Would the Paris Climate Accords Render Earth Uninhabitable?

By John Zmirak Published on May 30, 2017

The most important decision Donald Trump will likely make in his four years as president faces him now. He’s apparently on a knife-edge over what to do. On the one side is massive public pressure from virtually every elite institution in the U.S. and around the world. That reaches from the U.N. to the pope, from science gurus to policy wonks. Voices within his own team urge Trump to flip on this key campaign promise: To withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord.

It’s crucial that President Trump resist these voices. He must stay true to his voters. Not because campaign promises are sacred. Not because the agreement might hurt him politically. No, the fact is that this treaty is its own catastrophe. Its results on the poorest around the world, on personal freedom and economic growth, are not just predictable: They are certain.

“Alternative” Energy Lets the Poor Freeze in the Dark

We are already seeing these effects. Wherever governments clamp down on cheap, reliable fossil fuels in favor of pricey, buggy, exotic new technologies, results are the same: Energy prices go up. Economic growth goes down. The poor stay poor. A few Elon Musks or Al Gores get obscenely rich. And the environment suffers. See the Cornwall Alliance’s statement for the grim details.

It is only in an economy where most people have their basic needs met that you can find the money and political support to look after ecology. Taking fossil fuels out of the energy mix is like banning silicon computer chips. Imagine going back to the vacuum tubes of IBM’s room-size computers back in the 1950s. What effect would that have on the economy? Well, the difference of efficiency, reliability, and cost between fossil fuels and all the exotic (non-nuclear) “alternative” energy sources is roughly the same. If it weren’t they wouldn’t need massive subsidies from the taxpayer.

You don’t rewire your house while your infant is choking. Poor people don’t fear for the sea turtles when their family members lack vaccines, clean water, and fully nutritious food.

How do you think environmental initiatives are going in Venezuela right now? In Syria? In Libya? Without the peace, plenty, and order that come with a basically free economy, you will never see a cleaner earth. For more proof, look back at the appalling environmental record of the former Soviet Union. It poisoned whole regions and actually dried up one of the earth’s seas. But it still couldn’t feed its people.

Pulling Up the Ladder Behind Us

The Paris Treaty would crush economic growth around the world by gradually banning abundant and cheap energy. What would that do? Knock billions of people off the upward escalator that globalization has provided. You know, that economic force which reduced the number of desperately poor people around the world by one billion in the past 20 years.

Granting unelected, international bureaucrats still more power over the lives, work, and choices of every American is dangerous.

Then large portions of the human race will never reach the happy plateau where they can afford to care about important but less urgent goods: Things like endangered species, biodiversity, and wild open spaces. They are too busy staving off cholera. You don’t rewire your house while your infant is choking. Poor people don’t fear for the sea turtles when their family members lack vaccines, clean water, and fully nutritious food. Or when they can’t heat their homes.

The Paris treaty is based on speculative science. It uses flawed computer models. They pretend to predict what we cannot even explain: the changes in earth’s climate. Its supporters politically manufactured a “consensus” of scientists that human activity causes global warming. The tools that yielded the consensus included falsified data, blacklisting, and attacks on dissenting scientists and journals.

The Madness of Scientists

We have seen such “consensus” take root before. Here’s a short list of things that the relevant experts were cocksure about, and the catastrophic results:

  • This movement was started by Charles Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton. By the 1920s it had swept up most leading biologists, evolution advocates, and large swathes of the Progressive movement. Soon it was the scientific “consensus.” It explained social evils like mental illness, illegitimacy, unemployment and even criminal behavior: They’re all genetic. The answer to those evils? Putting experts in charge of using government force to control people’s behavior. In 13 states, activists such as Margaret Sanger passed mandatory sterilization laws. The goal was to guarantee (in her words) “more children from the fit, fewer from the unfit.” Of course, in Nazi Germany the eugenic push was far more brutal. Few remember that Germany modeled its laws on America’s. The Nazis granted an honorary degree to Sanger’s close associate Harry Laughlin.
  • In the wake of the Great Depression, virtually no influential economists believed in a free market economy. From the Marxist left to the nationalist right, all agreed. Economic success requires centralized planning. End the tumult and “chaos” of people making their own economic decisions. Grant certified experts control over the resources of a nation. Indeed, the model adopted for thinking about society was that of an auto factory. The few must control the levers. Let citizens dutifully take their places on the assembly line. Socialist countries which adopted this statist model faced famines, shortages, and constant underproduction. Fascist nations which followed it only found brief prosperity by retooling themselves for war. Then the wars squandered all that wealth and more. Forty million people died in the Second World War.
  • Population control. In the 1960s and 70s, there was an almost universal consensus of social scientists and government policy makers: The earth faced imminent famine. Self-styled “experts” on population such as Paul Ehrlich confidently predicted mass starvation in the United States and Europe after 1970, as the earth ran out of resources. In response, massive government programs were set up in countries around the world. Rank coercion struck poor countries like India and Brazil. Foreign aid donors made mass forced sterilization programs the price of food shipments. In Communist China, tens of millions of women were force to abort their babies.  Millions of newborn girls died in infanticide at the hands of families who wanted their one child to be a son. Now there is a gross sex imbalance in China. In freer countries, massive social pressure was brought to bear to reduce family size. The result? A crippling “birth dearth” throughout most developed countries, with populations certain to shrink. There is no one to pay for the pensions that old people will expect in Germany, France, Sweden or the Netherlands — or the health care they will need. (Apart from, you know, euthanasia, which is dirt-cheap.) Magazines like The Economist urged the EU to accept tens of millions of low-skill Muslim immigrants as a desperate ploy to plug this demographic gap. What could possibly go wrong with that plan?

The Panic Mongers’ Panacea: Power

As I wrote on this topic back in 2015:

Today we’re told by the same cast of characters who touted the “population bomb” that the same long list of catastrophes they predicted last time really will happen after all unless we give them lots of power, only these things will happen for a completely different reason: global warming. If the climate stabilized tomorrow, it wouldn’t be long before the international crisis lobby would be predicting the very same catastrophes, for still another reason. Maybe an impending attack by Smaug the dragon.

Their call to action is always the same: To shift massive power from citizens to governments, and from democratically elected governments to unaccountable international agencies, run by the same kind of people who mismanage FIFA and the EU. That seems to be the scientific constant: Whatever is going on, it’s terrible and will kill us all quite soon, unless we hand over power to the nice men in the white coats and those troops in the blue helmets. Then we’ll be safe.

Imagine a doctor who, whatever your symptoms, always came back with a different, close-to-terminal diagnosis, and offered the same prescription. It’s $800 a pill, and he is the only supplier. You might start to get suspicious.

The Trash Heap of History

What we can predict, based on our knowledge of human nature and institutions, is this: Granting unelected, international bureaucrats still more power over the lives, work, and choices of every American is dangerous. To our economic futures, but even more to our freedom. The certain effect of the Paris Accords would be worse than any of the nightmare scenarios which its pet scientists are predicting.

President Trump needs to toss this dangerous treaty onto the junkpile. Let it lie next to Margaret Sanger’s racist IQ tests, Marx’s economic predictions, and Paul Ehrlich’s apocalyptic fantasies. Trump owes that not just to voters, but to his grandchildren.

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  • Timothy Horton

    Every scientific organization in the world is in agreement – humans are responsible for the rapid climate change devastating the environment and we need to take steps now to mitigate the damage to future generations.

    The only people arguing against the science are the fossil fuel companies who want to keep their profits rolling in, the environment and future generations be damned.

    Wouldn’t surprise anyone if Man Baby Trump went with $$$ from his rich oil and gas cronies.

    • LgVt

      Mr. Zmirak spends half of this column talking about historical incidents where the scientific consensus was wrong, and acting on that errant consensus proved catastrophic.

      Your response…is to invoke the current scientific consensus.

      I’m not sure you quite thought this one through.

      • Timothy Horton

        Spending half a column on where scientific consensus changed doesn’t make half of all scientific consensus wrong. It doesn’t affect AT ALL the overwhelming scientific evidence we now have for anthropogenic climate change. That I need to explain that shows just how scientifically illiterate and ignorant you really are. As if we needed yet another example.

        • LgVt

          You didn’t explain anything. You just mindlessly repeated the claim of scientific consensus, as if it were a mantra that would magically cause us to transcend to a Greenpeace plane of consciousness.

          (And, to quote Zmirak from this very column: “Its supporters politically manufactured a ‘consensus’ of scientists that human activity causes global warming. The tools that yielded the consensus included falsified data, blacklisting, and attacks on dissenting scientists and journals.” You want to defend the consensus? Attack that statement.)

          Meanwhile, the point of those examples was that relying on scientific consensus alone can lead to very bad outcomes. (The other half of the column–and I can’t believe I have to spell this out–is describing the bad outcomes from following the current consensus, some of which are already happening.)

          That I need to explain all of this this would show just how lousy a debater you really are…if we didn’t already know that the only arrow in your quiver is poorly-constructed ad hominem attacks.

          • Timothy Horton

            LOL! Why did I know you’d double down on the stupidity? What a wonderful argument you’re backing – some scientists at a particular place and time and on a particular subject got something wrong. That means these completely different scientists in a completely different time and completely different place researching a completely different subject must be wrong too.

            Do you think because since some Christians are convicted child molesters we should consider all Christians to be child molesters?

            You couldn’t make yourself look more stupid if you tried, which I bet you will.

    • ncsugrant

      Well, almost every scientific organization. Certainly all of them that are funded by government money. Curious coincidence I suppose.

      • Timothy Horton

        No coincidence every AGW denier “lab” and think tank is funded by the fossil fuel industries. Most of their denier strategy is identical to what the Tobacco industry used to argue against anti-smoking laws and the health risks of tobacco smoke. The denier slime bags keep the same company.

        • ncsugrant

          The name calling is always a sign of weakness. No worries. I absolutely deny that you, or anyone else, has proven that human activity impacts the climate. Further, even the “scientists” on the payroll of the folks driving this admit that their “solution” will barely register in their projections, yet they advocate for draconian measures that will reduce the standard of living in wealthy nations and ensure that impoverished nations remain so.
          What a tragic delusion.

          • Timothy Horton

            Denying the solid science which demonstrates anthropomorphic climate change is a sign of conservative stupidity. You’re exactly the kind of scientifically illiterate knob the fossil fuel companies aim their propaganda at. Have fun being a tool.

  • Cynthia Cantrell

    Meanwhile, in the real world, we have entrenched coal and nuclear companies (like Exelon in Illinois) colluding with law makers to get billions of dollars in subsidies. Why? Because Illinois already creates more energy than it needs and cheap wind power from Iowa is cutting into their profits.

    The cost of electricity from large PV stations has recently dropped below that of coal plants at a number of locations. It is now even feasible to include battery storage at these sites to improve grid stability, despite the fact that batteries aren’t quite cheap enough to really be competitive. Their availability, scalability, and response time make up for the cost.

    In the poorest countries, there is no major power infrastructure, and there is insufficient funding to build it. Some places are bypassing this with small scale solar. Why? Because it’s simply the cheapest and most readily available power sorce they can get.

    Uruguay is already 95% renewable and selling excess electricity to Argentina. They did it without massive government subsidies or even nuclear power. Electricity prices have remained quite reasonable.

    It’s a real shame that US politicians can’t compete with foresight and strategic planning skills of those in Uruguay.

    • Dean Bruckner

      Whenever wind and solar pass 40% of a grid’s power, the grid becomes unstable. Look at Australia. These cherry picked fables will kill a billion people, if followed, but the Progs will wash their hands of the whole disaster and complement themselves on their good intentions. Absolutely despicable.

      • Cynthia Cantrell

        You are dealing with old news. The power systems that were built 100 years ago weren’t designed to handle power being fed back to them.

        When large new systems are installed, communication and control with the existing system is built into network. This is a matter that has already been solved with new circuit designs. In some places, new circuits need to be added to the existing infrastructure to handle the variability of numerous rooftop installations.

        If these circuits weren’t already up and running, we wouldn’t​ be able to handle all the wind power in Iowa alone, much less the rest of the country.

        New business are already building (and selling) grid scale generators that combine natural gas and batteries to maintain stability.

        This is a problem that has already been solved. It is waiting to be deployed.

        For the record, I am an electrical engineer.

        • llew jones

          You may well be an Electrical Engineer but did you know that CO2 is a vital gas for all life on the planet.

          Greenhouses, to grow certain plants in increased abundance are filled with CO2 to about 2,000 ppm (Earth’s present atmospheric CO2 concentration is about 410 ppm). What has been noticed over the last decade or so is the progressive significant increase in the production of food crops around the world. After looking at other factors such as GM seeding there seems little doubt that the increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is the prime driver of these crop increases.

          Our present world population is about 7.5 billion and demographers tell us it will be 9 billion in a few decades thus what we need is not less CO2 in the atmosphere but more so we are better able to feed the increasing world population. As coal produces more CO2 that gas or nuclear or hydro or solar or wind perhaps there is a far more valid reason to preference coal as an electrical power source if we really are genuine about providing a good (well fed) future for generations to come.

          • Timothy Horton

            Extra crops won’t do any good for the people who’s coastal land is flooded by rising sea levels. They won’t do any good for the people who starve or die of thirst from droughts because there is no trillion dollar infrastructure to move the extra food where it is needed. They won’t help people who live in equatorial regions when the temperature soars above the 130 deg. F humans can survive outside in and is already happening in places in the Middle East and India.

            “More CO2 helps the planet so we shouldn’t worry” is one of the stupidest excuses the AGW deniers have come up with. Of course the scientifically ignorant knobs here will latch onto it.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            Of course I know CO2 is vital for plant growth. Water is also vital for me to live, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible for me to drink too much and die from it.

            Studies have shown that the increased CO2 only increases plant growth a few percent, at which point it becomes limited by lack of nitrogen. Of course we would add more for food crops, but we already have nitrogen and phosphorus pollution killing fish, oysters, and crabs in our bays. Adding more will make that problem even worse.

            Humans are already causing what is called “the sixth mass extinction,” the largest species die-hard since the dinosaurs disappeared. We really have no clue how many more species we can lose before the food webs we rely on start to collapse. And don’t even get me started on the all the bees we are losing. There are already parts of China that have to pollinate fruit trees by hand because there are simply no more bees.

            In a few more years, we will have more plastic in our oceans than fish. I hope those 9 billion people enjoy fillet ‘o styrene. And cockroaches. (They made it through the last mass extinction.)

          • llew jones

            “Of course I know CO2 is vital for plant growth. Water is also vital for me to live, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible for me to drink too much and die from it.”

            Two things:

            1. If you are implying that exposure of humans to increasingly higher concentrations of CO2 in the air we breathe is likely to cause human suffering then you may be interested in our Australian Workplace Safety Standard to CO2 exposure.That safe limit is 5,000 ppm for 8 hours. That is more than ten times the current atmospheric concentration of CO2. Further one would only begin to sense the effects of exposure to it at about 10,000 ppm and most of us would be dead if exposed to 30,000 ppm for a significant period of time.

            2. However if you have in mind the effect of increasing the atmospheric concentration of CO2 on we humans or in any way making life significantly more difficult for us because of that effect on the Earth’s global temperature then you are in the realm of the highly speculative. As you may be aware CO2 does not absorb all wavelengths of infrared radiation and also its increasing atmospheric concentration is logarithmically related to any increase in global temperature.

            You should know that the tangent to that curve (viz the rate of change of temperature with respect to the change in CO2 concentration) asymptotes to zero. That is, as the atmospheric CO2 concentration increases it has progressively less and less effect on temperature. Thus CO2 acting alone as a GHG can have no significant effect on global temperature. The science, back to
            Arrhenius, postulates that the very small heating of the atmosphere by CO2 allows more water vapor, a very powerful GHG, to become involved in the atmospheric GHG system and hence produce measurable global warming. That as yet unsubstantiated postulate was and is called the positive feedback effect.

            Now if that effect is neutral or negative significant global warming will not occur, despite increasing
            concentrations of atmospheric CO2. Too little is still unresolved and unknown about the effect of many of the variables in the Earth’s climate system to have more than a speculative approach to the measure of global warming caused by the human production of CO2 through the burning of fossil fuels.

            The science from Arrhenius until now has not come to terms with the albedo effect of certain types of clouds reflecting incoming ultra violet radiation back into space (thus reducing the amount of ultraviolet radiation to reach the Earth’s surface) and also the possible cooling effect of the precipitation of GHG water vapor as rain. There are many more unknowns in the climate system that need to be examined and understood as to their effects on GW before we can move beyond

            On the effect of higher concentrations of atmospheric of CO2 on cereal food crops those records being broken were actual weighing in tonnes from Australia, India and the USA. We call that observational data. The sort of thing real science must be built on. Not speculative nonsense generated by alarmist scientists and those who have studied the pseudo science of ecology, which
            study has its origins in the polytheistic Gaia hypothesis.

            You will have to do better than that to convince those of us who know what is and what is not valid science to join the alarmist sect of climate science to which you obviously belong.

          • Dean Bruckner

            Cynthia, your paltry profile means you are in all probability a paid troll. What university did you attend, and when did you graduate? What degree did you earn? Are you a registered PE? If so, in which state?

          • Timothy Horton

            Bruckner, your scientific ignorance and belligerence means you’re certainly a Fundy conservative who’s never been within 1000 yards of a science classroom.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            Dean, I have answered your questions, but my post (or most of it at least – some of it disappeared) went directly to the “pending” bin. This happens to a number of my posts. It seems that gratuitously bashing liberals on this site is fine, but posts pointing out a lot of facts get swept under the rug. You may be able to see it in your own notifications, or by clicking on my name and checking the posts there.

          • Timothy Horton

            Don’t feel alone. That happens to quite a few science related posts here. Apparently it’s a violation of Stream rules to rebut a religious conservative’s ridiculous claims with actual scientific data.

  • Dean Bruckner

    Old Tim Horton keeps on deceiving. This from the man who says that if a man says he is a woman, then he is a woman, AND THAT IS ALL THAT A WOMAN IS. He is a liar and a fraud.

    • Timothy Horton

      Wrong thread. Those “senior moments” are occurring more and more frequently with you, aren’t they?

  • Cynthia Cantrell

    In Texas, a state that can produce 2500 to 5000 GWH of electricity every month from wind alone, Acacia Energy has a plan where you pay 12.1 cents per kilowatt hour – but all the electricity you use from 9pm to 5:59am is FREE.

    • Charles Burge

      In other words, the free market is coming up with good solutions. I like this a lot more than I like the idea of turning over control to a panel of unelected bureaucrats.

      I would also add that the recent fracking boom in the United States has done a lot more to lower carbon dioxide emissions than anyone on the left seems willing to admit.

      • Cynthia Cantrell

        I don’t know why you think the left doesn’t know carbon emissions have come down significantly due to natural gas. That information is all over the place on the “green” sites lefties like to read. We also know that fracking has been a major factor in the decline of the coal industry, as well as the downtown in demand for coal in China, and the bad mistake many coal companies made just before the downturn of buying new coal fields – on credit.

        We also know that it was some bureaucrats that helped put incentives in place to help jump start the renewable energy business. The cost for renewables and their market penetration has bettered the expectations of just 10 years ago. In a number of places they don’t need incentives anymore, and existing power companies are begging for subsidies to keep afloat.

        We can also thank bureaucrats in China for betting HUGE in the solar photovoltaic market. They single-handedly are responsible for the largest drop in PV prices over the last 20 years. Much to the chagrin of some American solar companies.

        We may have finally reached the tipping point where renewables are simply the most cost effective solution. Right now natural gas is cheaper, which makes it a challenge.

    • Christian Cowboy

      The wind fields in Texas are in west Texas and the panhandle and the demand is in east Texas and the gulf coast. It took some time to build the infrastructure to get the power from source to need, but now that the transmission lines are in place I see the construction of wind fields has begun again.

    • Wayne Cook

      Interesting you neglect to mention the number of birds which are killed each year from the blades. It’s approx 15000, including 500 Bald Eagles.

      On the techie side, every wind tower has a deisel genny designed into the system, since they DON’T generate 24/7. Net output is actually 35%.

      Solar is another which has a nefarious history in manufacture, since the chems used in making the panels are extremely toxic. A few can be recycled, but at least a dozen of the sixteen total aren’t useable nor safe.

      I too would love to see tech move forward, but not at the cost of enviro. Turns out that Fossil fuels don’t pollute nearly as much as “green” sources do, And that report came from the EPA. IF they haven’t deleted the file.

      • Cynthia Cantrell

        Everyone knows that bird stikes are an unfortunate side effect of wind turbines. Greenies have also been working hard to minimize that damage by investigating migration paths and siting turbines away from them. New turbine designs are also bigger, slower, and more efficient. Here is the result at just one location:

        “A 2010 study by the Alameda County Avian Protection Program at the Diablo Winds repowering project in Altamont Pass, California found that fatality rates for new turbines were 54 percent lower for raptors and 66 percent lower for all birds compared with older-generation units operating alongside them.”

        I also neglected to mention that the 2016 estimates for the remaining costs to clean up the Hanford nuclear site was $107 BILLION (paid for by US taxpayers), and that there is a million gallons of nulcear waste seeping through the fround towards the Columbia River.

        All of our energy producing methods have some (or a lot) of environmental cost. If we are smart, we will keep minimizing it.

        No, every turbine does NOT have a deisel generator in it. The Riffgat farm in the North Sea became famous for using deisel because the needed them to keep the blades turning to keep the from corroding and freezing until they hooked up to the main grid. That was delayed because of unexploded WWII bombs lying in the path of their cable. Now that they are up and running, they can pull power from the grid if necessary.

        (Continued in another post to avoid filtering.)

        • Cynthia Cantrell

          The numbers I quoted were from the “Wind Power in Texas” page on Wikipedia – the graph for actual 2015 wind power generation, not what is called “nameplate capacity” which is much higher. If you look at the table above this graph, 2016 data is available, and they averaged 4802 GWH per month of actual generation.

          The current design for silicon solar cells does indeed use some toxic chemicals. So does your computer, cell phone, tv, car, and most everything else you use. Silicon tretrachloride is probably the biggest offender for silicon solar cells. It can be recycled and reused in the manufacture of more solar cells. Right now, it looks like some (many?) companies in China are omitting this step to keep prices as low as possible. They also don’t clean up the exhaust gasses from their coal fired power plants either, which led to them being shut down temporarily during the Beijing Olympics so people could see and breath.

          There is a cost for all of this pollution, and not all of it is monetary. The green power industry is still young and learning. I reckon it is roughly comparable to the home PC industry in the early ’90s. It will continue to learn, grow, and improve. Here is one example:

          “The Golden Hills North wind project is a complete repowering, which calls for the removal of 283 30-year-old wind turbines and replacing them with 20 2.3 MW GE turbines, capable of generating even more power with twice the efficiency of the previous wind project, says NextEra. An affiliate of NextEra owns and will operate the wind farm.”

          20 turbines instead of 283; and they are running slower at a higher altitude. That’s gotta help the birds.

          • Dean Bruckner

            Cynthia, can you tell me what a kilowatt-hour is, from memory?

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            I believe so. A kilowatt-hour is a unit of energy (as opposed to power) that is 1000 joule hours per second. It is the amount of power consumed over a given time interval.

            Close enough?

  • I’ve always found it amusing how the same sorts of people who can’t wrap their heads around climate science and evolutionary biology … have NO problem believing in talking snakes, witchcraft, the Rapture, and the reanimation of the dead.

    • ncsugrant

      It is pretty simple Chuck. It turns out all of us believe in things we can’t see or prove. It sounds like your faith is in the claims of a group of failed politicians masquerading as “scientists”.

    • Dean Bruckner

      Chuck, I have a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and am a registered professional engineer. I teach statistics and systems engineering. I have more than 25 years experience in engineering practice, engineering management and engineering education. I’ve studied Latin and Greek and have studied the Bible my entire adult life. I also have a one year degree in Biblical Studies.

      What are your qualifications?

      • Timothy Horton

        So no science education at all. Believe me it shows.

    • Dean Bruckner

      Particles-to-people evolution through natural selection acting on random mutation not only did not happen; it could not have happened. The combinatorial space is far, far, far too vast for the comparatively limited probability resources and exceedingly sparse fitness surfaces available. It’s like asking someone to walk from Los Angeles to New York, stepping only on the tops of buildings 50 stories high or taller. A trillion times. Times a trillion, trillion trillion.

      • Timothy Horton

        You’re as mind-numbingly ignorant of the biological sciences as you are of climate change. You claim to teach statistics but don’t understand systems with feedback (i.e. evolution with selection feedback from the environment) can produce extremely complex forms without requiring “trillions and trillions” of iterations.

        Every time you type the average IQ of the country goes down.

    • Dean Bruckner

      Climate science is not 100+ computer models diverging rapidly away from actual unbiased temperature anomaly measurements by satellite and balloon. ALL of these models’ hypotheses have been falsified at levels of significance much smaller than the customary 5% probablility of a Type I error.

      Science 101: what do you do with a hypothesis that’s been falsified? You discard it.

      Climate “science” needs to get back to science, desperately.

      • Cynthia Cantrell

        The Earth’s atmosphere is a giant chaotic system. We can not expect to accurately reproduce all the nuances of a system that probably has the complexity of a trillion Lorenz Equations. That doesn’t mean we can’t get the gist of what’s going on and what is statistically most likely to happen, especially when we combine it with all of our other knowledge of physics.

        To me, many people’s focus on air temperature is ridiculous​. In a system dominated by water, land, ice, and air, air is the one with the least heat capacity – by far.

        With 2/3rds of the Earth’s surface covered by water, I expect most of it to end up there.

        But if you put a bunch of ice and water on the stove, crank up the heat, and put in a thermometer and stir, you’ll find that the temperature stays pretty close to 0 until most of the ice is melted. I’m sure you’ll recognize this is due to the enthalpy of fusion – ice at 0 degrees sucking up heat energy to turn into water at 0 degrees.

        The layman doesn’t understand that it takes a boatload of heat to turn ice into water without raising the temperature a single degree.

        If the Earth is warming up, I expect it to show up first where we happen to have a lot of ice sitting on top of a lot of water. That happens to be at the North Pole.

        NASA has satellite records going back to 1979. The minimum ice extent in the last 5 years is roughly 1/3rd what it was back then. It looks like it will disappear entirely in the summer in the next 5 to 10 years. This data used to be easy to find on the NASA web site, but I don’t know if it was moved, or some orange guy had them take it down.

        I know someone is going to say “but Antarctic ice is getting bigger!” Yes it is, but if you dig deeper, several things become clear: 1 the larger size isn’t enough to make up for the losses in the Arctic. 2 the ice is thinner than it was before, and 3 it arrives later and melts sooner in the season.

        We are also losing ice in land based glaciers all over the world. This is the buffer that has been keeping our system stable. When most of this ice is gone, then we’ll really start to feel the heat.

        • Timothy Horton

          You are correct about the Antarctic ice. The surface area is increasing from the addition of sea ice but the overall volume has dropped by something like 25% in the past few decades as measured by the GRACE gravitational measuring satellite. Professional climate change deniers only crow about the increased area and never bother to mention the huge loss of volume.

      • Timothy Horton

        LOL! Good ol’ clueless Bruckner, still regurgitating the lies he picked up from some “science” source like TV weatherman turned fossil fuel shill Anthony Watts.

  • Dena

    I worked near a research facility that was exploring the use of hydrogen power. I talked to one of the scientists and he told me that they already have the technology to install a nuclear battery in your car that will allow it to run forever. But the problem is such a solution would effect our economy. Our current economy is run on fossil fuels. All the gas stations would close down and jobs would be lost. Politics is always a factor. (Besides the obvious problems with a terrorist getting their hands on a nuclear battery.)

    I was actually more interested in the progress of harvesting hydrogen power, but he didn’t get into that.

    I think we need to invest in technology. Innovation can lead to better technology to harvest alternative sources of energy such as renewable sources, cleaner methods of using fossil fuels, etc. I don’t see the problem with a balanced approach. When politics and lobbyist get involved from both sides- it tends to favor one form of energy over the other.

    • Fusion power is that elusive Holy Grail of energy. If we could just get past that tipping point to getting more energy from a fusion reaction than we put into it, we could use fusion for electricity, and reserve fossil fuels for the petrochemical industry. But Fraser Cain, the publisher of Universe Today, thinks we are at least 30 years away from any commercial fusion reactor feeding electricity into the grid.

    • ncsugrant

      Our economy runs on hydrocarbons because hydrocarbons are the best option. If there becomes a better option, the market will reveal it. I can assure you that the vehicle manufacturers and the massive corporate fleets have plenty enough incentive to use the best option available.

  • ncsugrant

    The author is spot on. This entire “green energy” push is a fools errand, contrived by those who stand to gain tremendous power and wealth. The biggest losers will be the people these politicians always claim to be helping.

  • Cynthia Cantrell

    The author didn’t do his homework.

    India recently cancelled plans to build 13.7 GIGAwatts of coal plants.

    Why? Because they have signed contracts with solar power companies to get electricity at a cheaper rate (from PV) than they can get it from the coal plants.

    Existing companies are concerned their coal power plants are now “stranded assets.”

    Now that renewables are starting to compete on cost alone, it is only a matter of time before many non-renewable power plants go obsolete. It makes all this “uninhabitable” rhetoric a bit over the top.

    This information is out there on the web on a number of science and business sites. You don’t have to believe me, you can look it up for yourself. It should only take a few seconds.

    • ncsugrant

      So you are telling us that India’s elite is willing to sell out their poor in order to gain favor (and big money) with the progressives in wealthy countries?
      NO WAY.

      • Cynthia Cantrell

        Oh, so you think they should force poor people to pay MORE money to the coal plants to avoid looking like they sold out to progressives?

        What’s really the matter? Did you not have enough time to unload your coal portfolio before it sank?

        • ncsugrant

          Only in progressive utopia does government mandate a new scheme that is magically more efficient than what the free market was doing prior to the intervention.
          India, along with the rest of the world, has been bribed to go along with the nonsense of “renewable” energy. The people pushing this initially told us that we were running out of hydrocarbons. As that has proven to be wrong, now the argument is that the sky is falling if we don’t adopt the scheme.
          You should get a prize for your advocacy, Even the career peddlers of the hoax have not claimed a cost advantage over coal.

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            Nuclear power advocates told people for years that they would make so much electricity that it would be “too cheap to meter.”

            That never even came close to happening.

            Now Exellon is threating to shut down its nuclear plants in Illinois because Iowa wind power is is cutting into it’s profits there, and in Pennsylvania they are trying to extort subsidies because all the natural gas there means they can’t make a profit there either.

            Meanwhile Westinghouse, you know, the company that builds nuclear power plants, has declared bankruptcy; leaving the fate of their plant under construction in Georgia (already millions of dollars over budget) in doubt.

            In the real world, businesses and governments have to make decisions based on costs, not just grandiose conspiracy theories about progressives taking over the global power industry.

            As for the cost advantage over coal, that is a recent development at certain large scale locations. I don’t expect you to believe me. However, there are business news sites which have reported the contract prices, and their comparison to coal. You can read it for yourself and be convinced, or believe these are just fake news and proof of the vast conspiracy. The choice is yours.

          • Dean Bruckner

            I don’t believe you. I’m a professional engineer (electrical engineer) and have read all about the damage that the false promises of renewables have caused. The energy density of fossil fuels so far outstrips the capabilities of wind and solar that it takes 70 people in renewable energy to equal the energy output of ONE worker in fossil fuels. How can an economic case be made for renewables over fossil fuels? Only a fraudulent one.

            In my former hometown more than a hundred academics condemned the local university for converting from a coal to a natural gas heat plant instead of moving to 100% renewables. This in Ohio. Among these students, staff, faculty, and local activists, there was not one single engineer of any kind. NOT ONE! I asked them if any of them knew the base energy load of the university, both electrical and heating/cooling. Not one did. NOT ONE! They were advocating radical policy and economic decisions without even the most basic knowledge of reality. The university wisely ignored their recommendations.

            To me, your comments here sound just like theirs: well meaning but woefully uninformed, and disastrous if implemented. Progressives feel responsible only for their intentions, not their actual results. Please don’t be among them!

          • Cynthia Cantrell

            I don’t expect anyone here to believe me – simply because regressives ignore everything from the “left.” That’s why I encourage folks to google the information I have provided for themselves. I am an electrical engineer as well. Most of my career has been in the telecomm industry, though I never found the need to go for the PE exam for the jobs I’m interested in.

            I am well aware of the huge energy capacity of fossil fuels. Unfortunately, I still use them myself. But I did pay for the hybrid premium and happily drive a car that gets 48mpg in the summer. My long commute prevented me from going all electric, but batteries are improving every year.

            If you don’t believe India canceled coal plant contracts and went solar because of a better price, or that Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy, that is something you can verify easily yourself. I wouldn’t have stated it if someone could refute it with 5 seconds of googling.

            You may disagree with my opinion that we are near a “tipping point,” and that’s a perfectly reasonable debate topic.

            Renewable energy at the grid scale is still a relatively new technology. It has been making regular improvements on a steady basis. Google “cost per watt solar” to see how much the price of PV cells has improved if you don’t believe me.

            All new technology has a learning curve and growing pains. Lithium ion batteries occasionally have the nasty habit of catching fire on their own, destroying people’s pants, phones, skateboards, and even cars. Yet most people still carry one in their purse or pocket. I think most people expect this problem to go away as technology improves.

    • llew jones

      For interest here’s a bit on India’s interest in thermal coal for power production. The Greens and fellow Mother Earth worshipers are trying their hardest , through the courts, to prevent it commencing production:

      The Carmichael coal mine is a proposed thermal coal mine in the north of the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, Australia. Mining is planned to be conducted by both open-cut and underground methods. The mine is proposed by Adani Mining, a wholly owned subsidiary of India’s Adani Group. The development represents a $16.5 billion investment.

      At peak capacity the mine would produce 60 million tonnes of coal a year. In court, Adani said it expects the mine to produce 2.3 billion tonnes over 60 years. It would be the largest coal mine in Australia and one of the largest in the world. The mine would be the first of a number of large mines proposed for the Galilee Basin and would facilitate their development.

      Exports are to leave the country via port facilities at Hay Point and Abbot Point after being transported to the coast via rail.The proposal includes a new 189 km rail line to connect with the existing Goonyella railway line. Most of the exported coal is planned to be shipped to India. wiki

      Incidentally the present Aussie Federal Government which has both alarmists and skeptics in its ranks is floating the idea of using the Clean Energy Fund to finance some coal fired energy projects. That since one of our States , South Australia, has had a series of recent power blackouts because of its over dependence on wind and solar power generation. Businesses hurt by that are talking of leaving the State or closing down.

      • Cynthia Cantrell

        “floating the idea of using the Clean Energy Fund to finance some coal fired energy projects.”

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