Column: Climate change hysteria ignores the real issues

Renewable Energy Systems Engineering
Photo courtesy Getty Images

The Earth faces real environmental issues. Unfortunately, the unscientific responses to that challenge will make the problem worse, not better, and ignore the very real needs of the planet and the people.

The pain felt at the gas pumps since the Biden administration moved to end American energy independence will be deepened by rising costs for home heating this winter. It’s a harsh expense that isn’t even necessary, and the issue will grow even more difficult as illusory “solutions” based more on politics than practicality take hold.

Facts can be inconvenient things for the extremists who seek to use climate fear-mongering to push a socialist agenda under the guise of addressing climate change. Gregory Wrightstone, a geologist and expert on the environment, notes that the allegation that the planet is facing unprecedented warming is utterly false. The globe was warmer at many points in humanity’s past. Those periods resulted in greater prosperity, not disaster. The notion that increased carbon dioxide is similarly a disaster to be averted at all costs also doesn’t stand up to scientific scrutiny.

An objective view of scientific data concerning alterations in the global climate would indicate that concerns over man-made planetary warming don’t have a solid foundation in objective facts.

In a survey of 1800 scientists, only 43% agreed with the UN’s ‘95%’ certainty’ about global warming. Dr. Steve Koonin, who served as undersecretary for science in the Energy Department during President Barack Obama’s first term, noted the lack of scientific agreement in a Wall Street Journal article: “The idea that ‘Climate science is settled’ runs through today’s popular and policy discussions. Unfortunately, that claim is misguided. It has not only distorted our public and policy debates on issues related to energy, greenhouse-gas emissions and the environment. But it also has inhibited the scientific and policy discussions that we need to have about our climate future.”

The hysteria over carbon dioxide is absurd. NASA notes that “A quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide…Green leaves use energy from sunlight through photosynthesis to chemically combine carbon dioxide drawn in from the air with water and nutrients tapped from the ground to produce sugars, which are the main source of food, fiber and fuel for life on Earth. Studies have shown that increased concentrations of carbon dioxide increase photosynthesis, spurring plant growth.”

Deforestation and the loss of wildlife habitat, in contrast, are real and serious issues. The drive to replace fossil fuels and nuclear power with solar and wind energy will make that problem worse, render energy too expensive for most, and will ultimately prove illusory since there is no reasonable way that they can produce the energy needed. A total reliance on solar and wind would require that up to 20% of the entire U.S. landmass would have to be covered in solar panels and wildlife-killing wind turbines, an environmental disaster in and of itself. Since solar panels and wind turbines have relatively short lifespans, the problem of disposing of those used and non-biodegradable devices will result in a further crisis.

The concept of rapidly eliminating or sharply reducing the use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy in favor of solar panels and wind turbines ignores the need for affordable power. It also ignores the prospect of technological breakthroughs which will occur within the current century, long before the hyped-up timeline laid out by climate Cassandras. Fusion power, microwaved energy collected above the Earth’s environment, better use of tidal and geothermal sources, and other advances will gradually, practically, affordably and cleanly replace fossil fuels.

The disregard for the need of the population to have affordable heat, transportation and energy for commerce is callous, unnecessary and unscientific, no matter how much hype is provided by those extremists who seek more to “fundamentally transform” the global economy than to keep the air clean.

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