Kelly Craft doesn't understand clouds (or climate change) at all - Macleans.ca
 

Kelly Craft doesn’t understand clouds (or climate change) at all

Anne Kingston: Donald Trump’s new ambassador to Canada looks at climate change from ‘both sides’—and leaves her host nation laughing


 
Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland (R) reaches out to shake hands with new U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft during a meeting at the Lester B. Pearson Building in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada October 23, 2017. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland (R) with Craft during a meeting on Monday at the Lester B. Pearson Building in Ottawa (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Yesterday, Kelly Knight Craft, newly named U.S. ambassador to Canada, appeared to channel one of this country’s finest songwriters during her nonsensical remarks about “both sides of the science” of climate change. It was the wondrous Joni Mitchell, recall, who sang of looking at clouds, and their magical ability to transform, from “both sides now” in her 1969 song Clouds. Mitchell concluded: “It’s cloud illusion I recall. I really don’t know clouds at all.”

Neither, judging from her comment, does Craft. She doesn’t understand the enigmatic role clouds play in climate change, nor does she comprehend global warming’s effect on glaciers, or rising sea levels or the rising incidence of “floods, droughts and heat waves” noted in communications from the U.S. government before the election of an anti-science ideologue whose administration has taken positions against human-induced climate change, evolution, vaccines, stem cell research—and on and on.

We could deplete precious oxygen dissecting Kelly Craft’s motivation, even her attempt to appear, in her equivocation, conciliatory with the Canadian government (or, for that matter, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers). Certainly there’s much to discuss: Craft’s husband, Joe Craft, a major Trump supporter, made his billions off the backs and health of Kentucky coal miners. The president who appointed her was elected, in part, due to his success shovelling lies that he’d give coal miners their jobs back.

RELATED: Kelly Knight Craft’s cautious support of Trump pays off

But let’s just denounce the comment as an out-and-out falsehood and move on. One of the fact-challenged Trump administration’s most authoritarian strategies has been its concerted war on science, a discipline in which there are factual findings, not “sides” or points of view to debate. Censoring discussion of climate change has become a major front. In May, Trump took the unconscionable step of withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. Only this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency silenced three scientists from speaking about effects of climate change on the health of Narragansett Bay, New England’s largest estuary (spoiler alert: the effects to be discussed were very, very bad).

Trump’s war on science threatens another form of evolution: scientific. Science evolves by proving science wrong. Decades ago, for instance, clouds were believed to offer protection from climate change. Not so fast, NASA reported in 2000: “Clouds are not necessarily the white knight that will rescue us from climate change,” it concluded, stating that “our society should seriously consider reasonable steps to limit future emissions of greenhouse gases and soot aerosols as part of an overall strategy to reduce air pollution.” No one should be surprised that NASA too is in the Trump administration’s crosshairs: its fiscal 2018 budget request includes a $561-million decrease in funding, which will reduce the number of earth-science missions and eliminate the agency’s education office.

RELATED: Why Kelly Knight Craft was made U.S. ambassador to Canada

In Canada, meanwhile, we still have the freedom to focus on conserving and preserving our resources. And these include the creative genius who wrote these bleak, prophetic lines about clouds:

“But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way”

Nearly half a century later, they also apply to a newly anointed U.S. ambassador to Canada.


 

Kelly Craft doesn’t understand clouds (or climate change) at all

  1. Who is Anne Kingston and what are her scientific qualifications? From the snotty tone of this article, I get the impression that her opinions are based strictly on popular mythology. As an earth scientist who has closely followed the global warming controversy since it erupted a couple of decades ago, I was favourably impressed by Ms Kraft’s rational grasp of the question and her sensible refusal to involve herself in a political debate on the subject.

    • Trump doesn’t have a war on science-just bad science. Did you know Anne that it’s warming on several of our planets? The aren’t many SUV’s running around Jupiter last time I looked. The climate may be changing as it has since Earth came to be but man has little to nothing to do with it. We have had five ice ages come and go before man discovered fire!!

      • “We have had five ice ages come and go before man discovered fire!!”

        Home schooled?

        • No-a PhD in Engineering from Waterloo. And you?

  2. Anne,
    You have always appeared to be a crusader for females. I now understand that it’s just one brand of females-those from the ugly left.

  3. The author of this article has plenty of snide, dismissive remarks. As someone who has read a considerable amount of science on this subject, I can say there is in fact a vital discussion over the role of clouds, enough to cause a completely erroneous view of climate change if clouds are not understood. The IPCC and other political pressure groups mostly get clouds wrong, hence their alarmist suppositions. Read the science yourself and you can see the massive flaws in the global warming argument.

    • Have you actually read the link you posted? These ‘debunk papers’ were all funded by the same party well known for adding ‘white noise’ to the global climate change topic. Also, the so-called evidence given to debunk these hypotheses are simply unsupported counter-arguments, not accepted facts. So basically all they do is dispute the papers’ findings and not offer factual proof to the contrary.

      Don’t confuse politics with science.

      • Nothing adds more to a discussion than a good conspiracy theory eh James? Who was the “party” funding all those evil scientists with whom you disagree?

  4. I don’t claim to be an expert on “climate change”. (Of course people mean man made global warming when they say “climate change”) But it seems strange to me when all prognostication about the effects of “climate change” are all catastrophically negative: hurricanes, flooding, forest fires, droughts, etc. Surely there would be some positive results from “climate change” (ie. if things get warmer). Just think, people might have summer vacations at the Arctic Circle, people in Edmonton would be able to grow oranges in their back yard! The fact that everything is portrayed as negative, leads me to believe that these people have some type of an agenda! What do you think?

    • Forget about whether it’s warming or not (and it hasn’t for the last 20 years-the climate change zealots call this “the pause”!!). Rising CO2 levels are real and plant growth is the most important beneficiary of that. The level of CO2 today is about half of level plants where plants would be most productive. Food supply for poor, developing countries would be more than fully addressed.

    • Notably, as Jerome says, in what should be a relatively provable calculation on the effect of higher levels of CO2 over the past 30 years there was found to be $3 trillion in agricultural benefits in that time.

      That there has been a massive benefit is right there in the satellite records and right nowhere in the public mind. Greenhouses run up to 1200 ppm.

      That this can be glossed over is extremely clear evidence that the entire subject is being thought of in a tilted way that certainly isn’t a scientific one. When’s the last time you saw far more rhetoric in the article than the comments?

  5. Just thought I’d let you know, coal miners are going back to work in Kentucky. Nothing but liberal spin, doesn’t matter what country you’re in.