GOLDSTEIN: Cooler heads are needed to fight global warming rationally

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The problem with a study from the Intact Center on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo is that many people won’t get past its title: IRREVERSIBLE EXTREME HEAT: PROTECTING CANADIANS AND COMMUNITIES FROM A DEADLY FUTURE.

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Many will hear of his predictions only due to climate change, Canada and major cities like Toronto are heading for longer, hotter, more frequent and deadlier heat waves from 2051-2080, compared to 1976-2005.

Fewer people will read the disclaimer of the study sponsored by Intact Financial Corp., “Canada’s largest P&C insurer ‘helping’ homeowners, communities and businesses reduce risks associated with climate change and to extreme weather events”.

He warns:

“The Intact Center can make no warranty of any kind as to the completeness, accuracy, timeliness or reliability of the data provided in the report…You should not act on the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional advice. No representations or warranties (express or implied) are made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication, and employees and affiliates of The Intact Center do not accept or assume any responsibility, liability or duty due diligence for any consequences to you. or any other person acting, or refraining from acting, in reliance on the information contained in this report or for any decision based on it. »

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Basically, it’s a study sponsored by an insurer that sells policies to its customers to protect themselves financially from extreme weather events, whether caused by natural or human-induced climate change.

He also notes, “We (society) cannot prevent extreme weather caused by climate change in the short term, but we can – in fact must – adapt to it” and that, “The good news is that diseases and heat-related deaths are largely preventable through knowledge, education and adaptation action.

True. But how many people will ever hear the “good news” given all the “bad news” that precedes it?

The crux of the study is finding ways to adapt to human-induced (anthropogenic) climate change – such as building more resilient infrastructure.

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Makes sense. The massive flood damage in British Columbia last year, for example, whether due to natural or anthropogenic climate change, was primarily the result of the failure of the province’s antiquated dike system. Despite years of advance warnings, it was in a state of near collapse.

The irony is that climate change adaptation is dismissed by many in the environmental movement, who argue that it distracts from the real problem – mitigating climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

But mitigation will take decades, if not centuries, to have a noticeable impact on the climate.

And yet today we are bombarded with a daily regimen of apocalyptic warnings about a looming existential threat posed by climate change that the UK’s Institute for Public Policy Research has rightly called “climate porn”. – an endless rhetoric of despair that terrifies children and causes hysteria in many adults.

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To keep perspective, keep in mind all the terrible warnings endangering humanity that have not come to pass for many decades.

City planners at the dawn of the 20th century worried that the world’s great cities would soon be buried in horse manure, because they had not anticipated the invention of the “horseless carriage” — gasoline-powered automobiles — and public transport.

Stanford University Professor Paul Ehrlich’s dire predictions of world famines and societal collapse in the 1970s and 1980s in his wildly popular 1968 book, The population bombwhich spawned a generation of apocalyptic thinking, failed to materialize due to massive advances in food production.

The “global cooling” scare of the 1970s, which planned to plunge humanity into a new ice age – extreme cold being a far more dangerous killer of human beings than extreme heat – never happened.

Ditto the worst predictions of decades past about pesticides, acid rain, the hole in the ozone layer and early warnings about climate change that the world’s major cities are now under water.

A part of these predictions were simply wrong. Others have been avoided through human ingenuity, technological advancements and, to give credit where it is due, the warnings of scientists and environmentalists that have led to corrective action.

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Teresa H. Sadler