Lawrence Solomon: The unspoken danger of CO2: It makes people go absolutely nutty

Lawrence Solomon: The unspoken danger of CO2: It makes people go absolutely nutty


Carbon dioxide, a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas, represents the most serious threat today to the citizenry of the developed world. No other substance known to man more often makes us go crazy.

“The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change” and combat CO2, Democrat firebrand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated two weeks ago, explaining her views and those of “millennials and Gen Z and all these folks that come after us.” A few days later the Doomsday Clock — the countdown to total nuclear annihilation established by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists during the Cold War — got wound up tighter than ever by adding CO2 to nuclear weaponry as an existential threat. “Today sets the Doomsday Clock at two minutes to midnight — the closest it has ever been to apocalypse,” the organization announced in a press release.

According to a fanciful study reported in The New York Times this week, the world as we knew it did end because of carbon dioxide, sort of, following Christopher Columbus’s discovery of the New World. After the white man’s oppression “wiped out 90 per cent of the indigenous population in the Americas, or about 55 million people … (the earth) then reclaimed the land that these populations left behind. The new vegetation pulled heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and into the land, contributing to what scientists refer to as the ‘Little Ice Age.’” Attributing climate change to Columbus on surmise based on speculation would in normal times be sensibly dismissed as the ravings of cranks. When the inmates run the asylum, and whispers of “climate” explain everything, no fantasy need withstand serious scrutiny.

For most of the last 30 years, Al Gore has been a prophet of doom, time and time again warning of catastrophe if we don’t repent, time and again coming up empty. His 2006 film, An Inconvenient Truth, warned of devastation from rising sea levels — animations showed Manhattan under water, along with San Francisco, Beijing, Shanghai, the Netherlands and much of Florida. Time and time again Gore predicted the melting of the polar caps, in 2008 announcing that “The entire North polar ice cap may well be completely gone in 5 years.” That never happened; today there is more sea ice in the Arctic than in recent years at this time.

In fact, none of the predicted man-made climate change disasters have occurred, except in the extrapolations of true believers. All weather events have been consistent with historical norms, including hurricanes, wildfires, droughts and also glaciers, some of which today recede while others today advance. Studies show polar bears are thriving. So is the global biota — as demonstrated by satellite data, the planet is greener than ever, a consequence of higher levels of carbon dioxide, aka “nature’s fertilizer.” Starvation is less rampant, too — so much food is being produced that obesity has become a major health concern in much of the Third World.

What is rampant is the proliferation of claims that blame climate change for all that ails us, quite apart from direct environmental calamities. Some blame climate change for wars in the Middle East, some for terrorism at home. Google “climate change” and the pet peeve of your choice and you’re likely to find some scientist, somewhere, showing a link between the two. The American Psychological Association speculates that climate change could be causing “higher levels of suicide, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, violence, aggression, interpersonal difficulties, and job-related difficulties” along with “loss of personal and professional identity, loss of social support structures, loss of a sense of control and autonomy and other mental health impacts such as feelings of helplessness, fear and fatalism.”

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists calls the world of today the “new abnormal.” But for the scientists at the Bulletin, it is normal to predict doom year after year — they have done so for more than 70 years. For the last 30 years, UN-approved climate scientists have likewise been predicting doom, over and over, and always with the same results.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” In line with this quote, attributed to Einstein, today’s climate-doomster scientists should be declared certifiably insane, and also culpable for driving so many others crazy. The only scientists who may be onto something are the psychologists.

Lawrence Solomon executive director of Toronto-basedEnergy Probe.[email protected]

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