Archive for the 'Climate realism' Category

Published by paulmacrae on 20 Aug 2022

Global warming myths: A ’sixth mass extinction’

Claims of a modern ‘human-caused biotic holocaust’ are based on computer models and guesswork, not scientific facts

BY PAUL MACRAE

In a popular textbook on writing creative non-fiction, the authors echo a familiar claim of global-warming alarmists: that thanks to our carbon emissions, we are creating a “sixth mass extinction” that will wipe out most of the planet’s animals and possibly humanity itself. The authors write:

Your [the reader’s] life has witnessed the eclipse of hundreds of thousands of species, even if they passed out of this world without your awareness. (The current rate of species extinction is matched only by that of the age of the dinosaurs’ demise.)1

This belief in a “current” mass extinction (usually blamed on climate change but also, much more plausibly, on habitat encroachment) is widely held and often cited by the environmental and anti-global-warming movements. For example, eco-crusader and former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, in his 1992 book Earth in the Balance, contended that we are losing 100 species a day, or almost 40,000 species a year.2 Gore took this figure from a book by biologist Norman Myers; where Myers got his numbers is discussed below.

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  1. Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola, Telling It Slant: Writing and Shaping Creative Non-Fiction. Toronto: McGraw-Hill, 2005, p. 35.
  2. Al Gore, Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit. Toronto: Penguin Books, 1993 (1992), p. 28.

Published by paulmacrae on 18 Aug 2022

James Lovelock: From ultra-alarmist to climate realist

Lovelock outraged many Greens by endorsing nuclear power to reduce carbon emissions and by criticizing as irrational the green movement’s fear of nuclear generation

By Paul MacRae

James Lovelock, the inventor of the “Gaia” theory of planetary wholeness, died July 26, 2022, at the age of 103. 

Lovelock, a medical doctor and ecologist, came to prominence with his theory of “Gaia,” which proposed that thanks to human consciousness the Earth had achieved a kind of sentience. He wrote that he was not “thinking of the Earth as alive in a sentient way, or even alive like an animal or a bacterium,”1 but Gaia is nonetheless a “vast being who in her entirety has the power to maintain our planet as a fit and comfortable habitat for life” and she is “now through us awake and aware of herself.”2

As an example of Gaia’s power, Lovelock noted that although the Sun has increased its intensity by about 30 per cent since the Earth was formed 4.5 billion years ago, Gaia had rather cleverly put the planet in an ice age so it won’t burn up,3 a strategy that worked well until human beings began to heat up Gaia with our fossil-fuel emissions, creating what he called a “fever.”

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  1. James E. Lovelock, The Revenge of Gaia, Toronto: Penguin Books, 2006, p. 20.
  2. Lovelock, Gaia. Toronto: Oxford Univ. Press, 1979, pp. vii, 2, 148.
  3. Gaia, p. 20.

Published by paulmacrae on 03 Jul 2014

Risky Business report misses the real risks

By Paul MacRae

A report written by top U.S. business magnates, including former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, warns that damage from climate change will cost billions of dollars and urges businesses to take action to stop global warming (“Global warming is serious business,” June 27, by Shannon Corrigan).

The report, entitled Risky Business, predicts that over the next century many parts of the world will be seared by heat and coastal areas will be inundated by several feet of rising sea levels, all caused by humans and their carbon emissions. For example, the report suggests that by the end of the century temperatures in Hawaii could be 2.2°-4.4° Celsius higher than today, with sea levels almost four feet higher.

Human activities have been raising CO2 levels over the past century, from about 300 parts per million to 400 ppm today. However, even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) admits in its latest report that, despite this increase in CO2, the planet has barely warmed since 1998.[1] The IPCC’s computer models predicted warming of at least third of a degree Celsius in that time.

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