Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
What are the facts about climate change? Well, that depends on whom you ask. Meteorologists are not in total agreement about next week’s weather, much less the 50-year forecast. Similarly, scientists were not in universal agreement on how to respond to the COVID pandemic. Remember how Drs. Anthony Fauci and Frances Collins vehemently disputed the Great Barrington Declaration?
Since scientists don’t agree, one admittedly simplistic option would be to consider your own personal common sense observations about the climate. In my personal 60-year experience, the southwest U.S. does seem warmer and drier than in my youth.
But has global warming made a change in the way you live your life? Maybe you run the air conditioner more in the summer. But has it changed your life? Does a warming planet feel like an existential threat to life on earth? What have we been told?
In 1989, the Associated Press reported that “A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.”
In January 2019, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said, “the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.”
In a 2019 video, the science guy, engineer Bill Nye, takes a blow torch to ignite a globe and said, “…the planet is on f***ing fire.”
When addressing the UN in September 2019, 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg said, “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
New research reveals that 71% of children aged 7-12 are afraid of climate change. I asked my 10-year-old grandson if his fifth-grade teacher talks about climate change. He responded, “Yes, all the time.” Fortunately, he is not guided by hysteria. Though rising temperatures are a valid concern, we can’t let the climate alarmists control the debate, nor can we let them dictate energy policy.
I’m not convinced that a two-degree temperature increase over the past 125 years is a direct cause of extreme weather. I don’t accept the claim that the Texas freeze of 2021, the December 2022 arctic blast that covered much of the Central and Eastern US, bringing the coldest Christmas Eve on record, and the January storms in California were caused by global warming.
Why did climate alarmists change their talking points from global warming to climate change?
According to the climate industrial complex, climate change encompasses global warming, but refers to the broader range of changes, including rising sea levels; shrinking mountain glaciers; and shifts in flower/plant blooming times. From their perch upon the moral high ground, they claim that every extreme weather event is the result of higher CO2 levels. It gives them license to garner the attention, money, and power they crave. But do higher CO2 levels and a warming planet result in more hurricanes, floods, and forest fires?
According to Steve Koonin, former Undersecretary for Science in the Obama Administration, and author of Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters, hurricane activity is no different than it was a century ago. He further states that floods have not increased across the globe over more than 70 years.
But aren’t forest fires now more prevalent and damaging? You’d think so, but have you heard about the Great Fire of 1910, otherwise known as the Big Burn? That year fire conditions became severe due to an extremely dry winter and spring in the Northwest US. A series of fires broke out in Idaho, Montana, and Washington due to careless campers, loggers, and homesteaders, cinders from coal-fired locomotives, and dry lightning. Hurricane-force winds exacerbated the inferno, and by August 21, more than 3 million acres of private and federal land and 7.5 billion board feet of timber had been destroyed. The fire claimed 86 lives, mostly firefighters. Rain and snow began falling on August 23, ending the threat.
If the earth is warming, we should be able to deal with that in a rational way without hysterical alarmism, without unduly frightening our school children, without threatening our ability to heat and cool our homes, and without spending vast sums of money on unproven political solutions.
Are wind and solar farms the answer considering their intermittent ability to produce electricity? In addition, they have an enormous environmental footprint and wreak havoc on birds, bats, insects, and land and sea animals. Not insignificantly, the minerals needed to build wind turbines and solar panels are mined in China, Africa, and South America, where minimal environmental protections exist.
Do you believe that massive government grants and income tax credits to finance plants for building electric cars and charging stations will save the planet? Do you think giving the affluent a $7,500 tax credit for buying expensive electric cars is a common sense use of taxpayer money when according to the US Energy Administration, fossil fuels are by far the largest source of energy for electricity generation?
To solve our energy and environmental problems, we don’t need climate hysteria. We need better technological solutions, better political solutions, and common sense.Published in