Opinion / Politics

New Take on Climate Change: Maybe We are Not Doomed After All

climateWASHINGTON, DC, May 6 — It’s raining cats and dogs.  Not really.  It’s just a saying, and, like many figures of speech, they are not to be taken literally.  Rather they are intended for use in a non-literal sense for rhetorical or vivid effect.  Some might say that climate change and global warming are figures of speech, but Dr. Steven Koonin’s new book simply describes them as being “profoundly misleading.”

Koonin is the director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York University, and he was Undersecretary for Science in the US Department of Energy under former President Barack Obama.  He’s come a long way since those days of climate change frenzy.

His book, Unsettled “dispels popular myths and unveils little-known truths: despite a dramatic rise in greenhouse gas emissions, global temperatures actually decreased from 1940 to 1970. What’s more, the models we use to predict the future aren’t able to accurately describe the climate of the past, suggesting they are deeply flawed.”

According to Koonin, he agrees that humans are responsible for the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Still, he adds it doesn’t seem to have impacted the weather except that average temperatures may have warmed by about two degrees Fahrenheit over the past 100 years.  And, as for global warming, he points out that heatwaves aren’t as common today as they used to be.  Go figure.

He questions the so-called scientific consensus about climate change, noting that what consensus there might be falling short of measuring the role of human impact.

Koonin was something of a climate change believer back in the day, particularly during his tenure in the Obama administration.  Since then, he has taken an open-minded view– a view that led him to pen his new book despite the fact that many of his peers have taken him to task on his outspoken presentation of his findings.

He’s not alone.  Commentator Doug Casey chimed in on the Global Warming issue some time ago, calling out the apostles of climate change in an in-depth opinion article.

He challenged the climate scientists who insist that their doomsday scenarios reveal just how close-minded they can be.  Casey pulled no punches, declaring that “those who blame climate change for every storm or forest fire are silly. Equally silly are those who claim that a particularly cold day proves that climate change is a farce.”

Casey went on to expose the fallacy of their mantra that 97 percent of climate scientists are on board with the climate change scenario.  It’s certainly a big number, but if the truth be told, he says, it’s not 97 percent of all climate scientists; it’s 97% of those who have written in scientific journals.

His observation is that “journalists now manage to stick a scary line about climate change in any article they can. Bees, birds, ticks, human migration… it’s all climate change. This continual exposure to unsubstantiated statements from journalists will bamboozle many readers.”

So, beware.  You can bet that Koonin’s book is very likely to receive very negative reception among those reporting on climate science.  But, we can hope that it will also encourage open-minded researchers to begin thinking out of the box.


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Dave
8 months ago

Well…. If the government stops spraying S O 2 in the stratosphere we all will be better off. S O 2 is poison!

Glee
8 months ago

Before I retired from a large environmental engineering firm, our division took part in a regional conference for environmental and climatologists regarding climate change. The most impressive presentation was from a scientist recently retired from one of the National labs (I won’t say which one). In addition to debunking much of the data, one of the most telling things he did was ask for a show of hands of all who believed in anthropomorphic (human caused) climate change. About half the room raised their hands. He then said, “everybody working on a government-funded research project on climate change, please lower your hands.” Only a few hands remained. Anybody who has every worked on government research knows government research subjects are agenda-driven. Enough said.

Kim
8 months ago

Global cooling…global warming…climate change…

Most of what we are experiencing is called weather. You can extrapolate any segment of the timeline over millions of years and find the data you need to prove your point…any point.

We short-sighted humans stick our noses into the newspaper and read about glaciers melting, sea levels rising, animal populations diminishing, species going extinct. Wildfires are natural occurrences— now and over the last 10,000 years that native Indians employed controlled burns to manage the landscape. Ever since lightning was invented and volcanoes have been erupting, fires have swept the land consuming everything in their paths.

My point is that all these environmental “tragedies” have been going on forever. But there weren’t as many of us around back then, and we were able to pick up sticks and move our communities uphill when floods proved that living that close to the water was a mistake. But, now, with million dollar buildings lining the pretty coasts…now, we’re upset about water rising. The entire CA town of Paradise burned to the ground. In interviews with those who lost everything, many said they are eager to rebuild! I wouldn’t, but they accept the risk. We choose to live where disasters can alter the course of our lives, and that’s our prerogative.

Greenhouse gas emission have been fluctuating since the earth chose an elliptical path around the sun. Yes, we are burning more fossil fuels. We are taking more carbon, safely sequestered underground or in huge swaths of forest, and releasing it to the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide does blanket the earth and keep it a bit warmer, but methane (cow burps are a major source) has a longer lasting effect. So, if you’re concerned, don’t eat beef.

A plant called the fire lily needs fire for its continued existence. That lily (Lilium pyrophilum) was discovered in eastern North Carolina just 20 years ago. Certain pine species need fire to dry their cones so seeds can be dispersed. Others, like the giant sequoias in CA, have lived for thousands of years despite the devastating fires that have charred their bark.

That’s how nature and evolution work. Some species win while others lose. Some go extinct, and new ones arise, thanks to the 4-legged stool: mutation, variation, adaptation, and speciation. But it’s all temporal; the new species thrive until the environment changes…again.

So, what will we do about it? What can we do? Right now, authoritarians (government legislators) hope to mandate how we live our lives, what kinds of cars we can drive, how many burgers you can put on the grill. We, of course, hate it when they do that. We’ve won the life lottery by being citizens of this country, and we’ve become accustomed to enjoying the freedom to choose our own course.

I’m a nature nut… the decisions I make every day consider how I can best use the resources available to me. Instead of waiting for government to make those decisions for me, I choose the most economically feasible and environmentally acceptable option. So, instead of mowing grass for hours every week, I’ll use that space for vegetable gardens and landscapes that feed the birds and other animals, including insects. I rarely put kitchen scraps into the disposal, composting or trashing them instead. I avoid taking plastic, and use totes. My company has planted tens of thousand of trees and other landscape plants over the decades. Woody plants capture carbon, so I’ve done my (fair) share.

What I have done barely moves the needle. I know. But if millions—billions—of us did something…more than we’ve done so far, that would help. Even if we did nothing, nature can recover, although there might not be as many kinds of birds. And I’d miss that.

Jacky Dorsey
8 months ago

I live in central Mississippi and at one time there were glaciers here and then several feet of water. I know there is some climate change but I believe it’s God’s work and not humans.

John
8 months ago
Reply to  Jacky Dorsey

Jack, I agree with you. Climate has been changing since creation. That doesn’t mean humanity has been the cause

Glee
8 months ago
Reply to  John

Even if man has a role in the minuscule rising of temperatures, so what? Based on sun spots and weather cycles, we should be now experiencing colder temperatures. If that is true, then the slight anthropomorphic contribution is a blessing.

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