The “news” is full of apocalyptic pronouncements of the future under global warming. Apparently it matters not whether global warming is caused by natural forces, or by the activities of humans; alarmists are convinced that global warming is calamitous for humanity.
An obvious conclusion is that we consider the climate we have known the past century to be the only one suited to our existence. Also obvious, but ignored, is that climate has changed, always has been changing, and will always change, regardless of our demands that it not.
What are some of the horrors in store caused by rising levels of CO2? Global warming alarmists gloss over the potential for increasing humanity’s food supply, and concentrate on the increase in irritating pollens, and the potency of poison ivy. In other words, why applaud the opportunity to feed more starving people, when better conditions for plant growth could increase sneezing and itching?
This is not the first time mankind’s priorities have been grossly out of balance. Back in the 1960’s we were all upset by Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, and our concern for possible effects of DDT on a few of our feathered friends subsequently resulted in agonizing deaths from malaria for over twenty million people, most of them children under five years of age.
Similarly, today we call for oppressive world government regulations to slow or reverse economic growth in a vain attempt to reduce unproven global warming purportedly caused by increased levels of atmospheric CO2. In essence, we of the developed world have concluded that it is in the best interests of those in the developing world to continue to live short, nasty, brutish lives of hardship and deprivation.
Further, we promise that in later generations we will sacrifice our comfortable lifestyles and join them in misery. Just not right yet.
At the moment we recognize that something that has happened many times before – dramatic climate change – is the greatest threat to the continued civil enjoyment of life on this planet.
We also recognize that mankind cannot exist unless climate is locked into exactly what we have experienced the past century.
In the course of recognizing that climate change is the greatest threat mankind faces, we do not acknowledge that mankind has already demonstrated the ability to cause far more damage to its fellow humanity than caused by climate change.
In 1994 Hutus slaughtered 800,000 of their fellow Rwandans.
Since Rachel Carson’s book panicked the world’s bird lovers, malaria has caused over 20,000,000 deaths.
The Soviet Union and Communist China embarked on vast programs to collectivize their citizens that resulted in the deaths of one hundred million, and the displacement of millions more.
Pol Pot attempted the same in Cambodia, and killed two, or perhaps three million, roughly a third of Cambodia’s population.
Brutality by colonial overseers in the Congo Free State resulted in 8.5 million deaths during the reign of King Leopold II of Belgium.
In World War I there were ten million military killed, and unknown numbers of civilians killed and displaced.
In World War II there were 72 million killed, 47 million of which were civilians, and an additional 11 to 20 million displaced people.
Global warming alarmists estimate that it causes 150,000 deaths annually, and that this number could double by 2030. The causes of the deaths are malaria, diarrhea, and malnutrition, and heat waves and floods.
150,000 deaths seems a large amount, until you realize that right now malaria causes almost three million deaths each year, and that most of those deaths are preventable very inexpensively by spraying interior walls of houses in malarial areas with DDT and sleeping inside DDT treated nets.
150,000 deaths seems a large amount, until you realize that two million die each year from diarrhea caused by dirty water and malnutrition.
Is there a solution to all of these problems that afflict humanity?
Is it to reduce the production and consumption of energy in both the developed and developing nations of the world?
Anyone who thinks that would help solve any problem, including climate change, is a raving lunatic.
So what will save humanity from its own genius for identifying problems, and then really fouling them up?
And another word for prosperity is capitalism.
While man-made global warming alarmists are trying to get developed countries to join in an economic suicide pact, the recently minted pragmatic capitalists of China and India are ignoring all that and are adding fossil fuel generating plants at a record pace.
China and India will forge ahead, while the developed nations crash their economies on the rocks of Kyoto to save, by their own calculations, an increase of 0.07º C (0.1º F, also known as mind-boggling insignificant) by 2050.
While Californians try to single-handedly save the world by investing in unreliable, expensive, and inefficient alternative energy sources – which can’t even keep up with California’s ever increasing demand for energy, let alone replace existing fossil fuel generators – our recent moderate heat wave almost caused system failure, just as it did in 2001 when “rolling brownouts” became part of the standard Californian vocabulary.
In the meantime, China is adding one or two coal-fired power plants a week, each big enough to handle the needs of a city the size of San Diego.
I’ll bet San Diego wishes it had one of them today.