August 3, 2023

Senator Lippincott's Weekly Column

Unpacking the politics of climate change

In 1975 a Newsweek magazine article sounded the alarm over what it called “The Coming Ice Age.”  While not professing to know the cause of the trend, the article warned, “there are ominous signs that the earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production…” We were also warned that our use of aerosol sprays was hastening the depletion of the ozone layer which would have dire consequences! Then, around 1990 certain scientists and politicians like Al Gore began to shout the “Inconvenient Truth” of global warming, warning that rising oceans would sweep away our coastlines. A few years later when the warming trend inconveniently ended for the climate scaremongers, the new scare term became “climate change” with the main culprit in this global emergency being a rise in carbon dioxide (CO2) levels caused by human activities such as the burning of petroleum products. Apparently whatever direction the thermometer goes you have reason to be afraid…be very afraid.

There is no emotion known to lend itself more readily to controlling others than fear! Interestingly, the most often repeated phrase in all of the Bible, whether Old or New Testament, is a variation of “fear not.”

All this hysteria, which is backed 100 percent by the current administration in Washington, has led to a scheme to capture all that nasty carbon dioxide from Midwest ethanol plants and send it via underground pipelines several hundred miles to North Dakota where it will be imprisoned in underground dungeons where it belongs! The purpose of this wild adventure is to save the planet (from us) and is being done in the name of “science.”

But let’s think back for a few moments on our 8th grade physical science classes. The atmosphere around us consists of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and one percent inert gases. Let’s focus now on just that one percent. Ninety percent of that one percent is argon. The remaining 10 percent (of that one percent) consists of water vapor, methane, neon and CO2. Carbon dioxide makes up a mere 0.04 percent of our atmosphere.

Now, looking only at that 0.04 percent of our atmosphere, 97 percent of that 0.04 percent is produced by oceans “gassing” off CO2 along with an occasional volcanic eruption. Only three percent of that 0.04 percent is man made. The CO2 produced by burning petroleum to drive our cars, fly our airplanes and heat our homes, is .0014 percent (14/1,000ths) of the atmosphere. China generates 30 percent of those man made emissions, which is more than the next four highest producing countries combined.

Continuing with our 8th grade science, what good does CO2 do? Humans and other air-breathing creatures breathe in oxygen and exhale CO2. However, plants and trees use carbon dioxide to turn sunlight and water into food and give off oxygen. Usually at the earth’s surface level there is 400 parts per million (PPM) of CO2. Greenhouse owners who want their plants and flowers to grow under optimum conditions will have CO2 generators pump up to 1,000 PPM of the gas into their greenhouses, which is more than double the amount of CO2 in the ambient air outside. So, the more CO2 there is the better the plants grow, and the better the plants grow the more oxygen they produce for us. Isn’t that amazing? It is almost as if God knew what He was doing at creation!

As noted geologist Ian Plimer said recently, carbon dioxide is far from being a pollutant, rather he called it “the food of life.”

“It is plant food,” said Plimer. “It is not a pollutant. But, it is invisible, and you can easily be frightened of something you can’t see... and this is being exploited.” Plimer went on to say the CO2/climate change myth is being pushed by what he called “climate totalitarians” as an excuse to seize power and control over every aspect of our lives. (Source: Twitter)

Although, as we have seen, mankind has very little impact on our planet’s atmosphere it is measurable. In fact, NASA has actually noticed a “greening” of our planet over the past 30 years. While any man made CO2 increase has been minuscule, it has led to an equally minuscule increase

of plant and tree growth. Apart from the climate fear mongering, farming practices in the U.S.A. have brought about a 40 percent increase in food production since 1990. The marketplace is a tremendous motivator.

The federal government (and some states such as California) are calling for a reduction in CO2 emissions of 50 percent by 2030. With 10 percent of US greenhouse emissions in 2021 coming from agriculture, guess who is being targeted? (Check out what is happening to farmers in the Netherlands as an example.)

On this side of the pond battle lines are being drawn as well. California has decided not to do business with ethanol producers that do not pump their CO2 underground somewhere like North Dakota. So, do we succumb to the CO2 fears hoping to do business nationwide with our ethanol products, or do we thumb our nose at CO2 fears and do less business?

As we saw with the past pandemic, it seems some forces drive an agenda for their own profit, and the masses, who aren’t knowledgeable of the facts, are penalized. After being subjected to years of the constant drip, drip of climate change propaganda, the hardest part might be convincing our fellow citizens that, as FDR said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” After all, “It is easier to fool someone, than it is to convince them they have been fooled!” -- Mark Twain.

Paid for by Nebraskans for Loren Lippincott, 2611 Highway 14, Central City, NE 68826. All rights reserved.
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