Lawrence Solomon: Warmer temperatures would be a benefit, not a problem, for Toronto

(January 30, 2012) However, city councillors preparing Toronto for a warming trend may be caught short by chilling, new climate-change data.

toronto-heat

Warmer temperatures would also mean more time to sun ourselves by the lake. Credit: Aaron Lynett/National Post.

Warmer weather would not only save the city cash, it would keep cash in the city and help bring new cash in. Older snowbirds would be less likely to flee the city in the treacherous winter months and tourism — a major city industry — would likely swell. Weather would become summerlike in September, typically Toronto’s best tourism month, while the city would become more of a tourist destination during the poorly performing winter months, showering Toronto with Christmas and March Break dollars.

Before Toronto council salivates over its looming weather windfall, however, a brace of fresh air is in order. The warm weather confidently predicted in the city’s $250,000 report, produced between 2008 and 2011 by a local firm called SENES Consultants, is already out of date. Data released recently by both the British Met Office (the UK government’s weather office) and NASA show that global warming stopped about 16 years ago. When and whether warming will resume again is anyone’s guess — all of the climate models produced by the global-warming-is-coming school of thought have failed in their predictions.

snow

Warmer temperatures would mean saving money on snow removal. National Post files.

Some predictions by climate scientists are holding up, however — ones that indicate Earth could be in for an extended cooling period. Russia’s Habibullo Abdussamatov collects what may be the most accurate, undistorted climate-change data available from high above the atmosphere, via the Russian segment of the International Space Station, whose research he heads. While many climate-change scientists who predicted rising temperatures have been shocked to see their theories collapse as the actual temperature data came in, Abdussamatov’s theories have been vindicated; the unfolding reality conforms with the predictions he’s been making for years. What does he predict? That in 2014 — next year — we will begin a 40-year-long descent into what will be Earth’s 19th Little Ice Age.

Chairman Norm Kelly and the local councillors who sit on Toronto’s parks and environment committee, of course, are in no position to evaluate the scientific data coming in from the International Space Station, NASA and the UK Met. It is to Mr. Kelly’s credit that he has resisted calls from less-humble councillors who want to spend billions of taxpayer dollars upgrading Toronto’s infrastructure to withstand hotter weather based on a local consultant’s say-so that temperatures will rise in the decade 2040-2049, just when Toronto may find itself in a Little Ice Age.

This article was first published by the National Post.

Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Urban Renaissance Institute and the author of The Deniers.

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About Lawrence Solomon

Lawrence Solomon is one of Canada's leading environmentalists. His book, The Conserver Solution (Doubleday) popularized the Conserver Society concept in the late 1970s and became the manual for those interested in incorporating environmental factors into economic life. An advisor to President Jimmy Carter's Task Force on the Global Environment (the Global 2000 Report) in the late 1970's, he has since been at the forefront of movements to reform foreign aid, stop nuclear power expansion and adopt toll roads. Mr. Solomon is a founder and managing director of Energy Probe Research Foundation and the executive director of its Energy Probe and Urban Renaissance Institute divisions. He has been a columnist for The Globe and Mail, a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, the editor and publisher of the award-winning The Next City magazine, and the author or co-author of seven books, most recently The Deniers, a #1 environmental best-seller in both Canada and the U.S. .
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