Climate alarmism fosters energy poverty


Part 2

My column last Saturday (“Climate change nothing but a lie”, October 25) drew much comment and reaction from within the country and from abroad —some sent by email, and some expressed to me in person.

As might be expected, I have raised the hackles of people who are in the business of spreading climate alarmism in this country.

Since the column was published during the weekend, the NGOs probably haven’t had time yet to discuss, write or research a response. But respond they eventually will

Without waiting for that response, I am publishing today Part 2 of this series on climate change. I hasten to publish this follow-up because, as a result of my column, I have gotten significant information and documents that make revision of Philippine policies on climate change imperative and urgent.

Need to review PH policy
In outline, these are the key information packets that counsel an immediate review of Philippine policies and programs in response to the dubious phenomenon of climate change.

1. First, I call attention to an article published in Forbes magazine last year, which is even more devastating for climate change dogma than the report in Daily Express cited in the earlier column. The article. Written by Larry Bell, speaks volumes from its very title, “In their own words, climate alarmists debunk their own science.”

Bell surveys the political agenda of climate-change crusaders and the contradictory statements of researchers of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on climate Change (IPCC).

2. Second, I urge the review by an appropriate Congress committee of an incisive article by Professsor William Happer of Princeton University, which has been hailed as the most potent attack on climate change dogma, and has not been answered by climate alarmists.

This article, entitled “The truth about greenhouse gases: the dubious science of the climate crusaders,” was published in the First things journal/website.

I was graciously sent a link to the article by reader William Haldane of New Jersey, who wrote a reaction to my column. He says he plans to relocate to the Philippines next year.

Climate alarmism: an industry and a racket
3. Third, a helpful reader directed my attention to a statement on the climate-change controversy by Greenpeace co-founder Peter Moore, which he issued on Fox Business News.

He said:
“We do not have any scientific proof that we are the cause of the global warming that has occurred in the last 200 years . . . The alarmism is driving us through scare tactics to adopt energy policies that are going to create a huge amount of energy poverty among the poor people. It’s not good for people and it’s not good for the environment…In a warmer world we can produce more food.”

This point deserves serious thought and review by our policy makers. Climate change alarmism is driving countries to adopt policies that foster energy poverty and are detrimental to their aspirations for development.

When Moore was asked who is responsible for promoting unwarranted climate fear and what their motives are, he said: “A powerful convergence of interests. Scientists seeking grant money, media seeking headlines, universities seeking huge grants from major institutions, foundations, environmental groups, politicians wanting to make it look like they are saving future generations. And all of these people have converged on this issue.”

This means that there is a racket behind the climate crisis industry. It has the money to lobby. It has the resources for a high-stakes PR battle.

4. Fourth, according to one alert reader Carlo Apolinar, the Department of Interior and Local Government is implementing a program to establish climate mitigation units at barangay level. This will cost a considerable sum of money. The program and its budget are the brainchild of DILG secretary Mar Roxas. Roxas should answer questions raised that these barangay units are part of his scheme to expand his campaign machinery at public expense.

Climate crusaders can’t support alarms
Larry Bell’s article in Forbes Magazine (February 5, 2013) deals a big blow against climate change. He contends that climate crusaders who stoke the global warming alarm fires or climate change fears have no solid research to back up their warnings. They wilt before the formidable array of expert opinion challenging the reality of global warming and climate change. They have no answer to the finding that for the past 18 years, there has been no global warming.

Bell claims further that climate alarmism is pushing an international political agenda. After many scientists predicted a global cooling crisis in the 1990s,the United Nations organized the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and convened a continuing series of international conferences purportedly aimed at preventing an impending catastrophe. From the beginning, they already attributed the “crisis” to human fossil-fuel carbon emissions.

Subordinating climate science to ideology has proven to be incredibly costly.

The US Government Accounting Office (GAO) reports that federal climate spending has increased from $4.6 billion in 2003 to $8.8 billion in 2010 (a total $106.7 billion over that period). This doesn’t include $79 billion more spent for climate change technology research, tax breaks for “green energy,” foreign aid to help other countries address “climate problems”; another $16.1 billion since 1993 in federal revenue losses due to green energy subsidies; or still another $26 billion earmarked for climate change programs and related activities in the 2009 “Stimulus Bill.”

Bell concludes: “Virtually all of this is based upon unfounded representations that we are experiencing a known human-caused climate crisis, a claim based upon speculative theories, contrived data and totally unproven modeling predictions.”

Destroying dubious science of climate change
If Bell’s article blasts the political agenda of climate change, Professor Happer’s article destroys its dubious science.

At the end of his piece, Happer provides a succinct, cogent and witty summary of his brief. The following are his principal conclusions:

1. Doubling the CO2 concentration, from our current 390 ppm to 780 ppm will directly cause about 1 degree Celsius in warming. At the current rate of CO2 increase in the atmosphere of about 2 ppm per year it would take about 195 years to achieve this doubling.

2. Climate mitigation and control efforts that have been proposed will enrich a favored few with good political ties at the expense of the great majority of mankind, including especially the poor and the citizens of developing nations. These efforts will make almost no change in earth’s temperature. Spain’s recent experiment with green energy destroyed several pre-existing jobs for every green job it created, and it nearly brought the country to bankruptcy.

3. Climate science is enmeshed in controversy because of its co-opting by politics, ambition, greed, and by a hereditary human need for a righteous cause. What better cause than saving the planet? Especially if one can get ample, secure funding at the same time?

4. The situation is lamentable for the general public, which is fed a constant stream of propaganda by specialists in environmental issues from the mainstream media and well-funded alarmist blogs.

5. Life is about making decisions, and decisions are about trade-offs. We can choose to promote investment in technology that addresses real problems and scientific research that will let us cope with real problems more efficiently. Or we can be caught up in a crusade that seeks to suppress energy use, economic growth, and the benefits that come from the creation of national wealth.

Joint panel on climate change policy
Congress—either the House or the Senate—must take the lead in determining what is the real situation in the Philippines with respect to climate change.

I believe the two houses should constitute a joint panel to look into the issue.

The efficacy of a joint panel has already been proven on the probable power shortage next year. It produced at least at the House the findings that (1) the possible shortage will be minimal, (2) the expenditure of P6 billion to remedy the shortage is unnecessary; (3) Energy secretary Jericho Petilla inflated the shortage estimates in order to secure emergency powers for President Aquino, and (4) emergency powers should not be handed to the chief executive.

A similar joint inquiry on climate change will enable us to know the real situation, whether there really is such a thing as climate change, what our policies are, how much we are spending on climate change mitigation, and what is the most sensible thing for the nation to do.

On this issue, there is not only a right, there is also a need, to know.


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  1. I dare to disagree Mr Makabenta.
    We should not look at this a “them against us” or you are “either for or against climate change”. Science does not move that way. We should base these things on facts. The fact are ice are melting in Antartica. The North Pole has less ice thats why countries like Russia are staking their claim in these areas. Now the claim that sea level will rise is on the other hand are just estimates. Even the years that it will occur vary widely from 20 to 100 years. That typhoons are “more distructive” does not take into account that there are more of us now ! 100 million plus more so chances are more people will be affected even by small typhoons.
    What we actually need is to channel more resources to the scientific community and instruct them to think independently and not parrot “foreign” agendas.
    No amount of so called “preparation” will not prevent us from tragedies when we could not even do the basics first – eg. get people out of the natural canals and flowpath of water. Clean up of garbage and stop people from putting more garbage. If we can do these simple things we are on our way on the “correct , independent thinking”.

  2. Vicente Penetrante on

    It is but natural for scientists to disagree. Religious leaders, too, will participate with their pros and cons on climate change.
    The real issue is energy. Are we going to continue using non-renewable energy like fossil fuel? Or renewable energy sources like the sun and the wind?
    The giant oil companies are like Kodak in the use of films before. Kodak wanted to keep on using film, but was overtaken by digital.

  3. I have commented sometime ago that it is unfair to poor countries like the Philippines to be compelled by treaty or any other international compulsive process to undertake measures like foregoing coal and oil and shift to so called green energy like solar, wind, hydro, geothermal etc. which are so expensive to develop and will make the cost of energy go beyond the reach of our poor countrymen. After all I said then that the Philippines’ contribution to the emissions that “cause” climate change is minuscule compared to such countries like china the US and Europe and besides whatever the level of CO2 there is now in the atmosphere it was all the developed countries that caused it not our country and others as poor as we are. I proposed then that any mitigation measures should be undertaken by these big emitters and spare us until we are able to reach a level of progress that can enable us to sustain green energy power plants. When this comes about we can together meaningfully join the effort to minimize climate change but until then the efforts should be with just these big emitters.

    • If based on GDP, China won’t be included. Therefore, your argument is the same as theirs based on the past UNFCCC talks that has been going on. Keep in mind that they already surpassed the United States as the number one country with the most CO2 emitted. Their economy just started to boom some years ago and they still haven’t reached the status of a first world country. First world countries are supposed to help developing nations in establishing green technologies since they are the ones that have the resources and technological capabilities. Given that, we should already integrate green energy in our country to avoid the mistakes they have committed.