Queen's University

John Smol is part of “The Industry”

Reader Harry K. Menna, Sc’60, of Ottawa, ON, argues that Prof. John Smol has a vested interest in climate change, and so we should take what he has to say on the subject with the proverbial grain of salt.

Letter to the Editor

Re: "Show me the money," Issue #3-2010, p. 6

I agree with Carey Probst. I believe his assessment that "the real harm will come from the lowered standard of living caused by misguided policies of the alarmists—because of bad policy decisions."

Dr. John Smol is obviously a member of the enormously expensive Climate Change Industry ("The Industry"). His lengthy reference about acid rain is irrelevant and self-serving. He likes to use unproven phrases such as "the overwhelming majority of scientists."

The Copenhagen conference failed because of the high-spending intent of the alarmists. I recall that a budget proposal there called for many billions of dollars per year to cut greenhouse gas emissions in underdeveloped countries. The Industry speaks loudest because they have funds to provide the means for doing so and must continue their pursuit of more and more funds in order to continue their ridiculous agenda. To understand what I say, Google the name of Professor Michael Mann, a notorious, well-funded, vocal, and misguided alarmist who has been severely challenged from many directions.

I fully agree that climate is changing and that it is warming. I have watched the recession of Athabasca Glacier for 60 years. I understand that the glaciers in Waterton National Park disappeared completely in recent years. But climate has always been changing. The last ice age that covered many thousands of square kilometres with ice where we are now living is acknowledged to have ended 11,000 years ago. I quote the late Prof. Alfred W. Jolliffe, BA’29, MA’31, who taught Geology for many years at Queen’s: "On the geological time scale, 11,000 years is like a postage stamp on top of the Washington Monument."
The Cambrian Period, 400 million years ago, is a popular reference because the first significant indication of life on earth, as verified by fossil deposits, occurred in that period. Simple division, 400 million years divided by 11,000 years, will suggest that the Cambrian period was 36,000 ice ages ago. I leave it to the professionals to confirm the actual number, but there have been many ice ages. How will the alarmists panic when the climate change reverses, which it will?

But not to worry, it will not be in our lifetimes. To encourage a little thinking, I ask the alarmists if meaningful man-made climate change could have occurred before the Industrial Revolution, which began in about 1750, or 260 years ago. That is 260 divided by 11,000 or 0.024 ice ages ago. The evils caused by man in this time frame did indeed work quickly.

World-renowned geologist Rhodes Fairbridge, BA’36, supported a statement by the U.S. Senate Environment Committee that "man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people." In this context, the total effect of the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland will take years to assess, but current estimates claim its effect to be orders of magnitude greater than man’s effect on climate from the beginning of time. Perhaps our alarmists should seek funds to plug up every volcano with concrete. It would be at least as effective as the attempts they are now making.

Harry K. Menna, Sc’60
Ottawa, ON

Queen's Alumni Review, 2010 Issue #4Queen's Alumni Review
2010 Issue #4
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