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Potential For or Of

Edward A. Reid Jr.
Posted On:
Jan 26, 2021 at 3:00 AM
Climate Change

The potential for climate change to have adverse effects on the globe, its climate and its population is the subject of great international angst, fomented continuously by the UN secretariat, the UN FCCC, the IPCC, international NGOs, climate activist groups and numerous national politicians. The adverse effects of concern include rising global average temperatures, rising sea levels, more frequent and intense extreme weather events (floods, droughts, tropical cyclones) ultimately leading to a “crisis”, a “climate emergency” or an “existential threat”. The ultimate fear is that changing climate conditions would pass some “tipping point”, beyond which recovery to some previously acceptable climate state would be impossible. This fear appears to be shared, or at least proclaimed, by national and international politicians and by organizations which would profit from efforts to avoid these outcomes.

The fact that available data and observations do not support assertions regarding more frequent or more intense extreme weather events is largely ignored by those encouraging climate alarm. Each extreme weather event is somehow associated with climate change, whether as a cause or as a contributing factor. These associations are sometimes made by climate scientists, though far more frequently by climate alarmists and politicians, then echoed by the media. Increasing global average surface temperature anomalies are amplified into expressions such as “fireball earth”. Rising sea levels are amplified into concerns for coastal and island nation inundation. Projections are made concerning climate deaths, climate-driven migration, moving or shrinking animal habitat, increasing insect infestation, spreading disease and even pandemics.

Climate scientists have developed a new class of climate models used for attribution studies, which attempt to quantify the purported climate change contributions to extreme weather events. These attribution studies have most frequently been applied to studies of tropical cyclones in an attempt to quantify the effects of climate change on storm frequency and intensity, and on storm speed and its effect on resulting precipitation and flooding related damage. The climate models used in these attribution studies, like all climate models, are currently unverified and the uncertainty surrounding their attribution estimates are very large.

The potential of climate change to have beneficial effects on the globe, its climate and its population and the demonstrable existing beneficial effects are largely ignored. The modest warming over the past 150 years has ended the adverse impacts of the Little Ice Age, which was a period of widespread crop failures and rampant disease. The increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration has had numerous documented benefits, including massive global greening resulting from the aerial fertilization effects of increased CO2 combined with the impact of increased CO2 on the efficiency with which numerous plants use available water. These effects also manifest in increased crop yields resulting from longer growing seasons in combination with aerial fertilization and increased water use efficiency, as well as the availability of more temperature and drought tolerant seeds and improved farming methods.

Politicians have tended to focus of the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) but have almost solely ignored the demonstrable benefits. There is a solid argument that the current SCC is negative and that it will remain so for the foreseeable future. However, all estimates of the SCC are based on unverified models and are therefore questionable.