Have we finally chilled out about climate change?

and is the media being slow to catch up?

I actually had to go look for this article this year. Usually it finds me. Here’s the story from CTV:

Extreme heat wave example of climate change: expert

Canadians should expect more extreme weather like the current heat wave baking southern Ontario and Quebec in the future because of climate change, a leading climatology professor says.

“My strong opinion is that these kinds of extremes are something you would expect in a warming world, and expect to happen more frequently,” Harry McCaughey, a professor of climatology at Queen’s University, told CTV.ca.

McCaughey says climate models show that overloading the climate with carbon and water vapor (a byproduct of a warming globe) makes the system much more unstable.

Ok, typical short-news-cycle-driven story about something observed (it’s hot!!) that’s happening now but exists in geological time (tens of thousands of years).

Even more telling is the “climate change fatigue” expressed in the comments section of the post which seems to be in a condemning consensus about this news story:

“That global warming sure is horrible, look at all those pictures of people having fun at the beach ! We should really try and stop this thing immediately, call your local politicians, I know I am ! On second thought ……….. last winter was horrible, bring on global warming !” — NM

“There was a three to four day spread in December in Edmonton last winter where it was record setting cold, -49 w/ windchill of ~ -55 to -60. Where was Mr. McCaughey then ? In fact last winter was the coldest in some areas in over 30 years, remember ice in Florida where they lost over $100 million in orange crops. I really don’t care if global warming is happening or not, but seriously the more the marrier if that means I have to go through another winter like last year !” — Sure …….

“As a child I remember summers always being hot in July. Southern Saskatchewan was always 90 to 105 degrees. IMO we are just too used to our comforts-central heating in winter and airconditioning in summer.” — jjaycee

“I was wondering how long it would take until the media blamed this latest of many heatwaves dating back hundreds of years on climate change.*sigh*” — Mike

“Yes, it is called summer, Dr. Doom. Normally, summer is preceded by gradual warming following winter, which can be extremely cold.” — Lou

Comments

comments

  • Kenad

    Canadians should expect more extreme weather”

    That’s right, in the future it will be hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I wish I could get paid to do studies like that. The real question is, what idiot has been paying for this crap?

  • East of Eden

    Balderdash. I've been hearing this sort of prediction from 'experts' for decades. I am 57 years old and have lived through numerous heat waves and every time, some 'expert' pops up and blames it on something. Look, we have cold summers, cool summers, warm summers, really hot summers, warm winters, cold winters, no snow, lots of snow…nature is nature. The Earth goes through cycles – we've had lots of periods going back millions of years – the tropical north of the dinosaur era – was that caused by global warming? Please, all this talk is just talk.

    Think about it – dinosaurs once roamed in the arctic and then the Earth cooled. What caused the north to be tropical? Not coal-fired power plants, not my car, not factories. These 'experts' should get a grip and shut up.

  • Lou

    If you are 57, East, you might also remember the “next ice age” scares of the '70s. Fortunately, those predictions did not come with world wide global taxes and social controls schemes to “fix” the problem, unlike the very scary global warming/governance/NGO/foundation initiatives. So many of the wealthy elite have already positioned themselves for carbon credit derivatives that it will take amazing public momentum to keep this trend at bay. Over years, the educational systems have been brain-washed to believe that more and more social controls on behaviour are needed for our survival.

  • john g

    How long did it take CBC to publish a report about ClimateGate? Weeks.

    How long did it take CBC to publish the self-investigation that “exonerated” the ClimateGate scientists? Hours.

    Don't kid yourself Stephen.

  • Klem

    I don’t recall the ice age scare I’m abit young, but I did learn about what the real goal of the Copenhagen Treaty was; it was the beginning of a new world governement, paid for by us. I read the treaty, it stated this quite clearly. No wonder no one signed the treaty, even the countries who would recieve all the free money. They didn’t sign it because the price was too high. They may be broke but they’re not stupid.

    And yes, my kids have been brainwashed in school by the repeated showing of “an inconvenient truth”. Every year they are force fed this propaganda film. But to my amazment, alot of kids I know have rejected the premise of the movie. I don’t know why they seem to doubt it, I wouldn’t have doubted it at their age. I think the green movment have managed to lose a young generation. I’m amazed.

  • I Murasak

    Give me a break, we were wearing sweaters a week before the heat wave, in what, JULY?? The US south experienced its worst cold in decades.

  • kenn2

    Here's the deal. (I'll go slowly)

    Human activity is measurably changing the earth's environment.

    Let's focus on the atmosphere. From the world-wide burning of fossil and other fuels, the percentage of “greenhouse” gases (mainly water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone) has increased. At the same time, deforestation has reduced the amount of vegetation able to capture and sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

    Gas       Preindustrial level   Current level   Increase since 1750 Radiative forcing (W/m2)
    Carbon dioxide     280 ppm   387ppm   107 ppm   1.46
    Methane     700 ppb   1745 ppb   1045 ppb   0.48
    Nitrous oxide     270 ppb   314 ppb   44 ppb   0.15
    CFC-12     0   533 ppt   533 ppt   0.17

    (source wikipedia, obviously collected from other references. Above is hard to read, sorry)

    Remember why we had to ban CFCs from aerosols, refrigerants etc? (Hint: ozone holes)

    Everyone agrees on this part – that we're putting alot of stuff into the air. (…right?)

    Part 2 – Is this changing the earth's climate? Will this change the earth's climate?

    This is where opinions differ. The majority of climate scientists believe it will cause the earth's atmosphere to heat up by a few degrees over the next century, with spinoff effects like increased weather instability, loss of ice cover at the poles, higher ocean levels, increased desertification.

    Many suggest that we are already seeing effects from these changes.

    Fun Fact: No scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion; the last was the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, which in 2007 updated its 1999 statement rejecting the likelihood of human influence on recent climate with its current non-committal position.
    source

    Others dispute that human activity has/will have effects , pointing to historical and geological records showing past cycles of in excess of a few degrees (eg ice ages, tropical fossil evidence at high latitudes.)

    Climategate. Yes, some leaked emails suggested that there may have been some “sanitization” of results presented by the very important East Anglia team. Bear in mind that no less than four scientific reviews have concluded that data were NOT distorted or that conclusions are invalidated.

    Even if all findings of the East Anglia group were set aside, other climate-study groups using their own data have reached the same conclusions.

    Do I think that human activity has already caused climate change?… I do not know. I'm just a guy, summers are hot, winters are cold, I don't think that I will see substantial change in the remainder of my lifetime. What's a degree or two?

    Do I think that human activity will at some point change the climate, enough to alter ecologies or threaten the living conditions for humans and other specie? Hell yeah. With the amount of crap we've managed to put in the air over the last 300 years, and the rate at which we continue to spew greenhouse gases into the air, I can't see how it wouldn't change things.

    I'm also content that if 98% of climate scientists are in agreement about this, then it's highly likely. Denying these findings is like being a flat-earther, or thinking that the earth is only 6000 years old.

    * * *

    You know what really bugs me about climate-change deniers? It's the fact that doing the things required to slow the rate of altering the climate are all good things in and of themselves, and worth doing regardless of your opinion about climate change. Things like:
    - reducing rate of consumption of fossil fuels
    - increased efficiency of processes dependent on fossil fuel input or energy
    - accelerated research and development of alternative energies
    - reduce rate of deforestation, creation of new greenspace, reforestation where possible

    To repeat – forget climate change! Support doing the above because you'd like to leave a little oil for your grandkids! Support alternative energy research and development in Canada not because of climate change, but because you want Canada to be a world leader in this new growth industry, and because your kid could work in Canada making windmills for the rest of the world. (Did you know Ontario has already become a focus for serious new investment in solar due to McGuinty's initiatives in this area?)

    We can't just sit back selling oil and wheat, like Harper seems seems to think.

    * * *

    Conservatives understand the concept of deficits. Government spending based on deficit finance is wrong – it places the burden of today's spending on tomorrow's taxpayers.

    Please consider our current pattern of energy use as deficit spending. At the present rate of use, we are making it increasingly likely that getting fossil fuel will be a problem for our children, and our grandchildren may actually see the end of oil as a fuel.

    And it might, just might, f#ck up the climate.

  • ina

    I don't believe any of it. Global warming is a natural cycle of our earth. The Sumerians had global warming big time six thousand years ago. Two river completely disappeard.
    They did not drive SUV's nor did they have coal fired power plants.