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Steve Maxwell: Why I don’t believe in man-made global warming any more

Canadian Contractor

It used to be called 'global warming.' Then it was 'climate change.' Now it's just 'carbon emissions,' without reference to what they are really doing to our climate.

Editor’s Note: This is a contractor website, so we aren’t going to spend lots of time talking about environmental science, as a rule. However, given how eco-building policies are sure to really hit home in our industry over the next few years, we thought that our tools editor, Steve Maxwell, should be given some space to talk about why he no longer believes in man-made global warming. Please post anything you want in response, but if you can keep “denier,” “redneck,” “neocon,” “Harperite,” etc. out of your posts, you might win a prize….

I used to believe in man-made global warming, but not any more. I can’t. Inconvenient facts keep getting in the way.

Before I list a few of the reasons human-powered global warming doesn’t make as much sense to me, let me explain something. These days it’s dangerous to challenge ideas that are considered “settled by science”, dangerous even when obvious facts emerge to contradict those ideas. What passes for “tolerance” in the face of differing opinions today reminds me of a Nazi troop commander. He tolerates soldiers under his authority just fine, as long as those soldiers goose-step to his every bark. But step out of the politically correct line, even just a little, and today’s tolerance behaves a lot like the hate and ignorance it claims to combat.

More often than not, any serious disagreement on important subjects is met with angry words like “denier”, “red neck”, “skeptic”. You might even be accused of “hate speech” just because you calmly and logically disagree with one of a dozen standard issue world views. So, I won’t be surprised if some readers lapse into calling names because of where the facts have led me on global warming. What can I say? Following the truth doesn’t always take you where you want to go.


So here are my top three “inconvenient facts” about global warming. But whatever you do, please don’t take my word for any of them. Check them out for yourself. Disagree and I won’t call you names.

Inconvenient Fact#1: Global warming stopped, all by itself, a long time ago.

Once upon a time, the world was getting warmer. That’s a fact. Every legitimate graph of world temperature shows an increase beginning in 1975 and leveling off in1997. There’s been no overall global temperature rise since then. That’s 18 years without global warming, all without any international success reducing greenhouse gas emissions, either. The crazy thing is the way the momentum of established opinion just keeps rolling along as if we’re getting hotter and hotter. The idea of human responsibility for global warming has taken on a life of its own. Young people are now graduating from high school believing global warming as a fact when it hasn’t even been an observable reality during their entire lifetimes.

Inconvenient Fact#2: Earth isn’t the only planet that got warmer.

So, if human beings didn’t cause the world to get warmer, what did? It could be nothing more than increased output from the sun. Solar intensity rises and falls in cycles that we can observe. There’s every reason to believe this fluctuation has been at work in the latest “sky-is-falling” climate change guilt-fest. Rising solar output could explain why the temperature of both Mars and the Earth rose together during the warming period from 1975 to 1997. With all the media talk about global warming, you’d think us Canadians would be able to see the effects in a country as large as ours. Look up the Wikipedia list of record high temperatures in Canada and you’ll find that out of 60+ records, the majority were set during the 1930s and 1940s. Only three were set in the 21st century and only a total of five since 1960.

Inconvenient Fact#3: Record low temperatures are being set, ice caps are on the rise.

Early in 2015 I sat in on a meeting led by a government agriculture leader. He explained how he was heading up a project to clear thousands of acres of northern wilderness for more beef farming. The plan was based on the fact that these regions of Canada would become agriculturally viable as global warming kicked in. “Global warming is here to stay and shows no sign of letting up”, he proclaimed to the audience. “We’re planning ahead for the time when a warmer climate will make northern agriculture profitable.”

The real problem with the global warming bureaucracy is that it’s making changes to our world that may well prove to be exactly the opposite of what we need. Exactly the opposite because there’s every reason to believe the world will actually get colder over the next 30 years, not warmer. A growing number of scientists are predicting cooling temperatures based on reduced energy output from the sun. Will it happen? Maybe. Record low temperatures have been set across North America during the last two winters. Polar ice caps are getting larger.

The next five years will be interesting. If global temperatures continue to flat-line as they have for two decades, there’ll be some serious back-peddling required by promoters of man-made global warming. The Al Gores of the world will no-doubt have a creative explanation for us, ideally one that preserves human guilt in the whole matter. And I may already have seen some of this fact-proof guilt coming through my 15-year-old.

He came home from grade 10 science class one day this fall with a new idea. He was being taught that an ice age could be coming soon and the cause was man-made global warming. His teacher, aware of flat-line global temperatures for the last two decades, suggested that the release of greenhouse gases could be linked to reduced ocean currents. This would mean less heat moving from the equator to northern latitudes, allowing a long-term ice age to settle in. Wow, what creativity. Human-powered global warming and a new ice age all on the same planet.

What I really wonder about is why legitimate disagreement is so readily shut down these days. Why don’t we have the same freedom we used to have for discussing ideas that contradict the status quo? While there may be disagreement on global warming, there’s no question that the emotional temperature of our world is colder and meaner than it’s been in living memory.









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9 Comments » for Steve Maxwell: Why I don’t believe in man-made global warming any more
  1. Dustin Woodman says:

    Steve, I agree you should have any right to say any opinion you might have without being ridiculed or personally attacked. You’re right, the earth might not be warming hence why it was changed from global warming to climate change (or global weirding); the fact is things can be confusing it an a large open system such as earths climate. Models can be run and futures can be predicted but no-one really knows for sure what’s going to happen; especially when we are such short sighted little monkeys looking at 5 year periods or even 10 year period which are tiny little fractions of our geological time scale. I think what the global community of climate scientists are trying to say is that earth’s climate is becoming increasingly unstable (human history relative) due to massive amount of byproduct from our wasteful energy practises (which are getting much better). As far as I’m concerned, whats the worst that can happen by scaling back a bit? Forget buzzwords like “green”, what’s the worst that can happen if we encourage our industry to produce ultra bad ass efficient-energy saving-energy harvesting-dolphin procreating projects? I work in a wasteful industry; maybe it just makes me feel all gooey inside to perceive myself as a bit more environmentally conscience and maybe it doesn’t make a difference if I’m a coal roller or a bicycle enthusiast. I’m also a 26 year old 2nd year apprentice and you write for my main magazine (morning coffee and CC!) neither of us have devoted our lives to climate science; but just like I trust Canadian Contractor for the best up to date info possible, I’ll trust Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson on this one.

  2. GTCB says:

    I am going to offer you some unsolicited advice first off – if you are incapable of writing basically one paragraph without mentioning Nazi’s, no one will take you seriously. I really should stop there as you have sabotaged your credibility but I feel that we can calmly disagree. You should really check your facts because Wikipedia is hardly a reliable source for scientific or technical matters.

    Let’s examine your first fact about how global warming has stopped, which you back up with no references. Here are two links about how it has not:

    It would seem that a cursory internet search, looking for data from journalistic sources, has undermined your first point completely.

    Let’s examine your second point, which you also back up with no references. There’s a saying I’m sure you are familiar with – called grasping at straws. You’re not grasping at straws – you’re reaching for the stars in vain. If you’re citing temperature changes on ANOTHER PLANET and hope that somehow that there’s some legitimate links back to Earth, you come off as terribly desperate. Can’t you see that? You have entirely failed to explain why this is important or why anyone should care. This desperate stance has undermined your second point completely.

    Let’s examine your third point, also without references. So, you have your cute farming planning story with which you get a dig in at government policy (too easy a target that). You also make mention that there’s every reason to believe the Earth is going to cool off, and try to substantiate that with more non-referenced mentions of record cold temperatures being set.

    Meanwhile, there’s this little UN summit coming up in Paris (look it up yourself) that is entirely based on preventing the average global temperature rise from exceeding 2° Celsius. Your mentions of record cold temperatures being set in isolated locations mean nothing when the global average continues to rise. The leading body on climate change in the world has been saying the same thing for decades. You think that suddenly, in the next five years, they’re going to backpedal? And you’re not trolling the readers of Canadian Contractor?

    I’ve been trying to guess your motivation for writing this. I guess you have a platform and want to use it, but this seems like an attempt to get pageviews, not a legitimate article one would expect here. Again, anyone not writing about the Second World War and trying the Nazi angle can’t be taken seriously.

    • Bob2 says:

      All I see in your comment is ad hominem and of course you proven his point on being attacked for having a difference of opinion, well done.

      • GTCB says:

        It’s few and far between, but on occasion one runs (digitally or otherwise) into someone who graduated high school without being able to read properly*. Congrats on getting this far in your life without the reading comprehension of an eight-year-old.

        *Ad hominem enough for you?

        • Steve Payne says:

          You just won our Ad Hominem Attack of the Year contest! It’s few and far between, but on occasion we do digitally, or otherwise, run into someone deserving of the honour. And you didn’t even mention “the Nazi’s.” Your prize is a copy of every book Steve Maxwell has published, which if you give us permission we will digitally deliver to your in-box.

        • Robert Koci says:

          GTCB, have you got a name? Who are you?

  3. Bob2 says:

    If there is one thing the scientific community can agree on would be that the earth has changed drastically over the billions of years it’s been around. Our current oceans and sandy beaches at one time looked like Antarctica and visa versa. So we know the earth changes and we also know it does it by itself.

    This global warming scheme is initiated by greedy rich people (.000001%er) and incompetent governments. We are sinking and I don’t mean physically but we as the people and our way of western life, the politicos have spent every dollar imaginable and they know they better come up with a good enough scheme to entice people to pay more, that money will also be spent and they will be back again with something else. The world is awash with debt and now the politicos have decided to pit the haves against the have nots ( like we seen in our election, ‘rich’ people open your wallets), they need money and they are desperate. People like David Suzuki are the face of this scheme and they are flying high, living in their mansions and pocketing millions by generating propaganda, lies while the media buys it up and uses it as click bait. No amount of money will slow down anything the earth wants to do.

  4. Metallofu says:

    Often, I am reminded of a little unknown fact being Greenland had cows grazing on it along with cabbage growing in its’ fields back in 1518 or there abouts. So as far as “global warming” goes, I’m all for it because I get to ride my motorcycle a little longer. However, having said that there are premises in the arguments which I would rather not espouse primarily because it means that in the long, more like short run, we as Canadians and Ontarians even more specifically will just be paying more taxes for which I believe shouldn’t on the account of a lack of facts. Do yourselves a favour and define science. For those to who want to know science is defined for me as a person who sets out with a hypothesis and for the hypothesis to be accurate it needs to be three things: observable, repeatable and provable. None of which the theory or hypothesis for global warming has accomplished. So keep on studying gals and guys. Before we say things on here we shouldn’t. Here’s a link for those interested in further study :

  5. Steve- you note that- Young people are now graduating from high school believing global warming as a fact when it hasn’t even been an observable reality during their entire lifetimes.
    How do you explain the increased ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during the last 200 years? That is not man-made?

    Inconvenient Fact#2: Earth isn’t the only planet that got warmer.
    I cannot find any documentation of this. Please cite your source(s).

    A growing number of scientists are predicting cooling temperatures based on reduced energy output from the sun.
    Please cite your source(s). I cannot find any studies that support this position.

    As Dustin Woodman notes, the term used now is Climate Change or Disruption because there are changes in weather patterns, bigger storms, colder winters and warmer summers.

    How about applying the precautionary principle? We cannot predict what will happen, granted. We can model outcomes with some confidence. If the models show disastrous outcomes, why not work to mitigate or even avoid those outcomes?

    If we do nothing and wait to see what nature hands out, it may be too late to return to the current status quo.

    Besides, green building benefits economies and the environment.

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