• Climate Futures. October 2010.

Our climate futures issue in October struck a chord with many Canadians. Some thought we didn't do enough to warn about the dangers of a warming world and urge action. Others thought that we did too much and wondered why we would cover the topic at all.

Below we've collected together a mixed-bag of the mail we received to show the spectrum of opinions that arrived at our door.

We would like to hear more and welcome you to add your voice. What do you think Canada should be doing about climate change?

Climate reactions
While Canadian Geographic is to be congratulated for its introspective analysis of Canada’s "Climate futures" (October 2010), notions of prosperity, growth and opportunity are not only misleading but potentially dangerous. Each of these terms connotes a lifeboat mentality, an erroneous intimation that Canada’s future can somehow be divorced from the well-being of other nations and the global environment itself.

The inclusion of a full-page ad promoting the tar sands opposite an editorial overview of global-warming mayhem merely underlines the climate befuddlement that envelops many Canadians, an irrational belief that we can somehow escape the consequences of our actions.

Canadians are likely to be as powerfully impacted by the disappearance of Himalayan glaciers as by a shrunken South Saskatchewan River. And war, pandemics and social collapse are no more likely to respect national boundaries than are rising seas.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools," a truth that reverberates more loudly than ever in regard to humankind’s shared climate future. Canadians need to urgently understand that on a super-heating planet, there simply isn’t any "us" and "them."

Mike Ward
Duncan, B.C.

I was astonished at the absence of common sense and due diligence represented in the conclusions of your poster map, "A Changing Climate." Clearly, your organization has been thoroughly taken in by the ludicrous theory of anthropogenic global warming promoted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Its theory has no solid empirical evidence of the postulated runaway warming over the past 22 years, let alone any proof that CO2 drives global temperatures or that the relatively minuscule emissions from industrial sources will have any detectable effect on global temperatures.

Has anyone in your organization bothered to check the data from satellite measurements of global atmospheric temperatures or from the several thousand Argo buoys that show no significant warming of the oceans over the past dozen years?

Does anyone in your organization know anything about the crude and essentially useless climate models the IPCC has relied on for the temperature "projections" you have apparently accepted as the gospel truth?

Has anyone in your organization bothered to examine the Earth’s paleoclimatology, which shows numerous examples of warming that far surpass anything in the past century and that were clearly not driven by atmospheric CO2 levels?

Evidently not.

What you have published is little more than junk science based on the political biases of the IPCC and not on any real science founded on solid empirical proof. In fact, almost every prediction the IPCC has made that can be verified with real data has been proven false.

Patrick Carroll
Red Deer, Alta.

I recently began a subscription to Canadian Geographic, based on my memories from years gone by of what a fine publication it was. Had I known that the magazine has now followed in the steps of National Geographic and the World Wildlife Fund in becoming a shill for the climate-change alarmist movement, I wouldn’t have bothered.

Is there climate change? Absolutely! The climate is always changing, with several periods of history being far warmer and also far cooler than the current age. Is this climate change man made? There is not one stitch of definitive evidence that this is the case. Computer models are not representative of the real world in any way, shape or form. If Canadian Geographic wants to continue to follow this pseudo-science down the road to obscurity, then please do so without me.

Don Whiteford
Grande Prairie, Alta.

Supporting this blatantly manipulative "climate prosperity" spin when we can’t even get the government to seriously tackle the issue? It’s an embarrassment for Canadians, but mostly for you, for allowing yourselves to get sucked in. You’ve just lost most of your credibility. Take a stand, and pull your name out of it.

Jack Cembalisty
St. Catharines, Ont.

Your articles in the October issue on climate change are informative and attempt to present different views. However, the enclosed poster map, "A Changing Climate," is one-sided and all negative. The potential for flooding in Halifax has nothing to do with global warming. Cooling and warming of the planet have occurred for at least two million years. Right now, the Earth’s crust is sinking on some continental margins and will continue for millennia.

Tim Eaton
Calgary

A typical industrial response to an industrially caused problem: let’s make a profit. I venture many of the speculations being made about opportunities
are not going to materialize. With every day we turn our collective attention away from trying to return to the atmospheric balance we used to have, the risk grows more dire that we won’t pull out of the havoc we are creating.

T. Dougherty
Ottawa

The October 2010 issue of Canadian Geographic is almost
pure trash. I subscribe to receive, regularly, a celebration of the richness of the geography of our beautiful land, not to receive a second-rate rehash of science. The articles in the issue have very little
to do with the geography of Canada.

Erich Vogt, O.C., O.B.C., F.R.S.C.
Vancouver

The article “Vital signs” (October 2010) stirred feelings of dread, as well as a sense of relief. I dread the predicted impacts of global warming on human health, as calculated in the article. The projected costs and death estimates are astounding and shocking. On the other hand, I am relieved to see the potential for a groundbreaking link
between degrading human health and degrading environment. The association between deaths during the July heat wave and increased CO2 concentrations, for example, absolutely needs to exist and be shared with as wide an audience as possible. Why? Because the connection made between ourselves and the environment we live in is the beginning of a solution to the environmental crisis. This is because human health and the health of our environment have the potential to be comparable entities that are equally capable of degrading. We need to see that the damage we infiltrate into the environment results in damage to human health down the line.

Vivienne Steele
Montréal