Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Maxime Bernier takes on climate-change “alarmism”

It is refreshing to see a politician from a mainstream Canadian party make public his concern, as reported by the Globe and Mail, “that if climate scientists can’t even agree on what will happen over the next decade, how could anyone trust their predictions about what will happen a century from now.”

“The debate over climate change, stifled for years by political correctness, has finally broken out in the media.”

– Maxime Bernier

In a French-language letter to La Presse, the Montreal newspaper, former Conservative cabinet minister Maxime Bernier has questioned the conventional wisdom on global warming, pointing to the lack of scientific consensus on the matter.

Mr. Bernier writes:

“The numerous recent revelations on errors by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have supplemented the alternative theories put forward for many years. …

“We can now see that it’s possible to be a ‘skeptic,’ or in any case to keep an open mind, on just about all the main aspects of warming theory.”

These public pronouncements will go some way in gathering support for the Conservative government’s practice of taking a wait-and-see approach even while most of the world demands we (in Mr. Bernier words) “spend billions of dollars and impose exaggeratedly severe regulations to solve a problem whose gravity we’re still far from discerning.”

In a separate interview with La Presse, Mr. Bernier insisted that nobody in the Prime Minister’s Office saw his letter before it was sent.

But, as might be expected, Bloc Québécois MP Pierre Paquette said all signs point to a Harper government that is “ideological, conservative, and retrograde.” Mr. Paquette needs reminding that simple name-calling is a poor substitute for argument or reason-based criticism.

I agree with Mr. Bernier and applaud his courage to publicly buck the tide of public sentiment on the global warming issue. I believe there is good reason to maintain a healthy skepticism and open mind on the issue of global warming and the degree to which it may be influenced by our lifestyle.

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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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  1. Is this simple enough to understand?

  2. Anon 5:24 AM, the argument in the video is flawed. The basic assumption (the given) is that we can somehow modify the changes in climate (stop/reverse GW) by any action short of the sort of action that would change our lifestyle, at least, as much as the consequences of unabated global warming.

    Another flaw is that the worst case scenario is way over the top--a sort of end-days view of the world. With global warming, some of us (e.g., Canadians) might be better off, and some worse off.

    After watching the scare-you-to-death video I remain a skeptic and want to go slow on this.