By David S. Petolicchio
While a case can be made challenging the science behind climate change and the broad extrapolations that politicians often foist on the unwary citizen, it is important to truly delve into why climate change is being so radically promoted in the first place.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a notably outspoken proponent of climate change hysteria, said the following regarding flooding in DC: “Unprecedented flooding is quickly becoming a new normal. Despite that, Republicans are tripling down on fossil fuels w/no plan to transition off them, or make the critical infra investments we need to prep for the climate crisis,(1)” We see the unquestioning dedication AOC is expressing that, not only is climate change a man-made crisis, but to make matters worse, she promotes the crisis as primarily the fault of fossil fuels. A legitimate meteorologist named Ryan Maue responded to Rep. Acosio-Cortez’s panicked statements by saying, “Extreme rainfall is still low/medium confidence and medium understanding — pretty clear that in a warmer world, rainfall extremes will increase. But, attributing an individual t-storm or slow-moving area of rain to climate change is (currently) beyond our capability.(1)”
This brief engagement between a government official and a legitimate scientist is only a minuscule snapshot into the complexity and ignorance surrounding climate change. This failure isn’t exclusive to the “right” or to the “left” in anyway. Climate predictions have a notoriously poor track record, from predictions of imminent ice ages to the claims that New York City should currently be underwater, predicting catastrophe and apocalypse has been the rule rather than the exception and are frequently inaccurate.
It is similarly important to debunk the perpetually used “97% of scientists agree” line. In his complex and substantive article, “Fact Checking The Claim Of 97% Consensus On Anthropogenic Climate Change”, Earl J. Ritchie discusses the nuanced and challenging means of establishing what the scientific community actually believes: “In the strict sense, the 97% consensus is false, even when limited to climate scientists. The 2016 Cook review found the consensus to be “shared by 90%–100% of publishing climate scientists.” One survey found it to be 84%. Continuing to claim 97% support is deceptive. I find the 97% consensus of climate scientists to be overstated. (2)” Ritchie also references some of the early beginnings of this mythical percentage, “The most influential and most debated article was the 2013 paper by Cook, et al., which popularized the 97% figure. The authors used methodology similar to Oreskes but based their analysis on abstracts rather than full content.(2)” It is clear upon the examination of these various claims by climate change proponents, that actual consensus has been distorted and many people have been unintentionally peddling a falsehood for years. In his article, Ritchie does reference as many as 81% being a possible number which is still a substantial majority, but it remains a general estimate and leaves nearly 20% of consensus up in the air (2). This foray into semantics and confusing surveys is just one of many massive examples as to why we must be wise and cautious with this discussion and not automatically subscribe to blind appeals to authority.
Beyond the intricate and nuanced scientific discussion to be had, it is important to discern the true motivations and dangers to over dramatizing climate change. While mankind should indeed be responsible and wise in handling the environment, they must also take into account the needs of humanity. The complete abandonment of fossil fuels without any stable and viable alternative would lead to economic disaster across the globe and billions would suffer. It is imperative that economic implications are considered before the abandonment of fossil fuels and other fundamental resources.
Much more serious is the suspected underlying benefit for those in government if regulations and fines continue to mount. The unending expansion of regulatory powers benefits only one group of people, those in government. The people themselves only end up paying more and using less while the private sector is forced to raise costs to offset the ever growing regulations. Ultimately the government is the primary party that profits from climate regulation. The two things that those in government pursue the most are money and power, and both money and power grow if the government can build a strangle hold of regulations on private energy companies. There is no complaint regarding the advancement of new and cleaner power alternatives, but they have to be true alternatives, not facades that would be incapable of taking on the primary role of energy production.
- Saavedra, Ryan. “Ocasio-Cortez Gets Smacked By Meteorologist Over ‘Climate Crisis’ Claims.” Daily Wire, The Daily Wire, 8 July 2019, www.dailywire.com/news/49280/ocasio-cortez-gets-smacked-meteorologist-over-ryan-saavedra.
- Ritchie, Earl J. “Fact Checking The Claim Of 97% Consensus On Anthropogenic Climate Change.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 15 Dec. 2016, www.forbes.com/sites/uhenergy/2016/12/14/fact-checking-the-97-consensus-on-anthropogenic-climate-change/#4a6413d51157.