Beto’s Two-Headed Climate Change Fallacy

Posted on Wed 05/08/2019 by

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By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

Rising star presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke has put out his own version of the Green New Deal. It is milder than AOC’s monstrosity but it is still a multi-trillion dollar monstrosity.

Unlike the GND, and perhaps wisely, Beto’s fantastical blueprint has no name. In the interest of simplicity, let’s just call it his Climate Change Plan. Warning: on my computer it is printed in white letters on a black background, like an obituary, which it sort of is.

Rather than deal with the impossible details, it is important to look at the fundamentals, which for a change are clearly stated. They reveal a two-headed fallacy. This fallacy drives the entire new wave of desperate green measures presently being called for, by Beto, AOC, and a host of other world-changers in waiting.

Here from Beto’s Plan is the foundational double fallacy:

To have any chance at limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 °C and preventing the worst effects of climate change, the latest science demands net-zero emissions by 2050.”

Beto is clearly referring to last year’s report by the ever-green UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  The subject of that report was the possibility of limiting global warming to just 1.5 degrees C from so-called preindustrial times.

I have been tracking this nonsense pretty closely. Note that according to the IPCC we have already had one degree of warming, so we are really just talking about a minuscule 0.5 degrees of warming. Even this is bad according to the IPCC, but it is certainly not catastrophic. Keep in mind when you read Beto’s manifesto that we are just talking about a half a degree of warming.

First, the IPCC merely says that there will be fewer damages at 1.5 degrees of total warming than at 2 degrees. This of course follows from their position that any warming causes damages. Never mind emerging from the Little Ice Age, all warming is bad.

This entire discussion and IPCC report was merely part of an internal struggle over whether the proper Paris Accord target is 1.5 or 2 degrees. Nowhere does the IPCC ever suggest that 1.5 degrees is some sort of threshold beyond which we get “the worst effects of climate change,” which Beto claims. That idea is nuts, oh wait!

Second, the IPCC is not “the latest science.” In fact the IPCC assessments are not science at all, just artfully biased arguments using lots of carefully chosen citations to the scientific literature. Others have produced completely opposite arguments, also grounded in the scientific literature. In short, the science is debatable.

So claiming that “the latest science demands” anything is truly nutty, which Beto happily does.

The one correct point the IPCC makes is that holding the hot climate models to 1.5 degrees of warming is extremely difficult, one degree having already occurred (they say). In fact many of the models say that 1.5 degrees of warming is already cooked into the system. The alarmists ignore this inconvenient truth, along with the inconvenient science that says the models are wrong and we do not control the climate.

AOC and Beto have nonsensically taken that glaring fact about the dubious models, that holding total warming to 1.5 degrees (a tiny 0.5 degrees from now) will be almost impossible, as some sort of great American goal. They are right in one respect, that it would take something like a WWII mobilization, which cost about 50% of national GDP, to satisfy the goofy hot models. Clearly these people have no idea what they are talking about historically. Rationing anyone?

This mobilization is simply not going to happen. If Beto insists on running on this nonsense then he is doomed to failure. I am all for that.

Here is just one of Beto’s grand pronouncements:

“Climate change is the greatest threat we face — one which will test our country, our democracy, and every single one of us. The stakes are clear: We are living in a transformed reality, where our longstanding inaction has not only impacted our climate but led to a growing emergency that has already started to sap our economic prosperity and public health — worsening inequality and threatening our safety and security.” (emphasis added)

There is no science here. The only “transformed reality” is in Beto’s head (and AOC’s and various other Democrat’s). The only “growing emergency” is the threat of this collective nuttiness. That threat is very real.

David Wojick contributes Posts at the CFACT site. He is a journalist and policy analyst working at the intersection of science, technology and policy.

Read more excellent articles at CFACT  http://www.cfact.org/

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