Alberta Premier Rachel Notley

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley

B.C. VIEWS: Inconvenient truths of climate change

Justin Trudeau declared climate hero for showing up, best case greenhouse gas scenario is a tiny temperature reduction by 2100

Premier Christy Clark and Environment Minister Mary Polak have joined the thousands of jet-setters in Paris to once again stage negotiations for a global climate treaty.

The embarrassing failures of these United Nations events, such as the one in Lima, Peru last year, have been forgotten. Canadian TV only showed file images of an effigy of Stephen Harper receiving a “fossil of the day” award for his alleged failure to rein in Canada’s two per cent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.

Now Justin Trudeau leads our biggest-ever delegation to COP21, as the Paris meeting is called.

Trudeau hasn’t even begun to develop a plan for Canada, asking provinces to come up with their own first, but he’s already hailed as a visionary. This is similar to the newly elected Barack Obama, who modestly predicted in 2008 that history would record his win as “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

Perhaps Obama wasn’t completely full of CO2, since in this century, global temperatures have increased by only about a fourth of what UN climate models predicted. This 20-year slowdown of the long run of post-Ice Age warming, which has dominated most of the last 10,000 years, is referred to as the “pause” or “hiatus.” It is usually explained away with reference to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation or other long-term warming and cooling trends in oceans.

Other countries have put new emission reduction proposals on the table for COP21. Danish environmental economist Bjorn Lomborg did the math, and concluded that if every major emitting country keeps its word this time, the total of all their efforts would reduce global warming by about 0.2 degrees by 2100.

What? A statistically meaningless decrease after 85 years of energy austerity? That Lomborg, he’s just a “denier,” trying to get more publicity. Oh wait, here’s a study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that finds the same thing – two tenths of a degree by 2100.

Wobbly climate models aren’t the only problem for global warming alarmists. NASA recently confirmed that contrary to UN projections, total ice mass in Antarctica is increasing. This is much more likely to slow sea level rise than an Obama or Trudeau speech.

Arctic ice, meanwhile, is rebounding after receding in recent years. And while UN climate conferences always cause a spike in sightings of people wearing polar bear suits, here’s another inconvenient truth.

B.C. polar bear researcher Susan Crockford reports that the world bear population is up to 26,000, a 50-year high. That Crockford, she’s just a denier…. Oh wait, the International Union for Conservation of Nature “Red List” says that’s about right, and the population trend is no longer “decreasing” but is now “unknown.”

None of this is to deny that our climate is warming, or that the Industrial Revolution and carbon fuel use are part of the picture. It’s the religious zeal, misuse of data and attacks on skeptics that are troubling.

B.C. already leads the country with its small but broad-based carbon tax, about which Clark will boast at every opportunity in Paris. We won’t see the B.C. Liberal government’s final “Climate 2.0” plan until next spring, but their advisory committee wants to start jacking up the carbon tax in 2018.

Northern and Interior B.C. folks are assured they will receive bigger rebates to reflect the fact that they pay more carbon tax to drive long distances in the cold.

And B.C.’s aggressive 2020 greenhouse gas target? The government admits we’re not going to make that, because the economy is growing.

Tom Fletcher is legislature reporter and columnist for Black Press. Email: tfletcher@blackpress.ca Twitter: @tomfletcherbc

 

Just Posted

Ashcroft hospital emergency closed sign, 2016. Photo credit: Barbara Roden
Ashcroft Hospital emergency department closed this weekend

Closure due to unexpected limited physician availabiliy, says Interior Health

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Heidi Roy of the Cariboo Jade Shop in Cache Creek with the 3,000 jade boulder, which is now on secure display inside the shop. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Massive jade boulder returns to Cache Creek store six months after daring heist

The 3,000-pound boulder was stolen on Dec. 19, 2020 and found abandoned in the bush a week later

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Child sex crimes charges against Interior’s top doc won’t impact pandemic response: Dix

Dr. Albert de Villiers is charged with sexual assault and sexual interference

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read