Airlines Should Remove Climate Propaganda from On-Board Movie Menu


by Tom Harris and Dr. Tim Ball, ©2017

(Feb. 27, 2017) — Among the list of films passengers may now chose to watch while flying Air Canada, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic is Before the Flood, last October’s climate change movie of actor Leonardo DiCaprio. The airlines seem unaware of film’s many mistakes, not to mention the incongruity of someone who regularly uses private jets, yachts, and limousines preaching energy conservation.

Before the Flood is based on the hypothesis that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from human activities are causing catastrophic climate change. Coal, oil, and natural gas, the world’s least expensive energy sources, must therefore be turned off as soon as possible, DiCaprio says. He seems unaware that the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) lists thousands of scientific papers that either debunk or cast serious doubt on the climate scare.

At the start of the film, Leo asks United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,

“What specific message do you think is the most important?”

Ban replies:

“Climate change is coming much, much faster. We have seen such an extraordinarily extreme weather patterns.”

DiCaprio nods in agreement.

But they are wrong. Current rates of change are well within the bounds of natural variability. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that the statistical average of surface temperatures increased only 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit between 1880 to 2012. Such modest warming is to be expected given that the Earth has been recovering from the Little Ice Age since the late 19th century. Humanity’s contribution to this relatively small temperature rise is not a problem.

According to NASA satellites, global warming essentially ceased in the late 1990s. Yet CO2 levels have supposedly risen about 10% since 1997, a figure that represents an astonishing 30% of all human-related emissions since the start of the industrial revolution. This contradicts the climate models upon which global warming concerns are founded.

Leo tells viewers that, when he was in his early twenties, he met with then Vice President Al Gore in the White House. Leo learned from Gore:

“Almost everything we do releases CO2. And that leads to climate change. The polar ice caps will melt. The seas will start to rise. There will be more dangerous weather patterns, floods, droughts, wildfires.”

DiCaprio concluded that Gore’s fears:

“sounded like some nightmarish science fiction film. Except everything he said is real and its happening right now.”

But Leo is wrong again.

In 2012, the IPCC asserted that a relationship between global warming and wildfires, rainfall, storms, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events has not been demonstrated. The 2013 NIPCC report concluded,

“In no case has a convincing relationship been established between warming over the past 100 years and increases in any of these extreme events.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website reveals that the incidence of extreme weather state records has been decreasing in recent years. No records were set in 2016 or 2015. In 2014, there was one. 2013, one. 2012, one. One must go back to the 1930s to find a time when state-wide extreme weather records were being set often.

As human habitation increases in areas that were previously sparsely populated, there will naturally be more reports of extreme weather and more related insurance claims. But there is no convincing evidence of a rise in the incidence or severity of extreme weather.

It is the same with virtually all of DiCaprio’s other climate concerns. The current rate of sea level rise is less than one tenth that of 8,000 years ago. There are regions in the ocean where pH (a measure of acidity) varies more in a day than the most extreme forecasts for the 21st century, yet ocean life adapts. Arctic summer sea ice area increased almost a million square kilometers between 2012 and last summer.

Oregon-based physicist Gordon Fulks explained that the climate campaign has “become a sort of societal pathogen that virulently spreads misinformation in tiny packages like a virus. CO2 is said to be responsible for global warming that is not occurring, for accelerated sea level rise that is not occurring, for net glacial and sea ice melt that is not occurring, for ocean acidification that is not occurring, and for increasing extreme weather that is not occurring.”

Sensible air travellers will respond ‘no’ when asked if they would like to pay extra for the purpose of, as Air Canada puts it, “offsetting the CO2 emissions generated through your flight.” We should also make it clear that we do not appreciate airlines becoming yet another vector spreading the scientifically-flawed climate change virus.


Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition. Dr. Tim Ball is an environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba.

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