Letter: Little evidence warming climate leads to forest fires

Efforts to 'stop climate change that might happen decades in the future.'

To the editor:

Former Green Party candidate Angela Nagy (Economic Opportunities Get Overlooked, Sept. 18 Kelowna Capital News) is wrong to imply that extreme weather events and forest fires are caused by climate change. This is one of the few areas of agreement between the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC—see ipcc.ch) and the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC—see www.climatechangereconsidered.org).

In 2012 the IPCC asserted that a relationship between global warming and wildfires, rainfall, storms, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events has not been demonstrated. In their latest assessment report released on Sept. 27, 2013, IPCC scientists concluded that they had only “low confidence” that “damaging increases will occur in either drought or tropical cyclone activity” as a result of global warming.

The NIPCC report released on Sept. 17, 2013 concluded the same, asserting that: “In no case has a convincing relationship been established between warming over the past 100 years and increases in any of these extreme events.”

The real tragedy in all this is that, because of the overconfidence of activists like Al Gore and David Suzuki that we can control climate as if we had a global thermostat, most climate funding is devoted to supposedly preventing climate change that may happen in the future, not what is actually happening today due to natural climate variability.

According to the San Francisco-based Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) report (October 2013), of the approximately $357 billion US (almost $1 billion per day) that was spent on climate finance across the world in 2012, only six per cent of it went to helping people prepare for and adapt to climate change today. CPI’s 2011 report showed that, even within developing countries, only five per cent of climate finance went into adaptation, a crime that costs many lives every year in poor nations. The rest of the money went to trying to stop climate change that might happen decades in the future. This is immoral, giving more value to the lives of people yet to be born than those suffering today.

Nagy should consider whether she is on the right side of this debate.

Tom Harris,

executive director,

International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC),





685 Fraser Avenue

Ottawa, Ontario K2A 2R7