5 Questions That Expose the Errors of Climate Alarmism

In Climate Change, Environment, Politics by E. Calvin Beisner0 Comments

Many people are asking us for questions they can raise at various public meetings—at churches, schools, universities, community organizations, etc.—to expose the errors of climate alarmism. Here are five:

1. Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman once said the “key to science” was realizing that if your theory about how the world works yielded predictions contradicted by observations, your theory was wrong. Since the only basis for fears of dangerous, manmade global warming is the predictions by computer climate models, and since on average the models predict twice the warming observed over the relevant period, and 95 percent predict more rather than less warming than observed (implying that their errors are not random but driven by some kind of bias, whether honest or accidental), and none predicted the complete absence of statistically significant global warming over the 18 years and 8 months through September, and therefore the models are invalidated, what remaining basis is there for any policies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions?

2. Since poverty brings much greater risks to human health and life than any climate change, and since reducing carbon dioxide emissions to reduce climate change slows, stops, or reverses economic growth by depriving people of the abundant, affordable, reliable energy from fossil fuels without which no society has ever grown out of poverty, why would we want to do that?

3. Since the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group III’s scenarios for the future show that the world’s poor are better off—wealthier, with better health and longer lives—with more warming than with less global warming, because the same economic growth that drives the warming also reduces poverty, why would you prescribe climate policies that trap these people in poverty for more generations by limiting their use of the most abundant, affordable, reliable sources of instant-on-demand, reliable electricity and other energy sources, namely, fossil fuels?

4. The overwhelming consensus of scientists used to be that continents don’t move, but that eventually was overturned by evidence for continental drift. That’s why, though consensus is a political value (you count votes to know who won an election), it’s not a scientific value (you don’t count votes to know how much global average temperature will rise in response to increasing CO2, you study the data). Why, then, do you respond to evidence that the models are wrong, exaggerating the warming effect of CO2, by claiming scientific consensus?

5. You and others often appeal to scientific consensus for dangerous, manmade global warming. The actual studies purporting to find that consensus have only asked respondents whether they thought global average temperature had risen over the last 100 to 150 years and whether human activity had contributed significantly to that warming, something to which even the vast majority of “climate skeptics” would agree. They have not asked whether human activity had caused most of the warming, whether the human-caused warming was or was likely to become dangerous, and not whether it was advisable to spend trillions of dollars trying to reduce it. Why do you and others claim consensus for those things when it doesn’t exist?

This article was originally published on The Stewards Blog at CornwallAlliance.org.

This article was originally written in response to the Paris Climate Summit, but it’s five questions are great for any event promoting climate alarmism. 

Dr. Beisner is Founder and National Spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance; former Associate Professor of Historical Theology & Social Ethics, at Knox Theological Seminary, and of Interdisciplinary Studies, at Covenant College; and author of “Where Garden Meets Wilderness: Evangelical Entry into the Environmental Debate” and “Prospects for Growth: A Biblical View of Population, Resources, and the Future.”

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