Note: This is the original of the article that appeared as an abbreviated op-ed in the National Post.
Today, academics, alarmists and bureaucrats provide the endless series of hobgoblins, especially in climate. Most climate hobgoblins in Canada come through the Federal Government, particularly Environment Canada (EC) with the singular objective of proving the hypothesis that human production of CO2 is causing global warming. As a result they’ve consistently ignored the wealth of data and understanding that proves the hypothesis is wrong. Worse, they used taxpayer funding to produce biased and inaccurate research to defend the indefensible. The practice and waste continues.
The Federal Government recently announced another $2.5 million grant to learn what is already known, to reinforce what is already proven incorrect and to add nothing new to knowledge about the climate and climate mechanisms of the Prairies. The Lethbridge Herald reports a group of researchers are going to,
“find out if the weird prairie weather is connected to global warming and how it affects those who live off the land.”
The weather is not “weird” but the word sets the bias typical of the prejudiced, premeditated results approach of climate science practiced, promoted and funded by the Government for the last 30 years.
Misdirection and prejudice are exemplified by the project leader who claims, incorrectly, that,
“If you look at the weather records, the worst flooding and the worst drought we’ve had since weather stations were established have been in the last 10 years.”
This is incorrect for the modern record and even more inaccurate for the long-term pattern of weather and climate on the prairies. He says,
“In theory, if you warm up the Earth you should get more extreme weather, but of course we need to verify that.”
No we don’t. We already know that warming leads to less extreme weather.
The boundary between cold polar air and warmer tropical air marks the position of the Polar Front. Extreme storms with winter blizzards and heavy rain in Spring and Fall, including tornadoes and hailstorms, form along the Front. Number and intensity varies with the temperature difference across the Front referred to as the Zonal Index. Global warming will reduce the difference as polar air warms more than tropical air.
Current weather extremes across the Prairies are because of the cooling since 2000. The researchers are going to Chile, Argentina and Colombia. Why? These regions simply experience the same patterns associated with the Southern Hemisphere version of the Polar Front.
Two patterns mark mid-latitude weather, extreme fluctuations of temperature and wet and dry cycles. The Canadian Prairies are at the northern extent so you can add periods of intense cold. These are all well documented in many proxy indicators, written records and brief instrumental record. For example, Peter Fidler’s 1819 Red River Report notes,
“The spring months have sometimes storms of wind and thunder even so early as March within these last years the Climate seems to be greatly changed the summer so backward with very little rain and even snow in winter much less than usual and the ground parched that all summer have entirely dried up…”
The research leader will use climate studies of the last 1000 years in the Oldman River Basin in southern Alberta. He plans to use tree rings and computer models to compare the past with the future. This sounds eerily similar to the “hockey stick” debacle used to produce a predetermined result.
The study includes talking with “people in the agricultural community”. They say it is included to form the basis for more government involvement. It will prove and contribute nothing, especially scientifically. People know the weather is a problem because it has always been a problem. They are tired of talk with nobody listening. They are tired of studies that never resolve or change anything. They are tired of lack of recognition of farming in the economy from an increasingly urbanized society. They are tired of taxes being wasted on meaningless and unnecessary studies. What would really help is to remove all taxes on farmers and farming. This would allow this 2 percent of our population that support the 98 percent in towns and cities to cope with the weather that has always determined their success.
Instead governments waste billions on climate change research and fail to anticipate or understand what is happening. It was all directed to proving a false hypothesis and this wasted $2.5 million is designed to do the same thing. The results are all predetermined as they have been from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) studies to this latest taxpayer fund waste. They are fixated on warming when the Earth is cooling and that is a much greater threat to agriculture in Canada.