EDMONTON - A billboard bearing the University of Alberta’s logo appears to suggest that climate change isn’t all bad.

The words “beefier barley” appear in large font above the U of A logo and the website UAlberta.ca/truthmatters.

The rest of the billboard talks about how climate change will result in greater yields of barley, which will be able to feed more cattle.

“The “Truth Matters” campaign has been running in various media at different times since fall 2018. It features several research discoveries made by University of Alberta researchers in a variety of areas, including organ transplantation, artificial intelligence, children’s health, renewable energy and atomic scale computers, among others,” says Michael Brown, a media specialist with the University of Alberta.

A picture of the billboard was posted to Reddit in the early evening on Tuesday Sept. 24 and there was varied reaction to the post.

While some users questioned a potential motive behind the study, others delved deeper into the discussion of climate change and its various effects.

“It's not wrong, there are benefits to climate change for Albertans, there are also downsides, but with an process as complex as climate change there's bound to be benefits and drawbacks. Even if it's a net negative. We can't just mitigate the our use of CO2, it's too late there are effects that we must research and adapt too,” said Reddit user xredan.

“From my point of view the sign is just saying that the changing climate is an extremely complex issue and doesn’t effect every industry uniformly. If anything this sign makes me more interested in the climate science behind global warming, since apparently it doesn’t always work as expected. Not everything has to be a political statement. In other words, this is a positive statement as opposed to a normative one,” said another user, Adambomb2000.

Michael Brown says that it is important to highlight complex research like the study behind the “beefier barley” billboard.

“The goal of the Truth Matters campaign is to highlight University of Alberta research tackling today’s complex challenges, such as future potential impacts of climate change.”

Brown adds that there are other billboards from the ‘Truth Matters’ campaign in Edmonton and Calgary.