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City Hall hears climate change a boon for trees - Toronto SUN

November 22, 2011
Don Peat
City Hall Bureau Chief
Toronto Sun

TORONTO - Left-leaning councillors and environmental advocates were hot and bothered by Councillor Norm Kelly’s claim climate change would be good for trees.

“Global warming will bring more trees,” Kelly, the parks and environment chairman, told his committee colleagues on Tuesday.

Kelly made the comments in response to Councillor Raymond Cho arguing that climate change would reduce the city’s forest canopy.

“It is my understanding that it does the opposite,” Kelly told reporters after the meeting.

“If you go back in time, millions of years, when the earth was really warm, you found trees in the Arctic, so more warmth, more trees, it is simple as that,” he said.

Kelly suggested reporters read The Skeptical Environmentalist by Bjorn Lomborg for further information.

Franz Hartmann, executive director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance, pointed out “there is pretty well unanimous consensus amongst acknowledged experts that climate change would be a disaster for the earth’s biosphere and for people.”

“The (international panel on climate change) has made it clear climate change is going to be a disaster for forests, for ecosystems and for people,” Hartmann said.

Councillor Gord Perks says he has been trying to convince Kelly Lomborg’s book is flawed for close to a decade.

“I find it very disappointing that Lomborg can change his mind but Councillor Kelly cannot,” Perks said.

Perks said Kelly’s stance on climate change reflects poorly on Mayor Rob Ford’s entire administration.

“It is further evidence this administration hasn’t made any effort to take the issues of the day seriously,” he said.

He stressed climate change would be bad for trees.

“There will be spectacularly unprecedented loss of forest,” Perks said.

As originally published here: http://www.torontosun.com/2011/11/22/city-hall-hears-climate-change-a-boon-for-trees

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