The mainstream media (MSM) is almost unanimous about anthropogenic (man-made) global warming/climate change/deregulation as shown by world temperatures increasing between 0,4 C and 1,4 C in the last 200 years. The precise figures vary according to different studies, but these rising temperatures are said to be the result of extra man-made CO2 in the atmosphere from more use of fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution. The MSM are so convinced about this that they usually refuse any debate on the question and climate ‘denial’ laws are now proposed for those doubting this theory. Thousands of US scientists online precisely denying would therefore all be guilty as would many questioned in recent opinion polls as would many authors and bloggers including the writer of this article.
(‘Denial’ is a grotesque description, traditionally reserved to those denying the genocide of millions of Jews in the 1930/40s. ‘Global warming scepticism’ is far more appropriate since nobody doubts that the climate is changing as it always has.)
Since CO2 only constitutes 0,04% of all atmospheric gases, the immediate question is how could this small figure changes climate? The question becomes even more difficult to answer since about 96% of this 0,04% occurs in the oceans and from other periodic natural events such as volcanic eruptions. The man-made part of CO2 is only a very small part of a very small figure, but has increased from about 3% to around 4% of all CO2 in the last 200 years because of increasing population growth, transport, heating and industrial production. However, this supposedly dramatic increase of man-made CO2 only represents an increase from 0,0012% of all atmospheric gases (3% of 0,04%) to around 0,0016% (4% of 0,04%.) These figures are undisputed, but rarely published and perhaps some of the climate hysteria would disappear if they were more widely known. It would also help the debate if it were remembered that CO2 is not a poison, but is essential for life on earth. By photosynthesis, plants inhale CO2 to grow and exhale oxygen (O2), humans do the contrary and this elementary botany is (or was) taught in schools. Increased CO2 means more plant growth as confirmed by NASA’s recent satellite photography showing substantial increases in world forests and other vegetation in the last 50 years of +18 million km2 or 28 x the size of France. When was increased greening last mentioned by the MSM?
If the CO2 statistics are agreed, major disagreements exist between ‘climate scientists’ working for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC) and other scientists who say that climate cannot possibly be modified because of minuscule extra quantities of man-made CO2. The IPCC accepts that CO2 is indeed a trace gas and statistically insignificant, but by the greenhouse gas effect, it traps heat in the atmosphere that the other gases do not. This is scientifically true, but it still does not prove that it changes the climate since it does not explain various cooler and hotter periods in the past when CO2 levels remained constant or increased or decreased without the corresponding temperature change. The IPCC repeatedly point out that CO2 remained stable for a very long time until human activity caused it to rise, in their view dangerously. However, during the ‘little ice age’ in early 18th century Europe, the climate was much colder than today with fairs and markets taking place on thick winter ice in London and elsewhere. During the medieval warming period 1000 years ago, the climate was much warmer than now, England was a major wine producing country and Greenland was so named for reasons that then seemed obvious. More recently in the 1920-30s, the world was hotter than today when measured in countries with reliable systems at the time, essentially the USA, Australia, France or the UK. As 1930s literature describes, the middle West was a dust bowl and it was so hot that millions fled to California or literally went mad. These climate changes had nothing to do with CO2 from burning fossil fuels, a theory that only became popular in the 1980s. In fact during the 1970s, many politicians and media were convinced of global cooling, something now forgotten or underplayed by the IPCC. Also, research in ice cores shows a 400 000 year gap between CO2 modifications and any temperature consequences with evidence suggesting that increasing temperatures leads to more CO2 and not the contrary. Some climate science today is as credible as suggesting that US junk food is the same as French gastronomy.
Many politicians agree with the IPCC or are afraid to suggest otherwise since those disagreeing are considered by much of the media as completely stupid or dangerous fanatics, rather like media attitudes towards those voting for Brexit or President Trump or questioning Covid policies in other contexts. The repeated claim that “the science is settled since 97% of scientists agree the man-made global warming exists and is dangerous” to quote ex-US President Obama is a fraud. The 97% figure was based on a survey of 11944 abstracts on climate written from 1991 to 2011, but 66,4% of these papers expressed no position about human behaviour and climate. Presumably the scientists considered the hypothesis too stupid or irrelevant to comment about? 32,6% of the 11944 abstracts said there might be some connection so representing 97,1% of the 4014 papers which is hardly conclusive since even climate sceptics could agree that there might be some connection. 0,7% rejected it, but only 0,3 % of all abstracts, (41 papers) agreed that man-made CO2 was most likely cause of global warming. “Lies, damned lies and statistics” as the expression goes.
Science should be based on factual and empirical evidence, in this case about real observed temperatures and extrapolated trends, not from manipulated opinion polls nor from models with subjective hypotheses built into them. If temperatures are measured on land, few countries have had reliable systems for long and there are obvious distortions when, for example, measuring in open countryside 50 years ago and continuing to measure in the same place that is now a built-up city. (In one absurd example, temperatures were measured at the end of an airport runway, previously an open field.) Also, it tends to be forgotten that over 70% of the planet is water so reliable measuring should not be on land anyway. The best method is to measure in the troposphere (just below the atmosphere) using satellite technology. Measured this way, current temperature increases are around 0,12 C every decade which is not an existential threat to human existence!
Indeed, rational scientific debate has been replaced in recent years by collective panic based on various climate models that include subjective and unproven assumptions. If the climate model assumes that CO2 is dangerous and CO2 increases, the model becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Yet many climate models and associated questions have been proved wrong or grossly exaggerated in recent years. 20 years ago ‘experts’ predicted that children would never see snow again. Other wrong predictions include the (negligible) impact of acid rain, the (largely disappeared) hole in the ozone layer or the melting polar ice caps predicted to be ice free by 2008. (The quantity of ice is increasing and is back to 2002 levels in the Arctic and the Antarctic has seen its coldest ever measured 6 month period.) The list of wrong predictions continues: glaciers are indeed declining in Europe, but growing in Chile, Greenland, Canada and New Zealand. Polar bears were to go extinct, but are now thriving. Sea levels are not increasing more than previously, that is very minimally and have not led islands like the Maldives to disappear where 4 new airports are being built! Fantasy predictions that Manhattan would be under water from rising sea level remain exactly that…
The Coral Reef is said to be destroyed by global warming in Australia, but is thriving where it is even warmer in Papua-New Guinea. There are not more hurricanes, floods or other climatic disasters than in the past, actually considerably fewer when measured in terms of number of victims or land acres burned. For example, Australian or Californian forest fires were worse in the 1970s and are partly caused today by laws against forest management (removing dead vegetation) in the name of ecology. The admittedly bad fires in Greece last summer were worse in the 1980s, but don’t let the facts get in the way of the story.
So instead of considering real evidence, the IPCC models about climate are assumed to be infallible. The result are daily doomsday predictions from self-proclaimed experts with little or zero scientific knowledge including politicians, journalists, business and religious leaders, film stars, the future King of England and a Swedish girl age 18 with a long history of mental illness whose mother claims to see invisible CO2. Psychologically, the impact is devastating; some young people suffering suicidal levels of depression having been constantly told that the world is coming to an end and some women refuse to have children because of the ‘carbon footprint’ of their babies. (Presumably human life should destroy itself to save the planet?) Others already with children regret having had them which is not psychologically ideal for the children concerned. Governments promoting the IPCC theories are encouraging irrational and neurotic behaviour like from extinction rebellion groups gluing themselves to the road as if that changes anything. Humans have primeval fear and the good news might be to remember that predictions about the end of the world have happened since the beginning of the world. Those believing that climate is an existential crisis for humanity will be proven wrong, just like with all other previous similar predictions.
Climate sceptics do not doubt that climate has always changed naturally and has done from the beginning of the world 4,6 billion years ago. However, the 1990s ‘hockey stick’ theory suggesting that climate temperatures were stable for thousands of years before suddenly increasing dramatically recently has been exposed as a scientific fraud. (The scientist in question claiming this lost libel claims against those challenging the theory.) Ice ages followed by warming periods has always happened and the idea that human activity in the last century is leading to world climate disaster with only a few years left for human existence is preposterously absurd.
As a response to essentially a non-problem, many Western governments are planning to spend vast £/$/€ billions or trillions to reduce carbon emissions to nearly zero, requiring among other measures, phasing out relatively cheap and certainly efficient fossil fuels and replacing them by much more expensive and unreliable renewable energy claimed to be cleaner, but which is not. Solar energy cannot be produced at night nor wind energy when there is no wind and the storage costs are prohibitive if indeed possible. (Indeed, many European countries have announced that no new wind turbines will be built and in some cases they are being removed. In Texas this winter the turbines froze since it was so cold causing many deaths from a lack of electricity.) Creating biomass so-called ‘clean’ energy by sometimes slicing trees into small pellets is ecologically no better than using fossil fuels. Building solar panels is environmentally scandalous involving the extraction of rare raw materials like lithium, cobalt and nickel without even considering the use of child labour or political prisoners in the process nor the pollution and energy costs of transporting the panels from China to the rich West. Windmills kills millions of birds and are an unsightly blot on many landscapes. Traditional heating of homes by fuels is being banned with energy bills and tax vastly increased because of the extra costs. The net zero policies in the UK and elsewhere will lead to an enormous reduction in living standards for almost everyone. Energy supply is a real issue and 20 x more people die from cold than heat in the world every year including in rich Western countries.
Woke virtue signaling by Western politicians about ‘being green’ makes no difference to man-made CO2 anyway, since, for example, countries like the UK or France are only responsible for about 1% of it. Young people in particular have been taught to believe that the West is responsible for all the world’s problems on this and many other issues, but most man-made CO2 is produced by China, India and other developing countries whereas CO2 produced in the USA and other rich Western countries is declining with new technologies. The truth is that the only way to reduce human related CO2 is for people to stop breathing and die and some suggest that a world population of half of the present levels would be preferable without suggesting how this would be achieved.
The Paris climate agreement was supposed to be enormously important with its attempt to limit temperature rises to +1,5° C in 2050 compared to levels prior to the Industrial Revolution. Almost all countries agreed to it, but developing countries were excluded until 2030 and in the meantime, China and India open new coal power stations every week. Plane travel and shipping were also excluded from because of the economic cost and it was precisely for these reasons plus the cost of carbon reductions both for industry and individuals that led former President Trump to withdraw the USA from the agreement. This decision was reversed immediately by President Biden who like others, makes speeches about existential threats to human existence. Germany gives lessons in ecology to everyone and closed its nuclear energy production to replace it by importing gas from Russia and by reopening lignite mines, the cheapest, dirtiest and least inefficient coal. This is not progress, but regression and dependance on Russian imports in the current context in Europe does not necessarily seem wise. The Glasgow climate summit last November continued with the same ideas, immediately forgotten in the Covid context with world leaders behaving like schoolchildren and falling over themselves to say how concerned they were as the clock ticks away and the existentiel crisis for human survival continues. Meanwhile, in the real world…
The climate debate has been mixed with the question of pollution which everyone agrees should be avoided; of course, smog in cities needs to be reduced and plastics should not be thrown into the sea, but solving these problems does not require civilizational changes. Anyway, the situation is getting better not worse since high technology industrial production is much cleaner than previously. Rivers in Paris and London contain fish again, the air is cleaner and buildings are no longer covered by black soot. In developing economies, the picture is more contrasted with population growth, traffic and inefficient old industry meaning that the dirtiest cities in the world are in China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines; obviously no pollution is desirable, but life expectancy has never been so high and despite a record world population, proportionately fewer people live in absolute poverty or are starving to death than before. Also, since Africa might follow the Asian economic development model in the next 20 years, what is decided by the Western countries is becoming irrelevant.
There is also the question of using world’s resources, but without being complacent, again models have been constantly wrong with new resources discovered and existing ones used more efficiently. (Oil was supposed to run out by the year 2000.) Indeed, using energy efficiently is also not open to debate so everyone agrees that vehicles should run with cleaner engines. However, electric cars are not the answer since the vehicles still have to be built and for the moment cost 50% more, the energy still has to be produced to arrive at the plugs and the batteries represent a major ecological challenge. New building designs can also reduce energy consumption and old buildings renovated to conserve energy, but this also requires a cost-benefit analysis. In France, outside café terraces will no longer be heated in winter as being an unnecessary waste of energy so any analysis is not just financial, but also social. Why not prevent any neon displays? Why not make it illegal to use electricity for anything that the political ecology movement considers as non-essential? Plane travel is now illegal in France if an equivalent train journey exists in under 2 hours 30 minutes. Quite apart from the freedom of choice, the journey might also be replaced by cars or buses and not trains and the justification about how this reduces world CO2 is mathematically insane.
The climate debate represents further evidence of the decline of Western civilisation since a key feature of it since the Enlightenment is the importance of reason. This does not exclude the belief of any superior being or God and indeed precisely an integral part of this civilisation says that man is not an absolute master of everything so cannot do exactly as he pleases, a belief that Dictators always dislike. However, Western philosophy also means that due weight is given to scientific evidence. Even if the IPCC were correct, there is no solution because of the size of the world population and the demand for electricity. If reducing CO2 levels requires billions fewer people, then those in favour should say so and suggest how this is to be achieved other than by mass genocide. Those disbelieving religious doctrine which used to suggest that the earth was the centre of the universe and the sun rotated around it suffered persecution for centuries. The situation is similar for climate sceptics today. They might not face physical persecution, but certainly face social ostracism, loss of career progression and frequently the loss of their job. Climate researchers cannot obtain grants or have their grants removed from both public and private authorities if they show any dissent. School textbooks have been rewritten minimising or even ignoring photosynthesis, but at the same time maximising the dangers of CO2 as a greenhouse gas.
Another feature of Western civilisation is that human life needs protecting since the Judeo-Christian tradition holds that humans were made in God’s spiritual likeness. Most African/Indian villages have no access to electricity so developing decent irrigation schemes is impossible; if preventing them having electricity is desirable, those believing this should say so and admit that millions die earlier than necessary to save the planet. Cheap and reliable energy from fossil fuels, has permitted people to enjoy a standard of living that is absolutely unparalleled in history. In much of the world, fossil fuels keep people warm when it is cold and keep them cool when it is hot. If this is undesirable it should be said openly so that people can die younger and live in far worse conditions than now. Limited global warming has also increased food production, precisely for the increased world population; if this is undesirable, again it should be said so that human lives can be sacrificed. This is morally repugnant, especially when based on hypothetical climate models about catastrophes.
2020 saw short summer heatwaves in parts of Europe leading to the usual claims about the ‘absolute proof’ of global warming. However, any elementary research also shows record cold temperatures in 2020: in Greenland and Réunion in January, Queensland in May, many North American regions during May, June and September including summer snow, Norway and Brazil in July, Tasmania in August, the South of France and the Alps in September. Japan in December 2020 saw record snowfalls.
In 2021 the pattern continued with record cold accompanied by vast snowfalls in Spain in January and in Texas and central and southern USA in February. Much of Europe had its coldest spring since 1956 destroying summer fruit crops and Sydney in June was the coldest since 1899. Coffee, cane sugar and orange crops in Brazil were substantially reduced or destroyed by cold weather. Something little reported is the view of many scientists that fewer sun spots showing reduced solar activity means global cooling is more likely in the near future. This is is due to the Milankovitch cycles, an accepted theory from 1941 explaining that world temperatures are affected by axial tilt, precession and eccentricity. Studies in astrophysics show that the earth is not a perfect circle and tilts when circulating around the sun and wobbles because of the atmospheric pressure from other planets. The result is that the seasons change every few thousand years and the distance from the sun is not constant. These concepts might seem complicated, but are rather more credible than panicking about how much infinitesimally small extra CO2 exists in the atmosphere from humans. Another stupid explanation for unusually cold Northern Hemisphere temperatures in 2021 was said to be the weakening Jet Stream pushed further south because of the descent of the Polar Vortex so not being able to prevent Arctic weather descending over North America and Europe even outside winter. Perhaps, but exactly the same explanation was given for global cooling in the 1970s. Apparently if it gets colder it is due to global warming and if it gets warmer it is as well so the lunatics are running the asylum. The Northern hemisphere winter 2021-22 has not been excessively cold nor unduly warm, although record snow was recorded in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and on various Greek islands. It also snowed in Florida.
Few of these recent weather events are given much attention by the mass media, but are available on any research engine with 10 minutes’ effort. It would be nice to imagine that some politicians had the courage to speak out, talk some common sense and become statesmen and not simply politicians repeating slogans looking for cheap votes. Then again “politicians think of the next election; statesmen think of the next generation.”