Forget Paris and Stop Climate Change Panic

By Daily Editorials

December 9, 2019 5 min read

It will surely bring joy to the band's many haters, but Coldplay will not tour in support of its new album. The reason for the hiatus should give everyone pause: Chris Martin announced that his band will not tour because of global warming. The band reasoned that its musical tours have an intolerably large carbon footprint.

As absurd as this might seem, it's at least refreshing to see someone practice what he professes. If you believe that the world is about to end because of humanity's use of energy, then energy-sucking frivolities such as musical tours are rightly the first thing to go.

But that's not all. If you believe the alarmist predictions, then it's not enough just to give up your concerts or your car. You have no business using a computer to read this editorial. On behalf of our editors and readers, please turn it off; you're killing us all.

For those of you still reading, we will not insult your intelligence by labeling you a "denialist," even if the dogma of global warming alarmism implies that all electricity users are denialists — even the ones buying carbon offsets because they could have bought those anyway and not emitted all that carbon. There is nothing scientific about the media hype that ignorantly attributes every noteworthy weather event, and many socioeconomic events as well, to "climate change."

That doesn't mean climate change is bunk. If you respect the science and understand the potential dangers for what they are, you know that human activity has rapidly brought about concentrations of carbon dioxide that haven't existed in the Earth's atmosphere since the dawn of man. Although this concentration has not yet caused the catastrophic levels of warming some predict, it cannot be a good thing to change our environment that much. Already, the rise in carbon correlates with a small rise in temperatures, and scientists fear it will lead to further increases.

But there is no consensus around a scenario where human life becomes impossible — or even of simpler questions, such as how long it will be before the Obamas' newly purchased home on Cape Cod is covered by the rising oceans.

But here's the good news: As in times past, a thriving humanity is capable of innovating to tackle environmental challenges. The production of low-carbon and even zero-carbon electricity has been made possible because fracking has opened up enormous, clean natural gas deposits. Meanwhile, research into profitably removing and making use of the carbon in the air is underway. And then there's research into fusion, a completely carbon-free source of energy, which is nearly at the point of economic feasibility.

These advancements are allowing the U.S. economy to decarbonize without resorting to draconian climate measures or treaties that threaten personal freedom and human flourishing. That includes the Paris Accord, which was never going to save the planet anyway, as the U.N. acknowledges.

The U.S. Energy Information Agency projects that U.S. energy-related emissions — accounting for carbon dioxide from electrical, transportation, industrial, and residential and commercial emissions — will have declined by about 15.4% between 2005 and 2020. This is so close to the 17% reduction called for in the Paris Accord that the difference is insignificant.

There's always a chance that the alarmists are right — that we only have 11 years left to decarbonize completely before the world's future is irretrievably lost. But if there's any truth to that version of the future, then there's no point to worrying. China and India will not decarbonize in time even under the most optimistic scenario, and optimism about China especially is misplaced. So, the end is nigh. All humanity will be extinct soon enough, and the Paris Accord will have been just a tiny rumble strip — not even a speed bump — on the road to hell.

Originally printed in The Washington Examiner


Photo credit: geralt at Pixabay

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