The Trudeau government is driving Canada’s farmers into the ditch to avoid 0.00002 ℃ / year of global warming

People are like the meteor that wiped out dinosaurs according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a speech in New York on June 5, World Environment Day. These words have been taken from the text of his speech:

In the case of climate, we are not the dinosaurs. We are the meteor. We are not only in danger. We are the danger.

This viewpoint is even more intense than his statement from last summer: “The era of global warming has ended; the era of global boiling has arrived.”  He has been consistent in his prediction of imminent climate catastrophe, and that consistency is based on his belief that the IPCC’s Climate Change 2021 The Physical Science Basis is 100% correct. However, a review of that document revealed some significant flaws that suggest that it might not be as reliable as he believes.

Given Mr Guterres’s importance and profile, it is not too surprising then that farmers have been made to feel as if they are contributing to a climate disaster, since they feed people who are “the meteor”. The US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, another influential official, unsurprisingly sees the issue in the same way.

Farmers in Canada and elsewhere are under pressure from campaigns for Net Zero. The government of Canada is aiming to achieve Net Zero by 2050, but there are intermediate targets for 2030. This program is effectively a declaration of war on carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O).

The IPCC’s Climate Change 2021 The Physical Science Basis (p.41) states:

It is unequivocal that the increase of CO2, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) in the atmosphere over the industrial era is the result of human activities and that human influence is the main driver of many changes observed across the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere.

The IPCC’s view is the justification for campaigns for Net Zero around the world.

Shortly after returning from UAE COP28 in November last year, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeaut, announced a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Offset Credit System. The government wants farmers to reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions, as well as CO2. So far, this has been voluntary, but it could change, especially since the Auditor General reported last year that: “The federal government is not on track to meet the 2030 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% below the 2005 level by 2030.”

However, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are inextricably linked to Canada’s farming sector. Making those reductions compulsory will increase pressure on farmers, many of whom are already struggling with higher-than-average rates of mental health issues. It will change their lives and lifestyle for ever.

You are entitled to think that such sweeping policies are responses to imminent threats. But you would be mistaken.

First, Canada produces only 1.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.  Second, Canadian agriculture accounts for 10% of all Canadian greenhouse gas emissions (2/3 of them are methane and 1/3 nitrous oxide). In other words, Canada’s agricultural sector produces a mere 0.15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. That tiny figure raises questions about the government’s motivations.

Let’s take a closer look at how nitrous oxide and methane affect global air temperature. This approach is taken since The Paris Agreement goal is to limit temperature increase to 2℃ (1.5℃ ideally) relative to 1850-1990.

Nitrous oxide (N2O)

The concentration of N2O in our atmosphere is about 338 parts per billion. In other words, in one billion air molecules, you will find 338 molecules of N2O.

Nitrous oxide is produced and released into the atmosphere when fertilizer is spread onto the ground, typically by grain and vegetable farmers. (For a detailed scientific explanation of how nitrous oxide is made, please consult this 2022 article by four eminent climate scientists,  Nitrous Oxide and Climate”.

Fertilizer can increase crop yields easily from 30% to 50%, and even up to 60%, which is obviously significant.

According to a  Fertilizer Canada 2021 press release, “Cutting fertilizer use to reduce on-farm emissions could cost growers nearly C$48 billion over the next eight years.” More troubling, the global war on nitrous oxide threatens the global food supply.

Not all climate scientists support the IPCC’s hostility towards nitrous oxide.

Nitrous Oxide and Climate provides us with an exhaustive and precise look at the role of nitrogen in climate. Here are some key points:

  • One additional molecule N2O of the GHG nitrous oxide raises the temperature about 233 times more than one additional CO2 molecule;
  • The concentration of CO2 is increasing about 3,100 times faster than that of N2O;
  • Therefore, the global emission of N2O warms the planet at about 1/13 the contribution of CO2, 0.064℃/century or 0.00064℃/year.

Canada contributes about 1.4% of global N2O emissions. Therefore, Canada’s N2O produces 0.000009℃/year of global warming (0.00064 x .014 ≃ 0.000009). Please stop and look at that number for a few seconds. It’s so small that it’s meaningless, and yet we are told repeatedly by the media that nitrous oxide emissions are dangerously raising global temperature or threaten to raise global temperature. For economic reasons and because they are good stewards of their land, farmers do their best to ensure that fertilizer is absorbed by plants and not converted into nitrous oxide, etc. It’s called 4Rs: the right source, the right amount, the right time, and the right place.

Methane (CH4)

The current concentration of methane in our atmosphere is about 1931 parts per billion.

You can easily find articles claiming that methane is a threat to our climate. King Charles III is convinced; he backed an entrepreneur with a ₤50,000 prize to further develop a mask for cows that captures methane from their burps. Bizarre? I’ll leave it up to you.

Is methane so great a threat to our climate that we need to put masks on cows?

Once again, “Nitrous Oxide and Climate suggests otherwise. Here are some key points:

  • One additional molecule of CH4 raises the temperature about 31 times more than one additional CO2molecule;
  • The concentration of CO2 is increasing about 300 times faster than that of CH4;
  • Therefore, CH4 warms the planet at 1/10 the contribution of CO2.

Therefore, Canada’s methane contributes about 0.000009 ℃/ year to global warming. (Relative forcing of CH4/N2O = 8.3/6.2=1.29, see table 4 here; Canada contributes 1.1% of global CH4; 0.00064 x 1.29 x .011 ≃ 0.000009)

So, do cows need masks? Of course not!

Therefore, Canada’s ag sector contributes about 0.00002℃/year to global warming (0.000009 x 2 ≃ 0.00002). Once again, please take a few seconds to see how small that figure is.   

However, World Economic Forum member Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his zealous Minister of Environment and Climate Change are determined to drive the nation’s agriculture sector into the ditch with Net Zero to avoid 0.00002℃/year of warming. They either don’t understand these facts, or if they do, they are pursuing Net Zero for other reasons. You be the judge of that.

 

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Farmers are unsung heroes. What would happen to urban centers like Toronto without a continuous supply of food? Chaos and hardship, maybe even violence. We need farmers, and they need our help.

In response to Net Zero, the approach by the agricultural sector so far has been fragmented and defensive. The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario has about 4,000 members. Director John Van Dyk explained to me that farmers are not speaking with one voice on this issue. A Fertilizer Canada press release stated that “Canada must balance its fertilizer emission reduction goals with the need to increase vital food production.” 

With the information presented here, the agricultural sector could argue that no reductions at all are justified. Period.

It won’t be easy to stop Net Zero. It is undergirded by a complicated and extensive web of relationships--personal, political, and financial.

But it’s more than that; it’s an ideology. The recently released film Climate the Movie demonstrates that Net Zero is big business and a sophisticated scam that will transfer trillions of dollars into the hands of green sector investors. Nobody else will benefit, certainly not farmers. Our climate will not benefit.

Be prepared for a long, tough struggle.

Independent media and journalists will be needed to defeat Net Zero. Ordinary citizens, including farmers, need to speak up as well. According the 2016 census, Canada had 271,935 farmers. Even if a fraction of them spoke with one voice on this issue, that would represent a lot of clout.

Canada's Net Zero threatens our agricultural sector and consequently our food supply; Net Zero is unsupported by science, it will waste billions of tax dollars, and it should be cancelled.

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For Canadian readers

A clear, concise and factual letter is a powerful thing. Contact information for your MP can be found here. Contact info for your MPP/MLA: BC, AB, SK, ON, QC, NB, NS, PE, NF.


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Fabiano Micoli has a B.Eng. (mechanical), MBA, and B.Ed. (math and physics). He writes from Toronto.

Image credit: Bigstock / Canola fields 


  

 

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