The Ignorance of Politicians Wishing for a Non-Carbon Future is Insane

by | May 10, 2022 |

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On this year’s Earth Day, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), fanned the flames of climate alarmism when he made what will go down as one of the most absurd public proclamations ever: 

“Our failure to address climate change will have devastating consequences, not just for the environment but for our economy…many economists have suggested that just two-degree Centigrade rise in Earth’s temperature—we’re on track for more than that—will cut GDP growth by half a percent per year…It’s essential that we invest in climate change right now. This will create good jobs that will help us mitigate the environmental impacts. It’s what we need to do for the future, and ultimately when we get to a non-carbon future, we will be able to grow much more quickly than we did before…This is the existential crisis of our century, of our generation.”

Beyer seems unaware that in a “non-carbon future,” everything would be dead since carbon is the primary building block of life. Undeterred, the associated press release from Beyer’s office claimed:

“Warmer temperatures are lowering workers’ incomes, and the increased severity and frequency of natural disasters is lowering overall economic growth…The cost of inaction will be catastrophic.”

His JEC report even went so far as to maintain:

“Climate change will increase the frequency and impact of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods, and increase the likelihood of unbearable heat and droughts. From an economic point of view, a hotter planet will make workers and agricultural land less productive, slowing economic growth and lowering living standards over time. All Americans will bear the costs of climate change.” 

All of this is ridiculous, of course. Nowhere are the flaws in Beyer’s statements more obvious than in his home state of Virginia, which, like the Congressman, has gone hog wild on climate:

  • In 2020, former Governor Northam authorized the entry of the state into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which imposes a “cap-and-trade” program on power plants, causing electricity prices to increase while subsidizing wind and solar generation. Thankfully, the current governor, Glenn Youngkin, has signed an executive order to remove the state from the initiative. 
  • In 2020 Northam also approved the Virginia Clean Economy Act, which requires the Commonwealth to replace all fossil fuel-generated electricity (which, in 2021, was 65% of all electricity in Virginia) with “renewable energy” by 2045. According to the bill, the state will achieve this goal with large-scale solar, offshore wind projects, and small-scale nuclear. 
  • The next year, Northam established the Multi-State Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Memorandum of Understanding, mandating that 30% of new truck and bus sales must be zero-emission by 2030 and 100 percent zero-emission by 2050.

To counter this dangerous propaganda and Virginia’s impossible goals, a team of experts assembled by the CO2 Coalition has completed “Virginia and Climate Change,” a detailed examination of effects (or non-effects) of climate change in the Commonwealth. This detailed analysis of climate change and its alleged impact on Virginia finds the following to be true and supported by voluminous governmental and peer-reviewed studies concerning the state:

  • There is no unusual or unprecedented warming
  • Heat waves have been declining
  • Severe weather is not increasing
  • Crop and forest growth are increasing
  • Droughts are in decline
  • There is no increase in hurricanes
  • Complete elimination of carbon dioxide emissions within Virginia will have an impact that is so close to zero that it is meaningless.

In short, there is no climate crisis, and any attempts to eliminate CO2 via regulation or taxation are simply “solutions in search of a problem,” says Ryan Nichols, Vice-President of Operations of the CO2 Coalition, a 501(c)(3) organization created for the purpose of educating thought leaders, policymakers and the public about the important contribution made by carbon dioxide to our lives and the economy. The Coalition seeks to engage in an informed and dispassionate discussion of climate change, humans’ role in the climate system, the limitations of climate models, and the consequences of mandated reductions in CO2 emissions.

Key images from the CO2 Coalition report illustrate no impacts on state temperatures, but a huge influence on crop yields appears below.

 


 


Virginia corn-yield trends are similar to those in the nation as a whole, with the increase beginning in the late 1930s with the widespread adoption of hybrid varieties.

Source: USDA:

The Virginia report was based principally on the work of: 

• Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, past President of the American Association of State Climatologists

• Gregory Wrightstone, geologist and Executive Director CO2 Coalition 

• Dr. James Ferguson, Professor Emeritus, Professor of Nutrition, Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

• Dr. John Christy, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville 

• Dr. William Happer, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics at Princeton University. 

Claims of rising temperatures, severe weather, and dangerously rising sea level, along with dire predictions of more of the same—all purportedly driven by man-made emissions of carbon dioxide—have been used to justify various efforts of Virginia’s government to control the uncontrollable: Earth’s climate.

Using widely accepted data and analytical methods, the CO2 Coalition finds no scientific basis for these justifications. Moreover, state programs to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by discouraging the use of fossil fuels—while expensive—will have no measurable effect on atmospheric temperature or weather. There is no climate emergency and spending money to address one is foolish. Here is a breakdown of what they found:

Severe Weather: Natural disasters worldwide have been in a 20-year decline. a period of both rising temperature and increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, countering claims of linkage with increasing natural calamities.

Temperature & Carbon Dioxide: Records since the early 20th century show periods both of increasing warmth and cooling, demonstrating questionable direct correlation between temperature and carbon dioxide levels.

Heat Waves & Droughts: Both have declined in recent decades. The most frequent and severe heat waves occurred in the 1920s and 1930s. 68% of Virginia’s record highs were set between 1922-1941, with none being recorded in the last 20 years. The number of days in a heat wave has declined over the last 70 years.

Virginia Temperature in Future Context: Computer models on which Virginia’s climate programs are based have systematically over-predicted Virginia warming in recent decades. A methodology so flawed has no place in deliberating climate policies as it provides no reliable clues for near-term temperatures.

Climate Change & Agriculture: Consistent with global trends, Virginia crop yields have been increasing since the 1930s with the adoption of hybrid corn, greater use of fertilizers, and more efficient farming. In addition, modest warming and increasing carbon dioxide have turbocharged harvests.

Regional Sea-Level Rise: There is no acceleration in sea-level rise as recorded by tide gauges. However, local rises can have a strong geological component, as is the case in Virginia, where the rise is amplified by the well-documented isostatic rebound along the eastern seaboard. This non-climatic phenomenon can account for 21st-century relative sea-level rises of nearly 20 inches in parts of the Atlantic Coast.

Meaningless Climate Programs: Using the methodology of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the amount of global warming “mitigated” by eliminating all Virginia emissions of carbon dioxide from 2010 – 2100 (climate sensitivity of 2.00 C assumed) would be to avoid 0.00210 deg C of warming—a number so small as to be unmeasurable.

Conclusion: Clearly, there is no correlation between carbon dioxide emissions and the safety of Virginians. In fact, the weather has been relatively benign in recent decades as Virginia agriculture has benefited from modest warming and increasing carbon dioxide. Efforts to modify the climate are wasteful and punishing to all citizens who can only see their standard of living decline without the use of fossil fuels to create electricity, supply transportation, and help produce over 6,000 products used in our daily life.

To discuss this report and other work of the CO2 Coalition, Ryan Nichols of the Coalition will be our guest on THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY Saturday and Sunday, May 14 and 15, at both 11 am and 8 pm EDT.

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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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John Shewchuk
John Shewchuk
1 month ago

Great article with factual overview of the current state of climate alarmism. It’s also good see others using the RAW USHCN data, which reveals the ground truth about temperature trends … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hs-K_tadveI

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