By Tom Harris
Pro-lifers should be seriously concerned that the abortion industry is now allying itself with the powerful and heavily funded climate alarmist movement that has hijacked institutions across the western world. The Virginia-based Population Research Institute tells us about this sinister connection in their important video, “Climate Change is an Excuse for Abortion.” They warn:
“Climate crisis advocates blame human activity as the leading cause for climate change. So why not push for global access to abortion and contraception under the guise of climate activism to address the source of all climate change – humanity? This is precisely what the abortion industry has attempted to do. …”
Population Research Institute explain how pro-abortion activists are now attempting to:
“rebrand the movement as a champion of a movement now at the forefront of agendas across the world: Climate Change.
“…They [abortion advocates] claim that an inevitable and necessary step to combat climate change is with family planning… it has empowered them to make their population control agenda more relevant by means of embedding fear through climate crisis theory and claiming their movement as the solution.”
As I described in my Citizens Journal Florida article “Climate Scare Threatens Pro-life Movement,” broad-spread access to abortion is now also being pushed by climate alarmists to supposedly help “stop climate change,” a entirely impossible goal, of course.
Consequently, the pro-life movement needs to learn enough basic climate science to be able to show that the climate scare is unjustified—it is not based on empirical evidence of what is actually happening in the real world. As can be seen in the following graph, the climate alarm is a fantasy based on computerized climate models that make temperature rise forecasts that have been triple reality.
In presenting the above graph, Dr. Craig D. Idso Chairman, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, presented said,
“Each of the red bars on this graphic shows warming that should have occurred in the tropical upper troposphere over the period 1979 – 2017, as predicted by simulations from 102 different climate models. The average predicted warming rate over this nearly four-decade-long period, as shown by the black horizontal dashed line, is 0.44°C per decade. In contrast, satellite measurements shown in blue reveal that the actual warming rate is three times smaller than that predicted by the models.”
In part 2 of this Citizens Journal Florida series, “Pro-Lifers Can Beat the Climate Scare Threatening Their Movement,” I explained further how to contest the mistaken idea that the rise in so-called “global average temperature” is of concern. In “Fighting the Climate Scare to Defend Life,” part 3 of the series, I demonstrated how to defeat the extreme weather, flooding and wildfire arguments used by climate activists. In this, the fourth and final installment, I will show how to debunk concerns about sea level rise and explain how our emissions of carbon dioxide are benefitting life on Earth!
No Need for Concern About Sea Level
Sea level has been rising since the end of the last glacial period, 15,000 years ago. 8,000 years ago, sea level was rising ten times faster than today due to the large volume of ice that had yet to melt and the expansion of sea water due to the rapid warming that was occurring at the time. In Figure 1 below, we see that the oceans have risen only about nine inches in the last 140 years, a rise equal to the thickness of several pieces of paper per year. Reliable satellite data of the last forty years confirms this rise of about one to two millimeters per year before any complex adjustments are made.
It is relatively simple to compensate for such modest sea level rise with appropriate adaptation measures.
Gregory Wrightstone, Executive Director of the CO2 Coalition, presented the following graphs at a September 21, 2021 seminar that demonstrate that sea level rise at six of the world’s largest cities is nothing unusual, merely slow and steady, as one would expect during a gradually warming period:
In “Biden Killing America’s Energy Security With Sea Level Hysteria,” a June 22, 2021 America Out Loud article by the late Dr. Jay Lehr and myself, we explained that melting sea ice does not cause the ocean levels to rise:
“When water starts to freeze, it expands, becoming 10% less dense and floats upon the water that made it up. When the ice melts back into the water, it shrinks by the same 10 percent. So, when sea ice melts, the 10 percent floating above the water combines with the 90 percent under the water, occupying the same original water volume.”
We are often told that small islands such as in the Maldives are at risk of being submerged due to global warming. Stockholm University sea level expert, the late Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner estimated (2017) that sea level will rise only about five cm (about two inches) in the next 100 years. Amazingly, the uncertainty on this estimate is plus or minus 15 cm, because of the large uncertainty in future climate. Regardless, even the highest of Mörner’s forecasts poses no danger to most of the low-lying areas of the world. For example, Mörner created the following graph for the Maldives which shows that sea levels were higher than today five times in the past 5,000 years:
Many people are concerned that, if sufficient land glaciers melt, sea level rise will become a problem. Dr. Lehr and I explained that this too is incorrect. Here are some excerpts from “Biden Killing America’s Energy Security With Sea Level Hysteria”:
“The Antarctic contains about 90 percent of the world’s ice mass. About 44 percent of that Antarctic ice is in the ice shelves (floating) and coastal ice (not floating), mainly in the western regions of the Pacific Ocean. More than 50 percent of the Antarctic sheet is land-based and can be several miles thick. Historical data confirms that there are few days per year when the temperature is above freezing, and then only a few hours per day and only along the coast. Consequentially, no continental Antarctic ice water ever reaches the oceans. “During bright and sunny days, a small amount of the continental and shoreline ice surface is destroyed by infrared rays from the sun. But this ice does not melt into the water; rather, it sublimates directly into water vapor. Sublimation means that the ice goes directly from the solid to the gaseous phase (water vapor) without ever going through the liquid phase. When the sublimated water vapor reaches the cold Antarctic air, the vast majority of it quickly turns to snow and falls back on the glacier. The winds may blow only a tiny amount over the Antarctic Ocean. Nearly zero goes into the oceans as water.
“Coastal Antarctic ice, dramatized with films, photos, and articles in newspapers and TV, shows large ice chunks tumbling into the ocean. These dramatic falling cliffs are not caused by warm air. Instead, the melting is occurring at the water level by the warmed Pacific Ocean. Here the water splashes and melts and gouges caverns in the ice, forming large ice shelves or overhangs. This process continues until the overhang’s weight is big enough to cause the overhung ice to break and tumble off. That is when we get the stunning pictures. So yes, some of this ice will melt into the oceans and cause some levels to rise, but the volume is unmeasurably small.
“Still, 90% of the coastal ice is submerged in the freezing ocean depths (up to 2,000 meters), so practically only a tiny percent of the shelf or coastal ice actually melts.
“NASA published a study on October 30, 2015, saying that Antarctica is accumulating ice at a rate of about 112 billion tons per year. It has already replaced all the ice that melted in the previous several decades. See “Biden Killing America’s Energy Security With Sea Level Hysteria for further discussion on this topic.
We Need MORE, not less carbon dioxide! Climate alarmists assert that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant that must be controlled. A Google search for “Joe Biden” and “carbon pollution” yields almost 49,000 results. But gaseous carbon dioxide (CO2) is not carbon, which is a solid, and it is anything but pollution. It is an invisible, non-toxic, trace, natural component of the atmosphere, allowing plants, and thus all life on Earth, to thrive. Contrary to the assertions of activists, politicians and most mainstream media, the figure below, shown by Dr. William Happer, Professor of Physics Emeritus at Princeton University in a November 15, 2021 presentation hosted by the Climate Intelligence Foundation (CLINTEL) in Amsterdam, demonstrates that we are close to the lowest levels of CO2 in Earth’s history.
Since photosynthesizing plants evolved in a relatively high CO2 environment, they become starved for CO2 when levels are low as today. This is why greenhouse operators inject an extra 1,000 ppm of CO2 into their greenhouses to stimulate plant growth. Not surprisingly, rising atmospheric CO2 is significantly helping plant growth across the world. According to NIPCC’s Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts report:
“Long-term CO2 enrichment studies confirm the findings of shorter-term experiments, demonstrating numerous growth-enhancing, water-conserving, and stress-alleviating effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on plants growing in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.” Indeed, as explained in the Aug. 23, 2021 ICSC-Canada’s Climate Change Minute, increasing CO2 is “greening” the world with the stimulation of plant productivity, which has occurred in spite of
fires, disease, pest outbreaks, and deforestation. NASA released the image and video below, reporting (“Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds,” April 26, 2016):
“From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25.
“An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet’s vegetated regions. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.”
In 2020, NASA confirmed that this beneficial trend is continuing.
No one should fear rising CO2 levels; they have been much higher in the past and no climate catastrophe occurred. The recent rise is working to green the Earth and benefit us all. To learn more about the real facts concerning carbon dioxide, the stuff of life, please listen to Dr. Lehr and my interview of educator and citizen climate researcher Sam Horowitz here!
After presenting to Campaign Life Coalition, Action4Canada and other pro-life groups in Canada over the past few months, I would be pleased to speak with any pro-life organizations in my country or the U.S. about the climate scare threatening their movement and how to beat it. Readers are encouraged to contact me at [email protected] at any time!
The views expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.