The Climate Panic Movement Is Not Catching On

The Climate Panic Movement Is Not Catching On

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

The Great Climate Change Revolution is headed for failure. You can tell because it was already in big trouble before the ultimate heavy lifting even started.

International accords, (i.e. Paris Agreement) passed with great fanfare to ensure cooperation on emissions reductions, are ignored by most of the signers, notably China. Consumers worldwide are balking at increased energy prices. Unsold EVs are piling up.

All this resistance is occurring well before the full rollout of the regulations and restrictions needed to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050, the agreed-upon goal of climate activists worldwide.

It may not seem at first glance like the climate change movement is struggling. After all, mainstream dogma still holds that man-made warming has us careening toward disaster, possibly an uninhabitable planet. The only solution is to “just stop oil” along with coal and gas.

As John Kerry explains, there is no alternative. Biden’s proposals have nothing to do with politics nor ideology. “It’s entirely a reaction to the science, to the mathematics and physics that explain what is happening.”

It was no surprise, then, when Biden officials recently rolled out new CO2 emissions requirements, maintaining the same endpoint by 2032. The only way for auto makers to comply would be for gas-powered cars to comprise only 30% of new car sales.

But there’s a telling detail. The 2030 requirements have been relaxed, which means that they’re still going to put the squeeze on to force more EV sales, just not right now. But what’s going to change to make regulations more palatable in 2032 than in 2030? There’s no evidence that the demand for EVs will be greater or that consumers will be more interested in purchasing them.

EVs were envisioned as the cutting edge of the “zero by fifty” campaign. If we could replace the outmoded, smoke-belching anachronisms on the roads with sleek new vehicles lacking tailpipe emissions, the new atmospheric standards would be a piece of cake.

But there are problems. Consumers aren’t wild about EVs. After years of the feds promoting them and subsidizing them in every way thinkable, they still account for just 8% of new car sales.

They are still too expensive, refueling can be difficult and they have poor resale value. Moreover the giant batteries are a disposal nightmare. EVs increase soot pollution. Depending on the fuel source used to produce the electricity, they may produce no net carbon reduction anyway!

Auto makers for now are slashing prices on the mandated EVs and making up for it with profits from gas-powered cars. Ford alone lost $4.7 billion last year on EV production, a whopping $64,000 per EV sold.

Yet the Biden administration soldiers on, insisting EVs can capture 70% of all sales within eight years. Hint: they can’t. Look for other accommodations to reality to be made. Meanwhile they are doing a lot of economic damage, for no possible benefit.

Americans are less caught up in climate panic than ever. Surveys revealed that of all the issues in this year’s election, voters rank climate change 10th in importance. “We’re number 10” may not make an inspiring campaign slogan, but the massive media, academic, and governmental infrastructure dedicated to its promotion means the climate change industry won’t disappear anytime soon.

As Swedish economist Björn Lomborg points out, climate change is a problem but only one of several mankind must grapple with. Meta-analysis of all scientific estimates shows climate change costs will likely average one percent of GDP across the century, a figure sure to be dwarfed by anticipated economic growth. Meanwhile, the proposed solutions insisted upon by the panic advocates will average $27 trillion annually or seven times more than the problem itself.

Costs aside, we lead better lives because of fossil fuels. Abundant energy has more than doubled lifespans, dramatically reduced hunger, and increased personal income tenfold. Climate related deaths from droughts, storms, floods, and fires have declined an astonishing 97% over the last century.

The worst thing we could do is to drive ourselves into poverty by “following the (false) science.” We need to stay economically and technically strong to be able to accommodate change as needed. Human beings do that, you know.

Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.

Climate Change Alarmism Is Not Supported by the Facts

Climate Change Alarmism Is Not Supported by the Facts

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

Americans are becoming neurotic worriers. COVID brought out the worst in us, as politicized medical leaders rushed us into a panic response that did far more harm than the disease itself without fundamentally affecting the net outcome of the pandemic.

But COVID is hardly the only example of Americans overestimating the dangers in their lives. We fret about everything from “Christian nationalism” arising due to court decisions protecting religious freedoms to alien-bearing UFOs.

Many Americans fear police officers kill unarmed Blacks by the thousands when the real number is about 10 to 20 annually. College students expect “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” to provide protection from exposure to opposing opinions and the supposed physical harm they are thought to cause.

Part of the problem of imagining all these boogeymen is that real threats can get lost in the shuffle. Impending financial doom, a rapidly changing world order, and millions of unassimilated aliens crossing our borders could all use better focused attention.

There is no better example of the trivial deflecting us from the critical than climate change. Sixty percent of the developed world truly believes that it will spell the end of humanity.

The World Health Organization declared climate change the most important public health issue of the 21st-century. The savants of the World Economic Forum named climate action failure as the greatest policy risk of the next decade.

Third World countries, unfortunately for them, find most of their foreign aid these days linked with resources to address climate change, rather than more pressing needs like economic development, malnutrition, clean water, education, or healthcare.

The fact that some degree of warming is real and related to human activity hardly justifies the catastrophe narrative. Facts derived from official sources tell a different story, for example, that 98 percent fewer people are dying from climate related disasters than a century ago.

Those who express doubt about any aspect of the catastrophe narrative are dubbed “climate deniers” by the mainstream and depicted as science-adverse Neanderthals. Joe Biden claimed he could change their minds just by showing them the climate-related fires he had personally witnessed.

About those fires, Joe. The undisputed fact is that 4.2% of the land in the world burned yearly in the early 1900s. Today it has fallen to 3% due to less heating from open fires, better forest management, and more resources available for fire suppression. Tilting at climate change will produce far less harm reduction from fires than will common sense, risk management, and prevention.

Bjorn Lomborg, a Danish economist, gives other reasons to doubt that climate change deserves its reputation as an existential threat. Hurricanes, despite claims to the contrary, are not increasing. In reality, the number of hurricanes in 2022 was unusually low, the second weakest batch of hurricanes since satellite data became available in 1980.

Landfall hurricanes, the most accurate way of charting hurricane frequency, appear to have declined slightly since 1900. Hurricanes each year cost 0.04 percent of global GDP. Projections from the scientific journal Nature, taking into account changes in climate as well as improved ability to protect ourselves from hurricane harm, indicate that by 2100 the damage will be 0.02% even without new climate policies.

The WHO claims that 95,000 worldwide deaths annually from malnutrition will be attributable to unchecked climate change between 2030–2050. That sounds like a lot, but the global total of deaths from malnutrition is 30 million or so annually, a number that is sure to come down as crop yields increase and economic development improves.

Even polar bears, the subject of one of Al Gore’s apocalyptic predictions, are doing okay. Polar bear specialists estimate that, due to hunting limits, the worldwide population is 21,000 to 31,000, up from 12,000 in the 1960s.

Nobel prize winner William Nordhaus estimates that if we stand pat, climate change will cost 4% of GDP by 2100. But the UN predicts that global GDP will rise by 450% in that time, dwarfing the climate induced harm.

Big-government tyrants love crises because of the power and prestige they bring. Instead of impoverishing ourselves with impractical boondoggles, we need to bear down on economic growth and innovation to pull us through. That’s what Americans do best.

Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.

Our Elitist Environmental Experts Are Driving Us Over the Cliff

Our Elitist Environmental Experts Are Driving Us Over the Cliff

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

Leftist thought leaders insist that we are facing an environmental holocaust unless we immediately, drastically reduce carbon emissions.

Yet it’s curious. The governing and influence elites demand massive societal sacrifice, while they are apparently not concerned enough to alter their own extravagant lifestyles. They own multiple sumptuous homes, cars, and yachts. They fly individual private jets to their annual meetings in Davos, Switzerland, where they assure each other that it is their solemn responsibility to save the rest of us from ourselves.

They refuse to engage in thoughtful debate on any notions that challenge their woke orthodoxy. Instead, those advocating ideas different from their own are dismissed as “climate deniers.”

Take electric vehicles. EVs are touted by enviros as the obvious antidote to carbon belching SUVs. But they aren’t.

Fossil fuels produce most of their electricity. The manufacture and disposal of batteries—and the rare metals required—have significant environmental impacts. A growing consensus now acknowledges that EVs may produce more net carbon emissions than today’s cleaner burning gasoline cars.

You would think anyone with genuine concern about the environment might reconsider EV policy. But they don’t engage. Instead, they soldier on, funding yet more subsidies, benefits, and charging stations. Taxpayers get dinged for billions with no discernible benefit.

Clearly, to these decision makers, climate change isn’t about climate. It’s about power. Egomaniacal persons of all stripes throughout history have had the unquenchable desire to control the lives of others and operate the world from their centers of power. Think Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Gates, Zuckerberg – make your own list.

One irony is that the consequences of rising temperatures may not be that harmful. According to Swedish economist Bjorn Lomborg, higher temperatures are far less harmful than lower ones.

500,000 people worldwide die annually from heat-related causes, while 4.5 million die from cold. Over the last decade or so, rising temperatures have caused 116,000 more heat deaths yearly, but also 283,000 fewer cold-related deaths per year. How many hysterical accounts of coming devastation would you have to read to learn that?

It’s not the heat but the political responses to climate change that are causing real harm. Low-cost synthetic fertilizer is an innovation that has greatly enhanced our ability to feed the world. Because it is made from natural gas, climate activists have limited its use, even though 1 billion people worldwide are facing imminent threat of starvation.

Other pressing needs have been drowned out by the insistence on prioritizing climate change. Recent increases in energy prices were exacerbated by Biden’s self-proclaimed war on fossil fuels. Europe’s refusal to capitalize on its shale reserves and their shunning of nuclear power also resulted in higher energy prices and lower security, as did subsidies of solar and wind, which are still not substantial, reliable suppliers to the electrical grid.

The costs of climate activism will be even higher if governments seriously pursue their stated aim of producing net zero emissions by 2050. The truth is that climate is a global problem. With our current technologies and geopolitical realities (i.e., China) such goals are simply not attainable.

But the price for such climate grandstanding would be $5 trillion per year for 30 years according to McKinsey. Every single American would have to pay $5,000 per year to achieve even 80% of the goal by mid-century.

Ordinary citizens are getting fed up with these elitist obsessions. Polls show climate change far down the list of Americans’ concerns.

40,000 Dutch farmers recently held a mass protest against government mandates that nitrogen-oxide and ammonia emissions, produced by livestock, be reduced by 80%. The government of Sri Lanka resigned after a ban on synthetic fertilizers decimated food production and the economy collapsed.

Remember, we’re only in the early phases of the alarmists’ grand plans to reorder society. Already, California and other areas, possibly including Arizona, are facing the threat of rolling blackouts. An EU official recently warned that millions of Europeans may not be able to heat their homes this winter.

Climate change is manageable through mitigation and innovation. The fabulously expensive, impractical nostrums being pushed by our self-appointed experts are a recipe for human suffering and chaos.

Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.