Now, for some GOOD NEWS

by | Apr 1, 2020 |

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Climatically speaking, the Earth is in a perfect place. We’re in the Goldilocks zone! Not too hot, not too cold, not too wet, not too dry. Water exists in all three states: liquid, gaseous and solid. And we have enough carbon dioxide (CO2) in a gaseous form that life as we know it is possible. 
Happily, atmospheric levels of life-giving CO2 have been rising for the past few hundred years. In fact, the increased CO2 of just the past few decades have resulted in a vast greening of the Earth by the equivalent of half the size of Australia.
The elevated CO2 has been a blessing for all life on our planet, providing free fertilizer for jungles, forests, and prairies. The increased CO2 has been especially beneficial for the poorest people in Africa, South America and Asia who are reaping even greater agricultural yields, reducing famine and malnutrition.

“Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds,” NASA article.


A greener planet also makes for a cooler world because plants will absorb more of the sun’s heat to manufacture more sugars. This then reduces the amount of solar heat to be absorbed and stored by the land, seas and air. For several recent decades, we had been in a moderate warming period, and that’s been very good for humanity and all the other life on Earth. But then, almost twenty years ago, this temperature increase slowed significantly. Scientists are investigating to determine if we’re in a short pause or if it’s the beginning of a new global cooling cycle.

Socially speaking, aside from the current public health crisis, humanity has never been in a better place.

In his April 19, 2019 commentary on the anniversary of Earth Day, economist Nickolas Loris published his optimism, “On Earth Day; Gloomy Predictions Haven’t Come to Pass.” Loris not only reminded us about the many doomsday predictions that never materialized, but he also shared with us the ecological and humanitarian achievements of the past fifty years.
We did have a few better periods than today, such as 2,000 years ago, when during the Roman Warm Period, the climate was warmer than it is now. Even in places like Scotland, grapes were planted and harvested. Then, a thousand years ago, the weather was again warm enough for the Vikings to settle in Greenland and prosper for several hundred years before the climate went cold again.
There were also several frigid periods causing grave results, like the freezing period that destroyed the Vikings settlements in Greenland. One particularly awful period was called the Maunder Minimum that started about 1645 and lasted until 1715. ‘Global temperatures’ were about one to one and a half degrees Centigrade cooler than today’s modern, warm period. Farming growing seasons were shortened by more than a month, leading to widespread famine in the northern temperate zones. And shortly after, Washington’s troops were freezing at Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War.

Despite the fact that humanity has clearly had it very, very good for the past century or more from a climate perspective, we are constantly barraged by negative headlines in the twenty-four-hour news cycles: a flood here, a hurricane there, a drought, volcanoes, tidal waves, etc.

We’re told that global warming is coming, and the seas will rise so much that coastline cities like New York and Miami will be flooded and destroyed by hurricanes. No wonder that, even before the COVID-19 crisis, so many people have been left feeling empty and worry so much. 
But fear-mongering is nothing new and moves in cycles. The scientifically unsophisticated public is taken advantage of by opportunistic politicians, greedy climate industry, attention-seeking “elites,” nobility and redemption groveling “do-gooders.” Now, as the country faces a truly historic problem in the form of the Chinese coronavirus, for the first time in decades, the climate change delusion has been driven from the front pages of newspapers and the use of the ‘existential threat’ term may actually make sense and have nothing to do with the scaremongering of environmental zealots.
The vast sums of money wasted on subsidies for wind and solar energy to replace fossil fuels as well as the trillions of dollars being considered for the infamous Green New Deal should obviously now be redirected to our helping us address the current public health and economic crises and prepare for the next pandemic that might come our way.
Later this spring, when COVID-19 problems are hopefully starting to wind down, a new book by Terigi Ciccone titled A Hitchhikers Guide To Climate Change will be available to help reassure young people everywhere that that they can relax about climate change. While there are real problems in the world that should concern them, the creation of inexpensive energy from the burning fossil fuels is not one of them. Ciccone’s book will take readers, young and old, on an easily understood, and at times humorous journey of discovery, without the false histrionics Greta Thunberg and her ilk. It’s about time for some good news.

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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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Dave James
Dave James
2 years ago

Dr. Jay Lehr’s and Mr. Tom Harris’ source “Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds,” contracts their premise regarding climate change: “While rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the air can be beneficial for plants, it is also the chief culprit of climate change. The gas, which traps heat in Earth’s atmosphere, has been increasing since the industrial age due to the burning of oil, gas, coal and wood for energy and is continuing to reach concentrations not seen in at least 500,000 years. The impacts of climate change include global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and sea ice as well as more severe weather events.” (Source “Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds,” By Samson Reiny, Apr 26, 2016, NASA’s Earth Science News Team)
Dr. Jay Lehr and Mr. Tom Harris reject the evidence regarding CO₂’s role in climate change. They assert the concentration of CO₂ in the atmosphere is far too tiny to have a major impact, but Mr. Harris and Dr. Lehr both accept the scientific evidence that shows the same tiny amount of atmospheric CO₂ is key to all life on Earth and cause greening.
Mr. Harris and Dr. Lehr asserts climate change caused by the burning fossil fuels isn’t a real problem. Dr. Lehr and Mr. Harris assertion is not backed-up by the scientific evidence. (Source 4th National Climate Assessment, Volumes I and II)
Dr. Lehr and Mr. Harris have an agenda and it is not science. Their past opinion pieces show they are pro-fossil fuel activists:
“Trump right to try to end the WAR ON COAL” Dr. Jay Lehr & Tom Harris, Apr 16, 2019, America Out Loud
“Time to end the war on coal” Dr. Jay Lehr & Tom Harris, May 14, 2019, Citizens Journal
“Clean coal for the future” Tom Harris, Feb 9, 2018, Idaho Press
“Coal key to national security strategy” Tom Harris, Jan 13, 2018, The Spectrum
“Climate scare must be debunked for coal to recover” Tom Harris, Jan 2, 2018, Superior Telegram
“Harris: Coal has many uses” Tom Harris, Sep 3, 2018, Casper Star Tribune

Dave James
Dave James
Reply to  Dave James
2 years ago

Correction: My post should read – “Dr. Jay Lehr’s and Mr. Tom Harris’ source “Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds,” contradicts their premise regarding climate change…”

Tom Harris
2 years ago

It is good to see that we got the attention of the “Dave James” person (or group of people, whichever it is) on this piece too. His regular attacks remind us that our articles are worrying those who want to shut down debate about the causes of climate change.

Dave James
Dave James
Reply to  Tom Harris
2 years ago

Mr. Tom Harris mistakes criticisms of the content of his opinion piece for an attack on him. Polite, direct and sound arguments supported with documentation are not attacks.They are the basis of rational debate.
The only person stopping Mr. Harris from engaging in open and honest debate is Tom Harris. He does not address my criticisms or shore-up his own arguments. Instead, he claim to be a victim of “regular attacks.”

Tom Harris
Reply to  Dave James
2 years ago

Your attacks are obviously anything but “Polite, direct and sound arguments.” To say you engage in regular attacks against climate realism would be an understatement – people should see https://disqus.com/by/disqus_JzQ88MTX2I/comments/.

Dave James
Dave James
Reply to  Tom Harris
2 years ago

Tom Harris does not address my criticisms of his opinion piece nor does he attempt to shore-up his own arguments. Open and honest debate is not his top priority.
Mr. Harris contends my arguments are not polite, direct, or sound but Mr. Harris does not dispute any of my criticisms of his opinion piece. Instead, Mr. Harris vaguely contends my Disqus profile shows that I “engage in regular attacks against climate realism” but a quick review of my profile shows my posts are both polite and well-reasoned. https://disqus.com/by/disqus_JzQ88MTX2I/comments/ Because personal attacks are irrational and unconvincing, I don’t use them.
Mr. Harris seems to have the false impression that criticism of the arguments made by him or others who share his “climate realism” worldview are personal attacks. They’re not.
In the marketplace of ideas, no one is above criticism, not me and not Mr. Harris. Both bad and good arguments are tested by criticism. Open and honest debate results in good ideas succeeding because they are based on reason and evidence and bad ideas perishing because their based on ignorance and falsehoods.

Dave James
Dave James
2 years ago

President Donald Trump has dropped his “China virus” dog-whistle language after the nation’s leading civil rights and racial justice organizations issued a urgent call to action against racism and discrimination targeting Asian Americans related to Covid-19. But Dr. Jay Lehr and Mr. Tom Harris continue to refer to global Covid-19 pandemic as the “Chinese coronavirus.” https://www.apiahf.org/press-release/civil-rights-and-racial-justice-organizations-denounce-discrimination-against-asian-americans-and-urge-unity-in-responding-to-coronavirus-pandemic/
Mr. Harris and Dr. Lehr have rightly condemned the false and unsupported conspiracy theories in the Chinese press blaming the members of the US Army for corona-virus. However in the same opinion piece they promote their own unsupported conspiracy theories. Mr. Harris and Dr. Lehr claim China’s investment is wind and solar power is a plot to dominate the world. (Source “China’s Ultimate Goal of World Domination” By Dr. Jay Lehr & Tom Harris, Mar 17, 2020, America Out Loud)
They have also argued, “It may not be true that “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” as President Trump Tweeted on November 6, 2012, but they are certainly using it that way now.” Dr. Lehr and Mr. Harris attempt to resurrect Donald Trump’s false 2012 conspiracy theory even though Mr. Trump acknowledged his tweet was a joke. (Source “The Obvious Chinese Collusion in the Climate Change Delusion” By Dr. Jay Lehr & Tom Harris, Sept 4, 2019, America Out Loud)

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