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Boy, it sure is hot in here

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The debate (or fight, feud, battle, war; take your pick) over climate change fried my Blackberry this weekend.

The e-mail response had to do with a story I did with the headline "Arctic ice melt alarms scientists"

The e-mails I got compared nothing to the comments on the story on the Freep website.

Yikes.

In the story I quoted University of Manitoba Prof. David Barber, who said the rapid decay of thick Arctic Sea ice highlights the rapid pace of climate change in the North, and foretells what will come in the south.

Barber said before the expedition, scientists were working under the theory that climate change would happen much more slowly. It was assumed the Arctic would be ice-free in the winter by 2100.

"We expect it will happen much faster than that, much earlier than that, somewhere between 2013 and 2030 are our estimates right now. So it's much faster than what we would expect to happen. That can be said for southern climates as well."

Here's a sampling of the emails I got, in the order I got them. Some kindly provided links. I cut the really long messages:

  1. Nobody that is anybody believes your lies. Get over it. The jig is up. -- Mike Preston

    http://anhonestclimatedebate.wordpress.com/2009/09/20/arctic-sea-ice-not-following-consensus/

  2. Dear Mr Owen,

    I was very pleased to read your article about Dr. Barber's CFL study on the Arctic ice melt. I was glad to see that it got the attention it deserved.

    I was present as one of the students at the press conference and was slightly shocked to see some of the reporting that came out of it - obvious factual mistakes and exaggerations.

    It was refreshing to read your article and see that accurate science journalism is not completely dead. Keep up the good work. - Sincerely, Kaitlin Alexander

    http://climatesight.org

  3. Dear Bruce,

    I am probably not the only person who will email you on this article which is a completely one-sided view of what is going on in the arctic. Why do journalists continue to paint worst-case scenario propaganda claimed by scientists paid to study arctic sea ice. In light of the debacle that was ClimateGate, perhaps readers would be better served by get opinions on Arctic Ice that wasn't chalked full of scare-mongering by yet another hysterical researcher? When am I going to see an article from this newspaper commenting on the Increase in thickness and extent in the southern oceans?

    I cut and pasted this from the NASA website:

    "A new NASA-funded study finds that predicted increases in precipitation due to warmer air temperatures from greenhouse gas emissions may actually increase sea ice volume in the Antarctic's Southern Ocean. This adds new evidence of potential asymmetry between the two poles, and may be an indication that climate change processes may have different impact on different areas of the globe."

    From Trevor Kidd - South Surrey

  4. Hello Bruce,

    Excellent article you wrote about the arctic.

    I am a private climate researcher in Northern Ca. I fully believe global warming to now be a runaway event. I also believe that the 'geo-engineering" programs that appear to be going on, (with no regard to their consequences) are making things exponentially worse. Hope you can investigate the dire and dangerous subject of "geo-engineering"

    One good source site is below.

    Thanks again for your Arctic article.

    Dane Wigington

    http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/

  5. The Arctic Ice will still be here in 3 years.

    I want to thank you for working so hard to hasten the end of daily newspapers in Canada with the kind of stupid alarmist and biased story I accidently came across today on the Province website.

    I used to read 2 newspapers a day (3 on weekends)

    And then newspapers started pimping "Global Warming" and "Climate Change" to help a bunch of dishonest "Climate Scientists" steal money from useful research.

    Haven't you read anything on ClimateGate?

    156 million dollars squandered and not spent on anything useful. (Not to mention billions squandered on other studies).

    Shameful.

    The earth warms and cools. It has been a lot warmer in the past and a lot cooler.

    Good luck in your future endeavors when you help drive your employer into bankruptcy.

    Bruce Schuck

  6. Hello,

    I was read your article titled "Arctic sea ice vanishing faster than 'our most pessimistic models': researcher", and was just wondering if you bothered to speak to the 30,000 scientists, 9000 of which have PhD's. That have signed a petition stating humans are not the cause of global warming, and that it is actually the other way around. The earth warms first, then the carbon dioxide levels increase. If you look closely at the graph depicting the levels of carbon dioxide vs the temperature it is very clear. There is a 100-200 year gap between the temperature rising then the carbon dioxide levels increasing. Even the last 10 years the earth has been cooling. Also if you look at the times when humans started polluting the most. During the beginning of industrialization. The temperature actually cooled during this period. Climate change happens no matter what there is nothing we can do about it. Buying into the fraud that is human caused climate change will allow the implementation of the fraud of carbon taxes and cap and trade. Which will do nothing to curb the release of carbon dioxide cause the big polluters will buy enough credits to pollute all they want. Each story has two sides. Please do the world a favour and report on this one.

    Thank You
    Donnie Cluney

  7. Bruce, have you ever seen this graph before?

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

    This data indicates that Arctic Sea Ice is actually increasing in recent years! Something is fishy.

    Was Canadian taxpayers money well invested? Now that would make an interesting story.

    Cheers, Gordon Murphy

  8. Wow that's a lot of bull ---- for one article!

    End any funding these fools get and fire the ones we can.

    Liars and fools.

    Durward Saar

Thanks for the messages, folks.

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About Larry Kusch and Bruce Owen

Larry Kusch has been a journalist for 30 years, the last 20 with the Winnipeg Free Press. His is one of the newspaper's two legislative bureau reporters.

Raised on a Saskatchewan farm, he received an honours journalism degree from Carleton University in 1975.

At the Free Press, Larry has also worked as a general assignment reporter, business reporter, copy editor and assistant city editor.

Bruce Owen joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1990 after four years working in other media.

He's worked in a number of positions at the Freep, including pet columnist, assistant city editor and police reporter. Right now he takes up space at the Manitoba legislature.

Bruce is one of five reporters who won a National Newspaper Award for the paper’s coverage of the 1997 Flood of the Century. He's also the recipient of the 1996 Volunteer Centre of Winnipeg Media Golden Hand Award and the 1995 Canadian Federation of Humane Societies Media Commendation Award.

In a past life Bruce worked at YMCA-YWCA Camp Stephens. He has a blog where he and others write about camp and the people who worked and played there.

You can also find Bruce on Twitter where he posts and retweets all sorts of stuff.

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