Fletcher is right on one point; climate change is beyond debate

The debate over the existence and causes of climate change ended years ago

Dear editor,

Re. Hot gases spew from legislature, Tom Fletcher column, Nov. 6 Comox Valley Record:

Growing up with, and working in B.C.’s natural gas industry has coloured Fletcher’s well-known partisan criticism of “left-thinking” people, this time for insisting that what he still calls “the climate debate” is over with and done.

Indeed, he could hardly get more chauvinistic in defence of the industry he calls both “threatened” and “vital” than to declare “the jury is still out” with regard to climate change.

The debate over the existence and causes of climate change ended years ago in the international science community, and is joined now by the United Nations and respected economists such as the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney, the biased opinions of deniers and vested interests in the industry notwithstanding. Fletcher’s characterization of Green and NDP MLAs as “rather nasty religious” zealots is purely ad hominem, and the politicians who’ve “at best visited a well”, the media-gulling protesters (“questionable” ones, at that), North Dakota’s Bakken Shale, Barack Obama, Neil Young and “many voting adults” are arrayed like a phalanx of straw-man arguments to support rather lame opinions of climate-change deniers. His confusion of minor levels of CO2 that attends some natural gas deposits with the immensely greater amount of CO2 produced by burning that gas takes the cake for obfuscation.

His allusions to investors getting “scared away” by protesters and “piled-on taxes” can only be viewed as hyperbole contrasted with investors leaving in reality for economic reasons and taxes actually getting pared back by a BC Liberal government desperate to keep its over-played hand alive.

Even after pulling out all the rhetorical stops, Fletcher fails to obscure the facts that the only debate about climate change is what to do about it, not whether it exists or not, that protest refers, in addition to head-off fracking policy, to the CO2 pumped into the atmosphere from burning all that natural gas – not from CO2 mixed with the gas as it comes out of the ground, and, finally, that it really does matter.

Scotty Donaldson

Denman Island


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