Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Doing the Greta

I don’t believe I ever seen such a freak-out over climate change like we’re seeing now. Fueled by the Australian wildfires, climate change is sweeping the world like, well, wildfire. Spain has declared a national climate emergency. What’s going on in Spain? Nothing. They’re just freaking out because everybody’s freaking out over Australia.

Australian bushfires are nothing new. The worst were the Black Saturday Bushfires in 2009. It was Australia’s worst natural disaster ever recorded. Second worst were the Ash Wednesday Bushfires of 1983, followed by the Black Tuesday Bushfires of 1967. See a pattern? Neither do I.

Early European explorers reported seeing huge bushfires. Most are set by lightning, but Aboriginal people routinely set wildfires to create better grass to fatten up kangaroos. Something called fire-stick farming was also used to grow things like bush potatoes. In fact, some plants require fires to survive.

What’s lost in all the reporting and hysteria about climate change is that global warming or climate change or whatever they’re calling it on any given day has never—and I repeat, never—caused a fire. Never. Fires are either caused by lightning, lava, or humans. Many of these current fires in Australia are the result of arson. The media say the number of people arrested for arson has been exaggerated. That could be, but it still doesn’t change the fact that global warming never set a fire.

Recent fires in Australia are the result of what they call dry lightning or electric power lines blown down by high winds. None of this is new. What’s new is the social media freak-out. Well, if global warming isn’t causing the fires it must be contributing to them. That depends on how you frame that argument. It would be a hard argument to sell. The record high for Australia is 123.3 degrees. That was set in 1960. The second highest was 122.9 set in 1998. Third is 121.8 set in 2019. See a pattern? Neither do I, but you can almost bet they weren’t freaking out in 1960. They were, however, in 2019.

It seems that we don’t have a climate change problem. We have a lemming problem. Too many people are more than willing to follow the crowd over the cliff without even an ounce of proof. That’s my argument-stopper when it comes to this issue. If you believe humans are causing the planet to warm, show me the proof. They can’t. They can’t because there’s not any proof.

Oh, they point to the so-called 97 percent consensus. The irony is that debunked talking point started in Australia with a guy named John Cook of the University of Queensland. Cook has no expertise in climate science. He studies the human brain. I guess he figured out what that brain needed to be convinced of manmade climate change when there’s no evidence. He invented the 97 scientific consensus talking point. He took a bunch of climate change studies, threw out two-thirds that didn’t give an opinion (red flag right there) then tortured the rest of the data to come up with a 97 percent consensus. And it’s been used by everybody pushing the global warming theory ever since.

Problem is there’s no truth to it. But don’t tell the folks in Spain. It might ruin their little “climate emergency.” And don’t tell Greta Thunberg. She might have to dock her plastic boat she’s sailing around the world, a boat that took untold petroleum to make. But you’re still skeptical about manmade global warming even with all this hype? How dare you. 

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Showon SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.

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