Climate Crisis is a Hoax
By David DemingI can remember a time, perhaps thirty-five years ago, when it was possible to treat global warming as a legitimate scientific hypothesis. But in the 1990s the entire issue became hopelessly politicized. We’re now subjected to an onslaught of radical ideology masquerading as science. As activist Greta Thunberg candidly admitted in 2019, the supposed “climate crisis” is not just concerned with the environment, it’s about “dismantling colonial, racist, and patriarchal systems of oppression.”
We might take global warming more seriously if the environmental movement did not have a long history of doom mongering. Old fashioned conservation ethics were abandoned with the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962. Carson denounced pesticides as “evil” and alleged that the damage they did to the natural environment was irreversible. DDT was banned, malaria rebounded, and people died. A few years later, Paul Ehrlich infamously predicted that hundreds of millions of people would starve to death in the 1970s because agricultural production would not be able to keep pace with population growth. The famines never occurred because serious scientists like Norman Borlaug developed high-yield crop varieties culminating in the Green Revolution. Contrary to Ehrlich’s predictions, our problem is not too little food, but too much: we have a worldwide epidemic of obesity. But to this day, Ehrlich continues to be aggrandized, while Borlaug’s legacy lingers in obscurity.
Climate research and reporting has largely degenerated into a parody of itself. Global warming has been blamed for volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and war in Syria. It has been claimed that climate change will cause dogs to become depressed, increase the incidence of rape, turn human beings into hobbits, and cause snakes to grow as large as buses. The latest absurdity is the theory that climate change is responsible for childhood obesity. The list of this nonsense is virtually endless. Global warming is the hypothesis that can never be falsified. Every data point has to be contorted into conformity with a rigid ideology. Even cold weather is said to be symptomatic of a warming climate. In February of 2013, the northeastern US was struck by a powerful winter storm. A few days later, the Associated Press blithely assured us that global warming would cause “little snow but large blizzards,” an oxymoron if there ever was one.
The ideological zealotry even extends to the mendacious alteration of the factual record. In 2006, I testified before the US Senate that a senior climate researcher had told me that “we have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.” Any evidence of a past warming had to be erased so as to convince a gullible public that a modern warming trend could not be a natural climatic variation. In the 2009 Climategate debacle, a leaked email revealed that a leading scientist had used a “trick” to “hide the decline,” suppressing publication of data that contradicted the standard narrative by showing decreasing temperature.
Every natural disaster or ordinary weather event is immediately linked with global warming. If there’s a flood, heat wave, or wildfire, it’s attributed to global warming. But the long term record shows no statistical indication of a significant shift in Earth’s climate. From 1967 through 2021, winter snow cover in the northern hemisphere increased slightly. In late September of this year, Hurricane Ian struck the west coast of Florida. A headline in the Washington Post subsequently proclaimed that “climate change is rapidly fueling super hurricanes.” The Post headline was a complete fabrication. There’s been no change in hurricane or cyclone frequency or intensity since 1980. The strongest hurricane to hit Florida was the Labor Day hurricane of 1935. And the deadliest Atlantic hurricane of all time was the Great Hurricane of 1780.
From 1954 through 2018, the incidence of violent and strong tornadoes in the US decreased. According to the US EPA, from 1895 through 2020 there was no increase in drought in the conterminous US. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, wildfire burnt area in the US has decreased significantly. Climate-related deaths and the costs of weather-related disasters are both decreasing. Polar bear population is increasing. We’ve been lectured incessantly that climate change will destroy coral reefs. Yet a few weeks ago we learned that two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia had the highest growth and expansion recorded in the last thirty-six years.
The only unambiguous indicator of global warming I’m aware of is a slight decline in global sea ice. In the past eight years, sea ice has declined about 5 percent from the 1979-2021 average. So what? There is no responsible scientist who doubts the existence of the greenhouse effect. If the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases while other factors remain constant, the Earth’s average temperature will increase. Maybe that’s a good thing. Historically, cold weather has proven more inimical for the human species than warm. Longer growing seasons at high latitudes will increase agricultural yields. The increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is fertilizing plant growth and “greening” the planet. The positive benefits of carbon dioxide and warming ought to be balanced against any possible detrimental effects, yet they are rarely discussed.
Acknowledging the existence of the greenhouse effect is quite different than the pessimistic alarmism that we are constantly subjected to. Climate change is an ongoing, natural process. Over its long history, our planet has been through periods of both torrid heat and frigid ice ages. We’re not currently in any kind of environmental crisis. The supposed climate crisis is a hoax, and the incessant doom mongering by an ignorant mob of radical left-wing activists is tiresome.
David Deming is a geophysicist and professor of arts and sciences at the University of Oklahoma. Follow him on Twitter @profdeming.