Earth Hour 2015 demonstrates how radical climate activists are ruining the credibility of the environmental movement. Rather than concentrating on sensible objectives we can accomplish such as reducing real air, land and water pollution, protecting species at risk, and conserving scarce resources, Earth Hour focusses mainly on the impossible: ‘stopping climate change.’
In the Earth Hour 2015 Official Video, we are told:
“Earth Hour is a way for the citizens of the world to send clear message they want action on climate change” (UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon).
“If we don’t do anything about climate change immediately, we will have lost the chance to do it” (actor Mark Ruffalo).
“We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.” (President Barack Obama).
This is nonsense, of course. Earth’s climate has been changing since the formation of the atmosphere billions of years ago and it will continue to change no matter what we do. Societies which did not adapt to variations in climate died out long ago, a good example being the once prosperous Greenland Viking colonies which perished when the Medieval Warm Period ended in the mid-14th century. Even today, indigenous populations in the Arctic and the Sahel region of Africa experience severe hardship due in part to natural climate change.
Helping people suffering from climate change in the present, however caused, is obviously far more important than helping people yet to be born who may experience climate problems in the future. Yet the motto of this year’s Earth Hour is “Use your power to change climate change,” as if suddenly, over the past few decades, humankind has become the master controller of global climate.
Organizers expect us to believe that natural climate drivers such as ocean currents, cloud cover, solar variations, changes in orbital parameters, etc., phenomena that led to multi-million year ice ages and ‘hot house’ epochs when Earth was entirely ice free, are now dwarfed by the impact of man. Carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas is taking us to a global warming catastrophe, Earth Hour spokespeople maintain. The fact that ‘global temperature’ has remained flat for 18 years while atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have risen 10% has no impact on their narrative.
Scientific studies summarized by the reports of the Nongovernment International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) demonstrate that the evidence for dangerous human-caused climate change remains weak. NIPCC Lead Author/Editor Professor Bob Carter, former Head of the Department of Earth Sciences at James Cook University in Australia, explains, “Science has yet to provide unambiguous evidence that problematic, or even measurable, human-caused global warming is occurring. The hypothesis of dangerous man-made climate change is based solely on computerized models that have repeatedly failed in practice in the real world.”
Earth Hour are not the only ones making the mistake of focusing mostly on “changing climate change,” instead of adapting to it. According to Landscape 2013, a report issued by the San Francisco-based Climate Policy Initiative, only 6% of the approximately $1 billion U.S. dollars spent every day across the world on climate finance goes to helping people adapt to climate change today. The rest goes to trying to stop dangerous man-made global warming that computer simulations forecast may happen decades from now. This contradicts the approach agreed to in Copenhagen, where participants in the 2009 United Nations climate conference committed to a 50-50 funding split between adaptation and mitigation.
When the crusade to stop climate change, modern environmentalism’s most prominent campaign, finally collapses, the movement will be disgraced and their non-climate related causes will no longer be taken seriously. This, not hypothetical future climate states, is what should most concern today’s environmentalists. Its time they kicked climate campaigners off the stage.
Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition.