As to the reality of climate change

The former foreign affairs minister makes the case for skepticism.

Asked, via e-mail, whether the Prime Minister believes in “anthropogenic (or man-made) global warming,” the Prime Minister’s Office passes along the following transcript of an exchange from Mr. Harper’s closing press conference in Copenhagen late last year.

Reporter: Prime Minister your party in the past has talked about… questioned the science of climate change and there was renewed talk of that this week. President Obama gave a really strong statement in favor of the science of climate change. Where do you stand on that now?

Harper: Well we’ve been very clear. The preponderance of scientific evidence and opinion is that climate change is a very real challenge. The science continues to evolve. As you know, we’ve had some controversy recently because the science is not uniform, not every scientist agrees on every detail. But we are guided by the preponderance of the evidence. And that is absolutely clear. But ultimately leaders have to translate the necessity of dealing with the challenge in the science of climate change with the very real impacts that trying to deal with it will have on our economy. And we should not try and kid people on this. I know people… there’ll be people running out there saying targets are not hard enough. But let me assure you what we and others are committed to do over the next decade will have real impacts and real challenges on players and the Canadian economy, but we’ll obviously work with them to ensure that we balance these objectives of environmental protection and progress with economic growth.




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As to the reality of climate change

  1. "dealing with the challenge in the science of climate change…"

    He lost me there. Does that mean dealing with the challenges the "preponderance of evidence" says we face, or is he referencing the recent (overblown) misdeeds of some scientists in fudging some data in presentation?

    • I think he meant the challenge posed by the science of climate change…

    • Kinda like having uniformity and mindthink out of a government. In fiction, it works really well, although time after time, some putz will make a go at it before impaling himself on his own rook-to-knight move…

  2. "Asked, via e-mail, whether the Prime Minister believes in “anthropogenic (or man-made) global warming,”"

    But that's only half of the equation: AGW zealots claim that carbon emissions are the cause, the only cause, of global warming. They haven't proved that and can't prove it because it is an absurd theory. One can believe that the globe is warming, as I do, and still affirm the AGW thesis of carbon caused global warming is bunkum. At best, they have established correlation, not causation. The effects of AGW being so localized in the Northern Hemisphere and the arctic region in particular makes the G in AGW a bit of a misnomer and leads me to doubt the carbon thesis.

  3. "As you know, we've had some controversy recently because the science is not uniform, not every scientist agrees on every detail. "

    I nominate this for Understatement of the Year.

  4. The PMO-supplied transcript does not answer the question. The question was about "anthropogenic (or man-made) global warming".

    • Scratch that. I now see the update post.

  5. I'm no climate scientist, but apparently those that are disagree with you. Unless you want to quibble about semantics of hte word "proof".

    • Global warming is to climate scientists as Enron was to accountancy. They're human, and highly susceptible to interest group pressure and group think, doubly so when you consider most of them are on the public payroll in one form or another and many are union members who must show solidarity with some pretty radical groups.

      Additionally, plenty of climate scientists oppose the unproven AGW theory, thus, your comment fails.

      • Name these climate scientists who oppose "the unproven AGW theory". Here's a hint: Monckton, Lomborg and Ball are not climate scientists.

          • We've covered this previously, Holly, it's not my job to spoon feed you info, it's your job not to be so ignorant.

          • In other words, you thought Monckton was one? Ha ha ha!

      • No.

  6. I wish everyone would stop using the word "anthropogenic" to mean "man-made." It means "man-making." Anthropogenic Global Warming would be global warming that increased the human population.

    • Given the impact of cold on the male organ… couldn't they still be correct?

  7. Translation: We plan to sit on our butts and do nothing and hope the rapture comes real soon.

    • This constant referencing of the rapture is making you look like a bigotted buffoon, and that's coming from a atheist.

      The PMs statement here sounded reasonable, and measured.

      Very unlike certain climate alarmists who cry that "the end is near"; and that we had better act now, no matter the human costs.

      • very well put – The starnge thing about ant-religious bigotry is that it clearly defeats it's own purpose and only drives the undecided mind to give more credit to the very idea it is trying to fight against.

        • I'm not anti-religion, I am anti-dishonest fundamentalist religion that tries to impose its bigotry on everybody else. I have concluded that Harper is pushing his fundamentalism on our government in many policy decisions and I think Canadians need to understand this.

          • I AM anti-religion.

            Your description of a "dishonest fundamentalist religion that tries to impose its bigotry on everybody else", could be applied to Roman Catholics also.

            Every elected PM in the last 40 years has been RC.

            You have provided no evidence for your conclusion that, "Harper is pushing his fundamentalism on our government in many policy decisions".

            In the cases where his is, I see it more as bones to the base, not deep beliefs.

            Good luck trying to make Canadians understand your opinion about Harpers motivations, but you do your AGW case no credit by acting as if the reason Harper is "sitting on his butt", is waiting for the rapture.

            That is dumb, and you well know that the rapture has nothing to do with it.

            That makes it dishonest as well.

          • So explain why he is doing nothing.

          • Actually, I think we are all against 'anti-dishonest fundamentalist religion'. It's your unsupported accusation (Harper is pushing his fundamentalism on our government) that Harper engages in bigotry that tends to reveal your own bigoted position.

    • And it's a vastly superior plan to running around spending billions investing in Al Gore's religious belief that the world will end if everybody doesn't do as he says.

      • Touche to the main point but Gore's "belief" is not "religion" based but on his "science" beliefs, unproven at best, fraudulent at worst.

  8. You know, re-reading this, it seems that the answer provided is a bit of a dodge. The response provided doesn't answer the question that was asked.

    I suppose its a minor detail if the government is going to act in accordance with the evidence, but a "Yes" (or even a "No", I suppose) like the answer from Prentice's office would have been really cool to see.

    • Its a dodge in the way not to rankle his walk-on-four limbs supporters, while attempting to tag-along with Obama for some bonus points. Making Canada into Freedonia –"Land of the Spree, and the Home of the Knave" — while people sleep…

  9. sounds about right to me and well put!

  10. I really wish politicians would stop using the word "clear".

  11. Shorter Harper: Now that the US believes there is a threat from climate change, we believe it too.

  12. Another case of a politician simultaneously sucking and blowing, but a decent suck/blow commentary nonetheless. Looks like they really really really want to blow this sucker out of the water but can't seem to find the unequivocation – cajones – to do so. But, finally, the AGW/CC status quo are getting a run for their money.

  13. After 31 years working with the Meteorological Service of Canada, I am stunned that Jim Prentice is still proceeding with legislation to reduce CO2 production. CO2 is a nutrient. Along with sunlight and water and 6 inches of good earth, it is the substance that ensures the earth turns green each spring ~ it is essential and does NO harm. The host of feedback mechanisms in both earth and ocean have enabled the earth to survive levels in excess of 6,000 ppm in the past. Indeed life in the oceans evolved when CO2 was at those levels.

    The entire IPCC process was fraudulent. Its conclusions rest on the presumption of positive feedback in the carbon cycle for which there is no evidence at all. The physical evidence available all clearly indicates negative feedback. The surface data have been "homogenized" to bias in favour of AGW. The Hadley CRU leaks demonstrate that the computer models have been hard-coded to deliver a predetermined result just as the "hockey-stick" graph yields a hockey stick no matter what data is fed into it.

    Variations in global temperature regimes are driven centrally by variations in solar magnetic flux (not solar irradiance, note well) and are mitigated and delayed or offset by a host of internal factors ranging from ocean circulation to plant growth to cloud cover and so on.

    But there is not any CRISIS whatsoever. The climate has always changed and always will. Our task is to adapt to that change and with our present technology we can do so better than ever before. The insane idea, propounded by the IPCC, and encapsulated in the intensely stupid phrase "when the climate stabilizes" should be recognised for what it is ~ the hubris of fools. Any climatologist who claims that the climate can be stabilized by human action is a fool, or worse.

  14. I live in Manitoba , and 7 days out of 10 , Winnipeg is colder than Iqaluit . It has been like this for years , but the weather people and TV people don't mention it . I guess they have the word from the Big Government not to say anything or they will be in trouble .

  15. Yeah, and while the good people of Toronto are digging their sorry asses out of that blizzard, maybe we should all go into more detail about why Harper is no longer coughing up millions to the Gates Foundation for vaccine research… and the Canadian government being a heap of cabinet-shuffling, hypocritical morons with an apparent preference for cage-reared chicks. Assuming we have all, as a nation, reached consensus on the issues at hand once we are through passing the buck up the chain of command, I fail to see the sense in this press release. All I know, is our international reputation is totaled and this administration is confounded, impervious to reason, and irresponsible to an extreme. I am ashamed to be a born citizen of Canada!

    • Than move to Denmark you socialist.

      • I am very proud to be a Canadian. As a resident of the Greater Toronto Region I am embarrassed by the idiocy I read here by the believers in the CO2 religious camp. There is not a single Conservative who would vote against environmental pollution controls. Don't confuse pollution controls with CO2 reduction until we know and accept continued study is needed. The science IS NOT SETTLED as the eco religionists postulate.

  16. The crisis is not meteorological, it is ENVIRONMENTAL. It is not a weather systems issue, but one of POLLUTION. Human beings are naturally inclined to waste natural resources when there is no regulation to contain them, and our government blindly follows the whim of the U.S. administration. And when I say blindly, boy do I mean blindly. Not a damned clue, totally out of the loop, and upside down and backwards seems to be the way we operate over here, and I am NOT impressed one iota. Canada— unclog your ears, sharpen your eyesight, shut up and listen, and maybe you'll avert disaster. But until the necessary attentions are forthcoming, the problems will only continue to snowball…

  17. I am also ashamed that you are a born Canadian.

  18. "…The entire IPCC process was fraudulent. Its conclusions rest on the presumption of positive feedback in the carbon cycle for which there is no evidence at all. The physical evidence available all clearly indicates negative feedback. The surface data have been "homogenized" to bias in favour of AGW. The Hadley CRU leaks demonstrate that the computer models have been hard-coded to deliver a predetermined result just as the "hockey-stick" graph yields a hockey stick no matter what data is fed into it…"
    How about you provide evidence to support each of these statements. I say every one of them is false.

  19. "our international reputation is totaled " by who? A bunch of extreemist eco-loonies? The European political class? I regard their disapproval as a badge of honour! I am proud of our contribution to the Copenhagen failure.

  20. Aw, Alexander.. you don't have to be ashamed of being Canadian, just ashamed of Canada's electoral choices. Until the rest of us vote with the single minded zeal of pig farmers from Alberta, and fundementalists from under every rock in the nation, these will be the results.

  21. So why are the neighbouring planets also warming to the same degree? I've read that this a normal trend if you look back through the centuries and farther; I've also read that man is calculably responsible for maybe .05% of the warming trend; but that's net info, and good luck digging through that for reliable statistics. To trust warming figures, they would have to come from scientific research from a stellar group of reputable scientists who are independent of government or corporate funding.
    I'll tell you what's the real here for certain; that proposed carbon credit /tax. You can finitely prove that this is trying it's best to exist.

  22. Why is it that no one is talking about 'global cooling.' In the last decade the earth's temperature has cooled based on satellite data. Could this be a sign of a coming ice age? Their should be a 'global cooling' summit instead of a 'global warming' summit.

  23. WOW! What a lot of big words used to say nothing at all. A
    statement that could be interpreted 50 different ways from Sunday. Awesome.
    Harper is a true politician… in the worst sense of the term.
    He is only in charge… because his opponents are goofballs. And he is on a very short leash, because Canadians while not very bright, are not that stupid either.
    We elect these people due to "their superior communications skills". Unh. Hunh.
    Could somebody please translate into English, what Harper said or did not say?
    According to MS Word, that was an 11 line paragraph, with 173 words, 11 lines long, of roughly grade 10.2 English….
    Sad, very sad.

  24. Here-Here—Brian– the cooling trend is going on– & nobody is listening. the earth will do what it has 2 do–& always has– natural phen omenan!!! Shouldn't be blamed on Harper– or mankind—nothing we do will change the CLIMATE–I have never heard of man being able to????

  25. Like many who had Earth Sciences (Geology) at University and who maintained an interest in the subject, it's refreshing to read the comments of vimy100 – who worked as a Meteoroligist for 31 years, becauses it fits in with what we were exposed too. We now have
    deep ocean cores that provides one million years of climate history, and it's always been warming and cooling …. that's what it does and will continue to do. I pitty the poor politicians who have to be careful not to offend the climate zealots whose zeal to change the world is a real cause that defies any attempt to reason with them.

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