Climate Change: Hysteria And Reality

In case you haven’t noticed, it becomes more and more obvious with each passing day that the governments of the world are not going to accede to the demands of the UN, of left-wing pundits, and of academia to ban fossil fuels, collectivize their economies, and send us all back to the stone age in the quest to fend off the bogeyman of “climate change.” Some politicians may mouth platitudes, and some may not, but in the end, no government is going to halt the build-out of functioning electricity systems, shut down their industries and impoverish their people.

Maybe that explains why, even as it becomes perfectly clear that this ain’t happening, the ravings of climate change activists become ever more hysterical. Some of the most highly-credentialed people you can think of seem to have completely lost their minds and descended into wild shrieking. Are these people “smart”? In their own minds, yes; and maybe also in the minds of the people at super-fancy universities that awarded them advanced degrees and prestigious professorships. Consider a couple of recent obvious examples:

From Paul Krugman (Ph.D. in economics from MIT, long-time professor at Princeton, Nobel Prize in economics) on October 15:

One way to think about what’s happening here is that it’s the ultimate example of Trumpian corruption. We have good reason to believe that Trump and his associates are selling out America for the sake of personal gain. When it comes to climate, however, they aren’t just selling out America; they’re selling out the whole world.

And that one borders on sane compared to this one from Jeffrey Sachs (BA and Ph.D. from Harvard, professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia, and advisor of everybody from third-world governments to Pope Francis) on October 18:

President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and others who oppose action to address human-induced climate change should be held accountable for climate crimes against humanity. They are the authors and agents of systematic policies that deny basic human rights to their own citizens and people around the world, including the rights to life, health, and property. These politicians have blood on their hands, and the death toll continues to rise.

Crimes against humanity! Blood on their hands! Perhaps we should check on what’s going on out there in the real world. If you keep up with the Manhattan Contrarian, you already know that China, India and the rest of the developing world are in the process of building some 1600 or so new coal-fired power plants, thus swamping any possible marginal reductions in carbon emissions that might ever be achieved by the U.S. or Europe. But that’s old news. I’m talking now about just the past few days. Here are some examples (h/t Global Warming Policy Foundation):

  • Australia rejects IPCC call to phase out coal. The Financial Times reports on October 9 (sorry - behind pay wall) that Australia — the world’s biggest exporter of coal — has rejected the recent call of the IPCC to phase out coal by 2050: The world’s biggest coal exporter on Tuesday said it would be “irresponsible” to comply with the recommendation by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to stop using coal to generate electricity. Canberra also reiterated its priority is to cut domestic electricity prices rather than curb greenhouse gas emissions, which have risen for four consecutive years. “I just don’t know how you could say by 2050 that you’re not going to have the technology that’s going to enable good, clean technology when it comes to coal. That would be irresponsible of us,” [said Melissa Price, Australia’s environment minister.]

  • Japan rejects IPCC call to phase out coal. From The Australian, October 20: Japan’s ambassador to Australia has confirmed Tokyo will defy calls by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to phase out coal by mid-century as part of a scientific appeal to limit global temperature increases to 1.5C. Sumio Kusaka told The Australian that Japan would . . . need to bolster coal supply in the immediate future. He said Japanese plans to reduce reliance on fossil fuels in line with its international commitments would see a greater focus on nuclear energy. . . .

  • Volkswagen CEO warns that EU climate policies “threaten the very existence” of the German automobile industry. From Der Spiegel online, October 18 (translation from GWPF): Stricter CO2 emission limits imposed by the EU are pushing Europe’s car industry to the “brink of collapse,” Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess has warned. Diess lamented that the EU’s campaign against conventional petrol cars was “threatening the very existence” of Germany’s car industry. “The current campaign against individual mobility and thus against conventional cars is reaching existence-threatening proportions.” Diess also attacked the proposed switch to electric cars as detrimental to the environment because Germany’s electricity systems is still dominated by coal-fired power generation. “Instead of using petrol or diesel, we’ll basically use coal, even if we’re electrically powered, and in the worst case we’ll use even lignite,” he said. “That drives the idea of electric mobility ad absurdum!”

Do you think that Angela Merkel, or some other Chancellor who might replace her, is likely to allow “climate” policies to get to the point that they would pose a threat to the German auto industry? If so, consider what she said just yesterday, when campaigning in the state of Hesse, where elections this Sunday threaten her position if they go the wrong way: Speaking at a news conference on Sunday evening, Merkel said it would be disproportionate to ban dirty diesel cars from the road in places like Frankfurt, Hesse’s largest city. . . .

I don’t see how you blame Donald Trump for any of this, but maybe it makes the likes of Krugman and Sachs feel good about themselves.