Climate Policies Continue to Mislead the Public

June 11, 2021 Updated: June 15, 2021

Commentary

I had previously written about the problems of the global warming hypothesis. This article is a continuation of the same topic. I will elaborate on how some people identified a stand-in for the global warming hypothesis, and how they fool governments and the general public into paying for their so-called climate policy.

“Global warming” has disappeared from the vocabulary of the Biden administration’s climate policy. This is because there have been several unusually cold winters after the global warming theory was touted, thus many people began to question it. However, in terms of relevant policies, global warming hasn’t disappeared completely. Is there any difference between global warming and climate change? In fact, the two terms are essentially the same thing—global warming entered the various international summits under a new name: climate change.

Governments and international organizations now use the term “climate change” and have formulated a series of related policies to prevent climate change.

According to a report from Deutsche Welle on Feb. 3, 2007, it was President George W. Bush who first used the term “climate change” during his tenure. President Barack Obama inherited the entire climate change game from the Bush administration.

After President Donald Trump took office, he declared that climate change was “a hoax” and subsequently withdrew from the Paris climate agreement.

Does the Earth’s Temperature Keep Rising?

The core argument of the climate change theory is still based on the global warming hypothesis, which blames carbon dioxide emissions for the continual increase of global temperature. Therefore, it continues to stress that mankind must implement policies to reduce various carbon dioxide emissions.

However, does the Earth’s temperature continue to rise?

Based on temperature records, from 1983 to 2008, many places on Earth were much warmer than before, but at the end of 2009, many regions had a severely cold winter.

In January 2019, the average temperature in the Great Lakes region of North America dropped around -34 degrees C to -40 degrees C (-29 F to -40 F), and many cities and towns experienced record low temperatures. In early February 2021, the United States again had cold snaps several times, and cold weather spread to the central region, causing many areas to reach record low temperatures. Even Texas was among the severely affected areas.

Online research reports show that the change in global temperature from January 1999 to December 2008 is plus or minus 0.07 degrees Celsius, which is much less than the plus or minus 0.18 degrees Celsius of the previous 10 years. It’s basically stable, and the main cause of global temperature fluctuation is the El Niño, an oceanic and climatic phenomenon.

G.G. Matishov, the academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and the scientific director of the Southern Scientific Center RAS, believes that the world isn’t warming up, but rather cooling down. In his opinion, the climate is cyclical and now the warming cycle is over and the Earth is entering the cooling cycle.

In an interview with the Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta on Feb. 23, Matishov stated that what awaits mankind isn’t global warming, but the Little Ice Age. He has been doing research in the Arctic since 1965 and believes that there is no such thing as global warming. If the theory of global warming is correct, then the Arctic ice would have already melted. Matishov also said that since the Arctic temperature has slightly increased in recent years, this led some people to believe that global warming is the trend. However, the Arctic in 1878 and 1933 were in the same warm cycle, but since then entered a cold cycle again.

“Is our memory really so short?” Matishov said.

Epoch Times Photo
Ice is seen floating in the Arctic Ocean in this undated photo. There is a hot debate among climate skeptics and scientists on how much the world’s ice is melting or accumulating. (Courtesy of NOAA News)

He believes that to understand the trend of climate change, one must look at data accumulated over at least 100 years, rather than focusing on events that have occurred in the past couple of years.

Matishov pointed out that the climate is cyclical, and mankind is now witnessing the beginning of a new Ice Age. He believes the warm cycle that caused the temperature to rise in the Arctic has ended, and the climate is turning into a cold cycle. He said that the European part of Russia has experienced extremely cold winters, droughts, and heavy precipitation—all these factors support his claim.

Matishov also noted that the Antarctic ice sheet is a very stable system, and the argument that global warming will lead to ice sheet melting, sea level rising, and severe flooding is false.

However, the “political correctness” camp obstructed the debunking of the global warming theory. Obsessed with their own political and economic interests, they used political power to suppress criticism of the global warming theory, and at the same time continued to push forward various arguments supporting it. Additionally, these arguments were used as the basis for the forceful implementation of various policies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. In recent years, global summits are the international arena for this group of people to turn their political agenda into policies and regulations in different countries.

What Are the Causes of Climate Change?

The Earth’s surface temperature is always changing. The temperature change is usually fluctuating, and there are natural climate cycles. Each cycle may last several decades or even millions of years. The fluctuation may be regional or global, and the factors causing these changes are numerous and mostly due to natural factors, including solar radiation, changes in the Earth’s orbit, continental drift, changes in ocean currents, and orogenic movements.

These natural factors are beyond human control. Of course, changes in climate may also be related to human activities. However, it is unscientific to attribute all climate changes to the economic activities of mankind.

In my previous article, I summarized how these natural factors led to climate changes, and I pointed out that so far, the scientific community can’t describe or explain them clearly due to their complexity. The global warming hypothesis emerged as a result of an unscientific approach—some scientists chose to ignore the influence of all-natural factors and use carbon dioxide emissions to explain the short-term temperature changes on Earth.

The climate change claim inherited all the arguments from the global warming hypothesis, making the successor as questionable as the predecessor.

Let me use an analogy to illustrate what these theories amount to: If someone notices that a plant in the backyard is not growing well, without analyzing whether the weather, soil conditions, pests, diseases, and moisture levels have changed compared to previous years, he subjectively asserts that it is the resident’s outdoor barbecue activities that are solely responsible for the unhealthy state of the plant.

Are Experts Right in Their Calculation?

Since the climate change theory became a government policy, carbon dioxide emissions have become a rigid indicator. However, there are serious human errors in the calculations, that is, researchers only calculate carbon dioxide emissions, but refuse to calculate carbon dioxide absorption by plants.

It’s high school knowledge that plants use light to turn carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates, a process known as photosynthesis, yet scholars doing research on carbon dioxide concentration choose to ignore this part of the carbon cycle.

Epoch Times Photo
Rainforest near Victoria Falls in this undated photo. (Ninara)

Twenty years ago, I participated in a conference hosted by a nonprofit organization, and one of the topics was global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions. During the conference, I asked a climate expert, “How do you calculate the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed?”

He really surprised me when he replied that such calculations are too complicated and scientists like him choose to ignore it.

I then asked him, “Does this mean that the natural balance of carbon dioxide in the air in North America, which has a high degree of vegetation coverage, and that of African deserts, are treated the same way?”

In North America where there are many lush, green, open spaces, the carbon dioxide emitted by cars can be absorbed to a large extent in rural and suburban areas, but very little in cities and deserts. Would it be inaccurate if scientists only calculate carbon dioxide emissions in each country, without knowing how much carbon dioxide is absorbed in different regions? This expert finally admitted that they have to stick to their unscientific method, otherwise they won’t be able to get research funding.

Pushing Policies Based on Flawed Theories

There is a Chinese idiom, “He who is muddle-headed tries to educate others.” The decision-makers of climate policies in various countries seem to fit in this category.

As a matter of fact, to analyze the relationship between carbon dioxide emissions and absorption in a country, some scientists proposed an index called carbon flux, which is the amount of carbon exchanged between carbon pools in a certain region.

However, up to now, no country cares about the carbon flux data, and there is no research paper that discusses this measurement. I only found one such paper written by a Chinese scholar at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania in 2011, and it was the study of the history of carbon flux changes in peatlands on Earth.

The recent climate summit set the goal of “carbon neutrality” by 2050, also known as net-zero emissions. Climate policy advocates and researchers list three main methods to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions. First, planting trees and growing forests to absorb more carbon dioxide; second, replacing coal and oil with wind and solar energy; third, giving money to developing countries to help them emit less carbon dioxide.

The first method itself reflects the fallacy of climate policy. Since climate policy advocates and researchers refuse to calculate the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by existing plants in various countries, it’s equivalent to assuming that the amount of carbon dioxide uptake by all plants is negligible. Then why do they list afforestation as the top priority of climate policy? Conversely, since planting trees and afforestation has become the top priority of climate policy, it means that people who advocate climate policy actually know that plants can absorb carbon dioxide. Why do they refuse to calculate how much carbon dioxide is absorbed by plants in various regions on Earth?

Based on this fallacy, climate policy has proposed the so-called green energy program as an alternative to coal and oil. If the general public understands that climate policy isn’t solid science, they will certainly reject this costly alternative.

The third method could also fail, because even when developing countries receive subsidies for carbon reduction, it’s not a guarantee that they’ll stop using coal and oil.

In addition, there are two drastically different methods in the current monitoring of carbon dioxide concentration in the global atmosphere: super-macro and super-micro.

  1. Super-macro: Although there are more than 200 observation points monitoring the changes of carbon dioxide concentration in the world, only global data is given, while the data collected from each country’s observation stations is absent. Therefore, it’s impossible to determine whether the global data can represent the trend of changes in the carbon dioxide concentration in each country.
  2. Super-micro: For instance, global data often comes from an observation point in Hawaii, and sometimes from another observation point in Australia. However, do we really know to what extent the changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations at these two observation points are caused by local human activities, or by other factors, such as whether the volcanic eruptions in Hawaii caused an excessive increase of carbon dioxide?

When the leftists in Western countries are in power, they pursue so-called progressivism and include all the policies they want to promote into the category of progressivism and political correctness, labeling their opponents as backward and ignorant. In such a setting, climate policy is promoted as an unquestionable issue. They are actually using “political correctness” to interfere with scientific research and hype up the issue in order to push forward certain policies. Subsequently, the same group of people would profit from these policies as well as bolster their political image.

Needless to say, the general public can easily fall prey to such a large-scale and concerted brainwashing campaign and become indoctrinated.

Cheng Xiaonong is a scholar of China’s politics and economy based in New Jersey. Cheng was a policy researcher and aide to former Chinese Communist Party leader Zhao Ziyang. He also served as chief editor of Modern China Studies.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.