University of Victoria Steps Up Climate Research

For those of us who get a little panicked about the state of the climate - especially about the denial that is preventing action against anthropogenic climate change - Wednesday was a great day.

Bob Wright, a controversial sport-fishing magnate from Victoria, B.C., donated $11 million Cdn to the University of Victoria's School of Earth and Ocean Science.

UVic already boasts one of the world's most impressive climate models, built by Dr. Andrew Weaver, the Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis. And four lead authors of the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report (including Weaver) hail from UVic or from the Canadian government's climate modelling lab, which is also located in Victoria.

Thanks to Wright's donation, all of these scientists will now be gathered under the same roof, interacting to mutual benefit and advancing the state of climate science, undoubtedly by leaps and bounds.

By way of full disclosure, UVic Dean of Science Tom Pedersen (inset) is an old friend, and through him, and through UVic President Dave Turpin, I have been employed on occasion as a contract writer. I couldn't be more proud of that friendship or of my own (decidedly modest) contributions to the cause.

And, today, I couldn't be more delighted at their success. There is still woefully little evidence that the Canadian or American governments are disposed to accepting good advice on climate policy. But if they wanted to start basing that policy in hard science - rather than in oily public relations - the  University of Victoria will have the answers.