I have been accused of being a denier. No, not a denier of the Bishop Williamson variety – the holocaust of the Jews at the hands of the Nazis is a fact of history. What I have been accused of denying, if I understand my correspondent correctly, is climate change.
Just in case anybody reading this has been living in a cave for the last ten years, there is a wide-spread belief that humanity is bad for the planet. Human activity, so the theory goes, is causing the planet’s temperature to rise at an accelerating rate (the so-called hockey-stick curve). The main culprit, we are told, is carbon dioxide, which is produced in combustion reactions and animal respiration. Carbon dioxide is supposed to act as a greenhouse gas, allowing energy from sunlight to enter into the atmosphere to warm the planet, but trapping the heat so that less energy is radiated back out into space. Unless we do something, the polar ice caps are going to melt like Frosty the Snowman, and we’re all going to die horrible deaths.
To prevent this catastrophe, the alarmists say, we have to strictly control the generation of carbon dioxide. The “carbon footprint” of every person on the planet must be calculated and rationed. To advance the process, we must adhere to international protocols in which advanced western democracies accept upon themselves all of the responsibility for the sins of economic development and vow to do extreme penance.
For the record, I do not deny the possibility that the global mean temperature could be inching upward. Nor do I deny that man has an impact on the environment. What I do deny is the idea that punitive carbon dioxide restrictions are going to have any measurable effect, other than the utter destruction of western economies. Destroying the U.S. economy is not going to improve the economy or the environment in Swaziland.
Add to all of this the recent disclosure of emails and computer code from one of the major climate research groups, to the effect that the “science” is rigged to generate data in support of a pre-determined conclusion, and the hysteria of the global warming alarmists starts to look a little ridiculous. Much of the original temperature data from weather stations around the world has been destroyed. The only data now available from those weather stations is data that has been “adjusted” in ways that nobody seems willing or able to divulge.
Some people seem to be under the mistaken impression that those, like me, who don’t see global warming as an existential threat must want instead to remove all emissions controls and pollute the atmosphere. That’s simply not true. I like to breathe clean air – I just don’t think that carbon dioxide is a pollutant. Other pollutants can and should be controlled. We are stewards of God’s creation, and we have a responsibility before Him to care for the planet.
That is a responsibility that I do not deny.