Climate comments off base

I note with some dismay that Mel Arnold has denied, on public radio, that humans have a significant impact on the planetary climate

I note with some dismay that Mel Arnold, representing the government of Stephen Harper, has denied, on public radio, that humans have a significant impact on the planetary climate.

I know Mel, and he’s a decent person with a long and successful record running a business detailing boats and RV’s in this community.

However, stating clearly that human activity has contributed “one-and-a-half percent” to the warming of the planet, when I am fairly certain he has not studied, in any depth, how climate analysis differentiates human-caused climate change from natural climate cycles, is akin to me, as a family physician, offering a detailed opinion on exactly how to conduct brain surgery.

The following two sentences from a scientific report give a clear picture of why human activity is affecting global climate: “the  13 C / 12 C ratios [between 2 types of carbon] begin to decline dramatically just as the CO2 starts to increase — around 1850 AD. This is exactly what we expect if the increased CO2 is in fact due to fossil fuel burning.”

We depend on the work of scientists – not simply trying to create products, but trying to understand how our intricate and interactive world really works.

The current government has strenuously suppressed science in certain areas: climate change, and the harmful health effects of the tar sands and the fracking industry. It has adopted an extreme position on these matters, far removed from the view of the governments of just about every technologically advanced nation in the world.

Society’s leaders cannot cherry-pick the information they use, or to try to block facts and figures that challenge their personal beliefs. Future generations will not thank leaders who see what they want to see, and disregard the rest.

Warren Bell


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