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The Madera Tribune

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Climate-changers about to face Trump

November 19, 2016

The climate hand- wringers at Marrakech in Morocco have ended their conference by appealing to President-elect Donald Trump not to pull out of the emissions-control pact adopted in Paris last year, as he has threatened to do.


He also said he would withdraw U.S. dollars from U.N. global-warming programs.


If Trump kept those promises, a lot of climate scientists would be out of jobs unless other countries kicked in money.


Trump’s attitude toward climate change initiatives is that they are pretty much hoaxes, with climate-control programs set up as make-work projects for scientists who otherwise might not find work, if truth be told.


He also believes they can be economically damaging, especially when it comes to putting brakes on energy production and use.


The Obama administration has pretty much killed the coal industry, using climate-change control as an excuse to shut down mines and coal-fired power plants.


Over the years since the 1970s, economic expansion often has been pinched by energy shortages. Only in recent years has the United States come close to being energy independent.


Even though the U.S. has the world’s biggest economy, it uses considerably less energy than China, which is growing its economy, which in turn requires huge inputs of energy for the construction of major infrastructures. According to the Associated Press, China has tripled its greenhouse gas emissions rate from 3 billion tons annually to 11 billion tons. The U.S., on the other hand, has been a relative energy skinflint — going from 5.4 billion tons to 5.8 billion tons.


On a tonnage basis, it would appear it is China that owes the big bucks, but the climate watchers believe the U.S. should pay the lion’s share for climate-control schemes. Expect Trump to see about that.


The basic theory behind the climate control initiatives is that human activities, such as operating motor vehicles and jet planes, add to the planet’s carbon-dioxide-based greenhouse gas load. But there are other causes. Forest fires, for example, send huge tonnages of carbon dioxide into the air, and volcanoes send even more.


Scientists believe the earth’s rising temperatures cause an increase in weather disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes and floods. And they believe melting ice from the northern Polar regions are causing the 3-inch average rise in the ocean’s surface that has occurred since 1992.


Yet, there’s scant evidence that efforts so far have done much to stave off these worldwide changes. Only in Europe have greenhouse gas levels dropped, and that hasn’t made much difference in the quality of life of Europeans who find themselves still battling severe winters and stifling hot summers as a matter of course.


Will Trump cut back funding for world climate control activities? Well, you can bet he didn’t get elected to increase the amounts spent on those efforts. It might be a good test to see whether cutting back makes much of a difference either way. It might also make China increase its contributions to the effort if the Chinese actually believe in it.


One thing seems sure, which is that while human activities have contributed to climate change and global warming, human efforts have done little either to reduce climate change or mitigate its effects.

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