Your Run, Spring 2011

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The Weather According to George

Ski Canada had a flood of letters following George Koch’s column attempting to debunk the science behind the global warming discussion. His column appeared in the Fall 2010 issue ‘In science we trust‘.

I’m always amazed at the resiliency of commentators who deny the reality of human-induced climate warming (“In science we trust,” Western View, Fall 2010). Although George Koch had ample space to argue that humans are not responsible for recent climate warming, he simply resorted to personal attacks, comments taken out of context and worn-out flotsam perpetually circulating in the blogosphere. Not once did he cite actual peer-reviewed science. Surely if climate science is so weak, this anti-warming research must be in abundance. So where is it, Mr. Koch? I imagine he would invoke a conspiracy involving tens of thousands of researchers from hundreds of institutions and dozens of countries with a hidden, yet strangely unknown agenda for suppressing this data (the complexity of such conspiracy making episodes of “Lost” seem infantile). Unfortunately for Mr. Koch, for many ski stations and for my children, those of us who actually study the climate system realize that continued denial of this reality will cost us very dearly.
Professeur régulier
Programme de géographie
Université du Québec à Chicoutimi

The term “global warming” is an outdated misnomer that is simplistic and inaccurate. It leaves room to confuse weather with climate. A more appropriate term is anthropogenic climate change. The climate is a very complex interrelation of matter, process and time. To climate we have introduced radiative blocking agents such as aerosols and particulates; as well we have increased the levels of radiation-trapping gasses such as CO2, NO2 and methane. Very conflicting indeed and due to the inherent complexity of climate, we do not know exactly how our additions impact us now, let alone in the future. Can you deny that?
GRANT McGEE, Winlaw, B.C.

Kudos to Ski Canada for running George Koch’s column on climate change. He accurately, if a little ebulliently, describes the change that has recently taken place in the public debate over climate. Thankfully, the ideological steamroller that envisioned spending trillions of dollars on climate change mitigation seems to be losing steam. As Koch describes, the impact of the Climategate scandal cannot be understated. It points to an ethical failure of the first order by supposedly objective scientists. If readers don’t believe Koch, they should investigate the resignation of eminent physicist Hal Lewis from the American Physical Society. In his resignation letter, Lewis emphasizes his revulsion at the behaviour of the Society in dealing with the climate question and terms Climategate itself as “a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity.” This from a former member of the Defence Science Board and Chairman of its study on nuclear winter. Another casualty of the climate mess has been journalistic ethics. Stories like Lewis’s resignation, and even Climategate itself, were given short shrift by many “mainstream” publications. Congratulations on printing the type of debate that is so markedly absent elsewhere.

The readers of Ski Canada love mountains. We love the outdoors. That’s a given. We’re also winter people; we love snow and ice if only for the fun we can have on them. It’s a big part of who we are. That’s why I’m so puzzled by George Koch’s essay about global warming. Not once in this quite lengthy piece did he even mention the changes in the polar ice caps and the receding of skiable glaciers throughout the world, developments that we have all heard about, seen images of or witnessed fi rst-hand. Only a few months ago I saw a fi lm about the Haute Route in which a senior guide talked about what to me seemed remarkable and dramatic transformations in the French and Swiss Alps. The fact that the column did not even discuss this, let alone put the discussion of global warming in this context, renders the entire piece inappropriate and strangely out-of- place in your magazine. What is Mr. Koch’s next topic for his column? The fact that crime is really on the rise throughout Canada, despite what wasteful liberal research says otherwise?

Your climate change article led me to conclude that the editorial staff at Ski Canada are desperate for content. As a paid subscriber, I thought I’d help you out with a few ideas for future content. How about another two-page, rambling opinion piece that is irrelevant to the magazine’s central theme, except this time focus on the emerging role of women in modern Islamic society? Or perhaps a four-page technical analysis of the impact of China’s currency manipulation on the price of an iPod Touch? Alternatively, you could write about skiing—you know, strapping on the stuff and charging down mountains in an adrenalin-fuelled high. Not as exciting as watching ice melt over periods of centuries or more, but it just might rescue your editorial room before it begins to lose paid subscribers, advertisers and credibility.

George’s article is dead on. There is no scientific evidence CO2 is anything other than plant food. There is less than 50 per cent correlation between tree ring data and climate, and no correlation with ice core data. Studies to the contrary were fudged as Climategate clearly illustrates. Even if CO2 was a greenhouse gas, humans do not produce enough to have any impact on climate, and as a result, the small amount of that we could reduce, would have no impact other than being an economic disaster. I wonder when the eco airheads will come to their senses?

Wow! When was this article written—2009? Your resident climate scientist, George Koch, cannot possibly be ignorant of the fact that every single mistruth and misleading climate data misrepresentation that he dutifully copied off the Internet—and especially the nonsense about the IPCC—has been extensively debunked by every independent audit performed by organizations such as NASA and the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), can he? His extensive research must have shown that every major climate research organization confirmed the IPCC findings, although some said they would have handled the data differently. So even if you disregard everything IPCC said in its entire history, George’s next step to discredit climate change science would have to be proving that NASA, NCAR, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and a host of other interdisciplinary groups lied, too. Good luck with that. Perhaps George should pick up a copy of “Science As A Contact Sport” by Stephen H. Schneider if he’s interested in facts and actual science.

Oh, and George, the High Priest of Climate Denial is Lord Monckton, not Lord Moncton! He’s a university Classics grad who has a lot of trouble understanding published scientific research, too. Monckton’s theatrical nonsense is debunked and mocked in the Climate Crock of the Weekseries on YouTube—a great resource for people who are too busy to read Schneider’s book.

Following Ski Canada’s decision to give George Koch a platform to tell us all about climate change, I’ll look forward to the next issue featuring a dermatologist’s views on snowmaking technology and my local McDonald’s assistant manager’s views on ski design. Guys, you can do better than this. George has been skiing without his helmet on again.
BRUCE MASON, Etobicoke

How on our dear green planet did George Koch manage to be allowed to express such anarchistic thoughts I was lucky enough to find in Ski Canada? May the Good Lord forbid that furthur such attempts at truth propagation should be foisted on the unsuspecting brainwashed public, particularly the vulnerable young, who by now look to the Great Goreacle as next to, or even above, God. But then, there may be hope yet that the warmy green terrorists are not overly threatened by publication of facts. In your list at the end of the article, somehow you did not mention one of the sites most abusive of the “Intellectuallai AGW hypothetai,” Climate Depot.
DAVE COLONEL, Vanderhoof, B.C.

I was disgusted to read the political garbage in regards to global warming written by George Koch. First off, that kind of dribble does not belong in a ski magazine, and secondly, as George invited us to do, I researched Climategate and other sources and see he conveniently forgets to mention the other side of the story. I figured this was a one-time affair, but I learned that George has been spouting off on his nonsense for a while, and that’s grossly unacceptable for a ski magazine. Whether people agree with George or not, this should be a magazine that’s a fun and light easy read about a favourite sport and should not be politicized.

Ski Canada Staff
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