Climate Change Poses No Existential Threat. Nada. Not Any.
Climate Change Weekly #429
A refreshing article in the Washington Examiner demonstrates what I have repeatedly said for more than a decade: climate change does not pose an “existential threat.” In fact, that’s the title of the article: “Climate change is not an 'existential threat.’” In discussing the energy crisis that has arisen during Joe Biden’s brief tenure as president of the United States—primarily because of Biden’s climate policies—David Simon writes,
The Biden administration's climate change policies have sharply increased oil prices, damaging the domestic economy and increasing the cost of nearly everything consumers buy. By increasing revenues for Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime, they also made Russia stronger and more dangerous at a critical time, thus damaging national security. …
But worst of all, the Biden administration’s basis for these policies, the claim that global warming presents an “existential threat,” is fraudulent. It is not based on any scientific consensus, and in fact, it ignores evidence of environmental benefits of global warming that offset its harm.
In this article, chock full of data, Simon schools so-called journalists in the corporate media on how to examine claims that humans are causing a climate catastrophe. Simon presents data and research that conclusively demonstrate temperature and climate-related deaths have significantly declined during the period of modern warming. Climate Realism has also pointed this out on numerous occasions, refuting alarmists’ claims to the contrary.
For example, arguably the largest study ever to examine excess mortality associated with temperature was published in the July 1 edition of The Lancet, one of the world’s most prominent health journals. The study’s authors, 68 scientists representing universities and research institutes in 33 countries spanning all regions of the world, came to two clear conclusions: cold temperatures contribute to far more deaths each year than warmer temperatures, and deaths associated with extreme temperatures, hot or cold, are declining. The researchers found nearly 10 times more people die due to cold temperatures than hot temperatures. Moreover, as global temperatures modestly increase, the number of people dying because of suboptimal temperatures is decreasing.
“Importantly, cold-related death decreased 0.51 per cent from 2000 to 2019, while heat-related death increased 0.21 per cent, leading to a reduction in net mortality due to cold and hot temperatures,” the study reports.
Considering that 10 times more people were dying from cold than from heat, the study indicates the warming between 2000 and 2019 saved 3.1 million lives from cold-related deaths, at the expense of just 130,000 extra deaths caused by heat. As a result, global warming saved a net of nearly three million lives during the past 20 years.
This study confirms what previous research has consistently shown. In 2015, for example, The Lancet published the results of another large-scale temperature/mortality study, in which the researchers found cold weather directly or indirectly killed 1,700 percent more people than warm or hot weather. The scientists examined health data from 384 locations in 13 countries, accounting for more than 74 million deaths. The authors of this study wrote,
[N]on-optimum ambient temperature is responsible for substantial excess in mortality, with important differences between countries. Although most previous research has focused on heat-related effects, most of the attributable deaths were caused by cold temperatures. Despite the attention given to extreme weather events, most of the effect happened on moderately hot and moderately cold days, especially moderately cold days.
Even The New York Times acknowledged the importance of that study, with Jane Brody writing, “Over time, as global temperatures rise, milder winter temperatures are likely to result in fewer cold-related deaths, a benefit that could outweigh a smaller rise in heat-caused mortality.”
In addition to correcting the record on heat-related deaths, Simon dismantles various climate fictions about worsening natural disasters, using readily available data:
The facts regarding natural disasters also do not support the “existential threat” claim. The number of hurricanes per year, a 2021 EPA report shows, has not increased since the late 19th century. Moreover, although you wouldn't know it from the panicky, sensationalized news coverage, the total acreage burnt by forest fires annually has decreased, and most rivers flood less today than they used to.
Since 1920, Earth’s average temperature has risen by 1.12 degrees and the world population has quadrupled from less than two billion to almost eight billion. Even so, the number of people killed each year by natural disasters has declined by about 90 percent. That statistic, more than any other, puts the lie to claims of an existential crisis due to climate.
There is also the global air pollution death rate, which has declined by about 45 percent over the last three decades. Again, no "existential threat" here.
Simon also discusses research showing the positive side of climate change: “global warming has increased both agricultural yields and growth of forests, grasslands, and tree leaves.”
Climate Change Weekly and Climate Realism have refuted claims climate change is a threat to crop production more than 100 times. We have cited research and hard data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization showing regional and global crop production and crop yields have regularly, almost yearly, set new records during the recent period of modern warming.
Basic agronomy explains why crop production is booming under current climate conditions. As detailed by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change in Climate Change Reconsidered: Biological Impacts and Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels, the carbon dioxide humans have been pumping into the air since the middle of the twentieth century has enriched plant growth and improved plants’ water-use efficiency, thereby contributing to record crop yields.
Laboratory experiments and real-world field research show as carbon dioxide increases, plant fitness and flower pollination improve, plants develop more-extensive root systems to extract greater amounts of nutrients from even poor-quality soil, plants use water more efficiently by reducing the number and openness of stomata through which they lose moisture during transpiration, and plants produce greater amounts of natural substances that repel insects and fight off competing weeds.
All of this has helped bring about the largest decline in hunger, malnutrition, and starvation in human history.
Simon’s conclusion is spot-on and speaks for itself:
Biden administration climate change policies are sensationalizing the threats while ignoring all the benefits. They rely on speculative “models” that supposedly project global temperatures and predict disasters. But these models are highly unreliable, … unable even to reproduce the temperature changes of the 20th century.
The Biden administration's campaign against U.S. oil production and pipelines is not just harmful—it is an environmental fraud.
To quote longtime radio host Paul Harvey, that’s “the rest of the story”: the very good news the mainstream media and various scientific and political shills aren’t telling you about climate change.
IN THIS ISSUE …
INDIAN SUBCONTINENT’S CLIMATE DOMINATED BY NATURAL FACTORS … AUSTRALIAN COURT DETERMINES NO CLIMATE DUTY OF CARE OWED TO CHILDREN
INDIAN SUBCONTINENT’S CLIMATE DOMINATED BY NATURAL FACTORS
A new book from the academic publisher Elsevier examines the factors that drive weather conditions, particularly the all-important monsoon seasons that affect the billions of people living in and around the Indian subcontinent. Monsoon rains bring periodic destruction and support regional agricultural production.
With contributions from more than 60 researchers and scientists across 23 chapters, the book examines the factors that drive, contribute to, or influence monsoons on seasonal, annual, decadal, and longer-term scales, both in the “big picture” and in minute detail.
The book indicates all evidence suggests short, medium, and long term monsoons patterns are dominated by nature. If climate change has any effect, it hasn’t been definitively measured or identified thus far.
Looking ahead, the book shows climate model simulations of future negative changes in seasonal monsoon timing and severity tied to human greenhouse gas emissions all flow from RCP 8.5 model runs, which are impossible to obtain because of the limits of available fossil fuels. This and other factors have definitively discredited RCP 8.5 in the literature, so it is unclear why some chapter authors use its simulations to forecast possible future monsoon trends in and around the Indian subcontinent.
The overall consensus of the book is that the primary factors driving seasonal monsoon rains are shifts of various natural teleconnections along different time scales. Teleconnections are recurrent and persistent large-scale patterns of pressure and circulation anomalies. The patterns responsible for monsoon frequency, severity, stability, and duration overlap include global, regional, and localized oceanic and atmospheric anomalies. These include the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO), El Nino and La Nina oscillations (ENSO), Eurasian snowfall trends, the Indian Ocean Dipole, and others.
Any measurable anthropogenic forcing affecting monsoon patterns has yet to be discovered.
The view of the authors of the book’s chapters on climate models is summed up fairly well in this statement from Chapter 1:
Despite the improvements in [General Circulation Models] over the last two decades, the quality of their prediction of ISM (Indian Summer Monsoon), especially in its operational mode, is still a matter of debate. The dynamical prediction skill originates mainly from the fact that monsoon strength is tightly linked to teleconnections. Current couple models have limited skills in predicting teleconnections to ISM.
In Chapter 18, the authors observe that among the third generation of climate models only two of the 38 accurately describe the established relationship between ISM and the AMO. The fifth generation of models (CMIP5) does only slightly better, and their projections of the ISM/AMO teleconnections are all over the map. The CMIP 5 models are incapable of modelling or only weakly model the known (observed) relationship between the AMO and changes in the tropical Pacific region and shifts in sea surface temperature anomalies, the authors explain.
The authors of Chapter 20 find climate models don’t agree on what kinds of changes in the ISM one might expect from anthropogenic forcing:
[T]here has been no consensus among modelling studies on either the past change or the projections of the future change of the [ENSO-ISM] teleconnection. [A]nalyzing CMIP5 model simulations … showed that natural variability plays a dominant role in decadal ENSO-ISM teleconnection during the twentieth century.
Although climate models forecast some monsoon pattern changes going forward in the twenty-first century, the changes are based on multiple model runs from the discredited RCP 8.5 extreme emissions scenarios. The RCP 8.5 simulations don’t produce consistent projections that rise above “noise,” or natural background fluctuations in the climate in the region. The authors state the “ENSO-ISM relation during the twentieth and twenty-first century shows no robust change in the sense that most of the models agree on the sign of change, leaving us with inconclusive results.”
In short, this book catalogs what is known and what remains unknown about the global, regional, and local teleconnections that drive the Indian summer monsoons, and it concludes any anthropogenic impact on monsoons is swamped by natural factors, as far as can be determined and reasonably expected.
AUSTRALIAN COURT DETERMINES NO CLIMATE DUTY OF CARE OWED TO CHILDREN
A unanimous Australian Federal Court ruling found the nation’s government does not have an enforceable duty of care to protect young people from harm from climate change, when assessing fossil fuel projects or other government actions that might result in greenhouse gas emissions.
The ruling overturned an earlier win by a group of eight youths who brought a class action on behalf of all Australian children, in which Justice Mordecai Bromberg ruled the government did have a common-law duty of care.
Although the federal court did not dispute climate change is occurring or that it may pose serious harm to humanity, the court ruled existing Australian law establishes no such duty of care. Chief Justice James Allsop wrote in his decision, “allowing the ‘duty of care’ ruling to stand would have required changes to government policy, [an action] that should be left to the government itself, not the courts.”