A typical day in Beijing at this time of year. This isn't just fog

BC Views: Polluting the climate change debate

A fresh look at the obvious biases of climate change politics.

By the time you read this I will be arriving in China, traveling from Japan with a forest industry trade mission led by B.C. Forests Minister Steve Thomson.

A fellow journalist stationed in Beijing posted a local story on Twitter the other day, a forecast that fall and winter air quality is expected to be worse than usual this year. And “usual” in that part of China is worse than anything we have ever seen in North America.

He followed that up with a cell phone video taken out the window of a plane as it taxied to its takeoff location. In broad daylight, even the edge of the runway a few metres away was shrouded behind a blank screen of grayish-white.

This is not “carbon pollution,” as some North American politicians now refer to carbon dioxide, the invisible gas we exhale with every breath that helps trees grow. It is soot particles, sulfur and nitrogen oxides and other contaminants, from burning massive amounts of coal and oil without adequate controls. It is poison.

Claiming carbon dioxide is pollution, rather than an essential trace gas that adds to heat trapping in the atmosphere, is just one problem with the climate change narrative pushed by the United Nations.

Using jet-setting, megayacht-sailing actor Leonardo DiCaprio as a spokesman is another. It’s hard to imagine a worse choice, measured by his Hollywood lifestyle or his technical knowledge. This is the guy who felt a Chinook wind blow in while filming in Alberta in winter, and thought the world was ending.

I’ve described some of the other inconvenient truths before, like the fact that polar bear populations have increased in recent decades, or that there has been a two-decade “pause” with only slight rise in average temperatures, a trend that may be returning after a couple of warm El Nino years, similar to 1998.

There’s one more problem I want to mention, and then I will give this topic a rest.

For this one I refer you to Judith Curry, professor at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech. She runs a technical but readable blog at judithcurry.com that politely analyzes mainstream climate change theory.

Discussing Donald Trump’s promise to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, and his since-recanted 2012 claim that human-caused climate change is a “hoax” got up by the Chinese, Curry goes back to the original UN definition:

“Climate change is a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.”

She calls this “a perversion of the definition … designed to mislead people into thinking that all climate change is caused by humans.”

Curry also rejects the “propaganda” that the emissions reductions agreed to in Paris would have “any discernible impact” beyond natural climate variability.

Even if temperatures start to match climate models, and the U.S. and the rest of us meet our Paris targets, the expected reduction in warming would be two tenths of one degree by 2100.

U.S. smog and emissions have gone down in recent years, mostly by replacing thermal coal with natural gas. B.C. is proposing to do the same thing for China, helping to reduce real pollution as well as CO2 emissions there.

This idea is under continuous attack in what has become a religious war on fossil fuels.

Here’s to cleaner air and a fresh look at the obvious biases of climate change politics.

 

Tom Fletcher is B.C. legislature reporter and columnist for Black Press. Email: tfletcher@blackpress.ca Twitter: @tomfletcherbc

 

Just Posted

Kelowna residents to honour the dead with walk of memories

The walk will honour each phase of life

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 800 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Declining mule deer tracked in new study

Wildlife research collaborators join forces on research initiative

B.C. Interior flood risk diminishing

Snowmelt receding but rainfall impact remains a concern

Driver flees scene after colliding with pedestrian

Kelowna RCMP continue their investigation after a driver allegedly failed to remain at the scene

It’s official: Basran to seek second term as Kelowna’s mayor

Colin Basran said despite the success of first four years, there more to be done

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Rockets donate $12K to Kidney Foundation of Canada

Kelowna jerseys auctioned off as part of WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation

Fuel truck crash closes B.C. highway, sends two to hospital

Trans-Canada Highway reopens to traffic early Friday morning

Study looking at declining mule deer population

Southern Interior mule deer project tracking deer movement and health

Most Read