Climate Change

Despite What Democrats Said at Their Debate, We're Not Heading Toward Climate Apocalypse

Climate change is a problem, but the end of the world is not scheduled for 2030.

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Unless the United States solves the problem of man-made climate change in the next 12 years—or maybe 10 years—it's game-over for humanity. At least that's what viewers for the two CNN Democratic presidential debates might take away from urgent declarations made by various candidates. Let's go the transcripts.

In the first debate, held Tuesday night in Detroit, former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke declared, "I've listened to the scientists on this, and they're very clear. We don't have more than 10 years to get this right." Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) warned that the "climate crisis is the existential crisis for our world. It puts every living thing on this planet at risk."

But wait, there was more! "By 2030, we will have passed the point of no return on climate," claimed Montana Gov. Steve Bullock. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg said that "science tells us we have 12 years before we reach the horizon of catastrophe when it comes to our climate."

The candidates in the second Democratic debate, held Wednesday night in Detroit, were a bit more circumspect with regard to setting drop-dead climate deadlines on stage.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) stated that "we must have and adopt a Green New Deal. On day one as president…I would re-enter us in the Paris agreement. And put in place [policies] so we would be carbon neutral by 2030."

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who has made addressing climate change the center of his campaign, asserted that "the science tells us we have to get off coal in 10 years. Your [Biden's] plan does not do that. We have to have [sic] off of fossil fuels in our electrical grid in 15."

During the debate, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii) observed that "long before there was ever a Green New Deal, I introduced the most ambitious climate change legislation ever in Congress called the Off Fossil Fuels Act." That act says 80 percent of all electricity, new vehicles, and train lines must be fueled by no-carbon sources of energy by 2027, rising to 100 percent by 2035.

While these candidates did not set a climate doomsday deadline during the debate, Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D–N.Y.) did declare that "the greatest threat to humanity is global climate change," and Sen. Cory Booker (D–N.J.) stated that "everything must be sublimated to the challenge and the crisis that is existential, which is dealing with the climate threat."

So, are these Democratic presidential hopefuls right that humanity and the planet are really doomed if the U.S. doesn't stop using fossil fuels and emitting carbon dioxide by 2030? Actually, they all seem to have over-interpreted the Global Warming of 1.5 °C report issued last year by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

That report concluded that in order to keep the planet from warming more than 1.5°C over the pre-industrial average temperature by 2100 that humanity must cut greenhouse gas emissions—chiefly carbon dioxide emitted by the burning of fossil fuels—in half by 2030, and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Citing a couple of irritated climate scientists, the fact-checkers over at the Washington Post noted that the report definitely did not find that going over the 1.5°C threshold is the end of the world.

For example, Myles Allen, one of the lead authors of the IPCC report, wrote in April, "Please stop saying something globally bad is going to happen in 2030. Bad stuff is already happening and every half a degree of warming matters, but the IPCC does not draw a 'planetary boundary' at 1.5°C beyond which lie climate dragons."

Kristie L. Ebi, director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the University of Washington, told the Associated Press that that "the report never said we only have 12 years left."

When the IPCC report first came out, I noted:

The report asserts that if no policies aimed specifically at reducing carbon dioxide emissions are adopted, then average global temperature is projected to rise by 3.66°C by 2100, resulting in global GDP loss of 2.6 percent from what it would otherwise have been. Comparatively speaking, in the 2°C and 1.5°C scenarios, global GDP would only be reduced by 0.5 percent or 0.3 percent respectively.

Concretely, the global GDP of $80 trillion, growing at 3 percent annually, would rise to $903 trillion by 2100. A 2.6 percent reduction means that it would only be $880 trillion by 2100. A 0.3 percent decrease implies a loss of $2.7 trillion resulting in a global GDP of $900 trillion. Note that the IPCC is recommending that the world spend between now and 2035 more than $45 trillion in order to endow $2.7 trillion more in annual income on people living three generations hence. Assuming the worst case loss of 2.6 percent of GDP in world with a population of 10 billion that would mean that they would have to scrape by on an average income of just $88,000 per year (the average global GDP per capita now is $10,500.)

Living in the warmer world of 2100 on incomes that are around eight times higher than the current average is not the end of civilization.

During the debate, tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang had an interestingly different take on the challenges posed by man-made climate change. He noted that the U.S. is responsible for only about 15 percent of global emissions, so "even if we were to curb our emissions dramatically, the earth is still going to get warmer." He added, "This is going to be a tough truth, but we are too late. We are 10 years too late. We need to do everything we can to start moving the climate in the right direction, but we also need to start moving our people to higher ground."

One interpretation is that "higher ground" in Yang's lexicon is a metaphor for making it possible for folks to adapt to whatever climate change is coming. (Of course, it more concretely suggests more wealth will make it possible for folks to withdraw from rising seas and flooding rivers.) Yang continued that the best way to get people to higher ground is "to put economic resources into your hands so you can protect yourself and your families." While Yang is most likely referencing his universal basic income plan, his insight is correct that adopting policies that speed up innovation and wealth creation will enable people to adapt to and even thrive in a warmer world.

Climate change is a problem, but, contrary to the dark apprehensions of many Democratic Party presidential hopefuls, the end of the world is not scheduled for 2030.

NEXT: The Democratic Debates Will Alienate Democratic Voters

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  1. Climate change (by any name) is just the climate changing.
    It is in no way a crisis, or subject to interference by humans.
    Ignore it or change as required. Move a bit further from the shores maybe. Plant sooner of later depending on your location. Use a higher level sunscreen.
    But do not even pretend man can overrule mother nature / God.

    1. I too am not concerned about climate change as a crisis, unlike Tony and the other Climate Conservatives.

      1. HOW is the climate in Tulpa’s alleged brain coming along? Does the pain in the alleged brain, stay moistly in the pain-in-the-ass?

        1. At least he’s not insane in the membrane like you.

  2. Once we hit the point of no return, there’s no use debating this anymore. So we have that to look forward to.

    I don’t know exactly what Democrats get out of raising energy costs beyond the reach of the poor, but it must be pretty lucrative.

    1. Power is it’s own reward. And is there anything more powerful than denying people their own (forms of) power?

      In an information age energy is wealth. Know your place peasant.

    2. I don’t know exactly what Democrats get out of raising energy costs beyond the reach of the poor, but it must be pretty lucrative.

      The poor will be able to afford increased energy costs when the minimum wage is finally raised to that of a living wage, deploranazi!

      /progderp

    3. The dems are acting now to stop this travesty by cutting staff, salaries, and eliminating waste from government spending, as well as ceasing their own use of fossil fuels posthaste, in order to funnel the savings toward the very salvation of human life on earth. They’re not waiting for the deplorables in flyover country to buy in. They’re leading by example! It’s that serious!

      Oh, wait………… Haha.

    4. FYI if you want the most expensive energy, stick with fossil fuels.

      Thankfully some visionaries set the path for domestic energy sources that are exempt from cartels and taxing military interventions. As a bonus these RENEWABLE sources are carbon free AND are now the cheapest, (Unsubsidized). This is why utilities are racing to build solar and wind at 3 cents per KWH (even less outside the US) and storage at 4 cents – also falling fast – to undercut fossil sources. When you see the Middle East building solar so they can sell the more expensive oil to enslaved suckers, you start to see the REAL fears or the entrenched oil, gas and coal producers. Google too see the exodus of enlightened oil producers from carbon fuels to investing in the renewables future. Unfortunately for climate change deniers, this trend is UNSTOPPABLE.

      1. And who will have the money to invest in this new infrastructure? Exxon Mobile, BP, Shell……

        Haha. That’s gonna be funny.

  3. I’ve always had one question that no one seems willing or able to answer – What is the “correct” amount of carbon dioxide that should be in our atmosphere? And, of course, why? My understanding is that below 150 parts / million plants plants suffer and die. If plant life had a say in it the level would be closer to 1,100 parts per million.

    1. It apparently was even higher than that during dino days.

      1. Was recently watching a video about the Tollense battlefield site – thought to have been the place of a major bronze age engagement. The presenter blithely remarked that, at the time of the battle the river is presumed to have been much wider, and slow flowing because the Baltic was higher than it is today.

        Although he did not make this point clear the only way the Baltic Sea could be substantially higher than it is today is if the entire Atlantic was higher – meaning the polar caps were substantially smaller than they are today.

        Which would tend to indicate a much warmer Earth in a near, but clearly pre-industrial, time.

        Hmmm.

        1. The battle is thought to have occurred circa 1250 BCE.

        2. Two possibilities, actually. Either water levels were higher or the land levels were lower. Tectonic microplate movement, erosion and deposition all have to be taken into account to see if and how much the water levels were actually different.

          But yes, that battle was likely in the Minoan Warm Period.

          1. That’s odd, because I was reading this book about history as told through genetics and it was talking about how Europeans about 20,000 years ago were freely walking between the continent and Britain because the entire English Channel was dry land. I immediately thought that the sea levels today must be a lot higher than they were back then. (It’s not like landmasses rise or fall that quickly—-this isn’t a geologic time frame.)

            Ain’t it strange that human activity back then was apparently enough to cause such massive shifts in sea levels, and the even stranger that all life wasn’t doomed, as we are supposed to believe?

        3. A warming planet is nothing to fear.
          A cooling planet is very concerning.
          Cold kills, and does so rather comprehensively.
          Fundamental physics – “cold” is a relative lack of motion; decreased speed/acceleration necessarily means lower energy.
          Life is a system for organizing energy.
          The Climate Day Adventists and true believers claim that a warming planet is bad, and that a thicker atmosphere causes (I presume, don’t recall climatists actually ever explicitly saying how CO2 specifically functions in their models) warming, so thicker atmosphere is bad.
          We don’t have an example of warming or a thick atmosphere being bad, but we do have an example of the opposite – Mars, a barren lifeless planet (that once, though no longer, held water) which had both cooled and lost its atmosphere over time.

    2. You have to look at a timeline longer than 150 years to answer that question, so good luck.

      I say we return to the halcyon days of the Eocene Climate maximum, if not the Cambrian Explosion ( too many reptiles and big bugs)

    3. 1,000-1,500, depending on your plant genetics, size, and whether you’re using 1k plus watt grow lights.

      Or so I’ve heard.

    4. Well a climate that is that carbon-rich for plants won’t have many grasslands. Everything about the human rise to alpha species depends on grasslands which have been very favored for the last 5 million or so years. Even if we don’t live there, most of our food does and we depend on that being the ‘preferred’ plant environment. When we clear a forest/jungle, we expect it to remain cleared for at least awhile. Lots of things change if we have to keep clearing it every 5 years rather than every 20.

      1. Carbon steel can keep the trees at bay.

        1. Yeah – but if the larger herbivores start looking more like a brontosaurus than a giraffe the alpha carnivores are going to start looking more like a TRex than like us.

          1. …if we let them

      2. Basically the Pliocene (in reverse) climate is where we are headed first. CO2 levels were about the same as today – avg temps were 2-3C higher than today ranging from not much different in the tropics (except a lot more rain then) to polar temps 8-10C higher than today. At the beginning of that era forest/jungle dominated – by the end grasslands did.

        1. So, we’re headed towards a warmer, more fertile and biodiverse planet?

          And people think this is a bad thing?

  4. The fact that none of the Democrats running support nuclear power (which has zero emissions) prove that this is all just political bullshit.

    1. Bingo.

      This is the correct response. The technology already exists, has been used for decades, and can be used to power the world. A little bit of uranium goes a long way.

      They should be screaming for this, but don’t, because they’re not serious.

    2. I support nuclear power – but it is the one form of energy that also requires a very pervasive state. A centralized grid, centralized control over enrichment and disposal, centralized financing.

  5. If warmists actually believed the human race was in peril, they’d be moving heaven and earth for nuclear power. They are just virtue signalling.

    They point to corals as near extinction. Corals have survived for hundreds of millions of years. They survived higher temps just 1000 years ago, when there were cattle ranches in Greenland. They survived 4-500 foot sea level rise 10,000 years ago.

    Their models can’t predict the *past* 30 years of global weather; why would anyone rely on them for 100 or even 12 years 10 years 18 months years in the future?

    1. They might also reign in their gargantuant carbon footprints. But no, it’s private jets and private yachts at ancient Greek and Roman ruins on the coast of Sicily.

      About the only difference between them and the previous occupants is that nobody actually owns the kitchen staff these days.

      1. rein, not reign

        1. Thank you!

          The incorrect spelling/use of “rein” and “reign” is a particular pet peeve of mine

          1. I’m not sure it was misspelled in this instance.

        2. rein, not reign

          Oh no, that was a perfect johnism.*

          *johnism–a serendipitous error that makes the intended point that much more sharply. Named for John, the master of the feat.

  6. “…We’re Not Heading Toward Climate Apocalypse.

    But…but…but then all these quack scientists won’t be able to get millions of taxpayers money.
    Then they won’t be able to afford their third vacation home in the Hamptons.
    Then they’ll have to some real scientific research and worse yet, be be held accountable for it.
    Then they’ll have to get a real job and produce results!
    Oh, the horror.
    The horror!

    1. We’re actually heading towards a Disco Apocalypse

  7. This

  8. This people want to get back to pre-industrial temps by taking the human race back to pre-industrial standards. of living.

    1. That’s one of the dumbest aspects of their ludditism too. They somehow think the masses can go back to manual labor without actually doing manual labor, that life will be just peachy keen without all the tech and free markets that lifted humanity out of the manual labor.

      And on top of all that, they expect they will still be in charge and living it arge!large!

  9. Chicken Little, chicken little!

    1. Wolf! Wolf!

  10. This is the most worrisome issue today. Politicians spend so much effort espousing this bullshit and millions of people believe it as gospel. This ideology is a more efficient tool to power then identity politics or social equity, although both are included in the “solution”.

    1. “final solution” I think you meant to say.

      1. How about “Five-Year Plan”?

    2. Guilt and grievance are easy sells to a self loathing base. Cynical, but easy.

  11. These folks remind me of the South Park episode about the atheist tribes, invoking Science like it were God. Humans seem naturally inclined to religious behavior.

    1. There are so many spot on South Park episodes. “Smug Alert” comes to mind. Best show ever.

      1. They’re our version of Aristophanes.
        Genius

  12. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who has made addressing climate change the center of his campaign, asserted that “the science tells us we have to get off coal in 10 years…

    China and India say “What do you mean *we*, kemosabe?”

    Comparatively, our coal usage is a rounding error.

    What an idiot.

  13. But wait, there was more! “By 2030, we will have passed the point of no return on climate,” claimed Montana Gov. Steve Bullock. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg said that “science tells us we have 12 years before we reach the horizon of catastrophe when it comes to our climate.”

    Did they really throw out the 12 year trope? Did they really do that? AOC even fucking disavowed this. And guess what, pimpwagon, it ain’t 12 years, it’s around 11 now, possibly less.

    1. The day after tomorrow?

      1. “Two days before the day after tomorrow”. Haha

    2. Doomsday is twelve years from now. It will always be twelve years from now, whenever now is. They are trying to stoke fear to put themselves in charge. They have no understanding of science, it is just a means to an ends.

      1. Actually one expert has predicted we only have Five Years

  14. >>>Climate change is a problem

    Mom Nature on line 2 … says everything will be fine.

  15. The end of the world is the most rescheduled event in the history of events.

    1. This.
      Can I interest you in a subscription to Watchtower?

  16. These chuckleheads are a bunch of fucking lawyers. They wouldn’t recognize science if it slapped them in the ass with both hands.

    1. But they would sue for sexual harassment!

    2. They know a good power grab when they see it. This really is one of the largest such grabs since WW2.

      At least they had a real war to fight back then. This is the perfect enemy. Ever elusive and undefinable. It’s like the ‘devil’ but “It’s Science!” It’s what the MIC did with ‘terrorism’ only about 100x more spending and control.

      You get to pick who get’s electricity and how it’s made, on every level of the economy from Billy Joe Bob Farmer to entire sovereign nations.

      Who the fuck thinks this is a good idea?!!??! HOw?!!?

  17. Wrong then (1969!), wrong now, wrong forever – – – –
    Adviser Daniel Patrick Moynihan, notable as a Democrat in the administration, urged the administration to initiate a worldwide system of monitoring carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, decades before the issue of global warming came to the public’s attention.
    There is widespread agreement that carbon dioxide content will rise 25 percent by 2000, Moynihan wrote in a September 1969 memo.
    “This could increase the average temperature near the earth’s surface by 7 degrees Fahrenheit,” he wrote. “This in turn could raise the level of the sea by 10 feet. Goodbye New York. Goodbye Washington, for that matter.”

    If only NY & DC had drowned in 2000 – – – –

  18. The Chicago city council is talking about taking over the electrical grid from Commonwealth Edison. Look for Chicago to go CO2 free by pure ineptitude. If you visit bring plenty of candles. And maybe toilet paper.

    1. Probably wouldn’t cost much to hire a few consultants from Venezuela to walk them through this.

      1. A few happy meals and a case of bottled water ought to do it

  19. It’s going to be funny with each passing decade as we continue to miss the predicted temperature increases and subsequent consequences and we continue to scream bloody murder about the next apocalyptic prediction.

    1. From Thomas Malthus on, we have had case after case after case of “the sky is falling”. The fact that the sky has NOT yet fallen, never seems to sink in! New tech will NEVER save us! We MUST repent of our anti-Gaia sins, and NOTHING else will suffice!

      1. The walls are closing in!
        This is the tipping point!
        It’s the beginning of the end!
        Repent your sins!
        Put on that hair shirt!
        Not one prediction in 20+ years has been anywhere close to accurate and yet we’re still supposed to buy this bridge.

        1. 20? “The end is near” has been the mantra of power seekers for over two thousand years.

  20. “will enable people to adapt to and even thrive in a warmer world”

    That’s not enough. We need to ensure that plants and especially the handful of staples we eat can survive. Any average temperature increase puts plants and their harvest at risk due to longer more intense heat waves.

    1. m: Strangely wheat, soy and maize production has been rising dramatically in Brazil for decades.

      1. I’m sure that has to stop happening. Any. Day. Now.

      2. “m: Strangely wheat”

        There’s a simple explanation. More wheat etc has been planted. Longer, more intense heat waves will put these harvests at risk.

        1. Another idiot.

          Plant growth yields increase with increased carbon and they need less water to survive. Water is a scarcer resource than most anything else. That is why the world is greening dumbass. Plants yields are historically up. There is no statistical increase in heat waves, see the IPCC report. Even they couldnt molest the data enough to get that talking point out.

          The majority of the global warming in the data is warmer winters and warmer nights (mostly due to urban heat retention). Growing seasons have increased.

          Any other stupid things you want to cry about?

          1. You haven’t disputed the claim that average temperatures will increase. Can you explain how this will not result in longer, more intense heat waves?

  21. So how about we build a really big space ship, and as we approach the final climate count-down, we invite all the hysterical nanny types on board, and then launch it into the sun?

  22. “The climate catastrophe is coming, but whatever you do, stay away from modern nuclear energy! Because nukes are bad, mmkay? And don’t plant lots of trees, because that might aggravate people’s allergies. So just smash capitalism and all will be well!”

    F*ck off, twits!

  23. Quibble with timing while roughly 40% of the people in the country think global warming is a hoax and current leadership wants to use more coal. Many of us have moved to higher ground already.

  24. Look, people of today, esp. young people, can literally wrap their amazing brains around any subject and become bonafide experts in fields inconceivable to the classic ‘human mind’. People are more learnėd than all yall baby boomers was used to, and if you can’t ‘dig it’ then you’re just dead weight. You’re only delaying the inevitable.

    (Side note, ‘Climate change’ is a painful anachronism at this point, since what we really have on our hands is a full blown crisis. If that’s not obvious to you, then I’d suggest looking out your window or reading a thermometer.)

    Kids today KNOW with certainty. They can feel it in their big healthy gut. And if you can’t, I’d suggest going to see your local Apple genius to get your computer’s wifi looked at or maybe a proctologist.

    1. “Kids today KNOW with certainty.”

      Not only that, they can literally SEE CO2. (Thelma Thunberg (sp?), anyway.)

  25. “You’re all going to die a horrible death! The only thing that will save you is to give me absolute control over you “!!
    /Every politician ever

  26. So, I’ve got a question or two that none of these lunatics will answer. If things are as drastic as they say, what measures do they suggest we enact to force China (who doesn’t give a fuck about global warming), or any of the third world and developing countries (who want to improve their standard of living with relatively cheap fossil fuels) into being “green”? China isn’t going to do this without being completely dominated in a war, and since they have nukes (and a numerical advantage), that isn’t going to happen cleanly or quickly, if at all.

    As for the rest of the world, well, is it just a coincidence that the democrats don’t want all the non-white countries to succeed? I’m just saying.

    So are the Democrats ok with WW3 and suppression of most of the globe, or are they just blowing hot air? Which is it?

    1. “who doesn’t give a fuck about global warming”

      They care about their environment. I take it you have never been to China, .

      1. I haven’t. Presuming what you say is true though, everything I’ve read points to their pollution levels still expanding, even while they try to outsource some things to other SE Asian countries like Vietnam, raising pollution levels there as well.

        1. They have the world’s most active nuclear power generation program. There is also much activity in solar panels, no doubt te world’s biggest producer. This indicates a concern for global warming/climate change. I can’t see how you’ve come to the opposite conclusion.

  27. The greatest threat to America is the 22.5 trillion dollar (and counting) national debt. Spending several trillion more on “climate change” will make the biggest problem worse, and most likely do nothing to affect the climate.

    1. ^THIS^

  28. If Democrats really believed that GW was a ‘existential’ crisis they would be embracing nuclear power in a big way. The fact that they haven’t shows how phony they are.

  29. I’m watching for a predicted beginning of a grand solar minimum starting right about now, to last for 30 or 40 years.

    Astrophysicist Valentine Zharkova has a four axis model of the Sun that matches sunspots recorded since we learned to look for them; she’s calling for a start of a new Maunderish Minimum in 2030, with the turndown beginning in 2020 with cycle 25 being even smaller than the current cycle 24.

    Fasten your seatbelts, we’re in for a bumpy ride.

    1. Someone ought to take a look at the “settled science” on global cooling, which morphed into global warming, which morphed into climate change, during the last 40 years.

  30. Historical news from 1970, “Beware of the imminent cooling of the Earths Surface and expect extensive glaciation…”

    — No joke; look it up —
    The fear mongers have been playing jump rope and collecting Trillions in tax dollars and legislation favors for over 50-years and some people are still eating this crap up.

    The fear should be about all those idiots playing their completely unfounded and unreliable fear-mongering games with political forces and EVERYONE’S income.

    1. In fact as of the last 3-years average temperatures are dropping now – and need we even remember during the great depression when all industry was all but shut down was the fastest increase in average temperature yet during World War II when bombs were flying and every NON-EMISSION controlled (before catalytic converters) military equipment was running averages went down.

      How such utter contradictions in some “bookies” theory is completely ignored is just fraudulent.

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