I’ve recently reviewed a number of excellent books on aspects of the climate debate. But I want to tell you about the book I’ve just read: “Climatism”.
I was at the Heartland Climate Conference in Chicago in May, when I had the pleasure of meeting Steve Goreham, the author of “Climatism!”. Steve holds an MS from the University of Illinois, and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He has just been appointed Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America (www.climatescienceamerica.org). A few years ago he became interested in the climate debate, and has made an extended study both of the science, and of Climatsm as a social, political and economic phenomenon. The result of his work is this book, one of the most comprehensive yet accessible studies I have seen. While he doesn’t spare the scientific rigour, he writes in a wonderfully accessible way, and if you have any interest in the subject you’ll find it difficult to put down.
Unlike some authors, Goreham devotes a substantial chunk of the book – the first 137 pages – to the science, and naturally includes a range of very useful references which will be invaluable to those of us who get involved in debates on Climate. I thought I knew the subject pretty well, but he’s come up with some points that are new to me. For example, I hadn’t realised that an isotope analysis of atmospheric CO2 enables us to calculate the percentage of it that is man-made. The answer comes out at a mere 4%, whereas the IPCC assumptions give a figure of 27%.
Amongst the science, though, Goreham is not averse to a homely analogy. He breaks out the sequence of arguments used by the Climatists to “prove” that CO2 is the problem, starting with “CO2 is a greenhouse gas” (true) right through to “Therefore man-made CO2 emissions cause climate change” (false). And his homely analogy uses peanut butter. Consider: peanut butter is a fattening food. Sales of peanut butter in the US in recent decades show a strong growth trend. Obesity levels over the same period also show a strong growth trend. Therefore it is clear that peanut butter is the cause of obesity, and that we can cure America’s obesity epidemic by the simple expedient of banning peanut butter.
It’s so absurd it’s laughable. And yet it exactly parallels the Climatist case. But sadly while the economic damage from banning peanut butter would be small and localised, the economic damage from seeking dramatic cuts in CO2 emissions is currently running (says Goreham) at $150 billion a year. That’s not peanuts. Yet as Goreham repeatedly reminds us, out of every 10,000 molecules in the atmosphere, only four are CO2. We’re asked to believe that this trivial amount of a harmless trace gas has more impact on global climate than the Sun, or than astronomical cycles.
The remainder of the book looks at Climatism as a political, social and economic phenomenon – at the causes and objectives of Climatism, and the remedies it proposes. There is too much material to summarise here, but Goreham sees Climatism (rightly, in my view) as heir to a long and shameful tradition of disaster predictions, all associated with “solutions” which are anti-growth, anti-capitalist, anti-freedom, and (quite literally in some cases) anti-humanity. He starts with Malthus, the Anglican Minister whose 1798 paper “On Population” argued that famine was inevitable as populations grew geometrically. He writes of the Eugenics movement, which held similar views and enjoyed a vogue in the early 20th century, but was finally discredited by Nazi racial policies in the Second World War The story moves on to the sixties, and the modern environmental movement. Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 book “The Population Bomb” predicted global famine in the seventies. Ehrlich made a series of disaster predictions on food, disease and the end of fossil fuels, which from the perspective of 2010 are quite simply risible.
The Club of Rome played a dishonourable part in the story. In 1974, it said “The Earth has cancer, and the cancer is man”. Warming to their theme, in a 1991 report the Club of Rome declared “The real enemy, then, is humanity itself”. Which brings us to modern times, with the UN, the EU, the IPCC, the Kyoto Protocol, and most recently the Copenhagen Climate Conference. From the point of view of organisations like the UN and the EU, climate hysteria validates their existence, and legitimises their pursuit of global governance, which is so dear to their hearts. When David Miliband suggested getting the public to love the EU by re-branding it as “The Environmental Union”, he rather gave the game away.
Climatism is based on duff science. It is just not true. Yet it remains the greatest threat to our prosperity, to our democracy and to our freedom. If you have any doubts on these points, please read the book.
ROGER HELMER MEP
“Climatism!” is published by New Lenox Books (firstname.lastname@example.org). ISBN 978-0-9824996-3-4