion carbon capture plan.
Yet immediately after the election, the $1.4-billion Pioneer Carbon Capture and Storage project in Alberta was cancelled. (Premier-elect Alison Redford may now handily spend the slated matching government funds on her election promises).
Beyond North America, global warming and climate change issues are questioned every day. The Max Planck Institute in Germany is confounded that the evidence doesn’t match CAGW computer simulations.
Climate alarmists engender confusion because they ignore the evidence. But the record has not been kind to them. Take the 2002 climate change debate published in PEGG, the magazine of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.
The debaters were Matt McCulloch, P.Eng, and Dr. Matt Bramley for the side of Kyoto and the CAGW theory, both of the Pembina Institute.
Arguing against the CAGW viewpoint were Dr. Sallie Baliunas, deputy director at Mount Wilson Observatory and an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Dr. Tim Patterson, professor of geology (paleoclimatology) in the Department of Earth Sciences at Carleton University; and Allan M.R. MacRae, P.Eng.
The Pembina proponents argued in favour of Kyoto. They stated predicatively that Green House Gases from fossil fuels will have a catastrophic effect on the earth’s climate by raising the earth’s temperature. In fact, global temperatures have been declining since 2002. The Pembina duo believed there was broad agreement from the scientific community. This is not the case today. The oft-quoted “97%” turns out to be just 76 scientists out of a given 79.
McCulloch and Bramley of Pembina also argued that carbon regulation would stimulate the growth of viable green-tech industries and create new jobs. Around the world we’ve seen industry and governments collapsing under the burden of green tech that destroyed jobs, blew investor money, and did not perform well, or at all. An increase in catastrophic weather was also predicted. It has not happened either.
The trio of Baliunas, Patterson and MacRae argued only on the basis of scientific evidence, not speculation. They stated that no meaningful human-made warming trend (as forecast by the CAGW computer simulations) could be found. This was based on data gathered by NASA Microwave Sounder Units aboard satellites dating back to 1979 and NOAA radio-sonde balloon records dating back to 1956 (excepting post El Nino of 1997-98).
Baliunas, Patterson and MacRae’s evidence showed climate is always changing, based on a two million year retrospective with demonstrable cycles. They stated CO2 is a minor and beneficial atmospheric gas that will not impact climate significantly.
They predicted Kyoto measures would be ineffective in reducing CO2.
The scientific arguments by Baliunas, Patterson and MacRae still stand. The predictive pro-Kyoto CAGW argument by Pembina members is not supported by the evidence.
A decade later CAGW believers mock those who say the science is not settled on climate change. Yet they deny a decade of scientific evidence against the CAGW hypothesis.
The spreading of confusion has a significant cost. Last year, the world spent $240 billion reducing CO2 emissions and more than $1 trillion over the last ten years for no practical benefit.
Why was someone on the losing side of this 2002 debate making arguments damaging to our oil sands to the US House of Representatives? Who will pay for the damages of this climate change confusion based on faulty evidence?