A recent New Jersey Star-Ledger guest column, 6 things that will drastically change our lives in N.J. if we do nothing about the climate crisis, highlights a whole bunch of climate-related effects that should lead us to “get the planet on a course toward zero greenhouse gas emissions.” Of course, without greenhouse gasses, which occur naturally, our planet would be a dead frozen world. What the author, Rutgers professor Robert Kopp, one of the lead authors of volume one of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, calls for is curtailment of humanly emitted greenhouse gasses from burning fossil fuels, the main source of energy that powers our lives.
Kopp cites a host of regularly occurring events--cold waves, heat waves, rain, coastal flooding, fish migrations, rising sea levels--all of which have always or long been happening. The problem, Kopp says, is that climate change is going to make them worse. Of course, climate change is a regular occurrence, as well. It’s okay, as long as it’s “natural”. It’s only not okay if it is caused by (unnatural?) life-enhancing human activity that produces greenhouse gasses. Then, it’s so serious that we humans must be forced to drastically curtail our use of still-vital fossil fuels.
Kopp cites Superstorm Sandy. But Sandy was a freak that has long been anticipated as the nightmare scenario for the mid-Atlantic/Southern New England coastal United States, with its wedge-shaped coastal configuration that makes it particularly susceptible to the kind of atmospheric events that gave rise to Sandy. See Chapter Eight, “The Storm that Eats the Jersey Shore” in the book Great Storms of the Jersey Shore by Larry Savadove and Margaret Thomas Buchholz.
I’m convinced that our climate is changing and that human activity is some part of the cause. And there is no evidence for any drastic increase in extreme weather, which is why climate catastrophists keep putting out increasingly alarming predictions of catastrophic climate-related change. Today, every headline-grabbing weather event is blamed on climate change in the same way that a religionist might claim “God’s will” as the cause.
What is increasingly labeled a “climate crisis” is a fraud. It implies that earth’s climate was tranquil and harmless, but human activity is making it increasingly dangerous. The truth is just the opposite. Humans have always dealt with a climate crisis. Using energy and industry in a climate of political and economic freedom, human activity took an inherently dangerous climate and made it increasingly safe and livable. Today, climate related deaths are down 99% from before the Industrial Revolution. Thanks to fossil fuels and other reliable, economical, safe, and clean energy sources like nuclear and hydro, and the great industries that met our demands for that energy, our climate is more livable than ever. Climate danger still exists, of course. But our ability to survive, adapt, and flourish despite them is greater than ever.
To his credit, Kopp calls for adaptation to climate dangers. Adaptation is also not new to human experience. It’s possible that weather extremes are getting marginally worse. But nothing has really changed much. I won’t be suckered by the one-sided view of theorists who offer no real practical solutions to man-made climate change aside from catastrophic curtailment of fossil fuels in favor of essentially useless “renewable” solar and wind farms.
I left these comments:
“Climate change is real, caused by humans and here now.” Well, partially caused by humans. And so what? The catastrophe scenario is pure speculation. What is not speculative is the immense harm that “zero greenhouse gas emissions” will do to our quality of life. The benefits of reliable energy, mainly fossil fuels, dwarf any marginal negative side effects of climate change.
We’re led to believe that earth’s climate was tranquil and harmless, but humans are making it increasingly dangerous. The truth is just the opposite. Humans have always dealt with extreme climate dangers. Using energy and industry in a climate of political and economic freedom, human activity took an inherently dangerous climate and made it increasingly safer and more livable. The real crisis will come when those who want to “do something”--namely, abolish reliable energy and restrict our freedom--succeed at “doing something.”
The government funded Climate Crisis Establishment is a statist political agenda. But it is only half the story, if that. “Managing climate risk” should begin with DO NO HARM. There is a huge body of mostly private sector work pointing to a completely different viewpoint that sees no impending climate catastrophe; that there is no call for crippling forced government curtailment of vital energy from fossil fuels, or of totalitarian, global government-imposed "unprecedented transitions in all aspects of society," as the U.N. urged; and that humans can flourish better by remaining free, continuing to prosper, and adapting to climate change.
To get balance and objectivity, go outside the Establishment to people like energy expert Alex Epstein; Ron Bailey, science expert relating to human progress; and climate scientists like Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. Knappenberger.
The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels—Alex Epstein
Lukewarming: The New Climate Science that Changes Everything—Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. Knappenberger