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Joe Oliver: Climate Alarmists Seriously Harm The Economy

Joe Oliver, Toronto Sun

Canada’s energy industry is in crisis mode. Our economy stands to lose over $45 billion annually due to the massive discount at which we sell oil to the U.S. because governments and environmental activists have blocked the construction of pipelines to tidewater.

Their opposition is based on a profound belief that we must rapidly reduce our dependency on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emitting fossil fuels or climate change will inflict irreparable harm to life on the planet. However, that belief is at best grossly exaggerated or simply false.

Dire prophesies about climate change have failed to materialize. Eleven years ago the World Wildlife Fund warned we had five years to save the world from catastrophic climate change. Seven years ago, the International Energy Agency predicted there were five years left.

Predictions have also been wrong, sometimes spectacularly, about temperature increases, endangered polar bears, disappearing polar ice and islands sinking into the sea. As well, computer models consistently overestimate warming.

Failed predictions should make alarmists more modest about their knowledge of climate science, which is a massively complex subject. Yet being wrong only increases their fervour, which has led to policies that seriously damage the Canadian economy, but do virtually nothing to solve the supposed problem.

For perspective, we should put our climate in a historical context. Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, notes that over the past 600 million years global temperatures ranged from 12 degrees to 22 degrees Celsius. Currently, we are at 14.5 degrees, i.e. at the colder end of the range. GHG emissions are now 406 parts per million, compared to the historical average of 2,000 ppm where plants thrive.

Moore also points out that from 1910 to 1940 global temperature increased by 0.4 degrees Celsius. It fell between 1940 and 1970 creating panic about global cooling. It warmed up again by 0.4 degrees from 1970 to 2000, so catastrophists shifted their alarm back to the impending inferno.

Then temperatures remained basically flat for the next 18 years, so global warming was renamed climate change. Meanwhile, GHG kept rising during the warming, the cooling and the pause, suggesting CO2 cannot be the only cause of climate change. What will happen next? Who knows, but certainly not Al Gore.

Alarmists never acknowledge the positives of higher carbon dioxide which fertilizes plants and reduces vulnerability to drought, creating a larger tree canopy and more agricultural land. Also, cold weather kills 20 times as many people as hot weather, according to an international study published in the Lancet.

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