Letter: Questioning Climate Crisis

Instead of “Annual Youth Climate Conference Gives Students an Opportunity to Educate and Learn From Each Other”, the title should have been: “Annual Youth Conference Gives UMW Students an Opportunity to Misinform Students and Learn Climate Untruths from Each Other”.

There is no “Climate Crisis” except that in the fervid imaginations of those unaware of what real science is: “The attempt to discover the causes of natural phenomena, the practice of which is governed by the Scientific Method”.   Bottom line: Carbon Dioxide, CO2, whether from natural sources, as it was before the Industrial Revolution, and now also including man-made CO2 from burning fossil fuels, is plant food, the basis of food for all living things on earth.  CO2 reacts with water, H2O, in a chemical reaction energized by sunlight and catalyzed by chlorophyll, to make sugars such as glucose, the source of energy for plants and animals.  No CO2, no life.  More CO2 (up to about 20 times what we have now), more life.  Less CO2, less life.  It is food, and most definitely not pollution.

The CO2 generated by humans burning fossil fuels does contribute to atmospheric warming.  The total, manmade plus natural warming, since 1979 when satellite measurement of average atmospheric temperature was invented, has been only 0.15C per decade.  That means that if we do nothing at all, the temperature rise until 2050, when we supposedly will have to eliminate the use of fossil fuels to achieve “net zero”, will be less than .4C or 1F.  The technology simply doesn’t exist to do that and maintain a semblance of modern society with modern hospitals, energy for farming to produce our food, energy to pump clean drinking water, refrigeration for safe food, heat in the winter, cooling in the summer; the list is practically endless.

The idea that it can be done with “renewables”, solar and wind, is the pipe dream of dilettantes who haven’t a clue as to what they are talking about, and who are fundamentally ignorant of science and engineering.  

There are two distinct things that will happen to bring future society to net zero, long before warming will be a problem: 

One, as the re-greening of the earth continues, plants will increase their consumption of CO2, turning it into wood; they will pull it out of the atmosphere and fix it as a solid.   As deserts turn to savannas and forests, that rate will decline, reaching zero.

Two, technology.  While fossil fuels will always be around, their use will diminish and be replaced by cheap nuclear power, which is clean and does not emit any CO2.   The only thing holding back the commercialization of cheap nuclear power is incompetent regulators, but as other countries move forward, our regulators will catch up. 

By the end of this century there will be abundant nuclear energy to fuel our technologically advanced society; there is no reason to fear man-made catastrophic climate change.

Bill Stewart

by Martin Davis