Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
The most noteworthy thing about the global warming “debate” these days is how little of it has anything to do with rationality or science. In that respect, Greta Thunberg is the perfect spokesperson for her side of the debate. She’s a 16-year-old girl with Asperger’s who is depressed, obsessive-compulsive and has selective mutism. Rather notably, she seems to have developed many of these problems because propaganda from her parents and other sources made her hysterical about global warming.
These sort of doomsday prophecies have been a feature of numerous cults, but rather bizarrely, we now have politically motivated adults trying to scare ignorant kids to death because they think their needless terror will benefit the Left. It’s the same thing that has been done with school shootings, which are about as likely to kill a child in any given year as a lightning strike, but it’s worse because of the scale. Children are now falsely being told that scientists agree we only have a few years left to save the planet.
Of course, none of this is true and there is really no need to be afraid of global warming at all, much less work yourself up to the point where you need to see a therapist about the issue.
To begin with, our climate is extremely complex and scientists don’t have a thorough understanding of it. Thus, there are no accurate climate models. Certainly, there are models that have backward-engineered changes that have already happened, but there have been none that have accurately predicted say 20-30 years of climate change. Also, global temperature record-keeping only started in 1880. Talking about the “hottest year” on record when you are looking at a little less than 140 years of data out of the planet’s 4.5-billion-year history is nearly meaningless. That is doubly so because there are very real concerns about the quality of some of the data and because there appear to have been times in recorded human history that were warmer than today despite having much less CO2 in the air (for example, 950-1040). So, it doesn’t matter what propagandists and biased scientists making a living off of global warming grants tell you, there are just no definitive answers about this topic. Incidentally, that’s why the number of failed doomsday predictions have been legion. You could go on and on with these examples, but just to name a couple of fun ones, there have been predictions that global cooling would create an ice age by 2000 or alternately, that part of New York City would be underwater by 2010 because of global warming.
In other words, the only honest answer a knowledgeable, informed person who cares about the scientific facts could give you is that we don’t know what global temperatures are going to look like in say 100 years. It’s debatable whether we could even make an educated guess at it.
BUT, let’s assume the worst. Let’s assume that manmade CO2 IS driving up the temperature of the planet. Then what? Well, there’s an easy solution to that now that there are specially made plants that are capable of literally sucking as much CO2 out of the air as tens of millions of trees. As an extra added bonus, it’s possible to use the captured CO2 to make a variety of products, which could help reduce the cost. If world governments ever became convinced that we needed to act, we could literally build thousands of these plants in a few years and dramatically reduce the amount of CO2 in the air. That certainly seems to make a lot more sense than trying to get rid of cows, cars, and airplanes while convincing nations like China and India to dramatically slow their rise towards financial prosperity for environmental reasons.
However, let’s take it even further. Let’s assume man-made CO2 is increasing the temperature and that for reasons unknown, the world refuses to build the plants that will suck CO2 right out of the air. So, then what? Does the world end in a fiery catastrophe? Not at all.
In fact, life wouldn’t change one bit because of global warming for most people. That’s not to say that there wouldn’t be any impact. Some low-lying areas would be flooded. There are estimates that it could cost the United States 10% of its economic output by 2100, which is pretty insignificant when you consider how much the economy should grow between now and 2100.
Some areas will become hotter, drier, and less usable as farmland. Other colder areas will benefit from being warmer. Water may be scarcer in some areas and more accessible in others.
Put another way, it wouldn’t be the end of the world, it would just mean there would be changes, some good and probably a few more bad. Some people may think it’s worth it politically to scare kids to death over global warming, and responsible adults need to stop trying to frighten them with propaganda and doomsday prophecies.
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