Author Topic: Greta Thunberg: Inspirational or Annoying?  (Read 1151 times)

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Offline TimG

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Re: Greta Thunberg: Inspirational or Annoying?
« Reply #30 on: September 26, 2019, 07:24:39 pm »

Speaking at the United Nations, 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg said that if humanity really understands the science of climate change and still fails to act, we’re “evil.” This is because climate change means “people are dying.” Helpfully, she also told us what we must do to act correctly: In a bit more than eight years, we will have exhausted our remaining allowance for carbon emissions, so we must shut down everything running on fossil fuels by 2028.

While this claim is not uncommon, it is fundamentally misguided. Yes, global warming is real and human-caused, but her vision of climate change as the end of the world is unsupported. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that by the 2070s, the total effects of climate change, including on ecosystems, will be equivalent to a reduction in average income of 0.2 to 2 per cent. By then, each person on the planet will be 300 to 500 per-cent richer.

We don’t emit CO2 with malign intent. Indeed, it is a byproduct of giving humanity access to unprecedented amounts of energy.

Just a century ago, life was back-breaking. Plentiful energy made better lives possible, without having to spend hours collecting firewood, polluting your household with smoke, achieving heat, cold, transportation, light, food and opportunities. Life expectancy doubled. Plentiful energy, mostly from fossil fuels, has lifted more than a billion people out of poverty in just the past 25 years.

That is not evil – it is quite the opposite.
The fact that alarmists are reduced to exploiting a teenager in order to promote their ideology is more a statement about the intellectual bankruptcy of the alarmists than those who have the temerity to question the reasons for putting such person on a media pedestal.

Lack of intellectual honesty is a huge problem in this debate. We are not going to reduce emissions significantly as long as human population is rising (certainly not to the zero claimed to be necessary to stave off disaster). No amount of wailing and nashing of teeth will change this reality. The only real choice is whether we choose to severely damage our economy in a futile attempt to reduce CO2 emissions or do we simply stop worrying about it and deal with the consequences as best as we are able (consequences that we have to deal with no matter what effort is put into emission reductions). The latter is the best gift we can give to future generations because they will be richer and better able to adapt than they would be if we deliberately undermined the economy.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 07:44:40 pm by TimG »
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