Climate Change is Not New or the End of the World | Citizens Against Government Waste

Climate Change is Not New or the End of the World

The WasteWatcher

After the Senate passed a $3.5 trillion budget for fiscal year 2022 on August 11, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said, “the Green New Deal is in the DNA of this green budget resolution.”  It includes hundreds of billions of dollars in projects and programs related to climate change, which proponents of the Green New Deal claim is going to end the world as we know it unless this money is spent.  But an August 10, 2021 Wall Street Journal (WSJ) opinion piece by Steven Koonin, “Climate Change Brings a Flood of Hyperpole,” notes that, “Despite constant warnings of catastrophe, things aren’t anywhere near as dire as the media say.”

Steven Koonin is not just any climate scientist.  He was President Obama’s undersecretary for science at the Department of Energy and author of the book, “Unsettled – What Climate Science Tells Us, What it Doesn’t, and Why it Matters.”

He opened his opinion piece with, “The [United Nations] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued its latest report assessing the state of the climate and projecting its future.  As usual, the media and politicians are exaggerating and distorting the evidence in the report.  They lament an allegedly broken climate and proclaim, yet again, that we are facing the ‘last, best chance’ to save the planet from a hellish future.  In fact, things aren’t – and won’t be – anywhere near as dire.”  He noted that the new report, 4,000 pages long, was written by thousands of scientists over the past four years.  He suggested that the report should be studied thoroughly by the leaders of the 196 countries attending the next meeting of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), which will occur from November 1-12 in Glasgow, Scotland, before they adopt “more-aggressive nonbinding pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Koonin wrote that previous climate-assessment reports in the “conclusions” section have misrepresented scientific research. For example, the summary of the most recent U.S. government climate report stated that “heat waves across the U.S. have become more frequent since 1960.”  But summaries and publicity surrounding the report failed to mention that the section also said heat waves are “no more common today than they were in 1900.”  Koonin warned that scientists need to “scrutinize” the latest report because to obtain a net zero world, particularly with CO2, where greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere equal what is being removed, would have a profound disruption both economically and societally if fossil-fueled electricity, transportation, and heat is eradicated, along with completely changing farming methods.

He pointed out that the infamous computer models that are used to predict the future are “deficient” as some models are more sensitive to greenhouse gases than others and there is disagreement on Earth’s baseline surface temperature.  He also noted that the models do not reproduce past global climate and do not explain why there was rapid global warming from 1910 to 1940.

Which leads CAGW to point out a fascinating discovery in Lendbreen, Norway, in 2011 that has been studied by scientists and written about in the April 2020 edition of Antiquity.  Many news organizations reported on the discovery, including CNN, which noted, “in recent years, climate change has caused mountain glaciers to melt away, revealing well-preserved markers from different periods in history beneath.”

The pass was used by travelers from the Roman Age (300 AD) to the Viking Age (1000 AD.)  It contained thousands of artifacts, like horseshoes, sled fragments, tools, cooking utensils, and textiles that were “frozen in time.”  Because they have been frozen solid for centuries, they appear new.  Many items have been dated and depending on the ages of the items, it is believed that people who lived in the area used it to access summer livestock that were in the higher elevations.  It was also a travel and trade route and use of the pass was likely best during late winter and early summer.

CNN reported that one of the researchers said, “The decline of the Lendbreen pass was probably caused by a combination of economic changes, climate change and late medieval pandemics, including the Black Death.  When the local area recovered, things had changed, and the Lendbreen pass was lost to memory."

The Vikings clearly experienced a warmer climate for several centuries, yet they had no fossil-fuel powered engines.  Indeed, climate change has always been cyclical, which climate change alarmists fail to mention.

Koonin wrote, “Refreshingly, the report deems its highest-emissions scenarios of the future unlikely, even though those are the ones you’re mostly likely to hear about in media reports.  The more plausible scenarios have an average global temperature in 2100 about 2.5 degrees Celsius warmer than the late 1800s.  The globe has already warmed 1 degree since that time, and the parties of the Paris Accord arbitrarily agreed to limit further warming to another degree.  But since humanity’s well-being has improved spectacularly, even as the globe warmed during the 20th century, it is absurd to suggest that an additional degree of warming over the next century will be catastrophic.”

The WSJ also published a review of Mr. Koonin’s book by Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Mark Mills.  He wrote, “In the book’s first sentences he asserts that ‘the Science’ about our planet’s climate is anything but ‘settled.’  Mr. Koonin knows well that it is nonetheless a settled subject in the minds of most pundits and politicians and most of the population.”  The United Nations confirms that belief with a poll, “The Peoples’ Climate Vote,” that shows that of the more than one million respondents of citizens in 50 countries, it is not surprising that “64% of people said that climate change was an emergency.”

Mills points out that “Mr. Koonin is no ‘climate denier,’’’ which is a term deliberately used to “shut down debate” by comparing “skeptics of climate alarmism with Holocaust deniers.”  Mills stated that “Mr. Koonin makes it clear, on the book’s first page, that ‘it’s true that the globe is warming, and that humans are exerting a warming influence upon it.’”  Said Mills, “The heart of the science debate, however, isn’t about whether the globe is warmer or whether humanity contributed.  The important questions are about the magnitude of civilization’s contribution and the speed of changes; and, derivatively, about the urgency and scale of governmental response.  Mr. Koonin thinks most readers will be surprised at what the data show. I dare say they will.”

Mills says Koonin knows he will be attacked but that the right response is to debate the science.  Nothing could be truer now that the House is about to consider the Senate-passed social and climate change spending bill that will raise taxes and provide hundreds of billions of dollars for electric vehicles, non-fossil fuel energy, and other green energy products.  Instead of pushing a radical climate change agenda, members of Congress should slow down and listen to scientists like Steven Koonin, who understand what has happened to the Earth in the past with respect to the climate and what could happen in our future.

Sign Up For Email Updates

Optional Member Code