The imposed perspective on climate change these days claims to have a consensus, and has demonized a beneficial trace gas component of the atmosphere, while blaming us polluting human beings as the energy-addicted culprits that over-produce this “poison”, thus causing a (truly negligible) rise in average temperatures.
In honor of our fantastic planet, leading up to Earth Day this April 22nd, we ask that you think seriously about the fact that carbon dioxide is the primary “food” for plants, processed by sunlight, that replenishes oxygen and regenerates the vegetation for our shared “green” home.
PLANTS NEED AND LOVE CARBON DIOXIDE!
“Redemption of the Beast: Global Change and the Carbon Cycle”
(Highlight quotes extracted from Randall Carlson’s essay)
. . . So, it is apparent that Nature has the ability to remove large amounts of carbon dioxide from the global atmosphere. It is this uptake of CO2 that removes at least half the amount that is being emitted through fossil fuel combustion. Whatever the exact distribution of CO2 into the various sinks it is clear that a substantial portion of it is being consumed by the biosphere in the process of photosynthesis. It is also apparent to many researchers that if not continuously replenished the ocean alone would relatively quickly sequester so much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere that it would severely affect photosynthetic processes. Many workers in the field have, over the years, commented on the paucity of CO2 in the atmosphere and the positive role it plays in biological processes. A couple of examples will serve to demonstrate the attitude about carbon dioxide before its demonization as the driver of global warming disaster. Near the end of the 19th Century T. C. Chamberlin, one of the most influential geologists of that era and founder of the Journal of Geology, wrote:
“The virtues of carbon dioxide are in inverse ratio to the sinister reputation which “a little knowledge” and a narrow homocentric point of view have given it. As a constituent of the atmosphere it is as necessary to the maintenance of life as oxygen because it is the food of plants and they in turn are the food of animals. Its peculiar competency to retain the heat of the sun renders it a decisive factor in the maintenance of that measurable constancy and geniality of temperature upon which the existence of life depends. It is a leading agency in the disintegration of crystalline rock and is a necessary factor in other geologic changes. It is an essential link in a chain of vital processes which involve all the constituents of the atmosphere.” ***** p7
[from] Liu, Zaihua, Wolfgang Dreybrodt, Haijing Wang (2010) A new direction in effective accounting for the atmospheric CO2 budget: Considering the combined action of carbonate dissolution, the global water cycle and photosynthetic uptake of DIC [dissolved inorganic carbon] by aquatic organisms: Earth Science Reviews, vol. 99, pp. 162-172
“One of the most important challenges in the science of global change is effective accounting of the global budget for atmospheric CO2. Anthropogenic activities have clearly altered the global carbon cycle and significant gaps exist in our understanding of this cycle. Roughly half of the CO2 emitted by burning fossil fuels remains in the atmosphere, and the other half is absorbed by the oceans and the terrestrial biosphere. The partitioning between these two sinks is the subject of considerable debate. Without robust accounting for the fate of CO2 leaving the atmosphere predictions of future CO2 concentrations will remain uncertain.”
Consider well the use of the term “uncertain” in this context. If the future CO2 concentrations are uncertain, how can any projections as to climatological effects be certain? As one learns more about the actual science involved in this debate about carbon dioxide driven climate change the more it becomes apparent that uncertainty is the preeminent trait of our present knowledge of global change on all levels, and the constant refrain that the science is settled are seen to be downright duplicitous. ***** p7
From all of the preceding we now understand that enormous amounts of carbon dioxide are being drawn out of the atmosphere, about half of the increase over the past century has been consumed by Earth’s vegetation. And what effect, if any, is the consumption of all this carbon dioxide having on the plants of the world? Plants Love Carbon Dioxide ***** p7
Let’s return to the other side of the issue, the one that manages to be neglected in most mainstream discussions of climate change − the positive, yes positive, role of carbon dioxide in critical biological processes. As pointed out above, in the work of T. C. Chamberlin and A. G. Norman, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is very low relative to its importance for the health of the biosphere because of its fundamental role in photosynthesis. Reduce the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide by even a small amount and plant life suffers, and hence, the entire chain of life. In fact, the amount of reduction that would begin to have serious effects on plant life is a mere 2 parts out of 10,000. So, given that a small decrease in the amount of carbon dioxide in the global atmosphere would be detrimental to plant life, what about the biological and environmental effects of increasing the amount available to plants? As it turns out there exists an enormous body of research into this question and to that important matter we will now turn. ***** p10
In the same year that he published Carbon Dioxide and Agricultural Yield, Kimball coauthored another valuable paper with Sherwood B. Idso. Idso has been associated with Arizona State University as Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Geology, Geography, Botany and Microbiology, but his primary work was as Research Physicist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the Agricultural Research Service in Phoenix, Arizona. He has authored or co-authored over 500 scientific papers, has performed numerous experiments and has conducted extensive research into the biospheric and atmospheric effects of carbon dioxide. Professor Idso is still active and has become a provocative figure in the climate change controversies because of his willingness to acknowledge a beneficial aspect to carbon dioxide enrichment, along with his belief that increasing carbon dioxide is not going to have a dangerous effect on the climate. He is one of the foremost experts in the world on carbon dioxide’s role in nature. Yet, here is an example of a brilliant scientist who has been demonized by the global warming establishment for simply pointing out the truth about carbon dioxide’s beneficial role in life processes. His research is worth delving into further and directly I will review an important experiment he performed in the late 1980s. ***** p23
Another interesting report appeared in 1993 authored by H. H. Rogers with the National Soil Dynamics Laboratory and R. C. Dahlman with the Environmental Sciences Research Division at the U.S. Department of Energy. In regards to the increasing amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide the authors state that: “The fixation and release of this compound by plants is a two-way bridge linking the atmosphere and biosphere. Regardless of whether there are accompanying climate shifts, as have been predicted, CO2 increases will directly affect growing plants. Not only is CO2 essential for plant life but it also enhances growth and yield. Thus CO2 is of pivotal significance to both natural and plant communities and agro-ecosystems.” [see: Rogers, H. H. & R. C. Dahlman (1993) Crop responses to CO2 enrichment: Vegetatio, vols. 104/105, pp. 117-131.]
To restate the observation of Rogers and Dahlman: “Not only is CO2 essential for plant life but it also enhances growth and yield.”
Botanists have known this for at least a century. It is the consistent and relentless message of many hundreds of tests, experiments, studies and observations going back as much as two centuries. It is the 800 pound gorilla in the room that proponents of anthropogenically-induced catastrophic greenhouse warming refuse to admit or to talk about. ***** p27
. . . Their report, appearing in the Perspectives section of the journal, began by discussing what they presumed to be the inexorable future rise of atmospheric CO2 concentrations due to fossil fuel burning and land clearing, and the implications of this increase to global climate change. They then qualify their statements by saying: “However, these changes are meshed within an immense natural global carbon cycle that is still poorly understood and that will almost certainly provide new surprises.” [See: Mahli, Yadvinder, and John Grace. “Tropical forests and atmospheric carbon dioxide.” Trends in Ecology & Evolution Vol 15, No. 8 (2000): 332-337.]
The two things these authors emphasize should be kept in mind before continuing: the immensity of the natural carbon cycle relative to the contributions of humans, and the fact that this immense natural phenomenon, which, in the authors’ words, “is still poorly understood” is central to the question of climatic consequences. If the authors are right, that the immense natural carbon cycle is “still poorly understood,” how is it possible to be so absolutely certain of outcomes that we can declare the debate over and the science settled with respect to the matter of climate change? ***** p53
“A large North American terrestrial uptake was estimated consistently for a range of spatiotemporal patterns assumed for the terrestrial uptake.” This large-scale intake of carbon dioxide by North American vegetation is attributed to a number of factors, including regrowth of abandoned farmland and previously logged forests, with this process being enhanced by nitrogen deposition, CO2 fertilization, and a mild increase in temperature. [see: Fan, S., M. Gloor, J. Mahlman, S. Pacala, J. Sarmiento, T Takahashi, P. Tans (1998) A Large Terrestrial Carbon Sink in North America Implied by Atmospheric and Oceanic Carbon Dioxide and Models: Science, vol. 282 (Oct. 16) pp. 442 – 446]
Both model simulations yielded more remarkable results. It was found that North America’s contribution to the annual uptake of carbon dioxide was 1.7 billion tons. Given that the estimate of the annual North American emissions of CO2 by both the United States and Canada is about 1.6 billion tons, the implication is that North American vegetation is consuming each year more carbon dioxide than is being released through the burning of fossil fuel in North America! ***** p56
Obviously, these results have enormous implications relative to the whole global warming debate. And, just as obviously, “greenhouse warming experts” are not as omniscient as the mainstream press and varied promoters of propaganda would have us believe. It is time to recognize that the IPCC is NOT infallible, that the so-called “consensus” is a complete fiction, and, that an effort to impose a global regulatory scheme based upon uncertain science would be a certain blunder. ***** p57
As I am criticized by various individuals who find the information I bring to the table unpalatable because it goes against their assumptions and unexamined beliefs, it is persistently apparent that most of them are simply regurgitating something they have heard, or read in popular accounts and assume, therefore, that they have enough knowledge to express an opinion on the matter. The degree of ignorance, the amount of misinformation and lack of critical thinking skills manifest in many of the remarks directed towards me in some of these public forums is symptomatic, I believe, of the sorry state of modern liberal education in America today. But that is a discussion for another place. ***** p63
The results of yet another study, conducted by a multidisciplinary, international team of scientists were published in 2016 in the journal Nature, Climate Change. This research confirms what is becoming apparent to a growing number of researchers around the world concerning the terrestrial effects of carbon dioxide enrichment. NASA’s website featured an account of the work of this team under the heading “Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds.” The account proceeds to describe the work of the team:
“From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands [have] shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature, Climate Change on April 25. An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet’s vegetated regions. See NASA’s website at https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/carbon-dioxide-fertilization-greening-earth ***** p63-64
The authors conclude their milestone paper with this statement: “Overall, the described LAI (leaf area index) trends represent a significant alteration of the productive capacity of terrestrial vegetation through anthropogenic influences.”
Let’s consider what this statement is saying. The alteration of the productive capacity of terrestrial vegetation is a positive alteration, meaning that it is leading to MORE productive capacity for Earth’s vegetation, and this, as they readily admit, is happening as the result of anthropogenic influences. In other words, by consuming fossil fuel and releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, we humans are increasing the productive capacity of Earth’s vegetation. ***** p64-65
But this idea of carbon dioxide benefits is so contrary to the official interpretation of “climate change” that all of those “true-believers” and promoters of AGW, heavily invested in the belief of a carbon dioxide triggered global climate catastrophe, will avoid by any means necessary the responsibility of confronting facts that do not support their doctrinal narrative. Even a modest open-minded scrutiny of mainstream and popular sources of information thoroughly confirms this.
However, one thing is absolutely certain. The world we live in is going to change. It has changed on all meaningful time scales which we are capable of measuring. It is going to continue to undergo a variety of changes no matter what we humans do, no matter what kind of regulations, legislation, taxes, subsidies or carbon remediation schemes are ordained by the high priests of climate change.
Sometimes those changes will be catastrophic.
It is also a fact that human activity is going to play a role in these changes, more pronounced in some areas and less in others. And, it is also a fact that all change requires adjustment and adaptation. This is unavoidable. The picture painted by the research discussed herein on the biological effects of enhanced CO2 shows that there is an advantage and a benefit to the increase in atmospheric concentrations whatever else may occur as a consequence of a hypothetical and uncertain temperature rise.
In a realistic cost/benefit analysis, one would ask whether or not, or to what extent, the positive effects counterbalance the negative effects of CO2-driven temperature increases. We can see that the intensified primary productivity of the biosphere could result in substantial gains in crop productivity, meaning more yield per acre, thus producing more food on less land. This would be an extremely valuable outcome, one the environmentalists should celebrate. In addition, the standing timber supply shows a powerful positive response to CO2 enrichment. The increased resiliency of plants to environmental stresses such as drought, disease, insect invasion, pollution and so on would be an outcome whose value would be immense. ***** p68
Of course, this astonishing display of positive effects must be weighed against potentially negative ones. However, it should be kept in mind that the positive effects are the result of hundreds of empirical, real-world studies on the effects of carbon dioxide on vegetation. Most of the negative consequences of increasing carbon dioxide concentrations at this point are conjectural, based upon projections accruing from computer simulations and are purely hypothetical, such as, for example, the speculated rise in temperature driving an increase in storm and hurricane activity, or an increase in the intensity and duration of drought, or the rising of sea level caused by the melting of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. ***** p69
Each of these assumptions can and should be challenged and tested, not proclaimed and then insulated from all further discussion and debate. It is this effort to shut down debate, by calling anyone who questions the assumptions driving government-sponsored computer models a “climate change denier,” that demonstrates there is a fundamental dishonesty involved and a major effort to stifle alternative points of view. Let us be clear: the use of terms like “climate change denier,” “denialist” and so on in response to legitimate questions and criticisms of computer-based projections of future climate change is a certain indication that the individual employing such terms is the witting or unwitting purveyor of a fraudulent, manufactured consensus and the subjugation of science to the service of propaganda. The use of such name- calling is intended to shut down the necessity of any further discussion or debate by discrediting anyone who questions the hallowed “consensus.” But those who engage in such name-calling are, in fact, only destroying their own credibility, especially when the names so employed have no basis in reality at all outside of their uninformed and misinformed imaginations. ***** p69
IN SCIENCE, THE DEBATE IS NEVER SETTLED!
And, especially is it never settled with respect to an issue as complex as climate change. The term “climate change denier” is a blatant absurdity. NO ONE denies that the climate changes. Those who throw this term are literally proclaiming their ignorance of the subject of climate change − or worse − they are revealing their dishonesty since, they are, to a greater or lesser extent, knowledgeable of these matters, but prefer to avoid honest discussion because of a commitment to political or economic agendas. ***** p70
There is one more factor relative to the phenomenon of carbon cycling that needs to be addressed in regards to the matter of climate change. It is especially important to understand that the advent of our ability to technologically monitor changes in global temperature on any meaningful scale goes back barely more than a century and coincided with the termination of the Little Ice Age. The LIA was a period of global cooling that began in the early 14th century, and, with several interruptions, continued into the early and mid-19th century. Its cessation was not everywhere simultaneous, with some regions warming earlier than others. It is considered by many paleoclimatologists to have included some of the coldest few centuries of the entire Holocene (the last 11,000 years or so). The Little Ice Age was a time of worldwide expansion of glaciers, with many glaciers around the world growing more massive than they had been since the Great Ice Age ended at the beginning of the Holocene. The temporal and historical coincidence between the end of the LIA, the scientific ability to record and monitor temperature changes on a large scale and the ability to measure atmospheric CO2 concentrations means that the base line against which the degree of global warming is now being measured just happens to be one of the coldest periods of the entire Holocene. This raises a legitimate question: How much of the temperature rise since the mid-19th century is natural and how much is CO2 driven? It is typical to plot data on temperature rise during the period from mid-19th century to the present as the dependent variable and plotting the time span on the x-axis only from the end of the LIA to the present, which is going to misleadingly exaggerate the appearance of the y-axis, making the temperature increase look more dramatic than it would appear if graphed on a longer time frame. ***** p71
In any case, the work of Campbell and McAndrews points to a rather disquieting fact: Global cooling is ominously unfavorable to Earth’s vegetation. A global biomass decline of 30% is disturbing to contemplate. The real question now begging to be asked is this: What would be the comparable effects today of a global cooling similar to the Little Ice Age on the world’s croplands and agricultural systems? While one cannot quantify with certainty, there is no doubt that a 30% decrease in food crops, similar to the estimated decrease of 30% forest biomass due to the onset of the Little Ice Age cooling cycle, would result in crop failures, major food shortages and subsequent famine. How much worse this would be than a 30 percent increase in the yield of food crops resulting from enhanced warming and CO2 concentrations cannot even be gauged. ***** p72
Up to 1700 m below present values! 1700 meters is almost 5600 feet, more than a mile. In other words, during the coldest part of the last phase of the Great Ice Age, tree-lines on tropical mountains were depressed by as much as a mile from the present tree limit. This is an extraordinary fact, with profound implications for any conception of global change. Interestingly, As Flenley also points out, studies show that by around 8000 years ago tree-lines had migrated to a somewhat higher elevation than at present, then declined back down to present elevations about 3000 years ago. None of this is in any way characteristic of a stable climate to which this planet can be returned with the implementation of politically contrived regulatory schemes. ***** p73-74
Flenley’s declaration that “There comes a time in any subject when enough evidence accumulates for a dramatic change in orthodoxy to be appropriate” is as relevant now as it was then, for as it was in 1979 – so it is again – time for a dramatic transformation in orthodoxy. The change for which more than ample evidence has accumulated has to do with a deeper understanding of the forces of global change and the realization that change on all scales has been a dominant factor in climatology, geology, biology, and in human history. However, vested interests have intervened in the scientific process to promote an agenda in which anthropogenic forces are now seen as the prevailing driver of global change to the virtual exclusion of natural factors that have been operational on all time-scales since the world began. To bolster this agenda, carbon dioxide has been portrayed as the purveyor of global doom, for carbon dioxide, being a byproduct of the energy industry that powers our emerging global civilization, provides an effective means to secure control over all aspects of society, industry, and the resources of this planet. Add to that the quasi-religious belief on the part of certain environmental factions in an imaginary scenario of a pristine, unchanging world to which balance and harmony would be restored if only the influence of humans could be eliminated and industrial progress curtailed in the name of saving the Earth. ***** p74
I would suggest that there are two things modern environmentalists fail to realize: First, they fail to comprehend the extent to which planet Earth has been subjected to frequent and brutal assaults as part of a larger cosmic environment – assaults that generate intense global upheavals, extreme environmental and climatological alterations, biospheric disruptions, and mass extinctions, all far- exceeding in scale and intensity anything mankind has yet visited upon the planet, and, that these catastrophic disruptions of the planetary natural order occur with alarming frequency. The second thing environmentalists fail to realize is that humankind is an integral part of the natural order, and that by creating a scientifically advanced, technological and industrial civilization on Earth, humans are performing the precise function for which God, Gaia, or Natural Selection − take your pick − created the species homo sapiens sapiens. ***** p74
But think about this. If the atmospheric concentration of CO2 is diminished by a mere 2 parts out of 10,000 from where it now stands, it will have extremely detrimental consequences for the biosphere. Photosynthesis of C3 plants would begin to shut down and this would have grave ramifications all the way to the top of the food chain. On the other hand, increasing the carbon dioxide content by a couple of additional molecules out of 10,000 of air provokes an almost miraculous response from the plant kingdom. ***** p75
In fact, plants have such a voracious appetite for carbon dioxide that, one might argue, at present atmospheric concentrations the global plant realm is actually starved of its most essential nutrient. A number of attempts have been made by global warming “true-believers” to discount this interpretation and all that it implies, but their efforts are proving increasingly futile against the tidal wave of new information and the overwhelming evidence unfolding in front of our eyes. ***** p75
Sage points out that “An outstanding feature of the origin of agriculture is that it occurred independently in distinct cultural regions around the world at approximately the same time in human history.” He then points out another extremely interesting statistic: “Assuming Homo sapiens sapiens appeared in Africa between 200 and 150 ka, (thousand yrs ago) the period of initial domestication between 11 and 6 ka represents approximately 3% of the time modern humans have occupied the planet.” History, I might add, dating from the rise of Sumer 3000 BC, is barely 2% of the time of modern humans on Earth. ***** p77
It must be emphasized that what has been confirmed in the past 22 years since the publication of Sage’s paper is that the end of the Pleistocene was overwhelmingly catastrophic on multiple fronts. Whatever successful social adaptations to Pleistocene conditions may have evolved prior to terminal events, they may be difficult or even impossible to detect because of the widespread environmental destruction that accompanied the planetary shift out of the ice age into the early Holocene. For example, pervasive utilization of marine resources was a probable response to late glacial conditions, meaning that social and cultural groups would have occupied coastal areas that are now beneath 300 to 400 feet of ocean water. Too many modern academics in fields of ancient history and prehistory are too quick to dismiss the possibility of relatively sophisticated cultural adaptations to late ice age environments, primarily due to their failure to appreciate how profound and far-reaching were the environmental changes accompanying the shift to the present interglacial period, changes that can, without exaggeration, be described as globally catastrophic. The synchronous rise in agriculture, of which Sage speaks, may be the consequence not only of the rise in CO2 levels but also the post-catastrophe reestablishment of human population to numbers sufficient to undertake agriculture on a scale capable of leaving a discernable trace in the archaeological record. ***** p78
As an interesting aside, in traditional and archaic traditions in which long-range time is reckoned by the changing of the astronomical ages, as marked by the passage of the vernal equinox through the constellations of the zodiacal wheel, Flenley’s period of deepest cold and severe carbon dioxide limitation from ca. 18,000 to 15,000 years before present would have occurred during the “Age of Scorpio.” Traditionally, Scorpio is the sign of death, which, somehow in this case, seems symbolically appropriate. It is entirely possible that during such a time the effort to merely survive may have been the dominant activity in which most humans were engaged. ***** p78
Another thing becomes apparent from studying this graph. Throughout the Pleistocene Epoch on Earth – the period encompassing the past 2.6 million years of ongoing glacial ages – carbon dioxide concentrations have been at their lowest in all of Earth history since Precambrian times. Only since the end of the great ice age 11 to 12 thousand years ago did concentrations begin to rise from their depressed Pleistocene state and only within the past century have they risen to more normal amounts when looked upon within the larger context of Earth history. ***** p82
What this remark by the Green Climate Fund ignores, and that I have been opining on for years, is the reality of catastrophic NATURAL climate change that has occurred over and over and over again. Let us be clear: in the quote above from the GCF, when the website states that climate change is the defining challenge of our time, they are referring exclusively to anthropogenic climate change. There is no place in their discussion for purely natural change. And when they talk about a “united global response to climate change” they are referring to the complete control of energy from production, through distribution to consumption, with every step in the process of energy utilization heavily regulated, taxed and limited by governments, bureaucracies and self-serving political factions. Such a response system, if ever implemented, would be the ultimate tool of absolute social control and it will have little to no effect on climate change whatsoever. There is no way that, in this context, a “united global response” could mean anything other than a totalitarian system of social control, whose only effect will be to leave human civilization unprepared and unable to cope with natural climate change. ***** p84
Most climatologists are in agreement that the global climate has warmed somewhere around a degree Fahrenheit since the middle of the 19th century and the easing of the Little Ice Age. Actually the IPCC placed the warming at about .85 degrees Celsius. However, and this is a fact: one degree of warming, or even two degrees, is well within the range of natural variability, as measured over decades, through centuries and up to millennia, and there is no way of determining that the warming of the last century is not entirely natural, or if not, to what extent it is natural vs anthropogenic. It is also accepted by computer modelers working for the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) that the relatively miniscule increase of carbon dioxide in the global atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels alone is not enough to initiate catastrophic warming, so the modelers amplify the effect by introducing positive feedbacks primarily in the form of water vapor. But the reality of such amplification is by no means certain either. In another essay I will address the larger context of changing global temperatures through time, a perspective whose absence from the discussion precludes any meaningful comprehension of modern climate variability. ***** p85
Is it possible that some agency, at this point unidentified, effected a major environmental downturn at the dawn of the Quaternary Period some 2.6 million years ago, an event from which the Earth has not recovered, and that now, by releasing a tiny fraction of sequestered carbon dioxide, we humans are providing terrestrial nature with the remedy she requires to return to her full biological glory? ***** p86
Here we come to what I think is the most glaringly obvious first step in getting our human act together on planet Earth: The abolition of war, which, in its preparation and execution consumes extreme amounts of energy, more in aggregate than any other human activity, and, in its aftermath, continues consuming large amounts of energy in the reconstruction and repair of destroyed infrastructure that already consumed energy in its creation, and to which must be added the wasting of human capital and destroyed lives. The abolition of war would be the ultimate environmental and social conservation measure that we humans could realize, short of protecting the Earth from the next cosmic encounter. Beyond that, conservation and prudent use of all resources are, manifestly, very good things. How ironic that the environmental movement, generally composed of partisans of the Neo-liberal left, supports a Democratic Party that has continued to encourage and promote the endless interventions and wars that squander our resources and trample on our liberties. ***** p87
And, we need debate – lots of debate. Not “the science is settled, the debate is over” cop-out of misanthropic neo-luddite eco-fanatics, or the self-serving promoters of greenhouse warming doom. These misguided individuals would, in the implementation of their agenda, render the Earth vulnerable to the next cosmic encounter that will disrupt the balance of nature far beyond the meagre influence of human beings. And if you think that this idea is far-fetched, or belongs in the realm of science fiction, well, all I can say is that you haven’t been paying attention. The scars of uncountable cosmic catastrophes are all around us, but few of us have eyes to see; the agents of these cosmic catastrophes are profusely abundant in our celestial neighborhood and are now showing themselves with disconcerting frequency. Evidence of the real threat to the environment of this planet is preserved beneath our feet and displayed over our heads. It is undeniable and it is there for all to see. But, billions of dollars are being spent every year to create the illusion that human activities are destroying the Earth and too many people are falling for the computerized smoke and mirrors and statistical sleight of hand that has transformed a precious, life-sustaining trace gas into a ghastly demon of planetary destruction . . . ***** p87-88