With a new course towards a hopeful future

By Guus Berkhout and Kees de Lange

In the first part of this article, we argued that there is no climate crisis and politicians, climate researchers and journalists were urgently requested to stop scaring the hell out of the population and citing the results of dubious climate models. In this part, emeritus professors Guus Berkhout and Kees de Lange argue in favour of ending the fighting between alarmists and realists. They make a plea to start working together on the large opportunities offered by climate change. This means a completely different approach to climate policy and the energy transition.

It is time that we stopped accepting that more and more unelected international organisations – such as all those UN-organizations (WMO, UNEP, etc.) and the thousands of NGO’s – who are forcing us to organise life in our own country according to their preferences. Above all, it is high time that we eradicated the stories of fear and the coercive measures forced upon us by these organisations. This is only feasible with a strong national democracy! National governments must set a new course with plenty of courage and expertise. The result will create hope for a prosperous future. Such a new course starts with a sensible climate policy.

Get rid of climate anxiety.
Enough about all these fear-mongering narratives and all the nonsensical net-zero CO2 billions. We are now going to talk about the positive climate prospects for the future. The graph on the right in illustration 4 was published in 2020 by the well-known Danish environmental economist Bjørn Lomborg. It shows at a glance – without complicated models – why the climate scary narratives are misplaced. It turns out that investing in adaptation measures is extremely rewarding!

Mind you, the Western world has become considerably more prosperous in the past century due to reliable and affordable energy. This prosperity could be used to finance technological progress. And that technology could be used to prevent climate casualties. Mitigation technology has never saved a life or made a difference, but adaptation technology has saved millions according to Lomborg!

Illustration 4: While the CO2-concentration in the atmosphere continues to rise – despite the many mitigation-billions spent (left-hand side) – we see a strong decline of the climate-related mortality numbers (right-hand side) by adaptation policies. The decline is spectacular and proves that the fear-mongering narratives in the media about catastrophic mortality due to climate change are flatly wrong.

We now forecast the arrival of most extreme weather days, sometimes weeks, in advance so that proper measures can be taken. In prosperous countries, dikes are being strengthened and houses are much more resistant to hurricanes and increasingly to earthquakes. Wide firebreaks are created in forests to ensure that forest fires remain local, new water management techniques are developed to collect excess rainwater in overflow areas to be used later in dry times, etc.

Net-zero policies deliver nothing.
The graph on the left in illustration 4 shows that all those thousands of billions for net-zero policies have yielded nothing for decades! So why continue with it? Apparently, neither the climate nor CO2 care about human mitigation policies at all. Whereas the graph on the right in illustration 4 indicates that investments in adaptation are showing spectacular results, saving millions from death due to weather and climate events. Therefore, making a population poorer through pointless climate policies and unaffordable energy prices is stupid, wasteful, and immoral.

Why do we never see the side-by-side comparison in illustration 4 in the media? The IPCC is also completely silent about this! But the population is desperate for just that comparison, show them the costs and benefits of both possible solutions. For further information on this important topic, see also this thorough analysis by Clintel that shows serious errors in the latest IPCC report.

Foolish Western Illusions
In the Western world endless meetings are held to discuss methods of controlling Earth’s climate. In those meetings, policy measures are invented about Earth’s climate by green politicians who have little factual engineering or scientific knowledge. Partly because of this, Western countries want to be in front of the moral procession (‘look at us saving the world’) when it comes to taking moralistic climate measures. However, the population suffers as a result. Countries such as China and India are watching with utter amazement as the EU drives its high-quality industrial production and jobs out of Europe with foolish climate regulations.

The non-Western world, which is the vast majority of the world’s population, has many other things on its mind than an alleged climate crisis. They do not have any understanding or patience with a public welfare-destroying net-zero policy. They realise that their growing populations can only be given a future with the large-scale use of fossil fuels, followed by a gradual transition to the large-scale use of modern nuclear energy. Countries like China and India consider the net-zero policy to be a foolish Western illusion that serves them well. As a result, we see that the West weakening economically. Geopolitical relations are changing in favour of emerging economic superpowers, such as India and China. Europe is working hard to make itself irrelevant.

CO₂-emissions in the Netherlands

Illustration 5: The outgoing Dutch cabinet is going to spend 28 billion on climate projects to reduce global warming. Upon request, Minister of climate, Rob Jetten, agreed that the reduction will be only 0.000360C. That is many thousands of billions of euros per degree Celsius! Stupidity or evilness?

A specific example. How much CO₂ does the Netherlands actually emit? The facts: The Netherlands is responsible for 0.47% of global CO₂-emissions. If we follow the IPCC and believe their assumption that there is a simple linear relationship between CO₂-emissions and global warming, then the Netherlands’ contribution to global warming is 0.47%. If we also follow the alarmist climate models – human CO₂ is assumed to be the main cause of global warming – then the Dutch CO₂ contribution is responsible for an annual warming of about 0.0001°C! Even with the darkest IPCC scenario, our contribution is so small it cannot be measured!

So, the Dutch citizen is forced to spend hundreds of billions of euros to ensure that the global temperature is reduced by an immeasurably small amount every year. Looking at the major shortages in healthcare and education, among other things, isn’t this climate policy an outrage against the citizens of our country?

Consequences of net-zero climate policy
Because the main cause of global warming is attributed to CO₂ and increases in CO₂ in the atmosphere are attributed to the use of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas), the net zero measures are aimed at eliminating fossil fuels. Did you know that these measures have their origins in the Paris Agreement? There were politicians and civil servants who had no clue about Earth’s climate system (there was no serious scientist in sight). The huge amount of nonsense that has been expressed during the prelude to this agreement is a clear demonstration that when science and politics are at loggerheads, science is bound to lose.

Illustration 6: The left graph shows global warming (about 1.20 C) on the usual mini scale. Thus, the warming appears catastrophic. But if we show the same warming with Singapore and Oslo temperatures (about 280 C and 60 C), the warming is barely visible.

However, that did not stop them from jointly determining that the average global warming should not exceed the “disastrous” limit of 1.5°C! Since then, the Paris Agreement has been sacrosanct. When we talk about climate policy, we talk about ‘meeting the Paris Accord’. So, scientific content has completely disappeared from the climate debate and is replaced with an arbitrary political goal! Illustration 6 shows that the average annual temperature difference between Singapore and Oslo is about 22°C. Despite Singapore being 22°C warmer than Oslo, both cities are very prosperous. So, what does the 1.5°C Paris disaster limit represent?

Energy crisis
There is no climate crisis, and it is also a fiction that this crisis is caused by the Western world. But there is indeed an energy crisis of our own making (‘anthropogenic’). Historically, virtually all of humanity’s progress in the last few hundred years is due to advances in science and technology and the availability of sufficient reliable, affordable, and safe fossil energy sources. These sources can provide energy any time it is demanded. Modern fossil fuel power plants provide demand-driven energy and are a monumental technological-scientific achievement. They are also getting cleaner!

It is of utmost importance for everyone’s future that the energy needs of the world’s population are adequately met. This is no mean feat, with the world’s population continuing to grow and with per capita energy needs constantly increasing. In this context, look at the fast-growing data centers, which require a huge amount of energy. Serious projections of the world’s energy demand in 2050 show that an increase of about 25% can be expected. How are we going to provide that? Certainly not by phasing out fossil fuels as quickly as possible! Did you know that for years, 80% of energy has been supplied by fossil fuels and that the contribution of alternative energy sources remains around 20%?

Biomass, wind and solar
The alternative options that have been put forward for fossil fuels for years are biomass, wind, and solar. Even climate alarmists are beginning to realize that cutting down our forests en masse, and then burning them in biomass power plants, is great folly. We know that wind and sun only produce electricity when the wind is not blowing too hard or too soft and only when the sun is shining. Because we cannot practically store large amounts of electricity, solar and wind are, at best, niche solutions. Despite all the warning signs, politicians continue to cut down forests on a large scale and direct us en masse onto an inadequate power grid. Without a change of course, we are on our way to an anthropogenic energy crisis, in which blackouts will occur regularly.

Nuclear energy
Is there no solution at all? The cynical thing about the situation is that an excellent solution does exist. The key word is nuclear energy. Nuclear power is available, reliable, safe, and affordable, and has the advantage of emitting virtually no greenhouse gases, for anyone with a carbon phobia. Affordable waste recycling is also on the horizon. Nuclear power thus seems to be a possible solution that alarmists and realists could quickly agree on.

New course in climate policy
We conclude with a few guidelines on what a climate policy should look like under a new government (in The Netherlands a new government is now being formed):

  1. Policy should not be based upon immature computer models, but reliable facts.
  2. Facts show there is no climate crisis at all and CO₂ is not a thermostat that allows people to set the climate to a desired setting. Facts show that extremely expensive mitigation policies do not help at all, whereas adaptation policies are successful.
  3. CO₂ is not a harmful gas and CO₂ emissions are not environmental pollution. On the contrary, CO₂ is the molecule of life on planet Earth. More CO₂ in the atmosphere can cause modest warming, but also makes Earth greener, and greatly increases agricultural productivity. We should therefore be very happy with more CO₂.
  4. Climate change and environmental pollution should not be lumped together. Apart from the fact that it is factually incorrect, it makes climate policy unnecessarily complex. Climate change requires adaptation technology, and environmental pollution requires clean production technology. Therefore, impoverishing the population through pointless climate policies and unaffordable energy prices is naive and immoral. Only a prosperous nation can invest in climate adaptation and produce fossil fuels and other fuels more cleanly!

New course in energy transition
The above new course in climate policy will automatically lead to a completely different energy transition. Protesters, who want to abruptly stop using fossil fuels, show they have no idea what they are doing. If the use of fossil fuels stops at very short notice, modern society collapses. A transition, as the word suggests, is a gradual process. The energy of the future is clearly nuclear energy, consisting of a collection of well-positioned mix of large and small nuclear power plants. Practice shows unmistakably that supply-driven wind and solar energy can only play a niche role in our future energy system. After the election, the new Netherlands government must get to work on it quickly.

In conclusion, we once again call on both climate worlds, alarmists and realists, not to fight each other, but to work together to build up more knowledge about the behaviour of the earth’s climate and about the choice of our future energy systems.