Climate change: is it science or religion?

How can one believe in the safety of genetically modified foods and not fully believe in man-made climate change? As a supporter of science, how can you support the former while still having qualms about the latter?

For me, it’s because the science has to mesh with personal observations and experience. Otherwise, I’m left with doubts.

With GM foods, no credible studies show any hint of safety issues. Billions of meals have been consumed over a span of decades. While GM opponents misinterpret statistics and claim the adoption of herbicide resistant crops has meant the use of more herbicides, I know from personal experience that isn’t the case.

But when it comes to climate change and more particularly the role of human activity in climate change, personal observations don’t so neatly align with what the majority of scientists are saying.

During a spell of very hot weather with forest fire smoke hanging in the air, it’s easier to convince the general public. However, as farmers we’ve seen it all before. This growing season has certainly been drier and hotter than normal in much of Western Canada, but it’s been dry and hot before.

It was back in the late 1980s that global warming theory first became headline news and in the terrible drought that hit much of the Prairies in 1988 it was easy to imagine agriculture going to hell in a handbasket.

We’ve had widespread droughts since then such as the one in 2002 and we’ve had other years where crops have dried out in certain regions, but we’ve also had some great years along with years where too much moisture was the biggest limiting factor for crop production.

Climate change scientists generate long-range models showing how much the Earth will warm in 10, 20 and 30 years unless CO2 emissions have kept below specific levels.

The climate has always been changing, but scientists are pretty sure that these changes are driven by human activity. While all the complex modelling purports to be accurate for decades yet to come, science can’t tell us with any certainty what the weather will be like next month or next year.

While some say you shouldn’t confuse short-term weather with long-term climate considerations, it should be noted that the federal department is no longer Environment Canada. It’s officially Environment and Climate Change Canada.

If you don’t subscribe without reservation to climate change theory and the urgent need to curb emissions of one of the natural elements of life, you’re branded as a climate change denier.

We’re told that Canada accounts for 1.6 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. We could shut down all of our agriculture along with all economic activity and on a global scale it wouldn’t matter a damn.

Of course, we should work to decrease fossil fuel use and cut emissions. But climate change activists have been emboldened to oppose everything related to fossil fuel. We can’t even build pipelines in this country to get our oil to export markets.

Climate change has become more of a religion than a science.

About the author


  • richard

    …..and “science” has become more of a cult than the pursuit of truth. After all who could believe that coating every single corn, soybean and canola seed with a systemic pesticide and fungicide is somehow using less chemical. Same with glyphosate. And who could believe that five hundred billion USD in global agricultural subsidies annually and 1917 real dollar commodity prices, is somehow indicative of starving planet myths….. What we are starving for is critical thinking rather than rationalizing other peoples necessarily illusions…..Kevin.

    • Arekushieru

      It is. Because you really don’t understand where the money goes, even IF it IS globally. It goes to fascist corporations who hate paying decent wages to their employees and paying income tax but happily accept welfare schemes if they’re the ones being paid. Ktbn.

  • I think the author is a little off track here. The scientists themselves are saying get off of all fossil fuels. Tesla has built their giga factory with no natural gas into it. 100% renewable energy. Farmers are some of the most creative people in the world and are working toward more sustainable farming. With good government support, we get there faster and faster.Hawaii right now is going for 100% renewable energy by 2045. Living in the past is holding onto fossil fuels.

    • CB

      “I think the author is a little off track here.”

      lol! A little!

      Climate science is science… and it’s been science for centuries.

      I’m not entirely sure what explains people who aren’t up to speed…

      “The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century”

  • charles0853

    Climate science is just that: well-established science. Yes, there is the theory of anthropogenic climate change, but it is a “robust’ theory, one with a lot of data to support it.

    • Gallilao

      Climate science is a joke and it is a science in name only! It is, as a matter of fact, anti-science … And since coincidence is Not evidence, there is NO evidence to support ACC. So many scientifically ignorant people think they don’t need an education, you all think you can fake it with the internet. Google is not the same as an education!

      • Arekushieru

        Lol. Keep reading fake news. ACC has been proven since climate change is occurring FASTER THAN IT EVER HAS BEFORE. Ktbn.

  • With Respect

    I’ve personally observed people with good perception of risk to me and mine even when it means passing up some small chance of return to them and theirs: won’t fertilize fields with contaminated city sewage, won’t raise crops they know will make people sick. That sometimes means using pesticides and sometimes means GMOs, and sometimes it doesn’t. It means they fuss more over details, work harder, sometimes forego quick money personally, but they sleep with sound conscience feeding more people better in a world of hungry mouths and less and less fertile soils, more drought, more flood, more heatwave, more killer frost, more disappearing pollinators, more rivals for use of rail capacity and more congested roads slowing trucks to market. Who can deny the growing population of the world, the call to answer famine farmers have answered increasingly, the increasing challenges of agriculture?

    • Gallilao

      If people weren’t so uneducated and as a result, so easily lead down the garden path, they would realize that CO2 has nothing to do with climate but everything to do with health of the ecosystem. More CO2 is the solution to population growth.

      • Arekushieru

        What? That doesn’t even make sense, and ofc you don’t have any proof to back up your claim, because if you did you would have done so immediately. Thanks.

    • Arekushieru

      So what about those whose entire immune system is compromised? Any amount of pesticide is likely to kill them.

      • With Respect

        The dose makes the poison.

        Immune systems fight microbes, but I take your point. For some, small needless exposures are seriously harmful. See, I fuss over those details, too. I’ve worried about them and read studies and considered alternatives. My own low tolerance of some toxins makes this a special concern of mine.

        Funny story. My local parks department ‘paints’ with genotoxic Garlon and Roundup to suppress ‘noxious’ weeds. In particular, they ‘painted’ the genotoxins on and around patches of Morning Glory they’d mistaken for noxious Japanese Knotweed.. where they were growing around the children’s play area, climbers, swings and the like, and along the residential fence line. I hear you; these are the people with low risk perception.

  • With Respect

    We’re lucky we have the Moon: by its cycles our ancestors knew when to plow and plant and reap; we have tides from the Moon that provide healthy salt wetlands and make fishers’ schedules regular and their hauls more productive while beachcombers too benefit; by the image of Earthshadow on the Moon we know our globe’s shape; by measurement of the temperature of the Moon using century old technology rooted in how blacksmiths know the temperature of iron for striking we know the blanket of air on Earth moderates our global climate and makes us overall warmer on the surface by some 33ºC globally but cooler than the hottest peak and warmer than the coldest nadir of local weather. The Moon would be 26ºC globally warmer if we added as much CO2 as humans have added to Earth’s air.

  • With Respect

    I know snows clear a month earlier now than when I was a child, and accumulate thinner, and start weeks later; I know critters I would have considered freakish southern strangers as a child are commonplace and moving north. I’ve been told there are over 26,000 measures of moving climate zones and animal habitats and temperatures, humidity, precipitation, and on and on over climate timescales of thirty years or more, and I’ve seen nothing to contradict this summing up that withstands detailed scrutiny.

  • ron

    first off, there is plenty of evidence that gmo’s are dangerous to all living organisms and second climate change is inevitable regardless of people on earth. the earth is alive and constantly changing and another ice age will come and go..nothing people can do to change it. Plus if you think carbon is the problem then stop chopping down the forests. carbon is not the problem, we are entering into another ice age.

    • Arekushieru

      Then you’ve been listening to faux news. Climate change is occurring faster than it ever has before. That IS the scientific consensus. Ktbn.


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