Climate Change: The Poetry of Dreams and the Prose of Reality
George Bernard Shaw so aptly wrote, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.”
There couldn’t be a better description of a newly released climate-change report compiled by 13 federal agencies. The report blames human activities and emission of CO2 for the rise in temperature and warns that it will hurt the U.S. economy and lead to thousands of deaths. Apparently, “Apocalypse Now” is threatening a host of calamities, and we should blow trillions of dollars to save the planet. Haven’t we heard this song before?
To make the argument more convincing, the proponents of climate change insist that the majority of the scientific community -- they call it “scientific consensus” -- supports global warming. This is a fallacious argument that the Romans called argumentum ad populum (appeal to the people) or argumentum ad numerum (appeal to the number). Furthermore, the "majority argument" is totally irrelevant because scientific disputes are not settled by majority consent. The majority once believed that the Sun revolves around the Earth; the atom could not be cracked and so on, and has been proven wrong throughout history.
In the mid-1970s, the majority supported global cooling with the same vigor and urgency as they support global warming today. The cover of the April 28, 1975, issue of Newsweek proclaimed “The Coming Ice Age.” In the article “The Cooling World,” the magazine suggested the disasters similar to those predicted in the government report. In the June 24, 1974, issue of Time magazine, the article “Another Ice Age” painted a bleak picture for the future of our planet: “When meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe, they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing (emphasis mine).
There was also the “scientific” theory of “acid rain” propagated during the 1970s and 1980s that was supposed to be destroying the forests and poisoning our lakes and rivers unless we closed down coal-fired power plants. Acid rain was also blamed on CO2. Sounds familiar? Aren’t we happy that President Reagan was wise enough not to take that nonsense seriously?
However, what "the majority" of the climate scientists so authoritatively predicted and the media so loudly blared in the 1970s 1980s never came to pass and proved to be a hoax.
Never mind; if not cooling, there must be warming. As long as there is a climate, there is a change; as long as there is a change, there must be a crisis. Not to let a crisis “go to waste,” the same scientists and publications that have been so demonstrably wrong in the past now advocate global warming.
Since Galileo’s time, ideology has been trying to overtake science and it often has. It may just be human nature to want to acquire wisdom from prophets rather than bother with facts and scientific analysis -- however satisfying -- is a poetry of dreams.
Here is the prose of reality; there is no compelling evidence to suggest that the source of climate change is man-made. There are other persuasive causes such as the Sun’s activity and the Earth’s reflectivity, could affect temperatures on this planet.
As the argument goes, if the United States would replace internal combustion engines with batteries and shut down oil refineries and coal-fired power plants, we would save the planet. There is a reason they keep emphasizing the United States. Other countries, especially the major polluters such as Russia, China, and Eastern Europe, have no intention of following this destructive path. Every single week of the year, China brings into service a new, large coal-fired plant that has practically no environmental controls and subsequently contributes to 30 percent of the air pollution in Los Angeles. By taking this position, the supporters of global warming have demonstrated that they selectively collect, analyze, and utilize scientific data to support their ideological position. Otherwise, they might have found that the theory of global warming is full of holes.
It has been well documented that the collapse of the Old Kingdom in Egypt and the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia around 2200 B.C. was brought about by a catastrophic rise in temperatures and subsequent droughts. At the same time, the European continent was being subjected to a prolonged ice age. The supporters of Global Warming might also be surprised to learn that the Romans grew grapes in northern England. Hence, temperatures on this planet were a lot higher then. Given the level of erudition of the advocates of global warming and some of our elected officials, we should wonder whether they are aware that neither the Bronze Age civilizations nor the Romans had cars, oil refineries, or coal-fired power plants.
Recent fires in Southern California demonstrated that Mother Nature can produce in several days more greenhouse gases than all the cars in the region in a whole year. California’s yearly fires have been known since the Spanish conquistadors first visited it in 1542. If we add volcanoes spitting into the air millions of tons of CO2 every year for millions of years, then according to the proponents’ theory, we should already be living on small islands surrounded by an ocean of melted Arctic ice.
Moreover, the supporters might be amazed to learn that only 0.04 percent of Earth’s atmosphere is carbon dioxide, which is part of the air we breathe. Plants make themselves from it and, as every sixth-grader in China or Russia knows, by way of photosynthesis they produce oxygen. Therefore, if not for CO2 there would not be O2 and subsequently no life on Earth.
There is no solid evidence CO2 is having an impact on the Earth’s temperature one way or the other and no amount of scientific falsehood can make it so.
The inconvenient truth is that the climate change movement has nothing to do with climate and everything with making money, ideology, and degrading America’s industrial capabilities.
Climate change, whether warming or cooling, justifies the unlimited expenditure, strangles oil and gas production and coal mining, and places power generation under tight government control. It also makes charlatans like Al Gore very rich through exchanges of greenhouse gas emissions. Like medieval priests, modern swindlers sell indulgences that forgive carbon sins making money literally out of thin air, by underwriting the sale of “carbon credits” that industries, utilities, and other entities must purchase for the “right” to operate facilities that produce industrial emissions.
If the climate change alarmists were really concerned about CO2 emissions they would be advocating planting more trees. President Trump, just as Ronald Reagan, should not take the current hysteria seriously.
Alexander G. Markovsky is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, a conservative think hosted at King’s College, New York City, which examines national security, energy, risk-analysis and other public policy issues, He is the author of Anatomy of a Bolshevik and Liberal Bolshevism: America Did Not Defeat Communism, She Adopted It. Mr. Markovsky is the owner and CEO of Litwin Management Services, LLC.