This past Earth Day I wrote an article on Global Warming, and now that the National Assessment Report on Climate Change was released on Tuesday, May 6th, I thought I’d write a follow-up.
The 840 page report is fairly predictable: fear-mongering mixed with science and politics.
Okay, that’s my first impression, but is there more to it than that? Well, the first thing I want to know is, “What do these global warming alarmists want?” What’s their agenda, what’s the problem, what do they get out of it, and what do they want to accomplish?
(photo credit: CNaene)
In their “Letter to the American People”, the report makes a number of claims worth examining. They claim that climate change has moved from an issue for the distant future into the present; it concludes that the evidence for a changing climate has strengthened considerably since their last report. Impacts of human-caused climate change have been observed, and people are noticing changes in weather. They say it’s a fact that the world is warming, precipitation patterns are changing, sea levels are rising, and extreme weather events are increasing and impacting our economy. The report intends to show what is actually happening and what it means for people’s lives and future.
Well, if we believe everything this report says, then we’d better get the ball rolling, otherwise we’re doomed. At least that’s what they’d like us to think. But is it possible that there’s nothing to be alarmed about? Shouldn’t we proceed with caution rather than make some rash decisions based on fear? Or are the repercussions so severe that we must act immediately- even if the claims are wrong?
Let’s take a look at two of their goals: mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation refers to actions designed to reduce greenhouse gases caused by humans. Such actions include policies and technologies meant to encourage the efficient production and use of energy, and an increased use of non-carbon energy sources. Adaptation is intended to help society cope with or avoid the harmful effects of climate change, and to take advantage of beneficial changes.
The report goes on to explain that they wish to “reduce future climate change by reducing emissions of heat-trapping gases and particles, or increasing removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.” Removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere? At least they admit this happens naturally, but they qualify their admission by explaining that it’s only removed at a rate of about half the current rate of emissions from humans. Of course they conveniently ignore the fact that greenhouse gases block up to 95 percent of harmful solar rays, which implies that removing it would allow an increase in harmful solar rays. Catch 22.
The also report acknowledges that it doesn’t evaluate mitigation technologies or policies (such as carbon taxes or cap-and-trade), or undertake an analysis of the effectiveness of various approaches. Very convenient. Such policies and actions will have a direct impact on all humans, so perhaps it would be wise to have an in-depth understanding of those technologies and policies that these people wish to impose on the rest of the world before imposing them.
One of the key messages in the report is that “global mitigation actions would need to limit global carbon dioxide emissions to a peak of around 44 billion tons per year within the next 25 years and decline thereafter.” These people are well aware that such a goal- in reality- is nearly impossible to achieve… not simply because it’s not feasible, but because we can’t control the rest of the world. China, for example, is one of the leaders in producing greenhouse gases, and other developing nations aren’t reducing their consumption of coal and other carbon products either.
Global warming alarmists would like to convince us that they’re only trying to help. They claim to have our best interest in mind and want to save the planet and mankind from impending doom and extinction. But I take a more cynical approach. It’s tempting to believe the best in people, and consider that they have good intentions. But one thing I know for sure is that humans aren’t perfect, and just because someone is in a trusted profession (such as a scientist), or someone seems sincere (like a politician), we need to exercise a healthy dose of caution.
At this point in the game we know a considerable amount of information about the science and politics behind global warming; we’re well aware of fraudulent studies (Climategate), outdated and unreliable computer models, failed predictions, faked photographs (Ursa Bogus), censorship, selfish motives, corruption and the opportunity for funding and wealth. Yet we’re supposed to look past all that just in case they’re right. In fact they tell us that we shouldn’t question them. And I think that makes their claims all the more suspect.
Could it be that the real agenda behind the report is to scare enough people so that they won’t resist government policies that will negatively impact us, the economy and our freedoms. The report implies that government policies will protect us from extreme weather conditions, yet it’s impossible for anyone to accurately predict the weather, let alone control it. The report indicates that we’d be more vulnerable to heat stress, but it ignores the fact that people would adapt to such weather conditions. Cities like Phoenix and Tampa, for example, have almost no heat-related deaths, so it’s unreasonable to live in fear over such projections that are probably wrong.
Even if the government gets its way and implements every policy it wants, there will always be climate change. None of the fearful predictions ever need to come to fruition for the government to impose its will upon us, for better or worse. They don’t have to prove that climate change is primarily caused by man (it’s enough to tell us that it is), that warming is detrimental to life on earth (it’s beneficial), or that their policies will prevent major catastrophes (it won’t); all they have to do is demand compliance and take advantage of human nature: permeate the culture with the language and propaganda until the culture stops resisting and jumps on board. Then in a few years they can celebrate the success of those programs, and if the weather is mild they’ll pat themselves on the back for preventing natural disasters and saving human lives. But if the weather is severe they’ll lament that they didn’t implement their policies sooner, while explaining that it will take a long time before we see any positive results due to the horrific damage we’ve done, and that it might already be too late.
So who are the winners and losers in this? If alarmist policies are imposed, then politicians and Washington D.C. stand to benefit more than anyone, while the poor and needy will be harmed most. The downtrodden won’t be able to afford the increased costs. Thus politicians will call for an ever increasing demand for wealth redistribution and income equality.
But what if we successfully block the government from making any rash and unnecessary policy changes? I’d expect life to continue as usual, and that there won’t be any major catastrophes unlike any we’ve experienced in the past. The global warming alarmists won’t relent, however, and they’ll continue to fudge the data in order to get their way.
There’s no solid evidence that any of the desired policies would make a difference in affecting the climate, or that government policies will be able to protect us from ourselves. Such policies would hypothetically reduce global temperatures by about two-tenths of a degree by the year 2100. Why, then, should we harm ourselves economically for some hypothetical scenario that shouldn’t be a concern? Besides, it would be impossible to determine whether or not a government policy contributed to climate change one way or another. But at least the alarmists would feel good about themselves.
Now that’s not to say that we shouldn’t seek alternatives that cause less pollution or limit health risks, but that’s not what this is about. If the argument were really about doing the most good for humanity, we could make tremendous progress. But the global warming movement is about government expansion and control, and this report paves the way for that.
The report is contradictory in several respects and ignores other relevant data. The Midwest drought of 2012 is blamed on global warming, but another government report states that “Neither ocean states nor human-induced climate change, factors that can provide long-lead predictability, appeared to play significant roles in causing severe rainfall deficits over the major corn producing regions of central Great Plains.” It also claims that climate change will intensify air pollution and increase tropical storms and tornados, but the data indicates that air quality in America has improved steadily since 1970, that there has been no increase in extreme storms, and that tornado losses have decreased. We’ve also learned that the South Pole isn’t melting, and that the coverage of Antarctic sea ice has set a record for April at 3.5 million square miles.
We should be exited that the data indicates just the opposite of doom-and-gloom, but the alarmists will have none of that. They’re calling for drastic action because efforts to lower greenhouse gases in the U.S have not succeeded in reducing the levels to pre-industrial levels. But in order to achieve such goals it would require major policies, advances in technology, a substantial reduction in emissions, huge investments, and ambitious mitigation without delay.
Again, where’s the caution? There’s no consideration for the economic impacts this would cause. Forcefully implementing these measures may give the alarmists what they want, but it won’t give us anything in return for the price we’ll pay. It would be impossible to prove the effectiveness of these policies, and even advocates understand that such policies would be negligible at best.
It doesn’t make sense to take drastic action when hasn’t even been any global warming for nearly 18 years. The report recognizes this, but only briefly mentions it as a short-term “pause.”
Another thing I find interesting is that scientists have been lamenting for years that it’s already too late to stop global warming. A study by The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences back in January of 2009 told us that the damage is essentially irreversible; they say we may be able to lessen the consequences, but we’ll never be able to stop it. But now they’re telling us we’ve got to do something before it’s too late… again.
Fortunately I believe that God is in control, and that the earth isn’t going to be destroyed until the appointed time. Therefore I don’t have to live my life in fear, and that’s a great feeling to have.