For environment ideologues, The Donald has ensured destruction of the world by removing the U.S. from the 2015 Paris climate accord. The key for global warming proponents is the increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) content in air from 200 parts per million during the ice age to 400 parts per million in 2013. CO2 is a clear harmless odorless tasteless gas expelled by every human and also a product of burning fossil fuels.
In spite of a growing U.S. population, President Barack Obama pledged a reduction in CO2 production of 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, which would have a minuscule effect on global CO2; require draconian enforcement measures; damage the U.S. economic structure; and accelerate the rise of China, the world's most prolific producer of CO2. China only pledged to peak CO2 production by 2030 with no targeted reductions. It is China's strategy to overtake the U.S. economically, militarily and politically.
From 1996 through 2015 global temperatures remained essentially flat, despite predictions of a rise by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Forecasts of rising sea levels have also failed to match reality. Melting Arctic sea ice does not increase liquid volume. Melting ice from land masses does increase global sea levels. About 90 percent of the world's glacial ice is on Antarctica which shows no net decrease in ice cover. In a Kafkaesque setting, the entire world's economy and standard of living is being threatened by a technically challenged political elite in a global hustle using IPCC models, which are grossly flawed.
The IPCC refutes any scientific findings that suggest that global warming is not exclusively due to increased CO2 production from the burning of fossil fuels. In reality, 99.98 percent of the total energy contribution to the earth's climate originates from the sun. Solar irradiation is not constant but varies slightly in repeating cycles, which bring about significant climate change. Sunspots are an indication of solar activity and the strength of the sun's magnetic field, which forms a protective shield against the bombardment of cosmic rays streaming in from space. The weaker the field, the more cosmic rays that can reach earth. Cosmic rays influence cloud formation and are the most consistent factor in identifying the sun's current effect on climate. During the last two decades, sunspot activity has drastically diminished, and the earth may now be at the beginning of the next solar hibernation cycle — i.e. less energy from the sun, more cosmic rays and global cooling.
Western civilization, with a vastly improved standard of living since 1800 and the Industrial Revolution, is tied totally to burning fossil fuel. The per capita consumption of resources by the industrialized world's 1 billion people is 30 times that used by the poorest 1 billion living on $2 per day, where 30,000 children die every day from diseases related to malnutrition and fouled water.
By 2100, the world's population will increase 50 percent. China and India's nearly 3 billion people are rapidly moving toward western levels of energy use. Assuming an increase in the standard of living for the 1 billion people living on the margin, the world's energy consumption will be two to four times today's level in 2100. Today 85 percent of the world's energy mix is produced by burning fossil fuel. Erratic and unpredictable sun/wind installations only provide 2 percent and require fossil fuel backup to ensure reliable power supplies when the sun isn't shining or the wind isn't blowing. Sun/wind systems cannot provide base load power.
France has the world's only coherent energy strategy. In the 1970s the French instituted a massive program to convert their power generation from imported oil and local coal to nuclear power. In parallel they launched a high speed electric rail system to replace air and auto travel. Today 75 percent of French power is nuclear. They reprocess their spent fuel rods, drastically reducing nuclear waste. They import natural gas and slowly reduced their use of coal to avoid social turmoil for their mine workers. France's high-speed TGV train now is at the center of a European-wide high speed rail service. French CO2 production is one-third of the U.S.'s on a per capita basis. China is adopting the French nuclear/rail strategy.
If reducing CO2 is necessary, we should follow the French strategy augmented by Tesla electric cars, and spend our time countering China's moves; increasing the living standard of the least fortunate 1 billion people and, ultimately, saving the children.
Charles Campbell (firstname.lastname@example.org) is retired senior vice president of Gulf Oil Corporation.