As flood waters recede from the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, Canadians have been left with the impression that man-made carbon-driven climate change was the cause. A few environmental scientists drew a direct link, including Paul Beckwith, the University of Ottawa climate scientist well-known for wrongly predicting in March, 2013, that all ice would “vanish” from the Arctic by the end of that year.
Now he sees the floods-climate cause-and-effect as being “very clear.” Prime Minister Trudeau blamed the floods on climate change. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna delivered a categorical statement: “This is something that is real. … We are seeing the impacts of climate change.”
The insurance industry also self-servingly promotes the climate change angle. “As a result of the warming climate, floods are becoming more prevalent worldwide. Flooding is the most frequently occurring natural hazard in Canada,” says the Insurance Institute. An insurance executive warned recently that “As climate change unfolds, expect to see extreme weather-related damage continue to trend upward.”
What Canadians witnessed throughout the spring-flood period is climate politics — and climate corporatism — not climate science. The media played along with the politics, as it has with climate and weather for more than two decades. In 1995, the UN agency charged with producing climate-science research concluded that “Over all, there is no evidence that extreme weather events, or climate variability, has increased, in a global sense, through the 20th century.”
That didn’t stop the CBC and others from repeatedly linking weather events —droughts, floods, ice storms, hurricanes, heat waves, cold snaps — to climate change all through the 1990s right up to this week’s news reports, even as the science suggests otherwise.
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