Crawford: Honest, sincere thinking not cause for frustration

I understsand Gordon McBean’s frustration with the Harper government when it comes to climate change and its lack of initiative. (Sharing his frustration around changing climate for science, Western News, Oct. 16.) On the other hand, some people read various sources and, based on these credible sources, think critically about the issue and other accounts they are hearing on the matter.

First of all, the very topic of climate change is ambiguous, at best.

Of course, everyone believes in climate change: History has already recorded the Medieval Warm Period (900-1300) and the Little Ice Age (1300-1880). Who’s to say we’re not experiencing another one?

And then we find many scientists, even climatologists, who are ‘jumping ship’ in one way or another. Judith Currie, head of Environmental Studies at Georgia Tech, has. She was impressed by the arguments and data from Stephen MacIntyre’s ClimateAudit website in Toronto. Richard Lindzen from MIT argues the planet is warming, but harmlessly so. A paleo-oceanologist from Denmark has decried the ripping out of tree in the Maldives that show no dramatic increase in water levels due to climate change – rather they reveal changing water levels due to destruction of coral reefs.

Ice cores are used to bolster climate change claims, but the excavation of six U.S. planes buried in snow in 1942 on Greenland found them in 1988 under 266 feet of ice. With this rate of deposition, along with the postulation that Greenland’s thickest ice sheet is some 5,000 feet, Greenland would have truly been green in 1000 AD.

A recent CO2 emissions graph published in Der Spiegal, The Economist, and two other British newspapers, showed absolutely no correlation between CO2 levels and global warming.

Even Ivan Seminiuk of McGill University admitted on the Discovery Channel the global warming phenomenon does actually correlate to solar radiation models. For this reason, the last 16 years had not seen any global warming, according to the National Climate Association in the United States. Rather, there has been a net cooling observed.

A major research paper from a German university I have read that shows a shift between north and south poles when it comes to increasing and decreasing glacier formation. They seem to vacillate with each other on an ongoing basis.

My understanding of the history of science is the majority voice has almost always been wrong.

Most of the advances ever made by scientisits have been made by mavericks who were initially opposed, not embraced. So it is difficult to give our minds over to a theory that isn’t seen as absolutely vital, let alone absolutely true. And even the support of climate science by the President of the United States doesn’t carry weight with many who believe a politician is hardly privy to scientific thinking.

Nevertheless, I understand why McBean is frustrated. I only hope he understands the honest and sincere thinking many people engage in that may fly in the face of what he perceives as the simple “facts of science.”

Malcolm E. Crawford
BMuc’75, BEd’78