William Happer, emeritus professor of physics at Princeton and an expert on climate, recently explained why today’s “climate frenzy” is not a crisis. Happer spoke at a seminar sponsored by Hillsdale College. Among the highlights:
“The best way to think about the frenzy over climate is to consider it a modern version of the medieval Crusades. . . . Crusades have always ended badly. They have brought discredit to the supposed righteous cause. They have brought hardship and death to multitudes. Policies to address this phony climate emergency will cause great damage to American citizens and to their environment.”
“CO2 is a gas you cannot see, smell or taste. So, hare-brained schemes to limit emissions of CO2, which is actually beneficial, . . . will only make it harder to get rid of real pollutants [like fine particulates and dust].”
“A major problem with renewable energy sources (solar, wind) is that they take up a lot of space. . . . The panels do not work at all at night. You need something else to provide electrical power at night. Solar panels do not work if it is a cloudy day. They do not work terribly well in the winter when the Sun is low. So, it is pure virtue signaling. Solar power makes no economic sense unless you are massively subsidized by the state and federal governments.”
“Renewable energy is what I would call the inverse Robin Hood strategy—you rob from the poor to give to the rich. Utilities are permitted to raise rates because of their capital investments in inefficient, unreliable renewables. They junk fully depreciated coal, gas and nuclear plants, all of which are working beautifully, and producing inexpensive, reliable energy.”
In his blunt and lively talk, Happer included a description of how greenhouse gases operate, why actual temperatures differ from the computer models of future temperatures, and why carbon dioxide is largely saturated.
“Saturation is a jargon term that means CO2 has done all the greenhouse warming it can easily do. Doubling CO2 does not make much difference. You could triple or quadruple CO2 concentrations, and it also would make little difference. The CO2 effects are strongly saturated.”
A lucid and interesting introduction to climate change.
Image of “The Crusaders and the Saracens” by cool-art is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.