Climate Alarmism, Not Climate Change, Is an Existential Threat to Humanity

Published June 12, 2024

While in France observing the 80th anniversary of D-Day and honoring the thousands of brave soldiers who gave their lives fighting the existential threat that was Nazi Germany, President Joe Biden could not help himself from descending into crass political talking points by comparing the most destructive and deadly war in human history to climate change.

“The only existential threat to humanity, including nuclear weapons, is if we do nothing on climate change,” Biden declared. Due to the “existential threat of climate change, which is just growing greater, we’re working together to accelerate the global transition to net-zero. It is the existential threat to humanity,” Biden reiterated.

In reality, climate change is nowhere near an existential threat. In fact, in many ways, the slight warming that has occurred over the past half century or so has made life better for humanity. For instance, NASA satellite data show a significant rise in global plant growth in recent decades— what some call global greening. A slightly warmer planet is also beneficial because it produces greater crop yields.

However, one can make a compelling argument that climate alarmism, and the policies that climate alarmists support, actually comprise an existential threat to humanity.

First and foremost, climate alarmists are hellbent on ending the use of affordable and reliable energy in the form of fossil fuels. This alone is a horrendous stance that puts millions of lives at risk.

Like it or not, the advent of fossil fuels, namely oil, coal, and natural gas, has been the biggest boon for humanity in all of history. The harnessing of these resources to supply virtually unlimited energy in cost-effective terms has raised billions of people from abject poverty.

Without ample access to fossil fuels, our modern way of life would literally cease to exist. Not only do fossil fuels provide abundant and affordable energy. As the U.S. Department of Energy notes, “Petrochemicals derived from oil and natural gas make the manufacturing of over 6,000 everyday products and high-tech devices possible.”

Second, climate alarmists demand that the world immediately transitions to so-called renewable energy and achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions. The problem is that renewable energy from solar panels and wind farms is too expensive, unreliable, and not nearly scalable. If the world were to shun fossil fuels in favor of wind and solar, the amount of energy available to use would plummet. This would result in devastation across many fronts.

Third, climate alarmists constantly call for degrowth, both in terms of the economy and in terms of population. Somehow, the climate alarmists have convinced themselves that the solution to the non-existent problem of a slightly warming planet is for humanity to cull its population growth. This is extremely short-sighted and fails to consider that many developed countries are currently experiencing a stark population decline. If this is not reversed, and soon, many of these once-thriving nations will experience severe demographic problems.

Likewise, calls for economic degrowth, which has been a cause célèbre among climate alarmists for many years now, would wreak havoc and would instantly result in decreased living standards for billions of people. This is especially true for several developing countries, which are banking on economic growth and increased prosperity to lift billions from poverty.

Fourth and finally, climate alarmists, whether they realize it or not, are akin to modern-day Luddites because they excoriate innovations and technological breakthroughs. In many ways, climate alarmists are the opposite of progressives because they seek to regress humanity back to a time when creature comforts and access to the latest and greatest technologies were limited to a select few rather than accessible to the masses. Even worse, by hindering the development of new technologies that could solve some of the world’s most vexing problems simply because it does not align with their world view, climate alarmists are essentially preventing the betterment of the human experience.

Fortunately, it seems like the climate alarmists are losing ground. Polls show that more and more people are skeptical of the constant fearmongering and are becoming aware of the failed doomsday predictions. This is great news; however, it is just the start. Unless and until there is a general consensus that climate alarmism is the problem and that the misguided policies supported by climate alarmists are outright rejected by an overwhelming majority, climate alarmism will remain a grave threat to the future humanity.

Photo by Mark Dixon. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.