OPINION – Before the Flood riddled with mistakes

Posted 31 January 2017 by in Climate

Air Canada should remove Leonardo’s climate change propaganda from on-board movie selection


By Tom Harris and Dr. Tim Ball

OTTAWA – OPINION -Among the short list of films passengers may now chose to watch while flying Air Canada is Before the Flood, the climate change movie of Hollywood millionaire and globe-trotting activist Leonardo DiCaprio. The airline seems unaware of film’s many mistakes, not to mention the incongruity of someone who regularly uses private jets, yachts, and limousines preaching energy conservation to the rest of us. Air Canada also seems to not know that the actor was urged to stand down from his role as a United Nations climate change campaignerbecause of the controversy concerning the funding of his film, The Wolf of Wall Street (see “Leonardo DiCaprio urged to resign from UN climate change role,” The Independent (UK), 15-10-16).

Like Carbonthe short film DiCaprio released just before the 2014 UN Climate Summit in New York, Before the Flood is based on the highly debatable hypothesis that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from human activities are causing catastrophic climate change. Coal, oil, and natural gas, the world’s least expensive and most abundant energy sources, must therefore be turned off as soon as possible, DiCaprio says. He seems unware that the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) lists thousands of scientific papers that either debunk or cast serious doubt on the climate scare.

At the start of the film, Leo asks United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,

“What specific message do you think is the most important?”

Ban replies:

“Climate change is coming much, much faster. We have seen such an extraordinarily extreme weather patterns.”

DiCaprio nods in agreement.

But they are completely wrong. Current rates of change are well within the bounds of natural variability. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that the statistical average of surface temperatures increased only 0.85 degrees Celsius between 1880 to 2012. Such modest warming is to be expected given that the Earth has been recovering from the Little Ice Age since the late 19th century. Humanity’s contribution to this relatively small temperature rise is not a problem.

According to NASA satellites, global warming essentially ceased in the late 1990s. Yet CO2 levels have supposedly risen about 10% since 1997, a figure that represents an astonishing 30% of all human-related emissions since the start of the industrial revolution. This contradicts all CO2-based climate models upon which global warming concerns are founded.

Leo tells viewers that, when he was in his early twenties, he met with then Vice President Al Gore in the White House. Leo learned from Gore:

“Almost everything we do releases carbon dioxide. And that leads to climate change. The polar ice caps will melt. The seas will start to rise. There will be more dangerous weather patterns, floods, droughts, wildfires.”

DiCaprio concluded that Gore’s fears:

“sounded like some nightmarish science fiction film. Except everything he said is real and its happening right now.”

But Leo is wrong again. This is one of the few areas of agreement between the IPCC and the NIPCC.

In 2012, the IPCC asserted that a relationship between global warming and wildfires, rainfall, storms, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events has not been demonstrated. The 2013 NIPCC report concluded,

“In no case has a convincing relationship been established between warming over the past 100 years and increases in any of these extreme events.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website reveals that the incidence of extreme weather state records has been decreasing in recent years. No records were set in 2016 or 2015. In 2014, there was one. 2013, one. 2012, one. One must go back to the 1930s to find a time when state-wide extreme weather records were being set often.

As human habitation increases in areas that were previously sparsely populated, there will naturally be more reports of extreme weather and more related insurance claims. But there is no convincing evidence of a rise in the incidence or severity of extreme weather.

It is the same with virtually all of DiCaprio’s other climate concerns. The current rate of sea level rise is less than one tenth that of 8,000 years ago. There are regions in the ocean where pH (a measure of acidity) varies more in a day than the most extreme forecasts for the 21st century, yet ocean life adapts. Arctic summer sea ice area increased almost a million square kilometers between 2012 and last summer.

The money being spent on climate change is incredible. According to the Congressional Research Service, between 2001 and 2014 the US Government spent $131 billion on human-caused climate change projects. They also allowed tax breaks for anti-CO2 energy initiatives totalling $176 billion.

The San Francisco-based Climate Policy Initiative revealed that more than $1 billion is now spent every day across the world on climate finance. Sadly, only 6% of it is devoted to helping vulnerable societies adapt to climate change. The rest is spent trying to stop climatic events that might someday happen.

These extraordinary costs are set to increase still further. Bjorn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, wrote in the Walls Street Journal on October 13:

At a cost of between $1 trillion and $2 trillion annually, the Paris climate agreement…is likely to be history’s most expensive treaty.”

DiCaprio admits in the film:

“The more I’ve learned about this issue… the more I realize how much I don’t know.”

That is an understatement. Had the UN ‘Messenger of Peace’ spoken with any of the thousands of experts who oppose the climate scare, he would have realized that the real tragedy is the vast sums wasted across the world on this, the most expensive science deception in history.

Oregon-based physicist Gordon Fulks explained that the climate campaign has “become a sort of societal pathogen that virulently spreads misinformation in tiny packages like a virus. CO2 is said to be responsible for global warming that is not occurring, for accelerated sea level rise that is not occurring, for net glacial and sea ice melt that is not occurring, for ocean acidification that is not occurring, and for increasing extreme weather that is not occurring.”

When one books a flight on Air Canada, one is given the option of being charged the entirely useless expense of “offsetting the CO2emissions generated through your flight.” Sadly, the short movie list is not our choice, and so, like other politically-correct institutions in Canada, the airline is yet another vector spreading the scientifically-flawed climate change virus. Shame.

Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition. Dr. Tim Ball is an environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba.

The opinions expressed by all NetNewsLedger columnists do not necessarily reflect those of NetNewsLedger.com.