Calgary Herald

Rain, rain, go away — and take the global warming myth with you

- BRONWYN EYRE Bronwyn EyrE is a columnist with thE saskatoon star PhoEnix.

I know it’s futile to complain about the weather. But are weather researcher­s fair game?

Last week, it was reported a University of Regina project, led by Prof. Dave Sauchyn, was being awarded $1.25 million from the Internatio­nal Developmen­t Research Centre (IDRC) to study the role of climate change in natural disasters on the Prairies.

“Climate is a pattern. One event is weather,” Sauchyn said. “But if you get a bunch of these (weather incidents) from across the Prairies and it happens again and again, we say, ‘Something is going on.’ And it’s probably climate change.”

Sounds a bit like witchcraft reasoning to me.

Look: If there’s a clear pattern of global warming — sorry, “climate change” — that can be proven without skuldugger­y or obfuscatio­n, most of us will be willing to do what it takes to rectify things. But increasing­ly, it seems, “experts” are claiming wacky weather simply to advance an agenda.

A few trees uprooted and hail storms in Ontario this week? Must be climate change. The same goes for the recent floods in Quebec and Manitoba and tornadoes in the U.S. Even the Japanese tsunami elicited a few “climate change” prognoses.

Which reminds me of a comment of Henry Kissinger’s I read the other day.

No, the world’s most famous diplomat hasn’t ventured into the global warming debate. He was talking about China: “For the Chinese, history is part of current reality. For America, current reality usually begins with the perception of a problem we are

tornadoes in the U.s. Midwest were worse in the 1930s — not to mention the continentw­ide, Dirty ’30s drought

trying to solve now.”

Sounds a lot like the extremewea­thermeiste­rs. Sure, it’s a different context. But in weather as in everything else, current reality isn’t everything. The past informs the present.

The fact is, tornadoes in the U.S. Midwest were worse in the 1930s — not to mention the continentw­ide, Dirty ’30s drought.

Some residents of northeast Japan are the third generation to have experience­d tsunamis.

And the recent flooding around Lumsden, Sask., for example, was as bad in 1974.

British weather forecaster­s recently predicted this summer could be as hot as the famously hot summer of 1976. This winter, December was the coldest and snowiest in Britain in 30 years. During the “little ice age,” a period of cooling between 1150 and 1850, people skated on the Thames.

Could it be the weather’s always been a bit wacky and prone to periods of extremes?

Ontario may have roasted last summer, and a 40 C day there last week inevitably made the evening news.

But the province has always been prone to high heat. When I lived there in the early ’80s, I remember high, muggy heat every day.

Of course, it used to boil here, too.

But nowadays, local TV weather reporters emblazon forecasts for 22 C with bright sun labels reading “Hot.” Some hot. When the sun goes behind a cloud when it’s 22 C, you have to find a jacket.

Canadian climatolog­ist Gordon McBean may say, “We’ll have more hot sum- mers as the climate warms. Over the past 25 years, average temperatur­es have been steadily rising across the country.”

But last spring, Saskatchew­an experience­d one of the wettest, coolest springs “on record.” The summer continued much the same, as it did across most of the country.

In 2009, Environmen­t Canada reported that in Saskatchew­an, July was “more than two degrees colder than normal.”

Ditto for most of the spring, summer and winter. Temperatur­es in 2009 across Western Canada were “much cooler than normal.”

Surely, “two degrees cooler” here and “three degrees cooler there” over huge land masses have to have some effect on calculatio­ns of average.

What’s the formula, anyway: A simple heat-lostversus-heat-gained kind of thing?

We know scientists rely on temperatur­e readings because in the infamous “Climategat­e” e-mails, they fretted that freedom of informatio­n regulation­s might force them to reveal temperatur­es were actually falling.

Either way, they’ve gotta do better than a few polar bears, and show us the unadultera­ted, empirical evidence.

Until we have such evidence, let there be a moratorium on laments by the likes of fired parliament­ary page Brigette DePape that we’re “destroying the planet,” or by Green MP Elizabeth May that climate change is the “single largest threat.”

There are many threats in this world. But climate change doesn’t appear to be one of them.

As for me, I remain cautiously optimistic that “global warming” may someday return to the Prairies. I miss it.

 ??  ?? Bronwyn Eyre
Bronwyn Eyre

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