Letter to the editor – Climate Change


Dear Editor,

Re: Ceasing to Think (NG Times, May 15)

In the “Ceasing to Think” letter, Mr. Bertram presents his views on policy to respond to climate change and his sources for attempting to understand the science explaining the gravity of the situation.

Ceasing to think by Jim Bertram

Mr. Bertram presents a link to the “International Climate Science Coalition”. This name was well chosen from a marketing perspective, but has nothing to do with science on climate.

The group is supported financially by the Heartland Institute in the US (themselves funded by the Koch brothers and Exxon). The so-called “highly qualified practitioners” of ICSC include members of Friends of Science (funded by oil industry). A review of the list of ICSC advisors shows few that could be considered as having any expertise at all in the field of climatology. When I last looked, all ICSC advisors combined had produced precisely ZERO peer-reviewed scientific articles providing any evidence to support their assertions, despite their fundamentally opposed views on the matter.

The understanding of rising CO2 concentrations leading to increased greenhouse effect has been understood for centuries. The acidification of oceans is straightforward chemistry that already threatens to wipe out shell-building organisms and Canadian industries that depend on them. The NG Times interviewed experts at Environment and Climate Change Canada and captured well how we know what’s happening and the impacts to Canada (August 9, 2018 edition).

I agree with Mr. Bertram’s suggestion that we need to continue to talk and to think, but we need to think critically. Can we rely on internet searches and unqualified authors who are financially supported by the fossil fuel industry? Of course not. Dubious websites are not substitutes for peer-reviewed scientific journals.

It is only with a well-founded understanding of a given problem that we can meaningfully consider policies to address it. So let’s think critically. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Mr. Bertram stokes fear of the negative impacts of policy choices. We must be focussed on the whole – the impacts of climate change we already see and those coming, along with the efficacy and adequacy of policy choices to address and mitigate them.

Jeff Goodman


  1. Jeff Goodman is correct. The International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) has an agenda but it is not science. The director of the ICSC is Mr. Tom Harris. Mr. Harris’ professional experience is in public relations not climate science.

    Mr. Harris’ op-eds show he is a pro-coal activist. “Coal has huge advantages as a fuel—it is abundant, inexpensive, easy to burn, easy to store and transport, packs a great deal of energy, and power plants can be built in a variety of sizes… Mined and burned with the latest pollution control technology, coal is both clean and safe. Its time to end the war on coal.”(Source “Time to end the war on coal” by Dr. Jay Lehr and Tom Harris, May 14, 2019, Citizens Journal)

    Mr. Harris rejects the scientific evidence of human-caused climate change and promotes false conspiracy theories. For example: On Oct 18, 2018, Mr. Harris blamed former Vice-President Al Gore for the “dangerous mythology of dangerous manmade global warming.” (Source “HOW AL GORE BUILT THE GLOBAL WARMING FRAUD” by Jay Lehr & Tom Harris, Oct 18, 2018, The Heartland Institute)

    However Mr. Harris can’t keep his false conspiracy theories straight. One Jun 18, 2018, Mr. Harris asserted that “man-made carbon dioxide causing global warming” was a “myth” created by Maurice Strong. (Source “$312 Billion: Green Energy Makes Ontario the Most Debt-Ridden Province on Earth” by Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris, Jun 18, 2018, PJ Media)

  2. C02 is plant food->if it falls below 150 ppm all life on earth will perish! In Cambrian Period C02 was 2200% higher than it is today->C02 is but a trace gas in the atmosphere and the idea that it is causing an end of the earth event is NONSENSE! Anyone with any background in statistics or natural sciences can easily reject the null hypothesis of the AGW crowd. WAKE UP!

  3. Rather than address any of Jeff Goodman’s arguments, Professor Terry J.Lovell creates a straw-man argument to knock down. Mr. Goodman did not claim the rise is atmospheric CO₂ “is causing an end of the earth…”

    Professor Lovell makes the unsupported assertion the amount of CO₂ in the atmosphere does not impact climate and Professor Lovell implies that because CO₂ levels were higher in millions of years ago, they don’t impact climate today. Neither Professor Lovell’s assertion or implication is supported by the scientific evidence.

    The physical properties of greenhouses gases have been understood for over a hundred years. (Source “Why we know about the greenhouse gas effect” by By David Wogan, May 16, 2013, Scientific American) The scientific evidence regarding the role of atmospheric CO₂ in climate change is both clear and compelling. (4th National Climate Assessment, Volume I)

    “One of the most remarkable aspects of the paleoclimate record is the strong correspondence between temperature and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere observed during the glacial cycles of the past several hundred thousand years.” (Source “Temperature Change and Carbon Dioxide Change” NOAA)


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