Suppose you believe that the Earth is about to experience a catastrophic increase in its ground-level temperatures because of minor (compared to natural sources) human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), a very weak greenhouse gas. Additional effects are particularly minor at the higher atmospheric concentrations now being experienced. But you advocate reducing these emissions. This has a simplistic logic but is extremely expensive because humans gain great benefits by using reliable energy from burning fossil fuels to assist humans in their daily tasks and from increased plant growth through higher levels of CO2. You claim that this will reduce a feared catastrophic increase in global temperatures.
Unfortunately, there are many millions of people in developed countries who believe this, but this has never been proven, and there is much evidence that it is not valid. In fact, everything we currently know argues that this is incorrect and attempts to reduce such emissions will have no measurable effect on global temperatures, which have exhibited remarkable stability on the upside over many millions of years.
Faint Young Sun Paradox and Other Contrary Scientific Evidence
One interesting fact is that in the early days of the Earth the Sun was only about 70-75% of its current strength. So if increased radiation from the sun increases global temperatures it would be logical that temperatures should have been much lower in the early days of the Earth. But temperatures have decreased, not increased. This observation has a name, the faint young sun paradox, and is widely discussed in the literature.
Now we have two new pieces of information. One is that an econometric study has found that there is no statistically significant relationship between between increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and global temperatures. The other is that there is evidence that natural emergent climate phenomena have the effect of creating a temperature control system for the Earth (summarized here), which is particularly effective in preventing temperature increases in tropical oceanic areas, where much of the radiation from the sun enters the climate system.
So Even a 20-25% Reduction in the Sun’s Radiation Would Probably Not Significantly Impact Temperatures
So it appears that even a 20-25% reduction in the Sun’s radiation would probably not result in a significant reduction in global temperatures. The most reasonable explanation is the emergent climate phenomena which regulate how much of the Sun’s heat actually reaches and remains near the Earth’s surface through changes in clouds and other emergent phenomena. Earth only “uses” about 70% of the sun’s energy that reaches its atmosphere since clouds reflect about 20% and the Earth’s surface about 10%.
The emergent phenomena place a ceiling on global temperatures (at least in areas with sufficient humidity and temperature) as well as husbanding what radiation reaches Earth’s atmosphere when necessary to maintain temperatures. So under these circumstances, how could a small reduction in a faint greenhouse gas have any effect on avoiding a catastrophic increase in global temperatures as advocated by most if not all climate alarmists? All that would happen, if anything at all, is that clouds would reflect a little less of the Sun’s incoming radiation back into space by emerging slightly later in the day and other emergent phenomena would reduce surface temperatures less. And for that possible non-benefit, the developed countries would pay many trillions of dollars which would otherwise be used by their populations, which would also suffer from greatly decreased energy reliability as well.
Thus climate alarmists are pushing an extremely expensive “remedy” to a non-existent problem which would appear to have no significant effect on temperatures, which do not need to be decreased in the first place since the real problem is to attempt to ward off (the historically overdue) next ice age. And they have persuaded various left-of-center developed country governments to use public funds to achieve their ends, particularly in Western Europe. And in the US they have persuaded the Democratic Party to support their “climate change control” schemes, and would have implemented them if the Party had won the 2016 Presidential Election.
The importance of using available scientific evidence rather than propaganda and emotion to make science-related public policy decisions has never been clearer. Until we can explain the past climate history of the Earth, it is foolish to assume that we can predict what changes will occur as result of particular climate policy changes. The climate models alarmists use as the basis for their predictions are useless and reflect mainly the policy wishes of their builders.