Climate change: what they don’t tell you

UnknownWorld bigwigs meet in Paris and solemnly pledge carbon emission cuts to combat climate change. Columnist David Brooks likens this to a Weight Watchers meeting, with earnest promises to slim down. It means little without enforcement mechanisms. Remember America criticized for not ratifying the Kyoto agreement? Well, what’s rarely mentioned is that ratifying countries never fulfilled their Kyoto obligations.

While, in fact, the U.S. has reduced its emissions more than any other major nation. Playing a big role in that is fracking. Yet most climate change zealots oppose fracking. Such “progressives” really hate progress, calling it a blight upon the planet. Bill McKibben says technological and economic advancement should stop. Indonesia_Farmer-on-a-bicycle-01James Howard Kunstler literally wants everyone living on small farms and riding bicycles instead of cars.

That won’t happen; indeed, such massive emission cuts are simply unrealistic. And what they also don’t tell you is that they wouldn’t anyway stop global warming. Yes, it would help; but rising temperatures and climate change are already baked in, and even if we cut emissions to zero tomorrow, warming would still continue for a very long time. That’s scientific fact.

Of course we should do everything reasonably possible to minimize emissions and develop alternative technologies (that make economic sense). But since that won’t nearly solve the problem, much more emphasis is needed on measures for coping with a warmer world. thumb_cartoon_gw_religionClimate warriors don’t want to hear this, lest it detract from their anti-industrial jihad, to put humanity in a hair shirt of penance for our putative environmental sins.

And what they definitely don’t want to hear about is geo-engineering – ways to reduce existing atmospheric carbon, or to otherwise counteract warming with global cooling. For example, the sulfur dioxide we already emit might be diverted from the lower to the upper atmosphere, thereby replicating the planetary cooling effects of major volcanic eruptions (like 1816’s “year without a summer”). Admittedly such efforts, if bungled, could do more harm than good. This is why intensive research is needed. Yet climate advocate Naomi Klein says such research should be banned! Because it would detract from the true agenda of cutting carbon emissions as a blow against the industries producing them.

images-3Those industries may not be pretty, yet are in fact responsible for our modern quality of life, so vastly better than in the pre-industrial past of almost universal poverty. The “good old days” actually sucked. Our use of fossil fuels has not been reckless, heedless, or criminal. It’s been indispensable to raising billions from squalor, and underpins almost everything about modern life. The concomitant climate change must be dealt with, but that doesn’t mean we should never have extracted and utilized those fuels, reaping their gigantic human welfare benefits. Stopping, or big cutbacks, would plunge billions back into poverty – just when we’ll need more economic resources to meet the costs of coping with climate change.

And when, in a world where a billion people still survive on under $1 a day, Bill McKibben says economic growth should end – that’s reckless, heedless, and criminal.

Finally, it’s also wrong to cast climate change as humanity’s biggest problem. images-2Under a worst-case scenario, the amount of worldwide human suffering caused by climate change will still be dwarfed by suffering from our age-old, unsexy nemeses of disease, malnutrition, poor sanitation, bad water, poverty, ignorance, violent conflict, and so forth. A dollar spent tackling those problems buys far more human betterment than if spent to hold down temperatures.*

* Fifty times as much, according to studies by the Copenhagen Consensus Center.

6 Responses to “Climate change: what they don’t tell you”

  1. Dan Says:

    I will not go into details, but CLIMATE CHANGE is the biggest con
    every in the History of the Planet. Madoff is a piker compared to Al Gore and Hussein Obama..
    There is a program on the History Channel entitled “THE EVOLUTION OF EVIL”. The first episode is entitled “THE MISFITS GATHER”. Hitler, Hess, Goring, Gobbles
    and Himmler being the misfits. l
    Compare then to now with the Hussein Obama Regime! Obama,
    Kerry,, Clinton, Reid. All are liars, misfits, incompetent misfits.

  2. bruce Says:

    Frank, I envy your certainty of AGW. Having studied the methodology of ascertaining what the temps are and were, I am less certain of anything. It is more likely, in my opinion, that the scientist have not understood the complexity of the earths regulating factors.
    What makes me most uncomfortable about AGW is the unwillingness to imagine there might be something to reconsider. No, its an ideological belief system that refuses to consider the alternative.
    But then its easy to live in a belief based world. What doesn’t fit becomes the workings of a magical world that only better proves the belief.
    The damage to humanity, that is the irresponsible redirection of resources from bettering lives to tilting at windmills is shameful. Its been shown infrastructure to counteract what might happen is much less expensive than the route we are on.
    Meanwhile the earth grows greener, in part because of the demon some people despise.
    You feel I am wrong, I may be, but your friends refuse to believe they might be wrong wrong, all the while refusing to consider the alternative. Its settled.
    Lastly, the worlds cultures have thrived in what we think were warm periods in earths /mans history. While wars and famines are the norm in cold periods.

  3. rationaloptimist Says:

    Bruce, I think the facts are in on global warming, and it is happening. As, indeed, we should expect, given the known increase in carbon in the atmosphere and its known effects. Given that, it would be highly surprising if (for some unknown reason) the climate was not warming.
    This isn’t belief; it is fact.

  4. bruce Says:

    First of all let me apologize to my grade school teachers (Sisters), I’m sure their eyes are rolling, in heaven, at my poor punctuation.And, to you for taking up space on what I consider a first rate exhibit of sound thinking.
    Facts seem to have a fashion to them and come and go with the style. We’ll see.

  5. don Says:

    They say 10,000 years ago there was an ice sheet 2 miles thick that covered Canada entirely and about one third of USA. That would be millions of square miles of ice in North America alone that melted and without any carbon emissions. The direction of climate is not only getting warmer but dryer. Whether or not man has influenced
    this or not is still debateable as far as I am concerned.

  6. rationaloptimist Says:

    It’s not debateable. It would be inexplicably bizarre if all the carbon we’ve put into the atmosphere did NOT have any effect!

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