President Obama’s speech at today’s Climate Change Summit in Paris contained some of the shallowest thinking ever put forth by one of humanity’s shallowest thinkers. Obama explained that the Climate Change Summit itself represented a “powerful rebuke” to Islamic terrorists, for some odd reason, as though ISIS fighters sit in Raqqa desperately hoping to hear that the global bureaucrats have failed to come to a paper agreement over carbon emissions. “What greater rejection of those who would tear down our world than marshaling our best efforts to save it,” Obama said, idiotically.
Truth be told, Obama and his allies are the ones who would like to tear down our world. The goal of the conference isn’t careful planning of environmental regulations designed to balance the human need for cheap energy with the environmental need for climate predictability. No, instead, the goal is to destroy civilization’s upward mobility by restricting its use of natural resources based on shoddy science.
In February, executive secretary of the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change openly stated, “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution…This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.”
This is actually evil.
Here are five reasons why President Obama’s alleged goals here – curbing climate change through curbing carbon emissions – should not be on the table.
We Have No Idea To What Extent The Earth Is Warming. There are major battles in the scientific community about the basic question of what level of climate change is occurring. Even the shift from “global warming” to “climate change” betrays that uncertainty. For example, The Economist reported in 2014, “Between 1998 and 2013, the Earth’s surface temperature rose at a rate of 0.04°C a decade, far slower than the 0.18°C increase in the 1990s.” That forced the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to come up with a whole new way of evaluating its data to fight those results. It also forced global warming advocates to claim that the oceans somehow ate up all of the excess heat in the air. All of that led President Obama to claim to the world in Paris that 14 of the past 15 years have been the hottest on record. But when scientists said that 2014 was the hottest year on record, they admitted they were only 38% sure that was the case. And none of this takes into account purposeful data fabrication in order to achieve global warming propaganda.
We Have No Clue How Much Human Activity Causes Climate Change. In September 2014, undersecretary for science in Barack Obama’s Energy Department Dr. Steven Koonin wrote in the pages of the Wall Street Journal that human activity causes climate change, but that this question was among “the hardest ones to answer,” challenging “in a fundamental way, what science can tell us about future climates.” He added, “Even though human influences could have serious consequences for the climate, they are physically small in relation to the climate system as a whole….We often hear that there is a ‘scientific consensus’ about climate change. But as far as the computer models go, there isn’t a useful consensus at the level of detail relevant to assessing human influences.” Computer modeling has repeatedly failed not only to predict climate change, but to measure with any consistency historic climate change. President Obama cited supposedly melting glaciers in Alaska as evidence that the earth is warming, but Koonin writes that computer models “fail to describe the comparable growth of Antarctic sea ice, which is now at a record high.” Finally, Koonin writes:
A crucial measure of our knowledge of feedbacks is climate sensitivity—that is, the warming induced by a hypothetical doubling of carbon-dioxide concentration. Today's best estimate of the sensitivity (between 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit and 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit) is no different, and no more certain, than it was 30 years ago. And this is despite an heroic research effort costing billions of dollars.
We Have No Idea How Much Climate Change Impacts Human Life. The climate has always changed and will always change. The question is how it will hurt human beings, presumably. But in 2013, Matt Ridley wrote in The Wall Street Journal:
Most experts believe that warming of less than 2 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels will result in no net economic and ecological damage. Therefore, the new report is effectively saying (based on the middle of the range of the IPCC's emissions scenarios) that there is a better than 50-50 chance that by 2083, the benefits of climate change will still outweigh the harm.
In fact, the news is better than that:
Warming of up to 1.2 degrees Celsius over the next 70 years (0.8 degrees have already occurred), most of which is predicted to happen in cold areas in winter and at night, would extend the range of farming further north, improve crop yields, slightly increase rainfall (especially in arid areas), enhance forest growth and cut winter deaths (which far exceed summer deaths in most places). Increased carbon dioxide levels also have caused and will continue to cause an increase in the growth rates of crops and the greening of the Earth—because plants grow faster and need less water when carbon dioxide concentrations are higher.
We Have No Idea What Level Of De-Development Would Be Necessary to Maintain Our Current Climate. Because we don’t know the answers to the previous three questions, we certainly don’t know how much we’d need to hamper our economy to maintain our current climate. We do know how much we’d have to hamper our lifestyle in order to achieve Democrat-stated goals. In September 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown suggested that we all cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Obama has approved this as well. So has Hillary Clinton. What does that look like? In California, the average resident is responsible for 9.42 tons of carbon emissions each year. By 2050, that would have to drop to 1.88 tons. That’s about what the current residents of North Korea emit, according to Robert Bryce of the Manhattan Institute. Per capita GDP in that country is currently $1,800 per year. If we extend that model out to the entire United States, every resident would have to drop to below-Mexican standards of carbon usage, and likely to Mexico-standards of GDP (try $10,400 per year). It would apparently cost us $5 trillion by 2050 just to subsidize businesses to create more energy efficient solutions. And that doesn’t mean that the solutions are better than what we currently have.
The Solution – Destroying Carbon-Based Fuels and Capitalism – Is The Problem. The left is in an all-out war with the two greatest forces for fighting poverty in history: cheap, carbon based energy, and capitalism. The same people celebrating the end of the Industrial Revolution economic model seem to forget that that economic model, boosted by carbon-based fuels, have led to a massive drop in global poverty: in 1990, 1.9 billion people lived under $1.25 per day, as opposed to 836 million in 2015. That’s because of the dominance of capitalism and the increased efficiency of technology. It’s certainly not because of governmental environmental regulations.
Some on the left seem eager to try out their theory that we can maintain our current standard of living while hopping in a time machine back to less usage of carbon, without reference to market efficiencies. This is foolishness. We have time machines: they’re called airplanes. Folks on the left ought to fly to countries where people don’t have coal or oil or natural gas or free markets, and watch them burn cow chips for heat to see how lovely and natural that lifestyle actually is.
But President Obama has his goals. How many people will have to suffer or die globally because of them isn’t really the issue. After all, to question him would make us “cynical,” he assures us. If cynicism means saving lives, then perhaps we all ought to be cynical of his world-conquering, unscientific, redistributionist nonsense.