Does ‘weather change’ equal ‘climate change?’
BY RUSS STEWART
The near-universal presumption of global warming is based on the premise that "weather change" foreshadows "climate change," and that our planet faces a crisis of "catastrophic" proportions unless we spend billions of dollars to suppress the emission of "greenhouse gases," which is carbon dioxide emanating from the burning of coal and fossil fuels.
Our president has deemed global warming a "hoax," dismissing the vast environmentalist/academia/ "climate scientist" movement as simply a moneymaking, self-perpetuating entity. By withdrawing the country from the voluntary Paris accord to supposedly "reduce greenhouse gases," President Trump has earned the enmity and contempt of the "greens," much as President Bush did in 2000s by ignoring the Kyoto accord.
This column is not intended to deny or debunk "global warming," but rather to point out that there are many salient facts that mitigate otherwise. But one fact is indisputable: Climate is weather over a long period of time.
Fact Number One: The earth is 4.5 billion years old, and Homo sapiens emerged somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago. In the 1970s, scientists insisted that the earth was getting colder, and a new Ice Age was imminent. Now it’s the reverse: The world is warming, they say, sea levels are rising, crops are failing, species are becoming extinct, glaciers are melting, deserts are spreading, diseases are multiplying, and "extreme" weather – meaning tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, droughts, floods, and El Nino events – are reported daily on the Internet. There’s a disaster a day. And it’s all happened since the 1990s, when "global warming" was discovered. To posit that mankind has "destroyed" the planet in more than 25 years is the ultimate in hubris.
Fact Number Two: The earth’s atmosphere is composed of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, with the remaining one percent containing argon, an inert gas, and less than one percent of that one percent comprised of carbon dioxide. If the U.S. had adopted the Kyoto accord, the country’s temperature would decline by .04 degree by 2100.
There is a concept called "urban heat island," which means that in cities with more people, more emissions, and more deforestation, temperatures are higher. According to the U.S. Historical Climatology Network, the mean temperature in New York City rose one degree from 1930 to 2000, but in Albany, 140 miles to the north, it declined by 1.1 degrees, but at West Point it rose .75 degrees.
Likewise, mountain glaciers are melting throughout the world because of deforestation at their base, causing rising temperatures. And temperatures in Antarctica are decreasing.
Fact Number Three: There are maybe no viable energy alternatives to fossil fuels. It was predicted that wind power, solar, waste and geothermal sources would be a larger share of the energy market. That has not happened. As of 2000, "alternative" energy is 6 percent in the U.S., 5 percent in Japan and Germany, and 3 percent in England. There is no known technology capable of reducing carbon emissions except "cold turkey" – i.e., don’t drive cars, don’t fly planes, don’t ship consumer goods.
Fact Number Four: And there is the "Fear Factor": Michael Crichton’s profoundly insightful and politically-incorrect 2004 novel, "State of Fear" is aptly premised on the fact that people are timid, nervous, fretful and depressed. They are afraid of disease, crime, murder, terrorist attacks, school massacres, strangers, drive-by shootings, tainted food and/or water, product defects, weather anomalies, pollution, government insolvency, pension defaults, benefit reductions or terminations, cancer, personal injury, foreclosure, lawsuits, inflation, a stock market collapse, losing their job, perverted priests, drug availability, environmental warming and dying. From the moment of waking, they think: What kind of bad things will happen to my family or me today?
"Fear" is an effective method of governmental control. It keeps people docile, suppresses unruly behavior, and maintains societal order. It has been used throughout world history by governments, dictators, demagogues, kings, popes and organized religion to quell dissent and compel compliance. Did you know that the august Roman Catholic Church and other sects, from the Inquisition (A.D 1400) through the 1700s in America, exterminated 5 million women, branding them as witches? They were either drowned or burnt at the stake. Their crime was religious-incorrectness: They questioned or did not accept Church doctrine.
"Fear," as Crichton points out, is also good for business, and a profit-enhancer, all ostensibly under the guise of "safety." The media, lawyers, environmentalists and those in academia make money by exploiting and enhancing fear. Television and the print media need fear to attract viewers and readers. "Scare stories," whether about crime, weather, product recalls or government incompetence, attract viewers. Lawyers need fear to create "danger," and a justification for litigation. Universities and academicians need fear to get government grants to "study" problems, and then manipulate the laboratory or clinical data so as to get more "research" grants. Politicians use fear to get elected. The PLM – the political-legal-media complex – benefits from fear of global warming and radical terrorism.
The U.S. military needs fear to justify its $800 billion budget. Defense contractors need fear to justify an endless supply of military weaponry and technology. Religion needs fear – namely: that of dying – to financially sustain their vast bureaucracy and keep the flock in line. And environmentalists need fear – of climate change, species extinction, etc. – to keep the endowments and donations flowing in.
After the 1917 Bolshevik revolution in Russia, "fear" gripped the world. "Revolution" was everywhere, threatening to "destroy the American way of life," trumpeted the government and the media. After World War II, there was born the "Military-Industrial Complex," dedicated to the proposition that whatever weaponry the Soviets had, we had to have better – the cost.
Then there was Vietnam, a bonanza for American business, based on the "Domino Theory," positing the fear that if Southeast Asia fell to the communists, Japan and the Philippines would be next, and the heathen communist hordes would soon be invading San Diego. That fear cost 50,000 troops their lives.
The Soviet Union, the so-called "workers’ paradise," built on the Marxist premise of "to each according to his needs, from each according to his ability." Human nature rebels at that concept. But the communist elite, the 1 percent living in dachas with unlimited quantities of vodka and caviar, while everybody else lived in squalor, needed "fear" to maintain social control, to convince citizens that their poverty was a "sacrifice" for the Motherland.
After experiencing invasion by Germany, American warmongering was believable. And the KGB made sure that any dissident was shot. By the 1950s there weren’t many dissidents left, having been liquidated by Lenin and Stalin. Instead of using rubles to enhance their citizens’ quality of life, the elite spent the money on missiles, ships and the military, until Ronald Reagan spent them into collapse.
There are two magical dates: Nov. 9, 1989 and Sept. 11, 2001. The first was the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Soviet Union crumbling, and the Cold War ending. The fear of nuclear Armageddon evaporated. Now global warming and "environmental cataclysm" became a danger. The second was when the World Trade Center was obliterated. Now "radical fundamentalism" became a danger.
Crichton’s novel cites this timeline:
The earth is a piece of molten rock which detached from the sun approximately 4.5 to 5 billion years ago, and by gravitational pull is held in orbit, along with other planets. Our sun is probably one of a billion in the universe. The planet has had three atmospheres. First, because of the rock’s heat, there was helium and hydrogen. Second, due to underground volcanic activity, there was steam and carbon dioxide emitted. And the water vapor condensed, creating worldwide oceans. This process took 2 billion years.
Then, about 3 billion years ago, single-cell bacteria emerged, consuming carbon dioxide and excreting oxygen and nitrogen, which altered the atmosphere, and landmasses were being created by undersea volcanic eruptions. During this billion-year period, the tectonic plates began shifting, elevating and broadening the landmasses, and disrupting the ocean’s currents. This, about 2 billion years ago, brought on an Ice Age, which lasted for 700 million years, covering the globe’s landmasses.
Then, about 600 million years ago, the bacteria evolved into life forms, constituting primitive forms of fish and fauna. About 500 million years ago, the seas were teeming with predatory life, some of which, for self-preservation, crawled onto land. Dinosaurs then reigned for 435 million years, becoming extinct 65 million years ago. Mammals survived, and humankind’s upright ancestors emerged 100,000 to 200,000 years ago, and evolved since.
Regarding religion, one either believes or disbelieves. Such verities as God Making the World in 7 Days, Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, Heaven and Hell, Virgin Mary, and the resurrection of Christ have no historical verification; they are accepted on faith, as are the teachings of Allah, Abraham, Buddha, Confucius and a hundred other prophets. Fear of death gives rise to faith.
Philosopher John Hobbes once remarked that life is mean, short, nasty and brutish. Add to that: Fearful. "Global warming" exacerbates that fear, and every instance of "extreme" weather is deemed proof positive that mankind is "destroying" the planet.
Send e-mail to russ@russstew art.com or visit his Web site at www.russstewart.com.