This Time I Disagree with Bjorn Lomborg

But only a little bit. Lomborg (among other things, Copenhagen Consensus President), in his Tuesday Wall Street Journal op-ed, writes absolutely correctly about the need for climatistas (my term, as is “doomsayers” below) to consider much more than their simple claim of climate change and the imminent destruction from their claimed change. Lomborg, though, concentrated on the economic destruction the doomsayers’ policies would inflict even as those worthies ignore technological advances that would mitigate their claims’ outcome, even were their claims in any way accurate.

Where I disagree is in the lack of discussion of the larger, and more important, context within which today’s alleged climate disaster is supposedly developing.

From the subheadline of Lomborg’s piece:

Climate policy needs to take into account the costs of draconian measures….

The doomsayers need to do more than that. They need to reconcile their claims of impending disaster with some facts that provide longer range context. Facts like Earth, 11k years after the last Ice Age, still is cooler than our planet’s geologic warming trend line (noisy as the data around the trend line are). Facts like there have been a number of epochs in our past where Earth was much warmer than it is now, and life was lush; there have been a number of epochs in our past where atmospheric CO2 was much higher than it is now, and life was lush; and those sets of epochs do not correlate with each other.

Some other facts: our climate changes do correlate, roughly, with orbital changes (small) and rotation axis precession (relatively dramatic). Beyond that, we’re about halfway through the current axial tilt from one direction to the opposite, and we tilt—our northern hemisphere, where most of the oceans are—toward the sun in winter and away from the sun in summer. How do the doomsayers plan to deal with the situation in a few thousand years (roughly equivalent to half the time that has passed since that last Ice Age, and a bit shorter than the time since we started our first civilizations) when our northern hemisphere tilts toward the sun in summer, away from the sun in winter, and the seasons get dramatically more extreme as a result?

Biden Administration’s Monthly Job Numbers

Peter Earle, American Institute for Economic Research Senior Research Fellow, has the tale.

In 28 years, I’ve never seen 11 of 12 months where job numbers came out looking very strong, and then they were revised downwards.

Which raises the question in my pea brain: are Progressive-Democrat President Joe Biden and his economic staff and his bureaucrats at the Labor Department really that incompetent, or are they manipulating the initial numbers for their political benefit?

These aren’t rounding errors that happen to be overstatements rather than understatements or balancing out over the months, either. According to the Daily Caller:

The federal government in 2023 overestimated the number of jobs in the US economy by an average of 105,000 per month in initial reports, equating to a cumulative monthly difference of 1.3 million, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Impacting that behavior is this, as Earle continued:

Of course, the kicker there is that when you revise those things downwards, they don’t get the sort of media attention that the top line initial number gets.

Biden and his minions know that much full well. But, according to Biden, everything’s jake with our economy so, what—us worry?

Whose Record?

The European Union’s Copernicus claims

Earth’s temperature was more than 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than the preindustrial era in the 12 months ending January, the first time temperatures averaged over a yearlong period have breached this key threshold in international climate diplomacy.
[T]he average temperature from February 2023 to January 2024 was 1.52 degrees Celsius above the average temperature from 1850 to 1900, the period generally considered to be preindustrial by climate scientists. This January was 1.66 degrees warmer than the preindustrial average, making it the warmest January on record….

The Climate Funding Industry’s game is given away by that 1850 to 1900, the period generally considered to be preindustrial by climate scientists nonsense.

It’s a falsely and arbitrarily truncated period of before the beginning of industrialization. As such, Copernicus‘ claim is simply not true. Earth was warmer roughly 5,000 years ago, 6,000 years after the end of the last Ice Age—and a bit further before the industrial age.

Beyond that, there have been a number of epochs in Earth’s even earlier climate “preindustrial” record when our planet was very much warmer than it is today, with life being lush. Too, Earth remains today, those 11,000 years after that Ice Age, cooler than our planet’s geologic warming trendline.

Indeed, as telling as Copernicus‘ artificial baseline period, even more so that organization’s decision to ignore that larger context within which Earth seems to be warming today—warming just to get back up to the trendline.

Of Course He Did

The Washington Policy Center says that Washington’s Progressive-Democrat Governor Jay Inslee has known all along that his carbon tax would significantly increase gas prices in the State.

In a Thursday morning blog post, WPC Environmental Director Todd Myers notes that reports from Inslee’s 2014 Carbon Emissions Reduction Task Force, or CERT, showed a carbon tax could result in a significant hike in the price at the pump.
In fact, Inslee’s then-chief policy advisor Matt Steuerwalt, based on an analysis created for the task force, told the Senate Environment, Energy & Technology Committee that a carbon dioxide price of $52 per metric ton—almost identical to the state’s current carbon dioxide price—would increase prices by 44 cents per gallon.

Of course he’s known this all along. It’s why he pushed so hard for his carbon tax Climate Commitment Act. He’s trying to price hydrocarbon-based energy out of existence in his State.

CO2 Fans

An atmospheric CO2 removal technology is gaining interest.

In western Texas, a major carbon removal plant that is under construction also recently got a $550 million investment from BlackRock. Once it is up and running in 2025, the plant will use fan-like devices roughly the size of tennis courts to pull carbon from the air and bury it underground, a process known as direct-air capture.

To the extent that this is a good idea—and I’m not convinced that it is—such direct-air capture facilities would be better placed in targeted locations, rather than being randomly situated. And few places are more random than the wide-open spaces of West Texas. That location may be OK for a proof of concept run, but….

If this technology works at scale, the facilities would be better placed just downwind of gas-, oil-, and coal-fired power generation plants to capture CO2 emissions as they are emitted and before they get diffused throughout the atmosphere.

Also: rather than burying the captured CO2, better to freeze it and use the dry ice for shipping perishables, since shipping times will be much longer with the sailing ships and horse-drawn overland wagons that will be the core of our shipping industry after the Left’s war on fossil-fuels is over.

And then recapture that CO2 for recycling….