I call it global warming hysteria. You know what I mean, terror stories about how we are DESTROYING THE PLANET by driving cars and air conditioning our homes.
Now, it gets personal. A new study accuses each and every one of us for causing 600 square feet of arctic ice to “vanish” each year. Between Jonah and Ramesh, that’s a small house sized bit of sea ice melted each year! From the USA Today story:
Think you aren’t personally responsible for climate change? Think again. The average American causes about 600 square feet of Arctic sea ice to vanish each year, according to a study released Thursday, and something as simple as your summer road trip may be to blame.
The study, the first to provide this level of detail about the link between carbon pollution and Arctic ice, shows how human carbon emissions are playing a devastating role. The study found that summer Arctic sea ice will be gone in 30 years — and that means more volatile weather patterns — unless carbon emissions are reduced rapidly.
Sea ice is frozen ocean water that melts each summer, then refreezes each winter. Its summertime area has been shrinking each year by nearly 34,000 square miles, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The study, which combined observations, statistics and dozens of computer models, appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Science.
Ah, the dreaded computer models.
Here’s the thing: Al Gore predicted the dreaded arctic summer ice disappearing act would occur by 2014.
A few years ago–just before snow choked England–scientists said UK children would not know freezing conditions.
The UN once lied–it acknowledged–that there would be no glaciers left in the Himalayas by 2034.
Global warming hysterics around the world don’t act at all like they believe their life’s activities are causing the arctic to melt in the way they conduct their own lives.
Meanwhile, is arctic ice really melting alarmingly? From a skeptic James Taylor’s commentary in Forbes:
A 10-percent decline in polar sea ice is not very remarkable, especially considering the 1979 baseline was abnormally high anyway. Regardless, global warming activists and a compliant news media frequently and vociferously claimed the modest polar ice cap retreat was a sign of impending catastrophe.
Al Gore even predicted the Arctic ice cap could completely disappear by 2014. In late 2012, however, polar ice dramatically rebounded and quickly surpassed the post-1979 average. Ever since, the polar ice caps have been at a greater average extent than the post-1979 mean. Now, in May 2015, the updated NASA data show polar sea ice is approximately 5 percent above the post-1979 average.
Me? I’m agnostic about the causes, extent, and potential consequences of a warming planet.
Rather, I tend to heed Bjorn Lomborg that destroying our economies to save the planet–as many hysterics’ policies would cause–would have an infinitesimal impact on warming, but result in untold human suffering:
Doom-mongering makes us panic and seize upon the wrong responses to global warming. At a cost of between $1 trillion and $2 trillion annually, the Paris climate agreement, recently ratified by China, is likely to be history’s most expensive treaty.
It will slow the world’s economic growth to force a shift to inefficient green energy sources. This will achieve almost nothing. My peer-reviewed research, published last November in the journal Global Policy, shows that even if every nation were to fulfill all their carbon-cutting promises by 2030 and stick to them all the way through the century—at a cost of more than $100 trillion in lost GDP—global temperature rise would be reduced by a tiny 0.3°F (0.17°C).
In a rush to do something—and be seen to be taking drastic action—more sensible approaches to counter global warming have been overlooked. Instead of simply mandating less carbon output, we need more R&D spending on green energy, including more efficient fission and fusion, cheaper solar and wind, and improved storage. New technology is crucial if green energy is to out-compete fossil fuels.
In other words, maximize our prosperity in order to be enabled to make whatever accommodations that might be required to adjust to shifting conditions. That’s good advice. The richer we are, the better able we will be to shift to less potentially environmentally-troubling technologies and to help the destitute of the world improve their lots, which will translate into better environmental practices.