Alan Stevens - AWAH - Libertarianism, Freedom.
Is Climate Change a Problem for Global Government to Solve?
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
Climate Change has been touted as a global problem which demands the creation of a globalist one world order to tackle it. Even if it were a genuine problem, it would still be much better addressed by individuals cooperating locally in free communities.
This website’s readership is a frequent source of intelligent questions about the idea of private-law, free societies. Today’s question is about problems that can allegedly only be solved by a coordinated government response for the entire planet. The issue most often said to need global state intervention is ‘climate change’.
PLAUSIBLE GLOBAL THREATS?
There are some putative global threats to humanity. An alien invasion would be a global issue, I guess. The most obvious plausible threat is another asteroid strike similar to the one that seems to have killed the dinosaurs around 60 million years ago.
There is the possibility of the earth’s gravitational field reversing again as it does on average every 200,000 to 300,000 years (we are a few hundred thousand years overdue). That may or may not cause serious disruption to modern societies.
There’s the theoretical possibility that the Earth’s crust periodically slips over the more liquid mantle underneath. Landmasses would move large distances in a day giving rise to stories of stars racing across the sky and floods that would be, er, biblical.
At a rather more local level, there are huge plate volcanoes, especially the one under Yellowstone Park (and indeed another under the Bay of Naples area). The former blows up every several hundred thousand years and makes North America largely uninhabitable. It is virtually certain to erupt anytime in the next few hundred thousand years. An eruption might cause a ‘nuclear winter’ which could result in significant famine elsewhere.
However, the most likely disaster the return of glacial conditions within the next ten thousand years, and possibly very much sooner. Sea levels would in that case gradually fall, revealing some inhabitable land. But a colder world would be a drier, drought-prone place. We know, for example, that the Nile, Tigris and Euphrates would disappear and the Sahara would expand while tropical forests would shrink – because that’s what actually happened during previous glaciations. So it’s nearly all bad news, especially for big populations in northern temperate climes who could experience falls in temperature of several degrees in a matter of decades at the inception of a new glaciation. Global warming would be better.
What these possible global threats have in common is that humanity can’t do much about them regardless of the efforts of a global state.
STATES CREATE PROBLEMS RATHER THAN SOLVE THEM
There are of course global problems which governments can make much worse or even create. The big one is the threat of annihilation by interstate warfare. Free, private law communities are the best solution to this problem since nobody would create massive offensive military establishments in a voluntarist society (for more see www.awah.uk post ‘Defending Freedom against State Aggressors’).
The idea of avoiding interstate war by having only one global state has a superficial appeal. But you would have to believe that a global state trying to reconcile the claims of vastly different societies around the world could avoid almost instant, and violent, break-up.
Then there is the related threat from gain-of-function engineered diseases created in state laboratories. The lab-enhanced common cold bug known as ‘covid-19’ was released around the world to terrify its inhabitants, though it did next to no harm to human populations. The real chaos was created by ill-informed (or ill-intentioned) state ‘lockdowns’.
One could of course imagine a state laboratory trying to create a really lethal bug as a weapon. I am not convinced that healthy human beings are vulnerable on a large scale to disease organisms. However, state attempts to create biological weapons of mass destruction do not support the idea that having a state in our lives is a sensible idea.
And there is the RNA (not) vaccine scam, with its own profitable but potentially deadly consequences, some probably to be revealed in the longer term. I don’t know whether the RNA jabs will cause more death and suffering than the probable 100,000 plus avoidable deaths and many more permanent injuries that have so far occurred worldwide. It is just possible we are seeing the beginning of jab-induced ADE cases (see recent www.awah.uk post ‘A Plague on the Obedient’) in Britain. And we may have micro-clot and infertility issues to come - we don’t yet know.
It is ironic that if the jabs do weaken already shrinking western populations, they will not affect fast-growing African populations. Africans take Ivermectin routinely against worm and malarial parasites, which already protects them against the covid.
AND SO TO CLIMATE CHANGE
The key to understanding what are falsely represented as global existential threats – including ‘climate change’ and indeed ‘covid-19’ – is to recognize that, on closer inspection, they apply only to certain groups or areas. No global coordination is needed. One-size-fits-all interference from bullying governments captured by vested interests is unlikely to help. Local adaptation and voluntaristic responses are quite up to the task.
The point is pretty obvious with covid-19. The coordinated globalist state response – lockdowns – were so useless and damaging that many people believe they were intended to do harm. Only a relatively small number of easily identifiable, vulnerable people was at risk. Local medical initiative soon found conventional treatments which do save those who are not in fact simply dying from a range of co-morbidities. Only systemic corruption in state sponsored ‘health’ sectors prevented these treatments from being deployed everywhere.
Global warming is another example of something that, even if it were real, would not be an existential threat. The only serious negative impact it could potentially have would be a further modest rise in global sea levels over millennia. It would only adversely affect specific geographical areas and groups. There would be plenty of time, generations really, for those potentially affected to adapt. And, once again, top-down state measures allegedly addressing the issue actually range from the useless to the destructive.
CO2-induced global warming is likely not to happen at all. In a decade or so the role of variations in solar output will have likely been recognized as the decisive influence on our climate. CO2 and other ‘greenhouse’ gases will have been shunted off into the footnotes of scientific history. Solar output means primarily electro-magnetic output. Astronomers have been resisting a universe based on electro-magnetic rather than gravitational forces. Their reluctance may also be behind the whole runaway greenhouse gas warming on Venus story too. For more see www.awah.uk post ‘The Electric Universe and State Academia’.
Remember, outside of academic climate models, rising atmospheric CO2 levels have achieved little if any warming in the real world as measured from space by satellites. It is consistent with results so far to conclude that CO2 isn’t really important in determining global temperatures. We may merely be seeing a rebound from Maunder Minimum temperatures in the 17th and 18th centuries back up to higher Medieval temperatures.
Lastly, before I try below to explain what a worst-case global warming scenario actually would be, I ask you to remember that the official UN IPCC story is that average world income per head might only be three times higher in 2100, rather than four times higher, due to global warming. Gee whiz, really, is that it? Is that the existential threat we need global communism to save us from? If that is what people think then compulsory state mass-education has been even more of a fiasco than libertarians assume.
WHAT IS THE WORST-CASE CLIMATE CHANGE SCENARIO?
The plan here is to discuss climate change as though it were a real problem, rather than a story designed precisely to justify global socialism and corporatist racketeering by promoters of windfarms, and Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) regulation, solar panels, carbon taxes, computer climate models hucksters etc. Not for nothing was global warming promoted as the new thing with which to scare us into compliance in the early 1990s, when the Cold War fear narrative unexpectedly collapsed.
For the view that the climate change story is a hoax and that there is, unfortunately, no reason to expect warming – rather the opposite – please click on www.awah.uk ‘Some Perspective on Climate Change’ and www.awah.uk ‘Human Ecology and Renewable Energy’.
The worse-case UN IPCC warming scenario is supposed to be that global temperatures increase by as much as seven degrees centigrade by 2100 - caused by rising atmospheric CO2 levels. Let’s assume it’s true, though two to three degrees seems to be more plausible. The good news is that, if this seven-degree rise happened, we would have a nicely warmer, wetter world with a lot more food production because of the higher CO2.
Crucially such a rise in global temperatures might deliver humanity from the all too real threat of a new glaciation (aka ‘ice age’). Otherwise, another glaciation will be upon us some time in the next few thousand years. Britain would quickly become uninhabitable.
Global atmospheric CO2 at, say, 800 parts per million (PPM) in 2100, compared to just over 400 PPM currently, would be around a third of normal levels over the last few hundred million years. If 2,000 to 3,000 PPM of atmospheric CO2 didn’t doom the planet then, it is clear we are not in a doomsday scenario now. It’s just that all those pesky sea-creatures making their shells out of calcium and CO2 have dangerously reduced atmospheric CO2 to the point where during recent glaciations plant life has been in danger of failing to cope.
I would be fine with a warmer climate. Lots of people currently live happily enough in places that are that much warmer than the UK. Many people in Britain deliberately fly abroad to such places to get some more sun. I don’t see Australians hurrying to abandon their much warmer country (when actually free to travel again) to come back here to England’s brisk and refreshing temperatures.
The rise in temperature hypothetically caused by global warming would only take the Earth part of the way back up to normal long-term earth temperatures. If it were caused by growing CO2 in the atmosphere it would take several generations to happen. Local adaptation would be feasible. Maybe you would need to paint your town white, take more siestas and lay on some air-conditioning, but at least your heating bills would disappear.
Plus, the Sahara would all be prime beef country and Siberia and northern Canada would be breadbaskets. That would be a big benefit. As the oceans warmed, they would give up more of their enormous store of dissolved CO2 (because CO2 is less soluble in warm seawater than cold) further increasing the Earth’s productivity. CO2 release from the oceans may explain the past correlation between periods of warming and rising atmospheric CO2. CO2 has been a lagging indicator following after ocean warming. It didn’t cause the warming.
Oh Alan, how can you be so obtuse? Don’t you know that we will all be drowned in the great flood as the ice caps melt! This fear is the real nightmare in what might loosely be described as the popular imagination. Kevin Costner produced a film about it, Waterworld. It was a flop of fabulous expense and vacuity, but it did have a memorably chilling opening sequence. In it, the world’s landmasses rapidly sink beneath the waves until only the tops of the Himalayas are left. At which point we have all become fish food.
Scary stuff! But what is the reality? The global flooding story doesn’t really feature in the official UN story. That’s because it is obvious to scientists everywhere that the worst-case computer projections of around a seven degree increase in global temperatures over the next century, if CO2 doubled to 800 PPM, would not result in that much of an increase in sea levels. But without that scare story, Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Truth’ would never have sold so well, and would not have made him $100 million.
Back to some facts. When the most recent glaciation (‘ice age’) ended about ten thousand years ago, 5.5% of the world’s water is estimated to have been frozen in the ice caps of a cold and dry Earth. And sea levels were then about 120 metres lower than they are now.
It is estimated that 1.5% of the world’s water is still locked up in a combination of Greenland, various glaciers, and Antarctica. The South Pole accounts for 80% of remaining ice world-wide. Summer temperatures at the South Pole are on average minus 10 to 15 degrees centigrade. Its ice cap would not melt even if temperatures did rise seven degrees.
Nevertheless, for the sake of argument, we will assume that all the ice eventually melts. So far we have had a 120 metre sea level rise from melting ice equivalent to 4% of the world’s water over the last ten thousand years. Then there would be a further melting of all the remaining ice, equivalent to the remaining 1.5% of the Earth’s water still locked up in ice. Roughly speaking the additional sea level rise caused by the elimination of all of the remaining ice would be about 45 metres.
That rise in sea levels would take a long time. The original 120 metre rise in sea levels was triggered by rapid rises in temperatures at least as sudden and dramatic as those projected over the next century in the worst-case global warming scenarios. Yet the resulting sea level rises still took 10,000 years to happen. Admittedly most of the increase in sea levels may have occurred in the first thousand years or two, but not all. Sea levels remained low enough for England still to be attached to France thousands of years after global temperatures in the early part of the current interglacial reached somewhat higher levels than we now experience.
So, even if we are really pessimistic in every respect, global warming just cannot raise sea levels by more than, say, 50 metres. Assuming, again pessimistically, that it takes only a thousand years to do so, the change would be a metre or two every 20 years. There is not much sign of such a rise yet. Anyway, here at 90 metres above sea level west of London, I am not overly worried about this allegedly existential threat many hundreds of years from now. In a world with no ice my home would still be some way from the beach. But it would be a warm beach.
Oh, but Alan, what about those unlucky inhabitants of London and other low-lying areas? Well, future generations would have lots of time to adapt. Maybe Londoners’ descendants in centuries to come will be riding the range or growing grain in the green Sahara or in Siberia, rather than printing and lending soon- to-be-worthless paper money in London.
Time is money and in the ‘commercial world’ (i.e. reality minus state-sponsored parasites, timewasters and toll collectors), any project analyst will tell you that a benefit or cost which is much more than twenty years in the future is of little present-day importance as a guide to investment decisions. But in our worse-case scenario nothing much is going to happen for generations in terms of sea level change (beyond the continuing minuscule annual increase that has being going on for 10,000 years during the current interglacial).
The correct response to such a problem is - as ever - local adaptation over time by people who could be directly affected. They have both the knowledge and incentive to do something about it. That response could well take the form of simply planning future investments several metres further uphill each time. Cities like London could build a ten metre sea-wall and give their citizens a lifetime to depart, if it made sense to local property owners to pay for it. I don’t say there wouldn’t be costs, but they are not outlandish or immediate for the communities that might (but probably won’t) be affected by global warming. The costs are not ‘global’.
STATE CLIMATE-CHANGE MEASURES ARE DAMAGING
There is no case for impoverishing populations globally now to benefit the fairly distant (and presumably rather better off) descendants of coastal dwellers. Yet that is of course precisely what governments are doing – and collecting a lot of value for their officials and corporate cronies in the process. Over a trillion dollars have been spent worldwide on developing precisely the wrong energy sources, as we are now finding out.
State responses to the alleged danger of climate change are, as usual with the state, inept and harmful – just like the covid response. Western politicians are reacting to public fears stoked up by state-sponsored academics and their allies in the corporatist global elites. As an aside, one could recommend the James Bond film ‘Quantum of Solace’ for its clear depiction of the way the ‘villains’ promote the global warming agenda for their own ends. Their propaganda is amplified by vacuous virtue signalling – ‘I care about the planet more than you do etc.!’ – which helps to drive the politicians’ electoral calculations.
Britain has taken a lead in discouraging CO2 emissions by raising energy costs. It has run down its heavy industry and off-shored manufacturing jobs. But if Britain simply ceased to exist overnight, annual global CO2 emissions would be down just 1%. Clearly it makes no practical difference. The idea is that our wonderful target of Zero Carbon, that penalizes us all, will be followed by countries like India and China that are raising living standards by using hydrocarbon energy. Well, it isn’t working. Nobody there is really interested.
Well Alan, I hear some say, that just goes to show that we need a global government to make these countries forego economic growth in order to toe the line on CO2 emissions instead. But only EU/’Davos crowd’ WEF supporters would assume that a global government, assuming it didn’t fall apart instantly, would be guided by the wishes of 500 million Europeans rather than 5 billion Asians and Africans. Obviously not. The dream of using a global government to ‘save the planet’ is yet another non-starter.
Meanwhile Western politicians have closed down and regulated to death nuclear, natural gas, coal and oil-based energy development. They have flown in the face of markets and proper price discovery to embrace uneconomic and unreliable ‘renewable’ energy.
In a free society, market price signals would be correctly understood by popular opinion as information indicating how to further wellbeing. Market signals show that the way forward currently is to develop hydrocarbon resources – of which there is no genuine shortage.
Meanwhile there is a state generated energy shortfall. The EU has systematically messed the Russians around as they attempted to build gas pipeline capacity, first South Stream and then Nordstream 2 (the latter at the EU’s own urgent request). Now it is reaping its reward in the form of a wholly artificial shortage of natural gas (it even closed its own gas fields in Holland). The energy mess is made worse by the abject unreliability of wind and solar power, and the closure of German nuclear power stations.
Meanwhile, the Biden regime in the USA has closed down and discouraged oil pipelines and projects. And the dislocation caused worldwide by crazy state covid measures has certainly not helped. The overall result is yet another, wholly avoidable fiasco caused by states. The West approaches the winter facing very short energy supplies and the prospect of politically catastrophic energy bills. So much for having fewer than ‘ten years to save the planet’.