The Climate Change Discussion Paper public town hall in Guelph will be held from 6 — 8 p.m. March 18 at the University of Guelph Arboretum on College Avenue East.
Tom Harris — Guelph Mercury — March 17, 2015
On Wednesday, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment is leading a town-hall meeting in Guelph to gather public input on their Climate Change Discussion Paper 2015.
After attending a similar event in Ottawa, I write to alert Guelph residents to the many basic science mistakes to which you will soon be subjected.
Ministry of the Environment spokesperson Karen Clark set the tone by starting her talk in Ottawa by stating, “Scientists around the world agree that climate change is happening,” a statement as meaningful as “water is wet.”
Carleton University earth sciences professor Tim Patterson explains, “It’s obvious that climate is and always has been variable. In fact, the only constant about climate is change; it changes continually.”
Clark continued, “we’re seeing it (climate change) in lots of different ways, but one of the ways that’s perhaps registering most with folks is the extreme weather events that have been happening with increasing frequency and severity,” then listed “the drought in California,” “Superstorm Sandy,” and so on.”
“We’re already paying a lot of money because of climate change,” the Environment Ministry spokesperson concluded. “We can’t afford to do nothing.”
Former Environment Canada research scientist Dr. Madhav Khandekar, an expert reviewer for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007 report responds, “Extreme weather such as heat waves, droughts, floods, etc. … are not increasing anywhere.”
Khandekar elaborates, “Our non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change report states there is no convincing evidence supporting a relationship between warming over the past 100 years and increases in extreme events. The link between global warming and extreme weather is more perception than reality.”
Instead of discussing the possibilities of cooling in Ontario, Clark focused only on warming, a far less dangerous scenario. “Warmer average temperatures mean drier forests and more frequent storms, so we have more frequent forest fires,” she said.
“That makes no sense,” Dr. Tim Ball, a former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg, said. “If you have warmer conditions, the forest, particularly the boreal forest, expands. My own research showed the tree line moved an average of 200 kilometres further north from 1772 to 1952, that is, from the depths of the Little Ice Age to the modern warm period.”