It is Earth Day as I write this. Today, late in April, over half of the country is in freezing temperatures. Dozens of cold records are being set, especially in the northeast. Back in February, that month was the 19th coldest in the 127 year period of record. It was the coldest February in the country since 1989. Portland, Maine, where I hope to start this year's vacation, had the coldest winter since 1940. Many lobster boats and other craft were unable to leave port because of the ice and cold.
At the same time President Biden held a virtual Climate Summit with many world leaders. He pledged for the United States to cut fossil fuel emissions up to 52% by 2030 to combat global warming. This in spite of the fact that we already have one of the cleanest environments per capita in the world. We have now rejoined the Paris Climate Accord which gives onerous stipulations on our country, while giving China, our major economic competitor, a free pass until 2030. At the virtual summit Chairman Xi said: "To protect the environment is to protect productivity, and to boost the environment is to boost productivity. It's as simple as that." Whatever that means it is not a commitment. Regardless, who can trust anything that the Chinese will promise? (Remember Hong Kong?)
The climate advocates take a short term view of global warming. In 2006 Al Gore predicted in his film An Inconvenient Truth that we have just "ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tailspin." Ten years have come and gone, and we are still here! The Green New Deal proponents have a similar alarmist forecast for the future. The short term positions of the advocates are certainly not supported by this year's climate records as described above. However, as I will describe below, we should take a very much longer view in order to really determine what is going on.
Years ago I heard a climate advocate say that "the time for debate is over. It is time to act." That philosophy has been repeated several times. Well, I have never heard a robust public debate on the subject. John Kerry was appointed as the country's Climate Czar in a position that did not require congressional approval.
Thus a rigorous debate was avoided once again. Now we are planning to spend trillions of dollars on the Green New Deal. Before we spend our grand children's money wouldn't it be wise to be sure of the scientific basis of our plans?
"Follow the science" they say. Let's examine that. True science looks at all relevant facts--accepts those that can be proved, and questions or discards those that cannot. Here's a scientific fact: ten thousand years ago at the end of the last Ice Age the planet started warming. It has warmed continuously ever since, with a few interruptions such as the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) a thousand years ago, and the Little Ice Age (LIA) 500 years later.
Those are scientific facts. How do the Climate Change advocates follow this science and explain why the earth warmed enough to melt the ice cap all those years ago. And why aren't those same forces at work today?
The advocates focus their attention on the short term data after the LIA which conveniently, for them, coincides with the start of the industrial revolution. By doing so they have shown a steady increase in warming, again with a few interruptions. Had they gone back one thousand years to the MWP they would have shown little warming in the intervening years.
You must go back much further to understand the very long term cycles of climate change which scientists attributed to the relation of the sun to the earth's orbits (the Milankovitch Cycles.) This was the generally accepted scientific view until the politicians became involved in trying to dominate the energy business about thirty years ago. John Kerry, through the Kerry-Heinz Foundation, has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to some climate scientists. It is hard to imagine that those scientists would publish findings that would contradict the objectives of their benefactor.
One final thought: John Kerry and Al Gore fly around in private jets which leave about forty times the carbon footprint than those using commercial jets. Thus their advocacy is "for thee, not me!"
Peter Gilderson, Madison, 601-853-4632