Climate change and the threat to human life that many believe it poses seems to be the number one topic that we hear about these days from noted Democrat scientists such as Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Al Gore, John Kerry, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and many others.
Despite their claims that anyone who does not accept their view is a “climate denier,” there seems to be a consensus among the public at-large that some odd things are happening in the areas of the weather and climate. Unfortunately, the consensus seems to end when people begin discussing the causes of climate change and the possible solutions for dealing with the issue.
Although Joe From Texas has been unable to find the origins of the term “climate denier,” it is significant that this term seems to be used most often by high-ranking Democrats. The reason this is significant is because it is straight out of the Democrat playbook. If someone disagrees with them, or has the audacity to even question them, they resort to name calling rather than trying to engage and address the other person’s concerns.
To be fair, there are some insider Republicans in D.C. who also resort to this tactic from time to time. The point is that such behavior is not good leadership in general and certainly not good when dealing with an issue like climate change where many in D.C. are advocating for policies that could be very costly to our economy and the standard of living of U.S. citizens.
People like Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer would have you believe that the case is closed on climate change and if we don’t take the actions they demand, we are all doomed. They say the science on the issue is settled because a consensus of scientists agree with their position. However, there are respected voices who disagree. For example, in 2019, a group of 500 scientists and others in climate related fields from around the globe, signed a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations in which they stated, “There is no climate emergency.” This letter went on to outline their questions regarding the science behind much of the climate change hysteria while pointing out that the issue has become too politicized.
The purpose of this writing is not to argue the science of climate change, it is merely to point out that there are credible people who question the “consensus” on climate change and to make a few points that will perhaps help some look at the issue in a different way.
As stated earlier, there is a consensus on climate change in the sense that there is almost a universal agreement that climate change has taken place on Earth throughout history. We all remember hearing about ice age periods while attending school. It was obvious to each of us that the temperature had changed between then and now. The questions today are: 1. Are the current causes of changes in the climate being driven by different factors than climate changes that have taken place in the past? and 2. Is there something that we can do to stop these changes?
Just like any other issue, there are variations of different views on climate change; however, for the sake of simplicity, these can be broadly categorized into three main camps with regard to the questions above. In the first camp, there are those who believe that current climate change is being predominantly caused by human behavior and that we, as humans, can do something about it. In the second camp, there are those who believe that human activity has little impact on the climate and, even if it did, there is little that humans could do about it. In the third camp, there are those who acknowledge that human behavior may have some impact on the climate and there may be some things we can do about it, but they believe that efforts to address the situation should be targeted and have a cost-benefit ratio that is easily understandable so a consensus can be built around solutions.
In the U.S., many politicians such as Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi have become the people leading the charge for the first camp. They are constantly attempting to impose their solutions on the country. The problem for them is that they are leading a government that has a trust problem with the public according to a September 2021 Gallup poll. In short, the poll revealed what you probably already know, that most people are very suspect when it comes to the government’s ability to solve problems.
Joe From Texas shares these concerns regarding trust and believes that any action taken by this government on climate change is likely to be a net negative instead of positive. What he means by this is that it is likely to come at great cost to U.S. citizens without yielding a great benefit to the climate. A Fox Business article in February 2021 touched on a couple of reasons that he is skeptical. First, the article highlighted the fact that electricity rates for citizens in Germany had doubled due to their efforts to get to the point where 33% of that power is generated by wind and solar. Secondly, John Kerry, President Biden’s climate czar, had recently stated that the U.S. could go to zero emissions and the problem would still not be resolved because almost 90% of global emissions come from outside the U.S.
Common sense dictates that any action on climate change that does not include all industrialized nations with emission issues would be doomed to fail. After all, emissions do not stay within the borders of a country. An October 2021 article in The Guardian discussed that Russia and China, two of the top three emitters of CO₂ in the world, had at that time yet to sign a pledge to reduce emissions for an upcoming climate conference. It was later widely reported that neither country attended the climate conference. This underscores an important point: Unless nations understand why it is to their benefit economically to participate in any climate initiative, some are unlikely to do so.
Joe From Texas’ Thoughts on How to Address the Problems:
Joe From Texas believes the solution to almost any problem involves building bridges rather than burning them down. Seeking to always be honest, working to build trust, and striving to understand the viewpoint of others, have been some of the keys to his success. He believes these are also keys to bringing people together on issues like climate change. Calling people who disagree with you “climate deniers” is not the way to win them over to working with you. On the other hand, seeking to engage them is.
You may recall the letter to the UN Secretary-General mentioned earlier in which scientists and others in climate related fields stated that they believe there is no climate emergency. In their letter, they also invited the Secretary-General “to organize with us a constructive high-level meeting between world-class scientists on both sides of the climate debate early in 2020. Such a meeting would be consistent with the historically proven principles of sound science and natural justice that both sides should be fully and fairly heard.” Joe From Texas has been unable to find any evidence that such a meeting ever took place, although he did find at least one publication that appeared to question the credentials of the authors of the letter requesting the meeting.
Why do those who believe in the “consensus” and “settled science” of climate change continue to cast aspersions on anyone who does not fall in line with all of their thinking on the subject? If they are so certain that they are correct beyond any doubt, why not engage people like the authors of the letter in a very public way? It would be the perfect opportunity to either win over skeptics, or perhaps, find common ground on some basic problems and actions that could be taken to address these problems. That would truly be a consensus because it would have the potential to bring together people in each of the climate change camps referenced earlier.
Open discussions and honest debates bring about trust and broaden people’s minds to other ideas. Conversely, being told to essentially sit down and shut up because the issue is settled only further sows seeds of distrust.
Speaking of distrust, there is also the question of motive. First, let’s look at those in the scientific field who disagree with conventional wisdom on the subject. Even if they are misguided, we have to at least believe that they are being truthful and their motives are sincere. After all, if they are knowingly speaking lies, then they are doing so with the understanding that they are potentially condemning themselves and their families to a dismal future as the dire predictions of climate change come true. Why would they do this? Perhaps money? If this is their motivation, they may want to switch sides because, as we shall see, there is likely far more money on the other side of the issue.
Now, let’s look at potential motives of those who believe that the science of climate change is settled. No doubt many, and possibly most, fall in the category of being sincere in their beliefs. However, given the fact that a Morgan Stanley report in 2019 estimated that it would take $50 trillion worldwide to solve climate change, one has to wonder if money and power are not a factor for some of those in the settled camp. Because this money will most likely be distributed by governments around the world, there is power for politicians. Ask yourself, to whom will those politicians be sending much of this money? Could it be to scientists who have supported their efforts on climate change and supposedly have all the answers? Of course, these are rhetorical questions and each person will have to draw their own conclusions. It does again beg the question as to why there is name-calling rather than more open and honest debates on the science of climate change.
One of the cooler heads on the subject of climate change is Bjorn Lomborg. Lomborg is a Danish citizen who holds a PhD and heads up a think tank called the Copenhagen Consensus Center. Although Lomborg should be a champion of climate activists because he agrees with their contention that it is caused by man, he is often criticized because he disagrees with their belief that it could wipe out humanity in the near future. He also disagrees with many of their solutions for how to deal with the issue. On the other hand, many who disagree with Lomborg that climate change is caused by man tend to accept Lomborg’s views because he advocates a balanced approach to dealing with the issue, an approach that should allow reasonable people to form a consensus.
If you wonder what Lomborg thinks of climate hysteria, you can probably guess by the title of a book he released a couple of years ago: False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet. As you may conclude from the title, Lomborg argues for a reasoned approach to climate change. An approach where cost of the implementation of solutions is weighed against the potential benefits. If you wish to learn more about Lomborg’s views, you can search for him or visit https://www.lomborg.com/.
Although Joe From Texas has not done an analysis on all of Lomborg’s specific positions, he does agree with the approach of bringing people together to develop innovative and cost-effective approaches to deal with problems. Such an approach may also be the key to bringing the entire world, including China and Russia, together on economically viable solutions to improve our global environment.