October 2019 was yet another month in which the climate change debate was not merely expensive and misguided, but completely ridiculous. And in no jurisdiction was this more apparent than in Canada, which, to the dismay of many in oil-rich Alberta, hosted Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. On Oct 2, Toronto, the country’s largest city, voted unanimously to declare a climate emergency “for the purpose of ‘naming, framing, and deepening’ Toronto’s commitment to protecting the city’s economy, ecosystem and residents from climate change,” according to CTV News.

Arguable more than in any other general election in Canadian history, climate change was a major issue in the vote that saw the ruling Liberals returned to power on Oct 21 despite coming in second place to the Conservatives in the popular vote. And, with the exception of the tiny People’s Party of Canada, all parties promoted the nonsensical idea that we are in the midst of a climate emergency. 

Consider for example, the Oct 7 leaders’ debate statement of Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada: 

“Greta Thunberg is right. The house is on fire. Grownups then stand up and say kids, get to safety, we’ve got this. We’ll take care of this for you.” 

And then later in the debate, May proclaimed: 

“We are in a climate emergency. We need grownups in the room to take responsibility!”

Happily, there were at least some Canadians acting like grownups during an otherwise bizarre October: climate and energy realists meeting at seminars held in Montreal (Oct 16) and Toronto (Oct 17).

Hosted by the Canadian Climate Realism Interest Group (CCRIG) an informal group of Canadians from various professions, including teaching, investing, engineering, government and business, the meetings were held at the prestigious Mount Royal Club in Montreal and the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto. The presentation schedule may be seen here. In the leadup to the seminars, CCRIG gave their rationale for the seminars:  

“We are distressed that activists are using the global warming panic as justification for extraordinary levels of taxation that are burdening transportation, manufacturing and households with high prices, crippling our industries and pushing jobs offshore.”

CCRIG originator John Zacharias, a retired Toronto-based engineer, gave a more personal perspective:

“I experienced first-hand the devastating impact of misguided climate policies when unnecessary greenhouse gas regulations made our company’s operations untenable. One of my goals in organizing CCRIG was to publicize the actual state of the science underlying the climate scare and encourage a more balanced dialogue.”

The first presenter in Montreal, Alain Bonnier, Ph.D. Physics, INRS-Centre de Recherche en Énergie (1973), said, 

“Along with about 500 other scientists & professionals, I endorsed the European Climate Declaration, an open letter to the UN stating that ‘there is no climate emergency.’ We explained that the world has warmed at less than half the originally-predicted rate. Since 30 years, climate models forecasts have systematically been wrong in overestimating global temperature and for this reason are not remotely plausible as policy tools. There is no cause for panic and alarm.”

Montreal seminar chairman Reynald Du Berger, ing. FIC, professeur titulaire de géophysique, retraité de l’Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, a European Climate Declaration ECO Ambassador for French-speaking Canada, explained, 

“I am most concerned by media propaganda and biased teaching of climate science in Canadian schools. If Greta Thunberg leads a #climatestrike in Alberta, I would like to ask her a basic question:

‘How do you explain the fact that the global average annual temperature has been stagnating over the last 20 years, despite the fact that more than 40% of all our CO2 emissions have been emitted during the same 20 years?’”

Professor Du Berger concluded, 

“How can people go out into the streets to demonstrate on a complex scientific subject of which they know almost nothing – scaring themselves and others with media headlines, not peer-reviewed materials? We must have open debate about this controversial field.”

The first speaker in Toronto, the junior author of the piece (Dr. Jay Lehr), demonstrated how the Medieval Warm Period, a time thought to be warmer than today, and the Little Ice Age were both featured prominently in a graph in the First Assessment Report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 1990). “But this did not fit the global warming narrative,” explained Lehr. “So, it was replaced by the hopelessly flawed ‘hockey stick’ which showed relative stable temperatures for the first 900 years of the second millennium and then suddenly rising temperatures starting about 1900.” 

The hockey stick was invalidated in 2003 by two Canadian statisticians, Stephen McIntyre and Professor Ross McKitrick. Yet it, or other graphs like it, are often cited in support of the climate scare.

Lehr next illustrated the absurdity of climate alarmist claims about dangerously rising sea level, saying,

“NOAA’s tide gauge analyses show there has been no acceleration of the sea level’s normal rise of 7 inches per century for the past 800 years.”

Lehr concluded with a discussion of “Twelve climate variables which we do not properly understand.” He said,

“The climate scare is based solely on the forecasts of computer models that do not work. Indeed, they cannot work since we do not have a comprehensive theory of climate for the simple reason that we do not understand many of the basic natural factors driving climate change. Until we do, no one should take the output of these models seriously.”

After explaining that even, if we eliminated all cars, SUVs and pickup trucks in Canada, we would only get slightly over one third of the way to the existing 2030 emissions reduction target, economist and policy expert Robert Lyman, the second presenter at the Toronto event, summed up:

“Current Canadian climate policies are very damaging to the country and the efforts to attain either the 30% or 45% emission reduction targets will make matters much worse.

“We need a far more positive and democratic approach to energy and environmental policy. It should be premised on the view that energy services should be plentiful, reliable and inexpensive. Consumers and businesses should be able to choose, based on competitive markets and available technology, which energy sources to produce and use. The over-reaching policy paradigm should emphasize democratic decision-making within a multi-goal, pluralist framework, an emphasis on balancing costs and benefits, and a preference for the use of cost-effective policy instruments.”

James Taylor, director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center at the Arlington, Illinois-based Heartland Institute next gave a rousing presentation in which he showed that the most accurate land-based temperature record in the United States (the Climate Reference Network stations) showed no warming since at least 2005 (see below figure used by Taylor). 

Taylor next demonstrated how wrong the temperature and food security forecasts of the UN IPCC have been. Citing the UN IPCC Climate Change and Land, report (Aug 2019) that stated that food security has been adversely impacted by climate change, Taylor explained the huge increase across the world in crop production, showing a slide with the following quote:

UN FAO Food Outlook, May 2019 – “world cereal output is forecast to reach a new record level of 2,722 million tonnes (including rice in milled equivalent), that is 71 million tonnes higher than in 2018.”

“We need to base policy on real-world observations of the climate system,” said Taylor. “And those observations tell us that, whether we are examining temperature, extreme weather (droughts, tornadoes and hurricanes, etc.), Great Lakes water levels or any of the parameters often cited by alarmists as a harbingers of climate disaster, there is nothing extraordinary going on.”

Tom Harris, the senior author of this article, demonstrated why wind and solar power have not lived up to the promises of advocates. He said:

“Wind and solar power have applications in remote locations off the grid and for consumers who are prepared to pay a very high price for their power. But for the rest of us, these are hopelessly impractical energy sources.”

Harris showed the below bar chart and explained:

“Anyone who thinks new wind and solar resources are competitive with existing coal, natural gas, and nuclear does not know what they are talking about. The average Levelized Costs of Electricity (LCOEs) from these existing conventional energy sources are less than half the cost of new solar and wind resources when you do not include subsidies to renewables but do include the costs of back-up power that intermittent wind and solar necessitate.”

Source: “The Levelized Cost of Electricity from Existing Generation Resources,” June 2019, Institute for Energy Research and Amercaspower.org (not included are the huge costs for transmission for wind and solar)

Both Montreal and Toronto seminars wrapped up with a stunning presentation from Dr. Patrick Moore, a founding member of Greenpeace, who showed that there are now 400% more polar bears than in 1973. With the slide below on the screen, he concluded,

“While there is no proof that carbon dioxide (CO2) is causing recent warming, it is certain that increased CO2 is greening the Earth. If humans had not begun to unlock some of the carbon stored as fossil fuels, all of which had been in the atmosphere as CO2 before sequestration by plants and animals, life on Earth would have soon been starved of this essential nutrient and would begin to die. No other species could have accomplished the task of putting some of the carbon back into the atmosphere that was taken out and locked in the Earth’s crust by plants and animals over the millennia. We should celebrate our CO2 emissions, not demonize them!”

 

Moore said, “I can tell you one thing about the people who are presenting to you today. We are honest. We are not liars. But there are a lot of liars on the other side. They are the real deniers, the ones who deny this history and this truth.”

Videos of all presentations will be uploaded to the website of the International Climate Science Coalition shortly. 

Image Credit: NASA/Nick Hague