Conjectural future tolls from climate change pale compared to real energy poverty deaths now.
It’s not enough that the Climate Crisis-Renewable Energy Cabal (CC-REC) now rails that an average global temperature increase of just 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels would bring “catastrophic risks” of “climate mayhem” to people and planet.
When the Paris climate deal was adopted in December 2015, the “chaos tipping point” – the “guardrail for a climate-safe world” – was 2.0 deg C (3.6 deg F). But since then, alarmists have started to claim, “a crescendo of deadly heat waves, floods, wildfires, and superstorms engorged by rising seas” has “convinced scientists” that the bar, the tipping point, the “danger cursor” needs to be set lower.
Allow me to translate that into simple English, and add a few facts that they “inadvertently” left out.
“Above pre-industrial levels” means since 1850: the end of the 500-year Little Ice Age. Since then, average planetary temperatures have already climbed nearly 1 deg C (1.8 F), which is still below levels enjoyed during the Roman and Medieval warm periods. According to CC-REC logic, that means humans can “allow” temperatures to rise only another 0.5 deg C (0.9 F) – or the planet is doomed.
To prevent that alleged calamity, carbon dioxide emissions from human activities “need to peak in 2020 and curve sharply downward from there” – and the entire global economy must become “carbon neutral” by 2050. Control and elimination of carbon-based energy is essential, CC-REC and IPCC alarmists say.
That is simply not going to happen. Thankfully, it is completely absurd to say more plant-fertilizing CO2 and a barely noticeable increase above current temperatures will doom Planet Earth. On the other hand, a colder planet with less CO2 would mean less arable land, shorter growing seasons and less food.
The “unprecedented climate disasters” are not happening. As Climate Depot, WattsUpWithThat, Dr. Roy Spencer, GlobalWarmingPolicyFdn and my own analyses make clear, seas are rising at just 7 inches a century, and temperatures have barely budged since 1998, except during recent El Niños (for example).
It’s likewise not enough that alarmist scientists (who’ve collectively raked in billions of dollars in government/taxpayer grant money over the past decade) have been able to play “nature tricks,” create “hockey stick” and other “manmade” temperature spikes, and “homogenize” and manipulate data; that they treat their taxpayer-funded data, algorithms and methodologies as their private property, inaccessible to scientists who might find fault with them; or that they refuse to discuss or debate their findings – and instead assert a phony, fabricated “97% consensus” on “dangerous manmade climate change.”
It’s not enough that 100 or more countries signed the Paris accords primarily because they expected to share in hundreds of billions of dollars in “climate mitigation and adaptation” money – and are now increasingly angry that few industrialized nations will contribute to the Green Climate Fund.
It’s not enough that the CC-REC has become a $2-trillion-per-year global industry that has been built, sustained and justified by unproven, even fraudulent claims that humanity faces climate cataclysm.
NOW former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wants to sue President Trump for exiting the Paris not-a-treaty, thereby allegedly causing future climate chaos. “I wish I could find legal standing to bring a case against Donald Trump for the lives that will be lost and the property that will be damaged and the billions of dollars because of his decision on climate change,” Kerry said.
Billionaire Kerry (via his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry) owns mansions and jets around in private aircraft. His “climate warrior” sidekick Al Gore likewise has multiple homes and prefers private jets and SUVs for his global jaunts.
These critics of modern energy use and living standards would do well to curtail their own profligate lifestyles, before telling others how they need to live without fossil fuels. But more to the point:
The people Kerry and comrades profess to care so deeply about are not at risk because of climate change. They are at risk because of anti-energy, anti-technology, anti-people policies imposed in the name of climate change prevention, sustainable development and the “precautionary principle.”
So, perhaps Mr. Kerry should sue himself for climate deaths. Or could the world’s poor find legal standing to file lawsuits against Kerry; the clique of climate hucksters who crank out bogus climate models and phony claims linking every weather event and curious phenomenon to fossil fuel emissions; and the self-serving bureaucrats who run the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, World Bank, multi-lateral (anti) development banks and thousands of environmentalist pressure groups?
As my book “Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death” and numerous articles make clear, these callous agitators are telling Earth’s poorest families they must stop using the fossil fuels that still provide four-fifths of the world’s energy … stop trying to bring their health and living standards anywhere close to what Americans and Europeans enjoy … be content with whatever marginal improvements they can achieve using only wind, solar and biofuel energy – and never use insecticides for disease control.
They don’t even want developing country families to use modern agricultural technologies and certainly not genetically engineered crops – not even Golden Rice to reduce Vitamin A Deficiency, malnutrition and childhood blindness. They want Earth’s most destitute families to practice “Agro-Ecology” – employing only primitive, “culturally appropriate” farming methods … and rejecting hybrid seeds, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, tractors and virtually everything else that enables small numbers of modern farmers to feed billions of people with less land, less water and less risk of crop failures.
By opposing insecticides and the powerful, long-lasting mosquito repellant DDT, Kerry and his fellow eco-imperialists perpetuate malaria and yellow fever, brain and liver damage, poverty and death in countries where these diseases are still endemic. Then they blame the diseases on global warming!
Far too many countries have never shared in the amazing developments that sent health, prosperity, opportunity and longevity skyrocketing in modern industrialized, free-market capitalist societies over the past 200 years. Today, Kerry, Gore and the radical groups they ally with conspire to keep poor countries impoverished, malnourished, jobless, disease-ridden, burdened with nineteenth century hospitals and infrastructure – and dying needlessly by the millions, year after year.
It’s sick and immoral. It violates basic principles of human rights and self-determination.
The obsession with pseudo-renewable, pseudo-sustainable, pseudo-climate friendly wind and solar power is also deadly, and not only in Third World countries. We couldn’t even operate earthquake and tsunami detection, warning and evacuation systems with intermittent, weather-dependent wind and solar systems that conk out for hours or days on end. (Indonesia, Japan and California should keep that in mind.)
Even in England, soaring electricity prices caused by wind energy mandates continue to cause thousands of needless wintertime deaths, because elderly pensioners cannot afford adequate heat. Meanwhile, over the past five years alone, Germany (pop. 82 million) has spent more than 160 billion euros (US$185 billion) converting from fossil fuels to renewable energy, according to a Federal Audit Office report.
In return, about all it’s gotten is soaring energy prices that have killed jobs, made electricity and heating unaffordable for many families, and reduced the ability for German companies to compete internationally – while China, India and other countries rapidly and massively expand their own fossil fuel use.
The bottom line: John Kerry wants to sue President Trump over hypothetical deaths, years or decades from now, from climate changes that no one can demonstrate with real-world evidence are due to human emissions, much less the U.S. exit from Paris. In the meantime, millions continue to die every year due to anti-fossil fuel policies demanded by Kerry, Gore, and other energy hypocrites and climate hucksters.
It’s time to end the callous insanity – and base energy and climate policies on reality and humanity.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and other think tanks, and author of books and articles on energy, climate change and economic development.