Letter: The answer to extreme weather is more coal, not less
Re “Evidence of climate change is all around us” (Monitor letter, July 30):
Lauren Kilmister of Dunbarton is wrong to claim that severe weather such as tornados is “an indication of the effects of climate change” and that our response should be to ask governments to close coal stations.
Studies show that strong to intense tornados have decreased markedly over the past 50 years, despite a warming climate. When the period from 1954 to 2003 was analyzed in a 2008 paper published by the American Geophysical Union, it was found that the most damaging tornados were about twice as frequent in the first half of the record as in the second half. The frequency and intensity of extreme weather in general decrease as the planet warms. It is during cooler periods that such phenomena increase.
If it were true that we are headed for more extreme weather, then we should expand coal use, the most affordable and reliable energy source, to cope with these hazards. Trying to quickly transition to flimsy wind and solar power because of weather extremes makes as much sense as a ship captain ordering the crew into lifeboats because they believe a severe storm is approaching.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
(The writer is executive director of the International Climate Science Coalition.)