Climate alarmism is still bizarre, dogmatic, intolerant
By Paul Driessen
Climate alarmism dominated the Obama era and run-up to Paris. But it’s at least as bizarre, dogmatic and intolerant now that: President Trump pulled the United States out of the all pain/no gain Paris climate pact; the US EPA is reversing anti-fossil fuel programs rooted in doom-and-gloom climatology; America is producing and exporting more oil, gas and coal; developing nations are burning vastly more of these fuels; Poland is openly challenging EU climate diktats; and German, British Australian and other politicians are voicing increasing concerns about job-killing, eco-unfriendly “green” energy.
With trillions of dollars in research money, power, prestige, renewable energy subsidies, wealth redistribution schemes, and dreams of international governance on the line, the $1.5-trillion-per-year Climate Industrial Complex is not taking the situation lightly. Climate fear-mongering is in full swing.
Tried-and-true scare stories still dominate the daily news, often with new wrinkles tied to current events. The Winter Olympics were going to take “a huge hit from our warming planet,” the pressure group Protect Our Winters warned us (yes, it’s an actual organization). Of course, that was before fiendishly frigid conditions repeatedly postponed events and drove spectators from PyeongChang slopes.
But of course, bitter cold is “exactly what we should expect” from the global warming “crisis,” said Climategeddon expert Al Gore, who got a C and D in the only two science courses he took in college. It’s reminiscent of dire predictions that the Arctic would be ice-free by 2010 (or 2015 or 2025), and “children just aren’t going to know what snow is” (until record cold and snow battered the UK a couple years later).
We’re likewise propagandized constantly with deliberate falsehoods about “carbon pollution.” We burn carbon, in the form of hydrocarbons and coal. In the process, we emit carbon dioxide which is not a pollutant. It is the miracle plant food that makes life on Earth possible.
Other standard scares ignore the innumerable, monumental benefits of carbon-based fuels – and blame these fuels and CO2 emissions for planetary warming (and cooling), rising seas, forest fires, and every major problem from malaria to rainstorms, droughts, hurricanes and tornadoes.
A newly discovered danger, say a couple researchers, endangers green sea turtles. Planetary warming is causing up to 99% of turtle eggs to hatch as females. It won’t be long, perhaps just decades, until “there will not be enough males” to propagate the species. Some “30 years of knowledge” support this thesis.
That would take us all the way back to 1988, a decade before the 18-year global warming “hiatus” that was interrupted by the 2015-16 El Niño; a half-century since the Dust Bowl and record high planetary temperatures of the 1930s; 40 years after scientists were convinced Earth was about to enter a new little ice age; and some 750 years after the 300-year-long Medieval Warm Period. One has to wonder how sea turtles managed to survive such previous warm spells – and cold periods like the four-century-long Little Ice Age, since cold weather apparently churns out only male sea turtles.
Not to be outdone, Hillary Clinton asserted that women “will bear the brunt of looking for food, looking for firewood, looking for the place to migrate to when all the grass is finally gone, as the desertification moves south” because of climate change. Wrong. Entire families will continue to bear these burdens because of anti-energy policies imposed in the name of sustainability and climate change prevention.
(For more fearsome forecasts, see The Warmlist, a no longer complete, but still entertaining compendium of some 800 horrors supposedly caused by “dangerous manmade global warming and climate change.”)
The constant consternation strikes many as ridiculous. But others have become true believers – and have committed to not having children, not taking showers, de-carbonizing, de-industrializing and de-growing developed countries, shutting off oil pipelines, and other futile actions that bring no earthly benefits.
Our planet has certainly been warming. Thank goodness for that, because the extra warmth lifted habitats and humanity out of the Little Ice Age and its chilly, stormy weather, greatly reduced arable land, short growing seasons and CO2-starved crops. Powerful, uncontrollable natural forces drove that temperature rise. Earth may now face dangerous Mann-made global warming and climate cataclysms concocted by computer models – but no “unprecedented” or “existential” human-caused dangers in the real world.
Question or challenge climate crisis orthodoxy, however, and you will be vilified and face RICO prosecutions, bogus slander and SLAPP lawsuits, censure or expulsion from your university, attacks for sponsoring museum exhibits, or even “four hots and a cot” in a jail or a faraway gulag.
Thankfully, there are excellent antidotes: books by climatologists Roy Spencer, Patrick Michaels, Jennifer Marohasy, Tim Ball, political observer Marc Steyn and others; and websites like ClimateDepot.com, WattsUpWithThat.com, DrRoySpencer.com and Global Warming Policy Foundation.org, for example.
For a concise, yet comprehensive, and eminently readable lay guide to real climate science, geologist Gregory Wrightstone’s Inconvenient Facts: The science that Al Gore doesn’t want you to know may meet your needs. Its 123 pages are organized into two sections and 30 easily understood chapters, written in plain English and complimented by over 100 colorful charts, graphs, tables and illustrations, covering all the common climate issues, fears and myths.
The book is capped off by a handy list of 60 inconvenient facts that eviscerate alarmist dogma, and15 pages of references. As Lord Christopher Monckton’s says in his foreword, Wrightstone has succeeded “splendidly” in reliably distinguishing myths from realities in the climate debate.
The opening section devotes 54 pages to explaining greenhouse and climate basics, showing how carbon dioxide is huge in planetary life but minuscule on the climate front, skewering the myth of a 400 ppm CO2 “tipping point,” analyzing climate models versus real world measurements of global temperature, and showing why and how water vapor plays such a vital and dominant role in weather and climate.
Carbon dioxide, he notes, is essential plant food that makes forests, grasslands and crops grow faster and better, with less water, and thus able to feed more people from less land. Figure I-15 summarizes data from 3,586 experiments on 549 plant species and depicts how crop yields would increase and generate trillions of dollars in overall monetary benefits, if CO2 levels rose by 300 ppm. His analysis of the “hockey stick,” computer models and temperature predictions is equally illuminating.
Part II of Wrightstone’s book examines the many assertions and myths of a coming climate apocalypse, and demonstrates why they fail to meet basic standards of scientific evidence and integrity. The opening chapter demolishes the phony 97% “consensus” of scientists who supposedly agree that humans are now the primary cause of extreme weather and climate change, ushering in a catastrophic future. Subsequent chapters address famines, forest fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, melting ice packs, rising seas, polar bear populations, and other staples of climate alarmism.
“Ocean acidification,” he points out, is a term deliberately chosen to alarm people about an imaginary problem. Being honest, and saying seas might become very slightly less alkaline (have slightly lower pH levels) from more atmospheric and oceanic CO2 in the coming centuries, wouldn’t suffice. Worse, an oft-cited study ignored a full century of readily available data, and instead used computer models to fill in the contrived “gaps” on pH levels. As Wrightstone suggests, many people would call it Climate pHraud.
The bottom line? Scientists still do not understand the complexities of climate and weather. They still cannot separate human influences from the effects of powerful natural forces that have brought often profound climate changes throughout history. There is no evidence of a coming climate cataclysm.
Spending trillions of dollars – and condemning billions of people to expensive, insufficient, unreliable, land and raw material gobbling wind, solar and biofuel energy – is not just unnecessary. It is immoral.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy and environmental policy.