No one knows the future of climate change

Published on July 11, 2016

At stake in the climate debate are billions of dollars, millions of jobs and, if people like David Suzuki are right, the fate of the environment.

Consequently, we need everyone in the discussion to behave responsibly.

Sadly, the debate is often poisoned by misinformation, sarcasm, guilt by association and other logical fallacies.

Suzuki’s July 2 article in The Western Star demonstrates this well.

He implies that I am “shady,” that I spread lies, and calls me a “Canadian industry propagandist.” Yet I have never worked for any energy or natural resources industry, Canadian or otherwise. And I do not engage in propaganda. I simply promote the information that our science advisors think is most correct.

Suzuki says I have “pals at organizations like the U.S. Heartland Institute,” a group he apparently disapproves of. I am happy to work with Heartland. They are the publishers of the most impressive climate realist documents ever, the reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC).

NIPCC reports cite hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific references that demonstrate that today’s climate is not unusual, and evidence for future calamity is weak. The NIPCC explains how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has ignored much of the available scientific literature that does not conform to their position on climate change and so often comes to conclusions that do not match the facts.

Contrary to Suzuki’s message of impending catastrophe, no one, not even the world’s leading climate experts (Suzuki is not one of them), knows the future of climate change. And the impact of carbon dioxide emissions from human activities is even more poorly understood.

Yet we do know that people need help today adapting to climate change, however caused. Let’s help to the degree we can afford and stop pretending we have a crystal ball to the future.

Tom Harris, executive director, International Climate Science Coalition, Ottawa, Ont.