The Road to Hell is Paved
with Good Intentions
I recall the first Earth Day in 1970 as it was the year I began High School. At the time and for most of the 1970’s, I worked in businesses that were weather dependent. I paid more attention to the air, sun, rain, seasons etc. as they affected when I might work and earn a days pay.
“The world’s going to come to an end!”, so says Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) unless we reduce emissions to Zero by 2030. Haven’t we heard these warnings before? Let’s look at the predictions 49 years ago, April of 1970, the first Earth Day.
- It was too late to avoid mass starvation. (Organizer Dennis Hayes)
- In 25 years, 75-80% of all living species will be extinct. (Senator Gaylord Nelson)
- Between 1980 – 1989, 4 billion people will starve to death, including 65 million Americans. (Paul
Ehrlich author of The Population Bomb)
- By 1985, air pollution would reduce the sunlight reaching Earth by 50%. (Life Magazine)
- The world would be 4 degrees cooler by 1990, cooler than the Ice Age and 11 degrees cooler by 2000. (Kenneth Watt, the Ecologist)
- And, by 2000, there wouldn’t be any more crude oil!
What followed over the course of the next decades was a series of dire warnings and predictions:
The 1970’s had us entering into the Next Ice Age:
- Followed by the depletion of the Ozone through aerosols;
- Along came Acid Rain killing and ruining the rainforests attributable to coal and oil burning particulates that were filling the air and coming down across the globe.
We changed from a cooling climate to a warming climate as the 1980’s began:
James Hansen of NASA introduced us to global warming as a political issue with predictions of temperature increases directly due to rising CO2 levels.
The United Nations predicted in the late 80’s that in 20 years we were going to be at catastrophic levels and that we had a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the Green House effect before it goes beyond human control. Specifically:
- The polar ice caps were going to totally melt
- Ocean levels were going to rise by up to 3 feet enough to cover the Maldives and other island nations and that coastal regions would be inundated
- 1/6 of Bangladesh could be flooded, displacing ¼ of its 90 million people. 1/5 of Egypt’s arable land, Nile and Delta would be flooded. This prognosis would continue to worsen.
In 2006 Al Gore produced his “An Inconvenient Truth” which warned that we had a decade to save the planet and predicted:
- Sea levels would rise
- Tornadoes would be increasing
- A new Ice Age in Europe
- The South Sahara would dry up
- Massive floods in China and India
- The Artic would significantly melt – or disappear?!
- Polar Bears would become extinct
- Temperatures would increase due to the rising CO2 levels
- Katrina would be an indicator of the future hurricanes
- And a true planetary emergency will occur if CO2 levels aren’t reduced
Now, in 2019, we find ourselves facing more dire predictions about the climate, that we need to do something, and that we need to act immediately. The New Green Deal gave us until 2030. Most recently Prince Charles gave Parliament 18 months to act. (Yet the goalpost keeps moving further and further back as far as time, but the predictions are more or less the same).
The countdown begins…AGAIN!
Is our Climate Changing? Always. It is in fact by definition something that is going to be changing. Are we affecting it? We are having an impact on it. The question is how much of the change to the climate is being contributed by man-made activity and how much of it is natural. And, that is where the science is getting lost.
How does this impact business?
First: billions of tax dollars are being directed to universities, non-government agencies and governments to evaluate man’s impact/effect on our climate. The imbalance in awards towards the man-made research versus natural causes is astounding and we will address these in a future blog. Why is there imbalance? Political? Another reason?
Second, the push towards a carbon free energy supply is misguided and is sending our utility and fuel rates skywards. Weather-dependent renewable energy systems are mostly impractical, very inefficient, expensive and not clean. In fact, because they are weather-dependent (sun, wind) they require back-up power. Where does that come from? You guessed it: fossil-fueled generating plants! Presently, about 8% of electricity in the US is generated by wind and solar. The bulk is generated via gas, coal, nuclear and hydro-electric, in that order of contribution. The result is that we are experiencing higher energy and utility costs through tax credits, tax benefits, subsidies and pass-alongs, and these costs are being mandated by state and local governments through REM’s (Renewable Energy Mandates).
Third, the near hysteria of “Climate Change/Climate Crisis” is unfounded. Yet, it is contributing to acrimonious dialogue among schools, trade associations, media, and the general population.
Note: Past Crisis Included Next Ice Age, Ozone Depletion, Acid Rain, Mass Starvation, Species Extinction, Pollution, Global Warming, Sea Level Rising, Droughts…
Last, my experience tells me that when our government declares war on an issue, it’s rarely won, and it perpetuates itself into a cottage industry. (War on Poverty, War on Illiteracy, War on Drugs, etc.) Let’s put a stop to this before war is declared on efficient, inexpensive and reliable energy.