The Great Climate Change Boondoggle

Written by Roger Graves

It’s been a hot, wet summer so far. My neighbour has an explanation for this (he has an explanation for most things) – “It’s climate change, isn’t it. Just what they’ve been warning us about.” Er, no, not exactly.

A lot of people confuse climate and weather. Climate is simply the long term average of the weather, over many, many years, while weather is what we get at any particular time. Both of them are subject to change, but whereas weather changes from day to day and week to week, climate changes from decade to decade and century to century. And by the way, climate is always changing, although the change is so slow that we don’t usually notice it. A farmer friend of mine has, though. He told me the other day that thirty years ago he couldn’t start working his fields until May, but nowadays he can usually get into them in April. That’s climate change – or possibly he has better machinery than he had thirty years ago.

Climate tends to be cyclical – it gets warmer for a while, then it cools off again, over a period of half a century or so. However, the global warming scaremongers have hijacked the phrase ‘climate change’. About twenty years ago we were in a warming phase, so it was easy to convince people that the warming was due to human activities. This was the famous anthropogenic global warming (AGW) that we were all supposed to worry about. Unfortunately for the AGW priesthood, it stopped warming about fifteen years ago, and now looks as though it’s going to cool down again. You’ve got to hand it to those guys though, they just changed the name from global warming to climate change, so it doesn’t matter whether it’s warming up or cooling down, they get you coming and going.

The whole point of telling us that climate change is bad, and it’s all our fault for wanting to drive cars and have air conditioning, is to make us feel guilty. If we feel guilty, then we’re more likely to agree to whatever cockamamie schemes the government of the day wants to impose on us. Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, of blessed memory, decided that what the world needed was lots and lots of unsightly, uneconomic, unreliable wind power, so he invoked the spectre of climate change to convince us that the situation was so urgent that his government could site industrial wind turbines wherever it wanted. He also declared that the (imaginary) urgency was so great that he could hand out massive, multi-year contracts without going through the usual bidding process.

Dalton’s supporters often point out that other countries have gone into wind power in a big way as well, so why shouldn’t Ontario? The difference is that these other countries usually have some reason driving them other than neurotic climate change fears. Britain, for example, has installed massive amounts of wind power, including a lot of offshore wind farms around its coasts. But the real reason for this is that Britain has relied for decades on North Sea gas, and now it’s running out, so they had to find a replacement.

Of course, it helps that most of The Holy Dalton’s supporters live in suburbs and downtown cores, and will never, ever have to live within sight or sound of one of these monster egg beaters. It’s the old story of the urban/rural divide. The urban dwellers want something, and since they have the most votes they get it. The rurals just get dumped on.

All of this I could live with if there were any truth to the climate change scare. What bugs me is that, speaking as a physicist, there are so many gaping holes in the hypothesis of human-induced climate change that it’s more of a Swiss cheese than a theory. Its devotees insist that the debate is over, the theory is settled, and now is the time for serious action, so we’ll just slap lots of new taxes onto everything (and don’t the politicians just love any excuse for more taxes). The problem is that there has never been a debate, just a lot of politicians and their environmentalist hangers on shouting down anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

Climate change is a natural process that has been going on from the beginning of time. We happen to be at or near the peak of a warm period right now, but just wait a few years and it will all start cooling down again. Anything we do, such as installing wind power or instituting carbon taxes will not make the slightest difference. Urging people to fight climate change is about as sensible as telling them to fight gravity. (Mind you, I wouldn’t put it past the US Supreme Court to declare that gravity is unconstitutional.) The next time anyone tells you that if we don’t make drastic changes to our lifestyles the world will come to an end, just tell them to jump in the lake.

Copyright © 2013-2014 Canadian Landowner Alliance.