young men and women are so frightened by future
conditions that they have chosen to remain
childless. Others actively agitate for governments
to act to change the climate.
Surveys show, however, that real knowledge is in
short supply and misconceptions are being fueled
by social media. As Julius Caesar so correctly put
it in his Gallic War epic: Men are nearly
always willing to believe what they wish.
That is one reason belief of a climate catastrophe
has become akin to a religion, and an 18-year-old
Swedish woman is the messiah. Attacks on the
comfortable life, most in the West, lead is an
indirect condemnation of sin and the need to stomp
out evil, and, perhaps, humanity.
There also is a financial component. Many fortunes
depend on climate uncertainty, not the least of
which is Al Gore, who won a Nobel Prize for his
sensationalized movie. Today entire university
departments revolve around permitting climate
science to attract students. Academics feed the
correct narrative to get funding with their
peer-reviewed papers. Politicians urge
reconstructing the nation's housing among other
giant leaps. Non-profits beg for money to save the
supposedly starving polar bears.
Curiously, most of those, like Gore, who promote
belief in the dark days ahead have limited science
education. Older Americans remember when they were
told the country would run out of food in 1975 due
to a growing population or would soon live in a
chilly place because of global cooling.
That's why public opinion polling shows an age
chasm between those who demand an aggressive
government policy to solve an existential threat
and those who have seen it all before. A Pew
Research Report says “Gen Z and Millennial social
media users are more likely than older generations
online to engage with climate change content on
social media and to express a range of emotions
when they see climate-related content there –
including anxiety about the future and anger that
not enough is being done . . . .”
There also is a shortage of science knowledge in
the voting public. The University of New Hampshire
reported in 2019 on a third round of surveys that
tested the local public's knowledge of what
researchers said was “a four-item test of basic,
climate-relevant but belief-neutral geographical
or physical knowledge, such as locations of the
North and South Pole.”
The mean number of knowledge questions answered
correctly by survey respondents on a 0 to 4
scoring was just 1.9, the university report said.
After a similar 2010 study Yale University
researchers said that only 8 percent of Americans
have knowledge equivalent to an A or B, 40 percent
would receive a C or D, and 52 percent would get
Although many supporting drastic climate action
call those who do not support their views deniers,
hardly anyone doubts the world is warming
slightly. Just 20,000 years ago an ice sheet two
kilometers thick stretched as far south as what is
now New York City. Sea levels have risen about 410
feet since then inundating what had been dry land.
Florida, for example, was three times as wide.
Throughout the world there are sunken lands on
which humans used to farm or build cities. The
British Isle used to be connected to the European
Most of this happened before there was an
industrial revolution or when the carbon dioxide
content of the air exceeded 400 parts per million,
as it does now. That's 0.04 percent.
Despite doomsday predictions, the U.S. National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the
absolute global sea level rise is believed to have
been 1.7 +/- 0.3 millimeters a year during the
20th century. Measuring sea level is tricky work
because the oceans keep changing or land subsides
or is elevated. Atmospheric pressure also can
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration reports sea levels at a number of
U.S. location. At Fort Pulaski, Georgia, near
Savannah, the relative sea level trend is 3.39
millimeters a year, which is equivalent to a
change of 1.11 feet in 100 years. At Ocean City,
Maryland, the trend is 6.03 millimeters a year,
equivalent to a change of 1.98 feet in 100 years.
At the Battery at the tip of New York City sea
levels have been measured at least since 1850.
There the relative sea level trend is 2.88
millimeters a year or equivalent to a change of
0.94 feet in 100 years.
On the West Coast at San Diego, California, the
trend is 2.2 millimeters a year, equivalent
to a change of 0.72 feet in 100 years.
Proponents of governmental climate action say that
the sea level trend is increasing due to the rise
in atmospheric carbon dioxide, but that is not
obvious from the measurements. Nevertheless, the
anticipated increase is far lower than the 20-foot
sea level rise predicted by Gore.
Even disregarding the Gore film there are a lot
people playing games with words. Carbon dioxide is
considered a pollutant even though it keeps the
world's plants alive. In addition, it is the most
dangerous greenhouse gas for those who are unaware
that up to 85 percent can be water vapor.
Much has been made of the debunked study claiming
that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that
climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.
But that is not what the survey asked. A consensus
also was cited to silence Galileo.
News articles about the climate frequently depict
belching smokestacks, yet carbon dioxide is
invisible. All that billowing emission is usually
Then there are the discussions about acidification
of the oceans. These generates images of little
fish swimming along and gradually having their
flesh eroded from their bodies. This is a scary
word. In fact, the pH, which measures the hydrogen
ion concentration of the ocean, is about 8.1, well
above the 7.0 marker between basic and acidic on
the logarithmic scale. Anything lower than 7.0 can
be considered acidic. Battery acid comes in about
1.0. Headlines hardly would thrive on the term
“slightly decreasingly basic.”
Some news stories on the climate feature
discussions and images of glaciers crashing into
the sea. The suggestion is that this is bad, but
this is what glaciers do. They move as the weight
of snow inland pushes them forward until they
reach the point where the snout melts or
ice also is a concern to some because of the
|contained there. They fear
catastrophic melting. Gore repeatedly cautioned
about the Arctic and said in 2009 that the polar
ice cap had a 75 percent chance of being fully
melted in summer in five to seven year.
The Danish Meteorological Institute and the
National Snow and Ice Data Center at Boulder,
Colorado, keep close track on the ice cap. Current
conditions are about average in ice coverage,
report the Danes. The center says that the 2021
maximum is tied with 2007 for seventh lowest in
the 43-year satellite record.
Proponents of government action are quick to cite
local weather anomalies as proof of a long-term
trend. Be it a hurricane, hot spell, forest fire
or flood, the situation is blamed on climate
change. For perspectives those seeking facts
should look at the historical record.
Despite blazes in California's badly managed
woodlands, forest fires are very low in extent
historically. The 1900 Galveston Hurricane killed
from 6,000 to 12,000, according to the U.S.
Hurricane Center. The deadliest Atlantic hurricane
took place in October 1780 when an estimated
22,000 people died.
Summer temperatures in the 1930s were so high that
they helped create the Dust Bowl.
“The 'Dust Bowl' years of 1930-36 brought some of
the hottest summers on record to the United
States, especially across the Plains, Upper
Midwest and Great Lake States. For the Upper
Mississippi River Valley, the first few weeks of
July 1936 provided the hottest temperatures of
that period, including many all-time record highs.
. . ,” reports the U.S. National Weather Service,
adding “The string of hot, dry days was also
deadly. Nationally, around 5,000 deaths were
associated with the heat wave.”
The U.S. National Centers for Environmental
Information tracks past climates from data
“derived from natural sources such as tree rings,
ice cores, corals and ocean and lake sediments.”
The centers says that abrupt changes over as
little as a couple of decades were frequent.
“Paleoclimate records indicate that climate
changes of this size and speed have occurred at
many times in the past. Past human civilizations
were sometimes successful in adapting to the
climate changes and at other times, they were
The online research report includes commentary on
droughts in the Mayan and Akkadian empires as well
as the end of the African humid period some 6,000
Everyone sees the world from their personal point
of view, and this is well-documented in the
psychological literature. Climate discussions
reflect this egocentrism. Hardly any today lived
through the Dust Bowl years, much less the last
Consequently there is a tendency to extrapolate to
the future the current local conditions. Much of
climate computer modeling that predicts soaring
temperatures is based on this extrapolation of
data from a recent period to a distant future. A
climate cycle such as El Niño/La Niña in the
Pacific can really skew these computations.
That's why less than 50 years ago some scientists
and the media were touting global cooling with
magazine covers showing New York covered with ice.
Climate cycles are so lengthy and complex they are
hard to comprehend. There have been many glacial
periods, and the U.S. environmental Center
estimates, citing research, that
“glacial–interglacial cycles have had a frequency
of about 100,000 years.”
Despite the complexities a simple solution is to
vilify carbon dioxide. Yes every good researcher
knows that correlation does not mean causation.
After all, an increase in atmospheric carbon
dioxide may be a result and not a cause of the a
slight warming in the global average temperature.
In addition, the 2009 climategate scandal showed
that researchers considered manipulating data.
Still, there is a push for global governmental
action to slow climate change even though a number
of previous international agreements have had no
results. The recent fumbling in efforts to curb
the COVID-19 virus highlighted governmental
incompetence against nature. And now a few true
believers are even suggesting a return to
lockdowns to somehow curb the temperature.
This assessment is likely to be torn apart by
those who believe otherwise. The readers,
therefore, are directed to the following sources
to make their own decisions based on facts:
U.S. National Hurricane Center
U.S. National Weather Service
Abrupt climate change
U.S. National Centers for Environmental
Sea level trends
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Danish Meteorological Institute
National Snow and Ice Data Center
New Hampshire study:
Yale University Project on Climate Change
Pew Research Center
National Interagency Fire Center