Climate change questions – Is it time to go back to nature?

09/22/2021

The climate change question is now settled science, or so we have been told since before the first term of Obama’s presidency.  From major hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires to droughts, increasing CO2 and runaway biological methane we are facing an existential threat to our existence and it is the most important issue we face today.  Bigger than any terrorist threat from the middle east or cyber-attack from China or Russia.  Is this really the case?  Are we to believe nothing else matters because regardless of another “911 attack”, military coup, or financial meltdown the climate will kill us all in short order?

There are any number of true crises facing our Republic these days including a de-facto open southern border, or a pandemic that is being severely mishandled. We have a congress over-represented by socialists with no understanding of economics, bent on pumping trillions of dollars into the economy to secure their power base.  For the first time in 2 decades, we have inflation that has tripled in 6 months and which runs the very real risk of turning into double-digit inflation by the 2nd quarter of ’22 if the proposed bills are passed.  And it appears the top general may have been negotiating foreign policy behind the back of his commander-in-chief in direct opposition to stated foreign policy and in league with the leader of the House of Representatives.  The question really becomes: Is climate change really our most pressing issue at this moment in time or do we have other issues that render climate change irrelevant if they are not properly addressed first?

As the most long-standing free republic in history, we are dependent on a free and objective press to maintain our freedom.  We depend on the press to address the issues outlined above and present all sides so the citizens can understand the problems and elect representatives who will reflect our combined wisdom to resolve problems.  If the press is no longer objective and instead presents only one side of an argument then we are no longer free to reason and argue for the best outcome, the outcome has already been decided by a small poorly informed group.  To illustrate the point listen to what the press and the environmentalist tell us about the weather as we move through the hurricane season.  Listening to them it would appear the latest storm to hit the gulf or the Atlantic seaboard is one of the worst we have experienced in a long time.  One political strategist recently explained, this is the worst he’s seen in his lifetime as he debated the necessity of implementing the Green New Deal proposed by the House.  They make the same argument as each new hurricane season is upon us.  Another of the arguments says there are more storms now than ever before and the severity is even greater, but is this perception or reality?   Depending on how you gauge the severity of storms history tells a different story.  Statistics show the number of major storms, as gauged by the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, has remained flat over the last 50 years and total storms lasting more than 2 days have been flat for the past 130 yrs.  If however, you gauge the severity of the hurricanes by loss of life you find, interestingly enough, there is a significant decrease in the loss of life over the last 130 years.  This is exactly how it should be because we learn, innovate and improve our responses with each new season with a notable exception hurricane Katrina.  Katrina overloaded the levees protecting  New Orleans and caused unexpected flooding and over 1,500 people, by some estimates, did not survive.  To find something this devastating you need to go back quite a few years. The Galveston hurricane in 1900 claimed 8,000 lives, in 1926 the Miami Hurricane claimed 373 lives and the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane claimed between 2,500 and 3,000 lives.  The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 and Hurricane Aubrey of 1957 each claimed between 408 and 416 lives.  Every life lost is a tragedy in itself but to say they are getting worse is not being honest with the facts.  Today’s Hurricanes are nothing to make light of and we should take whatever precaution we can to prevent either loss of life or loss of property but the number of major storms to hit the east coast since 1990 has been between 2.5 and 3.6 per year since 1950.  This in no way says climate change is an existential threat. 

There is another very important takeaway from this example.  Our standard of living has improved significantly since the 1900s and as our standard of living improves the loss of life during severe storms declines.  A major contributor to improving our standard of living is the low-cost energy we have enjoyed in the past.  This low-cost energy has facilitated innovation into better construction materials, new techniques for building structures to withstand severe weather, better means of transportation, allowing more people to escape or otherwise survive the severe weather to name just a few.  All of this has occurred while at the same time improving the air quality in the major cities and the water we drink.  If you are evaluating the climate change issue from empirical observations alone then you might want to ask: Why are we concerned about climate change when the only thing suggesting it’s getting worse are the imperfect weather models the politicians refer to?  The climate models I speak of are the models AOC & John Kerry said showed conclusively that a catastrophic weather event would occur in 12 years which we would not survive.  The clock’s ticking, will we survive? 

Have no fear there is a new government agency which will ensure we do everything possible to survive this catastrophe, it has been named the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (CCHE).  Briefly, its purpose is to address the impact of climate change on the health of the American people, and to help protect us its office has been granted regulatory and statutory powers under the Dept of HHS to address matters affecting disadvantaged communities and people on the frontlines of the climate crisis.  Granting them the regulatory and statutory powers creates the same control we find with the EPA.  They will incentivize companies to adopt specific behaviors deemed to be environmentally responsible in some cases and in other cases eliminate entire industries they believe are irredeemable like the EPA did with the coal industry during the Obama administration.  An example of this is already in practice at some lending institutions.  The institutions will assess the value of your home based on the risk of climate change in your area.  The lending institutions will study the weather to determine what the climate change risk is and in the worst-case scenario they will blue line an area they believe is high risk.  If your home is in this area you or anyone else would not be able to get a loan which essentially wipes out all the equity you’ve built up. 

Unlike the Hurricane – Climate Change correlation, where it’s evident the number of storms over the last 130 yrs is unchanged and the severity of the storms since 1950 have remained consistent season after season, the forest fire – climate change correlation is not a direct correlation.  Forest fires are very often used to illustrate evidence of climate change, specifically how much longer the season is lasting now as opposed to previous eras and how many more fires there are.    Environmentalists cite the increase as obviously due to the change in climate.  There is no obvious 1:1 correlation in the de minimis change in temperature over the last century and an increase in season length or the number of fires.  Roughly 80% of the forest fires along the west and east coasts of the US are man-made while the majority of forest fires in the Rocky Mtn region and SW are the result of lightning strikes.  Man-made fires have both increased the season length and number of fires.  Neither of these sources can be directly tied to climate change, but they can be tied to poor forest management.  When you adopt the policies of California and to a lesser degree Colorado for managing our forests where the lumber companies are blocked from clearing away the dead and dying trees, the fuel begins to build up and uncontrolled fires break out in larger numbers.   There is a major side effect of the forest fires.  The large volumes of particulates and other greenhouse gas emissions significantly impacts climate change.  Satellite images showed the plume of smoke all the way to Japan a couple of years ago.   If we were as concerned about the impacts of man-made climate change then we must consider these sources as a major contributor before laying the burden on middle class and lower class through higher energy prices. 

The climate change disaster has been around since the Carter administration when we were told the climate was cooling uncontrollably.  Since then there has been no change in temperature and if you had visited some of our major cities then vs now you would realize the air is much cleaner now.  What’s happened?  We’ve implemented cleaner burning engines, installed particulate emissions scrubbers on the exhaust for coal-fired plants, improved the efficiencies of the gasoline engine, all while increasing our use of natural gas and petroleum products.  There is very little discussion of this because the media is focused on creating panic.  Apparently, they’ve been successful as a study of 10,000 people ages 16-25 across the world showed 75% feel the future is frightening, while 45% said their feelings about climate change negatively affect their daily life.  The first question that should come up is why only 10,000 worldwide?  Such a small percentage would be very simple to cherry-pick the respondents to make sure they agreed with you, next are we talking facts or emoting?  Listening to some of the speakers could very easily cause anxiety, especially if the news of the day was on a local forest fire or the latest hurricane.  These are only a couple of the issues we’re being fed on a daily basis but understanding these help put the remainder of issues in perspective.  Anything we do now will be completely undone by Mexico, China, and India so in our effort to continually improve our living conditions we can’t destroy the engine that makes it all possible to improve.  Eliminating our capitalist system for a socialist economic system envisioned by the “Green New Deal” will guarantee all environmental improvements will halt.  The middle class will bear the brunt of such economic costs directly and indirectly despite the rhetoric used by the progressive establishment.  As you listen to the grand speeches being proffered on the news this week keep in mind the cost in dollars and the cost in freedom to implement their ideas.  Thanks for taking the time to read this article, I hope it has given you something to critically think about.  Pass it on to your friends.

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