Global warming causes not as certain as claimed
Perceptions by Gerry Warner
There are two sides to every story. How many times have you heard that tired cliché? A hundred? A thousand? A million? I know I’ve lost count. But just because it’s a cliché doesn’t mean it’s not true.
This was driven home to me recently when I heard an interview on the radio with Patrick Moore. Who’s that you say? Ahh, memories are so short. Born in BC, a scientist with a PhD in ecology from UBC and the former president of the Greenpeace Foundation of Canada, Patrick Moore was once one of the most famous environmentalists on earth.
How do you like those credentials? Yet today, Moore is one of the most hated and reviled “environmentalists” in the world accused in a Manchester Guardian article no less of being a “Judas of the eco-warriors” spreading a gospel of doubt.” Sheesh! Can this be the same Patrick Moore that was one of the earliest members of Greenpeace, a protester against nuclear testing and whale hunting and was aboard the Rainbow Warrior the day it was blown up by French spies in Auckland Harbour?
Yep, that’s the right guy. Today, Moore is denounced as an apologist for the forest industry, a paid shill for the nuclear power industry and an advocate for genetically modified food. Once a passionate critic of clear cut logging, Moore now says clear cutting “allows new trees to grow in the sunshine.” But Chris Genovali, of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, says: “Each time I read something by this megalomaniacal crackpot, I get the urge to hurl.”
Yet even these criticisms aren’t the biggest aimed at Moore because the former Greenpeacer has committed the greatest sin in the environmental lexicon by denouncing the scientific proponents of global warming and climate change. That’s right. Moore is a climate change skeptic and he doesn’t take the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as gospel. In its 2013 report, the IPCC concluded that mankind was the “dominant cause” of global warming and since then has argued that atmospheric pollution, particularly carbon dioxide emissions from industry and vehicles, is responsible for 95 per cent of global warming.
No way, says Moore. ““We do not know if we are a small or large part of the present global warming. It is not possible through science to determine an exact answer to this question . . . So it is very unlikely that we (humans) are the only factor causing the present global warming but we may be one of the factors.”
In the dominant scientific and evidence-based way of thinking today Moore’s comments are the equivalent of saying “the emperor has no clothes.” Scientists denounce him, environmentalists hate him and Moore has been made an international pariah by the media. But you know something, as much as I deplore Moore’s views on logging and many of his other views, on this one I think it’s possible that he’s right and should at least be listened to.
Oh, oh, I can already feel the slings and arrows hurling my way for saying this so I will now be perfectly clear about my climate change views. I absolutely accept the evidence that the earth is warming dramatically in our times and one only has to look at the dramatic shrinking of the world’s ice caps and glaciers, including the glaciers of the Kootenays, to see this.
But Moore argues, and so have I long before I was aware of Moore’s views, that solar heat fluctuations by the sun may be at least as an important factor as air-borne carbon pollution by man as a cause of global warming. It may even be the main cause.
There, I’ve said it and I’m not going to take it back no matter how much scorn and abuse is directed my way. I acknowledge that I’m not a scientist and can’t argue on scientific grounds. But as a long-time weather nut and student of meteorology, I can say what my gut believes and I could say more, but there’s no room now.
However, part two of this column will come. Trust me.
Gerry Warner is a retired journalist and a skeptic on a lot of things.