Thursday, July 14, 2022

Science, Investing and the Climate

And now, for the science. I am not going to comment on this report, written by eminent scientists William Happer and Richard Lindzen. Both are now emeritus, but Happer taught at Princeton and Lindzen directed the climate science lab at MIT.

So, I am not qualified to comment, but I will draw your attention to their conclusions about the state of the climate today, and the urgency-- or not-- of a climate crisis.

At the least, this tells us that if the science is really settled-- even though every scientist knows that there is no such thing as settled science.

Science does not affirm the hysterical rantings of Swedish schoolgirls. It does not even affirm the absurd reasoning of corporate executives who believe that their task is, not only to make a profit and to produce wealth, but to save the planet:

So, here is the summary of their conclusions, in a report for the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding whether or not to institute a rule about environmentally sensitive investing.  

We are career physicists who have specialized in radiation physics and dynamic heat transfer for decades.

 In our opinion, science demonstrates that there is no climate related risk caused by fossil fuels and CO2 and no climate emergency. 

Further, nowhere in the more than 500 pages of the proposed rule is there any reliable scientific evidence that there exists a climate related risk. 

None. It refers to the International Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”), the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”) and other outside groups, but never provides any reliable scientific evidence that supports the rule. 

The science is just assumed. Therefore, there is no reliable scientific basis for the proposed SEC rule.

 Further, contrary to what is commonly reported, CO2 is essential to life on earth. Without CO2, there would be no photosynthesis, and thus no plant food and not enough oxygen to breathe. 

Moreover, without fossil fuels there will be no low-cost energy worldwide and less CO2 for photosynthesis making food. 

Eliminating fossil fuels and reducing CO2 emissions will be disastrous for the poor, people worldwide, future generations and the country.

 Finally, the cost of the proposed rule is enormous and would have no public benefit. It would increase the reporting burden to companies $6.4 billion, which is 64% more than the $3.9 billion all SEC reporting requirements have cost companies from its beginning in 1934. Id., 87 Fed. Reg., p. 21461. Thus, the rule must not be adopted or, if adopted, ruled invalid by the courts. 

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