The Fantasy World of Climate AlarmismAlan Carlin | July 17, 2015
The climate alarmists (whom I call the Climate-Industrial Complex in my new book, Environmentalism Gone Mad, available from the book Website) have gone to great effort to create a green energy fantasy world in hopes of convincing the world to spend trillions of dollars to decrease emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 is a trace gas essential to life on Earth, and generated in part by the burning of fossil fuels, the primary basis for improvements in living standards in recent centuries. They claim that CO2 emissions reductions are necessary in order to avoid catastrophic global warming, subsequently changed to catastrophic climate change, and most recently to increases in extreme weather. None of these claims have been proved scientifically. Their main argument is that a number of general circulation models (GCMs) they have built at huge expense to taxpayers show that global temperatures will increase catastrophically unless the world reduces CO2 emissions.
The main problems with this argument are the following:
(1) The mechanism the CIC claims will produce these catastrophic temperature increases does not survive application of the scientific method. And they have no objective basis for even claiming effects on extreme weather.
(2) Although Earth’s climate system is deterministic, it is not determinable because it is a coupled non-linear chaotic system (as described by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Determinability is a prerequisite for building models that could actually predict its behavior (in other words the tens of billions of dollars spent on these models were a waste from the beginning).
(3) The only way to prove a scientific hypothesis is correct is by repeatedly testing it (and even then new research may later disprove the hypothesis). This testing has never been done by the CIC and would yield the negative results indicated in (1).
(4) Spending trillions of dollars rebuilding the energy generation and distribution system on the basis of a failed hypothesis is insane, especially given all the other useful purposes that it could be spent on (assuming we even had it).
(5) Most of the current increases in CO2 emissions are coming from the less developed countries (LDCs), and they appear likely to expand emissions rapidly in the future. The LDCs’ priority is increasing the standard of living for their people, which is best done by using the lowest cost energy available, which is often fossil fuels.
(6) The GCM models built by the CIC have consistently greatly overestimated the effects of CO2 on global average temperatures over a period of over 25 years. This overestimation has continued to this day. In fact, there has been no increase in average temperatures for at least 17 years.
(7) Even very optimistic assumptions concerning what might be “achieved” in terms of reducing CO2 emissions using these models and even assuming that the December Paris UN COP meeting is “successful” beyond all expectations suggest that the “benefits” are not worth their huge cost and would disproportionately adversely impact the world’s poor.
The care and feeding of the CIC green energy fantasy already consume vast resources, particularly in Western Europe, and profoundly corrupt the integrity of climate science and US Government agencies such as EPA. But this is nothing compared to what implementation of EPA’s proposals to reduce CO2 emissions in the US and the UN’s proposal to expand reductions to the world would cost both in dollars and continued deprivation of people desiring the advantages of a higher standard of living.
These views (except the new analysis cited under problem 7 above) are explained with careful documentation in Environmentalism Gone Mad.