There’s some hot air in climate fears

It’s distressing to read and hear that our young people are suffering from mental health issues triggered by climate change concerns. This has led to high-risk coping behavior such as increased alcohol use and, occasionally, mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress. The events that have led to these issues include warnings of more severe storms, increased drought, warming and rising oceans, loss of species, and not enough food, among others.

I believe this has come about because the voices of catastrophic climate change are louder than those who favor a more balanced approach to the issue. With a fuller understanding of climate change, they might realize that it is a continuous process than began when the Earth was formed and sometimes it makes our planet more livable and on occasion makes it less livable.

For instance, Southern California is a desert and droughts are the norm. The current drought has been broken by winter snow and rain but eventually Southern California will return to drought conditions. Proof that oceans are warming was based on water temperatures taken at ship’s water intakes but that was found to be inaccurate. If you’ll notice storms have not become any more severe although they are better predicted and more fully reported by the media. Irrespective of climate change new species have developed and others have disappeared for as Darwin wrote life is survival of the fittest.

We are also obsessed with the apocalypse. Movies and television shows dealing with end of the world through freezing, meteor impact, pandemics, volcanic eruptions, alien invasions, and of course zombie apocalypses can be entertaining but a steady diet will have an impact on our view of the world.

A lot of politicians and others involved in the climate change movement play on people’s fears over climate change through remarks that seem meant to scare them or perhaps even misinform them in order to create a state of mind that makes them more amenable to that person’s arguments.

Al Gore led the way with his 2006 movie “An Inconvenient Truth” that displayed the supposed horrors of “global warming” in frightening if not exactly truthful detail. In 2008 Gore claimed the north polar icecap would be gone by 2013. Yet ten years later the ice is growing faster than ever in recorded history.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 2019 statement that humanity had 12 years to control global warming or the world would end deepened the fears of many was based on a misreported UN report. Ocasio-Cortez’s statement was delivered as fact but after the Associated Press reported there was no scientific evidence to back up her claim, she attacked Republicans for taking her remarks literally and seriously even though she originally meant them to be taken that way. Former President Barack Obama sometimes wonders why more people don’t take climate change seriously. Perhaps he should have a discussion with Representative Ocasio-Cortez.

Last year our President told one group that the world was on the verge nuclear Armageddon. But a month later he revised his remarks and told another group that global warming was the primary existential threat to humanity. That remark was fraudulent and calmer voices in the climate change debate stated it was not based on any scientific consensus, and in fact, ignored evidence of the environmental benefits of global warming that offset its harm. Studies published in 2015 and 2021 analyzed millions of deaths in numerous countries in recent decades and found that cooler temperatures kill several times more people than warmer temperatures. “Global warming,” environmental statistician Bjorn Lomborg wrote in September 2021,“now prevents more than 166,000 temperature-related fatalities annually.” Further studies showed that global warming has increased both agricultural yields and growth of forests, grasslands, and tree leaves.

A few Years back the National Park Service made news when it placed signs in Glacier National Park that informed shocked vacationers that the glaciers would be gone by 2020. In 2018 the signs were removed because the glaciers were still there. Glaciers grow and contract but seldom disappear.

In the early part of this century residents of the Maldives Islands in the Indian Ocean were looking for a new home after scientists warned them that there Island would be under water by 2018. Five years later the Maldives are still above water. Also, the real estate that was once thought destined for submergence beneath the sea is getting top dollars.

Some years ago, I wrote a column in which I mentioned that the polar bear population in Alaska and Canada had risen from an estimated 5,000 in the 1950s to more than 23,000 at the time of that column. I am now happy to report that despite hand wringing over melting ice and loss of habitat the population currently stands at 25,000.

Finally, to those of you living in fear of climate change I want to give you some advice. We may be undergoing climate change, even climate change man might have played a role in, but as you can see many things that were predicted to occur because of climate change have not occurred because those in the movement either misinterpret, misrepresent, or just don’t understand. So go and live your lives without fear.

Thomas Kirkpatrick Sr. is a Silver Creek resident. Send comments to editorial@observertoday.com


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