What you know about climate change is probably wrong.

Aug 4 · 10 min read

There are literally hundreds of factors that impact temperature and weather on Earth. And scientists have only begun to understand it all.

Current dogma insists that one believe the Earth is on an unsustainable path, that life as we know it is threatened, and that human activity is to blame. So pervasive is this belief, most anyone under the age of thirty-five is likely to have given little thought to the contrary. In fact, recent reports suggest that many young people are so worried about climate change, they are depressed or have chosen to forego childbearing.

When it comes to climate, we are told the science is settled. And God help you if you disagree. You’ll likely be branded as a climate-change denier and metaphorically burned at the stake of social media.

Think about that for a minute: A denier. As if you are denying a belief in a religion. Nowhere else in science is that term applied.

You might say I’m skeptical.

Why? Partly because I paid attention during sixth-grade science and because there is sufficient evidence to suggest that many of the so-called “consensus” scientists have strong biases at best, and a hidden agenda at worse.

In 2009, emails obtained (albeit by hackers) from scientists at the Hadley Climatic Research Unit at Britain’s University of East Anglia indicate that they had manipulated temperature data while voicing private admissions of doubt or scientific weakness in the global warming theory.

More troubling though was what seemed to be a concerted effort by scientists to freeze out researchers and editors who expressed doubts about man-made climate change.

So, is there a correlation between human activity and an increase in the amount of Carbon Dioxide (Co2) in the atmosphere? Does an increased level of Co2 correlate with a rise in global temperatures? Are temperatures, in fact, rising globally? And is there consensus in the scientific community that these factors exist and are correlated?

It’s understood that the Earth’s climate is constantly changing. And there is a preponderance of evidence to suggest that today’s climate is substantially different from that of the Ice Age. But is it possible for human activity to impact the climate by increasing global temperatures? And if you believe that is indeed the case, have you done any independent research or do you source your information from media outlets, whose reporting is likely biased?

Let’s begin with Carbon Dioxide.

We know that while Co2 is a small portion of all the greenhouse gases, it is an essential part of life on Earth; it’s plant food. We also know that there have been times in Earth’s history where the level of Co2 has been considerably higher than today, and the temperature considerably colder. Moreover, we know that during the Medieval Era, it was warm enough in England to grow grapes, while Co2 levels were lower than today. During this time, the southern coastal area of Greenland was forested and farmed by settlers from Iceland, which ended upon the arrival of the Little Ice Age.

Indeed, there’s little evidence to suggest that Co2 levels correlate with temperature. There is, however, substantial evidence to indicate that temperature and solar activity correlate quite well. Moreover, research in this field suggests we may be heading for a cooling period.

This stumbling block alone should give any reasonable person pause. The idea that rising levels of Co2 are heating the Earth is the bedrock of climate change theology. And yet, it falls apart under the slightest scrutiny.

In fact, the rise in Co2 levels are having a positive effect on our climate.

NASA reported in 2016 that, “from a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.

Of course, this is not surprising. For quite some time, farmers have been pumping Co2 into greenhouses to spur the growth of plants. Yes, an increase in Co2 is a good thing.

There’s bias in those climate models.

What about all the climate models that continue to predict doom and gloom in our future? Consider that for the past twenty years, climate models have failed to forecast future temperatures with any degree of accuracy. When compared to observable data, the models have consistently over-estimated the rise of global temperatures.

The challenge in predicting climate temperatures is that we don’t fully understand how Earth’s climate functions, and without that understanding, it’s nearly impossible to predict its behavior. There are hundreds of factors that govern the Earth’s climate and temperature. Even today, new technologies are revealing previously unknown information that challenge long-held theories. To dismiss the dynamic nature of scientific research is to invite error.

And it’s here where we find the next error in the “science” of climate change; observations do not match models. If we were to believe the dire prognostications of these climate Cassandras, it would seem their predictions would have come to fruition. Quite the contrary; not a single catastrophic prediction over the last half-century has manifested itself. Consider that just four decades ago, it was widely believed that a new ice age was on the horizon.

And given that global warming/climate change has been in the zeitgeist for nearly forty years, it seems we have reached a point at which observations should be an important factor in any analysis.

For a little perspective, consider that in my fifty-plus years on this planet, I have observed two major volcano eruptions; Mt. St. Helens in 1980, and Mt. Pinatubo in 1991. The latter of these spewed so much ash and soot into the atmosphere that in 1992 and 1993, the average temperature in the Northern Hemisphere was reduced 0.5 to 0.6°C and the entire planet was cooled 0.4 to 0.5°C.

Think about that: Global temperatures were cooler for two years because of one volcano eruption. And yet, the Earth was able to accommodate the pollutants, and life continued.

Nevertheless, climate-change scientists seemed to be seriously committed to their cause, observational evidence be damned.

In 1998, a group of scientists led by Michael Mann, developed a new statistical technique to reconstruct temperature records. His new data, illustrated in a chart that showed a long-term decline followed by an abrupt rise in temperatures — like a hockey stick. It galvanized the climate community, soon being reported by nearly every major media outlet. Former Vice President Al Gore even featured the “hockey stick” graph in his 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth.”

But in creating this new record of temperature history, Mann’s “data” erased the Medieval warming period and the Little Ice Age; two historical periods in which we have observable evidence of significant warming and cooling.

Furthermore, recent attempts by a group of scientists to replicate Michael Mann’s chart failed. When we attempt to determine historical temperature records, scientists study tree rings or ice layers. But when Mann created the data for his graph indicating a spike in temperatures coinciding with the Industrial Revolution, he wasn’t particularly rigorous in his research, using the wrong type of tree samples, and at times, hardly any samples at all.

Mann’s method of statistical sampling is still shrouded in secrecy. He claims that the code developed, which is central to his findings, is his intellectual property and that he could legally hold it personally without disclosing it to peers, which violates one of the basic tenets of research.

And this manipulation of historical temperature data continues. NASA and other government agencies regularly fiddle with temperature records, adjusting pre-Industrial Revolution Era records down, and post records up.

Forget what people say; watch what they do.

Perhaps the most telling observational evidence is the behavior of the most fervent members of the high church of climate-change. Consider that if one really believed human activity is leading to the destruction of the planet, it would stand to reason one’s behavior would change accordingly.

And yet, vocal celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Katy Perry fly in private jets to climate summits, where they are shuttled in gas-guzzling SUVs to accept awards for environmental activism. Former Vice President Al Gore, who made millions from his climate-change disaster movies and books, owns a 10,070-square-foot estate near Nashville, Tennessee, which expends more than twenty-one times more energy than the average U.S. household, according to reports. And that’s just one of his homes. It’s reported he owns four.

But what the average believer? It’s easy to virtue-signal by driving a Prius or displaying your recyclables on the curb (which might just be bad for the environment). But are true believers really willing to give up their iPhone, Netflix binges, Starbucks, and Blue Apron deliveries to save the planet? Indeed, all the most enjoyable aspects of modern life require fuel at some, or all stages of production — and much of that fuel originates from burning fossil fuels.

It’s only a matter of time before we’re running on renewables, right?

To be certain, climate-change believers are also most likely to be renewable energy believers. The thinking goes that when we convert to all renewable energy, we can have our cake and eat it too. But no matter how much one believes in something, sometimes, physics gets in the way. Which is what Germany learned the hard way.

In 2011, German leaders launched an effort to move to renewable energy, ridding itself of nuclear power plants in the wake of the earthquake-triggered tsunami that damaged the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan.

But no amount of wishful thinking can change the reality of resource-intensive and land-intensive renewables. Solar farms use more than four-hundred-fifty times more land than a comparable energy-producing nuclear plant. Wind farm? Seven hundred more times the amount of land than natural gas to produce the same amount of energy.

In Germany, much of wind-produced power comes from the northern shore, which creates enormous challenges in transporting it to where it’s needed. And then there’s the problem that arises when the sun doesn’t shine, or the wind doesn’t blow. Not to mention the wildlife displaced by solar panels or killed by windmills. Worse yet, solar panels and wind turbines are making electricity significantly more expensive.

If a modern, wealthy nation like Germany can’t get the physics of renewable energy to work, how would any reasonable person expect that the United States, with its diverse topography, could succeed? In fact, it’s highly unlikely that renewable energy could ever completely replace fossil fuels.

Follow the money.

If you want to know one’s true motives, follow the money trail. It may sound cynical, but we’re all human and money motivates humans.

The source of funding for most research originates via government grants, i.e., taxpayer dollars. In a perfect world, research would be completely objective, and scientists would eschew funds from those with an agenda. But here in the real world, funding often introduces biases, especially when driven by public policy.

And many politicians, mostly Democrats, would love to throw more of your money at “researching” climate change and implementing programs to “combat it.” In fact, the 2020 Presidential candidates all have plans to address the issue, promising to spend anywhere from five to ten trillion dollars — to solve a problem that may or may not exist.

But these efforts wouldn’t stand a chance san press coverage. And the media is all too willing to showcase the doom and gloom because bad news attracts viewers. Indeed, the media outlets seemingly never miss a chance to sensationalize climate change — The Weather Channel thrives on it.

Worse yet, much of the reporting is not just biased, but completely inaccurate.

In July of this year, Tropical Storm Barry descended on New Orleans with threatening rains. Reports of the storm from America’s Weatherman, Al Roker, led one to believe that we were watching a disaster in the making akin to Hurricane Katrina. The reality was much different. In fact, the storm did little damage. But if you were watching the national media or The Weather Channel, you got a dose of “climate change is causing more extreme weather and we’re all going to die if we don’t do something now!

The dire warnings that “we have X number of years before we reach a tipping point unless we do something now” have been broadcast ad nauseam since 1982, so it’s difficult to take any of the contemporary Chicken Littles seriously.

Look, I have no financial interest in this debate, but I hate to see people getting so twisted up over something that may or may not be happening. And for the sake of argument, let’s say living a modern life is contributing to climate change. What are we going to do about it? According to all the really smart people who study this stuff, we need a dramatic change in the way we live our lives. Heck, some people want to eliminate all gas-powered cars and airplanes as part of a plan to “save the planet.” And not just for Americans, but for everyone.

Yeah, not gonna happen.

What you can do is educate yourself. I certainly don’t intend for anyone to take my opinions as fact. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions.

I recommend beginning with Dr. John Christy’s 2016 written testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space & Technology. In it, he produces clear, strong evidence that the climate models are producing too much warming from greenhouse gas emissions and that there exists a concerted effort to try to downplay this fact to policymakers and the general public. Dr. Christy is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, Alabama’s State Climatologist and Director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. He has have served as Lead Author, Contributing Author and Reviewer of United Nations IPCC assessments, has been awarded NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, and in 2002 was elected a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. Read it here.

Additionally, Dr. Judith Curry’s written testimony before the same House committee in 2017 is enlightening. In it, she lays bare how progress in understanding the climate system is being hampered by an institutionalized effort to stifle debate, in the name of a “consensus” that humans have caused recent climate change. Dr. Curry is Professor Emeritus of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Read it here.

Additionally, I recommend David Siegel’s exhaustive piece here on Medium. David’s a tech entrepreneur, vegan, a Democrat, an animal lover, and someone who thought the science really was settled on climate change. David was challenged and he did some research — a lot of research. If you’re interested in learning something, take thirty minutes and read it.

Remember, consensus is a political notion, not a scientific notion. Science is continuously challenging the accepted — and this continues in all areas of science, except, it seems, climate.

Jonathan Clark

Written by

Designer, writer, contrarian, photographer, and connoisseur of bourbon.

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