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Climate change theory: It's all about hating capitalism

Roger Pratt, MSc’66, of Nelson, BC, argues that climate change theory is more about hating capitalism and less about good science than its proponents are willing to admit

Letter to the Editor

Re: "The folly of denial"
Issue #3-2010, p. 10

In his article “The Folly of Denial” John P. Smol categorizes people like myself as climate change deniers and manufacturers of doubt. If Al Gore visited me here in Nelson, I would take him downtown and ask him to look across the valley, across the West Arm of Kootenay Lake, and look at the tree-covered mountains. I would then ask him what the scenery would have looked like 10,000 years ago. Of course, it would be a trick question because 10,000 years ago the valley was glaciated and downtown Nelson was covered by perhaps a kilometer of ice. The question is, what caused the last ice-age and what caused it to end? What caused the global warming at that time?

The UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Dr Smol seem to have decreed that the only factor in climate change is the modern industrial world, things like big oil, big coal, and greedy corporations. To them, volcanic activity, solar radiation, electro-magnetic fields, sunspots, and the wobble of the Earth’s axis have no relevance. About 900 A.D. the Mayan civilization fell apart. Researchers have determined that the primary causative factor was the occurrence of a 100-year drought. What caused the drought? If Dr Smol and the IPCC are correct, it is obvious that the Mayans were driving around in SUV’s and building coal-fired power plants. What other possible explanation could there be?

Some people accuse me of surfing the web to look for anything that supports climate change denial. I do not do that, but I do read ‘subversive’ magazines like National Geographic. The IPCC reports contain the infamous “hockey stick” graph (the Mann formula) that “proves” that the climate has been flat for about 1,000 years, but in the last 100 years world temperatures have increased greatly, due to industrialization. The “hockey stick” graph has proven to be statistical nonsense, but we get no apologies from the IPCC. In addition, in order to achieve the graph, the IPCC had to eliminate the well-known medieval warm period, when the world’s climate was as warm as, or warmer than, today. There was no medieval warm period. The June 2010 edition of National Geographic contains an interesting article about the lives of the Vikings in Greenland 1,000 years ago. Who is correct about the medieval warm period, the Vikings or Dr Smol and the IPCC?

Some months previous to that article, National Geographic published an article showing that about 4,000 years ago parts of the Sahara Desert were jungle. Rock paintings make this obvious. Perhaps Smol could be persuaded to write an article to explain what caused that climate change about 4,000 years ago.
A British judge declared that Al Gore’s DVD “An Inconvenient Truth” did contain a number of errors. Why has Al Gore not made changes to the DVD to eliminate the errors? A more recent folly by the IPCC was to state that the Himalayan glaciers would be gone in 35 years. In the last few years people in British Columbia have been bombarded with data “proving” that the west coast salmon runs were being destroyed by fish farms (those greedy corporations), because they generated sea lice that destroyed the salmon. The 2010 sockeye salmon run is the biggest in nearly 100 years. Who do we believe?

A couple of years ago 1,600 ducks were killed in the Alberta oil sands due to an equipment failure. The “environmentalists” had great fun with this. About a year ago the wind farm on Wolfe Island, Ontario, opened. After eight months of operations the farm has killed about 1,900 birds and bats. If you take that to a logical conclusion, in 20 years that farm will have killed over 40,000 bats and birds, but the Alberta oil sands, whose pollution is about 2% of the US coal industry, are bad.

I have my own conspiracy theories. My observations lead me to conclude that this climate change religion is more to do with hating corporations and capitalism (with the possible exception of Al Gore) than with cleaning up the environment. An obvious clue is the fact that at the Copenhagen climate change convention last December, while Prime Minister Harper received many insults, a pair of punks named Robert Mugabe and Hugo Chavez gave anti-capitalist speeches to the adoring crowds, and received standing ovations. Another clue is that organizations such as Greenpeace, the Sierra Club and the Suzuki Foundation often blame capitalists and corporations for pollution while ignoring the massive pollution from former socialist states such as Communist China and the Soviet Union. Apparently the heavy oil from the socialist state of Venezuela is pure and clean while the heavy oil from capitalist Alberta is polluting and dirty. Go figure! Lake Maracaibo is a mess.

If people would study the situation more closely they would realize that in the western world the clean up began decades ago, some of it voluntary and some by major legislation. There are more geothermal and solar plants than ever before and they are a growing industry. The process of turning algae into bio-fuels is making good progress. Unfortunately many in the so-called “environmental” industry have chosen to make climate change a political football, and have chosen to declare themselves more pure than others. If Dr Smol and the IPCC etc would change their attitudes we could make a lot more progress in cleaning up the environment, with people working together instead of playing the blame game. In my opinion the IPCC does not operate at the highest levels of integrity. If it does not change its ways, by being more inclusive and by conducting proper peer reviews, it should be abolished.

Roger Pratt, MSc’66
Nelson. BC


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