Yet another international summit will begin today in Madrid, Spain dealing with climate change. Once again, we will be treated to a litany of doom for the planet if we do not do something about greenhouse gas emissions. Being that the world has failed to explode in a ball of fire and New York and Miami are still very much above sea level, some 197 nations will be represented at the confab.
Getting to Madrid was a chore in and of itself. Brazil agreed to host the summit but pulled out over a year ago. Chile offered to host it but weeks of street protests having nothing to do with climate change prompted them to pull out also. Four weeks ago, Madrid stepped up to the plate and agreed to host it as leaders from those 197 countries will arrive in their electric jets and high speed, low-emission rail cars… just kidding.
Considering that both Kyoto and Paris failed, one can surmise so shall Madrid. With the Paris accords, each country pledged to reduce emissions by a certain amount and were left on their own to figure out how. The Paris Accords were doomed from the start since they were simply a wish list on paper. Other than peer pressure and bullying from other countries, there was no enforcement mechanism. Countries did step up their rhetoric, if not their actions. The record on cutting emissions is not good and any target met thus far seems to be by accident, not design. For example, the Kyoto targets- set in 1997- were almost met mainly because of the decline in industry in Russia and Eastern Europe, and the 2008 financial crisis shuttered many industries worldwide.
So is it the lack of political will, or reality that dictates that these summits and goal-setting agreements fail to come to fruition? When it comes to the living standards of their citizens, countries will act in their own self-interest. Take the case of Emmanuel Macron in France who decided to go against the will of the citizens of France and imposed a gas tax which was actually imposed by the green elites. That bought Macron over a year of Yellow Vest protests in the streets of French cities. Politicians in every country are averse to reversing economic growth in their countries, and rightfully so.
Even when countries succumb to the green warriors, the solutions are not cost-efficient. Germany is a perfect example. They have spent over $300 billion introducing renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. They are on record of shutting down nuclear plants. Yet, renewable energy sources account for only 7% of all energy production in Germany and Germany has the highest energy prices in Europe.
And for what? Simply, there is no climate “crisis.” We need to ignore the rhetoric of children like Greta Thunberg who implores us all to “panic.” All this rhetoric is designed not to find solutions, but to silence dissent and debate, and force us to do what the eco-warriors want. They do not want to debate a balanced view of a non-problem.
The reason is simple: the world is likely to warm no matter what we as humans do. It is what the planet has done since there was an Earth. It has warmed and cooled, warmed and cooled, warmed and cooled. Thanks to economic development, largely attributable to fossil fuels, mankind is in a better position to deal with any fluctuations in global temperatures than at any time in the past. With greater economic growth which would be stymied by the eco-warriors, we can drag more people out of poverty and make mankind even more resilient.
Instead of setting unrealistic goals at fancy summits (there is another one next year in Glasgow, Scotland), a commonsense approach would be to apply the best technologies. The natural gas renaissance in the United States is a perfect example. Natural gas produces incredibly less greenhouse emissions than coal, yet we have politicians who, like in New York, are working to prevent the extraction of natural gas based on fear-mongering over fracking. That is not to say that coal should be discarded and left in the ground. There will always be a demand for coal production, if not here then elsewhere in the world as countries transition from, as Trump would say, [email protected]!$hole status to something actually approaching a country.
There should be investment in what are called “no regrets” policies. One of the biggest “no regrets” policy would be an emphasis on nuclear energy. Unfortunately, the fear-mongers are active in this area also. There is a way to deal with the resulting waste- just ask the French. They have nuclear rod recycling factories that extract usable material that is recycled into new rods with the remainder safely discarded. Cities in France at one time competed for these facilities.
Wind and solar energy are just fine and dandy provided you have sunlight and wind. Otherwise, they do not cut emissions all that much, they are not that reliable, and they increase energy costs overall. A lot of these “no regret” solutions will take time to come to fruition, but the eco-warriors are worried about the long game, right? Yet, they are resistant to any solution that makes sense.
Instead, they seem to be content with headline-grabbing but meaningless fixes to stave off the inevitable climate apocalypse whose date keeps getting pushed back further and further as the predicted calamities have failed to appear. Contrary to popular Leftist belief, California has always had wildfires, the Midwest has always had tornadoes, and the Eastern coast has always been hit by hurricanes.
Earlier this year, the British scientific publication Lancet predicted, using “41 key indicators,” that if the world did not cut carbon emissions by at least 50% to preindustrial level by 2050, people in the hundred thousands would die. Particularly vulnerable, they warned, would be infants who would be exposed to deadly pathogens prevalent in a warming environment. The model they used for this doom, however, predicted that global temperatures would rise seven degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Given current trends, the most reliable models show an increase in global temperatures by the end of the century well below the seven degree Celsius range. Regardless, models are notoriously unreliable, with some even being proven “doctored.”
That report, even if true (which this writer doubts) misses an even more important point. They failed to account for the millions, not thousands, who would die if the world was to forego fossil fuels and the millions more who would be slaves to poverty.