Image: Artist’s illustration of events on the sun changing the conditions in Near-Earth space. Credits: NASA. Public domain.
Richard Epstein, Chicago Law, NYU Law, and Hoover Defining Ideas, elucidates his views from his Defining Ideas essay. The campaign to alarm all on global warming, especially recently in the UN by a teenager. In the US, this seems not to be a useful political tack as it’s now commingled in many people’s minds with genuinely concerning other social matters. Weather is capricious; it’s been a lovely autumn in New York; no leading indicator suggests we’re headed for trouble. . . . The frequency of extreme events has not gone up. Polar bear population overall is doing well. Worrisome photos from 1908 show that it was unexpectedly warm then. The basic theoretical problem: something is driving temps down. Feb 2016- Feb 2018, temperatures went down by 0.57 degrees Centigrade. Hundreds [500?] of climate scientists wrote to the UN SG*: “There is no climate emergency. Natural factors cause warming. Slowly.” Climate relates in some way to sunspots. The sunspot low in the Seventeenth Century. The notorious hockey stick. The IPCC in 1991. Fires and forest management. The starting-point for graphs is centrally important. Arrhenius’s Law. Chaos theory can be misleading. A chaotic system is purely deterministic. “CO2 is plant food. Policy must respect economic and political realities.”
* Main points
1 Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause warming.
2. Warming is far slower than predicted.
3. Climate policy relies on inadequate models.
4. CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a plant food that is essential to all life on Earth. Photosynthesis is a blessing. More CO2 is beneficial for nature, greening the Earth: additional CO2 in the air has promoted growth in global plant biomass. It is also good for agriculture, increasing the yields of crops worldwide.
5. Global warming has not increased natural disasters.
6. Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities.
7. There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic.