GREGORY WRIGHTSTONE: “Reasonable” Concessions to Climate Hysteria Lack Reason

by Gregory Wrightstone

First, there is no climate emergency. Claims to the contrary are based on exaggerations of carbon dioxide’s warming effect and computer models that have proven unreliable.

As Republicans settle into the leadership of the new House of Representatives, we are hoping for clearer congressional thinking about the climate issue. However, there is work to do on the Conservative Climate Caucus.

“Republicans have solutions to reduce world emissions while providing affordable, reliable, and clean energy to our allies across the globe,” said Rep. John Curtis of Utah, caucus chairman, in a news release last month. We infer that carbon dioxide are the emissions of concern because they are most often cited by alarmists as a climate wrecker.

Rep. Curtis’s assumption that there is a need to decrease CO2 emissions is a delusion divorced from reality and unsubstantiated by science. This absurdity regularly is perpetuated by people wanting to sound reasonable in an atmosphere of hysteria and political chicanery.

Such persons of “reason” reliably promote an “all-the-above” energy strategy. And right on cue, in the fifth paragraph of the Conservative Climate Caucus news release is Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona saying:

“House Republicans have been hard at work to support all-of-the-above energy solutions without sacrificing our energy security, affordability, and reliability. I am pleased to be joining my colleagues … to demonstrate to the world that we have common sense solutions.”

It is the quintessential statement of reasonableness. It also is devoid of critical thinking, as well as of common sense, which, to her credit, the member of Congress seems to value.

We do not mean to pick on Rep. Lesko. She is merely an example. Neither are we impugning her intelligence or intentions. Plenty of smart people with good intent similarly stumble only to find themselves in an awkward search of a solution for a nonexistent problem.

In reference to energy, the “all-the-above” pitch grants equal standing to numerous sources: coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar, biomass and so forth. Moreover, it assumes that the burning of fossil fuels must be balanced with the use of wind and solar to mitigate the atmospheric warming of carbon dioxide.

Both are light-years from the truth. Energy sources are not equal, and carbon dioxide poses no threat to the planet.

Dr. William Happer, professor emeritus in the Department of Physics at Princeton University, has coauthored a paper that shows that the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide is limited to a narrow band of the electromagnetic spectrum and cannot cause dangerous heating of the planet.

“Carbon dioxide is completely natural,” he says. “Plants need it to grow. We all breathe out about two pounds of it every day. When people say that we need to remove carbon dioxide from the air, I can’t imagine what they are thinking because today there is not enough carbon dioxide compared to what plants would prefer. We are living in a time of a carbon dioxide famine in the context of geological history. We need more of it not less.

“The demonization of carbon dioxide is absurd. Widely accepted data, such as those from Antarctic ice cores, show that over geologic time almost never have carbon dioxide levels been as low as today. Over most of Earth’s history, levels have been four or five times what they are now.”

As for the comparative value of energy sources, an analysis by CO2 Coalition member Dr. Indur Goklany finds that coal, oil and natural gas are the most beneficial based on their efficiencies and on the salutary effects of their emissions of carbon dioxide. These fuels have fostered unprecedented prosperity and human health.

Their CO2 emissions have contributed to an overall greening of Earth and record crop harvests.

The green lobby’s promotion of subsidies for wind and solar is exactly backward. Reason would dictate that fossil fuels — along with nuclear power — be favored because of their unmatched effectiveness in sustaining human life, although we prefer free markets over government picking winners and losers.

We understand the desire to be “even-handed” or to “reach across the aisle.” However, conceding to false claims of a crisis and promoting foolish strategies as “solutions” is dangerous. It is a packaging of “reasonableness” without regard to reason.

This commentary was first published at Daily Caller, December 3, 2022, and can be accessed here.

Gregory Wrightstone is a geologist; executive director of the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, VA; and author of Inconvenient Facts: The Science That Al Gore Doesn’t Want You to Know.

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Tom Halla
December 5, 2022 6:23 pm

Subsidizing wind and solar leads to distortions in the supply system, let alone being bird choppers and despoilers of deserts. Any grid with enough weather dependent supply on it will crash, with South Australia and Texas as examples.

Tony_G
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 6, 2022 11:56 am

and even with the new system we’ve got spammers 🙁

Ronald Havelock
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 6, 2022 12:32 pm

Get this spammer out of here!

observa
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 6, 2022 5:00 pm

Oz Labor betting the house on Bowen and the Renewables Revolution-
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/energy-policy-will-be-the-ruin-of-the-labor-government/ar-AA14XsXZ
Apart from money printing price controls are the last refuge of political scoundrels.

Tom Halla
Reply to  observa
December 6, 2022 6:37 pm

Socialism, to the extent of having administered prices, leads to all sorts of other issues as no one has a real price signal for anything.
Nixon and Carter put controls on oil prices, with the inevitable shortages.

mikelowe2013
Reply to  observa
December 7, 2022 11:14 am

Thank you for describing so accurately our Labour government here in New Zealand.
The sooner our Prime Minister Ardern achieves her objective and leaves for the United Nations, the better!

abolition man
December 5, 2022 6:23 pm

“Reason would dictate that fossil fuels—along with nuclear power—be favored because of their unmatched effectiveness in sustaining human life,…”
Ah, there’s the rub! The Climastrologists are largely devoid of reason, and nihilistically want to drastically cut or even eliminate human life on Earth! If one was prone to conspiracy theories, one might come to believe they are working for some other life form altogether. Their motto of late seems to be: Humanity Last!

John Hultquist
December 5, 2022 6:30 pm

One of Washington State’s representatives on the Conservative Climate Caucus regarding the theory of evolution:
the account that I believe is the one in the Bible, that God created the world in seven days.”

So yes — there is work to do on the Conservative Climate Caucus.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  John Hultquist
December 5, 2022 7:24 pm

Others seem to be checking if the Climate Conservatives are correct. A veracity check would be in order….

0016AB86-F7E9-43D7-9321-6F95967EB387.jpeg
Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  John Hultquist
December 6, 2022 8:19 am

heck, here all this time I thought it took 10 days 🙂

Last edited 2 months ago by Joseph Zorzin
DonM
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 6, 2022 12:58 pm

There were no planners/regulators/permit coordinators getting in the way, slowing things up.

Simply the engineer & and the owner/builder. (Little (or nothing) is ever said about or credited to the the engineer).

So, only six days.

DonM
Reply to  John Hultquist
December 6, 2022 1:00 pm

John,

Let your rep know that his belief & understanding is outright wrong … it was six days 🙂

John Shewchuk
December 5, 2022 7:09 pm

Conservative Climate Caucus members should wear “I love CO2 and so should you” badges.

Stuart Baeriswyl
Reply to  John Shewchuk
December 5, 2022 10:06 pm

I’ve actually got the T-shirt John (or similar anyways), as well as another: “I ❤️ fossil fuel” which has been a real conversation starter when I wear it.

John Shewchuk
Reply to  Stuart Baeriswyl
December 6, 2022 6:13 am

Great. Here’s what I wear when I give talks on global warming and climate change. I have T-shirts and Tank-tops for the less formal events. Let me know when you’re in the Florida Villages area and you can make a guest appearance at the Weather Club (with your shirt of course) … https://www.theweatherclubvillages.com/

JohnLovesCO2.jpg
Dan Pangburn
December 5, 2022 8:20 pm

Logic mandates that the elapsed time between when a molecule absorbs a photon and when it emits one must be more than zero or there would be no indication the photon had been absorbed. This elapsed time (dwell time) averages about a second in the atmosphere where people are [2, 3].
 
At the scale of atoms, the atmosphere can be visualized as molecules bouncing elastically (no energy loss) off each other in empty space. At sea level conditions, the time between collisions for the air molecules (molecule diameter 4 Angstroms; 4E-10 m) is extremely short, less than 0.0002 microseconds [4]. Among other properties, these collisions are the basis for thermal conduction in the gas. Therefore, electromagnetic radiation (EMR) energy absorbed by ghg molecules is immediately shared with surrounding molecules both ghg and non-ghg. The sharing is thermal conduction in the gas. The process of absorbing radiation and sharing it with surrounding molecules is called thermalization.
 
The summation of dwell times in outward directed radiation, mostly from water vapor molecules, retards the flow of energy up through the atmosphere and accounts for the misleadingly named greenhouse effect.
Water vapor molecules emit radiation from the warm atmosphere. Above about 2 km outward directed radiation from WV molecules can make it all the way to space. Radiation energy absorbed by CO2 molecules is redirected wrt wavenumber to water vapor molecules which radiate it to space. The end result is that CO2 has no significant effect on climate.
Refs in brackets [ ] are from https://energyredirect3.blogspot.com

TOA flux.jpg
DMacKenzie
Reply to  Dan Pangburn
December 5, 2022 8:49 pm

Good site Dave…some stuff you’ll like on Co2 and photon emission vs collisions here too..
https://www.geoexpro.com/articles/2020/01/recent-advances-in-climate-change-research-part-ix-how-carbon-dioxide-emits-ir-photons

Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Dan Pangburn
December 6, 2022 1:43 am

Careful Dan,

If there were no so called GHGs, all radiation would go straight from the surface to space.
GHGs absorb and re-radiate some of these outgoing radiation, the latter in all directions, including back to the surface.

The collisions between GHGs and IR inert molecules like O2 and N2 do transfer the excited energy from water or CO2 to the overall energy of the atmosphere (thus increasing local temperature and creating a larger lapse rate), but that is bidirectional: a collision of a “hot” N2 molecule with a CO2 or water molecule can bring that into excitation state…

Further, even if only 1% of the outgoing energy reaches the surface again, that adds energy to the surface and that must increase its temperature to get rid of that extra energy. The more re-radiated energy is reaching the surface, the higher the temperature over the basic temperature as given by the solar input.

Your graphs are all about the outgoing IR radiation, but there are lots of stations which measure both near-ground outgoing IR ànd incoming IR from the atmosphere to near ground level. These show around 300 W/m2 “recycled” radiation energy coming back from the atmosphere:
https://scienceofdoom.com/2010/07/17/the-amazing-case-of-back-radiation/ and next page.

Most “clear sky” back radiation is from water vapor, but also specifically from CO2, they have measured the increase in back radiation by looking at the full spectral analysis and found a 0.2 W/m2 increase in back radiation from 22 ppmv CO2 increase over a span of 10 years. Even the seasonal change in CO2 levels was clearly visible in the back radiation spectra:
https://escholarship.org/content/qt3428v1r6/qt3428v1r6.pdf

The measured spectra and the theoretical calculation via Hitran were very similar:

41586_2015_Article_BFnature14240_Fig1_HTML[1].jpg
Ferdinand Engelbeen
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
December 6, 2022 1:47 am

Anyway, the benefits of that extra CO2 for all life on earth by far exceed any negative effect, even if they exist at all…

Here the graph of the extra downward radiant energy and CO2 levels from the same investigation:

41586_2015_Article_BFnature14240_Fig4_HTML[1].jpg
Last edited 2 months ago by Ferdinand Engelbeen
Dan Pangburn
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
December 7, 2022 6:28 pm

Water vapor molecules have been increasing about 7 times faster than CO2 molecules. http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com
Given the redirection of energy absorbed by CO2 molecules, the radiation from CO2 molecules should fade to a low value above about 2 km and fade back up approaching the tropopause. The slight planet warming since before 1900 is from increase in water vapor.

forestermike
December 5, 2022 10:24 pm

Mr. Wrightstone’s fine essay lacks one salient point: any warming of the planet, by CO2 or other factors, would be entirely beneficial.

CO2 is the fundamental building block of life. That’s a fact. It’s also a fact that any rise in global average temperature would enhance life, the environment, and the economy. Warmer is better, a boon. Colder would be a disaster.

The Republicans (RINO, neo, whatever) are pandering to a fraud, a hoax, a false scare. They should fight this great scam, not shrivel up like worms on a hot sidewalk.

There’s nobody in public office today that has the guts to tell the truth. Whether that’s because they are scam artists, cowards, or stupid makes little difference. One courageous, informed voice once in awhile would be nice.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  forestermike
December 6, 2022 5:33 am

“The Republicans (RINO, neo, whatever) are pandering to a fraud, a hoax, a false scare. They should fight this great scam, not shrivel up like worms on a hot sidewalk.”

All these Republicans need to have a long talk with Dr. Happer. This should assure them there will be no climate crisis due to CO2. CO2 has done its “worst” already, and its worst is nothing to write home about.

Using Happer’s arguments, Republicans don’t have to dispute that CO2 is the control knob of the Earth’s temperatures, they can concede that (as much as I hate saying that) and just go with the concept that CO2 has “run its course” and more CO2 is not a danger to the atmosphere or to humans, and there is no need to bankrupt our economy trying to reduce CO2 further.

Last edited 2 months ago by Tom Abbott
Joe Born
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 6, 2022 8:05 am

As I reported, at least one Republican senator, Mike Braun of Indiana, has indeed had a talk with Dr. Happer.

Unfortunately, Sen. Braun didn’t seem to come away enlightened–even though in my opinion Sen. Braun as one of that body’s brighter members.

Hivemind
December 5, 2022 11:46 pm

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher used to say, “I smell the subtle stench of appeasement“.

186no
Reply to  Hivemind
December 6, 2022 1:44 am

She was referring to the rotting mass of organic (non fossil fuel) matter otherwise known as the brain cells of the brainwashed…..possibly. I take issue with the late Mrs T; the stench is far from subtle.

Tom Abbott
December 6, 2022 5:25 am

Excellent article!

Moriarty
December 6, 2022 8:10 am

As always, there is a lot of pressure to “do something.” The desire to please constituents by “doing something” is responsible for most of the ness we find ourselves in today.

I suggest the Conservative Climate Caucus should have the courage to do nothing. In fact, I suggest they disband. There is nothing conservative in big-government climate policy, just as their is nothing conservative in big-governent industrial policy.

Andy Pattullo
December 6, 2022 8:16 am

This commentary is right on the money. CO2 is doing nothing adverse to our climate or environment while, as atmospheric levels increase, it raises the potential for life on the planet. All life on Earth depends ultimately on CO2. None of the negative horrors we are told to expect from rising CO2 have happened except in imaginary climate models. All of the benefits are easily measured and reported from satellites to plant growth experiments and more. Simply put, the higher CO2 rises in the atmosphere (within the bounds of what humans can do) the more life on planet Earth. Making any policy decisions based on a desire to reduce CO2 emissions is idiocy.

That said, it is not a simple thing for a policy maker to swim against the current in a world saturated with climate propaganda. Getting the facts right (as in the above commentary) is only step one. Then we must enter the realm of propaganda and persuasion which is where the real battles are fought, not a pleasant experience for those of us who like to cling to reality, integrity and rational discussion.

Ronald Havelock
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
December 6, 2022 1:08 pm

Right on. There is no “crisis” and CO2 is not a pollutant. The facts clearly point to the falsity, even the stupidity of the case against CO2. This should not even be a partisan issue. Some Republicans think only about Jesus, but Jesus and other right wing hobby horses have absolutely nothing to do with it. The real science is clear, but the stupid and cowardly executives, for example, of the oil companies, say nothing or play along. The answer is “no crisis” and we are marching down into a world-wide crisis of energy starvation. This is not a liberal vs conservative issue, my friends. It is an issue of massive public ignorance, and no one standing up to shout the truth.

Joseph Zorzin
December 6, 2022 8:24 am

Here’s the web site for that caucus: https://curtis.house.gov/conservative-climate-caucus/

What We Believe

The climate is changing, and decades of a global industrial era that has brought prosperity to the world has also contributed to that change.

Private sector innovation, American resources, and R&D investment have resulted in lower emissions and affordable energy, placing the United States as the global leader in reducing emissions

Climate change is a global issue and China is the greatest immediate obstacle to reducing world emissions. Solutions should reduce global emissions and not just be “feel good” policies

Practical and exportable answers can be found in innovation embraced by the free market. Americans and the rest of the world want access to cheaper, reliable, and cleaner energy

With innovative technologies, fossil fuels can and should be a major part of the global solution

Reducing emissions is the goal, not reducing energy choices

What We Do

Educate House Republicans on climate policies and legislation consistent with conservative values

Organize co-dels and staff-dels to better understand technologies and issues related to climate

Organize Member and staff briefings on conservative climate proposals

Bring Republicans to the table to fight against radical progressive climate proposals that would hurt our economy, American workers, and national security

Introduce Republican members and staff to leaders in industry, think tanks, and more

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 6, 2022 8:25 am

can anyone tell me what a co-dell and staff-dels are?

Moriarty
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 6, 2022 8:33 am

Congressional delegations and staff delegations?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 6, 2022 6:18 pm

“The climate is changing, and decades of a global industrial era that has brought prosperity to the world has also contributed to that change.”

There is no evidence to substantiate that claim. None whatsoever.

So the Republican Conservative Caucus starts out with a false claim that not one of these conservatives could prove is true. The whole foundation of their beliefs is unsubstantiated speculation and assumptions.

There are just too many Repubicans who don’t have a clue. This is who we are depending on to save the situation. They won’t save us entertaining human-caused climate change delusions.

The radical Democrat Party cannot be saved when it comes to being a governing body of the United States. They will be the death of the United States.

The Repubican Party may have a chance of being saved, but there are a certain number of RINO’s and other clueless Repubicans who need to be weeded out of the mix before Republicans can become effective. Let’s hope it’s not too late for that already. We’ll know soon.

Last edited 2 months ago by Tom Abbott
Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 7, 2022 4:38 am

The recent Republican governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, was 100% into the climate lunacy. I never heard him challenge it in any way. We’re in real trouble if the Republicans don’t show some courage and intelligence on this issue.

stinkerp
December 6, 2022 3:12 pm

From the press release:

“Iowa is on the forefront of clean energy innovation and leads the nation in renewable energy exports…”

Is Iowa exporting uranium? ‘Cause that’s the only “renewable energy” that’s in a form that can be exported. You can’t export rivers (hydroelectric), wind, or solar radiation. Maybe he means “exports” in the form of electricity being sent to neighboring states over power lines on the interstate grid which isn’t what most people think of when they hear the word export. I’m a little worried about the collective intelligence of the Conservative Climate Caucus brain trust.

But if they formed it to facilitate a fun junket to Egypt courtesy of the American taxpayer, more power to them, as long as they don’t take themselves seriously.

Last edited 2 months ago by stinkerp
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