Redmond Weissenberger

The Mexican standoff has ended in Cancun. While some will certainly see Cancun’s redistributionist gabfest as a "failure" of "the world community" to address the "imminent disaster" of Anthropogenic Global Warming. I don’t share their pessimism.

Cancun may have been a failure to bureaucrats and inhabitants of the “climate crisis” Looking Glass world. Personally, I view the "failure" as a success, for it gives us an opportunity to understand what we must do to solve the real problem of two billion people still living on less than two dollars a day – and to take action. But first, we must answer two fundamental questions.

1) What hard, factual, empirical evidence do we have that humans are causing dangerous global warming, perilous climate change or global climate disruption?

Not computer models, assertions, assumptions, questionable surface temperature data or phony consensus. Actual evidence. If the alarmist camp has that evidence, it must share not just its pasteurized, homogenized, massaged data and conclusions – but its raw data, methodologies and computer codes. And it must be willing to discuss and debate its claims and evidence with people who are not convinced we are causing a planetary climate emergency.

2) How can we make plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide emissions RISE?

From 1900 (and even earlier), life expectancies, living standards, human health and all other key indicators of quality of life in the developed world have been improving. Since at least 1970, air and water quality have steadily improved, after decades when they arguably had declined, as the developed world built sanitation, transportation, manufacturing and other infrastructure that made these improvements possible.

In recent decades, China, India, Brazil and other emerging economies have followed this lead – and greatly improved their citizens’ lives. But meanwhile, in the impoverished Third world, life expectancies, living standards and other basic indicators of quality of life have remained awful … or gotten worse.

In every case where people’s quality of life has improved, they owe that change to one thing above all others: a massive increase in productivity through the use of technology – and thus to the abundant, reliable, affordable energy that makes that technology possible. In the vast majority of cases, that has meant access to hydrocarbons and electricity. Even today, with nuclear and hydroelectric power making huge contributions, hydrocarbons remain king. And because of that, people in developed nations today live better than even kings and queens did a century ago.


Redmond Weissenberger

Redmond Weissenberger is the Canadian Policy Analyst for the Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow (www. CFACT.org). He lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.