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Who are we?

We are an informal association of professionals, including scientists and engineers, who draw on a wide range of skills and experience to examine the climate issue in depth.

In particular, we are vitally concerned about the barrage of misleading and often just false information about the so-called “climate crisis” presented to the public by environmentalist organizations, agenda-driven scientists, politicians and the media.

This misinformation, if taken seriously by our governments, will cost Canadians tens of millions of dollars a year for anti-carbon measures to “stop” or “slow” climate change that will have no discernible effect on global temperatures at all.

For example, economist Bjorn Lomborg (The Skeptical Environmentalist) has estimated, using the United Nations’ own figures, that if all nations met all their 2015 Paris Agreement promises to reduce carbon emissions, the cost to the global economy would be at least $1 trillion US per year for the next 30 years, and perhaps double that (since governments rarely fulfil their promises efficiently, there will be a lot of wastage). The benefit? Perhaps a 0.05°F (0.03°C) fall in warming by 2100, i.e., virtually no benefit. [1]

This is, Lomborg points out, not a smart use of our limited resources. Consider, by contrast, what $1-$2 trillion a year could accomplish by way of climate adaptation (e.g., dikes, irrigation, conversion to nuclear power), while also leaving tens of billions of dollars for social needs like education, health, housing, etc.

And yet there has never been, in Canada, a full-dress public debate on any of the major media outlets—particularly CBC, CTV and Global—about the cost or outcomes of “de-carbonizing” our economy. Instead, Canadians are expected to accept, without question, the extreme claims of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), environmental groups and the current Liberal government that we face an existential crisis if temperatures go a degree Celsius or two higher. This complete lack of debate on such a major public policy issue, with massive consequences for the Canadian economy and society, should concern all Canadians.

We are not climate-change “deniers.” No one in this group denies that “climate change” is occurring—we know the climate has been on a warming trend since the mid-1700s, before industrialization, so the current warming obviously began naturally, without human influence.

We do, however, challenge many commonly held views about the so-called “climate crisis” or “climate emergency,” including the idea that we are in a “climate crisis” at all. We believe that humanity can handle whatever climate change (warming or cooling) comes our way—but only if we address the issue intelligently and realistically.

On the other hand, it is pure fantasy to believe that we can somehow stop or seriously delay “global warming” (if warming is, in fact, a problem) by drastically curbing carbon emissions while rapidly—by 2050!—switching almost entirely to “net zero”, “sustainable” sources of energy (mostly solar and wind).

We prefer reality-based solutions, like preparing for natural events such as flooding and high temperatures and, if we want to curb carbon emissions, by encouraging realistic carbon-neutral energy sources such as nuclear power. “Sustainable” energy can never meet humanity’s global energy needs without a drastic fall in our standard of living (which many alarmists are happy to accept, incidentally).

This website offers fact-based information about climate issues as a counter to the extreme claims of climate alarmists and their organizations. Some posts are by Climate Realist members, who are often experts in their fields; some are by other informed scientists and professionals. We have also included, in the right margin, links to other websites in Canada, the United States and elsewhere that offer fact-based information and realistic solutions to the very real problems that a changing climate presents to humanity—and has always presented.

Three basic goals

To summarize, we have three basic goals:

  • To investigate the climate “science” presented to the public by climate alarmists, much of which is exaggerated, misleading, or just plain wrong. For example, it’s not true that carbon dioxide is the “control knob” of climate, nor are we in a “climate emergency,” nor is climate science “settled” and “certain” and therefore beyond question or criticism;
  • To reveal how much the current campaign to rapidly eliminate fossil fuels in favor of wind and solar energy (Net Zero by 2050) will actually cost—a price that is far more than most Canadians would be willing to pay if we knew the real costs, which we are not told;
  • To suggest more realistic and affordable ways to cope with the inevitable changes that climate always brings. This means sensible adaptations like flood control, proper forest management, and gradual replacement of fossil fuels with nuclear power, the only power source that can, realistically, support the complex industrial and technological civilization that gives us so many benefits (including a high standard of living).

On this site you will find links to a number of resources, including:

  • A blog page with posts from group members and others
  • A “Climate 101” page with essential background information on climate issues—in other words, the climate basics every informed citizen needs to know
  • A “Bookshelf” page with reviews of books and articles that offer realistic, fact-based approaches to dealing with climate issues
  • An “Other voices” page with posts from other individuals and organizations
  • Under “About Us,” a page that lists some of our members, their qualifications, and some of the reasons why they became climate “realists” rather than alarmists, plus
  • A page that describes our goals as an organization
  • Finally, a page for those who want to contact us, join our organization, or contribute financially or in other ways to Climate Realists of Victoria.

We hope you’ll spend some time on the site and come away with a balanced view of how humanity should deal with climate change. Climate realists prefer a policy of climate adaptation, gradually over decades, rather than the futile alarmist effort to rapidly mitigate (stop) climate change by destroying our market-based economy and starting again with a so-called clean slate, sometimes called “bring back better.” History shows very clearly that these utopian “bring back better” schemes inevitably make humanity worse off.

[1] Bjorn Lomborg, False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet. New York: Basic Books, 2020, p. 123

The case for climate realism: A basic guide

It’s not easy being a climate realist. Critics of climate realism point to the reportedly overwhelming scientific “consensus” that “global warming” will lead us to “oblivion,” as a former head of the United Nations put it in 20071 (somehow, more than a decade later, we’re still here). After all, how can the more than 2,000 scientists who contribute to the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) possibly be wrong?

Today, we are at a crossroads, one path leading towards a comprehensive new climate agreement, and the other towards oblivion.

Former UN head Ban Ki Moon, Bali, 2007

In fact, climate realists know that scientists, even in great numbers, are sometimes wrong, especially on complex issues like climate. Climate realists also know that genuine scientists do not claim infallibility, as many climate scientists do (the science is “settled”); the essence of science is a willingness to question theories, not dismiss critics out of hand.

Climate realists also know that the alarming climate “science” presented to the public by the mass media is much more extreme than what many climate scientists actually believe—indeed, some climate scientists have said they are actually “embarrassed” at the way their work is portrayed in the media and by alarmists. When the media claims doom, the scientists themselves are often only advising caution, or a less drastic option than full decarbonization (for more details, see this article by Steven Koonin).

Government and UN press releases and summaries [on climate] do not accurately reflect the reports themselves. There is a consensus on some important issues, but not at all the strong consensus the media promulgates. Distinguished climate experts (including report authors themselves) are embarrassed by some media portrayals of the science.  

Steven Koonin, Unsettled, p. 4

Critics may call the realist a climate “denier,” comparing those who question a predicted future based entirely on computer models with those who deny the historical fact of the Holocaust2, or deluded, or insane, or just dishonest3.

Climate realists don’t deny that climate change is “real”, but most climate realists also have a pretty good knowledge of climate history. And that history reveals the planet has been much warmer in the past (an average temperature of 10-12°C is common), with much higher levels of carbon dioxide, without causing the planetary catastrophe (“oblivion”) predicted by the alarmists.

And climate realists are well aware that there is a human role in causing climate change, albeit a relatively small role compared to nature. But this human influence is inevitable if we wish to continue to live in an advanced, technological society. What would our society be like if we cut carbon emissions by, say, 80 per cent?

In his book Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning (Introduction, 2007 edition, p. xv), ultra-alarmist George Monbiot quotes a veteran British environmentalist who was asked that question. The environmentalist’s reply? “A very poor third-world country.”4 Is that what most of us want? Do we want to dismantle the carbon-based society that gives most of us a good life and is raising the world out of poverty? Or do we want to find ways of adapting to warming (or cooling, if the climate goes that way, as paleo history teaches us it eventually will)? For the realist, the answer is obvious.

Climate realists also question the enormous costs of switching to a low-carbon economy within two or three decades; we prefer the much less costly policy of gradually adapting to warming, if warming occurs. But most of us first became realists because we recognized that the science behind global-warming alarmism is, to put it simply, dodgy.

In solid science, the facts don’t “clash”

The Greek philosopher Aristotle, who was basically the inventor of the scientific approach, wrote more than 2,000 years ago:

With a true view all the data harmonize, but with a false one the facts soon clash.

Ethics, Book I, Section 8

Although we’re told climate science is “settled” and “certain,” and therefore not to be questioned, many so-called “facts” in alarmist climate science do not “harmonize”; instead, they “clash” with reality. Below are some examples of global warming claims that “clash” with the actual scientific facts, examples that have moved our group’s members toward a “realistic” and moderate rather than “alarmist” position on climate change.

  • We’re told human-caused carbon dioxide is the primary driver of “global warming.” In fact, other human factors such as the heat from cities (the Urban Heat Island effect) and agriculture are just as powerful as, or more powerful than, human-generated CO2 from fossil fuels in creating warming. Are we planning to give up cities and agriculture along with our fossil fuels? Also, the sun and oceans are far more powerful as sources of climate change than human activities.
  • We’re told carbon dioxide is “global warming pollution” (Al Gore ) or “choking the atmosphere” (Tim Flannery) or a “pollutant” (the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)5. In fact, CO2 is a plant fertilizer, not a pollutant. On the contrary, as even the IPCC admits, a doubled CO2 level would increase plant growth by up to 33 per cent for a greener planet. This is why CO2 levels in greenhouses are often kept at levels of more than 1,000 parts per million to enhance plant growth. Below 150 ppm, however, plant (and therefore animal) life dies. Nor do higher levels of CO2 pose any health threat whatsoever to humans or animals under concentrations of 5,000 parts per million (and higher), the level sometimes found on nuclear submarines.6
Figure 1: Graph showing how the warming effect of each unit of carbon dioxide decreases as CO2 is added to the atmosphere. This is known as “carbon saturation.”
  • We’re told increased carbon-dioxide levels will accelerate global warming. In fact, the more CO2 in the air, the less warming effect it has per additional unit (see Figure 1). At about 420 parts per million, we’re either at or beyond the “saturation” point where additional CO2 causes enough warming to be worried about.
Figure 2: For the past 50 million years, Earth’s temperature has been steadily falling; today we are in the interglacial of a planetary Ice Age.
  • We’re told we should fear global warming. In fact, our planet is in an ice age and has been for more than two million years. Not only that but the Earth is the coldest it’s been in 250 million years, and over the past 50 million years, Earth’s temperature has been gradually falling (see Figure 2) . The climate change we should fear is cooling. A temperature drop of only 5° Celsius would lead to a return of the glaciers that, a mere 15,000 years ago, covered most of the northern part of North America, Europe and Asia.
Figure 3: Temperature (blue line) and carbon dioxide (black line) levels over 600 million years. For most of this time, the planet has been warmer, with much higher CO2 levels, than today without causing “oblivion”. Note also that there is very little correlation between temperature and CO2 levels.
  • We’re told today’s temperatures will lead to the destruction of human life and the planet itself (“oblivion”). In fact, for 90% of the past 600 million years, temperatures and CO2 levels have been higher than today’s and sometimes much higher7 (see Figure 3. Black line is CO2, blue line is temperature). Yet, somehow, animals and plants weren’t driven into “oblivion”—instead they evolved and thrived. Not only that but, again, as the graph also shows, the Earth is the coldest it’s been in 250 million years. And we’re worried about a degree or two of warming?
Figure 4: The climate has been warmer at least four times in the past 5,000 years. Today’s temperatures are far from “unprecedented” or dangerous
  • We’re told today’s global temperatures are“unprecedented” for warmth. In fact, humanity has experienced (and easily survived) similar or greater warming within fairly recent human history. The planet has been warmer at least three times in the past 7,000 years (see Figure 4), including the Roman Warming (2,000 years ago) and Medieval Warming (1,000 years ago), and was as warm as today during the 1930s. In general, historic warm times have been better for human survival than cold times.
  • We’re told that “extreme events,” such as the B.C. Sumas Prairie flooding of November 2021, are primarily caused by “human-caused climate change.” In fact, the Sumas flooding and most other “extreme” events such as forest fires and the 2021 “heat dome” are just part of the natural processes of our planet that we have coped with for millennia. Damage from these events is usually the result of poor human planning, such as failure to repair and keep up dikes (Sumas), placing housing in flood plains, failing to properly clear forest undergrowth, not preparing for extreme heat events (which can be predicted by meteorologists so society can take action, such as providing “cooling” centres), and so on. (Incidentally, cold weather causes far more deaths globally than warm weather (see “News article gets facts wrong on heat deaths”), a fact alarmists prefer to ignore.)
Figure 5: Sea-level rise is not “accelerating,” and is inevitable during an interglacial
  • We’re told that human-caused global warming will cause the oceans to rise at least six metres (20 feet) by 2100. In fact, our planet is in an interglacial (warm) period within the current two-million-year ice age. According to the IPCC itself, in previous interglacials sea levels rose at least 6 metres (20 feet) higher than today’s levels (although over thousands of years, not a century).8 Sea-level rise in an interglacial is natural and will occur no matter what humans do or don’t do. Our job is to prepare for sea-level rises; curbing carbon emissions will do nothing to prevent oceans from rising. Current sea-level rise is about 2-3 mm (a fraction of an inch) a year, and this has been the case for several centuries (see Figure 5) without major problems for humanity.
  • We’re told that humanity, by “causing” global warming, is threatening thousands of species a year with extinction. In fact, the known global extinction rate continues to be about two species a year, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (see Global Warming Myths: The ‘Sixth Extinction’.) For example, alarmists tell us that polar bears are threatened with extinction by the impact of “human-caused global warming” on Arctic ice. In fact, polar bear populations worldwide are the highest ever recorded.9 Furthermore, polar bears survived the last interglacial 125,000 years ago, when temperatures were 1-3° Celsius higher than today’s. So far they have not only survived this interglacial, but increased in numbers.

On the site we give many more examples of climate facts like this that “clash” with the claims of alarmist climate “science”—so many clashes that skepticism about alarmist climate claims is the only rational response. Of course, climate alarmists believe they have an answer to all these climate contradictions, but their primary response to questions and criticism is: “We’re right, you’re wrong. If you don’t believe us, you’re a conspiracy theorist or a nut job.” The last thing alarmists want is a respectful scientific dialogue that includes the public.

Our job as citizens is to look at all sides of the climate-change issue and make fact-based, realistic decisions on how we should respond to climate change. We hope climaterealists.ca can be part of this democratic process.

Notes

  1. Ban Ki Moon at a news conference after the 2007 Bali climate conference. His exact words: “Today, we are at a crossroads, one path leading towards a comprehensive new climate agreement, and the other towards oblivion.” UN website, “UN Climate Change Conference represents crossroads, Secretary-General says,” Dec. 11, 2007
  2. For example, see “Climate ‘Realism’ is the New Climate Denial,” by Stella Levantesi and Guilio Corsi, The New Republic, Aug. 6, 2020.
  3. See, for example, Damien Carrington’s Guardian article “The four types of climate denier and why you should ignore them all” (July 20, 2020). Carrington divides “deniers” into four categories: the shill, the grifter, the egomaniac and the ideological fool.
  4. For more on this topic see post “The cost of ‘green’ energy—ruinous costs and ruined lives.
  5. John M. Broder, “E.P.A. Clears Way for Greenhouse Gas Rules.” New York Times, April 17, 2009
  6. See Kenneth Richard, “A Groundbreaking New Study Foils The Elevated-CO2-Is-Toxic-To-Humans Narrative.” No Tricks Zone, Aug. 20, 2018. See also National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Emergency and Continuous Exposure Guidance Levels for Selected Submarine Contaminants: Volume 1. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2007. https://doi.org/10.17226/11170.
  7. Edward Aguado & James E. Burt, Understanding Weather & Climate. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2004, p. 479.
  8. IPCC 2007, Summary for Policymakers, “A Paleoclimatic Perspective,” p. 9. “The last time the polar regions were significantly warmer than present for an extended period (about 125,000 years ago), reductions in polar ice volume led to 4 to 6 metres of sea level rise.”
  9. For details, see Susan J. Crockford’s site Polar Bear Science.