Climate Change: Nothing to Fear

This paper is a contribution of the Independent Committee on Geoethics with the intention to present the climate change problems in a simple and understandable way

Climate Change: Nothing to Fear Pamela Klein

For the past few decades, the media and a few high-profile public figures (chiefly Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States and winner of a Nobel Prize for creating terror in the minds of millions) have been screaming at us that we are all doomed because the climate is changing! Not only is it changing, it is OUR Entire Fault!

We puny humans have really done it now, in our quest for cheap energy and hot cars, we have spewed this horribly polluting but invisible gas into the atmosphere. That’s right, you are exhaling this “pollutant” as you read this. The gas to which I refer is none other than Carbon Dioxide (CO2)! If you were paying attention in elementary school, you would have learned that all animals need oxygen to live. Plants need carbon dioxide. Animals take in oxygen and give off carbon dioxide; plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.

See how neatly that works? Animals and plants each give off what the other needs. In addition, plants then convert the energy of the sun (that big yellow ball of fire in the sky) into a form that animals can consume. Yes, we know it feels energizing to lie out in the sun, soaking up those beneficial rays, but you better have a hamper full of sandwiches handy because you will become hungry and need to eat something after a while. ONLY PLANTS CAN CARRY ON PHOTOSYNTHISIS AND CONVERT THE SUN’S ENERGY INTO FOOD ANIMALS CAN EAT.

Without carbon dioxide, no plants; without plants, all animals starve to death very quickly. Plants need carbon dioxide to live and photosynthesize, therefore carbon dioxide is NOT a nasty pollutant, it is rather the Gas of Life! We must cherish it and not try to convince others that it is causing the Earth to warm. Carbon Dioxide makes up 0.04% of our atmosphere; this is a very tiny amount, compared to water vapor, oxygen, nitrogen, and other gases. In fact, not only does CO2 comprise a tiny part of our air, it increases following a warming event, not preceding it!

The inconvenient truth of the matter is that CO2 is not causing our Earth to get hot, it is not causing glaciers and ice caps to melt, and there is not a radical rise in sea level. Another scary story is the claim that our normally alkaline oceans are turning into acid pools! This is not based on facts, however. Quite to the contrary, as throughout geologic history those species that make calcium shells such as clams, oysters, shrimp, crabs and lobsters, and corals have survived for hundreds of millions of years, even during periods when atmospheric CO2 was much higher than today. This is an example of the enormous buffering capacity of the oceans. You can therefore safely ignore speculation that the oceans are becoming acidic.

Climate change is the normal state of things which drives weather. And what makes the weather? Why, our Sun, of course! When the Sun is in a warm phase the Earth is warmer; when the Sun moves into a cooler phase the Earth is cooler or even very cold. The Ice Ages happen during solar cool phases. We are currently living in an inter-glacial period. This sequence of events has been going on for millions of years and humans have managed to adapt nicely. Today, humans live on every part of the Earth except Antarctica. The Earth has been warmer in historic times and a whole lot colder too. The glaciers melting in the mountains are relics of the last Ice Age; it is perfectly okay for them to melt. Their melting is not going to cause sea level to rise up and drown New York City, London, the entire state of Florida, the Maldives, or the Greek Islands!

Since 1998, world-wide temperatures have remained static, no measurable rise. But you already know this. Sea levels have risen in the order of millimeters, not the threatened catastrophic rises predicted by the fear mongers. You already know this too. If lower Manhattan or the Fiji Islands were being regularly submerged, it really would be news! The media would be running film on this 24/7. Have you seen anything even close to this? Seriously, weather prediction is good for the short term; they usually get it right for about a week. If forecasters can’t accurately predict what the weather is going to do in two weeks do you really believe anyone can accurately predict what will happen on the Earth in 10, 20, 30, years or more?

Common sense tells you that the answer is a resounding NO! So relax, stop worrying about the weather, you can’t change it anyway. Go exhale some carbon dioxide on your house plants, and plan a nice ocean getaway because you can be sure the beach will be there when you arrive

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