The Dispatch: “A Conservative Approach to Climate Change”

Essay by Eric Worrall

Swedish Economist John Gustavsson explaining his vision of Conservative climate action, though he avoids the obvious question.

A Conservative Approach to Climate Change

There are practical alternatives to forcing people to give up their way of life.
John Gustavsson

Instead, climate change needs conservative solutions. Modern environmentalism is all too willing to toss aside people’s traditions, habits, and lifestyles for the “greater good.” 

Fortunately there are options—backed by science and already in use in some places—that allow us to combat climate change without asking anyone to eat bugs, go vegan, or stop flying. 

First, there’s geoengineering. This term refers to a set of technologies that artificially change the environment by, for example, lowering temperatures or creating rain. One of the best-known examples is cloud seeding, a technology to create artificial rain clouds and prevent droughts. It is already being used in the United Arab Emirates. 

Solar radiation management is another class of geoengineering technologies aimed at directly reducing global temperatures. The most famous and also most maligned method is the use of stratospheric aerosols. These aerosols cool the earth in a manner similar to a volcanic eruption:  …

Secondly, there is carbon capture, which is technically a subset of geoengineering. Carbon capture takes many forms, including planting more trees to bind more carbon, but tree planting clearly won’t be enough, especially as we are bound to have to cut down more trees in the future to replace more environmentally harmful building materials and fuel sources. …

Third, we have genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This is another technology vilified for no good reason. Nuclear power, stratospheric aerosols, carbon capture, and GMOs: None of them have been proven to be dangerous, all of them have huge (and in the case of nuclear and  GMOs, proven) potential to stop or mitigate the impact of climate change, …

Finally, we need a harm reduction approach. If we’re going to ask people to make lifestyle changes, it’s better to steer them away from the worst options toward the less bad ones—rather than pursuing unattainable perfection.

Read more:

John Gustavsson describes himself as a Never Trump conservative on his twitter profile. The anti-Trump position is unsurprising, most European “conservatives” would be considered moderate Democrats in the USA.

The obvious question Gustavsson fails to ask is, is any of this necessary? There is zero evidence rising CO2 is causing harm.

Having said that, I’m not totally against all forms of “climate action” – so long as it doesn’t cost me anything. For example, I would be completely fine with greens embracing nuclear power, providing my power bills and taxes don’t go up. I could imagine one day driving an EV, providing range goes up, and the cost, recharge time and risk of spontaneous combustion goes down.

Gustavsson needs to do a little more research on some of his other ideas.

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October 6, 2022 10:51 pm

It would be a very brave man who would suggest cloud seeding in Oz at the moment. We have had almost as much rain this year as in 1893, our wettest year by far. Many comunities are looking at the likelyhood of being flooded for the third time this year.

So much for the dams are never going to fill ever again, typ[ical of so many global warming pronouncements.

Lewis P Buckingham
Reply to  Hasbeen
October 6, 2022 11:14 pm

Yet despite the flooding rains they just change the narrative to ‘Dangerous climate change’, even if their predictions prove false.

Reply to  Lewis P Buckingham
October 7, 2022 1:05 am

Melbourne was HIT BY A RAIN BOMB today. They never happened before “climate change”.

But Victoria is taking great strides to fix the “climate”. All government operated infrastructure will run on solar and batteries by 2025 providing Dan gets voted back in and China remains will to provide and the necessary stuff.

Reply to  Hasbeen
October 6, 2022 11:39 pm

Most rain for over 100 years!

Climate change in action!

6% wetter er… drier er…carbon…

We’re all gonna die!

Reply to  Hasbeen
October 7, 2022 1:01 am

Yes: you are suffering from climate change.

The floods will be followed by drought and fires until another catastrophic flood event ends the drought.

The ‘old’ climate of last century in Australia is not coming back

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Eric Worrall
October 7, 2022 2:47 am

Game, Set and match to Mr Worrall

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
October 7, 2022 3:18 pm

Did you read the link

Reply to  Eric Worrall
October 7, 2022 3:18 pm

Don’t link to text that contradicts your argument.

Psst he’s an Australian
Can’t be trusted genes

M Courtney
Reply to  griff
October 7, 2022 2:59 am

The ‘old’ climate of last century in Australia is not coming back

Why would it? Weather changes. Why should the integral of weather over time be expected to be constant?

All we can say is that the people who claimed to understand the changes in the weather were wrong. They did not understand the changes inthe weather. Their predictions did not come true.

Reply to  griff
October 7, 2022 3:25 am

WRONG, as always.

It just happens to be the third La Nina in a row.

Absolutely NOTHING to do with anything humans have done.

Matt Kiro
Reply to  griff
October 7, 2022 4:01 am

If you looked at the climate history of Australia over the last 150 years, it’s been a constant stream of droughts, then fires , then floods. Nothing new has happened.

Reply to  Matt Kiro
October 7, 2022 3:20 pm

If you listened to Australians its a constant babble
Nothings changed.

Reply to  steven mosher
October 7, 2022 7:16 pm

Unlike your comments ?

Which are a constant babble of irrelevance.

Australian climate is pretty much normal.

Last edited 1 month ago by bnice2000
Dave Yaussy
Reply to  griff
October 7, 2022 6:35 am

I thought that was the old climate of Australia

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of drought and flooding rains.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave Yaussy
Tom Abbott
Reply to  Dave Yaussy
October 7, 2022 9:38 am

Sounds like the same old Australia to me.

Andy Wilkins
Reply to  griff
October 7, 2022 7:01 am

Floods, drought, and fires are the “old” climate, you idiot.

Reply to  griff
October 7, 2022 8:00 am

No we are just suffering from too many Griff posts all with the same baseless claims.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  griff
October 7, 2022 9:28 am

Yay! Another griff comment to downvote. My day is complete. 😀

Reply to  griff
October 8, 2022 1:48 am

The end is nigh!

Have you been reading the Book of Revelations, mate?

Climate activism is a secularized mimicry of Christian eschatology.

Reply to  Hasbeen
October 7, 2022 6:04 am

I’m a conservative, and I would recommend doing this with regards to CO2 emissions:
Do nothing…
…except make sure there is clean water and clean air.
…CO2 and Methane are not a problem.

October 6, 2022 11:02 pm

It seems not a lot of people are aware that the climate has never stopped changing.

If the numbats programming climate models had an ounce of competence they would know what is causing climate change. With that knowledge they would be able to forecast how it will change in the future and prepare for those events.

About the only really positive means of moderating the impact of changing climate is to increase land based plants. That increases the atmospheric water and limits the temperature range as is observed over open oceans.

The worst thing possible aimed at stopping the climate changing is to denude the landscape of plats and replace them with wind turbines and solar panels. That guarantees sterilising large areas of currently usable land..

Efforts of similar disastrous outcomes would be to nobble human ability to adopt to the changing climate by waging war on CO2.

October 6, 2022 11:10 pm

Never give an inch to a lie or the liar – if they are wrong, they are just plain wrong, no matter how much they drive us crazy with their incessant climate indoctrination.

Remember: that’s how the Nazis took over – sticking to the message with fanaticism and verbal/physical violence – scaring or wearing down the opposition.

Dwight Kenney
October 6, 2022 11:23 pm

The sad part to me is that i work with fresh engineering and geology grads and i hear them promoting the same bizarre solutions to this non-existent problem.

Its deeply unsettling and causes me to worry about the next generation.

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  Eric Worrall
October 7, 2022 5:08 am

Companies don’t do that because they already know the answer and it’s not the one they want to hear and express. You get no ESG cred by actually running the numbers and demonstrating that most green plans are net polluters and result in less energy for more cost.

Reply to  Dwight Kenney
October 7, 2022 1:17 am

A quote taken from Malcolm Roberts CPAC speech:

Thomas Sowell said it best, “Ours may become the first civilization destroyed, not by the power of our enemies, but by the ignorance of our teachers and the dangerous nonsense they are teaching our children. In an age of artificial intelligence, they are creating artificial stupidity.” 

Your graduates have to maintain their curiosity against great odds.

I am constantly surprised by the number of people who believe what they read in a text books or published papers without taking the time to test it. Typically academics are the worst at taking ideas on faith. Most would make better priests than moulding the thinking ability of young professionals.

Look at how well the nonsense of back-radiation has impregnated the field of so-called climate science. Most people get the idea of gravity field and recognise that all matter communicates with other matter at the speed of light with regard gravity but then they the same matter does not communicate with each other in the E-M field. The lack of appreciating the obvious staggers me.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
October 7, 2022 2:37 am

No they don’t, All matter communicates with all other matter at the speed of the field in the intervening medium. The energy flow is unidirectional. That is the nature of EMR. It is one way energy at any point in space at any point in time from a warmer body to a colder body.

The electromagnetic field and the gravity field (assuming they are not somehow the same thing) have a lot of commonalities. One important aspect is that either field responds to changes at a point in the field at the same speed through space – referred to as the speed of light.

Think of two opposing magnets. If I move one toward the other, the other will be repelled and move accordingly. The magnets are communicating through the magnetic field. Radiation is the interchange of magnetic and electric energy that travels from a higher potential more powerful source to a lower potential sink in the electromagnetic field. It there is no sink in the field of view, meaning no matter or matter, then the source experiences the field at what is called its characteristic impedance.

The sun will experience Earth in a tiny portion of its field of view and the output of the sun toward Earth will respond to Earth’s presence. Earth receives the adjusted energy. The sun is not sending out constant energy in all directions that the energy in all directions from Earth subtracts from. The field adjusts the output of the sun in the direction of Earth. Earth does not send any energy toward the sun but the sun senses Earth’s presence in the E-M field in the same way its senses Earth’s presence in the gravitation field.

Ross Handsaker
Reply to  Eric Worrall
October 7, 2022 2:52 am

Eric, heat and radiation energy are not the same, eg if you stand next to a large block of ice heat will flow only from you to the ice block. Yet both you and the block of ice are radiating energy. The ice block cannot make you warmer.

Reply to  Dwight Kenney
October 7, 2022 4:48 am

They’ll win the darwin award, no cause for concern.

Rolf H Carlsson
October 6, 2022 11:53 pm

AS a Swede, I am ashamed to be reading such nonsense. On the other hand, he is an economist who, notoriously abaound in ivory towers

The Dark Lord
Reply to  Rolf H Carlsson
October 7, 2022 12:50 am

as they say, ask 5 economists their opinion and you’ll get back 10 answers …

Reply to  Eric Worrall
October 7, 2022 1:01 am

I wouldn’t.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Eric Worrall
October 7, 2022 3:33 am

Second round
Game, set and match to Mr Worrall

Reply to  griff
October 7, 2022 8:02 am

The far right won the last election so if they will start by removing all the stupid lefty policies they are probably on the right track. Italy went the same way because I think just about everyone has had enough.

Last edited 1 month ago by LdB
jeffery p
Reply to  Eric Worrall
October 7, 2022 8:19 am

Mainstream Swedish politics are radical left elsewhere.

October 6, 2022 11:56 pm

The obvious question Gustavsson fails to ask is, is any of this necessary? 

Quite so. Climate science is dead, long live Climatology.

Steve Case
October 6, 2022 11:59 pm

First, there’s geoengineering.

WRONG! Stopped reading right there. OK, I’ll finish reading, but geoengineering is entirely without merit.

Reply to  Steve Case
October 7, 2022 3:50 am


Carbon dioxide capture.

Blocking solar input.

This guy is a total loony on all fronts !!

Dave Andrews
Reply to  b.nice
October 7, 2022 8:09 am

Yes he appears to be unaware that a great many eminent scientists and others are calling for an International Non – Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering

Steve Case
October 7, 2022 12:08 am

There is zero evidence rising CO2 is causing harm.

There IS evidence of the benefits of increasing CO2:

 NASA Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds

NOAA Satellite Data Used in Study Finding Significant Greening in Earth’s Vegetative Areas

Coeur de Lion
October 7, 2022 12:23 am

Whether it’s Chinese or natural or both, thete is not the slightest chance that the 2ppm a year rise in CO2 will be checked. Full stop.

Reply to  Coeur de Lion
October 7, 2022 1:35 am

The 2ppm is only limited by China’s ability to procure coal and convert into what the developed world craves. One limiting factor is China’s willingness to accept US debt in trade for tangible goods. That could slow their consumption of coal.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  RickWill
October 7, 2022 8:15 am

Although China’s coal consumption in 2021 reached an all time high of 4230 Million tonnes (Mt) (IEA Coal Market Update – July 2022)

Peta of Newark
October 7, 2022 1:34 am

Ah, I see the supply of Russian vodka into Sweden hasn’t been interrupted by the ‘festivities’ further south and east.

Sorry Mr GustOfWindoSon, you are complety crazed to imagine geoneering and cloud seeding are any sort of solutions – stick to inventing seat-belts and building Volvos. OK?

There again, not a lot left is there. Seat belts have been invented and you proved useless at building Volvos hence why the Chinese took on the task

Ah well, maybe the answer lies in the bottom of another glass……

October 7, 2022 3:24 am

Sorry, but WTH is “climate action” ?

Nothing but FAKE virtue-seeking for a NON-problem.

By even using the term, he is talking nonsense.

Reply to  b.nice
October 7, 2022 6:25 am

b.nice: Sorry, but WTH is “climate action” ?”

Climate action as it is practiced today is wasting money on things that will have zero effect on climate and/or gluing yourself to various surfaces, buildings, or objects, all useless acts that also have zero effect on climate.

Climate action is like running a marathon race on a treadmill. You put in all that effort but ran exactly zero miles. You come in worse than last place because you never even got past the starting line.

The only actual effective ‘Climate Action’ that anyone has ever taken is adaptation.

The enormous number of brainwashed virtue signalers would do well to learn that old saw, “The Serenity Prayer”.

Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can change,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

So get some wisdom, ‘Climate Activists’. Accept that you cannot change the climate, but you can work to position yourself to adapt to whatever the climate may be.

jeffery p
Reply to  b.nice
October 7, 2022 8:22 am

His ideas are better than what we’re being force-fed now. Not good, mind you, just better.

Reply to  jeffery p
October 7, 2022 11:12 am

I think you meant less bad.
Still bad and should be avoided but not as bad as the other loonies.

October 7, 2022 3:36 am

The danger lies in succumbing to fantasy, which is what Climate Change is all about.

October 7, 2022 3:39 am

A quick read..

He’s a leftist economist with absolutely zero clue about anything to do with rational science.

Tom Halla
October 7, 2022 5:53 am

No matter how efficiently one does something useless, it still does not give it value.
Stepping back and looking at the assumptions the Greens are operating off leads one to conclude their policy is counterproductive.

oeman 50
October 7, 2022 7:03 am

Eric, your statement “I’m not totally against all forms of “climate action” – so long as it doesn’t cost me anything” is interesting. I am afraid that any form of climate action WILL cost us all something. And a new nuclear plant is tremendously expensive and WILL cause your bill to go up. So, I interpret your statement to mean you are against ANY form, of climate action, because they will ALL cost you something.

October 7, 2022 7:29 am

Wnat to know about Cloud Seeding? Read Cook and Pielke Sr.’s book.

“One of the best-known examples is cloud seeding, a technology to create artificial rain clouds and prevent droughts. It is already being used in the United Arab Emirates.”

What the link says is: “the rainfall technology I saw today, which is still being developed, may someday support countries in water-scarce environments like the UAE.”

Cloud seeding is very complex (see Cook/Pielke Sr.) and has never been a silver bullet. Is and won’t be now.

Pie in the sky.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
October 7, 2022 8:19 am

The first thing you need is a cloud. If you don’t have that, you’re stuck.

October 7, 2022 7:47 am

A true conservative would ignore the climate change crowd and when not possible oppose them. In all cases don’t give them credibility not deserved. And don’t encourage politicians on the take.

Reply to  Olen
October 7, 2022 11:16 am

Anyone with a modicum of good sense should laugh at them and treat them as mentally unstable.

Shoki Kaneda
October 7, 2022 7:51 am

Why is any “approach” to climate change needed? Sometime soon (geologically), keeping warm and growing food will be the problem. And that will be a real problem, not a politically fabricated one.

jeffery p
October 7, 2022 8:17 am

Geoengineering. What could go wrong?

October 7, 2022 8:22 am

“Third, we have genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This is another technology vilified for no good reason.”

I think Covid-19 qualifies as a GMO.

David Anderson
October 7, 2022 8:24 am

In what universe is “Geo-engineering”, (i.e. tinkering with things we don’t understand) conservative.

October 7, 2022 8:30 am

1)there is no CO2 caused climate change so no solution is needed
2)if there was such a thing as CO2 caused climate change, geoengineering would not be a “conservative” solution
3)given the Swedish navies participation in the NordStream pipeline sabotage Swedes probably shouldn’t talk about “conservative solutions” to anything.

Andy Pattullo
October 7, 2022 8:35 am

Nonsense. He proposes expensive, unproven solutions to a non-problem. This is the opposite of conservative, it is a lavish pointless spending spree on chaos.

Paul Penrose
October 7, 2022 9:31 am

As soon as someone mentions geoengineering, I know they are just as big a nutter as the AGW catastrophists. Mitigation of a highly unlikely future harm is always a bad idea. Better to just adapt as we have always done.

Paul S.
October 7, 2022 10:52 am

Solar radiation management scares the hell out of me

October 7, 2022 2:21 pm

I agree, he missed the most important question, is it necessary to cut carbon dioxide. The one thing that makes sense is to expand nuclear energy.

October 7, 2022 3:12 pm

. I could imagine one day driving an EV, providing range goes up, and the cost, recharge time and risk of spontaneous combustion goes down.

It will mandated. Adapt or perish

October 8, 2022 5:29 pm

It’s time for a 2 hour debate on live ABCCBSNBC set the record straight. 3 people on each side with slideshows addressing each claim and rebuttal. I’ll moderate.

October 18, 2022 12:45 am

Conservatism is when very slight disagreement with the most extreme leftists

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