Calgary councillor Sean Chu suggests cold winter is evidence against climate change

Matthew Coutts
Daily Brew
Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu issued an apology over two tweets about a presentation done by a city employee on the proposed First Street cycle track. The issue spurred council to schedule a proper behaviour session.

A rookie Calgary councillor struck an iceberg of opposition this weekend when he suggested Alberta’s cold weather was proof that climate change did not exist.

Sean Chu posted a message on Twitter that also hinted that a Russian research vessel that remains stuck in Arctic ice was further proof that global warming was not real.

This is not the first time Chu has shared such a message.

Chu told the Calgary Herald that he was not denying global warming. "Hey, there are two sides of the story. I want to see everything.”

[ Related: Much of country facing more bitter cold, wind and snow ]

Pointing to cold winters to disprove climate change is a common trope among skeptics. Billionaire Donald Trump, who was once famous for something other than ranting and reality television, made a similar assertion last week.

His comments prompted several columns explaining why cold winters don’t disprove the idea of climate change.

Climate scientists maintain that weather trends, not necessarily specific events, are caused by climate change. Further, according to a draft of the U.S. National Climate Assessment, climate change has caused winter storms to increase in "frequency and intensity."

[ More Brew: Spread of H1N1 flu across Canada calls for more people to be vaccinated ]

It should be noted that Chu is not the only Canadian politician to publicly doubt climate change. Toronto Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly is also a noted skeptic, although he hasn't been vocal on the subject since being handed more power and authority by city council late last year.

Alberta's Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith has recently admitted that climate change exists and that mankind is partially to blame after being criticized for balking on the issue during the last election.

A 2012 online survey found that only two per cent of Canadians denied that climate change was real. In that survey, 86 per cent of respondents said it was either fully or partially caused by human activity.

A separate study from last year found that about half of Canadians were concerned about the way the government was handling the issue of climate change.

Unlike many politicians who post something online that stirs controversy, Chu has not deleted the comment. Of course, this was not some errantly posted curse word or inconsiderate personal jab. This was a politician sharing a personal opinion. One he is willing to stand behind.

Want to know what news is brewing in Canada?
Follow @MRCoutts on Twitter.