Be part of the solution

Resident provides some thoughts on the issue of climate change

This letter in response to one titled Climate Change published Jan. 6. Please educate yourself.

I write this to the author, the public, myself, and everyone who cares about this world and anyone on it. The author may not have meant to mislead readers by not showing the full picture, and hopefully will welcome some details that the author may not have known.

The letter states that Canada’s decision to contribute to international carbon-neutral commitments is based on Al Gore’s theory on human-based greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change.

For the record, Al Gore did not create this theory, he just communicated it well in his An Inconvenient Truth film and book.

Furthermore, the author points out that “Gore is not a scientist. He is a politician.”

This may be true, but the overwhelming majority of scientists who saw the movie or read the book agree that he accurately presented the science. You can see for yourself on the Wikipedia article for An Inconvenient Truth in detail.

The author tries to explain that “carbon is not the driver” of temperature changes using the historic Lake Vostok ice core logs. The author does not go into details of the suspected reasons behind the temperature changes (wikipedia Milankovitch cycles) nor the positive feedback loops those changes create (wikipedia climate change feedback; see carbon cycle feedback).

For example, a slight warming of the atmosphere can lead to a slight increase in evaporation, forest fires creating C02, and methane emissions from soil. The increase in greenhouse gases leads to another slight increase in atmospheric temperature, and a positive feedback loop is created.

If you had a chance to peek at the charts on Wikipedia that the author mentioned, and you like them, please go to www.ipcc.ch and take a look at the ones published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I recommend the summary for policymakers, which I think is very readable for a scientific document. Once again, please educate yourself.

Carbon may not be the initial driver in the Vostok log’s major warming cycles, but it is a contributor. Also, there is a major difference between pre-historic levels of CO2 (as well as other greenhouse gases) and those of modern levels: human beings and our actions. The IPCC’s work shows this clearly.

I agree with the author that “climate change has been happening long before humans came into existence. Stopping all CO2 emissions would not stop climate change.”

What the author does not mention is the difference between natural and anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change, and that stopping all CO2 emissions would greatly mitigate both the maximum temperature change caused by climate change and many of the disastrous effects of it.

For a scientist to earn a PhD, they must have their thoroughly researched and clearly presented work go through a battery of tests from experts in their field. Before a scientist publishes findings in an academic, peer-reviewed journal, their research must go through intense scrutiny.

I doubt that the author’s letter would have made it to publishing in an academic journal, but I am glad it made it to this paper’s letters to the editor, where I can provide a post-publishing peer-review.

I have been baffled by the behaviour of climate change deniers, who over time have grudgingly accepted that there is climate change, but try to put the blame somewhere else. We are all part of the problem, and we can all be part of the solution.

I don’t think it is “ludicrous,” as the author puts it, to put our efforts into reducing C02 emissions. I feel it is irresponsible to ignore the truth.

Please educate yourself.

Blaine Jones

Enderby