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Is the climate change hype an ethical dilemma?

By Carl Peterson

Yes, fossil fuels have contributed to a warmer global climate but the facts are that the system of warming has only amounted to 1 degree C over the last 170 years. In the meantime, climate-related deaths continue to fall to their all-time lows.

Why? Just think of all the progress made over the past 170 years where man has mastered control over so many aspects of climate where we are much better off.

Construction of buildings has dramatically become superior in the area of keeping warm air in and cold air out in cold times and the opposite during periods of much warmer climate, compared to the past methods of home and vehicle mechanical/structural construction.

And many of us have lived through the last 50-60 years on Guam and we have seen the dramatic progress the island has made. As of the immediate past typhoon Mawar, we saw where homes suffered less and less damage because of better quality construction compared to Typhoon Karen in 1962 or Pamela in 1976.

There are many examples where man has contributed greatly to the mastering of adverse climates. The examples of improvement are all around us. Not only that, but we as a nation use irrigation to produce better harvests, hundreds of fossil-fueled machines have greatly expanded construction abilities in addition to stronger, sturdier, buildings.

In addition, early warning systems have defined the possibilities and strengths of storms. If we go back a century the rate of climate-related casualties has fallen 98 percent nationwide.

The discussion on climate change, how serious it is, and what to do about it, is probably the greatest political discussion of our time. However, the details and facts completely reframe the debate and present new realities. The realities of our discussion on climate change should really be focused on "human progress," which some call "human flourishing."

No matter how you look at the arguments, what really counts is what it does for the human equation — how we progress as an entire society, and how we treat our fellow man.

From the end of WWII to today, how the lives of the average person have changed on Guam is just phenomenal. Sure we can point to Uncle Sam's vast contribution, but the reality is dramatic change has taken place because of fossil fuel machines, either directly or indirectly, which created literally everything we use today that we did not have in the beginning years following the war. So in that sense, the conclusion we will arrive at is that the results of progress, or human flourishing, are shockingly amazing.

So what about all the areas where flooding takes place? What can we do about that? First, as we stated in the last article in this paper, in the 38 years since the UN first stated that within 10 years the globe will suffer from climatic destiny, and the climate alarmists are still using the 10-year time frame 38 years later, literally nothing has really happened. But let's assume that it could in the future. What would man do?

They would do just as they do for every catastrophic event - night and day going forward they would start to prepare to obviate the problem because there are other ideas and/or policies that will help more, that are faster, cheaper, and more effective than reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Some that come to mind are better water management, building taller more resistant sea walls-- or how about allowing the water to flood in some areas so it doesn't flood in others?

Contrary to climate alarmists, the world is not on the brink of immediate extinction. The facts are quite the opposite. The rhetoric of impending doom to earth hasn't considered a very essential point: in almost every way we can measure, life on earth is better than at any other time in history.

In 1900, the average life expectancy was around 33 years; today in the U.S., males are pushing 78 and women are higher. Globally, this impact has had the greatest change on those who are worse off. This is poignant. From 1990 to 2015, the percentage of people who use open defecation dropped from 30 to 15 percent. Inequality in health care has dropped precipitously.

While we are dealing with war in Ukraine and prospective war in Israel, the world is enjoying one of the most peaceful times in history. The world is more literate and child labor has been dropping along with the increase in peaceful coexistence.

And the cuts to indoor air pollution - 1.2 million people survive every year who heretofore would have died. The transformation of the world has been dramatic over the last century and if we continue to have access to fossil fuel, it will continue to get better because man, faced with a problem, will find a new solution and creative destruction will overcome the old and introduce the new, primarily using machines that use fossil fuel.

So how can so many "experts" be wrong? We all need experts at various points in our lives. In a modern specialized society like ours, any field of endeavor where important data is required to reach an informed decision, a certain number of experts are crucial to offer input on the subject. They are very necessary.

However, when we are told what the experts think, it is time to put your thinking cap on as certain designated experts can also be very wrong and secondary analysis/comparisons/ and logic need to be used. Furthermore, it is a haunting fact that some of the worst ideas in history (for example, eugenics, racism and slavery) were perpetuated as the consensus of "experts." Supporting any and all so-called "experts" can have very disastrous consequences.

Some experts are not necessarily wrong in their field. But we have a very large promotional system that we sometimes rely on. They can be very wrong about their industry goals and, subsequently, actively promote things that are not correct and distort what actual experts think.

Since most of us have no direct access to the facts, we are told that real experts have a four-part system they use that uses four crucial functions of analysis. First, they engage in recognized research about the world. Second, they take the time to synthesize the essentials from expert research. Third, they share/disseminate essential expert knowledge to those with whom they are in touch. And fourth, they constantly evaluate what actions to take based on their conclusions.

As it relates to climate change, this system is often described as the knowledge system which we will relate to often in subsequent articles.'

Carl Peterson is the president of Money Resources Inc. Send feedback to

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