Climate Change Experts, Skeptic to Debate Global Warming

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Some of the country’s leading experts on climate change and one of Canada’s highest-profile climate change skeptics are set to take part in a debate about the science behind climate change and how Canada should respond.

The resolution to be debated is two-fold: that without deep reductions, humanity’s emissions of greenhouse gases will very likely cause climate change with severe, worldwide impacts in this century; and that Canada should embark immediately on a program of deep reductions in its own emissions.

Panelists include John Smol, Matthew Bramley, Lawrence Solomon and Bruce Pardy. Dr. Smol and Dr. Bramley will argue on the “yes” side, while Mr. Solomon and Professor Pardy will argue for the “no” side.

A Queen’s biology professor, Dr. Smol is one of Canada’s leading climate change scientists and a Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change.

“The science is already available for this decision, at least enough science to take immediate and meaningful action,” Dr. Smol says of the resolution.

Dr. Bramley, the director of climate change at the Pembina Institute and one of the country’s best-known advocates for effective government policies to address climate change, agrees.

“Climate change is clearly a major threat that demands immediate action,” he says. “With our high emissions, our wealth, and our know-how, Canada needs be a leader on this issue. The excuses for Canadian inaction do not stand up to rational analysis.”


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Mr. Solomon is a National Post reporter and author of The Deniers (2008), a book that draws attention to arguments against what he calls the “alarmist” view of global warming presented by climate change activists.

“To my knowledge, the Queen’s debate on the science of global warming is the first of its kind to be held in Canada, let alone the first to be held in academia,” says Mr. Solomon. “I commend Queen’s for being first, and hope that other Canadian universities will follow Queen’s’ lead and trust their students with dissenting information on climate change.”

Bruce Pardy is a Queen’s law professor and environmental law expert whose research includes ecosystem management and international environmental law.

“Climate change policy should be rational,” says Professor Pardy. “Instead, it tends to be political and moralistic. Symbolic reductions in Canadian greenhouse gas emissions bear little relationship to actual solutions to the problem.”

The debate will be held on Monday, November 8 at 7 pm in Convocation Hall (in Theology Hall) on the Queen’s campus. Admission is free and open to all. For more information about the debate visit the School of Environmental Studies website or the Law Faculty website.

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Article courtesy of Queen’s University News Centre and reprinted with permission. Photo by Caribb