The Immoral Fight to “Stop Climate Change”
The environmental movement started with a genuine focus on actually improving the natural environment and making life healthier for all living beings. In recent decades, however, the movement has been poisoned, now making it one of the most toxic threats to human health and the environment. This is because modern environmentalism has been taken over by the climate scare, a frankensteinian extremist cult that is destroying everything in its path.
Take Earth Day, just past on April 22nd, for example. On Earth Day, “climate” appeared 10 times on the earthday.org home page. The first action item on the Greenpeace USA home page was a link to a new climate communications report. The United Nations International Mother Earth Day home page cited “climate” no less than seven times. Pollution was referenced once, land once, and water and air not at all. Even Earth Day’s Google home page doodle took you to a page that showed the supposed impact of climate change.
Do a Google web search for any of the environmental movement’s most important days and you will see the same. Whether it’s Earth Hour (March 28th this year), Earth Month (April), Environment Day (June 5th this year) or Earth Day, climate change has completely hijacked the movement.
The climate crusade preys especially on young and impressionable people who lack the life experience to recognize when their good will and altruism are being taken advantage of. Like most cults, it is not backed by sound science, engineering, economics or public policy. Yet it has been adopted by the elites in society—media, government, educators, corporate leaders and even many church officials—as a de facto social good that cannot be contested. Global warming campaigners and their woke allies assert that “the science is settled.” We know for certain—they claim—that our carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) will cause a planetary emergency unless we radically change our ways.
This makes no sense, of course. Uncertainty is inherent to all science, especially one as complicated as climate change.
These politically-correct societal elites are clearly unaware of, or don’t care about, the Climate Change Reconsidered series of reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). These documents summarize thousands of studies from peer-reviewed scientific journals that either refute or cast serious doubt on the climate scare. Actual scientists who specialize in the causes of climate change, both natural and human-induced, conclude that we are not causing a climate crisis. In fact, debate rages in the scientific community about the causes of climate change. Scientists cannot yet even agree on whether cooling or warming lies ahead, let alone how much we affect the climate.
Yet, it is safe to say that, to date, human emissions of CO2 have certainly not caused a “climate emergency,” no matter what our governments maintain. Even the United Nations admits that, despite an almost 50% rise in CO2 emissions since 1880, the so-called global average temperature has only risen about 1.2 degrees Celsius. Were it not for climatologists and meteorologists telling us about this slight warming, a trend that has been of benefit to humanity and the biosphere as we pulled out of the Little Ice Age, no one would have sensed it during their lifetimes.
The U.S. Historical Climatology Network database of extreme weather records (see graph below), shows that extreme weather records were mostly set years ago and practically nothing unusual is happening today. Despite the fact that we witness and report extreme weather events more often than ever before because of population growth and our enhanced communication systems, neither the incidence nor the severity of extreme weather has increased.
Similarly, sea level rise and ocean pH levels are not a problem, and polar bears are thriving.
So, what is the basis for fears of a climate emergency? Besides the huge vested financial and political interests, it originates merely in computerized model forecasts of hypothetical future climate states. Yet, over the past 30 years, and despite the expenditure of billions of dollars of government funding, with one exception, not a single climate model prediction of “Earth’s temperature” has been close to being correct. The exception was one Russian model which was fully “tuned” and accidentally matched observational data.
Indeed, scientists such as Princeton University physics professor Dr. William Happer, one of the world’s leading researchers in the impact of increasing greenhouse gases on our atmosphere, shows that even a doubling of today’s CO2 levels in the atmosphere would cause less than a one-degree Celsius temperature rise, nothing that we could not easily adapt to. Yet this CO2 rise would result in a huge benefit to increasing productivity of the biosphere, including a massive increase in crop yield. Afterall, despite its political demonization as “carbon pollution,” CO2 is, of course, plant food.
The consequence of environmentalism’s misguided focus on climate change is tragic for many reasons.
According to the San Francisco-based Climate Policy Initiative, of the over one-half trillion dollars that is now spent annually across the world on climate finance, 91% goes exclusively to mitigation, trying to control hypothetical future climate states. Only 7% of global climate finance is dedicated solely to helping vulnerable people cope with real climate change in the present. Based on a hypothesis about the causes of climate change, we are letting people suffer today so as to possibly help those yet to be born.
And this does not even address how the apparently limitless funding for the climate scare ($110 billion in energy transition costs since 2015, according to Environment and Climate Change Minister Stephen Guilbeault) is sucking funding and energies away from tackling important short and mid-term issues such as real air, land and water pollution and species at risk.
Because of the climate scare, literally trillions of dollars are being funnelled in to wind and solar power across the world because they supposedly produce less CO2 emissions than fossil fuels (a debatable point when you consider their full life cycle). “Planet of the Humans,” a documentary released on Earth Day 2020, by left-wing film producer Michael Moore, demonstrates (see this 2-minute clip) the massive environmental damage that occurs when wind and solar power plants are built and operated:
- open-pit mines gouged deep into the Earth to extract iron, aluminum, copper, and other minerals
- hundreds of tons of cement required to anchor the base of 60 story-high industrial wind turbines
- the slaughter millions of birds and bats every year by fast spinning turbine blades
- vast quantities of earth and rocks blasted with thousands of pounds of dynamite to extract relatively small amounts of rare-earth metals, produced mostly under terrible environmental conditions in China.
Clearly, “green energy” is anything but green.
We are also often told that we must switch to electric vehicles (EVs) to help stop climate change. What we are not told about, however, is the environmental and human rights abuses in the supply chain to produce EV batteries. Take cobalt, just one of the rare and expensive elements used in EV batteries, for example.
A 1,000-pound Lithium-ion EV battery typically contains about 30 pounds of cobalt. Cobalt ore grades average about 0.1%, so we need to process almost 30,000 pounds of ore to get 30 pounds of cobalt. With 50% of the world’s cobalt reserves, the Democratic Republic of Congo contributes almost two-thirds of global cobalt production. This is causing immense humanitarian abuses. Congo has at least 40,000 children—some as young as 4-years old—working with their parents for less than $2 a day. They are exposed to multiple psychological violations and abuse as well as significant physical risks. Engineer and energy consultant Ronald Stein and Todd Royal, an independent public policy, detail this tragedy in their book Clean Energy Exploitations – Helping citizens understand the environmental and humanity abuses that support ‘clean’ energy.”
In my article, “Progressives should demand a reassessment of climate change concerns - Adherence to global warming dogma violating causes held dear by the left” published in World Commerce Review, I go into more detail about the many other environmental and human rights abuses caused by the climate scare.
It’s time socially responsible environmentalists divorced themselves from the climate scare and concentrated on environmental problems we know to be real.
A note about the author: Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based not-for-profit International Climate Science Coalition - Canada (ICSC - Canada).
Other Commentary by Tom Harris:
- La lutte immorale pour « stopper le changement climatique »
- The Immoral Fight to “Stop Climate Change”