DeSmog, a website that claims to be “the world’s number one source for accurate, fact-based information regarding global warming misinformation campaigns” contacted Wind Concerns in August to comment on the Alberta government’s “pause” on renewable energy projects. The “investigative journalist” on the other end of the phone pressed me several times with the question, “Do you think Wind Concerns’ advocacy against wind farms, along with your earlier call for the moratorium, played a role in the Alberta government’s decision?”
My response was that we were one of many voices calling for a moratorium, but that I did not know what impact we had on the decision. (We hope we had a big impact!)
In fact, Rural Municipalities of Alberta president Paul McLauchlin in March 2023 stated that “the provincial government needs to place a moratorium on solar projects on certain types of farmland.”1 Concerns involved both the use of prime agricultural farmland as well as property rights of affected residents. Wind Concerns is also raising these issues and more due to what we see now as an untenable energy source.
However, DeSmog, while rightly calling Wind Concerns “anti-wind”, said we are also “part of an escalating movement across Canada and the U.S. to block the installation of cleaner energy alternatives to coal, gas and oil.” This is false. From day one, we have stated our support for clean energy alternatives that make sense.2 And industrial wind plants make no sense. Their negative impact on the environment, land, human and animal health, bird and bat populations, property values, soil, and the fact they are unreliable to begin with… makes them environmentally, morally and economically unviable.
DeSmog then quoted me saying: “Carbon dioxide is the gas of life. More carbon dioxide on the planet makes for a warmer planet, makes for better [food] growing conditions.” To this, DeSmog countered: “Climate scientists say that is a misleading argument because it ignores the massive negative effects on plants and natural ecosystems due to climate change, including intensified droughts, wildfires and heatwaves.”
In truth, DeSmog appears to be ignoring a mountain of science and data that reveals the opposite. Perhaps this is not surprising since a writer for their blog admitted they are “more about PR here, not much about science.”3 Indeed, the American Council on Science and Health notes that DeSmog “has a long history of smearing reputable scientists with whom it disagrees on climate change.”4 DeSmog even hosts a “Climate Disinformation Database” of accredited scientists and researchers5 who committed the shameful act of actually presenting another scientific viewpoint.
As a scientist myself I knew that if there was no way to question the ‘consensus,’ then this was no longer ‘science.’Kelly Cooper, Western Standard, August 22, 2023
Invoking the term “climate-denier” is juvenile and antithetical to both journalism and sound science and betrays questionable motives behind an organization. Besides, what does that even mean, given that climate changes all the time, and by numerous influences including solar activity, ocean currents, volcanic activity and other factors scientists are still trying to understand. But such ad hominem plays well into the midget-minded cancel-culture of fear and intimidation where even PhD’s are being censored and de-platformed for simply exercising academia.
Back to DeSmog’s assertion that more carbon dioxide is ultimately a bad thing. Is it?
Plants require carbon dioxide (CO2) for photosynthesis, and humans and animals depend on plants for food, thus, CO2 is necessary for the survival of life on Earth. So would more CO2 be better for the planet?
In a paper for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Dr. Indur Goklany, who has previously represented the United States on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says that the rising level of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere “is currently net beneficial for both humanity and the biosphere generally”.
Carbon dioxide fertilizes plants, and emissions from fossil fuels have already had a hugely beneficial effect on crops, increasing yields by at least 10-15 per cent.Dr Indur Goklany, October 12, 2015, paper: “Carbon Dioxide: the good news“
Physicist Freeman Dyson states:
…there are huge non-climate effects of carbon dioxide which are overwhelmingly favorable which are not taken into account. To me that’s the main issue–the Earth is actually growing greener..it’s increasingly agricultural yields, it’s increasing forests, it’s increasing all kinds of growth… That’s more important and more certain than the effects on climate.tomnelson.blogspot.com, April 6, 2016
A study in Nature has found that “woody vegetation cover over sub-Saharan Africa increased by 8% over the past three decades… These results confirm global greening trends, thereby bringing into question widely held theories about declining terrestrial carbon balances and desert expansion.”6 The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association reported a study in 2018 showing “Global plant growth surging alongside carbon dioxide.”7 NASA’s mapping shows “that the world is greener than it was in the early 1980s.”8 Boston University’s study found “significant greening of something between 25% and 50% of the Earth’s vegetated land.”9 Moreover, such greening actually cools the earth.10 There’s more studies along this same vein, but you get the picture.
What about that climate apocalypse?
But what about those offsetting cataclysmic events supposedly caused by “global warming”, such as ‘intensified droughts, wildfires and heatwaves’?
In a paper published in January 2022 by Alimonti et. al. that remains under review, it found that:
…global trends in heatwave intensity are not significant. Daily precipitation intensity and extreme precipitation frequency are stationary in the main part of the weather stations. Trend analysis of the time series of tropical cyclones show a substantial temporal invariance and the same is true for tornadoes in the USA. At the same time, the impact of warming on surface wind speed remains unclear. The analysis is then extended to some global response indicators of extreme meteorological events, namely natural disasters, floods, droughts, ecosystem productivity and yields of the four main crops (maize, rice, soybean and wheat). None of these response indicators show a clear positive trend of extreme events. In conclusion on the basis of observational data, the climate crisis that, according to many sources, we are experiencing today, is not evident yet.“A critical assessment of extreme events trends in times of global warming”, The European Physical Journal Plus
Researchers at NOAA and UCLA found that, despite the extreme heat wave in the Pacific region in 2021, “We don’t see historical evidence of hot temperatures increasing faster than average temperatures during the early summertime when the heatwave occurred” and that the anomaly “is something that will only occur once in 10,000 years.”11 Another paper has found that heat waves have been less severe and frequent since the 1930’s.12 But what about those heat waves in July 2023? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s July average temperature data (graph below) revealed yet another average month, despite several hot spots.
However, this didn’t stop both the United Nations and several media outlets from making contradictory claims that July was the hottest month on record.13 How do you prove that, especially when Antarctica was once covered with palm trees? “Though scientists think the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels at the beginning of the Eocene period 55 million years ago were as high as 1000 parts per million, trumping today’s value near 400 parts per million,” writes Smithsonian Magazine, “they’ve not quite worked out what triggered this lurch.”
Kind of throws a wrench into the whole climate dogma, doesn’t it? I digress.
An Italian review of extreme weather finds ‘no evidence’ of ‘a climate crisis’ in current data, according to their paper. In fact, there has been a decrease in hurricane activity. Then there is the claim that climate is killing people when “ever fewer people die from climate-related catastrophes,” says Bjørn Lomborg, former director of the Danish government’s Environmental Assessment Institute. “As population has quadrupled, deaths have dropped 20-fold,” (see this graph). “Death risk from climate is down 99% from the 1920s.” And defying Al Gore and Greta Thunberg’s doomsday predictions, data shows that sea levels have not risen in all of recorded history.
As for wildfires, particularly in 2023? In Greece, Quebec, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Yellowknife, Kelowna, Spokane, Italy Kaʻū and Maui, fires have been linked to numerous acts of arson and/or incompetence. Arson isn’t caused by climate change.
DeSmog goes on to quote a lawyer who refers to concerned citizens such as us as “anti-renewable energy groups.” Again, false. We’re just anti-stupidity, anti-waste, and against the further destruction of the environment. We’ve learned our lessons in Alberta from the recklessness of the early oil boom days. It’s unthinkable from our standpoint to repeat them all over again.
- cf. A Call For a Moratorium
- cf. Rethinking the Renewable Energy Thing
- email found during the “Climategate” scandal
- Over 1600 researchers recently signed a declaration stating that there is ‘no climate emergency.’
- June 11, 2018, nature.com
- April 25, 2016, BBC
- September 28, 2022; newsroom.ucla.edu
- 2022, “Climate at a Glance“
Mark Mallett is a former award-winning reporter with CTV Edmonton and an independent researcher and author. His family homesteaded between Vermilion and Cold Lake, Alberta, and now resides in the Lakeland region. Mark is Editor in Chief of Wind Concerns.