The price to pay for the climate hoax

Published in Expansión

“Sleepy Joe,” that is, President Biden, lived up to his nickname and nodded off at the umpteenth climate summit. I don’t blame him. Watching the same farce over and over again while breathing CO2 through the damn mask must make you drowsy. I don’t know if the climate jet set is aware of the grotesque show that has become their apocalyptic rhetoric, the constant references to deadlines that pass by uneventfully, the failed predictions, the increasing absurdities and their own hypocrisy, but what we can be certain of is that the people are starting to see that the suicidal measures taken to “fight” (how illusory!) the far-fetched and imaginary consequences of “man-made” climate change (how arrogant!) are not innocuous, but have a very real and tangible cost today. In my article The Myth of the Electric Vehicle[1] I set out the reasons why these policies, which contradict all logic, would make the electricity bill much more expensive. Today it is easier to understand that climate change is no longer just a fad, a badge of political correctness, a proof of social virtuousness or an apocalyptic sect, but a source of rapid, unfair and unjustified impoverishment of the middle classes in rich countries and a condemnation to chronic dependence of developing countries.

On many occasions I have quoted reputable scientists who, contrary to the fallacious mantra of scientific “consensus”, refuted the arguments of what is now nothing more than a political agenda. Today it is the turn of Steven Koonin, a physicist who has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and former Under Secretary of Science in the Department of Energy of the Obama Administration, a fact that naturally baffles his critics. In his latest book, aptly titled “Unsettled”[2], applauded by experts such as Vaclav Smil or the Physics Nobel Prize winner Robert Laughlin and dedicated to those who taught the author “the importance of scientific integrity”, he confesses his dismay at how people are being misled and how “constant repetition of these and many other climate fallacies turns them into accepted truths”, adding forcefully: “It’s clear that media, politicians, and often the Assessment Reports themselves blatantly misrepresent what the science says about climate and catastrophes”.

First, science needs reliable measurements, and the obvious limitations “in the temperature record, poor historical data and large natural variability complicate efforts to understand the role of human influence.” Although the paleoclimatic evidence present in the Antarctic ice allows us to reconstruct approximate long local series, we only have homogeneous, global and reliable surface temperature measurements for the last forty years and ocean water temperature measurements for the last fifteen years, which in units of geological time is a miniscule period. Thus, the challenge presented by ” a system for which we have limited observations for a limited time, and about which our uncertainties are still large ” is made even more difficult by the fact that ” human influences currently amount to only 1 percent of the energy that flows through the climate system.”

Given the (rightly) little fear that a slight warming of the planet causes to most commonsensical people, the doomsday propaganda likes to focus on the supposed increase in extreme weather events. This is simply not happening, as I will not tire of repeating and the IPCC itself acknowledges[3]. Koonin knows this truth well: “Observations extending back over a century indicate that most types of extreme weather events don’t show any significant change – and some such events have actually become less common or severe (…); temperatures extremes in the contiguous US have become less common and somewhat milder since the late nineteenth century (…) and hurricanes and tornadoes show no changes attributable to human influences”. In fact, he says, according to the National Climate Assessment, “there has been no significant trend in the global number of tropical cyclones nor has any trend been identified in the number of US land-falling hurricanes”.

Regarding the forest fires with which we are entertained every summer, “the analysis of the images of sophisticated satellite sensors that first began monitoring wildfires globally in 1998 showed that the area burned annually declined by about 25 percent from 1998 to 2015”. Fewer and fewer forests are burning, which, together with reforestation and the beneficial increase in CO2, food par excellence for plants and trees, means that we can no longer speak of a deforestation problem on the planet: a study published in Nature, based on satellite images between 1982 and 2016, concluded that in the last 35 years the global forest area had increased by 7% (surprise, surprise). Good news for everyone except for those who make a living out of bad news.

Regarding the very slight sea level increase, measured in single digit mm per year (a trend that has been in place at different speeds since the last Ice Age), Koonin quotes the World Climate Research Program: “Major gaps remain in our understanding of past and contemporary sea level change and their causes, particularly for prediction/projection of sea level rise on regional and local scales (…), so we don’t know how much of the rise in global sea levels is due to human-caused warming and how much is a product of long-term natural cycles.”

Finally, quoting data from the IPCC itself, Koonin denounces that “just stabilizing human influences on the climate would require global annual per capita emissions of CO2 to fall to less than one ton by 2075, a level comparable to today’s emissions from such countries as Haiti, Yemen”, i.e., it would require returning to the very poverty from which it took us so many centuries to escape from. Consequently, Koonin concludes that he cannot support a “forced and urgent decarbonization” because “the impact of human influences on the climate is too uncertain (and very likely too small) compared to the daunting amount of change required to actually achieve the goal of eliminating net global emissions, so the many certain downsides of mitigation outweigh the uncertain benefits”.

I have been studying climate change for more than 15 years and it is clear to me that, hopelessly tainted by politics and the power junkies, it long ago abandoned the realm of free scientific debate to venture into sinister totalitarian paths. Thus, the supposed existential threat of the supposedly anthropogenic climate change is today a gigantic hoax, a forced impoverishment for everyone and a threat to freedom. The increase in the cost of energy that we are suffering, of complex causes and that in the short term may continue or abate, is just a warning sign of what lies ahead. Replacing efficient, stable and cheap energy sources with inefficient, intermittent and expensive sources (“renewables” sounds better, right?) that require a doubling of our generation capacity in order to have a necessary backup in order to avoid blackouts, or establishing grotesque, out-of-a-hat “CO2 emission rights” and torpedoing new investments in fossil fuels, is an attack on reason, truth and justice that has nothing to do with science or the survival of the planet and everything to do with the destruction of a system and the surreptitious imposition of a new order. The West (especially Europe) is committing suicide while Asia is smiling. We must stop this folly before it is too late.

 

Fernando del Pino Calvo-Sotelo

www.fpcs.es

 

[1] The myth of the electric vehicle – Fernando del Pino Calvo-Sotelo (fpcs.es)

[2] Unsettled: What climate science tells us, What it doesn’t and Why it matters, de Steven Koonin (BenBella Books 2021). Translated to Spanish by Fernando del Pino.

[3] IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Working Group 1, Chapter 2.6, p.214-220

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