The full-court press is on. Alarmist scientists, politicians, pressure groups, newspapers, ministers, rabbis and bureaucrats want Americans to “stop stalling” on climate change. They demand that we embrace “revenue-neutral” carbon taxes and carbon dioxide regulations, before it’s “too late” to prevent “catastrophic” global warming, “monster” storms and rising seas that will “inundate our coastal cities.”
Anyone dissenting from this “call to action” is a climate change “denier” – a pejorative devised to vilify and silence anyone who rejects this agenda, by linking our views to Holocaust denial. What nonsense.
All of us “deniers” know climate change is real and has been throughout Earth’s many cycles of warming and cooling, storms and droughts, ice ages and little ice ages. Striations (scratches) on a chunk of Niagara Escarpment limestone that I dug out a mile from my boyhood home memorialize stones dragged by the last glacier that buried Wisconsin under a mile of ice. Countless climate changes have buffeted our Earth.
What we deny are assertions that human carbon dioxide emissions have replaced the myriad of complex, interrelated planetary, solar and cosmic forces that caused previous climate reverberations, and that what we are experiencing now is unprecedented and likely to be catastrophic.
Not one of the alarmist claims is supported by actual observations or scientific evidence. Even worse, the claims are getting more ridiculous with every passing day: “children aren’t going to know what snow is,” crime is rising, oceans won’t smell the same, and storms are getting worse – because of global warming.
Contrary to the hype and hysteria, our planet stopped warming 16 years ago, even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continued to climb. That prompted climate catastrophists to start talking about “climate change” and blame every “extreme weather” event on CO2 emissions.
As I have pointed out before, far from being a “dangerous pollutant” (as President Obama and EPA keep saying), carbon dioxide makes all life on Earth possible. It makes food crops and other plants grow faster and better, loads them with more nutrients, helps them survive droughts, and makes our planet greener.
This trace gas has almost nothing to do with planetary warming or climate change. But it’s worth noting that the United States has slashed its CO2 emissions more than almost any other country – sending them back to where they were 30 years ago, thanks to the environmentalists’ latest target: fracking! And the daily human contribution of CO2 to our atmosphere is equivalent to a penny out of $1 million!
CO2 levels have “soared” to 400 ppm (0.04% of Earth’s atmosphere) not because of the USA or other developed countries – but because China, India and dozens of other countries are working desperately to lift billions of people out of abject poverty. To do that, they need fossil fuels, which provide 80% of the energy that makes modern civilization and living standards possible – and these countries are not going to slash their hydrocarbon use. To suggest otherwise reflects callous contempt for the needs of families that want to take their rightful places among Earth’s healthy and prosperous people.
No one would suggest that the absence of extreme weather events over a particular time period is due to humans. However, recent history certainly contradicts incessant claims that our weather is getting worse. In fact, no category 3 or higher hurricane has struck the United States in eight years, the longest such stretch since the Civil War. With only a couple of exceptions earlier this summer, the US is enjoying its longest respite from major tornadoes in decades. We are also witnessing the highest August Arctic sea ice extent since 2006, amid the coldest summer on record at the North Pole; record August lows for Alert and Eureka, in Nunavut, BC; and record highs for the extent of August sea ice in Antarctica.
Equally fascinating, most of the record high temperatures that the alarmists are trumpeting beat the previous records, mostly set in the 1930s, by mere hundredths of a degree. Yet, somehow that’s news.
As to oceans inundating coastal communities, Topex Poseidon satellites show virtually no rise in sea levels between 1993 and 2001, and the EU’s Envisat satellites show no rise from 2003 through 2011. The steady 2-3 mm per year rise in sea level, it turns out, is because scientists “adjust” the raw data (always upward, never down, for some reason). But even 200-300 mm (8-12 inches) per century, or by the year 2100, is a far cry from the 3-20 feet that President Obama and former VP Al Gore have warned us about. Even Mr. Obama was off a few years when he said June 2008 was “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow.” But it’s one more climate cataclysm that we can erase from our worry list – especially compared to the 400 feet that the world’s oceans have risen since the end of the last ice age.
(Mr. Gore is also famous for misinforming his 2009 “Tonight Show” audience that the Earth’s interior is “really hot, several million degrees” – the core is actually 9,000 degrees F – and for refusing to debate anyone on climate change or even take audience questions that he has not preapproved. Perhaps in his defense, Nobel Laureate Gore managed only a C+ and a D in the only science courses he ever took.)
If it’s “weird weather” you seek, just peruse Richard Keene’s fascinating weather guides, Skywatch East and Skywatch West, for numerous examples of wild and wacky weather in the USA. For more examples, check out the Tri-State Twister and Children’s Blizzard, or consult the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change 2011 interim report, Climate Change Reconsidered. You will be amazed at how different the facts are from the fallacies, fibs and fear mongering you find in the “mainstream media.”
One final point. No tax that penalizes people and businesses for using fossil fuels is “revenue neutral.” Any such tax or regulation kills profits and jobs, turns full-time jobs into part-timers, and adversely affects people’s health and well-being. Millions of families cannot heat and cool their homes properly, pay their rent, mortgage or other bills, take vacations, or save for retirement. The increasing stress results in sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, more commuting, higher incidences of depression and alcohol, drug, spousal and child abuse, lower life expectancies and higher suicide rates. Climate taxes and regulations also force us to spend billions subsidizing environment unfriendly biofuel, wind and solar energy.
That’s an intolerably high price to pay, for “protection” from illusory and exaggerated climate dangers.
Climate alarmists are trying to sucker, snooker and stampede us into taking “immediate action” on job and economy-strangling taxes and restrictions, before more people catch on to what’s really happening. This protection racket is one more example of passing a law, so that we can find out what’s in it. We simply cannot afford to let science continue being coopted to serve anti-hydrocarbon political agendas.
Demands that we “stop stalling” on “catastrophic manmade climate change” have nothing to do with preventing warming and cooling, storms and droughts that have been “real” since time immemorial. They have everything to do with regulating and restricting the use of hydrocarbons that provide 80% of the energy that makes modern civilization and living standards possible. They have everything to do with giving politicians, bureaucrats and pressure groups more money and more control over our lives and economy – but with no accountability for the lies, mistakes, job losses, ill health and deaths that are inevitable as US living standards deteriorate, and Third World lives remain destitute and desperate.
Computer models and scary predictions are not evidence. Basing energy and economic decisions on climate models is akin to betting your life’s savings on a computer model that focuses on middle linebackers and ignores quarterbacks and offensive lines, in predicting the Buffalo Bills will win the 2014 and 2015 Super Bowls – and when the prediction falls flat insisting that the Bills really did win, and reality must be “adjusted” to make it conform with the predictions.
Climate “deniers” and rationalists should support Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) and other politicians and scientists who are under constant attack by climate alarmists, for daring to dissent from approved orthodoxy. Their vigilance and determination are all that stand between energy and economic sanity – and America heading down the same destructive path that Europe has trod for the past two decades.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.