The new U.N. climate report is nothing more than a tired ritual of fear-mongering that has been repeated for decades with the complicity of mainstream media.
The report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — known as the Climate Assessment Reports — got a hyperbolic boost from none other than U.N. secretary general, António Guterres, a well known propagandist of climate misinformation, who declared a “code red for humanity.”
Not to be outdone, Linda Mearns, a senior climate scientist at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research and an author of the report, declared, “I don’t see any area that is safe … [n]owhere to run, nowhere to hide.”
If you lived through the 1970s and ’80s, this type of fear-mongering will not be unfamiliar. Prior to climate change hysteria, the most widely promoted environmental concern was overpopulation. Many policy-makers believed that 20th-century population growth threatened humanity with exhaustion of natural resources. Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 book The Population Bomb spurred the narrative, advocating action to lower birth rates.
Five decades later, a record percentage of the world’s citizens have abundant supplies of food and goods. During the last seven decades, global life expectancy increased from a mere 46 years to an incredible 73 years. India and China — each with more than 1.3 billion people — have registered rapid growth of gross domestic product over the past forty years.
Almost all countries have improved dramatically despite a rapid increase in population. Yet the persistence of the 18th-century Malthusian fear of death by self-propagation is such that many in the world — including news media — still believe that overpopulation is leading to catastrophe.
Today’s climate alarmism follows a similar script: instill public fear about an unknown future state with repeated assertions that have little basis in reality. Climate scientists now use computer models that produce a wide range of “scenarios” and their potential “impacts.” The problem is that these models are consistently wrong.
Even the U.N.’s own scientists questioned the outlandish warming projections of the climate models. Many of the climate predictions regarding polar bears, sea ice, and extreme weather events have been proven to be false.
Though climate alarmism has many similarities with the population scare of the 20th century, it differs in an important way: the hypothesis of a climate doomsday is changing energy policies for the worse across the globe. Both rich and poor countries are being told to reduce CO2 emissions by abandoning fossil fuels, which provide more than 83% of all primary energy consumed in the world (2019).
This amounts to requiring the entire world to cut back on or give up the very things that have made life better. Electricity, transportation, schooling, health care, food production, manufacturing, and virtually every industrial process need at some point the use of coal, oil, or natural gas.
While many claim that renewable energy sources can substitute for fossil fuels, it has remained a fairy tale. The U.N. and the media seldom — if ever — acknowledge that the prosperity for which billions of people still yearn demands dependable and affordable energy that simply cannot be gotten from wind turbines and solar panels. Instead, climate alarmists ignore the benefits of fossil fuels and exaggerate their environmental impacts.
The movement of climate fear-mongering is not just another media-enabled absurdity that can be brushed aside. Climate alarmism has already caused a global disruption in energy production and is now risking the lives of hundreds of millions. Earlier this year, more than two hundred Texans died because of power failures caused by overreliance on wind energy that failed during an unusually cold spell.
Rational people — armed with good sense and honest science — must rise up with their arguments and votes to answer the dangerous nonsense being advanced by the U.N. and the policy-makers who support it.
Vijay Jayaraj is a contributing writer to the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, Va., and holds a Master’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of East Anglia, England. He resides in Bengaluru, India.