Go deeper to understand climate change

The climate change has powerful lobby groups at work to discredit climate science and to cast doubt on the seriousness of the problem

Re:  “Global warming scam just a money grab” (Progress, Feb. 21)

The writer might have started his letter with “I don’t claim to know how it all works” to warn the reader that the writer hadn’t done the research that he is urging others to do. Instead, he buries this proviso in paragraph 2 following a rant about “a wild-eyed fanatic.” The letter was written in support of Mr. Daher’s Feb. 15th letter, which had been subsequently criticized (Feb 16) for a serious lack of supporting statements. I would contend that Mr. Raddysh has made the same mistake.

Having just attended, this past week, two, free, public lectures on Climate Change at SFU Downtown by climate scientists who were in Vancouver for a major science convention, I can attest that I did not see any fanatical sign-waving warning of the end of the world.  They were, in fact, highly regarded scientists and reasonable men, who have a deep concern for the well-being of future generations of humans and for earth’s intricate ecosystems.

Professor Mike Mann (author of  “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars”) whose research over the past two decades has been the target of much vitriol from the global warming denial camp spoke very calmly about the scientific evidence for the increases in average global temperatures and the contribution of human activities to that increase.

He also took the time to talk frankly about the so-called Climategate scandal that the writer referred to. I would caution readers to be sure to check your sources of information when following up on this side issue.

Professor Mike Hulme, an environmental scientist, urged his audience to consider the issue as “climate risk” rather than “climate change” and to ask “what are the dangers and for whom? And how do we manage them?” He co-authored the May 2010 “The Hartwell Paper” that proposes “that the organising principle of our effort should be the raising up of human dignity via three overarching objectives: ensuring energy access for all; ensuring that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system; ensuring that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever their cause may be.”

Can you remember a time when the debate about smoking and its effect on health still had its deniers and we found that the studies being done to support them were underwritten by the tobacco industry? The climate change debate is similar in that powerful lobby groups are at work to discredit climate science and to cast doubt on the seriousness of the problem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_denial). In addition, the oil and gas industry contributes very heavily to political campaigns and lobbyists in the US.

Yes, by all means, do go beyond the mainstream media, as Mr. Raddysh admonishes us, to become as well-informed as possible on this critically important issue.


Vic Gladish

Chilliwack, BC