Undoubtedly you heard that several days in early July were the “hottest days ever” for good old Planet Earth. The source of that story was an entity called Climate Reanalyzer, affiliated with the University of Maine.
It is worth noting that even the federal government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which usually supports the global warming narrative, hastened to point out that the figures cited by Climate Reanalyzer were unofficial and based on computer climate programs, not actual measurements. Hmmm …
Many media outlets love to hype stories about record heat. The reasons are both commercial (alarmist headlines attract eyeballs) and ideological (promoting the Green New Deal’s agenda to radically restructure society).
Significantly, there has been far more reporting about record heat than about record cold. For example, in February 2020, there was a flood of breathless media reports about a record-warm temperature of 64.94 degrees F. (18.3 C.) in Antarctica. Largely unreported was the record wintertime low in the northern hemisphere that had happened just a month earlier — a temperature reading of minus 86.8 degrees F. (-66 C.) in Greenland.
Similarly, it the media kicked into overdrive when the mercury in the Siberian town of Verkhoyansk touched 100 degrees F. on June 20, 2020 (a temperature that had been reached there in 1915 — long before SUVS hit the road). I’ll bet you never saw the news that the people of Verkhoyansk woke up to snow on the ground on July 5 — a mere 15 days later. (You can find detailed climate news via the free weekly newsletter of the Science and Environment Policy Project — sepp.org.)
We are bound to have some very hot days this summer due to an active El Niño in the Pacific Ocean, but even if July 4-6 end up being the hottest days ever recorded (i.e., since satellites started to collect data in 1979) the hottest days in 44 years can hardly be called the hottest days ever.
In fact, it was hotter in the 1930s and in several other years since temperature records began to be kept in the late 1800s. By the way, you might want to print out the data before government bureaucrats totally erase those records. To see what I mean, I urge you to view several videos by Tony Heller, including “Everywhere is warming twice as fast as everywhere else,” “My gift to climate alarmists,” which shows how government agencies can and do manipulate data to distort the actual temperature records, and “Climate fakery part 2.”
Any reference you see about “hottest days ever” is even more ridiculous when we recall that the Medieval Warm Period was so obviously warmer than today that the Vikings grew barley and grapes in Greenland. The Roman Period a thousand years earlier was even warmer, with the Romans growing grapes in the north of England. And the Minoan Period closer to four millennia ago was even warmer, and yet human civilization flourished.
Alarmist reports about dangerous global warming are wrong-headed and irresponsible. Recently I read an alarmist’s statement that we humans have already “suffered” a nearly two-degree increase in temperatures over the past 150 years or so. Let’s take an inventory of the consequences of the 50 percent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide and ~ two degree increase in global temperatures during that period:
• The carbon dioxide enrichment of the atmosphere has resulted in a huge greening of the planet. A multinational study published in 2016 found a planetwide 14 percent increase in green vegetation between 1982 and 2011. The greening trend is ongoing, if not accelerating. NASA calculated a ~10 percent increase in Earth’s vegetation index in the 20-year period from 2000 to 2020. Another study calculated the annual increase in global vegetation as being the equivalent of adding three Great Britains every year. Even about eight percent of the Sahara Desert — an area almost equal to France and Germany combined — has greened.
• Another benefit of the CO2 enrichment is enhanced agricultural productivity. A recent Department of Energy study indicates “that the 500% increased yield of corn and 200% increased yield of soybeans and winter wheat are largely attributable to” the extra 100 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere since 1940.
• Because of the modest global warming since the end of the Little Ice Age in the 1800s, winters and nights have gotten milder, thereby lengthening agricultural growing seasons. And since cold weather kills more humans than heat, the gentle warming of Earth has saved thousands of lives. Climate alarmists treat warmth as if it were bad for humans, but if that is the case, why do many more Americans move to Florida, Texas, and Arizona than to North Dakota, Minnesota, and Maine?
• The best news of all is that in the past one hundred years, human deaths from weather-related events (what alarmists call “climate change”) have fallen by close to 99 percent. Humanity is winning in the battle against the ravages of Mother Nature.
Bottom line: If all the above changes are a form of “suffering,” as the alarmist wrote, then let’s have more of it!
It is important to recognize that the bigger risk to the safety and well-being of Americans this summer comes from ill-advised public policies, not from unusually hot weather. Air conditioning is our best defense against extreme heat.
If power grids suffer brownouts or blackouts during the most intense heat, people could die as a result. And what would cause power grids to fail? None other than the mad rush to intermittent sources of energy, like wind and solar, which can destabilize the grid due to their unreliability and unpredictable fluctuations.
In fact, we can already attribute specific deaths to “green energy”: A couple of winters ago in Texas, the electricity grid conked out due to over-reliance on wind energy. The tragic, and in some cases lethal, results were millions of people losing heat in their homes and over 200 individuals dying from the cold.
It isn’t weather we need to fear, folks; it’s politicians doling out hundreds of billions of dollars to corporate cronies for more expensive and less reliable “green energy” that may trigger malfunctioning of the electric grid and keep you from protecting yourselves. May you keep cool and safe during this hot summer.
[Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson is a retired adjunct faculty member, economist, and fellow for economic and social policy with the Institute for Faith and Freedom at Grove City (Penn.) College.]