fossil fuel protest

Is the Science Settled?

I came across this gem recently in the comment section of a post on Facebook.  The thread was about a presidential candidate thinking that vaccines cause autism, but one commenter added:

“No candidate that denies climate change is worth anyone’s time either. I feel that’s worth including in things too.”

I thought it was funny that someone so sure of their position on Global Cooling/Global Warming/Anthropomorphic Climate Change/Man Made Climate Change/Climate Change/Settled Science/Scientific Consensus/Catastrophic Climate Change/Whatever they are calling it this week (hereafter referred to as “Scare Tactics”) has so clearly never spent any time thinking about the issue.

Let’s start with a story from Gambia.

“June 2006 At 4 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon, I was startled when the lights came on; the lights never came on after 2 p.m. on the weekends. The adrenaline really kicked in when I was invited to observe an emergency cesarean section—a first for me. When the infant emerged I felt my heart racing from excitement and awe!  But no matter how many times the technician suctioned out the nose and mouth, the infant did not utter a sound. After twenty five minutes the technician and nurse both gave up. The surgeon later explained that the baby had suffocated in utero. If only they had had enough power to use the ultrasound machine for each pregnancy, he would have detected the problem earlier and been able to plan the C-section. Without early detection, the C-section became an emergency, moreover, the surgery had to wait for the generator to be powered on. The loss of precious minutes meant the loss of a precious life.  At that time, in that place, all I could do was cry. And later, when the maternity ward was too hushed, I cried again. A full-term infant was born weighing only 3.5 pounds. In the U.S., the solution would have been obvious and effective: incubation. But without reliable electricity, the hospital did not even contemplate owning an incubator. This seemingly simple solution was not available to this newborn girl, and she perished needlessly. Reliable electricity is at the forefront of every staff members’ thoughts. With it, they can conduct tests with electrically powered medical equipment, use vaccines and antibiotics requiring refrigeration, and plan surgeries to meet patients’ needs. Without it, they will continue to give their patients the best care available, but in a country with an average life expectancy of only 54 years of age, it’s a hard fight to win.” (“The Moral Case For Fossil Fuels” page 23)

The climate of this earth is naturally dangerous for humans. We wouldn’t survive without being able to harness energy to change our surroundings by building shelter, clothes, farming, hunting etc. All of this is now made possible and easy by harnessing energy, and fossil fuels are by far the easiest, cheapest and most scalable energy to meet the needs of over 7 billion people living on the earth. In America, we take these things for granted because they are so common; unfortunately there are many places in the world that don’t have the available energy we have.

Leading “Scare Tactic” expert Bill McKibben in his book Eaarth: Making A Life On A Tough New Planet, has recently advocated a 95% ban on fossil fuel use. This will mean no refrigerators, cars, AC, heating, lights, stoves and more – and will lead to the deaths of hundreds of millions of people, perhaps billions. There is no way that we can sustain the amount of people on the earth without harnessing fossil fuels. If McKibben gets his way, this story from Gambia will become the new norm all around the world.

 

Those are the stakes: people pushing these Scare Tactics are pushing policies that are dangerous, even fatal.  They can’t be left unchallenged.  So now that we’ve looked at an example of how energy from fossil fuels helps save lives, let’s look at some data to break down their talking points and make the case for energy abundance.

 

  1. Prediction Models Are Not Even Close – We now have over 50 years of climate models put together by the experts, and not one of these models  comes close to accurately predicting what would happen with the climate. Any honest person who is wrong 100% of the time would reconsider their data, prediction models or their underlying assumptions. These “scientists” have doubled down on their errors by claiming the “science is settled” so that nobody looks into all of their erroneous claims.Hansen ModelClimate Models

 

  1. We Keep Finding New Sources of Fossil Fuels – For 50 years “Scare Tactics” experts have been trying to scare us by telling us that we will soon run out of fuels and/or destroy the earth. The fact is that as we have used more fossil fuels our proved reserves have also increased by a much greater factor than the amount used.  According to a study from The Reason Foundation in the last eighty years, as CO2 emissions have most rapidly escalated, the annual rate of climate-related deaths worldwide fell by an incredible rate of 98%. That hardly sounds catastrophic to me. In fact that is miraculous.Natural Gas ReservesOil Reserves

 

  1. Nuclear Energy Is Being Ignored – If these “Scare Tactics” experts really cared about the future of the human race and the environment as they claim, then they would be doing everything they can to improve and increase the use of nuclear energy. Nuclear is the only energy source, outside of fossil fuels, that is scalable enough to provide power to all of the people in the world. “In the free world, nuclear power in its entire commercial history has not led to a single death – including from much-publicized failures at Three Mile Island and Fukushima.” It is also impossible that a commercial type reactor could be turned into a bomb in a terrorist attack.   The moral thing to do would be to push to find cleaner and more efficient ways to use the fossil fuel resources that we have, and to try to improve upon other efficient sources of energy like nuclear and hydroelectric power. Instead, what these “Scare Tactics” experts are doing is using crony capitalism to give multi-million dollar grants to their friends in the solar and wind energy fields like Solyndra, who will in turn donate millions to their “research” or reelection campaigns.
  1. “Scare Tactic” Pushers Lie – NASA has published a chart claiming that 97% of scientists agree that the earth is warming and that humans are part of the cause. Many people take this to mean that 97% of scientists agree that man is causing catastrophic global warming and we must act immediately to save the world. This is the view that has been pushed out by “Scare Tactics” experts such as Al Gore over the years, but as we have seen in points 1 and 2 their models are 100% inaccurate. Saying that 97% of scientists agreeing that the earth is warming is very different from the stating that 97% of scientists agree that the man-made warming is extremely dangerous to human life. John Kerry, Barack Obama, and Al Gore have all been caught using this bait and switch to forward their political agenda.

Let’s look a little further into where this 97% figure comes from. One of the main papers behind the claim is authored by John Cook. In order to come up with this number Mr. Cook created 3 categories.

  • 1. Man is responsible for more that 50% of the earth warming.
  • 2. “Explicit endorsement without quantification” – meaning that man is responsible for some of the warming, but the author didn’t say if it was 1 or 100%.
  • 3. “Implicit Endorsement” – meaning that he felt papers implied, but they didn’t say, that there is some man-made global warming and again the papers don’t quantify it because they didn’t say it at all. To come up with his 97% claim he lumped all 3 of these categories together.

Now for a few quotes from some of the climate scientists that were included in this 97% claim.

  • “Cook survey included 10 of my 122 eligible papers. 5/10 were rated incorrectly. 4/5 were rated as endorse rather than neutral.” Dr. Richard Tol
  • “That is not an accurate representation of my paper…” Dr. Craig Idso
  • “Nope… it is not an accurate representation.” Dr. Nir Shaviv
  • “Cook et al. (2013) is based on a strawman argument” Dr. Nicola Scafetta
  1. All the “Science” Focuses On The Wrong Thing – Now that we have established that these scare tactics experts aren’t interested in science and their claims shouldn’t be taken seriously because they are just trying to further their agenda, I will get to the main point of this article. The whole premise of the climate change discussion is wrong. We are looking at it all from the wrong angle. The studies and discussions on climate change are only focusing on the negative effects of fossil fuels; they neglect to look at the positive effects. Stop reading for a minute and take a look around you. Unless you are reading this naked in a forest somewhere, literally everything around you is because of fossil fuels. The phone or computer you are reading this on is made of plastic, which comes from oil. All the stuff was able to be manufactured and transported using energy produced from fossil fuels.

 

Over time Mankind has always found a better way to use our resources and ingenuity to harness nature and make it benefit us instead of kill us. During the industrial revolution, the air we breathed and the water we drank was dirty and polluted. We have since developed ways to make the air and water much cleaner. The natural state of water is not drinkable for mankind. We have to purify it so we don’t contract deadly pathogens. When is the last time you had a second thought about whether the water you drink was clean? We have been able to use the energy from fossil fuels to purify water so we always have clean water to use and drink. As we have discovered more uses for fossil fuels, we have also discovered better ways to get them and refine them.

Using, harnessing, and refining fossil fuels is clearly the moral thing to do because it enriches the lives of billions, instead of taking the lives of billions as the Scare Tactics experts suggestions would do.

 

The book The Moral Case For Fossil Fuels by Alex Epstein was very influential in writing and sourcing this article. Everyone who thinks they are a climate expert or plays one on social media like the person who wrote the Facebook comment that spurred this should read this book before they speak anymore about Global Cooling/Global Warming/Anthropomorphic Climate Change/Man Made Climate Change/Climate Change/Settled Science/Scientific Consensus/Catastrophic Climate Change/Whatever they are calling it this week.