FACE TO FACE: Is the jury really out on whether climate change is man-made?
We've just had one the hottest summers on record and already environmentalists are using that information as ammunition against cars, oil and anything that leads to economic growth.
To be clear, I'm not a climate change denier. And I'm not denying that human beings may have something to do with warming temperatures.
What I am saying is let's have a grown-up debate about it without hurling insults, like "anti-science Ignoramus," at anyone who disagrees with the concept of man-made climate change.
So, let's look at the science.
Indisputably, since the beginning of time, the Earth has been warming and cooling (see the Ice Age). Geologist Don Easterbrook recently told the Sun News Network that temperature oscillations are nothing new and, during periods over the past 10,000 years, the Earth has been much warmer than it is today.
Temperature changes are a result of solar change "related to the sun's magnetic field," he said.
Interestingly, findings like professor Easterbrook's are often ignored by the mainstream media.
Let's also look at other planets. NASA scientists say that climate change is occurring even on the red planet.
"[The residual cap at Mars' south pole] is evaporating right now at a prodigious rate," Michael Malin, principal investigator for the Mars Orbiter Camera, told Astronomy Magazine in 2005. "The significance of this is that Mars is experiencing climate change Why is Mars warmer today than it was in the past? We really have no way of knowing."
Are we going to blame humans for that as well?
I often wonder if the proliferation of weather "news" contributes to the climate change hysteria. People are always saying crime isn't increasing but that it feels that way because of all the media attention. Couldn't the same be true for the weather?
We now have a 24-hour weather television station, media outlets like CKNW that have their weather guru on every 15 minutes and most of us have weather apps on our smartphones. Twenty years ago, did anybody pay that much attention?
I'll admit that I'm not a scientist but I think there's enough reasonable doubt about the driver of climate change.
And until that reasonable doubt is gone, you can call me a skeptic - not an ignoramus but a skeptic.
Andy Radia is a Coquitlam resident and political columnist who writes for Yahoo! Canada News and Vancouver View Magazine. He has been politically active in the Tri-Cities, having been involved with election campaigns at all three levels of government, including running for Coquitlam city council in 2005.