Responding To ‘Climate Change’ Wrong Way Is Worse Than Doing Nothing Or Something

This just goes to show that no good deed goes unpunished

Responding to Climate Change the Wrong Way Is Worse Than Doing Nothing

electric vehicleIn the 1980s, the government of the United Kingdom introduced financial incentives to promote plantation forestry. Landowners were encouraged, via tax breaks, to cover seemingly “unproductive” peatlands with uniform stands of trees for timber harvest. As a result of this policy and others, about 80 percent of UK peatlands were degraded or destroyed. “It was a disaster from a climate change perspective, as well as from a biodiversity perspective,” says Peter Smith, a soil and climate scientist at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

Peatlands are critical landscapes for greenhouse gas storage, explains Smith. They are sinks of undecayed organic matter, holding onto millennia of carbon dioxide and methane that would otherwise be in the atmosphere. When the UK’s peat was drained and planted with trees, the land went from carbon sink to source. It was an environmental mistake, like so many, made in the name of maximizing profit. And it’s one that the UK’s government vowed to correct and not repeat. Yet, as recently as 2020, the Forestry Commission allowed peatland to be drained for tree planting.

Of course, they weren’t planting the trees to Solve Climate Change. It wasn’t even for the environment. It was simply for more trees, using unproductive land.

And it’s a mistake that’s been replicated elsewhere. In Indonesia, for example, US biofuel policy meant to reduce carbon emissions led to the transformation of peatland into oil palm plantations and mass carbon release. Somehow, a land-use shift known to increase atmospheric greenhouse gas was deployed with the specific intent of doing the opposite. Of course, it backfired.

Now, palm oil was meant to Do Something about ‘climate change’, and it wasn’t just the U.S. doing it. Not mentioned by the Sierra Club is that it led to massive defoliation, wildlife habitat destruction, and eradication of wildlife, including the intention hunting of Orangutans. This was Warmists trying to do something and not thinking about the consequences.

There are two ways for us to productively respond to climate change: mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation means reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to limit warming. Adaptation, on the other hand, is changing something about our behavior, society, or environment to accommodate the alterations wrought by climate change. For people and biodiversity to thrive, we need both strategies. Yet both can go very wrong.

And, in Warmist World, it is Government that must force this on citizens.

Centuries of putting out fires on landscapes that coevolved with fire has left a buildup of fuel waiting to burn, making western wildfires much worse in recent decades, says David Calkin, a wildfire and forestry researcher for the US Forest Service. “Climate change accelerates the consequences from that.” More warming means more fires, which brings on more suppression and, in turn, even more fires.

No, a slight increase in global temperatures doesn’t do a damned thing. Poor forest management policies do.

Just as fire suppression can be a short-sighted response leading to even bigger, long-term challenges, so too can infrastructure projects like sea walls, which have hard climate limits. If sea level rise or storm surges exceed sea wall capacity, as is likely under continued warming, the barriers quickly become expensive failures. In Manhattan, construction on a controversial sea wall began late last year. Initially, the coastal protection plan was meant to emphasize wetland restoration over fixed barriers, but the final outcome will be a six-mile-long wall that local residents say exacerbates existing inequality by leveling their neighborhood greenspace.

Amplified injustice is a hallmark of maladaptation, says Lisa Schipper, a climate change and human development researcher at Oxford University and an IPCC author. It’s also a devastating outcome when climate change already poses the biggest threat to already marginalized people in the US and globally.

And, we’ve jumped to the inequality stuff, because this is not about science, but, politics. Grievance politics, for one.

If they really want to do something, support nuclear power. How will all these EVs be powered in the Real World? And practice what they preach.

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