A group of 90 of Canada's most senior climate scientists have sent an open letter to the prime minister, warning that global warming is happening now and the federal government needs to do more about the problem.
A who's who of the country's atmospheric scientists from the government, the private sector and universities have written to Prime Minister Stephen Harper to say the federal government isn't doing enough about climate change.
"We urge you and your government to develop an effective national strategy to deal with the many important aspects of climate that will affect both Canada and the rest of the world in the near future," said the letter, which was delivered to Harper's office late Tuesday.
"There will be increasing impacts of climate change on Canada's natural ecosystems and on our socioeconomic activities," it added, highlighting more extreme weather events such as floods and droughts.
Under the terms of the Kyoto Accord, Canada is committed to cutting its emissions by six per cent from 1990 levels by 2008-12. The latest data show emissions are running more than 24 per cent above 1990 levels.
"This is an issue of societal relevance to all of us, and that is why we are worried if the momentum does not follow through in terms of dealing with the issue of climate change," said Andrew Weaver, who holds a Canada Research chair in atmospheric sciences at the University of Victoria.
"I've been doing this for probably 35 years," said Prof. Gordon McBean, chair of the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Western Ontario in London, who organized the letter. "I have seen more scientific evidence in the last five years to come out to indicate that the problem is much more severe than we would have said."
So who do you believe - those that take your side?
There's nothing like a good fight. Both sides probably believe in their own side. As for me - I'm no expert. But I must say that winter never really came to Boston this year.
It would seem to me that the vast majority of the field beleives that human activity is responsible for most of the global warming. And there is no dennying that we're pumping lots of CO2 into the atmosphere and that has the right chemistry to trap heat.
10000 years ago humans and their pets, domesticated animals represented ~0.01% of all land vertibrates. Today I'm told that the figure is 98%. Are we a major force that is altering the planet. It would be hard not to believe it.
For some that we're not under water YET is proof that we should do nothing. But of course by the time we have enough proof for those people it's too late.
At least one of the 60 "accredited experts in climate and related scientific disciplines" who signed an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper denying the reality of climate change has recanted, saying that he was misled as to the content of that letter when he offered his name.
Dr. Gordon E. Swaters, a Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Alberta says that he was told he was signing a petition asking that the federal government devote more energy to research on climate change..."I regret signing that damn petition," Dr. Swaters said Tuesday (April 18, 2006). the accomplished mathematician said he believes that "There are still a lot of mechanics and dynamics about climate change that we don't know about and a lot of subtleties that we need to unravel." But "signing this petition should not be seen as an attempt to indicate that climate change is not occurring."
Thanks for that Bob,
It's interesting what the post notes ... including:
The letter was presented as a consensus of Canadian "experts," but included only 20 Canadian names out of the total of 60. The remainder were largely well-known climate change "skeptics" from around the world, including high-profile energy industry apologists such as Richard Lindzen and Pat Michaels.The petition also included the name of Dr. Art Robinson, of Cave Junction, Oregon.The founder of the "Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine," and a former colleage of Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling, Robinson is now a self-styled expert in civil defence and the purveyor of conservative Christian home-schooling packages for kids. Robinson last made the news in 1998, when he organized a widely discredited anti-climate science petition of 2,100 "scientists" in the United States. That petition contained such names as John Grisham, Michael J. Fox, Drs. Frank Burns, B. J. Honeycutt, and Benjamin Pierce (from the TV show M*A*S*H), an individual by the name of "Dr. Red Wine," and Geraldine Halliwell, formerly known as pop singer Ginger Spice of the Spice Girls.