As tempting as it often is to take our public policy cues from a 16 year old Scandinavian girl with no academic credentials who has spent the past year skipping school, and recently arrived here on a “zero-emissions yacht”…it might behoove us to look at some of the past predictions that certain members of the “environmentalist” movement and “scientific community” have made that…well…let’s just say, did not exactly come to pass. The Competitive Enterprise Institute recently compiled just such a list.
These are hardly fringe radicals outside the scientific mainstream. In reality they are among the most respected figures in the scientific community, with a slew of prestigious academic appointments, awards, and prizes to their names. How this reconciles with their outrageously inaccurate and wildly fanciful predictions is beyond me. Among them: massive widespread famine, the impending threat of an ice age, the destruction of the ozone, the grave peril of acid rain, the complete melting of polar ice caps, the disappearance of New York City and coastal Florida under rising sea levels, and the permanent end of snow in the United Kingdom.
Before you consider what Greta Thunberg has to say over the coming weeks, read this collection of two dozen unbelievably inaccurate predictions. Clearly, something is seriously wrong with the scientific and academic communities when such predictions are made, time and time again, resulting in absolutely no consequences. They are still teaching at prestigious universities. They are still heralded and acclaimed by the mainstream media. They still travel the world, peddling their falsehoods and distortions, earning millions of dollars in lucrative speaking fees, and collecting international accolades. They are still lauded by Hollywood elites, rock stars, and fawning print and broadcast journalists.
If the environmental movement, and their current flavor of the month climate alarmist darling Greta Thunberg, really want to save this planet, the best thing they could advocate for would be massive investment in nuclear power and the phasing out of coal-fired power plants. Strangely, however, many of these “scientists” don’t want to be associated with nuclear power in any way, even though it is by far the cleanest, cheapest, and safest source of energy that we have. Exactly how safe is nuclear power? In the entire history of its use in the United States, there has only been one incident which led to fatalities: a 1961 explosion at an Idaho research facility that killed three people.
Carbon emissions and economic growth go hand in hand. This has been demonstrated over and over again. The prospect of replacing carbon-based energy in the short or medium-term future is beyond preposterous.
If you disagree, then why don’t you start out by making a pledge to end use of fossil fuels in your own life? I ride an electric bike to school every day, not to be some climate change hero, but because it’s practical. Yet, I’m smart enough to understand that 63% of the power for our electric grid still comes from fossil fuels. To end, or even drastically reduce, the use of fossil fuels would necessitate nothing less than the shut-down of the global economy, and the entire supply-chain that runs it. If you are a true believer in Greta Thunberg and the climate alarmist movement…then at least don’t be a hypocrite.
Pledge to end your own personal use of fossil fuels: go out and burn your car to the ground, don’t heat your home in the winter, and never, ever get on another airplane again. See how far you get traveling by kayak, sailboat, bicycle, or on foot. I, for one, am thrilled to have access to a cheap and practical source of energy: fossil fuels are not going to destroy the planet or make it uninhabitable for human and animal life, and regardless of what Greta Thunberg has to say about it…their use is not going to decline any time soon, at least not in our lifetime. In fact, there is strong evidence to believe that fossil fuel use is going to explode over the coming decades, more than anywhere in the developing world….in places like Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia.
I admire Greta Thunberg for caring enough about her beliefs to actually arrive to the United States on a “zero-emissions sailboat.” However, I’ve read that she now plans to travel by land from New York City to Santiago, Chile for another climate change conference. Unless she plans to ride her bicycle those 8,000 miles, I’m pretty sure she is going to be burning a considerable amount of fossil fuels herself. Maybe instead of leading climate rallies, Greta could go into engineering and design better batteries for electric bikes, scooters, and cars…or design practical geothermal or solar-based heating systems for homes, or figure out how to build a plane that can be powered by renewable energy, and produce enough thrust to get off the ground.
As an Exxon-Mobil executive at a conference I went to earlier this year said, “Without fossil fuels…none of you would be here at this conference, unless you walked.” In fact, how many people who attended today’s “climate strike” used fossil fuels to get there? I’m going to guess at least 90% of them. Would I call that hypocritical? Well some might…but I am not going to. That would be too judgmental of me.