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Greenhouse gases : Caution is the right stance for Canada

par Maxime Bernier
jeudi 25 février 2010.

Open letter published in La Presse and on on February 24, 2010.


Since December, the debate over the scientific basis of global warming, which had been stifled for years by political correctness, is finally taking place in the media. The many errors made by the IPCC that have been recently unveiled add more weight to the various alternative theories that have been put forward for a number of years.

As one tries to get information about the various aspects of the question, one finds out that it is possible to be “sceptical,” or at any rate to keep an open mind, on almost all the crucial aspects of the global warming thesis.

For example, although no one disputes that temperatures have gone up over the past hundred years, there is no consensus among scientists as to its degree. Satellite data show less warming than terrestrial stations, which may have been contaminated by heat coming from more extended urban areas.

Data from tree rings in the forests even show some cooling ; that’s why they were replaced by temperatures considered more accurate from meteorological stations in the IPCC graphs. This is what the famous quote about the trick to “hide the decline” by British researcher Phil Jones, which created such controversy during the “Climategate” episode, refers to.

Phil Jones has admitted that we still do not know if the medieval period when the Vikings colonised Greenland was really warmer than today. But that if that was the case, it would contradict the claim that our era has been exceptionally warm due to human activity.

Moreover, we realize that during the period of greatest concern about warming – the last decade – temperatures have stopped increasing ! Meanwhile, the quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere, said to be the cause of warming according to the official theory, is still increasing. Some very serious scientists believe that we are underestimating the influence of the sun and other factors that have nothing to do with carbon emissions when studying climate change.

Mojib Latif, a German researcher associated with the IPCC who essentially supports the warming theory, said last fall that temperatures may decline for two decades before warming resumes. No model predicted this trend. But the same models claim to predict the number of degrees of warming that the planet will experience by the end of the century…

Those are only some of the “certainties” put forward by global warming supporters about which there is no scientific consensus. There is such disagreement that a Canadian climatologist, Professor Tim Patterson of Carleton University, recently declared in a radio interview to an Ottawa station that we should abstain from doing more until we really know what is going on.

What is certain is that it would be irresponsible to spend billions of dollars and to impose unnecessarily stringent regulations to solve a problem whose gravity we still are not certain about. The alarmism that has often characterized this debate is no longer appropriate. Canada is wise to be cautious.

Maxime Bernier is the MP for Beauce (Quebec, Canada)

Institut économique Molinari : proposer des solutions alternatives et  innovantes favorables à la prospérité de l’ensemble des individus composant la  société

Institut économique Molinari
Paris - Bruxelles - Montréal