By The Surge™ Staff On February 3, 2016
[This is part 2 in a series of excerpts of the book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels by Alex Epstein]
The entire modern enterprise of catastrophic climate change predictions, the enterprise that threatens our energy supply, is based on equating a demonstrated scientific truth, the greenhouse effect, with extremely speculative projections made by invalidated models.
In 1989, Bill McKibben pioneered this tactic in The End of Nature, wherein he called catastrophic climate change “the greenhouse effect.” That would have been news to one of the discoverers of the greenhouse effect, Svante Arrhenius, who regarded increased CO2 emissions as a very positive phenomenon. In 1896 he said: “By the influence of the increasing percentage of carbonic acid in the atmosphere, we may hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates, especially as regards the colder regions of the earth, ages when the earth will bring forth much more abundant crops than at present, for the benefit of rapidly propagating mankind.”28 (Remember this when we get to the fertilizer effect section below.)
Yet McKibben and others equate the greenhouse effect, dramatic global warming, and catastrophic global warming as it suits their political goals. By this kind of trickery, those who dispute catastrophic global warming are accused of denying the greenhouse effect and global warming. I experienced this in 2013 when I woke up to find myself named to Rolling Stone’s Top 10 list of “Global Warming’s Denier Elite”29 —in which they cited three articles of mine, each of which explained that CO2 has a warming effect! Here’s what we know. There is a greenhouse effect. It’s logarithmic. The temperature has increased very mildly and leveled off completely in recent years. The climate-prediction models are failures, especially models based on CO2 as the major climate driver, reflecting a failed attempt to sufficiently comprehend and predict an enormously complex system.
But many professional organizations, scientists, and journalists have deliberately tried to manipulate us into equating the greenhouse effect with the predictions of invalid computer models based on their demonstrably faulty understanding of how CO2 actually affects climate.