A Smarter Approach to Saving Our Planet

Kids are demanding “action” to fight climate change, to save the planet.

What action do they want? 

Do they want to tax companies, fine energy producers, force people to use renewables, arrest deniers, any and all of the above?

And to what end?

When it comes down the very core point of climate change, what we are talking about is a 2 to 3 degree difference in the average global temperature. This is what the IPOCC report states, and it will be in the reduction of greenhouse gases that will bring down the earth’s global mean temperature. 

It is important to remember this because what most people think of when they think of climate change are tornadoes, flooding, famine, rising seas, arctic warmth, dying polar bears and melting ice sheets. None of which, according to the IPOCC report reflects the current climate of the world, nor is anthropogenic climate change having any measurable effect on weather – at this point.

That is the core belief surrounding the whole “consensus” of climate change. 

In fact, many studies seem to agree that a little warmth is actually good for the planet. Cold weather is actually much more deadly and requires much more energy. But that is besides the point.

The other day my wife asked me,”you don’t really deny climate change?”

My response was “of course I believe the climate is changing, but I am not convinced human beings have much to do with it. The science isn’t there yet for me.”

“The reason,” I started to explain, “was that we are only talking about a 2-3 degree variance, and if we can easily lower the temperature, then this must mean that man has immense power over nature.”

But it was enough for her to hear I was a “denier,” (in reality just a skeptic) and we moved on.

But this is my point. Anyone who actually looks at the evidence, or evaluates actual climate concerns, realizes that the real issue isn’t cooling or warming, it’s trash and waste. Man pollutes and that is the real issue, not whether or not the world will die because we killed it with overheating.

So when I see kids screaming for change, for “action,” I think our efforts are best directed at fighting pollution, improving access to drinking water, reducing air pollution, etc. 

Our efforts at trying to control the earths temperature is almost ridiculous. If it were that simple and if man had that much power, then yes we could take action, but we can’t because well, we don’t know how. 

We assume cutting CO2 would achieve our goal, but science shows C02 was much higher during the last Ice Age (1500 ppm) compared to today (350-400 ppm). Science also shows that decreased solar activity (what we are experiencing now) would bring on a small and temporary ice age in the coming decade, so the whole argument of global warming becomes moot. 

What remains is the same problem that has nothing to do with the earth’s temperature, and is simply our trash.

We waste too much and we can improve this behavior, that is the action I would like to see taken. 

Instead of carbon taxing the hell out of everyone, let us reduce plastic wrappers on products. Instead of switching to ineffective renewables let’s lessen our dependence on fossil fuels and switch to natural gas, which leaves no greenhouse gas when used and is easier to produce. Instead of pumping sweet crude out of Saudi Arabia, lets promote Shale, which is far lighter and much easier to refine.

And, instead of getting in our cars just to run to the store to get a can of cat food, let’s only drive when we need to, instead of every time we get bored.

And lastly, instead of pumping billions and billions of dollars into “scare” research and government bureaucracies  let’s just be better and separating our trash and being less wasteful, and let’s not forget donating to worthy causes like Compassion International, organizations that do a good job giving poor villages water filtration systems so they can have access to clean water.

In other words, instead of climate “scare,” how about climate clean up. Instead of worrying about the temperature, of which we have little control over, let’s focus our energies into just cleaning up our messes. It’s far less expensive and the results are immediately understood to be beneficial.

The term “climate change” means different things to different people; it has become a term that signifies man-made destruction to the earth. And the research attached to it must remain scientifically sound, not politicized weaponized. 

Most people will get behind a plan to clean up earth and make it a cleaner place, but once you start stepping into the notion that man is “killing the planet,” you start to scare off people who, with just a little bit of scientific understanding,  recognize that consensus isn’t science, it’s popular opinion. 

James Watkins is a climate researcher and host of the weekly podcast Candidly Speaking

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