The recent Global Climate Strike saw countless student walkouts as learning was disrupted all over America and the world. Liberal activists were delighted but the hysteria appalled some scholars. Clearly, climate extremists want to dictate public policy, but hopefully, decision-makers will legislate wisely.
So to bring a measure of balance to the subject, consider the following 14 Points—with a nod to that great progressive, Woodrow Wilson.
- Centuries ago, during a hotter era, Viking settlements thrived on the Greenland coast. Global cooling caused their abandonment. Why weren’t those coastal communities inundated by higher sea levels during those much warmer times?
- In 1999 climate “researcher” Michael Mann developed a graph resembling a hockey stick purporting to show a sharp increase in global temperatures. Mann’s work was cited all over the world to support anti-global warming policies. His claims were later challenged and repudiated in a Canadian court. Mann refused to share his data or methodology and not only lost the case, but was required to pay court costs.
- Released correspondence by climatologists in the United Kingdom and elsewhere suggest conspiracies to manipulate data to support dubious assertions. An email from Mann chillingly suggested finding a friendly “investigative journalist” to “expose” scientists like Steve McIntyre who challenge climate change orthodoxy.
- Liberals are the biggest obstacles to green energy—opposing clean nuclear power, clean hydropower from Quebec, and cleaner natural gas from out west, as Democrat New York Governor Andrew Cuomo blocks a needed pipeline.
- Solar power and windmills have their places, but planes can’t fly on batteries.
- Climate extremists not only emotionalize the issue, they infantilize it. Consider that 15-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg made the cover of Time Magazine before sharing her scientific wisdom and insights with the less enlightened everywhere, to include the United Nations General Assembly.
- Here in America, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez led the breakout of a radical and unworkable Green New Deal. (Google it!) A year ago, the 29-year-old AOC was tending bar at Flats Fix, a taqueria in New York City, but her scientific credentials presumably exceed those of Greta Thunberg.
- Cowered by AOC, every Democrat presidential candidate subsequently endorsed most or all of the Green New Deal, likely making them nonviable in a general election. Typically, these candidates support stifling government regulation to diminish our freedom and curtail economic growth in favor of lower carbon emissions—all while campaigning around the country via private jets.
- Our climate is not static. It changes constantly. Always has, always will. No one can state with certainty the precise impact mankind may or may not have on such change. But while climate change creates problems for some, it creates opportunities elsewhere. Warmer temperatures and more precipitation are welcome in many places. It is what it is.
- The notion that humans can change the world’s climate is staggeringly presumptuous—short of nuclear Armageddon. A recent Sports Illustrated piece on shorter pond hockey seasons in Canada recommended “cooling” the planet. Okay. Sure. The sportswriter’s scientific credentials presumably exceed those of Thunberg and AOC.
- Mother Nature can indeed cool the earth. A Krakatoa-style volcanic eruption would spew many millions of tons of ash into the atmosphere and block sunlight while lowering temperatures. This occurred in 1816—a year without summer—following the massive eruption of Mount Tambora in what is now Indonesia. Lower temperatures ruined crops and created food shortages worldwide. If mankind is indeed now warming the climate—an arguable assertion—then could that warming ameliorate the next Tambora-style eruption? Ponder that one.
- The media embrace climate change stories because sensational accounts of impending doom are more newsworthy than headlines reading “Climate Change Fears may be Exaggerated.” And if one does some digging, one notes that many climate Op-Eds are written by folks from the solar or wind power communities who stand to benefit from reductions in fossil fuel use.
- Despite activist assertions, there is no scientific consensus with regard to the exact human impact on climate change. But scientists are apt to get more attention (and grant money) if there is a climate crisis, hence the systemic pressure to err on the side of climate alarmism.
- Political movements need energy and we ought to admit that “climate change” hysteria is exploited to advance agendas. Leftists associate climate change with everything from cow flatulence to militarism to racism. The politics of climate change should be better understood.
There’s much more to all this. But as Clemenceau said of Wilson’s 14 Points, “Even God had only 10 Commandments.” So I’ll stop there.
The climate is changing and humans are part of the mix. A measured transition away from fossil fuels is desirable. But as we move forward we should make decisions based less on emotion and politics and more on reason.
With all due respect to AOC and Greta.