Government & Politics

Paris Climate Summit: Fear, Not Climate Reality

Agreement means almost nothing for the climate, and everything for loss of Liberty.

James Shott · Dec. 15, 2015

The latest “climate change confab” has concluded. Whether the nations meeting in Paris actually support “doing something” about the world’s thermostat, or whether they were lining up to be recipients of a whole lot of wealth redistribution, one thing is clear: The agreement means almost nothing for the climate and everything for loss of economic productivity and Liberty.

After all the time involved and the carbon dioxide produced getting thousands of people from 196 nations all in the same place and then back home again, the agreement does not put the world on a path toward what alarmists regard as a safe level of rising temperature. But the agreement sets forth a clear path for countries to identify their own targets for CO2 reduction. Ultimately, participants want a global carbon-free environment by 2060, at the latest, meaning that every car, building, plane, ship, train and power plant would have to operate without burning any fossil fuels.

Days prior to the closing, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told the ministerial session, “The clock is ticking toward climate disaster.” Repent now, for the end is near.

The populist potentate of ecotheology, Al Gore, compared combating climate change to the abolition of slavery, giving women the right to vote and the civil rights battle. Gore said, “The right choice is to safeguard the future for the next generation and for the generations to come.”

There were scary stories of rising sea levels, causing residents of low-lying areas like the Marshall Islands to lobby strenuously for the agreement, while droughts, flooding and other extreme weather events were predicted to increase elsewhere on the planet if CO2 emissions aren’t reined in. And to make sure to attract the attention of enough third-world countries, billions of dollars in support for affected economies is on the table, supposedly to be paid by the rich countries, like the United States.

The whole world is concerned because of the idea that too much CO2 in the atmosphere will cause a litany of catastrophes sometime in the distant future. But remember: Plants that produce oxygen for us to breathe live on CO2.

All this fear mongering overshadowed the dismal record of climate predictions and data manipulations from the not-so-distant past that casts doubt on the need for turning the energy universe upside-down. Here are just a few of the horrific predictions of climate catastrophes that did not come true:

  • By 1980, all of the important animal life in the sea will be extinct.
  • By the year 2000, the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people.
  • The world will be 11 degrees colder by the year 2000.
  • By 1985, air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching Earth by half.
  • A general warming trend over the North Pole is melting the ice cap and may produce an ice-free Arctic Ocean by the year 2000.
  • Within a few years children just aren’t going to know what snow is.

Add to those failed prognostications a global warming hiatus for the last 18 years, and energetic disagreement about man-caused climate change among climate scientists, and the agreement is exposed for what it is: a gigantic global shakedown.

As an example, while Barack Obama is busy regulating America’s coal-fired electricity-generating plants out of existence, China — by far the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases — is constructing hundreds of new plants. We should be wary of China’s commitment to reduce emissions.

The Wall Street Journal notes, “In 2013 China burned 3.9 billion tons of coal, almost as much as the rest of the world.” Obama seems to think that harming the U.S. economy by shutting down U.S. fossil fuel-burning facilities will negate China’s feverish coal-burning economy.

As Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris asks, “This is the country that we’re going to trust to peak emissions 15 years from now?”

And trust is the operative word. All countries are on scout’s honor to do what they have said they will do, without official oversight or penalties — because the agreement isn’t a legally binding treaty.

According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2013 “Historical Data Workbook,” 87% of the energy mankind uses every second comes from burning fossil fuels. People who live in cold climates use them to warm their homes, and people who live in warm climates use them to cool their homes. Fossil fuels are used to plant and harvest crops that feed people, and they are used to transport food from places where food is produced to places where it’s needed and wanted. They are used to light the darkness, to entertain us, transport us, diagnose disease, communicate with each other, mass-produce products we need and want, and to provide security in our homes and for the nation.

Fossil fuel use has improved the lives of billions of people worldwide, and we can all continue to benefit from it. There are no replacement technologies that even approach filling the void Obama and the other climate change advocates are creating. Contrary to their apocalyptic warnings, we are only on course for a disaster if we follow their lead.

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