I was extremely disappointed to read Mr. Fletcher’s opinion piece in the Penticton Western News recently.
While I disagreed with many of the views stated, there was something that rang true in the opinion column: the facts about climate change matter.
As I read through the article, I was very interested in learning more about some of the claims that Mr. Fletcher put forth in what seemed like an attempt to discredit concerns about climate change. However, as I researched more of the claims purported by Mr. Fletcher, I found they were either cleverly misconstrued interpretations of the data or, worse, not supported by science at all.
Canadian wildfire experts Mike Flannigan and Brian J. Stocks both have published articles predicting that as our Canadian climate shifts, we can expect to see more forest fires.
While Mr. Fletcher’s claim that Canada is a leading absorber of CO2 may be true, as soon as I searched for data to back up that claim I was surprised that he forgot to mention that since 2001 our Canadian forests are actually an overall greenhouse gas emitter due to our wildfires.
While I could explain why Mr. Fletcher’s interpretations about Antarctic ice and the effects of rising sea-levels are flawed, the fact is, any explanation as to why these views are wrong would only validate that there is something to be debated.
As stated by NASA: “Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 per cent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.” While I think that it is necessary for journalism to be balanced and look at issues from multiple angles, the fact is, the time is up for debate on climate change.
Should students be walking out of their classes to protest the lack of action taken by our leaders? The truth is, it should never have come to this. To paraphrase young climate scientist, Greta Thunberg; these kids should be in school — not being looked toward as the hope to fix our generation’s mistakes.
While Mr. Fletcher might believe that we live in a “post-fact” environment, in reality, the facts are abundant and clear. The time for action on climate change is now. Let us respect our youth and their future so that they can focus on learning, and not on teaching us how to care for our world.