Conservatives Must Have the Courage to Tell the Truth About Carbon Dioxide

by | Jun 30, 2020 |

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All across America, virtually all of our educational, political, religious, commercial and media establishment have bought hook line and sinker into the climate scare. When conservatives dare debate the issue at all, they do so entirely on their enemies’ terms: ‘carbon emissions,’ from the burning of hydrocarbon fuels—coal, oil and natural gas—are assumed to be causing dangerous climate change. The question is never whether we should bother reducing so-called ‘carbon pollution’ at all. It is merely a question of how—a tax on emissions, ‘cap and trade,’ regulations or a mass conversion to ‘green energy—and who should go first—developed or developing countries.

“A good general knows never to fight a battle on his enemy’s turf, terrain, and terms unless he has no other choice.” So states David Kahane in his important book Rules for Radical Conservatives – beating the left at its own game to take back America.
Conservatives have, generally speaking, completely ignored this fundamental ‘rule’ in the climate change debate. So, they continue to lose, and lose miserably.

But, like arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin—a question used to debunk the mediaeval study of angels, conservatives have acquiesced to a debate that they should never have gotten into in the first place. It simply makes no sense. Angels do not exist, but, if they did, an infinite number of them could dance on the head of a pin since they are non-corporeal—they occupy no space at all.
Similarly, aside from soot and poisonous carbon monoxide, ‘carbon pollution’ does not exist. It is carbon dioxide (CO2), which every school child knows is plant food, the very opposite of ‘pollution.’ Unlike ‘carbon,’ which is a solid, CO2 is an invisible, odorless, benign gas on which all life on Earth depends.
This topic was thoroughly discussed in last week’s Malcolm Out Loud radio interview with Dr. Jay Lehr, the senior author of this piece and engineer Terigi Ciccone. They exposed a novel but critically important truism: like so much in today’s press and politics, the idea that we must reduce ‘carbon’ emissions is completely backwards. In reality, we should be trying to intentionally increase CO2 as much as possible. Ciccone said it well:

“I’ll take all I can get… If somebody tells me, oh my goodness, CO2 went up by 40% in just the last 50 years, it’s all the way up to 400 parts per million (ppm), I say to them, wake me up when it is gets to 800 [ppm] because I’m going to be a lot happier to have it at 800 than at 400…carbon dioxide is the basis for all life on Earth.”

One of the most egregious examples of language distortion is being committed right now by former Vice-president Joe Biden, the presumptive Democrat nominee for the 2020 presidential election.
On his nonsensical web page, “Joe’s Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice,” Biden calls CO2 ‘carbon’ no less than 16 times using such misleading terms as ‘carbon mitigation,’ ‘carbon footprint,’ ‘carbon emissions,’ and, worst of all, taking a page from his former boss, Barack Obama, “carbon pollution.” Never once, on a gargantuous web page of over 10,000 words, does Biden refer to the gas by its proper name.
Just like in the dystopian society of George Orwell’s novel 1984, Biden is using ‘Newspeak,’ a language created to control the thinking patterns of the populace. After all, ‘carbon’ brings to mind visions of soot, lamp black and coal dust, none of which are warm and fuzzy. Aside from the fact that CO2 contains a single atom of carbon, it bears no resemblance to elemental carbon. It has about as much in common with carbon as lightning does with a lightning bug.
So, let’s lay out in clear, unequivocal language exactly what conservatives should be telling the public about carbon dioxide, wrongly accused of being America’s public enemy #1. 

  • CO2 is the basis for all life on Earth; it combines with water and sunshine and produces plant sugars. Plants are the food source for all animals, fish, fowl, and all humans as well on Earth.  Over the past 35-years, the Earth has increased its green vegetated land by an area equal to half the size of Australia. As a result, NASA has calculated that deserts have shrunk significantly, especially where it has been most beneficial, such as in central Africa, southern Eurasia, and India, Pakistan and China.

  • More CO2 means free, rich fertilizer and thus increased yields of food crops for the poorest people in the developing countries. It is also natural fertilizer for forests and plains, and wilderness areas increasing food to sustain wildlife. In Figure 1 we see four identical trees, all planted at the same time. You see the benefits of more CO2 (on placards) staring at you. Thanks to the emissions of fossil fuels from tractors, trucks, and ships, automobiles and factories, hunger in the world has been declining. 

  • At higher CO2 levels, plants need 40-70% less water. Figure 2 shows the underside of a leaf. There we see the stomata, the mouths of the plants. At low CO2 levels, the mouths need to open more and stay open longer to take in sparsely available CO2. But in doing so, they transpire or lose water through these openings. At higher CO2 levels, the stomata quickly take in the CO2 and then close before losing much water.

No one will argue that life can be improved throughout parts of the world. Here are our recommendations as to how to achieve this by ending the false climate alarm.

  • Take 50% of all the money now wasted on the bogus CO2 research and grant it to the developing countries so they can build their modest generators to fire up their pumps, refrigerators, treatment plants and let these people have a chance for meaningful survival.
  • Reduce or eliminate bogus CO2 restrictions and let developing countries use fossil fuel power plants to make electricity for their schools, hospitals, refrigeration, hygiene, etc. Stop the madness at the World Development Bank that mandates that their grants can only be used for solar or wind plants, with no regard to their recognized failures. Support for them would dwindle if the citizenry realized that for every kilowatt of wind or solar power placed on the electric grid that much more fossil fuel burning power must be added to replace the wind and sun when they do not blow or shine.

And what about the greenhouse effect and global warming? We should be grateful for the greenhouse effect, not fear it. Without it, the world would be 30 C colder; the Earth would be a frozen sphere and all life absent.

The primary greenhouse gas is water vapor accounting for about 95% of the total. Human-caused CO2 is relatively insignificant yet of exceptional value to life on Earth. 
While we are currently at odds with the Chinese, and may always be so, we can learn a lesson from them which allowed them to absorb all those who attempted to conquer their nation in centuries past. Their rule of warfare was:
Lure the tiger off its mountain lair.
 (調虎離山/调虎离山, Diào hǔ lí shān)        
It interprets to mean, never directly attack an opponent whose advantage is derived from its position. Instead, lure him away from his position, thus separating him from his source of strength.
It is time to stop arguing with the Global warming alarmists as to how much or little carbon dioxide is likely to warm the Earth and instead make it clear to everyone that carbon dioxide is a blessing to us all.

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Dr. Jay Lehr is a Senior Policy Analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition and former Science Director of The Heartland Institute. He is an internationally renowned scientist, author, and speaker who has testified before Congress on dozens of occasions on environmental issues and consulted with nearly every agency of the national government and many foreign countries. After graduating from Princeton University at the age of 20 with a degree in Geological Engineering, he received the nation’s first Ph.D. in Groundwater Hydrology from the University of Arizona. He later became executive director of the National Association of Groundwater Scientists and Engineers.

Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition, and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute. He has 40 years experience as a mechanical engineer/project manager, science and technology communications professional, technical trainer, and S&T advisor to a former Opposition Senior Environment Critic in Canada’s Parliament.

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Bill McLellan
Bill McLellan
1 year ago

Great article and a must for Greta to read!

Gary Hall
Gary Hall
1 year ago

I agree, but there’s a much easier way to wake people up about the insane current alarmist shrill dominating the conversation:
As several Republican are signing on to various versions of AOC’s green mess, inc Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
We need to get them all [inc the Trump WH] on board w/ short concise truthful factual talking points.
1.) The IPCC and the US NCA are quite clear: Little to no confidence of worsening L-T trends in TS, floods, droughts, SLR, wildfires, tornadoes . .W/ wildfires, drought and tornadoes (US), we have decreasing trends.
2.) They [and we] must always differentiate between the usual dramatic natural [variability] in climate change and the view of the potential that a bit of human footprint in GT’s, AGW, is only predicted to alter the natural climate at some juncture in the future (hasn’t happened yet – and I;’m not on board with it). When asked about, or if they believe in CC, the first response is, ‘what are you speaking of our normal and dramatic climate change, or the view – what I just described.
ACC, CACC is not the same as CC. GW is not the same as AGW. We – they – CFACT – Marc – should never use the terms with out being specific. We also need our friends in the media to master these talking points, so that when they have a Democrat in front of them who mentions any of their dribble, they are prepared and respond with, ‘What are you speaking of specially, CC or ACC or CACC — GW or AGW? Then they can follow up w/; don’t you know about the scientific facts showing that there is little to no confidence (as I said above) . . you can find that within the IPCC and NCA reports.
I’m not that connected, but I’ve had this conversation with many Republican staffers and even w/ the former House Science committee Chair. Most were unaware – and most all were eager to get on the bandwagon, but to this date – never a sensible peep out of any Republicans in public. And VP Pence is the worst here of anyone I’ve ever listened to.
I recall several yrs back when 5 Republican candidates in, (one of the Carolina’s?) were being interviewed by the ed board of a local paper. It was taped. They did a round on, “do you believe in climate change?’ Asked for a yes or no answer from each. All 5 answered “no.” One of the board members then followed up with, “Do you believe in the Easter Bunny.” I tell you – the straight ‘no’ answer deserved that pathetic response. They sound like idiots. Are they?
The whole lot of them need talking points like this. Make it simple – index size – get it to the RNC, Rep leadership in both houses, media, etc. We’ll be much better off, and the fossil fuel/green debate will almost take care of itself once everyone begins to hear this and what Michael Shellenberger is saying.
Hope someone is listening.

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