Climate Delusions

Written by Janet Tassel


An imaginary scenario: Your home is surrounded by crazed crackheads, screaming threats that they are going to blow up your house and shoot you dead unless you fork over a couple of million dollars. You are alone. Your children, spouse, and elderly parents are asleep upstairs. What do you do?

How about this?  You sit down at your computer and search out the weather report, not for tomorrow (everyone knows you can't get an accurate forecast for the next day), but for ten years from tomorrow. Insane, yes?

 Can we agree that this robotic behavior is certifiably delusional? And yet, at this moment millions of Americans are doing something similar.  With altogether-too-real, imminent, and ghastly dangers threatening our nation's utter destruction right now, many of us are obsessing about the weather-decades from now.

Let's look at this delusion.  Since every delusion must have a name, let's call it Waxman-Markey, or Weather-Madness, or Wanton-Mortals, or just plain W-M for short. This delusion-in brief, because the lurid details fill hundreds of pages-terrifies ordinary people into becoming fearful, self-defeating automatons, riddled with guilt over unknown, gigantic global or even planetary plagues, which in all likelihood do not even exist. And what is more, we ordinary people are accused of causing the plagues! The coming disasters are our fault because, well, we eat and breathe.  We drive cars, we mow our lawns, we have pets, we like to stay warm in winter, and cool in summer. We read by a nice, bright light.  If we are really maximal contributors, we own farm animals, and everyone knows what they do. But in the course of this blessedly comfortable and comforting routine, we are smitten with guilt.  For we have become Emitters. And what we are emitting is carbon dioxide, just as all earth's creatures have done since the dawn of time.  Who knew something so normal could be a mortal sin?  Particularly baffling when, as Peter Ferrara tells us in The American Spectator, "...humans and their activities currently account for only 3 percent of CO2 emissions each year."

And here is another question: What if a warmer earth is a better earth?  Quoting a group of scientists led by environmentalist Fred Singer, Ferrara writes, "A warming of even 3 degrees [Celsius] in the next 100 years would, on balance, be beneficial to humans."  Who wouldn't welcome more and better plants, more productive land, longer growing seasons-even a reduction in human disease?  After a winter like this one, the coldest in a decade, I for one could do with a bit of extra warmth; but sadly, says Ferrara, "no such warming trend is currently in evidence."

Further evidence that W-M is a delusion from which we must be cured is readily available. "As we go back in history into past millennia," says Anthony Watts, a meteorologist who blogs at WattsUpWithThat.com, "we can see that our atmosphere has in fact had much more CO2-up to 6,000 parts per million, compared to the 380 parts per million that we have now-and it has responded and it has settled.  Earth didn't destroy itself.  It didn't burn up and boil off the oceans. So the comparisons that we see with runaway global warming and the turning of Earth into Venus...are probably the most dangerous and wrong ideas that are being pushed." Many hundreds of respected scientists are in complete agreement with this; Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental chemist, calls man-made warming (or climate change, the newer name for the pathology) "the worst scientific scandal in history."

Moreover, as has been repeatedly shown, most CO2 comes from the sea, as columnist E.Ralph Hostetter says.  "As the sea heats up CO2 is released, and as the sea cools C02 is absorbed.  This has been true since the beginning of time."  Economist Walter Williams adds, "Over 95 percent of the greenhouse effect is the result of water vapor in Earth's atmosphere. Without the greenhouse effect, Earth's average temperature would be zero degrees Fahrenheit." As an international team of scientists recently declared, "Nature, not human activity, rules the climate."  Or as Lord Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount of Brenchley and former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, keeps repeating, "The correct policy response to the non-problem of climate change is to have the courage to do nothing."

Well, you may ask, what about all the stuff emitted by cars, trains, trucks and planes (parenthetically, the very engines of the greatest human prosperity and mobility in world history)?  Forty years ago, the doomcriers, fearful even then of mechanized pleasures, were as usual warning us sinners to repent, for the end was near.  Only then, as in Dante's inferno, we devils would freeze, not fry.  As Walter Williams reminds us, "At the first Earth Day celebration, in 1969, environmentalist Nigel Calder warned, 'The threat of a new ice age must  now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind.'   In 1968, Professor Paul Ehrlich, Vice President Gore's hero and mentor, predicted there would be a major food shortage in the U.S. and 'in the 1970s...hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.'"  I remember reading Ehrlich's book, The Population Bomb, and being scared out of my boots, just as I was by fears of "nuclear winter," and at roughly the same time, by Rachel Carson's dire forecast in Silent Spring, without whose warnings about DDT millions of children might still be alive and not dead of malaria.

Another, quite convincing, way of diagnosing this enfeebling syndrome is by viewing it as a religion, a self-denying, life-denying substitute religion for those who have heretofore staunchly rejected religion.  It is a form of asceticism, calling upon us, the sinners, to sacrifice; we must not only sacrifice our good life, but we must pay, and pay, and pay. $1000 per family, estimates The Heritage Foundation; more than $4000 per household by 2030, it is estimated; lost GDP, $700 billion per year by 2030. But for our sins, there are penances-known as cap and trade.

Cap and trade? "Really," quips Roger Kimball, "this bill should be called the decapitate and strangle bill, because what it would do is systematically hobble the U.S  economy by starving it of affordable energy. Why? Because of a misplaced faith in the virtue of using less energy.  It's a version of spiritual smugness like that emitted by eastern yogi, health nuts, and other graminivorous bipeds who believe that the extent of their asceticism is a reliable index of their enlightenment."

"Worst of all," according to Peter Ferrara, "this sacrifice and suffering is not going to accomplish anything, even if human-caused global warming were real (which it is not). China [the biggest carbon emitter in the world], India, and Japan have all indicated that they are not going to commit national suicide for this false god."

This false god has been suggested, by no less a high priest than Kofi Annan, to be responsible for "inter-clan fighting in Somalia," and other conflicts.  Yes, you read that correctly; it's in the Wall Street Journal. Annan also dons the oversized sandwich-board worn in the Sixties, warning that "climate change-induced disasters ...kill 315,000 each year and cost $125 billion [small change compared to W-M], numbers it says will rise to 500,000 dead and $340 billion by 2030 [still a pittance next to W-M]." Roger Pielke, Jr., an expert in disaster trends at the University of Colorado, according to the WSJ, calls Annan's report a "methodological embarrassment" and a "poster child for how to lie with statistics."

Possibly the worst aspect of W-M, delusion or religion, is that a great corps of middle-men-high priests and quacks and liars-will get immensely rich and powerful, exerting increasing control over our lives; and though their carbon footprints are thousands of times bigger than ours, for we are but poor sinners, they will be garlanded with Nobel Prizes and all sorts of other spurious honors and indulgences.

So count me among the "deniers."  I deny false gods and take pills for delusions. Columnist Ellen Goodman once compared climate-change deniers to holocaust-deniers, which says a mouthful about the ethics of the delusion-peddlers.  Lord Monckton handed her her head for that remark, and added that the lot of them are a bunch of "bed wetters."

Sounds right to me.

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