Alan Winslow: “Not in the next 5,000 years”


“Not in the next 5,000 Years”

That’s how Richard Lindzen, PhD, the foremost climate scientist in the world, responded in January when asked if there is any existential threat to the Earth’s climate, “Not in the next 5,000 years.”

Whoa, there! What about catastrophic global warming and imminent climate change peril?

“Not in the next 5,000 years.”

What? We are not in peril? The Earth is not going to burn up or whole nations disappear due to any global warming or out-of-control climate change?

“Not in the next 5,000 years.”

To clarify a bit, let me extrapolate from Dr. Lindzen’s response. He means:

-We shouldn’t fear any menacing climate change processes or stress ourselves about catastrophic global warming for a very long time, if ever.

-We’re not at or near some climate tipping point or speeding on the highway to climate hell.

-We’re not going to turn the Earth into an overheated, unlivable planet simply because we burn fossil fuels and as a byproduct emit huge amounts of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere.

Have you ever heard such views uttered? I suspect you haven’t. And believe it or not, Dr. Lindzen is not a paid mouthpiece for the oil and energy companies. He’s just a smart, experienced climate scientist who likes to rely on observation, data, evidence and transparency.

Little wonder then he’s despised by the proponents of global warming who label him a climate denier.

And why wouldn’t they?

The reported scientific consensus is that the science behind global warming (or climate change science) is settled: Burning fossil fuels generates too much CO2, a heat-trapping gas, and this is raising global temperatures to catastrophic levels. This atmospheric heating feature of CO2 has already caused dangerous global warming accompanied by extreme weather events previously unseen. We must curtail our burning of coal, oil and natural gas ASAP to reduce atmospheric CO2.

That’s the prevailing science view. That’s the settled science view. No other explanations needed. No other explanations permitted.

Of course, it’s very good news knowing that global warming is a settled science. When an aspect of nature is well understood or “settled,” then accurate predictions can be made about nature’s behavior, and that helps to build confidence in the science and, if needed, to develop useful policy responses.

With that in mind, let’s consider some global warming science predictions from its various promoters.

First, Mr. Albert Gore Jr., a very able vice president, has stated:

“In 10 years, there will be a true planet emergency.” (Quoted in 2006)

“The North Polar Ice Cap may well be completely gone in five years.” (2008)

“…if we don’t stop these heat-trapping emissions (CO2) … more people will be killed and the survival of our civilization is at stake.” (2022)

The American Physical Society: “The evidence is incontrovertible. Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (CO2) now.” (2015)

Gordon Brown, former United Kingdom prime minister, stated: “…We have 50 days to save the world from global warming,” as reported by the BBC. (2009)

Noel Brown of the UN Environmental Program stated, “…entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if global warming is not reversed by 2000. (1989)

UK Telegraph: “Refugees are expected to move to Antarctica because of rising temperatures that will see the population of the continent increase to 3.5 million by 2040.” (2008)

NBC: “Climate change is moving fast, and we need to move faster. The next year is sure to bring new records and more extreme climate events. Our planet’s alarms are sounding, and they will only get louder. (2020)

UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: “…in just 12 years, rising CO2 could cause massive damage. Governments must make rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society to avoid this disaster.” (2018)

Now, please don’t condemn these failed predictions and those who made them. Nor should you criticize the hundreds of other failed apocalyptic predictions generated by the experts of this settled science.

And perhaps that needs an explanation. Unlike other fields of science, accuracy of prediction turns out not to be an important measure of the validity of global warming science. Rather, its validity rests solely on its good intentions, which is saving the earth from CO2, a satanic molecule.

And what say you, Dr. Lindzen, to this accepted doctrine of global warming danger and the consequent policy of speedily curtailing our use of fossil fuels?

“Pure evil,” responds the world’s foremost climate denier.

Alan Winslow, a resident of Seymour, occasionally writes a column for The Tribune. Send comments to [email protected].

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