Premier Christy Clark chats with Global Affairs Minister Stephane Dion at United Nations climate conference in Paris

LETTERS: Readers respond to climate change column

Readers respond to Tom Fletcher, questioning effectiveness of carbon tax, rate of warming and promotion of oil sands

Carbon tax isn’t reducing emissions

Re: Inconvenient truths of climate change (B.C. Views, Dec. 2)

As Tom Fletcher pointed out, there are many questions on climate change.

I’m not sure that B.C. or Canada is the problem, but the B.C. government is on the right track with the carbon tax, because it is apparent that Canadians need to lead on the environment, and be seen as leading. We need to be able to market our resources and lead in sustainability.

The B.C. carbon tax has pluses and minuses. Some of the carbon tax burden is returned to lower income earners – this is a good thing. The tax, however, does little to reduce CO2 emissions. If four of the $5 billion collected over the past six years had been invested in reforestation, carbon sinks, the B.C. government could proclaim to the rest of Canada and the world that we are making a real difference.

I think B.C. and Canada are doing a  good job on environmental issue, but we need to seen to be doing more. A B.C. carbon tax that brings in $5 billion to provide $5.7 billion in tax cuts does not appear to me to be making the necessary changes in addressing the global environmental concerns.

The perception is that we are doing nothing. This need to change.

Phil Harrison, Comox

Merchants of sludge?

Tom Fletcher’s latest column, a litany of classic skepticism about what’s going on in the atmosphere, is like a museum display of petroleum industry attitudes.

He evidently has no shame in carrying the torch for continuing with status quo policies around energy sources and emissions. No surprise, because his boss and others are betting there’s still hope for selling sludge to Asia.

I notice in reading the letters from various outposts of Black Press, there are few readers buying this argument. That is encouraging for people who have their ears and eyes open to the realities of the climate situation.

Bill Wells, Kaslo

Where is the warming?

It has been 18 years without statistically relevant temperature increases in our atmosphere, according to satellite data used by the International Panel on Climate Change. The level of CO2 has gone up in those 18 years, yet the atmospheric temperature has not.

Is there a real connection between CO2 level and atmospheric temperature? Maybe not much. The climate scientists won’t say they got it wrong.

Time for the truth, before Canada and other countries have our economies knocked out from under us. Please climate scientists, level with us, and let your colleagues who have “lost the climate change faith” speak.

After all, no one likes muzzled scientists.

Bill Wilson, Saanichton

A selective contrarian

Tom Fletcher’s “Inconvenient truths” column was highly selective in its choice of so-called climate “alarmist” examples.

Yes, contrarian examples exist, and can be used to make a point. For example, some glaciers are growing (around seven per cent, compared to more than 70 per cent that are shrinking).  One who would sympathize with some of Fletcher’s comments is the famous independent scientist James Lovelock, annoyed with some “environmentalists who emotionalize the arguments.” But Lovelock, the father of the Gaia Theory, directs his focus not to these people but more importantly to the climate scientists, the results of their work, and the stark options facing civilization.

In his latest book, A Rough Ride to the Future, Lovelock notes that the fact that there has not been as much warming to date as most models were predicting has contributed to the denier perspective.

He sees early computer models as simulating the atmosphere well, whereas only now are models simulating the interaction between the oceans and the atmosphere, something much more complex to model.

It is clear that there has been significant warming linked to burning fossil fuels. Increasing parts per million of CO2 and other warming gases is documented, as is ocean acidification.

The built-up inertia in the Earth system, given these data, may be a tipping point from which it could be too late to take meaningful action.

The nature of this issue means we cannot be 100 per cent certain, however the Precautionary Principle would urge action on 80 per cent confidence when the realization of a risk would be catastrophic.

Editorials that denigrate vocal activists and selectively choose data lower the quality of discussion, contribute to polarized discussion, and raise doubt as to whether any action is needed; just what climate change denial interests want.

Black Press, given that it touts itself as the largest independent news chain, can do better.

Kevin Tyler, Kamloops

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

McCallum declares Feb. 1, 2020 RCMP ‘Appreciation Day’ in Surrey

This year is the centennial anniversary of the national police force

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Locke calls for brake on Surrey policing plan, says First Nations not consulted

Surrey City Councillor Brenda Locke wants immediate suspension of city’s policing transition process

Cloverdale stamp club looking for new members

Surrey-based group meets every second and fourth Monday of the month

Surrey RCMP ask for help finding 18-year-old David Talero

Police say he was last seen on Jan. 20 at about 10:47 a.m. in 13400 block of 108th Avenue

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Party bus door fault for years ahead of Langley woman’s death: Coroner

Tuesday report classifed Chelsea James’ death accidental, but was critical of bus inspection process

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Alessia Cara to host and perform at 2020 Juno Awards

Multi-platinum Canadian singer-songwriter also up for six awards, including Artist of the Year

Most Read

l -->