Re: ‘Oil lobbyists approved Harper’s climate policy as ‘elegant’ approach’ (Daily News, April 29)
Whenever people read that “climate scientists . . . around the world have agreed that humans must rapidly slash greenhouse gas missions . . . to avoid irreversible damage to life on Earth” it is important to ask a simple question: What fraction of the world’s experts actually believe this?
No one knows. There has never been reputable world-wide polling of scientists who specialize in the causes of global climate change.
Among the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, only 62 of the 2,500 expert scientific reviewers commented on anything in the chapter in the IPCC report that includes the oft-repeated statement about the climatic impact of human greenhouse gas emissions. That 98% of them said nothing about it does not indicate that they agree or disagree, but there is no substantiation for claims of consensus within that body about the most important assertion of the debate.
It is also meaningless to say that IPCC’s views are supported by the learned academies of science across the world, as is often done. None of the academies have polled their members and showed that a majority of them approve of the academies’ positions. These statements are merely the opinions of academy executives or special committees appointed by the executives.
Most experts in the field understand that climate science remains immature and highly uncertain.
No one really even knows if global warming or cooling lie ahead, let alone whether or not our greenhouse gas emissions have much impact.
Tom Harris, executive director, International Climate Science Coalition, Ottawa