Climate Change Weekly #422: Being a Climate Alarmist Means Never Having to Admit You’re Wrong
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IN THIS ISSUE:
- Alarmists Embrace Authoritarianism, Ignore Lessons of History
- Podcast of the Week: Green Energy Is Powered by Human Rights Abuse (Guest: Ronald Stein)
- Higher Carbon Dioxide Levels Don’t Threaten Human Health
- Holland Shows Handling Rising Seas Is a Technical Challenge, Not an Existential Threat
- Climate Comedy
- Video of the Week: Indiana Jones and the Cheeseburger Crusade
- BONUS Video of the Week: Chinese Dominance of Rare Earth Elements
- Recommended Sites
Being a Climate Alarmist Means Never Having to Admit You’re Wrong
A mountain of evidence shows climate alarmists never learn from their mistakes, be they clear misstatements of facts or repeatedly failed prognostications.
Why should they? The press lets climate alarmists get away with making more false claims than any other group on any other topic, including the efficacy of the COVID vaccines in keeping people from catching the disease or requiring hospitalization. Climate alarmists have nothing to fear from so-called fact checkers in corporate or social media, because the “fact checkers” are either true believers themselves or fellow beneficiaries of the climate alarm gravy train.
Accordingly, I have decided to of expose a litany of climate false alarm claims made in recent months periodically in my lead essay of Climate Change Weekly. These essays won’t be about politics or opinions but instead straight exposés of patently false climate science assertions publicized in the preceding months, for which the authors of those stories were never called to the carpet or forced to issue a correction.
In Climate Change Weekly last July, I poked fun at one of the most mystifyingly wrong but persistent claims made by climate alarmists: that a warmer world would mean the disappearance of snow. This claim is definitively refuted by data cited in Climate at a Glance: Snowpack showing average North American snowpack extent is virtually unchanged in recent years compared to the late 1960s, when satellite measurements began. Beyond America, average snowpack has increased throughout the Northern Hemisphere in the fall and winter months, but you’d never know this if you read the headlines of major newspapers or watch climate-related news stories on corporate media outlets.
For example, in December even as huge storm fronts were striking the Western mountain ranges from California through Washington State, the Washington Post published an article titled “Snow may vanish for years at a time in Mountain West with climate warming.” Not to be outdone in the snow stupidity competition, just last week The New York Times published an article asserting “Skiing is an endangered sport, caught between a warming planet and a global pandemic.” The article states, “In recent years, with snow cover diminishing and untouched powder increasingly difficult to reach, skiers like Ms. Backstrom have been pushed onto groomed trails more often.”
In two Climate Realism articles, Heartland Institute President James Taylor went to the data and resoundingly refuted other false and wrongheaded claims made by the Times and the Post. Citing satellite measurements gathered by the Rutgers University Global Snow Lab (GSL) on global, hemispheric, and continental snow cover dating back to the 1960s, Taylor showed the past 30 years have brought no decline in global or North American snow cover. Instead, there has been a modest increase in snow cover during the past three decades. Taylor writes,
The Times’ article is particularly ironic considering the many snowfall records that have been set in prime ski regions during the past year. North Lake Tahoe, which is home to several of the best ski slopes in the country, enjoyed a record 18 feet of snow last month. Yosemite National Park set a snowfall record, also, last month. Even further south, Mammoth, California set snowfall records as recently as May, 2019.
Indeed, in the beginning of January, data showed snowpack in Oregon’s portion of the Cascades was 126 percent above normal for this time of year. In late December, Newsweek reported snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains was between 145 and 161 percent of the normal amount of snow for this time of year.
Despite former Vice-President Al Gore claiming in his 2006 docuganda An Inconvenient Truth that “within the decade there will be no more snows of Kilimanjaro,” the mountain has had snow cover every single day since Gore made his movie. So much snow fell in 2018 there were record increases in snow depth on the mountain, and in mid-December 2021, which is summer in Tanzania, where Kilimanjaro is located, the mountain received seven straight days of snow, with the temperatures each day hovering around 10 degrees below zero.
Sometimes the reporting on climate is simply idiotic. For instance, in a recent story, the Washington Post displayed a map of the United States purportedly showing every county in the country hit by a climate-related disaster in 2021. Among the eye-opening disasters the Post claimed were caused by climate change was one the public may have missed: the hurricane that hit upstate Vermont and Buffalo, New York. Oh wait, you didn’t miss it: as the people living there and the weatherpersons for the area can attest, no hurricane struck either location.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirms no hurricanes or even tropical storms hit or even approached either region in 2021.
With no apparent sense of irony or self-awareness, alarmists regularly cite highly localized weather effects as proof of a climate emergency. In late October, within the space of 24 hours, news reports highlighted both that Lake Tahoe had fallen below its natural rim, threatening water flows to the Truckee River and the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District, and that in response to rain and snowfall in the region the lake had risen above its rim once again, resuming water flows. This climate whiplash showed the reporters and editors either didn’t understand or don’t care about the difference between climate and weather. Both reports also ignored the significant population growth in the region exploiting Lake Tahoe, which makes increasing demands on that body of water.
Drought in the region surrounding Lake Tahoe is not unusual, nor are wildly fluctuating water levels in the lake. My colleague, award-winning meteorologist Anthony Watts, pointed out in Climate at a Glance: Water Levels—Lake Tahoe as recently as 2019, water levels in the lake were regularly exceeding its maximum allowable levels, forcing the agency charged with managing the dam on Lake Tahoe to release water from it. Lake Tahoe reached the maximum allowable water level each year from 2017 through 2019, requiring special water releases into the Truckee River.
As the climate alarmists’ apparent desperation increases, their warnings become shriller and less believable, yet hardly a day goes by without some media outlet parroting their false assertions, such as that Michigan is becoming so hot farmers will soon be unable to grow fruit there (tell that to farmers in Florida or Texas) and global warming is producing late-season frost events and freezes.
Folks, I can’t make this stuff up. My imagination just isn’t that good. Michigan too hot to grow fruit, really! Unrecorded hurricanes in western New York and Vermont! Warmer growing seasons plagued by more freezing nights, as a result of global warming! It is all too fantastic, yet the news media daily swallow such fairy tales hook, line, and sinker and publicize them, giving them undeserved credence.
Sadly, this is what passes for journalism these days. Keep that in mind when you read the next headline claiming some extreme weather event or anomalous occurrence is becoming the norm because of climate change, and check Climate Realism, Climate at a Glance, and other outlets devoted to presenting the facts on climate change before you start stocking up on food or building a bunker in the mountains far from the supposedly fast-rising seas.
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Podcast of the Week
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Higher Carbon Dioxide Levels Don’t Threaten Human Health
Recent research confirms indoor carbon dioxide levels are much higher than any reasonably expected atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, yet they pose no threat to human health.
“Every year there are several papers published attempting to establish CO2 as a pollutant in indoor settings,” writes Kenneth Richard at No Tricks Zone. “This has likely served to scare people to regard elevated CO2 levels as dangerous—which is almost certainly the intent.”
Research definitively refutes any claims indoor carbon dioxide harms human health.
Research from 2002 found schoolkids in 120 randomly selected classrooms across two school districts in Texas experienced no ill health when peak carbon dioxide concentrations exceeded 1,000 parts per million (ppm) in 88 percent of the classrooms and 3,000 ppm in 21 percent of the classrooms.
Two articles from 2021 confirm much higher carbon dioxide levels do not harm peoples’ health, impose measurable negative physiological changes, or decrease cognitive functioning.
The first study, published by InderScience, a global academic publisher based in Geneva, notes even at the most extreme projections, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are not expected to exceed 690 ppm by the end of 2100. In this study, Alberto Boretti, Ph.D., dean of research at Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University in Saudi Arabia, found people showed no reduction of cognitive abilities at indoor CO2 concentrations exceeding 1,000 ppm. Boretti writes,
It has been claimed that the dangerous rise in atmospheric CO2 levels will impede our brain functions, and namely that the continued fossil fuel emissions will impair cognition. … It is shown as even continuing at the present rate the atmospheric CO2 concentration is not expected to exceed 690 p.p.m. by 2100. Since no significant effects on cognitive performance are seen also for indoor CO2 levels much higher than 1,000 p.p.m., opening the window of crowded spaces could be a simple but effective mitigation strategy better than building up wind and solar capacity.
The second study from 2021, published in the peer-reviewed journal Indoor Air, examined the effect of greatly elevated indoor carbon dioxide levels on a broad array of health indicators such as blood chemistry, heart rate, respiratory rate, flexibility, and long-term and short-term measurements of cognitive ability. The results speak for themselves:
Blood pH decreased and partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) increased significantly when exposed to 20,000 ppm [emphasis mine] CO2 compared to 770 ppm. However, the values remained within the normal range. In addition, respiratory rate increased slightly but significantly at 20,000 ppm CO2. No significant changes in heart rate, CFF, task performance or acute health were found. In sum, the findings suggest that the observed changes in acid-base balance and ventilation can be classified as physiological adaptation responses. Impairment of cognitive performance is not expected from exposure to 20,000 ppm CO2, neither as direct effect on central nervous system function nor as a distraction related to perception of health effects.
If much-higher CO2 levels have no measurable harmful effect on human health and are not worsening weather extremes, as is demonstrated amply at Climate at a Glance, I’m left wondering what climate crisis the world faces. What’s all the fuss about?
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Holland Shows Handling Rising Seas Is a Technical Challenge, Not an Existential Threat
An article in the publication Human Progress demonstrates Holland’s long experience in dealing with rising seas and populations living at or below sea level shows any threatened increase in sea levels due to climate change poses at most technical challenges, certainly not an existential threat to continued human existence (even on the coasts, much less inland).
Author Joakim Book notes the Dutch, “trapped between some of Europe’s largest rivers and the violent North Sea waves,” have been battling rising seas for the entirety of the country’s existence, and they have consistently won the war, reclaiming land and building cities and ports even as seas continued rising:
Holland is a flat, low-lying country on the edge of a stormy sea. To make matters worse, between 20 and 40 percent of its land area is at, or below, sea level. Yet, as the Dutch have shown for centuries, it is possible to live below the water level with appropriate water management and technology.
The water level on Dutch shores has increased steadily for over 3,000 years (and even more rapidly for 7,000 years before that). In other words, long before the Industrial Revolution, modern capitalism, or the burning of fossil fuels, the Dutch had to adapt—a strategy reviled by purist climate change activists.
Despite the challenge of ever-rising seas, the Dutch have thrived to the extent of playing “an outsized role in the history of the world—in foreign trade, economic growth, and financial development,” Book writes. “Their tolerant ethics may have kicked off the Great Enrichment, thus producing the world’s first modern economy. The Dutch also invented central banking and perfected the art of public debt and securities markets. Most impressively, they accomplished all that while under constant siege from the ocean.”
The people of Holland have even exacerbated the problem of encroaching seas by draining swamps and reclaiming land for agriculture, which has resulted in rapid land subsidence. Land in the Netherlands was sinking by up to two centimeters per year in the late Middle Ages, five times the rate sea levels are currently rising around the world and more than double the rate projected in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s worst-case scenario through 2100. Still the Dutch thrived.
The Netherlands is a relatively wealthy, technologically sophisticated country. Should climate change contribute to rising seas in the future, the best evidence is that Holland can handle it, and doing so would be less expensive and disruptive than eschewing fossil fuel use or attempting to “reverse centuries of carbon emissions.”
What’s true for the Netherlands is equally true for the rest of us.
“Fortifying our societies against the climate is a constant challenge,” concludes Book. “But like the Dutch war against the waves, fortification against nature’s whims is a technical problem that requires engineering and adaptation, not fearmongering.”
The best evidence suggests he is right.
SOURCE: Human Progress
Video of The Week: Indiana Jones and the Cheeseburger Crusade
Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is currently trending on Twitter. Why? Ford gave an impassioned, and likely dishonest, speech at the Global Climate Action Summit. The speech focused on the supposed climate crisis.
There’s a minor problem. Harrison Ford is very well known for being an avid pilot. Ford goes as far as to say he’ll fly planes down the coast to pick up a cheeseburger.
Can you call yourself a climate activist while living such an exuberant lifestyle? Climate activists claim both flying and meat devastate the environment. Harrison Ford has combined the two.
BONUS Video of The Week: Chinese Dominance of Rare Earth Elements
James Taylor, president of The Heartland Institute, and Linnea Lueken, research fellow for The Heartland Institute, give testimony in Pennsylvania regarding the mining of rare Earth elements.
Construction of renewable energy sources including wind and solar require rare Earth elements. When we push policies advancing renewables, we subsequently are creating greater demand for rare Earth elements. Rare Earth elements are also critical to the United States military. China controls much of the global supply of rare Earth elements. Thus, our reliance on China is only growing as we push ill-advised policies.
James and Linnea’s testimony covered the economic impacts, and legislative feasibility, of beginning new domestic rare Earth element mining operations.