After 30 Years Of Failed Climate Summits, COP28 Should Be The Last One

Myth: UN COP climate conferences have been a force for good, but COP 28 must lead to far more “climate action.”

Truth: These conferences are immoral because they deprive billions of the energy they need to prosper.

They should be replaced by energy freedom conferences. [emphasis, links added]

The leadup to the COP 28 climate conference has had a consistent theme: previous COPs have done an okay job of restricting fossil fuels in the name of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but this one needs to restrict fossil fuel use far faster to reach net zero by 2050.

This is 180° wrong.

COP 28’s net-zero agenda—i.e., rapid elimination of fossil fuels—is unnecessary, and pursuing it faster would be catastrophic because:
1. Fossil fuels are making us far safer from climate.
2. Barely implementing COP’s net-zero agenda has been disastrous.

The justification of COP 28’s net-zero agenda is that fossil fuel use is causing an escalating “climate crisis.”

But if we factor in fossil fuels’ many climate benefits and carefully weigh fossil fuels’ climate side effects, the opposite is true.

Factoring in fossil fuels’ “climate mastery benefits”

One huge benefit we get from fossil fuels is the ability to master climate danger—e.g., fossil-fueled cooling, heating, and irrigation—which can potentially neutralize fossil fuels’ negative climate impacts.

An example of fossil-fueled climate mastery overwhelming negative impacts: Drought.

Any contribution of rising CO2 to drought has been overwhelmed by fossil-fueled irrigation and crop transport, which have helped reduce drought deaths by more than 100 times over 100 years as CO2 levels have risen.

Even though we need to factor in fossil fuels’ climate mastery benefits, our designated experts fail to do this.

For example, the UN IPCC’s multi-thousand-page reports completely omit fossil-fueled climate mastery! That’s like a polio report omitting the polio vaccine.

Carefully weighing fossil fuels’ climate side effects

With rising greenhouse gases we must be even-handed, considering both negatives (more heatwaves) and positives (fewer cold deaths). And we must be precise, not equating some impact with a huge impact.

Even though we need to factor in both negative and positive impacts of rising CO2 with precision, most designated experts ignore big positives (e.g., global greening) while catastrophizing negatives (e.g., Gore portrays 20 feet of sea level rise as imminent when extreme UN projections are 3 feet/100years).

Every report you hear about fossil fuels having made climate more dangerous commits at least one of two fallacies: ignoring the enormous climate mastery benefits of fossil fuels or wildly exaggerating the negative climate side effects of fossil fuels.

Here’s how the prestigious IPCC does both:

The IPCC’s perversion of science

If we do factor in fossil fuels’ enormous climate mastery benefits and carefully weigh their climate side effects, we find that fossil fuels are a tremendous climate net positive and will remain so in the future.

Myth: We are more endangered than ever by climate because of fossil fuels’ CO2 emissions.

Truth: We have a 98% decline in climate disaster deaths due to our enormous fossil-fueled climate mastery abilities: heating and cooling, infrastructure-building, irrigation, and crop transport.

Myth: Climate-related disaster X shows that fossil fuels are making climate unlivable.

Truth: If we look at trends, not anecdotes, the drastic decline in extreme weather deaths shows that fossil fuels have made our naturally dangerous climate more livable than ever.

Myth: Even if climate-related disaster deaths are down, climate-related damages are way up, pointing to a bankrupting climate future.

Truth: Even though there are many incentives for climate damages to go up—prefs for riskier areas, government bailouts—GDP-adjusted damages are flat.

Myth: Even if we’re safe from climate now, we can expect future emissions to lead to disaster.

Truth: Since today’s unprecedented safety exists after over 100 years of rising CO2, and with ~1° C warming, we should be skeptical that further CO2 rises will somehow overwhelm us.

Myth: Mainstream science shows that rising CO2 is an “existential threat” that will soon cause global catastrophe and then apocalypse.

Truth: Mainstream science shows that rising CO2 levels will lead to levels of warming and other changes that we can master and flourish with.

Myth: Future warming is ominous because heat-related death is already such a catastrophic problem.

Truth: Even though Earth has gotten 1°C warmer, far more people still die from cold than heat (even in India)! Near-term warming is expected to decrease temperature-related mortality.

Myth: Future warming is ominous because it will be worse in hot areas.

Truth: The mainstream view in climate science is that more warming will be concentrated in colder places (Northern latitudes) at colder times (nighttime) and during colder seasons (winter). Good news.

Myth: Future warming will accelerate as CO2 levels rise.

Truth: Mainstream science is unanimous that the “greenhouse effect” is a diminishing effect, with additional CO2 leading to less warming.

Even IPCC’s most extreme, far-fetched scenarios show warming leveling off.

Myth: We face catastrophically rapid sea level rises, which will destroy and submerge coastal cities.

Truth: Extreme UN sea level rise projections are just three feet in 100 years. Future generations can master that. (We already have 100 million people living below high tide sea level.)

Myth: Hurricane intensity is expected to get catastrophically higher as temperatures rise.

Truth: Mainstream estimates say hurricanes will be less frequent and between 1-10% more intense at 2° C warming. This is not at all catastrophic if we continue our fossil-fueled climate mastery.

  • Myth: Science says that if we hit 1.5 or 2° C warming since the 1800s we face catastrophe followed by apocalypse.Truth: The 1.5-2° C number is activist fiction. The mastery abilities that have made life far better through 1° C warming will continue to keep us safe.

While COP 28 leaders bemoan how slow their restriction of fossil fuel use in pursuit of net zero has been, even “slow” restriction has caused a global energy crisis. “Aggressive climate action” = global catastrophe.

Myth: Net-zero policies are new and exciting.

Truth: Net-zero policies have caused catastrophic energy shortages even with minuscule implementation. Just by slowing the growth of fossil fuel use, not even reducing it, they have caused global energy shortages that advocates didn’t warn us of.

Minuscule net-zero policies causing huge problems:

  • US: frequent power shortages (and some disastrous blackouts) after shutting down fossil fuel power plants. E.g., CA
  • EU: deadly fossil fuel dependence after restricting domestic fossil fuel industry
  • Poor nations: can’t afford fuel due to global restrictions

The “net-zero” movement, led by UN COPs, is the root cause of today’s energy crisis because it has restricted
1. fossil fuel investment
2. fossil fuel production
3. fossil fuel transport

This has artificially suppressed fossil fuel supply, leading to high prices and shortages.

Suppressing fossil fuel investment

For fossil fuel energy to remain low-cost requires sufficient investment. But the COP-led net-zero movement has used government and private entities, often under the banner of “ESG,” to punish and suppress it—meaning less fossil fuel supply.

Suppressing fossil fuel production

For fossil fuel energy to remain low-cost for billions of people requires that producers be free to produce it all around the world.

The COP-led net zero movement has opposed it throughout the world, often successfully, increasing prices.

Suppressing fossil fuel transport

For fossil fuels to remain low-cost for billions of people we need to be able to easily transport them from where they are produced to where they are used. However, the COP-led net-zero movement has opposed transportation around the world.

The “net-zero” movement has rationalized its opposition to fossil fuel investment, production, and transport with claims that solar and wind could rapidly replace fossil fuels.

This has not happened. Despite huge solar and wind subsidies, fossil fuel demand has increased.

Fossil fuels are a uniquely cost-effective source of energy, providing energy that’s low-cost, reliable, versatile, and scalable to billions of people.

That’s why overall fossil fuel use is growing. E.g., China, despite its “net-zero” pledges, has 300 new coal plants in the pipeline.

Read rest at Energy Talking Points

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