This week, a horde of junketeers is amassing in Europe for yet another conference: COP 23 IN Bonn, Germany. The token host is the president of Fiji. This one event will consume more fossil fuels than some small nations use in one year.
Some of the fully indoctrinated attendees will be full of trepidation that the climate sky is truly falling and that we are on the edge of yet another dire tipping point. The ruling elites from the E.U. will be hoping to strengthen their grip on international energy and thus accomplish their globalization dreams.
Christiana Figueres, an outspoken and extreme anti-fossil fuel proponent, will hope to be one more step closer to putting the final nail in the coffin of capitalism, to fulfill her fantasy of a perfect world order under socialism. And the predatory green industrialists will be salivating over the scraps of meat thrown their way at this Bacchanalian feast.
The purported common enemy is carbon dioxide, the colorless and odorless gas that is vital to all of life. We are asked to believe that this harmless gas is the sole driver of climate change. The real enemy is anyone who does not agree, which includes most of humanity.
There is a grim reality for many of these bureaucrats. The inconvenient truth is that more and more people, especially here in America, refuse to drink the Al Gore Kool-Aid. We celebrated when Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord.
Yet anyone who questions the climate dogma is ridiculed. We are told that the science is settled and that all real scientists agree with the global warming position, the illusory 97% consensus. If you question the rubric, you are a simpleton, a denier, a flat-Earther, a climate change skeptic, and ignorant of real science.
We are often asked if we believe in global warming. But belief is the realm of religion. Global warming is the religion of the atheistic green left, described beautifully by the late Michael Crichton.
The Earth was once an unspoiled Garden of Eden, and man came along and took a bite out of the fossil fuel apple. We have spoiled the Garden and must be punished. Redemption requires being denied the apple and buying some carbon offset indulgences. Those who are not saved must die.
I will not be praying to that god.
The attitude of the true scientist is skepticism. Science is never, ever settled. Every notion, hypothesis, theory, and law is subject to review. We have seen too many cases in history where the consensus was wrong. In the face of new evidence, a real open-minded scientist goes back to the drawing board. Or as the Duc de La Rochefoucauld said in the 17 century, “There goes another beautiful theory about to be murdered by a brutal gang of facts.” In religion, you are not allowed to question the dogma.
First, let’s clear the air. Everyone knows that the climate changes. There is general agreement that the Earth has warmed since the Little Ice Age. Temperature proxies may be hard to defend for portraying past temperatures, but there is secondary evidence. The Medieval Warm Period, 1,000 years ago, was probably warmer than now, contrary to Michael Mann and his Hockey Stick graph.
They were growing non-hybridized wine grapes in northern England at that time. And the Vikings had three thriving settlements on the southwest coast of Greenland with perhaps three thousand inhabitants as detailed in Icelandic history. They had grazing animals and grew cool-weather crops. That is not possible today. The last Vikings were gone from Greenland by about 1300 A.D. because of the sudden onset of the Little Ice Age. There are clearly natural climate changes that still have not been fully elucidated. The science is not settled.
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, but the Earth is not a perfect greenhouse. There is no glass ceiling to trap all of the heat. Most infrared heat escapes into space, but a small amount is captured by the gas, and some temperature rise is expected with higher concentrations. Most of the Earth’s warming occurs within the first 100 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide.
The warming curve is asymptotic so that it now requires a doubling of CO2 to raise the temperature one-degree Centigrade. That means we would have to go from our current 400 ppm to 800 ppm of CO2 to get this small amount of increase in temperature. (Most of us would not notice the difference. We also would not feel any effects from this higher level of CO2. It is common for interior spaces to be above 1,000 ppm carbon dioxide.)
The IPCC claims that the warming would be much more because of positive feedback warming from water vapor. But the climate is not cooperating. No such feedback has been found. Almost every climate computer model has been wrong over the last twenty years at predicting the change in our temperature.
Except for the El Niño years, the climate has been remarkably static for two decades. The great American physicist, Richard P. Feynman, said, “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” The science is not settled.
And then there are all of the hysterical claims about climate change. We are led to believe that extra CO2 causes warming and cooling and heavy rains and drought. The list of claims reads like a comedy monologue. So no matter what happens with the weather, the hysterical crowd is never wrong. Any wonder why the American thinking public is skeptical?
Let’s look at some popular memes. It is said that if it gets a little warmer, the poles will melt, and the ocean will rise twenty feet, engulfing our coasts and most small islands. But if the North Pole melts completely and so does the sea ice around Antarctica, the ocean level will scarcely change. Al Gore should be instructed in basic grade school science and look up Archimedes.
The melted Arctic will not raise the ocean any more than your glass of iced tea will overflow when the ice melts. But what if the ice pack melts on Greenland and Antarctica? The ice pack of central Greenland is increasing, as is Antarctica. Antarctica has 90% of the world’s ice, and on a hot summer day, the temperature is still 30 degrees below zero. That disaster is not going to happen.
On a similar note, it is said there is an acceleration of the rise of the ocean at this time. The ocean has risen about 400 feet since the end of the last Ice Age 8,000 years ago, and the continued rise is thought to be from slow thermal expansion.
Depending on what you read, this rise is about 1-7 mm/year. If you measure the area around Scandinavia, you might conclude that the ocean is receding. Apparently, the Earth’s crust is rebounding from the weight of ice from that last Ice Age. Nonetheless, I am pretty sure we can jump out of the way of the microscopic tidal waves to come on the coasts.
But what about ocean acidification? Let’s get this straight: the ocean is not acidic and probably cannot get that way. Acid versus alkaline is measured by pH, a logarithmic scale of hydrogen ion concentration.
A pH of 7 is neutral, and a pH of 8 has roughly ten times less hydrogen ion (acid). Anything above 7 is alkaline and below 7 is acid. The oceans are a pH of around 8 or more. They are alkaline.
The oceans also contain about 36,000 gigatons of carbon dioxide, 90% of which is in the form of bicarbonate. The atmosphere contains about 3,000 gigatons of carbon dioxide gas, less than one-tenth the ocean’s. If you dissolved 10 micromoles CO2 in pure water at pH 7, the resulting carbonic acid would change the pH to almost 6.
If you use seawater, the pH would be about 6.99. This is because seawater has bicarbonate at a concentration of about 2.3 millimoles per liter. This ocean water is a buffered solution and resists pH change. But remember that the ocean is alkaline already and not neutral. There may not be enough fossil fuels you could burn to turn the ocean acid.
There are other inconvenient truths. Since the satellite era, it is now shown that the Earth is greening under the influence of increased CO2. Carbon dioxide is plant fertilizer, and this is great news for a hungry world. The deserts of the world are receding under the influence of the rising CO2.
Plants are able to conserve more water with more CO2. (If I liked bumper stickers, I would have one that says: “For a green world, burn fossil fuels.”) Also, tropical storms are not increasing in frequency and severity, no matter what the global warming alarmists and the MSM say.
So what are all of these climate conferences accomplishing? I can see nothing decent happening that will truly help our fellow humans lead a healthy, happy, and prosperous life.
The policies of the IPCC will lead us to a new Dark Age. Wind and solar are highly unreliable sources of energy because they are useful only when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. Of course, they will have to continue getting exemptions for killings millions of endangered bats and birds.
There are no highly efficient ways of storing excess energy for later use. Countries that have rushed headlong into these so-called renewables are suffering brown- and blackouts and high energy costs. Many of their citizens have to choose between food and electricity.
The radical left seems happy to shutter industry and to create one big miserable planet. You will even find it hard to escape to a more prosperous region if you have to drive one of the overrated, overvalued, over-subsidized, and modified electric golf carts that take you 100 miles before you have to tediously charge them again.
That is what is in store for the formerly happy and healthy and wealthy West.
What about Africa? Africa has been a special project for this last century of the misinformed and arrogant West. Especially in equatorial Africa, the people have been deprived of the privilege of joining the twentieth century, let alone the twenty-first.
They have been deprived the use of their own fossil fuels for inexpensive electricity. Without cheap energy, there is subsistence living. People have to destroy the forest for wood and kill the animals to survive. They have no money for their own industry, no energy for lighting, cooking, hospitals, roads, food preservation, clean water, and prevention of terrible diseases.
They also need the judicious use of DDT to control malaria. Nothing else works better. And that is what eradicated that scourge from most of the rest of the world.
The United States of America is a bright hope for the world if it takes heed. We hope to maintain our lead in affordable energy. This does not mean we should stop looking for other reliable and inexpensive energy. There is some hope for small and efficient liquid salt nuclear reactors; time will tell.
But the IPCC and its bureaucratic minions seem bent on making the world miserable with their policies while making lots of money and privilege for themselves. I guess they attest to the wisdom of that great American philosopher, Groucho Marx: “happy does not make money.”
Read more at American Thinker