Civil Defense Perspectives November 2015 Vol 32 No 1 [published March 6, 2016]
In November 2015, Paris, once the capital of a great world power, was the scene of two battles in the war on the West: one waged by Islamic jihadists, and one by wealthy globalist elites. Terror attacks were followed by the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change [global energy rationing and wealth redistribution].
Superficially, rampaging terrorists mowing down random civilians with assault rifles or knives do not resemble bathed, well-dressed delegates with briefcases, arriving by private jet and luxury limousine. But both have the same enemy: the West, especially the U.S. They despise the institutions that arose in Christian Europe: individual freedom, limited government, private property, and capitalism. Both aim for totalitarian rule: one under the will of Allah, as determined by the caliphate, and one by a global bureaucracy claiming to know what is best for the Planet and Society. Both have zero tolerance for apostasy. Jihadists inflict instant death; climate extremists so far just murder careers or businesses. The ultimate death toll from either could be massive, even if the Green socialists don’t follow the road of the Reds to mass purges, through wrecked economies and energy starvation. The West is guilty, and must pay for its sins.
Deception is a crucial element in both campaigns. People may learn too late that “peace” means submission and “The Science” means the consensus of selected authorities.
“Climate Change,” Not Terrorism, Is the U.S. Priority
To the Obama Administration, terrorism is negligible compared with the existential threat of climate change. At a Nov 26 news conference with President François Hollande of France, Obama veered from the focus on the terror attacks to COP21: “What a powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be when the world sees that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children” (NY Times 11/28/15).
Speaking at COP21, Secretary of State John Kerry said: “We have reached a critical moment… [This] may be the best chance we have to correct the course of our planet…. [W]e are facing unthinkable harm,… potentially to life itself…. We have to act within the next 36 to 48 hours.” We have the solution to climate change, he says: energy policy, which “will require a fundamental change in the way we that we decide to power our planet.”
Kerry scoffs at “climate deniers”: “These people are so out of touch with science that they believe rising sea levels don’t matter, because…the extra water is just going to spill off over the edge of a flat earth” (http://tinyurl.com/jb3xqmk).
Was It a Seismic Event?
The ambitions for COP21 were monumental. Nature devoted an entire special issue, available online at nature.com/parisclimate—including a comic book summarizing the 25-year journey. “The 2 °C dream” is still possible, but only with heroic efforts,” writes Jeff Tollefson. Governments will have to literally “suck greenhouse gases from the sky” because the carbon budget is so small. Half of the cumulative 1 trillion tonnes of CO2 that humans could be allowed to add to the atmosphere had already been “dumped” by 2009. But Tollefson was optimistic: by 2100 “humanity has asserted control over the atmosphere,” and on the 108th anniversary of the UN climate convention, governments are grappling with the question of “how low should they set the global thermostat?” But back to 2015:
The “landmark” Paris agreement passed without a word of discussion or a single dissenting vote. Delegates cheered and gave themselves a standing ovation. “If everything goes according to plan, the reverberations will be felt around the world for decades—and perhaps centuries—to come” (Nature 12/17/15).
The “hard work” begins: replacing the fuels supplying 80% of the world’s energy with methods that now supply only 1%. The “full force of human ingenuity” must be unleashed, said UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon. “What was once unthinkable has now become unstoppable.” The world is said to be on a path to reduce net greenhouse-gas emissions to zero.
One little change took place quietly minutes before the vote: the word “shall” was replaced with “should” in a line about the commitment of developed nations to reduce emissions. Calling the deal “non-binding” allows Obama to avoid having to ask the Senate to ratify it as a treaty.
Even Kerry acknowledges that getting all industrialized nations to “zero emissions” wouldn’t offset growth in developing countries. “Earth still has a problem.”
Until now, developing countries, the source of two-thirds of emissions, have not been required to submit comprehensive inventories like those reported by developed countries. A new global network of carbon accountants are being trained to help nations meet their new UN responsibilities (Nature 1/28/16).
Kerry emphasized the need for “accountability” and tracking. To this end, the groundwork is being laid for a global greenhouse monitoring system. Space-borne sensors are already watching the ebb and flow of carbon. Ultimately, the envisioned network of instruments on satellites, commercial jets, smokestacks, and communications towers could even monitor neighborhoods (Science 12/18/15). Contrast this with the paucity of instruments capable of detecting dangerous levels of radiation from a nuclear attack or radiation dispersal device (RDD or “dirty bomb”) and lack of governmental interest in this threat. [Data from the so-far-sparse network of NukAlert-based rooftop monitoring systems, including one provided by Physicians for Civil Defense, can be viewed here: http://tinyurl.com/hfchf6j).]
The Trans Pacific Partnership, if approved, will be an auxiliary enforcement mechanism because it requires compliance with previous multilateral environmental agreements, writes Bonner Cohen. The TPP Commission, modeled after the European Commission, trumps Congress (http://tinyurl.com/jepgxcf).
World-changing Disaster, or Kabuki Theater?
“It is an agreement to perpetuate the appearance of doing something, while spending public funds. The big surprise is that any Party can withdraw after three years, effective 1 year later,” writes Ken Haapala (TWTW 12/19/15, http://tinyurl.com/jsmqa6u). A lot depends on the 2016 election.
Flashback: Planetary Emergency
On Jan 25, 2006, Al Gore predicted that we had only 10 years to prevent catastrophic warming, with glacial meltdown and worldwide flooding, a “point of no return” (http://tinyurl.com/zzbxpef). Florida should be under water by now.
In science, a theory that can’t make accurate predictions is wrong, writes William Briggs. The discrepancy between [climate] models and reality is growing wider.” So, like politically correct investors, alarmists are divesting—from reality (http://tinyurl.com/jq8hm54). That global warming “hiatus” is “irrelevant” to anthropogenic climate change (Science 12/18/15).
Christopher Monckton discusses the growing discrepancy between models and temperature records, and notes that, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there should be a sharp and significant instantaneous response to radiative forcing as by adding CO2 to the air. Thus, it stated in 2008 that a 15-year hiatus (it’s now >18) would be important. Monckton also observes that one-third of the 2.4 W m-2 radiative forcing from all man-made sources since 1750 has occurred during the Pause (http://tinyurl.com/jdd5ywz).
Green alarmists are now denialists about the “alleged” pause, even though it is recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is the subject of numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles. The deniers include Stephan Lewandowsky, an experimental psychologist, and Naomi Oreskes of Harvard’s Dept of the History of Science (Nature.com Scientific Reports 11/24/15, http://tinyurl.com/hf4lyml).
The 2 °C “Dream”
The UNFCCC says that to avoid catastrophe the earth’s temperature must be kept from rising more than 2 °C this century, or perhaps kept at no more than 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels—by trillion-dollar tweakings of the CO2 control knob. Anthony Watts reports that, based on satellite data from the University of Alabama Huntsville, if current trends continue the increase this century would be 1.1 °C (http://tinyurl.com/zghrfvh). Others predict cooling (http://tinyurl.com/prneho7).
Scary Numbers on Ocean Acidity
In an article on “Our Deadened, Carbon-Soaked Seas,” the NY Times stated that over a period of 200 years, the oceans had absorbed 150 billion tonnes of carbon from human activities—in a volume of water billions of times greater than that. The calculated (not measured) “acidification” was from an average pH of 8.2 to 8.1, which is slightly less alkaline, not acidic. This represents a 26% increase in hydronium ions (H+); the error of measurement is several times greater, and daily variability is four times as large. The Times did its best to get a scary story from these numbers and cautious statements by NOAA about lack of definite evidence of damage anywhere, and included an artist’s depiction of a fish being dissolved in acid (http://tinyurl.com/haztv2q).
Why Methane Is Not a Greenhouse Problem
Proposed EPA rules to cut methane emitted by flared and leaked gas will have no perceptible effect on global climate, writes S. Fred Singer (WSJ 1/22/16). Although CH4 has strong infrared (IR) absorption bands, the quantity is small—only 1% of CO2 and only 0.01% of water vapor (WV), the most important atmospheric GH gas. Also, absorption by strong IR bands of WV overlaps (“shades”) those of CH4, and there is only a minor amount of energy in the IR emission from the Earth’s surface in the region of CH4 absorption bands. The proposed EPA rules are unscientific, constitute a complete waste of resources, and put a heavy economic burden on the energy industry—with all costs, like a tax, passed along to consumers who can least afford them.
Contrary to Pope Francis’s assertion of the environmental degradation caused by use of hydrocarbon (“fossil”) fuels, this highly concentrated energy has dramatically decreased human encroachment on the natural world, writes Kathleen Harnett White. Without the increased productivity made possible by such fuels, and fertilizer produced using CH4, it would take three times as much cropland to support the current human population. Before the internal combustion engine replaced animal muscle power for farming and transportation, almost 30% of the U.S. crop harvest was needed to feed 27.5 million horses.
As for “dirty carbon pollution,” the 400 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere has zero adverse health effects. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has set an advisory level of 5,000 ppm for prolonged exposure in a tightly enclosed space. The Navy’s safety limit for breathing inhaled air in a submarine is 8,000 ppm (http://tinyurl.com/hh9thcx).
“In the preparation and promotion of its widely touted encyclical, Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home, the Vatican relied on advisors who can only be described as the most extreme elements in the global warming debate,” according to a September 2015 special report by Climate Depot (http://tinyurl.com/q2rfjc4). Many of these advisors oppose individual freedom and market economics, and stand against traditional family values and key Catholic teachings. The Vatican and Pope Francis did not allow dissent or alternative perspectives to be heard during the creation of the encyclical, listening only to activists such as Naomi Oreskes, Peter Wadhams, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, and UN advisor Jeffrey Sachs.
In an address to a Sep 24 Joint Session of Congress, however, the Pope never once mentioned climate change, notes Howard Hayden (TEA, October 2015). The Washington Post, which published a verbatim transcript (http://tinyurl.com/z8p5nq4), nonetheless claimed that “the Pope asked Congress to do one specific thing: Address climate change.”
John Droz, Jr., has compiled commentaries about the Pope’s climate change encyclical (http://tinyurl.com/zk9f2b2). Droz reminds us that “before we know what is moral, we must know what is true.”
Today’s “Hammers of Heretics”
Successors to Grand Inquisitor Tomas de Torquemada, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-A) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), are making war on free speech for climate heretics, writes Paul Driessen (http://tinyurl.com/zschn65).