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It Was a Great Week for the Climate Alarmists ...
Now Let's Pop Their Bubble!

Volume 4, Number 9: 28 February 2001

The world's climate alarmists hosted a great fossil fuel-bashing party last week.  Following on the heels of the IPCC report released the previous month in Shanghai, China, wherein it was claimed that mean global air temperature could rise from 1.4 to 5.8°C over the next hundred years, their exuberance for disaster knew no bounds.

In the first reports out of Geneva, Switzerland (1, 2, 3), where a new IPCC publication entitled "Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability" was released on Monday, 19 February, it was claimed that continued global warming due to the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content would lead to - take a deep breath - greater numbers of heat-related deaths; more extreme weather, including more frequent and more severe heat waves, floods, droughts, windstorms and cyclones; increases in diseases such as malaria, cholera, dengue fever and lyme disease, leading to "enormous" loss of life; intensified desertification and soil degradation; melting ice caps and glaciers that produce higher sea levels, greater storm surges, enhanced coastal erosion, landslides, reduced water supplies and the displacement of large (make that massive) numbers of people; diminished forest productivity and food production, portending widespread malnutrition; breakdowns in human health services, energy systems and financial services; damages to coral reefs and fisheries; extinctions of various plant and animal species; more and larger wildfires; and last, but not least, disruptions of tourism (God help us!) in both summer and winter.

As the week wore on, the tenor of the horror stories grew ever more grim.  In one Associated Press report (4) it was stated, almost Biblically, that "scientists said they foresaw glaciers and polar icecaps melting, countless species of animals, birds and plant life dying out, farmland turning to desert, fish-supporting coral reefs destroyed, and small island states sunk beneath the sea."  The report also talked about "tens of millions of people [being] at risk from sea-level rise" and "people, animals and plant life [having] to adapt to irreversible change."  The "climate emergency" would increase the incidence of "deaths from heat stroke in cities," the report said, along with various "mortal viral infections" and even "new diseases."  And we were warned in no uncertain terms that, in the wake of these several disasters, "political tension could be heightened" and some nations even "slide into wars."

Not to be outdone, the next day's news (5) talked of food production shortfalls that would be caused by extreme drought at the same time that it lamented the damage to "buildings, infrastructure and wildlife areas" that would be caused by torrential rains.  It also spoke of the El Niņo phenomenon becoming more severe; and yellow fever was added to the growing list of diseases that would soon wreck havoc on humanity.  In addition, the following day's news reported one IPCC scientist as saying that failure to address the presumed cause of the predicted catastrophes - the burning of coal, gas and oil that leads to prosperity and the actual alleviation of the world's most pressing environmental problems - would be equivalent to unleashing a "climate Rottweiler" on the world (6).

And so it goes.  The doom and gloom just gets piled higher and deeper, as the fanatical climate alarmist lobby unabashedly promotes its outlandish predictions, all of which are one hundred and eighty degrees out of phase with reality.

All of them?  Yes, all of them.  Even heat-related deaths, which almost by definition would be expected to increase in a warming world, are unlikely to rise; for most of the warming that has occurred this century has been driven by increases in minimum, not maximum, temperatures.  Furthermore, as revealed by the scientific articles we have reviewed in the Health Effects (Temperature) section of our Subject Index, there are many more people who die each year as a result of cold-related health problems than heat-related health problems.  Hence, a general warming of the globe would actually reduce the number of deaths that result from maladies affected by temperature.

As for warming producing more extreme weather, it just ain't so.  Real-world empirical studies reveal that warming generally tends to produce, if anything, less extreme weather.  Check it out for yourself.  Go to Weather Extremes in our Subject Index; and there you can see what the scientific literature has to say about drought, floods, storms - including hail, hurricanes and precipitation - as well as the El Niņo-Southern Oscillation phenomenon and weather variability in general.

Will diseases such as malaria increase in a warming world?  Check it out under malaria; you'll find they won't.  If you go to Health Effects of CO2, you can also read of studies that have shown atmospheric CO2 enrichment to increase the concentrations of various plant substances that have been proven effective in fighting a number of human cancers and viral diseases, including those mentioned in the doomsday scenarios of the climate alarmists.

And the list goes on.  Worried about desertification?  Click on it and get informed.  Soil erosion?  Be our guest.  Terrified by melting glaciers and polar ice caps?  Go to "I" and check out Ice.  Then visit "S" for Sea Level.  We have tons of material on forests and trees (they just love CO2, as well as higher temperatures).  And food?  There is probably no problem that looms any larger than our need - and possible inability - to feed the growing population of the planet in the decades to come; and the only hope we have of meeting this challenge is for the CO2 content of the air to continue its upward trend.  Moreover, the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 concentration is one of the most important factors we have going for us in our quest to prevent plant and animal extinctions.

So don't be cowed by the ranting and raving that seems the rage of the climate alarmists and some of their friends in the media nowadays.  If we are on the eve of destruction, it is not because of the burning of fossil fuels but in spite of it.  Always remember, CO2 is the elixir of life.  Cherish it.

Dr. Craig D. Idso
Dr. Keith E. Idso
Vice President

PS: We forgot to mention corals.  Check them out too!

1. 18 February 2001.  Global Warming Risks Outlined.  Clare Nullis, Associated Press.

2. 18 February 2001.  Developing Nations Will Bear Brunt of Global Warming: Scientists.  Lisa Schmidt, Canadian Press.

3. 19 February 2001.  Scientists Warn of Climate Devastation.  CNN and Associated Press.

4. 19 February 2001.  World Disasters Seen as Global Warming Outcome.  Robert Evens, Reuters.

5. 20 February 2001.  The Impact of Climate Change.  Saskia van Reenen, Radio Netherlands.

6. 21 February 2001.  Climate "Uncertainty" Stumps UN.  Alex Kirby, BBC News.