Canadian Science Book Crosses Boldly into Politics

Mon, 2008-09-29 08:34Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Canadian Science Book Crosses Boldly into Politics

“For Canadians, this is the best single book on our climate crisis and what we should do about it.” 

Thomas Homer-Dixon on Andrew Weaver's Keeping Our Cool

University of Victoria climatologist Dr. Andrew Weaver, Canada's answer to James Hansen, continues to win rave reviews and political attention for his new book, Keeping Our Cool.

Weaver has been outspoken about the sorry record of Canada's current Conservative government (“They were making policy without even consulting their environmental scientists.”) and highly critical of the government's efforts to muzzle those in the scientific community (“It’s absolutely Orwellian what’s going on here in science in Canada.”)

He is also one of the clearest speakers on the actual risk of climate change (“People have simply no idea how serious this issue is.”)

We can't recommend the book, or Weaver himself, too highly. And we will be bringing more - about him and directly from him in the future.


well - he’s selling a book so that gives him a bit of a conflict of interest.

Beyond that - Is it a bit delusional to think Canada can make any real difference in World CO2 output by electing the Libs?

The developing nations are taking over on the CO2 story. The NYT today say the developing nations now produce the majority of the CO2 and they’re ramping up fast with cement production and coal. Their populations are increasing fast too.

Blaming Harper for CO2 and whatever climate change it brings seems clueless to me. Good way to sell books in Canada I suppose.

No point trying to act responsibly in Canada if global CO2 rates are going up, anyway.

In fact, you could summon the same clever argument for littering, lying cheating, stealing and beating your wife. I hear there’s a lot of that going around.

Richard, did you check out the peak oil links?

Hasn’t Rick been doing exactly that? He lies through his teeth, and then says that since it’s human nature to lie, it’s OK.

And no doubt, there’ll be more of this “human nature” coming up soon:


So you are saying it is wrong in science to present alternatives to a theory? Alternatives that better explain the reality of the world?

What are you afraid of if your theory is so sound? Worried they just might debunk it?

More lies^H^H^H^Hhuman nature.


not sure what those H’s and arrows are all about

So anything that does not support your dogma are lies, eh? Guess you would prefer we return to the Dark Ages when the Church dictated what was “real”, or you would prefer to live in a Stalanist state where the “truth” is what the government says it is.

It’s people with your attitude that MUST BE CHALLENGED at every opportunity.

Climatic science has been very rigorously challenged indeed. The IPCC is the most comprehensive scientific evaluation of a subject that has ever been conducted.

Saying that the scientific understanding of climatic science has somehow evaded proper scrutiny is simply incorrect.

“Climatic science has been very rigorously challenged indeed. The IPCC is the most comprehensive scientific evaluation of a subject that has ever been conducted.”

False. The IPCC is not a scientific body, it’s a political one. NONE of it’s publications are peer reviewed. In fact, the exact opposite. The IPCC writers tell the science contributors what to put in their papers.

“Saying that the scientific understanding of climatic science has somehow evaded proper scrutiny is simply incorrect.” Nothing is science is beyond scrutiny. It’s what is required to keep science honest. And indeed much of the understanding of climate science is under continuous skepticism. You really need to dig into this to see it.

You’re a liar, JR. You’ve also been hoodwinked by the Rush Limbaughs of the world who haven’t a clue about anything related to science. (Heck, they’re the ignoramuses who go around crying that the schools aren’t teaching creationism side-by-side evolution!)

If there’s anyone who should be criticized over not being honest, it’s the neo-con cabal who’ve tried to derail the scientific process, as well as the political process, in order to benefit their buddies in the fossil fuel industry. They’ll do anything to prevent the enacting of regulations and/or restrictions to this highly polluting industry, the industry which is the most responsible for creating this climate crisis in the first place.

And JR, your type of beliefs of climate science are just as bad as those in the “9-11 Truth Movement”. Bizarre, unfounded, irrational, and completely imaginary.

In a world where you and your ilk are in charge would mean dissension would be dealt with gulags.

BTW, I spent 20 years fighting creationism, and published debunking one of creationist’s centre pieces. I know what science is, I know what dogma is. And you just proved that you belong to the dogmatists of AGW.

I have littered every now and then.

Dill Weed

David Hughes on Canada’s Oil and Natural Gas - updated with audio

Global Public Media’s Julian Darley speaks to David Hughes, Post Carbon Institute Fellow and geologist with Natural Resources Canada, about global and North American oil and natural gas supply issues.

Ricks the kinda guy that if your at party and he’s talking to you that you just want to break your beer bottle over your head to get away from him. LOL.

Dill Weed

could be - but I’m good …. and eco zealots are BAD.

How so? It is well established that the people with money emit the most CO2 per person. Celebrities, eco authors, scientists, professional types. etc. etc.

Yes the very same group that preaches us to death about saving the planet is taking the lead in burning it up.

but I’m good - cause I’m poor and I’m green - and the eco preachers hate me for it.

thats okay though - being a superior human being is it’s own reward

it’s good to have a positive self image : )

Contrarianism for contrarianisms sake is… tiresome, but that aside…

my conclusion is we’re toast…

CO2 emissions will not be brought down in time and there will be great heat…but,

before we get get toasty,

we’ll watch the greatest financial collapse in the history of the world…

the train is running away downhill…

and a lot of debate and rhetoric won’t slow it down.

In this dark moment, I say, “Let it burn.”

I believe a cold blooded rational examination of what it will take to turn things around doesn’t leave much room for hope.

Dill Weed

if we stipulate that the science is right (which I admit confusion about) then we can perfectly agree here.

no need to break any bottles.

but, you know - go ahead if it helps. :)

Canadian climatologist Andrew Weaver’s “Keeping Our Cool” provides an excellent and accessible introduction to climatic science. It also provides a great deal of useful information specific to Canada. As a result, if I had to recommend a single book to non-scientist Canadians seeking to understand the science of climate change, it would be this one. On the matter of what is to be done, the book is useful in a numerical sense but not particularly so in a policy sense. The discussion of economic instruments is superficial and the author basically assumes that a price of carbon plus new technology will address the problem.

In general, Weaver’s book is a strong and useful introduction to climatic science. When it comes to the big questions about climate ethics, and the policy and technological measures that will permit the emergence of a low-carbon society, other authors have done better.

The rest of my review is here:

How delightful
–I thought denialists were extinct.

Jr. Wakefield, you look like a troll from here. The science of climate change is pretty clear about what’s happening, and most of the world has moved on to argue about what we ought to do about it. Why not join the adults in the front parlour when you’re ready?

Rick, anyone who refers to themselves as “a superior human being” while demonizing the oppos as “eco-zealots” is perilously close to invoking Godwin’s Law.

You sure you don’t want to go for broke and compare those of us who aren’t guzzling the flavr-aid to Hitler?

And yes, I believe the Green Shift can make a difference. In any case it beats the hell out of Harper’s “It-may-be-a-stinking-sulph’rous-sea-of-smokestacks-to-you-now-but-just-you-wait-until-2050” plan.

You remember acid rain? Industry screamed like a baby with its hand in the garburator. Mandatory sulphide reductions were going to destroy the economy and tank the canuck-buck. And then those restrictions became law, and they shut up. And oddly enough no-one talks about acid rain anymore. This is just the twenty-first century version.

By 2050, Harper will have been out of office at least thirty-seven years (hopefully forty-two), and hopefully most of the damage due to his reign will have been repaired.

The green shift contains all the elements that real economists (as opposed to Harperite ideologists) say are necessary to support economic growth while blunting the effects of carbon emissions. It ain’t the be-all and end-all, and I suspect that in fifty years it’ll look pretty timid. But hell, he even wants to cut your taxes ten percent to help pay for it. Seems pretty dumb to settle for Harper’s same-ol’ same-ol’.

“Jr. Wakefield, you look like a troll from here. The science of climate change is pretty clear about what’s happening, and most of the world has moved on to argue about what we ought to do about it. Why not join the adults in the front parlour when you’re ready?”

Then you have not seen the PEER REVIEWED science that does not support AGW.,, for starters. So when someone is a skeptic and challenges dogma they are considered a troll, eh? Nice intolerance.

“And yes, I believe the Green Shift can make a difference. In any case it beats the hell out of Harper’s “It-may-be-a-stinking-sulph’rous-sea-of-smokestacks-to-you-now-but-just-you-wait-until-2050” plan.”

Then tell us who the losers of the plan will be. Dion refuses to do so.

“You remember acid rain? Industry screamed like a baby with its hand in the garburator. Mandatory sulphide reductions were going to destroy the economy and tank the canuck-buck. And then those restrictions became law, and they shut up. And oddly enough no-one talks about acid rain anymore. This is just the twenty-first century version.”

Acid rain was scientifically demonstrable. The dire consequences of CO2 emissions is not.

Seems pretty dumb to me that you would accept Liberal promises when they have failed to deliver in the past. If this was such a dire issue why didn’t Dion get it started when he was environment minister? Revenue neutral, yeah, right. Tell us who the losers will be!!

JR, nothing in WCR, CO2Science, or ClimateFraudit that has ever been peer-reviewed has disagreed with AGW and nothing in WCR, CO2Science, or ClimateFraudit that disagrees with AGW has ever been peer-reviewed.

JR, you’re lying again!

Peer Review isn’t without it’s problems

I enjoyed this quote:

…We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process that helps to make science our most objective truth teller. But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong.”

Go to the sites. The present peer reviewed papers that do not support, or refute, the current “concensus” of AGW.

For example

Ntegeka, V. and Willems, P. 2008. Trends and multidecadal oscillations in rainfall extremes, based on a more than 100-year time series of 10 min rainfall intensities at Uccle, Belgium. Water Resources Research 44: 10.1029/2007WR006471.

What it means
“This temporal clustering,” in the words of Ntegeka and Willems, “highlights the difficulty of attributing ‘change’ in climate series to anthropogenically induced global warming,” and they say that “no strong conclusions can be drawn on the evidence of the climate change effect in the historical rainfall series.”

And as for climateaudit, Macintyre was the person who published in peer reviewed journals debunking the Mann hockey stick, and continues to expose the frauds of the “hockey team”.

Ntegeka and Willems do not refute AGW. They took one station’s weather data and analyzed it. One station does not make or break global climate change. Hence, the word GLOBAL!

Also, the ClimateFraudit folks published their “refutations” in Energy and Environment (a journal not recognized as peer-reviewed by the ISI) and Geophysical Research Letters (one of the easiest peer-reviewed journals in which to get published because of its fast-track process, a peer-review process which would not stand up to the rigors of the journals Nature or Science).

Also, you called the hockey stick scientists frauds? How about the NAS and Wegman reviews basically validating the results of the hockey stick graph, though saying the robustness of the years 1000-1600 was not quite as large as it could have been.

Quit lying, JR. Impressionable children may be reading this garbage you spew out and may, unfortunately, be subject to repeating it.

Wow. some balls.

And you call JR a liar.

Zealots will be Zealots.

I don’t know if this copy/paste from planet gore means anything, but as long as meteorologists are putting this stuff out, it would seem reasonable for Frank to quit calling us liars. It’s not for nothing that we question the whole AGW thing :

Here is some of the latest data. From the El Nino year of 1998 until Jan., 2007, the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere near its surface decreased some 0.25 C. From Jan., 2007 until the Spring of 2008, it dropped a whopping 0.75 C. The National Weather Service just issued a Sea Ice Advisory for the Western and Arctic Alaskan Coastal waters for significant ice developing in the next 10 to 14 days, with sea surface temperatures some 2 to 8 C colder than last year. Such recent data is “just the tip of the iceberg” that is in process of sinking the Gore-IPCC ship of cards.


Dr. Martin Hertzberg

(end quote)

Dogma: [Gr. dogma that which seems true, an opinion, from dokeo, to seem.] A settled opinion or belief; a tenet; an opinion or doctrine received on authority, as opposed to one obtained from experience or demonstration.

After reading the previous comments, a few often used words or ideas continually appeared to me.

First; the blame game.
No single individual or organisation is soley responsible for global warming. We are all responsible! The only question is how much responsibility is allocated to each individual and organisation.

Second; that we are too small and thus our measly amount of CO2 emissions makes no difference compared to others.
Richard Littlemore’s response more or less said it all.

Third; the environmental scientists are nothing more than dogma chasing zealots that are afraid to even hear the other side of the debate.
The real, as opposed to junk, climate science is very clear about the atmospheric effect that results from the introduction of CO2 into the Earth’s atmosphere. Simply put, if there was no CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere the mean global temperature would be around -15C. Therefore, if CO2 has helped warm the planet, than an increase in atmospheric CO2 will cause an increase in global mean temperature. No debate necessary. This is not dogmatic; it is fact, arrived at by using the scientific method.

Fourth; the IPCC is not a scientific body, it is a political one.
The IPCC is a scientific body that must report to a political body. Composed of thousands of climate scientists from around the world, the IPCC reviews and constructs a consensus from the leading peer reviewed scientific research available. Unfortunately, the scientific consensus is then diluted by the political body. The result of this is process is that the actual scientific data is somewhat less “accurate”. Anyone who has read reports or listened to interviews given by IPCC scientists would know about this frustrating aspect of the process.

Fifth; the very people who are telling you to make changes to save the planet are themselves jet setting about the world while living in huge mansions and spewing out CO2. They are nothing more than hypocrites.
This is a very difficult point to deal with. Most of them claim to be purchasing carbon offsets. I don’t like carbon offsets. As George Monbiot said, “carbon offsets are the equivalent of medieval indulgences, they are simply designed to remove the quilt while you continue to pollute”. Like anything else in this world, you must always accept the source of you information before you can accept what that source is imparting to you. I like George Monbiot because he practices what he preaches.

And finally; the criticism of the peer review system, as found on Wikipedia.
Wikipedia is not the fountain of knowledge that some people think it is. In fact, due to its “anybody can submit their opinion” nature, it is very easy to manipulate a definition to create a favourable outcome for the author. It is a well known fact that many entries have been manipulated to remove negative or truthful information from certain entries. The majority of the manipulations have come from the vary organisations that have the most to lose if the truth was exposed. Don’t simply rely on one source for all of your information. Consult multiple sources and verify their affiliations. Organisations backed by corporate sponsors tend to slant their conclusions to support their benefactors.

I’m sure this will only spark further debate, name calling and misinformation.


The Closet Skeptic

thanks for your post. I like how you summed things up and dealt with issues.

the thing that stood out to me was the point that without CO2, Earth’s temp would be about -15. - a 30 degree swing.

and yet water vapor is the principal warming gas. Is a less than 1% gas really bringing a 30 degree temp swing? it seems unfathomable to me.

true or false?

I’ll have to find my source for that info.

Thanks for your comment.

Here is what I have found so far.

You’re definitely correct that CO2 alone is not responsible for a 30 degree temperature swing.

I haven’t been able to relocate my original source of info, however; I have found many other sources that confirm that the greenhouse effect does produce a 30 degree swing form -15C to 15C.

It is truly a joy to take part in a productive discussion in which participants present their opinions, without insulting others, and work towards a better understanding of the issue at hand.

We all make mistakes.

Thank you Rick for helping me correct my mistake.


The Closet Skeptic

p.s. I’m going to continue this line of research. I’m interested to know just what the influence on temperature each gas has on the overall warming.

Don’t forget to include that we are at a CO2 low in geological time. CO2 levels were 3-4 TIMES higher in the past, and it was a time of great biotic activity. Life flourished more than today.

Ever wondered how the Sauropods managed to get so large? With CO2 levels 4 times today, plants grew much faster, hence able to support larger browsers. They would never make it today with this slow plant growth.

So take that into account too.

Plus, also realize that during these times, such as 55myo, the planet was much warmer than today on average. The upper limit was not increased. But the planet was more moderated. During that time we had palm trees growing in Greenland and at the same time the Sahara was a tropical forest.

So take that into account also.