Challenging Net Zero with science

Net Zero plans are not supported by science and the scientific method and will cause worldwide starvation if implemented

By William Happer, Richard Lindzen, and Gregory Wrightstone, CO2 Coalition, Feb. 23, 2023

Net Zero initiatives of governments and private organizations are scientifically invalid and will lead to worldwide impoverishment and starvation if implemented, says a paper published by the CO2 Coalition.

The 46-page paper details how the objectives of Net Zero to eliminate the use of fossil fuels and the emissions of greenhouse gases are based on analytical methods that violate fundamental tenets of the scientific method which originated more than 300 years ago.

“Reliable scientific knowledge is determined by the scientific method, where theoretical predictions are validated by observations or rejected by failing to do so,” say the paper’s authors, two renowned physicists and a geologist of more than 40 years.

“Agreement with observations is the measure of scientific truth,” continues the paper. “Scientific progress proceeds by the interplay of theory and observation. Theory explains observations and makes predictions of what will be observed in the future. Observations anchor understanding and weed out theories that don’t work.”

The paper predicts global starvation if fossil fuels are eliminated. At risk in coming decades would be half of the world’s 8.5 billion to 10 billion people who are fed by crops grown with fertilizers derived from fossil fuels. Listed as an example of Net Zero’s potential consequences is the economic and social calamity of Sri Lanka, which had banned the use of fertilizers and pesticides made from fossil fuels.

“The recent experience in Sri Lanka provides a red alert. The world has just witnessed the collapse of the once-bountiful agricultural sector of Sri Lanka as a result of government restrictions on mineral fertilizer,” the paper says.

The paper says that 600 million years of geological evidence shows that CO2 levels are near a record low and that atmospheric increases of the gas follow warming periods rather than precede them.

These data “are good enough to demolish the argument that atmospheric CO2 concentrations control Earth’s climate and the theory that fossil fuels and CO2 will cause catastrophic global warming. They will not.”

The paper’s authors are Dr. William Happer, Professor of Physics, Emeritus, Princeton University; Dr. Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Gregory Wrightstone, a geologist and executive director of the CO2 Coalition.

The paper says Net Zero regulations and actions are scientifically invalid because they:

  • Fabricate data or omit data that contradict their conclusions. Net Zero proponents regularly report that extreme weather is more severe and frequent because of climate change while the evidence shows no increase – and, in some cases, a decrease – in such events.
  • Rely on computer models that do not work. An analysis of 102 computer models used by Net Zero proponents found that 101 of them had failed to match real-world observations. “Simply stated, the (computer) model essential to every government Net Zero regulation, action and the trillions of dollars subsidizing renewables and electric cars, trucks, home heating, appliances and many other products do not work,” said the paper.
  • Rely on findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that are government opinions, not science. The paper says that the conclusions of IPCC scientists that contradict the narrative of catastrophic global warming from fossil fuels are rewritten by government bureaucrats for public reports to support the false narrative of Net Zero proponents.
  • Omit the extraordinary social benefits of CO2 and fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide, including that from the burning of fossil fuels, serves as plant food that increases crop production and enables the feeding of more people. CO2, as well as the greenhouse gases of methane and nitrous oxide, help to keep Earth at temperatures conducive to life; without them, people would suffer. Fossil fuels are economical and abundant sources of energy necessary for modern societies and are critical feedstocks for fertilizers and pesticides that support the lives of billions of people.
  • Omit the disastrous consequences of reducing fossil fuels and CO2 emissions to Net Zero. “It cannot be overemphasized that eliminating fossil fuels and implementing Net Zero policies and actions mean the elimination of fossil fuel-derived nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides that will result in about half the world’s population not having enough food to eat,” says the paper.
  • Reject the science that demonstrates there is no risk of catastrophic global warming caused by fossil fuels and CO2. “We are not aware of any reliable science that supports the National Climate Assessment’s or others’ theory that fossil fuels and CO2 will cause catastrophic global warming,” said the paper’s authors, “We have written extensively on this issue for decades.”

The full report in pdf format is available from the CO2 Coalition website by clicking here.

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