Senator Manchin Is Right To Stand Up To Climate Bullies

by | Dec 28, 2021 |

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Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has been villainized by climate campaigners and their media and government allies for refusing to support President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better package over the past week. But Manchin is justified to turn his back on the gargantuan plan, which includes half a trillion dollars in useless climate investments. Humanity does not control the Earth’s thermostat. And, even if we did, crippling the United States while allowing developing nations, the source of most of today’s greenhouse gas emissions, to expand without limit would do nothing to help the environment.

So, a sensible observer might ask, “what is all this about then?”

The official Climate Change narrative “has never been about climate.” So started and ended a recent lecture by Dr. David Legates, former Director of the Center for Climate Research at The University of Delaware. In this article, we will follow his lead and prove why carbon dioxide isn’t the dangerous gas it is made out to be, why climate change is not an “existential threat” to the planet or humanity, and why the Green New Deal is not even intended to be a solution to climate change.

Let us begin with a series of questions Dr. Legates commonly asks. 

Is our climate changing? 

Of course, it is. It has been changing ever since the Earth was formed. The Earth’s climate is dynamic, variable, and ever-changing. The only constant about climate is change. 

Is global warming real? 

Again, yes, of course, it is. Surface air temperature has risen approximately 1.1°C (2°F) since the late 1800s. That was when the Little Ice Age, which began about 300 years earlier, came to an end.   

Do humans affect the Earth’s climate? 

Again, the answer is “YES,” with little debate. We can point to the urban heat island effect. For example, the Washington D.C. metropolitan area is warmer than the surrounding countryside due to the urban city, and this has been widely studied. Because of impervious surfaces and the increased water demand of urbanized areas, floods and drought frequencies, and intensities also are affected. 

Is carbon dioxide (CO2) a greenhouse gas?

Yes, it is, without which the Earth would be a frozen ice ball. But the most important greenhouse gas is not CO2; it is water vapor. Water cycles quickly through the atmosphere, absorbing energy as it evaporates and releasing that energy as it condenses. All of the water currently in the global atmosphere will fall as precipitation in just the next ten days. 

If the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere were to double, what would be the effect on global air temperature?

This is where the debate begins.

Scientists have settled on trying to calculate how much our temperature would rise if CO2 content in the atmosphere doubled from about 415 parts per million today to 830 ppm at some point in the future. Over the last twenty years, our estimates of this “climate sensitivity” to CO2 have decreased substantially, based on physical measurements of the climate system. In the early 2000s, estimates were that a doubling of CO2 might result in a warming in excess of 3 degrees C (5.4 F). Over the last five years, several independent assessments have placed the impact of twice the amount of CO2 at less than 1°C (1.8°F). Scientists not vying for government funding consider this to be insignificant.

How do we know that CO2 is a minor player in climate change? 

Both theory and models tell us that the biggest effect of CO2 on air temperatures should lie in the upper tropical troposphere. The troposphere is the lowest layer of the atmosphere where all weather resides. Over the last 40 years, the warming of this layer has been very small.

Moreover, the theory also indicates that daily maximum air temperatures should rise if CO2 is a major driver of climate change. In fact, daily maxima have not changed substantially over the last 80 years, and before that, maximum air temperatures were much higher during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

Minimum daily air temperatures have increased, but that is associated with the warming of urban areas. Averaging these two extremes to get a daily average and then reporting that “this year is the warmest in recorded history” is highly misleading since most stations have a short record length and the warming is not due to CO2.

Will this warming necessarily lead to more climate extremes—floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, sea-level rise, etc.? 

There is considerable data that explain why these events are not increasing in frequency or intensity and why, under a warmer world, the physics indicates that they should not. 

Changing land use and increased demand for water are more significant than CO2 in changing the impact of climate on our lives. Coverage of extreme weather gives a false impression that violent weather is becoming more frequent and intense when the data say otherwise.

Is a warmer climate and more CO2 a net benefit to life on the planet? 

The answer to this question is a resounding “YES.” More people die from exposure to cold than heat. A longer growing season is more beneficial to feeding a growing population. Further, since CO2 is plant food, under higher CO2 concentrations, virtually all plants grow faster and are more efficient, requiring less water.

So, what is the benefit of spending trillions of dollars and fundamentally changing our economy and way of life because of unwarranted fear of a changing climate? 

The benefit is clear to the Marxists now, likely making up nearly 20 percent of our population. They want more government control and less personal freedom.

The Green New Deal and Biden’s plan are not about “stopping climate change “or stabilizing” Earth’s climate as we now know CO2 is a small player in climate change. Regardless, the United States has cut back on greenhouse gas emissions by about 13% since 2005 with virtually no effect on the climate. The net effect of reducing the United States’ CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050 would be negligible but would send the nation’s standard of living back to that of the mid-19th century. Even reduction of CO2 by 100% would have little effect on the climate, but the policies proposed by the Green New Deal and Biden’s new plan would make Karl Marx proud as our capitalist economy crumbles.

Industrialization due to the use of fossil fuels has made developed nations prosperous. But the leftist Marxists claim we are destroying the Earth, and thus must pay reparations to the poorest nations of the developing world. Indeed, under the guidance of the United Nations, a tremendous effort is being made to redistribute wealth on a global scale. 

All the draconian changes currently underway by the Biden administration are intended to fulfill the dreams of Marx, Lenin, Castro, and the rest of the tyrants. They will not succeed as the nation will revolt in November’s mid-term elections. To have any chance of being re-elected, sensible Democrats should follow Manchin’s lead.

Our interview with Dr. David Legates can be heard on The Other Side of the Story broadcast on the America Out Loud Talk Radio Network on Saturday, January 1, and Sunday, January 2 at both 11 am and 8 pm before going to podcast on January 3. Portions of this article are derived from a transcript of one of Dr. Legates’ lectures. 

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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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