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The One 'Climate Change' Question That Really Matters But Is Never Asked?

by Xavier Connolly

06 April, 2016

In its annual environmental survey released this month, Gallup pollsters omitted the most important question in the climate change debate. While asking respondents about issues that have little or no relevance to public policy the survey failed to address the concerns of the general public (who seem to be far more aware than the dogmatic high priests of Climate Sciencology of how human nature works). Thus rather than inform government decisions on climate change, the survey results will merely be used by both sides in the discussion to their political advantage.

For example, does it make any difference whether Americans have heard that “scientists recently reported that 2015 was the Earth’s warmest year on record,” as Gallup misleadingly informed poll respondents in the preamble to one of their survey questions? While some scientists believe 2015 temperatures were exceptional, many others do not. The ones who do not understand that -- because of the uncertainties in the early part of the record -- no one knows if temperatures today are higher than in earlier decades. But why would anyone care if a year exceeded the previous warmest one by hundredths, or even by tenths, of a degree? Such changes only appear after complicated manipulation of the data, and are not noticeable in the real world.

Similarly, Gallup’s question about whether the public “generally believe these reports [about 2015’s supposed record] are accurate or not accurate” does not matter. The accuracy of computations of trivial changes is completely unimportant.Gallup also asked the public what they believe are the causes of the supposed “record temperatures in 2015.” Why? Aside from scientists working in the field, why should any one care why insignificant variations occur?

In reality, this debate is about one question for the scientists, and an entirely different question for the public. For the scientists:

“Will emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from human activities cause dangerous global warming and other problematic climate change in the foreseeable future?”

Why haven't pollsters been asking what people know about COP 21 / the Paris Agreement? The details of the "Agreement" are meaningless, and repetitive blather. Plus, not only do the 150 plus nations that the UN gathered together for a set of climate goals that they can easily opt out on, but there is no enforcement put in place to keep any country accountable. The words, "self reporting" are repeated many times as far as carbon goals and funding for what is essentially a monetary black hole.

Only future climate changes should be of concern to policymakers. We currently know that nothing untoward happened to the climate in the past 150 years, despite a supposed 40% rise in atmospheric CO2 levels. During this period, the global temperature statistic has risen only about 0.8 degrees Celsius, an amount that has been highly beneficial as we emerged from the Little Ice Age.

For the issue to be worthy of public debate -- let alone worthy of a billion dollars a day, the amount now spent around the world on climate finance -- any forecasted temperature rise would need to be expected to be dangerous. Even then, we would have to know with a reasonable degree of confidence that such warming, if it occurs, will be as a result of human CO2 emissions.

University of Western Ontario applied mathematician Dr. Chris Essex, an expert in the mathematical models that are the basis of climate concerns:

Climate is one of the most challenging open problems in modern science. … Some knowledgeable scientists believe that the climate problem can never be solved.

So Gallup, here’s the only question that makes any sense to ask the public …

US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy has admitted that plans such as the CPP will have no measurable impact on global climate. She has repeated informed Congressional hearings that the purpose of the CPP is to set an example for the world to follow.

But developing countries, the source of most of today’s emissions, have indicated that they have no intention of limiting their development for “climate protection” purposes.

In fact, all United Nations climate change treaties contain an “out clause” for developing nations so that they need not make reductions if it interferes with their “first and overriding priorities” of development and poverty alleviation.

Gallup -- here's the question worth asking us punters:

“How much are you prepared to pay in tax increases and other costs to reduce the developed world's CO2 emissions in hopes of encouraging other countries to follow suit so as to possibly avert dangerous climate change that may someday happen?”

What would most people be willing to pay to support an improbable hope that other countries follow America to possibly avert a hypothetical future problem? Nothing at all. So pollsters never ask about this important issue, as the answer is too inconvenient.

According to many articles I've read over the past few years "climate change" will cause catastrophic warming, sea level rise, the destruction of all coastal cities, longer transatlantic flight times (4 minutes?), poor health of peoples pets (wtf?), natural disasters of all kinds, widespread disease (Zika being the most recent), mass terrorism (this is according to Sanders and the UN's Ki-Moon), mass migration, and now, most recently, depression. Did they miss anything? Any other ways to scare people? I'd say the propaganda has been pretty damn thorough. Nice work by exponents of the science of research grant phishing.

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