March 23, 2019
SATURDAY is usually the time when I introduce to readers the latest harvest from my monitoring of the climate change debate.
This March has been rich in developments that extend the range of discussion. The biggest development plainly is the confrontation between two major proposals:
1. Donald Trump’s plan to appoint a panel to find out if man-made climate change is actually causing an imminent, irreversible, insurmountable, inescapable crisis that threatens not only the entire human species, but planet Earth.
2. The proposed Green New Deal advanced by US Democrats to combat climate change and radically transform the US economy and society.
“Green New Deal vs Panel on Climate Change” sounds like a marquee struggle comparable to the duel between Batman and Superman in the superhero movies. It sounds like a formula to grab the attention of ordinary people in “the West and the rest.”
Personally, I find this battle of ideas enlightening.
US panel on climate science
In Washington, Donald Trump once again has demonstrated his enormous influence in channeling and widening the scope and focus of the climate change debate.
Upon accession to office, he got the attention of the world when he announced that he would pull the US out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
Now, he has launched another major initiative that rocks. If implemented, it could forge a breakthrough in the debate between climate alarmism and climate realism.
The Washington Post ran a story on February 20, centered on leaked National Security Council planning documents regarding an executive order to establish a committee “to advise the President on scientific understanding of today’s climate, how the climate might change in the future under natural and human influences, and how a changing climate could affect the security of the United States.”
Trump has asked Dr. William Happer, a distinguished and well-known professor of Physics at Princeton, to head the presidential committee on climate science.
In an effort to prevent the formation of this committee, a vicious defamation campaign has been launched against Dr. Happer. He has been accused of lacking expertise in the subject matter and of being in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry.
Green New Deal
In comparison, the Democrats’ proposal is awesome.
The Green New Deal calls for a reduction of net CO2 emissions down to zero within a decade. So-called “renewables,” which currently provide 17 percent of US electricity, would have to be scaled up to provide 100 percent. And that doesn’t even address the majority of US energy use, which is not electricity. Transportation by air, land and sea is overwhelmingly powered by hydrocarbons. What would it take to transition to 100 percent electric surface transportation? And would this even be technically possible for air and water transportation?
This absurd goal is belied by the world’s rapidly increasing use of fossil fuel energy to eliminate poverty and provide high living standards. China’s CO2 emissions tripled from 2000 to 2012. During that period, poverty in China decreased from 40.5 percent in 1999 to 6.5 percent in 2012, according to the World Bank. Even under the Paris Agreement, Chinese CO2 emissions are expected to double by 2030, while those from India are expected to triple.
Patrick Moore, an early and influential member of Greenpeace, has quit the organization and opposes the Green agenda.
Moore said: “I suppose my main objection is the effective elimination of 80 percent of the world’s energy would likely eliminate 80 percent of the world’s people in the end. I mean, just growing food, for example — how would we grow food for the world’s people without tractors and trucks, and all of the other machinery that is required to deliver food, especially to the inner cities of large centers like Moscow, Shanghai and New York City?… So, that is just a little bit of why I think it’s a ridiculous proposal.”
Climate science is not settled
Dr. Roy W. Spencer, principal research scientist in the Earth System Science Center of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, has perhaps written the most cogent commentary on the need for a science review with his opinion piece in the Washington Times on March 13, 2019 titled “The science of climate change is anything but settled.”
I reproduce the piece here in full. He wrote:
“On March 5, 58 senior military and national security leaders sent a letter to President Trump denouncing his plan to form a National Security Council panel to take a critical look at the science underpinning climate change claims. Their objections to such a Red Team effort were basically that the ‘science is settled.’
“But if the science is settled, what are they afraid of? Wouldn’t a review of the science come to the same conclusion as the supposed consensus of climate scientists?
“The letter claimed, ‘Climate change is real, it is happening now, it is driven by humans, and it is accelerating.’
“While climate change is indeed real, it is not at all obvious how much humans have to do with it. Even the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) admits this, saying only that over half of warming since the 1950s is believed to be human-caused. So, ‘driven by humans’ is an exaggeration, even by the IPCC’s rather alarmist standards.
“The additional claim that climate change is ‘accelerating’ can also be challenged. In recent decades, warming actually decelerated, and there is a growing gap between climate model forecasts and measured global temperature.
“In their letter, the Gang of 58 used Hurricane Florence from last year as a supposed example of human-caused climate change. Seriously? Until 2017, The US went a record-setting 11-plus years without a major hurricane strike (Cat 3 or greater), and Hurricane Florence was normal and expected from a climatological point of view, making landfall as a Category 1 storm.
“The letter implies Mr. Trump has political rather than scientific motives. But science does not determine policy, it merely informs the policymakers. The policymakers need an unbiased review of the science. It doesn’t matter if the vast majority of scientists support global warming alarmism. Their careers now depend upon it, and they try their hardest to prevent minority views from appearing in peer-reviewed journals…
“In 1931, after being informed a book had been published titled 100 Authors against Einstein, Albert Einstein responded, ‘Why 100 authors? If I were wrong, then one would have been enough!’ As Michael Crichton once said, ‘There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.’
“It’s time for the science of climate change to be independently reviewed by a body whose members do not depend upon climate alarmism to sustain their careers.”
Science is not fashion
With climate catastrophe hoisted over our heads by the United Nations, I will not watch this battle of proposals as a mere spectator.
I am weary of the claims of climate alarmists that the science of climate change is settled, and that 97 percent of scientists have established a consensus behind climate change.
I want to know why up to now, there has been no meaningful survey of all scientists with relevant knowledge in the field of climate science.
The question is not whether but to what extent human-caused changes in the atmosphere drive climate variations.
How can any such changes be determined? An individual like yours truly cannot possibly notice that the climate is changing through personal experience, which is necessarily limited in location and time. And it is absolutely ludicrous to claim that anyone could know, through his personal experience of weather, the cause of any such changes.
A true, adversarial review of supposedly “obvious” climate truths is imperative.
Absent this happening, I will hold on to my skepticism. I feel more comfortable with a guy like Albert Einstein on my side.
Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net