May 26, 2020
Honorable Premier and Minister Nixon,
RE: An Open Letter –
Call to reject “Alberta’s Climate Future” report (Hayhoe & Stoner 2019) as a Failed Analysis
In response to media reports of Feb. 26, 2020, that “Alberta’s Climate Future” report predicted dire and alarming climate and extreme weather trends, we have prepared a comprehensive review entitled “Facts vs Fortune Telling”. Our review finds that the Hayhoe & Stoner work fails to consider the available long-term temperature and extreme weather event records for Alberta, thus giving a skewed and inaccurate assessment. We recommend that you reject the “Alberta’s Climate Future” report.
Our team reviewed the longest-term temperature records in the province and found there is little evidence to support any of the claims in the Hayhoe & Stoner report. Hayhoe & Stoner only used data from 1950 to 2013 which gives a falsely exaggerated rising temperature trend. Long-term records that our team examined show that some regions of Alberta have experienced a cooling trend and fewer hot summer days, contrary to claims of Hayhoe & Stoner.
Hayhoe & Stoner refer to two ‘Black Swan’ events as if caused by human-caused climate change; the 2013 Calgary flood and the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire. The long-term records reveal that eight of the worst floods in Calgary’s history occurred before 1933 and two were more extreme in peak flow than that of 2013. The 2013 Calgary flood was due to a rare but known set of meteorological conditions. The largest recorded Alberta wildfire was that of the 1950 Chinchaga Fire Storm, which released a smoke pall seen around the world. The 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire was sparked by human negligence, not human-caused climate change. The fire went rogue due to a sudden shift in high fire risk conditions and strong winds – and also due to lack of preparedness on the part of the province. The Flat Top Complex Wildfire Review of 2013 (in response to the Slave Lake wildfires of 2011, started by arsonists) had advised the province to have firefighting crews at the ready by April 15th. In 2016, Alberta’s forested areas were also affected by a strong 2015 El Nino warming which led to exceptional winter wood curing conditions for that year. Failing to include this information suggests a selection bias on the part of Hayhoe & Stoner.
Hayhoe & Stoner use a method called “downscaling” where they attempt to apply the projections of global climate models to a specific region like Alberta. Global climate models (complex computer simulations) are known to ‘run hot’ – predicting much higher temperatures than those observed – consequently similar false ‘hot’ results were obtained for Alberta.
Likewise, Hayhoe & Stoner’s report refers to two modelled scenarios known as Representative Concentration Pathways – RCP8.5 and RCP4.5 – as if these are ‘choices’ of how to achieve emissions reductions. The RCP8.5 is known to be an extremely unlikely scenario and has been rejected by most mainstream climate scientists, and neither scenario was meant to be used for comparative purposes for setting public policy. In fact, as reported in Forbes by climate policy analyst Roger Pielke, Jr., the RCP8.5 scenario has been embedded in the scientific, business and public conversation by a strategic promotional campaign of two ‘green’ billionaires, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg in the form of the “Risky Business” report. “Climate catastrophe” clearly feeds the commercial objectives of the carbon trading and renewables industries. Renewables promoters proclaim they offer a low-carbon ‘free’ energy solution when the truth is that they offer “Broken Promises” and “Empty Wallets” for taxpayers. The promise of renewable energy to provide economical electricity and declining emissions has failed. From 2006 to 2017 nearly U.S. $2.5 trillion of subsidies were provided to renewables while oil demand grew twice as fast as renewables and global emissions increased by almost 20%. The fact that many institutional investors, representing public sector pension plans, cash in on these subsidized renewables industries constitutes a form of taxation without representation, not to mention the greenwashing involved. Contrary to claims of ‘sustainable’ development, this is an unsustainable burden on taxpayers, based entirely on faulty scientific premises.
We find it disconcerting that in a public presentation at the University of Calgary, Dr. Hayhoe, lead author of the “Alberta’s Climate Future” report, stated that China’s implementation of renewables is reducing global emissions, when in fact China is the largest emitter of all, with emissions growing by 28% between 2008 and 2018. As noted above, despite significant addition of renewables, global emissions have risen, not dropped. Thus, that comment by Dr. Hayhoe suggests either a pro-renewables ideology or ignorance of the facts on the part of Dr. Hayhoe. Canada’s climate and carbon tax policies are crippling our economy with Futile Folly and Canadians deserve better. Carbon taxes are ineffective and, as our report reveals, carbon dioxide is not the main driver of climate change. Canadians already have more than 600 greenhouse gas reduction or incentive policies imposed upon us which have never been audited for effectiveness. Canadian fuel taxes are more than $192/t carbon tax equivalent. Carbon taxes have not been effective in Norway or Zimbabwe. Why would they work in the coldest, second largest country in the world?
As noted by these mainstream climate scientists, there is no reason to set a climate deadline and no emergency.
One of Friends of Science Society’s Canadian scientific advisers, Dr. Madhav Khandekar, produced a literature review of climate science for the Alberta government in 2000, entitled “Uncertainties in Greenhouse gas Induced Climate Change”. In a 2018 interview, Dr. Khandekar indicated that after 18 years there are many more uncertainties. The science is not settled.
We believe the Hayhoe & Stoner report should be rejected for all the failings as outlined in our report. Alberta taxpayers should not have to pay for fortune telling when the facts are available.
But this matter goes beyond the concerns of Albertans. Recent controversy of a group of 265 academics, posting an open letter to the Prime Minister opposing support for the oil and gas sector, resulted in some academics claiming that Premier Kenney’s criticism of their stance was an effort to silence their opinions and they championed academic freedom. We also champion academic freedom. Just as our partner organization – CLINTEL – has asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for a high level ‘red team’ review of climate science orthodoxy, we propose that the University of Alberta host an International Climate Challenge Conference with a proposed working title of: “Dissenting Views: No Climate Emergency – We do Have Time”. We foresee a balanced spectrum of scientists from diverse disciplines and perspectives to engage in the sound and ancient principle that both sides should be fully and fairly heard. Audiatur et altera pars!
Friends of Science Society is a group of earth, atmospheric, solar scientists and APEGA registered Professionals celebrating its 18th year of providing insights on climate science and related energy policies. We support the international CLINTEL Climate Intelligence network of over 800 scientists, scholars and professionals who state that there is no climate emergency and that natural forces, particularly various influences of the sun and ocean cycles, are the main driver of climate change.
We would be happy to answer any questions.
FRIENDS OF SCIENCE SOCIETY