Side Chatter at TriRudy

Delicious irony: former City Councillor reacts to my alert that GHG targets are quietly being set at City Hall by trivializing climate change.

TriRudy is a wonderful email list aimed at athletes. I had pointed out that Gatineau Park skiing and Rideau Canal skating were being affected by changing climate, asking people to take note that Ottawa City Hall was on the cusp of resetting greenhouse gas targets. In particular my concern is that these are being set without much scrutiny from the public or sense of importance on the part of most municipal elected officials.

Gord Hunter responded with a post starting out:

…One of the greatest vanities of mankind is that humans think they cause and therefore can control changes in the earth’s climate. …

TriRudy is not the forum for sparring about non-athletic issues and so I will not be pursuing my disagreement there beyond this subsequent post I sent in:

I respectfully disagree with Gord Hunter. Thanks though; having a former City Councillor trivialize global warming certainly reinforces my point that Ottawa City Hall is unlikely to take the issue seriously.

In disagreeing with Mr. Hunter I defer to the IPCC and the Nobel Prize committee.

The “I” in IPCC stands for “intergovernmental” and as such the IPCC represents 194 governments around the world, backed by tens of thousands of peer-reviewed scientific studies. This is not opinion, this is data-based evidence.

The IPCC says

“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal” and

“Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely [>90% confidence] due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.” Note- “anthropogenic GHG” means “human created greenhouse gasses”

We’ve heard counter-arguments but they’re not based on science. A peer-reviewed study of the scientific literature found not a single study disagreeing with the consensus view on the role of greenhouse gasses, and that no published studies existed that refuted a human contribution to global warming.

The Nobel webpage on the Peace Prize award to the IPCC is headlined “Climate change will increase the danger of war.” The Nobel website continues, paraphrasing the IPCC “…climate change is accelerating, that the changes are to a significant extent man-made, and that the need to adopt counter-measures is urgent if we are to prevent a global climate crisis from arising in the near future and threatening the basis of human life.”

Thanks to Rodrigo for his supportive comments (here & here).

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