We have been subjected to lengthy coverage of the 2021 international meeting on climate change in Glasgow, Scotland. The numerous dignitaries and pontificators made it a super-polluter event, arriving on their private super-polluter jets and motoring to meetings and sightseeing tours in their super-polluter limousine caravans. When not sleeping in meetings, they preached to the rest of the world on what we must do to stop polluting.
The U.S. was well-represented by President Joe Biden. He was accompanied by self-proclaimed scientists like Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama and more than 100 others; all utilizing the same polluting fossil fuel transportation. The world’s largest “polluters,” China and India, were glaringly absent and gave the world a giant “PFFT.” Unlike Biden, those leaders are unwilling to sacrifice their economies and people to the nonsense.
If the consequences of listening to this international cadre of Keystone Kops were not so dire, for our economy, our freedoms and our safety, we could all relax with a great belly laugh at the latest insane shenanigans. The recent dramatic price increases of gasoline, food and home energy are only the tip of an iceberg of consequences to come.
What is this climate change hysteria all about? Biden and his minions give grave speeches wherein they shake their fists and solemnly declare that “climate change” presents an “existential” threat to America and the world. Repeatedly, they claim humankind will cease to exist unless we obey their commands. Somehow that always translates to giving up our prosperity, wealth and freedoms.
The main culprit, they claim, is carbon dioxide gas (CO2). It’s produced when we breathe, when we heat or cool our homes, drive our cars, fly in airplanes, and in many industrial processes. In short, our very existence depends on CO2. Contrary to what many think, CO2 is a tasteless, odorless, non-poisonous gas. The following are some important facts regarding CO2 that the climate change hysterics either don’t know or conveniently ignore to peddle their impracticable remedies.
LIFE ON EARTH REQUIRES CO2. Anyone who paid any attention in biology class knows that, in the process of photosynthesis, plants literally eat CO2 while emitting oxygen and water vapor. Without CO2, plants will die and without plants, animals will die both from lack of food and oxygen.
Over the last billion years, atmospheric CO2 has been up to 20 or more times higher than today. That includes times when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and life thrived. It’s incumbent upon the Gore-Kerry climate alarmists to explain why life wasn’t extinguished at these high levels of concentration. After all, that’s what they claim will happen when they constantly prattle about CO2 as an “existential threat.”
Some scientists have estimated that a minimum CO2 atmospheric concentration of 150 parts per million is required to sustain plant life. Several times, during ice age cycles over the last million years, levels fell below 200 parts per million, which is dangerously close to the extinction level. The current level, thanks to industrialization and the use of fossil fuels, is a much more comfortable 400 parts per million. Viewed from this perspective, fossil fuels may well be instrumental in saving life on the planet, not a threat to it.
Factually, life on Earth can be seen in NASA satellite photos that show that the planet is greener than it was 20 years ago. This is no surprise to greenhouse owners who often pump in CO2 to increase plant growth. High concentrations of CO2 worldwide do portend an era of higher crop yields.
NO ONE KNOWS WHAT AN OPTIMUM LEVEL OF CO2 CONCENTRATION IS! We do know that levels of 150 parts per million are too low. The alarmists purport to know that concentrations of 400 parts per million are bad and an “existential threat” based on the notion that Earth’s surface temperature will rise to an unsustainable level. That’s more fiction than science. It relies on unproven assumptions, a misread of historical records, math models that historically have failed at predicting anything with any accuracy, and much political hype aimed at terrifying school children while enhancing political clout for certain groups.
The insanity of the climate alarmists is superbly illustrated by the Biden administration, which has shut down much fossil fuel production in the United States. It caused vast negative consequences to the U.S. economy while begging countries like Saudi Arabia and Russia to increase their fuel production. This is akin to proclaiming that gasoline refined from U.S. oil is less friendly to the planet than the chemically identical gasoline derived from Russian oil. ABSURD!
Current plans touted by the left as the solution to climate change are faced with a minefield of technical issues and problems.
Where to find Lithium for batteries for hundreds of millions of EVs? How to dispose of the poisonous, toxic waste from millions of tons of spent batteries?
How to produce enough electricity to charge, and recharge over many cycles the hundreds of millions of EVs? If California abolishes all but EVs, the electric grid will crash. Twenty-four-hour rolling blackouts will be required 365 days a year, unless more power plants are built and that’s highly unlikely.
A myriad of additional problems attendant to the many “climate change” proposed solutions serve to reveal much shallow thinking.
TECHNOLOGY POINTS TO A BRIGHT FUTURE. In all probability, technological advancements over the next few decades will make the CO2 and climate change question moot. The development of cheap, non-polluting fusion reactors, for example, may well obviate the need for coal, oil, or natural gas to produce electricity. Other innovations, such as artificial photosynthesis, are being explored privately and in universities around the world. When the breakthroughs come, the question will be how to ensure that there’s enough CO2 in the atmosphere, not how to reduce it. We can only hope the U.S. will not be destroyed by unwarranted policies of the “green new dealers” in the interim.
John Weaver is a resident of Santa Clarita. He carries degrees in physics and math from Carnegie Mellon University. “Right Here, Right Now” appears on Saturdays and rotates among local Republicans.