The fear being stoked by the power elites in academia, business, government, and the media that climate change poses, as the current cliché has it, an “existential” threat to the planet is a threat alright but one that seeks to undermine a sovereign nation’s interests and priorities.
The self-absorbed elites around the world and in the United States now believe that they have found the boogeyman they have long sought to scare the public into accepting a construct of governance that would supplant the will of individual citizens with the whims of unelected, globalist technocrats accountable to no one but themselves. That boogeyman, of course, is climate change and it renders the mission of climate change proponents – presumably to save the world from extinction – little more than an anti-democratic power grab.
No more prominent a supranational organization than the United Nations, through its International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has sounded the alarm that unless urgent measures are enacted to limit global-warming we will have been responsible for a planetary crisis that will likely trigger severe storms, wildfires, pestilence, droughts, flooding, starvation, and death. The IPCC’s position is clear: the carbon dioxide emitted by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil is the principal cause behind the Earth’s rise in temperature.
As evidence mounts, however, that there is no global-warming calamity in the offing or that global-warming has its roots in mostly anthropogenic causes, climate change advocates have become more and more reliant on propaganda and disinformation to deliver their message of fear. Major media outlets, for their part, are complicit in parroting the latest shrill accounts of impending climate disaster without pushback or a critical analysis of the facts. One journalist in a Midwest newspaper, for example, recently stated that “The weather machine… is starting to act erratically…”, and that “The flood of immigrants around the world has been set in motion…principally by unbearable temperatures and loss of water and arable land.” No mention is made in the writer’s column of the fact that millions of people have been displaced by war, persecution and overpopulation. Not to be outdone, Nobel Laureate in Economics, Joseph Stiglitz, tells the New York Times that “Wall Street could be underwater by the year 2100.” One can only assume that Dr. Stiglitz was not forecasting a stock market crash.
But what could top the Associated Press story of June 29, 1989, when it reported that a senior U.N. environmental official had stated that “entire nations could be wiped out off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if global warming trends are not reversed by the year 2000.” We are now near the end of the year 2020 and as far as we know no nations have been wiped off the face of the Earth!
THE THEOLOGY OF CLIMATE CHANGE BLINDS OBJECTIVITY
The IPCC, which should stand as a paragon of scientific objectivity, and impartiality, is far from it. Emblematic of the agency’s bias, the IPCC has published a “manifesto” to guide authors in writing reports. Members of the IPCC are obligated to uphold the strictures contained in the manifesto. As such, authors are urged to parse their otherwise negative findings and to state questionable points of view without qualification. Certain word choices are prohibited and expressions which would cast doubt on an author’s expertise in a certain area are to be avoided. Members are in effect censored as they must not express opinions beyond the scope of published reports. Finally, minority opinions expressed in the body of an IPCC report rarely get mentioned in the Policymakers Summary. Journalists, and other non-experts unable or unwilling to wade through several hundred pages of technical data presumably read only the Summary. So much for scientific objectivity and impartiality.
The Earth’s temperature has been exceptionally stable for a very long time. For five thousand years global temperatures have been within the range of plus or minus one-half of one degree Celsius from average. And, according to astrophysicist S. Fred Singer “While it is true that global temperatures have risen about one-half of one degree Celsius in the last century, most of this warming occurred before 1940, while most of the human-caused carbon dioxide emissions occurred after 1940.” Recent global temperature readings come as a surprise to many.For example, scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space report that the average global temperature for 2019 was unchanged from 2016 with two dips – global cooling, in effect – in 2017 and 2018.
The connection between carbon dioxide emissions and global temperature remains flimsy at best. A study in the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate shows computer models exaggerated global warming temperatures from carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 45%. Professor of Geosystem Science at Oxford University, Myles Allen, explains that “…we haven’t seen the rapid acceleration in warming after the year 2000 that we see in models.”
And, while there has been much said in the media about how global-warminghas been responsible for a surge in major hurricane activity the facts prove otherwise.The fact is thatthe number of severe storms has not measurably increased during the last fifty years. According to the Stormfax Weather Almanac, the average annual number of category 3,4, or 5 hurricanes in the Atlantic from the year 1970 to 2017 is 2.5. If we look at more recent data say from the year 2000 to 2017, the average annual number of major hurricanes shows a slight and inconsequential uptick to 3.2.Scant notice of any of these findings have been seen in media reports. All of which goes to say that the apocalyptic data usually reported by the media is anti-empirical as it is not backed up by actual observation.
Climate change has been found to be the result of hugely complex phenomena such as oceanic tides, solar radiation, volcanic activity, tectonic plate movements, magnetic field variations, winds, and ocean current fluctuations that are far beyond the scope of existing computer models to accurately simulate. It is no wonder then that computer modeling predictions fail to line up with observable data and for any government to rely on them as a guide in reordering a nation’s economic priorities is sheer folly and does a serious disservice to its citizenry.
The United Nations Paris Climate Accord, as a case in point, would have required the United States to reduce its greenhouse emissions by the year 2025 to between 26 and 28 percent below its 2005 levels. Compliance with the dictates of the accord would have cost the nation 2.7 million jobs, by 2025, according to the National Economic Research Associates and caused a sizeable contraction in GDP. Our arch-enemy Communist China, the world’s biggest polluter, was given a pass in the Paris Accord and by the terms of the agreement was allowed to continue increasing its carbon emissions until 2030. Still, according to an article published in the Global Policy Journal on November 2015, Danish Statistician, Dr. Bjorn Lomborg wrote, “Even if all nations keep their promises under the agreement, temperatures will be cut by just one-half of one degree Celsius by 2100.” In the end, the Paris Climate Accord amounted to a huge redistribution of wealth at the expense of the United States. Seeing the writing on the wall, the United States wisely withdrew from the accord in 2019.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Climate change proponents are undeterred by the facts. As Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park, once said, “Increasingly, it seems facts aren’t necessary because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief.” In other words, belief trumps facts.
Generally, it is not possible to disprove an ideological construct simply with facts. More to the point, no amount of evidence can ever be brought to bear to counter the theology of those who believe in the urgent crisis that is posed by climate change. Environmental historian, William Cronon, calls environmentalism a new religion because it offers “a complex series of moral imperatives for ethical action and judges human conduct accordingly.”
A counter narrative to deal with the potentially destructive economic and political consequences of an unbridled and imperialist climate change agenda must therefore go beyond a reliance on scientific arguments alone. Deep-seated doctrinaire beliefs cannot be overcome through logic and reason. A more effective counter narrative must have citizens demand of their government officials that the potentially coercive practices of supranational organizations like the United Nation’s IPCC will not be tolerated.
If we cherish the freedoms we have come to enjoy as citizens of an independent sovereign state we have little choice but to forcefully resist institutional intimidation whether foreign or domestic. When it comes to climate science, free-thinking citizens must remain skeptical and engage in greater self-study and research. Citizens must also take to the public square and hold policymakers accountable if they seek to embark on hastily thought out harsh economic policies.
Keep in mind that the Left in the United States is proposing a net-zero emissions standard by the year 2050 which would cost the nation on the order of $5 trillion per year plus the livelihoods of approximately five million Americans who work in the traditional energy sector. In the end, citizens must demand more science and less propaganda.