Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball
There are many deadly and disastrous stories associated with the deception that human CO2 is causing global warming. Some are more obscure than others, but no less deadly in the unnecessary damage and destruction they caused. One was the myth of what was called “Arab Spring.” It never occurred, but what happened was a result of ‘green’ policies based on non-existence science. Unintended consequences are the inevitable result of actions and must not be used to inhibit action and progress. However, there is a difference if the objective was based on evidence and provides benefits or was based on concocted evidence and was mostly detrimental.
I was on a radio program recently, when a listener called to ask who was responsible for more deaths than anyone in history. The word responsible is important because probably none of those most people identify, including Hitler, Stalin, and Mao Zedong, ever actually killed anyone themselves. Many people now realize that the list includes people society tend to glorify, such as Alfred Nobel, who was so mortified by the death and destruction of his invention that he created prizes for advancing knowledge, understanding, and peace. Of course, as is the want of some people, that too has been misused and corrupted with increasing frequency. In the week before Al Gore received his inappropriate Peace Prize, a UK court found his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” guilty of political bias and containing nine significant science errors. It is hard to understand the blindness that leads people to push causes that become tragic, often in their lifetime. Perhaps Alexander Solzhenitsyn explained it best when he wrote,
“To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good.”
The radio caller identified the person he considered responsible for a very large number of deaths as Rachel Carson. In the blind belief that DDT caused the cancer that killed her husband, she published a book that became the bible of the environmental movement.
The myth of the impact of DDT was enhanced and supposedly legitimized by a false story about egg shells thinning. Paul Driessen addressed this and other impositions by the developed world on the developing world in what he called EcoImperialism. Some estimate the number of people who died unnecessarily from Malaria to more than 100 million. Several African leaders made a bold decision to save their people by ignoring the ban. Prime Minister Modi of India made a similar bold decision when he pointed out starvation and one-quarter of his population without electricity overrides the slim possibility of global warming based on very poor science. These are just some of the stories emerging as reason and sensible priorities override the eco-bullying of environmentalists.
Another story that requires exposing is the damage, chaos, and death caused by the push for ethanol as an alternative fuel to replace the evil CO2-producing fossil fuels.
The idea was to convert crops to ethanol, and in the US the subsidies went mainly to corn conversion. According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center,
In 2000, over 90% of the U.S. corn crop went to feed people and livestock, many in undeveloped countries, with less than 5% used to produce ethanol. In 2013, however, 40% went to produce ethanol, 45% was used to feed livestock, and only 15% was used for food and beverage.
This had a rapid direct effect.
In 2007, the global price of corn doubled as a result of an explosion in ethanol production in the U.S. Because corn is the most common animal feed and has many other uses in the food industry, the price of milk, cheese, eggs, meat, corn-based sweeteners and cereals increased as well. World grain reserves dwindled to less than two months, the lowest level in over 30 years.
The impact was potentially deadly and noted by several commentators in the food production industry. In 2006, Graham Young noted the threat and the immorality,
The biofuel madness is gathering steam, and it’s not good news for the world’s poor and hungry. Putting one man’s dinner into another man’s car hardly seems like a sensible or ethical way of solving any of the world’s problems.
In March of 2008, The Times also issued a warning,
The rush towards biofuels is threatening world food production and the lives of billions of people, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser said yesterday. Professor John Beddington put himself at odds with ministers who have committed Britain to large increases in the use of biofuels over the coming decades. In his first important public speech since he was appointed, he described the potential impacts of food shortages as the “elephant in the room” and a problem which rivalled that of climate change.
Beddington was correct. By April of 2008, the President of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, wrote,
The World Bank Group estimates that 33 countries around the world face potential social unrest because of the acute hike in food and energy prices. For these countries, where food comprises from half to three quarters of consumption, there is no margin for survival.
Remember, all this occurred under the Bush and Blair regimes. The San Francisco Chronicle reported in April 2008,
In the pantheon of well-intentioned governmental policies gone awry, massive ethanol biofuel production may go down as one of the biggest blunders in history. An unholy alliance of environmentalists, agribusiness, biofuel corporations and politicians has been touting ethanol as the cure to all our environmental ills, when in fact it may be doing more harm than good. An array of unintended consequences is wreaking havoc on the economy, food production and, perhaps most ironically, the environment.
The reaction was what it always is when the food supply fails, riots and an overthrow of a government. It is one of the two major reasons throughout history why people will override the prevailing sentiment expressed in 2000-year-old graffiti in Pompeii: If we get rid of this bunch of scoundrels, we just get another bunch of scoundrels. CNN reported in April 2008,
Riots from Haiti to Bangladesh to Egypt over the soaring costs of basic foods have brought the issue to a boiling point and catapulted it to the forefront of the world’s attention, the head of an agency focused on global development said Monday.
The UK Telegraph was more specific
Egyptian families are having to get up at dawn each day to queue up for bread rations, as the country struggles to cope with grain shortages that threaten a major political crisis.
Egypt is in the grip of a serious bread crisis brought on by a combination of the rising cost of wheat on world markets and sky-rocketing inflation.
Barack Obama was elected President in 2008 so inherited the fallout from the failed ethanol policy. The problem was he was more committed to it and the false global warming agenda than Bush. For example, he promised a reduction in the rate of sea level rise in June of 2008 and made global warming and climate change central to his political platform.
The origin of the term “Arab Spring” is unclear but it very quickly became attached to President Obama and certainly solved his political dilemma. He took a failed green agenda policy issue and turned it into a political progress that justified his Middle East policies. He also benefitted from the riots because the people overthrew Hosni Mubarak, who stood in the way of his plans to install a Muslim Brotherhood government in Cairo. Meanwhile, the people suffered hardships, starvation, and death, as the military struggle and riots continued.
However, as Aldous Huxley said,
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
To their credit, even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were restrained but clear in identifying the problems with ethanol, in Chapter 8 of the 2014 Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change Report they wrote,
“Biofuels have direct, fuel‐cycle GHG emissions that are typically 30–90% lower than those for gasoline or diesel fuels. However, since for some biofuels indirect emissions—including from land use change—can lead to greater total emissions than when using petroleum products, policy support needs to be considered on a case by case basis”
In fact, using ethanol produces more CO2 than fossil fuels,
The University of Edinburgh study concludes that ethanol made from corn produces up to 50 percent more greenhouse gases than fossil fuels. And ethanol made from rapeseed produces up to 70 percent more greenhouse gases than fossil fuels. (Rapeseed is also the source from which canola oil is made.) Both corn-based and rapeseed-based ethanol produced high levels of nitrous oxide, twice as much as previously believed, which is 296 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide — a gas naturally “exhaled” by plants and produced in combustion of fossil fuels.
Fortunately, the process and production are collapsing. The real tragedy is none of it mattered because CO2 was not causing global warming or climate change. Unfortunately, no accountability will occur. No punishment or condemnation of those responsible for the damage, destruction, and deaths caused by this deliberate pursuit of a political agenda using falsified science will ensue. Somebody once chastised me for saying that these are tantamount to crimes against humanity. I will continue to repeat that claim as the ethanol, and all the other policies of death and destruction are unmasked.