Compiled and posted by Michelle Stirling, Communications Manager, Friends of Science Society. © 2021

In yet another tiresome reputational attack on a component of Canada’s business community, STAND.Earth (formerly ForestEthics) has launched an attack ad campaign against Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) for its investments in fossil fuels, falsely claiming this is the cause of wildfires and drought.

Regarding wildfires, see our detailed response to SLATE’s journalistic inquiry of 2020. Regarding the Lytton extreme temperatures that occurred at the time of the devastating Lytton wildfire, see the work of Brigitte Lanoie and Jean van Vliet.

The WMO officially called a La Nina winter in Nov. 2020, which, according to agricultural climate forecasters Ray Garnett, and Dr. Madhav Khandekar, a 40 year veteran research scientists of Environment Canada and past IPCC expert reviewer, often heralds a drought-plagued year. La Nina is a purely natural, cyclical weather pattern.

Asked to comment on this year’s drought conditions, Ray Garnett said:

“Spring wheat and canola are traditionally harvested mid-Aug to mid Sept. This year, 2021 reminds me of 2002 which was called the ‘Year from Hell’ which brought a very dry June-July followed by an excessively wet August during ripening.

“I note the book Climate Change – The Facts 2017 Edited by J. Marohasy has a chapter on in ‘The Role of the Moon in Weather Forecasting’ by Ken King. On page 72 Mr. Ring states, “Therefore, the 19-year intervals should work more often than not.”

Garnett goes on to mention that other weather forecasting experts have done research on this topic – Norman Treloar formerly of Environment Canada has published on this subject. Louis Thompson in 1980s introduced him to 18.6 lunar and 22-double sunspot cycles. Lerner refers to it respect to prairie weather.

Garnett and Khandekar have written extensively on prairie weather cycles.

Garnett et al (2006)

Cyclical natural cycles of El Nino/La Nina have significant effects on agriculture in Canada, not RBC’s investments in fossil fuels.

Even BBC got into the Canadian prairies drought discussion, with one commentator claiming it was the worst drought he’d ever seen. While undoubtedly devastating to that rancher, nothing touches the Dirty Thirties for drought, despair and high temperatures.

Dr. Khandekar noted that:

“This year’s drought on Prairies does not seem so bad as the 2002-2003, when this drought was becoming a hot issue in climate debate and over 60 Alberta Profs wrote to then Premier of Alberta to sign on the Kyoto Accord.”

“BBC somehow manages to find heat waves/ droughts/ foods etc., as climate change signatures, while ignoring heavy snow events!”

Shabbar, Bonsal & Khandekar 1997