Progress: Canadian Senate Listens to Global Warming Skeptics
On December 15, four leading scientists appeared before the Canadian Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources to challenge global warming advocacy. The hearing was the first of its kind in Canada. (Video of the hearing can be found here.)
Guelph University Professor of Economics Dr. Ross McKitrick led off the hearing, explaining that the foundation of the climate scare -- the science as promulgated by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -- cannot be trusted:
The so-called Climategate emails confirmed the reality of bias and cronyism in the IPCC process. … IPCC Assessments are guaranteed merely to repeat and reinforce a set of foregone conclusions that make up the party line.
McKitrick explained how his research showed that much of the warming seen in the IPCC surface temperature record is almost certainly a result of urbanization, agriculture, and other land use changes, not greenhouse gases (GHG). He also found that the 50-year record of temperatures measured by balloons does not show the warming trend forecast by climate models.
University of Ottawa (U of O) Professor of Earth Sciences Dr. Ian Clark addressed the committee:
We have not really seen any global warming for the past 10 years. … This is in stark contrast with the IPCC forecast of an increase of some 0.2 degrees per decade.
Clark explained that 20th century warming is merely one of a series of warm periods in the last 10,000 years. During these intervals, carbon dioxide -- the greenhouse gas most targeted by governments around the world -- was relatively steady:
CO2 had nothing to do with these warming periods.
Clark continued, showing that the last 500 million years show no correlation between temperature and CO2. He explained that water vapor is in fact responsible for the majority of the greenhouse effect. Clark also promoted the theory that the Sun, not CO2, is driving climate change. He concluded:
It is time to turn our attention to real, tangible environmental problems.
Many people think the science of climate change is settled. It is not. … [The Sun] drives the water cycle; the water cycle then generates climate, and climate decides how much jungle, how much tundra and so on we will have, and therefore drives around the carbon cycle. … The sun also warms the oceans that emit CO2 into the atmosphere. Atmospheric CO2 is thus the product and not the cause of the climate.
Veizer explained that solar output must be amplified to explain recent warming:
The IPCC argues that because no amplifier is known, which is an invalid assertion, man made greenhouse gases must be responsible. … However, this is an assumption. … There is no actual empirical experimental proof that carbon dioxide is a driver.
Veizer then showed that changes in cloudiness can account for much of the past century’s warming. Clouds have an enormous impact on temperature, he explained, and cloud extent appears to be controlled largely by cosmic rays entering the atmosphere, which are regulated by the Sun.
Carleton University Professor of Geology Dr. Timothy Patterson discussed how his research in the fjords of British Columbia revealed consistent correlations between solar cycles and climate over the past 5,000 years:
Hundreds of other studies have shown exactly the same thing. … The sun, and not variations in carbon dioxide, appears to be the most important driver of climate change. … Solar scientists predict that by later in this decade the sun will be starting into its weakest solar cycle of the past two centuries, and this will likely lead to unusually cool conditions on earth, which may persist for decades. … It is global cooling, not warming, that is the major climate threat to the world.
Patterson explained how his research on the Tibbitt to Contwoyto winter ice road in northern Canada leads him to “project a period spanning several decades where conditions will remain suitable for continued extensive use of the ice road.”
With the exception of Alberta Senator Grant Mitchell -- who asserted that “to believe these arguments is to believe some kind of strange conspiracy theory” -- committee members appeared open to the scientists’ testimonies. Patterson encouraged Mitchell to attend one of the large earth sciences conferences where the skeptical point of view is supported by many researchers.
Yukon Senator Daniel Lang challenged the scientists:
Do everything you can to get out and to have that public debate … especially since, as Mr. Patterson's research has indicated, we may well be looking at a cooling period for quite some time. If that is the case, then we really better have a look at what we are doing.