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“Climate Crisis”

Ed Reid's picture
Vice President, Marketing (Retired) / Executive Director (Retired) / President (Retired) Columbia Gas Distribution Companies / American Gas Cooling Center / Fire to Ice, Inc.

Industry Participation: Natural Gas Industry Research, Development and Demonstration Initiative Chair, Cooling Committee (1996-1999)   American Gas Association Marketing Section...

  • Member since 2003
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  • Oct 4, 2022
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Originally posted here. 

The earth has a single atmosphere. There is reputedly a “scientific consensus” that the earth’s climate is being changed by human emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other trace gases and that these climate changes will produce adverse results. The “scientific consensus” is that these emissions must cease to avoid the perceived adverse impacts. The UN has hosted a series of Conferences of the Parties (COPs) to develop plans to address the issue and solicit national commitments to reduce emissions.

The perceived climate change has been measured by numerous agencies and analyzed by numerous scientists, much of whose research has been analyzed and reported by the IPCC. The IPCC technical reports do not document a “climate crisis”. The IPCC Summary for Policymakers alleges greater concern for the future effects of climate change than the supporting technical reports. The UN, however, perceives a “crisis”, purportedly based on the IPCC Summary for Policymakers.

National governments in the EU, UK, US, Canada and Australia have concluded that the ongoing climate change represents a “crisis” and are pursuing efforts to eliminate carbon dioxide, methane and other trace gas emissions from their economies by 2050, thus achieving “Net Zero” emissions. These efforts require major changes throughout their energy economies. Governments are promoting the promised reduced cost of renewable generation, though their experience has been increased costs. At present, reliable renewable generation requires the application of technology which does not exist or is not commercially available at scale at reasonable cost. However, governments continue to pursue these efforts, apparently anticipating that the necessary technology will become available when it is needed.

National governments in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa have also participated in the UN COPs and given “lip service” to national commitments to reduce emissions. These national commitments are generally dependent upon funding from the developed nations for climate change mitigation, adaptation and reparations for perceived damages. This funding has yet to materialize at the levels demanded by the developing nations.

The national governments in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa do not perceive climate change as a “crisis” which requires them to totally revise their energy economies to reduce emissions. They have decided that economic development is more important for their nations than reducing emissions. They continue to build new fossil fuel power generation and industrial production infrastructure, frequently relying on coal as their primary fuel. This economic development results in rapidly increasing emissions, not only of “greenhouse gases”, but also of criteria pollutants which adversely impact air quality in those nations.

Climate change is a global phenomenon, though its effects vary regionally to some extent. However, on a global basis, climate change is either a “crisis” or it is not. The nations which are home to more than half of the world’s population are not treating climate change as a crisis. These positions seem to be consistent with the scientific assessment of the IPCC technical reports, while the “crisis” assessments of the UN and other national governments seem overwrought.  

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