Tom Harris and Bob Carter
In Carbon, Leonardo DiCaprio’s new film about the “climate crisis,” we are told the world is threatened by a “carbon monster.” Coal, oil, natural gas and other carbon-based forms of energy are causing dangerous climate change and must be turned off as soon as possible, DiCaprio insists.
But he has identified the wrong monster. The real one is the climate scare – something DiCaprio promotes with his sensationalist, error-riddled movie. That is the real threat to civilization.
Carbon is the first of four films that DiCaprio planned to release in the weeks prior to the United Nations’ Climate Summit 2014, to be held in New York City September 23. If Carbon is any indication of what the rest of the series will be like, the public needs to brace itself against still more mind-numbing global warming propaganda.
DiCaprio repeatedly uses the “carbon pollution” and “carbon poison” misnomers – when he’s really talking about carbon dioxide (CO2), the plant-fertilizing gas that is essential for all life on Earth. But in addition to that deception, DiCaprio’s film is based on a myth: that CO2 from human activities is causing catastrophic climate change.
The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) lists thousands of scientific papers that either debunk or cast serious doubt on this popular though misguided notion.
Oregon-based physicist Dr. Gordon Fulks explains that the climate scare has “become a sort of societal pathogen that virulently spreads misinformation in tiny packages like a virus. CO2 is said to be responsible for global warming that is not occurring, for accelerated sea level rise that is not occurring, for net glacial and sea ice melt that is not occurring, for ocean acidification that is not occurring, and for increasing extreme weather that is not occurring.”
Fulks is right. DiCaprio’s film is just another vector for spreading the virus.
According to NASA satellites and ground-based temperature measurements, global warming ceased in the late 1990s, some 18 years ago. And yet, CO2 levels have risen almost 10% since 1997, a figure that represents an astonishing 30% of all human-related emissions since the industrial revolution began. These facts contradict all CO2-based climate models, upon which nearly all global warming concerns are founded. Similarly:
* Rates of sea-level rise remain small and are even decelerating; over recent decades they have averaged about 1 mm/year as measured by tide gauges and 2-3 mm/year as inferred from “adjusted” satellite data. That works out to a mere 4 to 12 inches per century, which is hardly a cause for alarm.
* Satellites also show a greater expanse of Antarctic sea ice now than at any time since space-based measurements began in 1979. During this period, Arctic sea ice has remained well within historic bounds and fluctuations, dating back centuries.
* The NIPCC’s March 2014 Biological Impacts report explains that the minute decline in alkalinity of the oceans projected by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s speculative computer models is small compared with the daily and seasonal changes that marine organisms already experience. Neither the IPCC nor the NIPCC forecasts that human CO2 emissions will cause oceans to become acidic in the coming centuries. They have become ever so slightly less alkaline over recent decades, but they are still very far from becoming acidic.
* A 2012 IPCC report concluded that there has been no significant increase in either the frequency or the intensity of extreme weather events in the modern era. The NIPCC 2013 report concluded the same. For the United States, the eight and one-half years since a category 3-5 hurricane made landfall is the longest such period since at least 1900.
The costs of feeding the climate change monster are staggering. According to the Congressional Research Service, between 2001 and 2014 the US Government spent $131 billion on human-caused climate change projects. They also allowed tax breaks for anti-CO2 energy initiatives totaling $176 billion.
Federal government spending on climate change and renewable energy is now running at $11 billion a year, and tax breaks at about $20 billion a year – for a total of more than double the total value of all wheat produced in the United States in 2013 ($14.4 billion).
Dr. Bjørn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, calculates that the European Union’s goal of a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions below 1990 levels by 2020 will cost almost $100 billion annually by 2020 – or more than $7 trillion over the course of this century.
That is currently the most severe target in the world. It has caused EU energy prices to rise ominously, costing numerous jobs, sending millions of families into “fuel poverty,” and resulting in thousands of mostly elderly people dying from hypothermia, because they could not afford to heat their homes properly during cold winter months.
Lomborg, a supporter of the UN’s climate science, asserts, “After spending all that money, we would not even be able to tell the difference” between global temperatures a century from now with a 20% reduction in EU carbon dioxide emissions by 2020, or without it.
So, Al Gore was right in one respect. Climate change is indeed a moral issue.
There is nothing quite so immoral as wealthy, well-fed, well-housed Westerners like Messrs. Gore and DiCaprio promoting the waste of huge amounts of money on futile anti-global warming policies – money that could instead be spent improving living standards and saving lives in developing countries.
Billions of people in those poor nations lack adequate lights, refrigeration, sanitation, schooling, clean water and proper health services. Tens of millions of them suffer needlessly from malnutrition and horrible diseases of poverty, and millions of them die prematurely every year.
Denying them the finances to build inexpensive hydrocarbon-fired power stations has been aptly described as technological genocide. That is where the moral outrage should lie.
Perhaps Mr DiCaprio would like to make a film about this – the real climate monster.
Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa-based International Climate Science Coalition. Dr Bob Carter is former professor and head of the School of Earth Sciences at James Cook University in Australia.