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Climate Change: Unwarranted Hysteria or Justified Concern?

“Watch out for doomsday deceivers…they will deceive a lot of people…This is routine history; this is no sign of the end.”  (Jesus – The Message Translation)

FOUNDING FATHERS’ PERSPECTIVE

“He who knows best, knows how little he knows.” (Thomas Jefferson)

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” (John Adams)

FACTS

“… the long-term prediction of future exact climate states is not possible.”
(The United Nations Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),. “Climate change 2001: the scientific basis”)


◊ In 1896, Swedish scientist Svante Arthenius was the first person to theorize that human activity could warm the earth. He believed that carbon dioxide created by fossil fuel combustion and trapped by earth’s atmosphere, could create a greenhouse effect that would result in global warming.

In the past 200 years, the earth’s population has increased 800%, carbon dioxide levels are higher than they’ve ever been, and the average temperature on earth has increased 1.53 degrees.

Lenntech. Ennzler, S.M. “History of the greenhouse effect and global warming”
National Center for Atmospheric Research 2013. “How much has global temperature risen since 1880?”


◊ Since the last Ice Age ended 10,000 years ago, there have been extensive periods both cooler and warmer than today’s climate. These temperature fluctuations were not driven in any way by human activity.

Ice-core data that track thousands of years of climate change, show that temperatures change centuries BEFORE concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide change.

Lamb, H.H., (book). “Climate, History, and the Modern World” 1982
Environmental Policy Project, 2008. Singer, Fred, et al “Nature, not human activity, rules the climate” pg. 2


◊ Satellite data since 1979 shows that 1998 was the hottest year during that period, followed by 2010 and then 2015. These facts contradict the “hockey stick theory” that global temperatures have been on a steady ascent since the early 1900’s.

The relatively stable world temperature for the past 20 years, frequently known as “The Pause”, is causing the term “Climate Change” to be substituted for “Global Warming” because there has been no significant “warming” for about two decades.

Global Warming, December 2015. Spencer, Roy, “University of Alabama, Huntsville Satellite “Global warming update December 2015”
McKitrick, Ross, 4/4/05 “What is the ‘Hockey Stick’ debate about?”
Climate Depot, 11/4/15. Morano, Marc “No global warming at all for 18 years, 9 months: a new record” 


◊ Global sea levels have constantly risen and fallen in recent geologic history. During the last interglacial period of 125,000 years ago, ocean levels were 12-18 feet higher than they presently are. At the peak of the last ice age, 20,000 years ago, ocean levels were 360 feet lower than they are today.

The current sea level has risen about 6 inches in the last century, and is currently rising at a rate of about 1” every 9 years.

NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies 2007 “Sea-level rise, after the ice melted and today”
National Geographic, “Sea level rise: can we do anything about it?”


◊ A frequently quoted 2013 study by Australian scientist John Cook, stated that after reviewing 12,000 studies on climate change, 97% of climate scientists believe that global warming is primarily anthropogenic, or human-caused.

When this study was recreated by another climate scientist, it was found that only 33% of the scientists’ papers agreed – even partially – with Cook’s premise. A number of the scientists whose research papers were used by Cook to support his premise, publicly disavowed his misinterpretation of their findings.

Notwithstanding these facts, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have both quoted and embellished Cook’s figures.

National Review, 10/8/15. Tuttle, Ian. “The 97% solution”
Forbes, 1/6/15. Epstein, Alex. “97% of climate scientists agree is 100% wrong”


◊ A hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica was first noticed in 1984. People were fearful it might cause widespread cancer or blindness, and in 1987, a world meeting (The Montreal Protocol) was held to decide how to deal with this problem. It was decided that chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) in spray bottles were causing the ozone hole. 197 countries signed an agreement to drastically cut back on the manufacture and use of CFC’s.

In the 30 years since Montreal that the ozone hole has been studied, the hole’s size has greatly decreased and constantly fluctuates. Evidence has proven that changes in the hole are not driven by CFCs but by year-to-year weather changes in the stratosphere. No link has been proven between cancer or blindness and the hole in the ozone.

A number of similar world meetings have been held since Montreal, including the Kyoto Protocol (1997) and the Paris Agreement (2016). The premise of all these meetings was that man-made activity is causing dangerous climate change, and that all countries need to drastically reduce their greenhouse emissions.

NASA report, September 17, 2012. “Discovering the ozone hole: Q&A with Pawan Bhartia


◊ NASA’s satellite has charted both sea and land ice data for both polar ice caps since 1979. Accounting for normal historical fluctuations, the ice caps have not receded at all since satellites began capturing that data. Presently, the Arctic ice cap is slightly smaller than average, while the size of the Antarctic ice cap is at an all time high, and growing. Atmospheric winds are thought to be the primary factor in the ongoing fluctuations of both ice caps.

Of the 19 identified polar bear populations in the Arctic, 3 are in decline, and 16 are either increasing, stable, or can’t be evaluated due to lack of data.

“No one knows how many polar bears there were in the 1960’s…Even now, half of our estimates for polar bear populations are educated guesses.” (Dr. Steven Amstrup, Chief Scientist, Polar Bears International)

Polar Bears International “Are polar bear populations increasing: in fact, booming?”
NASA satellite global sea ice area: 1979 – 2016
NASA, 10/7/14. “Antarctic sea ice reaches new record maximum”
World Wildlife Fund Global “Polar bear status, population, and distribution”


◊ “Cap-and-trade” laws refer to governmental legislation that seeks to reduce pollution emissions by providing businesses with economic incentives for reducing those emissions. A maximum amount (“cap”) of allowable pollution emissions is established for each business activity that creates pollution. This amount is steadily decreased. Companies who pollute more or less than their allowable amount can buy or sell (“trade”) emission credits with other businesses, buying more credits so they can continue operating their businesses, or selling the credits they don’t use. The goal of cap-and-trade is to make traditional energy sources more expensive and force businesses to use alternative energy.

Cap-and-Trade laws have been tried among 28 countries in the European Union since 2005. A study has shown that in its first six years of operation, cap-and-trade laws cost the EU countries a total of $287 billion, and had an almost zero impact on overall emissions. The study stated that emissions could have been reduced by 40% if that same money had been used to target specific needs, such as upgrading “dirty” power plants. Extremely large profits were made by government agencies overseeing the Cap-and-Trade implementation, and also by private companies hired to help EU companies lower their emissions.

The Global Warming Policy Forum, 11/22/11.  Peiser, Benny “Europe’s $287 billion carbon waste: UBS report


◊ California launched a large Cap-and-Trade program in 2012. It has resulted in a slight drop in carbon emissions, but a much larger drop in the income the State expected to earn by selling emission credits. Consequently, the state is lacking the money it was depending on to subsidize consumers’ electric bills because the cap-and-trade regulations have increased the price of electricity. Businesses that are forced to buy emission credits to comply with new standards fear that the cost could ultimately lead to bankruptcy. California is trying to extend the program for at least another 15 years because it believes that energy production is the leading cause of climate change.

Sacramento Bee, 8/23/16. Kasler, Dale. “California’s cap-and-trade carbon program sputters again”


SUMMARY

In the fierce debate about climate change, three statements find 100% agreement among ALL parties.

  1. The earth’s climate is currently changing.
  2. The earth’s climate has never STOPPED changing.
  3. As the earth’s climate continues to change, there is a need to mutually protect both the earth’s environment AND its inhabitants.

The challenge of trying to accomplish item 3 is hindered by several groups:

  • The politicians who see the climate change debate as an opportunity to gain power and influence
  • The environmental groups who see the debate as a chance to make large profits from government funding and advance their often fanatical agendas
  • The corporations who are willing to needlessly destroy the environment to increase profits
  • The media who promote fear, anger, and distrust, rather than facts and solutions, when reporting on environmental issues.

“It is one thing to impose drastic measures and harsh economic penalties when an environmental problem is clear-cut and severe. It is foolish to do so when the problem is largely hypothetical and not substantiated by observations.”   Fred Singer: First Director of the National Weather Satellite Service, Founder of the Science and Environmental Policy Project, and Professor emeritus in environmental science from the University of Virginia

The hysterical claims about anthropogenic climate change – and the resulting irrational restrictions on energy production that have been called for – are not justified by scientific data. President Obama has lead this economically destructive panic by over-incentivizing spurious alternative energy ideas that have accomplished almost nothing in reducing carbon emissions.


POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

1) Eliminate the adversarial relationship regarding climate change that exists between government, environmental groups, media, and industry, by highlighting how much they ALL have to gain by having a “trust but verify” inter-relationship that bases its actions on facts.

2) Replace the Environmental Protection Agency with a national board of representatives from each sector, that takes ALL perspectives into consideration when considering environmental regulations.

3) Reallocate the billions of federal dollars currently going solely to unproven emission-reducing experimentation, and target the majority of it to upgrade the efficiency of existing coal and oil-producing activities.

Brief #23A – Jan. 10, 2017

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