Today’s climate change conversation has an Orwellian doublethink quality to it.
Global cooling is global warming. Weather isn’t climate, except when it is. Unquestioning allegiance to climate orthodoxy is science. Debate is denial. Three decades haven’t global warming predictions haven’t come true, but hurry up because we only have 12 years left to act.
Fortunately, President Trump refuses to fall into the trap. Last October, he uttered those rarely heard words “I don’t know” to the New York Times when asked about man-made global warming. Whether you agree or not, we can be thankful for the President’s honesty and caution, considering that climate alarmists’ solution to decarbonize our economy has an incredibility high cost to humanity.
Here’s a dirty secret. Climate change predictions, which are used to make policy, are based on computer models and climate modeling is more politics than science. Robert Caprara who built large-scale environmental models for the EPA exposed the practice in 2014:
I realized that my work for the EPA wasn't that of a scientist, at least in the popular imagination of what a scientist does. It was more like that of a lawyer. My job, as a modeler, was to build the best case for my client's position. The opposition will build its best case for the counter argument and ultimately the truth should prevail.
If opponents don't like what I did with the coefficients, then they should challenge them. And during my decade as an environmental consultant, I was often hired to do just that to someone else's model. But there is no denying that anyone who makes a living building computer models likely does so for the cause of advocacy, not the search for truth.
All of this is just a prelude to two energy stories published this week, which has me grateful for cooler, more pragmatic heads in the White House.
Under a headline designed to shame any who dare to be independent climate thinkers – “White House Climate Panel to Include a Climate Denialist” — New York Times reporter Coral Davenport wrote:
According to a White House memo dated Feb. 14, Mr. Trump’s staff members have drafted an executive order to create a 12-member committee, which will include a White House adviser, William Happer, whose views are sharply at odds with the established scientific consensus that carbon dioxide pollution is dangerous for the planet.
The memo casts doubt on multiple scientific and defense reports concluding that climate change poses a significant threat to national security, saying they “have not undergone a rigorous independent and adversarial peer review to examine the certainties and uncertainties of climate science, as well as implications for national security.”
Ms. Davenport then revealed the Princeton physicist and member of the National Security Council Dr. Happer’s real crime. In the past he has said, “carbon dioxide is beneficial to humanity.”
Organizations like the CO2 Coalition say Happer is correct:
More carbon dioxide levels will help everyone, including future generations of our families. CO2 is the essential food for land-based plants. The Earth’s biosphere has experienced a relative CO2 famine for millions of years, and the recent increase in CO2 levels has had a measurable, positive effect on plant life. Future CO2 increases will boost farm productivity, improve drought resistance, bolster food security and help create a greener, lusher planet.
Be glad that when it comes to climate change this administration is more pragmatic rather than dogmatic.
On a side note, the Times needs to get with the times. In 2015, the AP stylebook suggested dropping the term denier, which is meant to equate those who question the mainstream media’s narrative on climate change with Holocaust deniers. Instead the Associated Press prefers, “climate change doubter or someone who rejects mainstream science.”
Another interesting story this week gives us an additional reason to be thankful for the President’s pragmatism. The Wall Street Journal reports,
The White House said Thursday that it would no longer negotiate with California air pollution regulators on reshaping the rules originally set by the Obama administration. It will forge ahead on its own with a plan to ease fuel-efficiency mandates for auto makers, challenging California’s legal authority to set its own, more stringent rules.
This will force a reality check on both California and my home state of Colorado. Following a couple of gubernatorial executive orders from Governors Hickenlooper and Polis, Colorado state government is about to socialize our auto market and tether Coloradans to California’s emission standards and electric vehicle mandates, which will drive up the cost of cars and everything else in the Centennial state.
When neither state achieves its big green dreams, they can blame President Trump rather than their own bad policies.
The worst year to be alive
Quick. What was the worst year to be alive? Considering the relentless barrage of extreme weather headlines, you’re forgiven if you said any one of the last five. However, the dubious honor goes to 536 A.D. After reading this article in Science Magazine, I understand why:
A mysterious fog plunged Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia into darkness, day and night—for 18 months. "For the sun gave forth its light without brightness, like the moon, during the whole year," wrote Byzantine historian Procopius. Temperatures in the summer of 536 fell 1.5°C to 2.5°C, initiating the coldest decade in the past 2300 years. Snow fell that summer in China; crops failed; people starved.
Medieval historian Michael McCormick further explained that after crop failure came disease:
The Irish chronicles record "a failure of bread from the years 536–539." Then, in 541, bubonic plague struck the Roman port of Pelusium, in Egypt. What came to be called the Plague of Justinian spread rapidly, wiping out one-third to one-half of the population of the eastern Roman Empire and hastening its collapse.
The cause of the climate catastrophe has nothing to do with humans heating their homes or driving SUVs but rather a “cataclysmic volcanic eruption in Iceland.”
For the record, I believe Mother Nature has proven repeatedly that climate changes all the time and that whatever species are inhabiting the planet at any given moment have an effect on our complex eco-system. The genius of human beings is that we’ve demonstrated an ability to overcome whatever climate she’s thrown at us – even in 536.