Secretary of State John Kerry met with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius this week to discuss economic issues. In joint remarks prior to their meeting, one might expect to hear about pressing world economic concerns such as national debt, inflation, or unemployment. Instead the first comment from the French Foreign Minister was about climate change. In French, undoubtedly for the benefit of the French-speaking Mr. Kerry, the Fabius told the gathering, “We have 500 days to avoid the climate chaos.”
Sacré bleu! 500 days from now puts into late September 2015, when will be living through the movie, “The Day After Tomorrow,” where a climatologist’s warnings go unheeded, plunging the world into an ice age. All this during the baseball playoffs, early football season, and fall TV show debuts. Should we heed the warnings of the French Foreign Minister or take his warnings, along with other similar predictions, with a large grain of salt?
Prince Charles, in March 2009, warned the world that we have, “less than 100 months to act” to save the planet from irreversible damage due to climate change. By that time it will be the summer of 2017, several months into the Jeb or Hillary presidency. This is the same Prince Charles who, two years earlier, flew from England to New York and back, with an entourage of 20 staff members, to accept the Global Environmental Citizen prize. Wouldn’t a “global environmental citizen” accept the prize via video link rather than leaving a jumbo jet carbon footprint in his wake? Yet we are to believe his doomsday prophesy.
Not to be outdone, prophet Al Gore declared in 2008 that, “the entire North Polarized cap will disappear in 5 years.” How did that turn out 5 years later? Turns out that it’s quite the opposite. North Polar ice is so thick that it is threatening polar bears by cutting off their food supply of seals beneath the ice. Heeding Al Gore’s warnings, the polar bear was added to the endangered species list in 2008. Yet since 2001, the number of polar bears in the world has increased by 4,200. Another of many predictions falling flat.
Ask yourself if these quotes sound familiar: “Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars’ worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.” Or this: “A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale, warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences.” Or this? “Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects.”
These could be from last week’s New York Times or Washington Post, discussing the recent National Climate Assessment. But they are actually from a 1975 Newsweek article warning of global cooling. Seems the same recycled predictions of gloom and doom hold true regardless of actual circumstances. Does it really matter if temperatures are rising, falling, or remaining the same? The same scare tactics and warnings can be applied to any and all scenarios.