Alan Ferguson, The Province
Published: Thursday, July 24, 2008
If Premier Gordon Campbell's "green" gas tax succeeds in cutting carbon emissions, several readers have mischievously suggested, might it not trigger a devastating era of global cooling? Such a notion is entirely fanciful, since it would require evidence of the relationship between CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions and man-made global warming. And as we have seen, there is no such proof, merely a "consensus" about it.
Other readers shared information about CO2, the alleged evil culprit of climate change.
Ward Benedict says that CO2 comprises a mere 0.38 per cent of the total atmosphere -- or 380 parts per million. Of this amount, only three per cent, or 11.4 parts per million, is man-made, the rest occurring naturally.
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Canada's share of man-made CO2, says Benedict, amounts to a trifling one-fifth of one part per million. "If Canada ceased to exist, or if we shut down every furnace, factory, plane, train and automobile, that is how much atmospheric CO2 would be reduced," he says.
I'm no scientist. But if Benedict's done the math, this doesn't strike me as anything to sweat over.
There is a danger, though, of politicians being stampeded into panic measures. Those who hold out against the prevailing orthodoxy are vilified by the high priests of climate-change voodoo.
The premiers of Alberta and Saskatchewan are portrayed as monsters sacrificing the lives of children yet unborn, while they squeeze the last tainted buck out of their natural resources.
But will those future generations really thank them if they are born into a world bankrupted by misguided efforts to control what may be uncontrollable? There are signs voters are balking at the alarmism.
In Britain, Prime Minister Gordon Brown was forced to cancel a new gas tax hike amid outrage over high prices. And climate-change skeptics are breaking down barriers to discussion.
In an article last week, the well-known Australian pundit Andrew Bolt found evidence that the world is slightly cooler today than 1,000 years ago, sea levels are falling, ice is spreading and cyclones, tornadoes and hurricanes are not increasing.
Bolt quotes from a letter signed by 31,000 scientists: "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the earth's atmosphere and disruption of the earth's climate." Finally, Kamloops reader Dave McDonald recalls a 1974 Time cover story which warned: "Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age." One thing's for sure. We've long been accustomed to unpredictable changes in the weather. Now we must get used to unpredictable changes in the "consensus" of grant-hungry academics with their hands in our pockets.
There are signs the tide is turning against climate-change alarmists