By Rob Driscoll
Inspired by recent conversations with otherwise intelligent people who are quite misguided on the big issues, I bring you the Top 7 Things You Are Probably Wrong About … unless you are a member at BIG Media.
7. The Great Pacific Plastic Patch – it is not actually a thing … well, at least not a thing that is big enough for oceanographers or satellite imagery to detect. Perhaps we should have the name changed to the Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Patch That No One Can Find. Taking a critical look at the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’
6. Sea level rise – no, sea level is not climbing at a catastrophic pace. In some areas, natural geologic forces cause land to sink, which gives uniformed people an opportunity to freak out and run for the hills. Sea level has been rising slowly since the last glacial maximum (ice age) about 20,000 years ago, and humans and other animals continue to adapt without horrific consequences. An important thing to remember is that it is really just one big ocean, and, as is the case with your bathtub, you can’t fill one corner and keep the rest of it shallow. Sea level is rising; should we be worried?
5. Glacial recession – no, the world’s ice sheets are not disappearing at lightning speed. I, for one, am very thankful that North America is no longer covered by ice that is thousands of metres deep – although it would be nice to never have to mow the backyard – but glacial retreat has a historically slow and steady, inverse relationship with sea-level rise. Again, no need to panic, nor to shed tears for a glacier that died from natural causes after an-ice long life. Funeral for a glacier
4. COVID lockdowns – no, it was not a good idea to shut down our society to combat a virus that is statistically not a major threat to healthy people. Yes, there are always exceptions, but careful analysis of Alberta government data revealed that there were more excess deaths in young people (20-64) than in older age brackets in 2020 – and the vast majority of those excess deaths were NOT from COVID-19 or lack of access to medical services. Since March 2020, I have been suggesting that education and protecting the vulnerable are a better approach to fighting COVID than stifling our lifestyles. Hopefully, we learn from our mistakes. Analysis of excess deaths in 2020 reveals surprising deviations
3. Energy transition – no, we can’t turn off the taps to fossil fuels and nuclear energy. We at BIG Media are cheering for renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, but despite heavy government subsidization, renewables still represent a small fraction of global energy supply. Considering that global energy demand increases every year, it makes sense to support ethically run energy companies while continuing to bring on environmental-harm-reducing practices such as carbon capture. Otherwise, we are just handing the keys to corrupt regimes with large fossil fuel reserves. Policies that took energy security for granted have put much of the world in a tough spot, Renewable energy – renewing hope or struggling to cope?
2. Science – the “science” is not settled on any of the big issues. Before you “trust the science”, please consider understanding science. Do you ‘believe the science’? How about starting with understanding the science?
1. Existential climate crisis – again, not a thing. Calm down, folks. Yes, we need to get better at reducing consumption and pollution, but don’t let the alarmists fool you; we are not on the brink of an epic climate disaster. Education is important, and these articles are an excellent place to start: Climate change and energy: context for the great debate, Putting global emissions in perspective