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Reblogged:Climate "Crisis" Debunked by Obama Scientist

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At RealClear Politics is a review of Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn't, and Why It Matters, by physicist Steven E. Koonin, who worked as Under Secretary for Science for President Obama's Department of Energy.

The review lists several facts from the book that are "based on official assessments published by the US government or United Nations," such as, The warmest temperatures in the US have not risen in the past fifty years.

As you might expect, all fly in the face of the conventional wisdom. Following these, the reviewer notes two major take-homes. First, the predictions of catastrophe are wrong:

little_bullshitter.jpg
What do you get when you cross Chicken Little with the Boy Who Cried Wolf? (Image by Anders Hellberg, via Wikimedia Commons, license.)
The globe is warming, he tells me in an interview, partly due to natural phenomena and partly due to growing human influences. (Scientists can't untangle the two, he writes, due to "the deficiencies of climate data.") But, Koonin argues, the terrifying predictions of increasingly violent weather and coastal cites drowned beneath rising seas are overblown.

So are the predictions of climate-induced economic devastation. Koonin explains that, if the US economy grows at a 2 percent average annual rate, then absent any climate impact gross domestic product will rise from about $20 trillion today to about $80 trillion in 2090. If temperatures rise by 5 degrees Celsius over that same period, Koonin notes that, according to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, our growth would be 4 percent less 70 years from now. That means GDP would grow to about $77 trillion instead of $80 trillion. "We would be delayed in our growth by a couple of years," he says. [links omitted, bold added]
And second, the changes fall into two categories: (a) things we can mitigate and (b) actual advantages:
[A]daptation is the only choice we have, Koonin says. Climate change "will be gradual, and human ingenuity will certainly get us through this, if not allow us to prosper." Indeed, Koonin notes there are advantages to a changing climate, such as the greening of the planet through increased vegetation, which he believes will dramatically increase the food supply for the world's population. "So, this is not at all an unmitigated disaster as people would have you believe," he says. "We'll learn to take advantage of whatever changes happen rather than simply tolerate them. That's what humans do, and we're pretty good at it." [links omitted, bold added]
If all of this sounds familiar, you may be a fellow fan of energy advocate Alex Epstein and may have even heard him interview Koonin recently on his Power Hour podcast. If either of these isn't true, I highly recommend listening to that interview some time.

Koonin's message comes at a crucial time, and it is heartening to see that it is being heard: The reader will note that this review also appeared in the Washington Post.

-- CAV

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