August 7, 2002
More and More Hot Air
Barry Cooper and David Bercuson ("Axworthy's Kyoto scare just more hot air",
Comment, August 7, 2002, A15) claim there is "plenty of solid science around to
counter the unsubstantiated and apocalyptic claims of the pro-Kyoto fanatics".
They also state, "The terms of the Kyoto agreement are well-known, and hardly
need to be rehearsed."
Unfortunately, they reveal their own lack of knowledge of the science and terms
of the Kyoto agreement by stating that it "requires a significant reduction in
the production of greenhouse gases, chiefly carbon dioxide and water vapor, also
called clouds. These gases are produced mainly from burning fossil fuels, and
are devoutly believed by members of the pro-Kyoto faction to be a cause of
Water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas. However, even the most ardent
Kyoto supporters understand human production of atmospheric water vapor from
fossil fuels is miniscule in comparison with that circulated between the land,
oceans and atmosphere by mother nature. Thus, the Kyoto agreement does not
attempt to place any limits on water vapor from the combustion of fossil fuels
or from any other source. Perhaps the authors do need to rehearse the terms of
the Kyoto agreement?
One wonders, from the author's background in political science and military
strategy, if the point of the comment is primarily to more firmly establish
enmity between the federal and provincial governments?
The climate change issue is getting very serious consideration from federal and
provincial governments. The debate is open and well documented in a timely way
on the federal governments public climate change website (www.nccp.ca). The
federal discussion paper is there as well as Alberta's proposed plan on climate
change. The authors would be well advised to visit that website as starting
point for a rehearsal of the science and politics of the Kyoto Protocol before
generating still more hot air.