Contributed by Michelle Stirling and the Science Team at Friends of Science.

On July 27, 2007, the Edmonton Journal ran an op-ed by Jim Storrie wherein he called Friends of Science “climate denialists.” We have no record of Mr. Storrie ever contacting us for a statement on our position regarding climate change. Read the original op-ed here Opinion: Trump-style vitriol infecting Alberta politics.

The following is a rebuttal to Jim Storrie’s article.

A recent Edmonton Journal op-ed by Jim Storrie took the light-hearted joke “Be afraid, be very afraid” and wound it up into a session of fear-mongering and smears, including our organization – Friends of Science Society – as “climate denialists.”

“Trump-style vitriol” must refer to the President pulling out of the Paris Agreement. If you read our recent blog post “Just the Facts” by Ottawa energy policy consultant Robert Lyman, you’ll see why no businessperson would sign the Paris Agreement – only Carbonbaggers and bureaucrats would agree to it.

The Friends of Science team of scientists have reviewed climate science literature for 15 years. Climate change is self-evident. Some 4.5 billion years of its evidence is written in the rock that our earth scientists study. Earth’s temperatures have naturally gone from minus 70°C to plus 70°C over time without any human intervention whatsoever, with no correlation to carbon dioxide concentrations.

Our senior scientific advisors are Ph.D. holders in atmospheric science, earth sciences, and astrophysics.  But Mr. Storrie attacks us without doing the correct journalistic thing – call, email, do some research.  Ask us for sources for our position that the sun is the main direct and indirect driver of climate change.

Friends of Science agrees that the climate changes. We agree that carbon dioxide from human emissions is a factor in climate change. We agree that there has been warming since 1860, but only up to the recent stagnation of warming of some 20 years.  These statements are the foundation of the much cited “97% consensus.” Consensus ends there. Scientists dissent on ratio of human vs. natural variability of climate change.

The chaotic voices of environmental groups claim that humans are the sole cause of climate change. They state that if you give them money, they will stop climate change.

The acknowledged world authority on climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines climate change as: “any change in climate over time…whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity.”

Wasn’t this past year the ‘hottest on record?’ News media and catastrophists forget to mention the scientific margin of error. If 2016 was hotter than 2015, it was only by 0.02°C – two one-hundredths of a degree. This an immeasurable amount arrived at by averaging and homogenizing temperatures. It is not an actual thermometer measurement.  The margin of error on this value is 0.1°C, meaning 2016 could have been +0.12°C (global warming) or -0.08°C (global cooling). We will not know until we have additional years against which to compare and see trends.

If you look at temperature rise since 1860 on a regular 1°C thermometer, you would barely see it. The earth’s vast oceans cover 70% of the Earth’s surface area, but have only been nominally monitored with precise Argo instrument drones since 2000. There is a lack of equidistant land monitors world-wide. Thus, many people question the accuracy of ‘global warming’ claims.

Thermometer showing 34 to 43 deg C

Historically, we have transitioned from the warm and stable Medieval Warm Period (850-1250), to the violent, chaotic, cold of the Little Ice Age (1250-1860), and then to the stability of the Current Warm Period. Warming is not unusual.

So, what is the cause? According to astrophysicist Dr. Nir Shaviv, Chair of the Racah Institute of Physics at the Hebrew University, changes in the many aspects of solar and planetary activity drive the major forces of climate change on earth. Scientists in many disciplines agree. Earth itself is an active planet with constant tectonic plate movements, changes in geomagnetic fields, shifting ocean currents and atmospheric oscillations. Human activity also influences climate, including land use changes, water diversion, deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, but this is much smaller, by comparison, to natural variability.

Don’t be afraid, or very afraid. Science is about inquiry, not compliance. Join the debate.

See the following YouTube videos for more information.

Dr. Nir Shaviv: Dr. Shaviv – What about the 97% consensus?

Dr. John D. Harper: Active Planet

Also see the following for further scientific detail.

Radiative Forcing with Human Influences