Let No Emergency Go to Waste
President Joe Biden boasted to the Weather Channel earlier this month that he has “in practice” already declared a national climate emergency. Pray this massive government power grab ain’t so.
It would be scientifically fraudulent and invite draconian government control measures. Suppression of constitutional rights and other civil liberties violations would probably be even worse than those we experienced during the Covid lockdowns and mandates, warn John Fund and David Simons in NRO.
This potential massive overreach and abuse of government power would have no scientific foundation, given that global warming and increased carbon dioxide emissions do not endanger the nation or the world and that they have not been and will not be harmful.
The President often refers to global warming and increased carbon dioxide emissions as an “existential threat.” Steven Koonin, New York University physicist and undersecretary for science in the Department of Energy during the Obama administration, advises hold on there. Mr. Koonin, one of Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers, recently admitted that the warming of the planet and increased CO2 emissions will have at most “only minimal effect” on long-term economic growth.
Scientific facts instead show that “global warming and increased CO2 emissions over the past century not only have not caused harm but that they have saved and will continue to save millions of lives and otherwise be beneficial,” report Messrs. Fund and Simons.
The authors cite the British medical journal Lancet’s study by 22 scientists from around the world.
They examined “the largest dataset ever collected to assess temperature–health associations,” over 74 million deaths in 1985–2012 in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They found that cooler temperatures caused over 17 times more deaths than warmer temperatures.
In July 2021, the Lancet published another study that similarly reported that cooler temperatures killed nine times more people than warmer temperatures.
Whether it’s nine times or 17 times more, these studies show that as the planet has warmed by 1.05 degrees Celsius on average since 1880 (as calculated by NASA), warmer temperatures have been saving millions of lives.
It is these kinds of facts that in 2017 led more than 300 scientists, including Richard Lindzen of MIT and William Happer of Princeton, to sign a statement attesting that a quarter century of observations “show that warming from increased atmospheric CO2 will be benign.” The CO2 that each of us exhales with every breath “is not a pollutant,” they stated. “To the contrary, there is clear evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful to food crops and other plants that nourish all life. It is plant food, not poison.”
How about Fires:
As environmental statistician Bjørn Lomberg has noted, using data from the Journal of Geophysical Research, the percentage of global land burned per year in 1905–2021 has been declining — and NASA data show that “in 2022, the last year for which there are complete data, the world hit a new record-low of 2.2% burned area.”
Ocean Sea Levels:
An EPA report updated on July 31, 2023, shows that there also is not much to see here. “When averaged over all of the world’s oceans, absolute sea level has risen at an average rate of 0.06 inches per year from 1880 to 2013,” including a slightly increased rate since 1993 of “0.12 to 0.14 inches per year.” Even at the recent increased rate, that’s seven to eight years to rise a single inch higher.
The bottom line, report NRO’s intrepid columnists, is that the President should not sign a climate emergency declaration.
“It would be a massive government power grab based on fraudulent science.”
John Fund is National Review’s national–affairs reporter.
David M. Simon is a lawyer in Chicago and a senior fellow at the Committee to Unleash Prosperity.
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