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President Trump’s Committee on Climate Security: A Much-Needed, Overdue Return to Science

March 11, 2019

President Donald Trump plans to appoint a panel to find out if man-made climate change is actually causing an imminent, irreversible, insurmountable, inescapable crisis that threatens not only the entire human species, but planet Earth as a whole. Shouldn't we find out whether there truly is an impending catastrophe before committing literally trillions of dollars for prevention and remediation, putting at risk the well being of billions of people affected by expensive and unavailable energy? This committee requires urgent support!

On February 20, the Washington Post reported on leaked National Security Council planning documents regarding an executive order to establish a committee “to advise the President on scientific understanding of today’s climate, how the climate might change in the future under natural and human influences, and how a changing climate could affect the security of the United States.”

In an effort to prevent the formation of this committee, a vicious defamation campaign has been launched against Dr. Happer, a distinguished scientist and Princeton Professor of Physics who has been asked to head the committee. Happer is also a deputy assistant to the president and the National Security Council's senior director for emerging technologies.

The Post snidely noted that several studies have already been performed by various US agencies, but that the NSC document had the audacity to assert that, “These scientific and national security judgments have not undergone a rigorous independent and adversarial scientific peer review to examine the certainties and uncertainties of climate science, as well as implications for national security.”

Happer, the former director of the Department of Energy research program (with a annual budget of $6 billion) has been accused of lacking expertise in the subject matter and of being in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry. This last charge is both untrue in Happer's case, and is selectively applied: how often are proponents of impending climate doom attacked for being part of the multi-trillion-dollar Climate, Inc.?

Two questions are raised most prominently: is the science settled, and what are the actual costs involved in a Green New Deal?

SAY NO TO THE GREEN NEW DEAL!

Is the Science ‘Settled’?

A March 5 letter signed by 58 self-described “national security leaders” opposes the climate committee on the grounds that the science is already settled: “Climate change is real, it is happening now, it is driven by humans, and it is accelerating. The overwhelming majority of scientists agree: less than 0.2% of peer-reviewed climate science papers dispute these facts. In this context, we are deeply concerned by reports that National Security Council officials are considering forming a committee to dispute and undermine military and intelligence judgments on the threat posed by climate change. This includes second-guessing the scientific sources used to assess the threat, such as the rigorously peer-reviewed National Climate Assessment, and applying that to national security policy.”

Statistics such as the 0.2% cited in this letter, and the commonly heard “97% of scientists” who agree with climate change are both misleading and inaccurate. First off, there has been no meaningful survey of all scientists with relevant knowledge in this field. Secondly, it is essential to unpack what it might mean to “agree with” or “acknowledge” climate change. Clearly, climate change exists, and has existed for the history of the earth, even without human involvement.

The question is not whether but to what extent human-caused changes in the atmosphere drive climate variations, and whether such changes are good or bad. A meaningful statistic (but one that does not exist) would indicate levels of agreement with more specific claims:

  • What would be the impact of doubling atmospheric CO₂?
  • To what extent does water vapor cause a feedback effect?
  • To what extent must we take into account the solar magnetic field's effect on the creation of clouds via cosmic radiation?
  • What is the certainty range on these predictions?
  • How well have climate models of the last two decades fared at predicting the global climate of the past 5 to 10 years?
  • Will the specific, foreseen changes in climate be beneficial or harmful, or a mixture of the two?

The climate of the earth, as it exists in the solar system, is much more complex than a foolishly simple yes-no question about believing in or “denying” climate change.

And how can any such changes be determined? An individual cannot possibly notice that the climate is changing through their personal experience, which is necessarily limited in location and time. And it is of course absolutely laughable to claim that anyone could know, through their personal experience of weather, the cause of any such changes.

Science is not fashion. It is not decided by taking a poll or by seeing what is most popular. The idea that the Earth moves around the Sun was not popular, but it is true. Einstein's theory of relativity was not supported by a popular vote, but it is true. A scientific argument that relies on appeals to authority is suspect. But, sadly, it coheres with modern education, in which the joy of discovery through experiment is replaced by learning formulas but not their origin, and by performing virtual, simulated “experiments” on iPads, rather than learning by interacting directly with the physical world.

A true, adversarial review of supposedly obvious climate truths is needed to sort out the wheat from the chaff.

What are the Costs?

The United States currently relies on hydrocarbons (fossil fuels) for 78% of its energy needs. The recently proposed Green New Deal calls for a reduction of net CO₂ emissions down to zero within a decade. So-called “renewables,” which currently provide 17% of our electricity, would have to be scaled up to provide 100%. And that doesn't even address the majority of U.S. energy use, which is not electricity. Transportation by air, land, and sea is overwhelmingly powered by hydrocarbons. What would it take to transition to 100% electric surface transportation? And would this even be technically possible for air and water transportation?

The worldwide costs for the less ambitious goals put forward by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are absolutely mind-blowing. Their Special Report “Global Warming of 1.5°C” claims that in order to prevent a temperature rise beyond 1.5°C, CO₂ emissions must be brought down to net zero by 2050. Point D.5.3 of the summary for policymakers gives an estimate of the cost: “Global model pathways limiting global warming to 1.5°C are projected to involve the annual average investment needs in the energy system of around 2.4 trillion USD2010 between 2016 and 2035.”

This absurd goal is belied by the world's rapidly increasing use of fossil fuel energy to eliminate poverty and provide high living standards. China's CO₂ emissions tripled from 2000 to 2012. During that period, poverty in China decreased from 40.5% in 1999 to 6.5% in 2012, according to the World Bank. Even under the Paris Agreement, Chinese CO₂ emissions are expected to double by 2030, while those from India are expected to triple. Reliable and affordable energy means electricity in schools, fuel for agricultural equipment, transportation of crops to market, high-value-added manufacturing, top-tier research facilities, and efficient movement of people and goods; this brings higher life expectancies, lower disease rates, improved nutrition and education.

Simply put, the green agenda means a reduction of human life and of human living standards. In a recent interview, Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore was very direct:

I suppose my main objection is the effective elimination of 80 percent of the world's energy would likely eliminate 80 percent of the world's people in the end. I mean, just growing food, for example — how would we grow food for the world's people without tractors and trucks, and all of the other machinery that is required to deliver food, especially to the inner cities of large centers like Moscow, Shanghai and New York City? How would we get the food to the stores? It's symptomatic of the fact that people who live in cities just take it for granted that this food appears there for them in supermarkets in great variety, healthy food to keep them alive when they couldn't possibly grow it for themselves with such dense populations. And if, in fact, fossil fuels were banned, agricultural productivity would fall dramatically and people would starve by the millions. So, that is just a little bit of why I think it's a ridiculous proposal.

The costs for implementing a Green New Deal or comparable policy are enormous, and every dollar spent on such projects is a dollar unavailable for other uses, such as education, research, or eliminating poverty through bringing online much-needed efficient power.

Given the enormous, real costs of any plan to reduce CO₂ emissions or to mitigate against purported climate catastrophe, wouldn't it be remarkably irresponsible to future generations, if we were not absolutely certain about the science and models behind climate predictions, and of the costs (and benefits) of changing CO₂ levels?

Where Did This Come From?

In a recent article, Megan Beets reports that

The modern environmentalist movement, to which so many deluded people in the West today pay obeisance, was never a grassroots movement of concerned youth, and never had anything to do with saving the Earth. It was created and promoted from the beginning by the British Empire to stop development: as a depopulation policy.
Emerging out of the eugenics movement, which became somewhat unpopular in the wake of Hitler’s genocide, the re-branded “ecology” or “conservation” movement continued the goal of maintaining the pre-war colonial system in the post-WWII world.
In 1968, money from some of the biggest oligarchical families in the West was deployed to found the Club of Rome, which declared,

"In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine, and the like would fit the bill….But in designating them as the enemy, we fall into the trap of mistaking symptoms for causes…. The real enemy, then, is humanity itself."

In parallel the United Nations sponsored a series of conferences on population in the mid-1970s to promote the idea that human population growth is a cancer on the planet, and launched the hoax of “sustainable development.”

A cultural paradigm shift occurred in the 1960s and 1970s, transforming the understanding of the relation of human beings to nature, and transforming the meaning of “progressive” from supporting progress to preventing it!

Beets argues: Out of this process—not honest scientific work—came the formation of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988, with a goal of inducing nations into signing binding agreements to limit their own development and industrialization based on lies of the dangers of CO₂ and a coming climate apocalypse.

Unstated Assumptions

From this paradigm shift arise the unstated assumptions that underlie the emotional response that many people have to these issues. One is a definition of “natural” that excludes human activity, implicitly creating the goal that humans should simply not exist. This goes along with the shift from global warming (which is a specific change that could cause problems) to climate change, taking the assumption that any change to the climate would be bad, simply by virtue of its being change. Is this true? For example, using desalinated ocean water to transform a desert with a remarkably low level of biological activity into a lush garden would be a good change!

The results of the Presidential Committee on Climate Science could challenge these assumptions, and could have cultural effects extending beyond the debate over this single issue.

Review Needed

The climate narrative has largely been controlled by climate alarmists. Now it's time to give other experts a change to weigh in, to have an open, sound, honest scientific discussion.

Mr. President, for economic, scientific, and even cultural reasons, we call on you to move forward and appoint your Presidential Committee on Climate Science!

SUPPORT TRUMP'S CLIMATE COMMITTEE

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

SUPPORTING MATERIAL


Stop the Anti-Climate Science Totalitarians

They want to upend and transform America, but demand No Debate on underlying “science”

by Paul Driessen, CFACT

Democrats, climate campaigners and renewable energy interests are in full outrage mode over news that President Trump intends to launch a Presidential Committee on Climate Science. He should do it now.

The PCCS would, at long last, review and question the “dangerous man-made climate change” reports by federal agencies and investigations funded by them. The committee would be led by Dr. Will Happer, a highly respected scientist and well known skeptic—not of climate change, but of man-made climate chaos. He would be joined by other prominent experts—of whom there are many—who share his doubts.

No way! the climate alarmists rant. How dare you question our disaster claims? Our settled science?

No! How dare YOU use those claims to justify your agenda—and your continued efforts to bludgeon and silence us into submission—without letting anyone examine, much less debate, your supposed evidence?

For years, you have loudly and incessantly asserted that the United States and world must end fossil fuel use, or we are “doomed.” Now you’re demanding that the United States completely upend its energy production, transportation and manufacturing sectors, housing and office buildings, and entire economy. You want the federal government to control and limit our lives, choices and living standards—and redistribute our wealth, even to those “unwilling to work,” according to confiscatory socialist principles.

For years, you Democrats, environmentalists, Deep State bureaucrats, government-grant-dependent scientists, news and social media have colluded to censor and silence man-made climate chaos skeptics, and stifle any debate. All of you have huge financial, reputational and power stakes in this.

Your Climate Industrial Complex is a $2-trillion-per-year global behemoth. Your Green New Deal (GND) would cost this nation up to $93 trillion by 2030—sticking every US family with a $65,000 annual bill.

And still you insist that the science is settled, that there is no room for discussion, that we must act immediately to “save the planet” from climate and extreme weather disaster. Now you want to wrap up your kangaroo court proceedings—with our side given no opportunity to present our evidence, defend fossil fuels and carbon dioxide, examine your alleged evidence, or cross-examine your experts.

If your evidence is so solid and unimpeachable, you should be more than happy to lay it on the table, subject it to scrutiny, question our experts, and let us question yours—extensively and mercilessly.

After all, the future of our planet is at stake—or so you claim. The future of our country certainly is.

Your radical agenda and actions are un-American, totalitarian, anti-science, and contrary to our most fundamental principles of open, robust debate—on one of the most critical issues in US history.

A large majority of Americans believe our planet has warmed and is warming. No one denies that. And thank goodness, or we’d still be stuck in the Little Ice Age. But that’s not the issue. The issues are: Is any likely future warming going to be disastrous? And are humans and fossil fuels to blame?

You claim the answer is Yes. Again, where is your proof? If you have any actual evidence, lay it on the table. Show us exactly where the natural forces that have driven countless climate changes throughout history end—and where the human factors begin. Quantify them. Don’t give us computer models that simply reflect the assumptions that went into them. Present solid, Real World evidence. If you have any.

While you’re at it, you also need to prove that dismantling America’s energy and economic system will make one whit of difference in our climate and weather (assuming for the sake of argument that human carbon dioxide emissions now drive climate and weather)—when China, India and other countries are building thousands of coal and natural gas fueled power plants, and millions of cars and trucks.

Their emissions already dwarf ours. And they are not going to give up fossil fuels for decades, if ever.

Prove your GND energy system can actually power America, without destroying jobs, living standards, manufacturing, health, prosperity and our environment. As I have said over, over and over, it cannot be done. Your alternatives are not workable, affordable, green, renewable, ethical, ecological or sustainable.

Here are just a couple Real World climate science facts that alarmists don’t want exposed or discussed.

Temperatures have risen by tenths or hundredths of a degree in recent years—less than the margin of error, and most of the “highest temperatures on record” have been in urban areas, where local man-made heat skews the data. We’re also experiencing record cold and snow in numerous locations.

The average prediction by 102 climate models is now a full degree Fahrenheit above what satellites are measuring. Michael Mann’s climate model could concoct hockey sticks from telephone numbers and other random numbers. Are we supposed to trust these models on critical energy policy?

Violent tornadoes (F3 to F5) averaged 56 per year from 1950 to 1985. But from 1986 to 2018 only 34 per year touched down in the USA on average—and for the first time ever not one did in 2018. The March 3 Alabama tornado was tragic, and the 2-mile-wide 2013 Oklahoma City monster lasted 40 minutes. But the 1925 Tri-State Twister was a mile wide, traveled a record 220 miles, lasted a record 3.5 hours, and killed a record 695 people.

Hurricanes becoming more frequent and intense? From 1920 through 1940, ten Category 3-5 hurricanes made US landfall; from 1960 through 1980, eleven; 1980 through 2000, ten; 2001 through 2018, nine. There is no trend. Moreover, Harvey and Irma in 2017 were the first category 3-5 hurricanes to make U.S. landfall in a record twelve years. The previous record was nine years, set in the Civil War era.

A warmer Arctic? The Washington Post did report that “the Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer, and in some places seals are finding the water too hot.” But that was in 1922! Cycles!

Polar bear populations are the highest on record: between 24,500 and 28,500 or more of them!

Oceans cannot become “more acidic,” because they are not and have never been acidic. Earth’s oceans are slightly alkaline. That slight alkalinity has decreased slightly (from perhaps 8.2 on the pH scale to perhaps 8.1) over the past few decades. But they are not getting acidic … and won’t anytime soon.

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is the miracle molecule without which most life on Earth would cease to exist. In fact, the more CO₂ in the air, the faster and better crop, forest and grassland plants grow—and the better they can withstand droughts, diseases, and damage from insects and viruses.

In fact, a slightly warmer planet with more atmospheric CO₂ would be tremendously beneficial for plants, wildlife and humanity. A colder planet with less carbon dioxide would greatly reduce arable land extent, growing seasons, wildlife habitats, crop production and our ability to feed humanity.

Millions of Americans are exasperated with Republicans like Congressman John Shimkus of Illinois, who recently whined that it’s “just not worth the fight anymore” to battle climate alarmism—and protect our nation and our children’s future. Elected officials like him need to get spinal implants, learn the Climate Facts, or resign and turn their seats over to someone who will fight for us. That’s why we need the PCCS.

It’s why they hope the President Trump we elected to clean out the Deep State … show why man-made climate chaos claims are pseudo-science … and Make America Great Again for decades to come … will demonstrate his toughness and leadership right now, when we really need him to.

We need to tell Mr. Trump: Please stand up to these Climate Totalitarians who want to destroy our nation, in the name of saving the planet from climate disasters that exist only in computer models, Hollywood movies, and self-serving assertions by the Climate Industrial Complex. Alarmists have controlled the climate narrative thus far. Now we need to give other experts a chance to weigh in, loud and clear.

Appoint your Presidential Committee on Climate Science now! Give sound, honest science a chance.

Contact the White House now.

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and author of articles and books on energy, environmental and human rights issues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

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