The Real Loser of the Democratic Presidential Candidate Climate Change Debate


by Craig D. Idso, Ph.D.
Chairman, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change

This past Wednesday evening (September 4, 2019) ten candidates for the Democrat party’s nomination for President of the United States participated in a town hall-style forum on the cable network CNN to explain their policy positions with respect to climate change. The unanimous loser was the American people.

Surprisingly, there was very little difference among the candidate positions on CO2-induced climate change, which they all claim is the most dangerous threat the world has ever faced, surpassing the human toll and carnage of any preceding economic or military-related disaster, including the Holocaust and World War II.


Yep, they are serious. And apparently the world has only 11 years to reverse the coming climate apocalypse so we had all better shape up and climb aboard their policy prescription bandwagons and get moving to avoid it. No ounce of data to the contrary can convince them otherwise.

So just what are their policy prescriptions?

First, trust them that the science is settled. Don’t question them or their authority on this issue. Rising CO2emissions are causing dangerous climate change that is harming humanity and the natural world. If you think or believe otherwise you better watch out, especially if your job has any connection with the fossil fuel industry. If it does, congratulations, you will be the lucky recipient of financial penalties and lawsuits and even criminal prosecution, for the presidential candidates have spoken and they are coming for you.

The rest of the country, i.e. those not associated with the fossil fuel industry and who are not bankrupt or in jail, will have the privilege of supporting the new President’s plan to cut back fossil energy use to prehistoric times by reducing CO2 emissions to zero within the completely inadequate and unrealistic time span of 25 to 30 years. And despite the proven correlation between CO2 emissions and national wealth shown in Figure 1, each of the presidential candidates claim the nation will not be bankrupt. Rather, they insist there will be money and jobs galore! The wind, solar and biofuel industries will all be hiring. If you previously worked in the fossil fuel industry and somehow escaped prosecution, no problem! There will be ample money available to reform and retrain you in your new, climate-friendly profession. And because each of the ten Democrat presidential candidates believes in environmental justice, they will rain free money down from Washington to those disproportionately impacted by the climate catastrophe that they will have somehow averted based on racial or social status.

On the way to establishing climate bliss, the future Democratic President will ensure that the United States will not be the only country committed to this noble cause. After rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, he or she will utilize the full power of the Office of the President to guarantee every other nation on the planet will do likewise because this is a global issue. Obviously, they will obey because the President will have spoken and they all want to return back to the glorious days of the per capita CO2 emissions and GDP scale presently occupied by Burundi, Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo (see Figure 1).

The policy positions outlined in the Democratic presidential debate on climate change would be laughable if they were not true. But they are, and it is almost unbelievable that these proposals are taken seriously or that they are near unanimously shared among the various candidates seeking the presidential nomination in the Democrat Party. (Click here to view/download a pdf spreadsheet highlighting the ten candidate’s positions on CO2 policy along with selected quotes taken from the September 4, 2019 debate.)

Longtime readers of CO2 Science know there is a mountain of scientific evidence that does not support the enaction of the proposed policy prescriptions. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant and it is most certainly not causing dangerous global warming. Rather, its increase in the atmosphere is invigorating the biosphere, producing a multitude of benefits for humanity and the natural world, notwithstanding the prognostications of the uninformed (or deceptive) Democrat presidential candidates.

The reality is that we need more, not less, fossil fuel use to enhance the future human environment. And so, to help get this positive, science-based message out, we have created a new Institute, the Institute for the Human Environment. We invite you to join us in that effort. The Institute’s message is one for all people and all seasons, including the Democrat Party’s presidential candidates and the CNN commentators. Carbon dioxide and fossil fuel use is not the bane of biosphere, it is an elixir of life that is advancing human development and improving the natural environment.

Figure 1. The economic relationship between per capita GDP and per capita CO2 emissions on a countrywide basis for 2016, demonstrating that fossil energy use is fundamentally linked to economic growth. As countries have embraced and increased their production of fossil energy, their citizens have been amply rewarded with increased economic development and growth. Such fossil fuel-based economic prosperity has been proven over and over again throughout the past century as country after country has moved position along this graph from locations near the bottom left toward the upper right. And it will continue to be the case so long as governments refrain from enacting policy that restricts CO2 emissions and/or fossil fuel use.

Mainstream Media Hijack Hurricane Dorian For Climate-Change Alarm




As I write at 11 a.m. Eastern Time Monday, Hurricane Dorian, with sustained winds of 155 mph—barely below Category 5—is pounding the Bahamas and moving very slowly westward, forecast to turn north later today.

After crawling slowly up the Florida and Georgia coasts Tuesday through Wednesday, Dorian is forecast to turn northeast Thursday morning and continue its crawl along the coasts of South and North Carolina.

By Friday morning the eye could be east of North Carolina’s outer banks, and there is some chance that the far western edge of Dorian’s winds and rains could affect Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland later Friday and into Saturday, though the storm seems more likely to stay well offshore.

I can only imagine the plight of friends I met in Florida in 2016, and countless others along its coast. State and federal officials have arranged rescue operations, and people are being made aware of safety procedures.

Not surprisingly, climate-change alarmists are seizing the opportunity to promote unfounded fears.

Writing in Forbes, Laura Tenenbaum declared, “global warming causes more intense hurricanes” and suggested that more are on the way. Grist quipped, “‘Another hurricane?’ How climate disasters can give us compassion fatigue,” and asserted that “the scientific consensus is that climate change will contribute to more frequent extreme weather events.” Grist blamed President Donald Trump for being complicit.

This tactic—seizing the moment to politicize a hurricane and push the climate scare—is not new. The Washington Post did the same during Hurricane Florence’s landfall last year.

Is Dorian a result of “climate change”? Well, yes, insofar as every hurricane forms due to changes in climatic conditions that bring favorable conditions for a hurricane.

But that, of course, isn’t what climate alarmists have in mind by “climate change.” They mean global warming over the past 50 years or so driven to dangerous levels by human emissions of carbon dioxide. This, they claim, is causing more extreme weather events like the recent wildfires in the Amazon and Category 5 hurricanes like Dorian.

But one need not be a scientist to expose the falsehood of that claim. All one has to do is look up the historic frequency and strength of hurricanes since records began. The data reveal the truth—and here they are.

No Increase in Hurricane Frequency

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s “U.S. Hurricane Strikes by Decade” data, reaching back to 1851, can be accessed here. They show that there has been a 50 percent reduction in the number of major hurricanes making landfall in the United States since the 1930s. For the entire period, there is a slight downward trend in frequency, but the decline since the 1930s is remarkable.

So, if anything, hurricanes have become less frequent, not more, during the period of allegedly manmade global warming.

No Increase in Hurricane Strength

Although damage done by hurricanes has risen, the increase is entirely because more people and property are in their paths, not because there are more, or stronger, hurricanes. Hurricane intensity shows no sign of increase in the past 90 years. In fact, there is a slight decrease between 1930 and 2018.

So the hard data reveal that hurricanes are not increasing in either frequency or intensity. Any claim of scientific consensus otherwise is simply false.

The mainstream media have been promoting the myth of “scientific consensus on extreme weather events.” Scientists themselves say there is no such consensus.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) special climate report in 2018 finds little to no evidence for the hypothesis that global warming caused extreme weather events to increase.

Instead, it says “there is only low confidence regarding changes in global tropical cyclone numbers under global warming over the last four decades.” Even more shocking, it states,“Numerous studies towards and beyond AR5 have reported a decreasing trend in the global number of tropical cyclones and/or the globally accumulated cyclonic energy.”

So instead of creating climate fears and politicizing Hurricane Dorian, the media should stick to warning people of risks and informing them about safety procedures and rescue operations.

The Next Great Extinction Event Will Not be Global Warming – It Will Be Global Cooling

By Allan M. R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., August 2019

Forget all those falsehoods about scary global warming, deceptions contrived by wolves to stampede the sheep. The next great extinction event will not be global warming, it will be global cooling. Future extinction events are preponderantly cold: a glacial period, medium-size asteroid strike or supervolcano. Humanity barely survived the last glacial period that ended only 11,500 years ago, the blink-of–an-eye in geologic time.

Cold, not heat, is by far the greater killer of humanity. Today, cool and cold weather kills about 20 times as many people as warm and hot weather. Excess Winter Deaths, defined as more deaths in the four winter months than equivalent non-winter months, total over two million souls per year, in both cold and warm climates. Earth is colder-than-optimum for humanity, and currently-observed moderate global warming increases life spans.
“Cold Weather Kills 20 Times As Many People As Hot Weather”
By Joseph D’Aleo and Allan MacRae, September 4, 2015

However, Excess Winter Deaths are not the worst threats to humanity. The glacial cycle averages about 100,000 years, consisting of about 90,000 years of the glacial period, when mile-thick continental glaciers blanketed much of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres including Canada, Russia, Northern Europe and Northern USA, and about 10,000 years of interglacial, the warm period of the present. Earth is now 11,500 years into the current warm interglacial, and our planet may re-enter the glacial period at any time.

“Glacial-Interglacial Cycles”

The re-entry into the glacial period will be a major extinction event for humanity, possibly the end of modern civilization. Not only will our land surface be devastated by glaciers, but CO2 concentrations will drop so low that C3 crop photosynthesis, the source of almost all our foods, will be barely sustainable.


One’s predictive track record is probably the best objective measure of scientific competence. The IPCC and its acolytes have been consistently wrong in their predictions of catastrophic global warming. Their climate computer models run too hot, and observed global warming has actually been moderate and beneficial. Global warming alarmists have proven negative scientific credibility – nobody should believe their wild exaggerations.

In fact, increasing atmospheric CO2 causes significantly improved crop yields due to enhanced photosynthesis, and may cause minor, beneficial global warming.

In 2002 we confidently published the following statements, which are still demonstrably correct:

“Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”

“The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”

“Debate on the Kyoto Accord”
Published by APEGA in the PEGG, and in The Globe and Mail, La Presse, and professional journals.
By Sallie Baliunas, Tim Patterson and Allan MacRae, November 2002

Increased atmospheric CO2, driven by fossil fuel combustion and/or other causes, will have little impact on the onset of future glaciation. Climate is not highly sensitive to increasing atmospheric CO2. Paradoxically, CO2 concentrations are not alarmingly high; in fact, atmospheric CO2 concentrations are alarmingly low – too low for the long-term survival of terrestrial life. Photosynthesis of C3 food crops ceases at 150ppm – CO2 starvation.
“CO2, Global Warming, Climate and Energy”
By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., June 15, 2019


“(Plant) Food for Thought”
By Allan MacRae, December 18, 2014 and January 31, 2009

CO2, Temperatures, and Ice Ages

In the near term, there is a significant probability of moderate global cooling. Similar global cooling happened from about 1940 to 1977, even as fossil fuel consumption accelerated rapidly at the onset of WW2. Global warming did not occur as CO2 increased. In fact, Earth cooled significantly for over 30 years – strong evidence that increasing atmospheric CO2 does not cause catastrophic global warming.

Even moderate global cooling is harmful to humanity and the environment. We predicted the return of moderate global cooling in an article published September 1, 2002 in the Calgary Herald, as follows:

“If [as we believe] solar activity is the main driver of surface temperature rather than CO2, we should begin the next cooling period by 2020 to 2030.”

Our 2002 global cooling prediction is still probable. In the past five years, I’ve stated that moderate cooling will probably start closer to 2020, driven by the low activity of Solar Cycle 24. Humanity suffered during past cold periods that coincided with solar lows, such as the Maunder and Dalton Minimums circa 1700 and 1800.

Last year there was a very late, cold spring and crops were planted one-month late in the American Midwest, but warm summer weather resulted in a good grain crop. This year, cold wet weather in the Midwest reportedly prevented about 30% of the USA corn crop from being planted – the ground was too wet for farm equipment. Were the last two years of late planting in the North American grain belt early signs of global cooling? Hope not.

I predicted in 2013 that winter deaths would increase in the UK, where energy costs are much higher than in North America. Sadly, this has proved correct. Excess Winter Deaths in England and Wales in the winter of 2017-2018 totaled over 50,000 souls, the highest since 1976, as compared to an annual average of about 100,000 in the USA. The population of England and Wales is about one-sixth that of the USA, so the United Kingdom had an Excess Winter Death Rate three times the USA average – a terrible, preventable tragedy.

Blind faith in climate models

If the Sun does primarily drive temperature, as I believe, then foolish politicians have brewed the perfect storm. They have adopted dysfunctional climate-and-energy policies to “fight global warming” and have crippled energy systems with intermittent, expensive “green energy” schemes that destabilize the electric grid, at a time when catastrophic global warming is not happening and moderate global cooling may be imminent.


Despite trillions of dollars in squandered subsidies, “green energy” has increased from 1% in 2008 to only 4% of global primary energy in 2018. Fossil fuels provide fully 85% of global primary energy, essentially unchanged in decades, and unlikely to change in decades to come. The remaining 11% is hydro and nuclear.
“Statistical Review of World Energy”

Eliminate fossil fuels tomorrow as radical green activists insist, and almost everyone in the developed world would be dead in a few months from starvation and exposure.

“Green energy” schemes are not green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy, because they require almost 100% conventional backup from fossil fuels, nuclear or hydro when the wind does not blow and the Sun does not shine. Intermittent energy from wind and/or solar generation cannot supply the electric grid with reliable, uninterrupted power. There is no widely-available, cost-effective means of solving the fatal flaw of intermittency in grid-scale wind and solar power generation.
“Wind Report 2005” – note Figures 6 & 7 on intermittency.

Vital electric grids have been destabilized, electricity costs have soared, and Excess Winter Deaths have increased due to grid-connected green energy schemes.

This paper discusses real threats, specifically global cooling, including imminent moderate global cooling and later re-entry into another glacial period, in order to shift the climate discussion from popular scary-fantasies of runaway global warming, to cold events that actually d

Preparing for the Inevitable

Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 10.13.17 AM

Now that Major Hurricane Dorian has got your attention, you should take the time to see the three part series, we produced for cable on “Preparing for the Inevitable”. Our effort to get people in areas vulnerable to hurricane impacts plan ahead for them. We were especially concerned for areas where the return periods for major hurricanes is long.


Show 1: A group of 6 meteorologists (Joe Bastardi, his dad (Matt) and son (Garrett), Herb Stevens, Ron Moore) talked about their experience in the field and with hurricanes

In Show 2: Our team talked about the great hurricanes that have affected out country. Matt recalled the hurricane of ’38 in Providence and then he and I recalled our memories of Hurricane Carol. The team then talked about the great hurricanes that affected our country over the years.

In Show 3: Meteorologist and storm chaser Ron Moore (he is in Dorian as I write this)  and I were joined by  Leslie Chapman Henderson of FLASH to discuss the practical steps you should you take if you live in these vulnerable areas where the storms are infrequent – what we do to be ready for a major impact hurricane – to be hurricane strong.

The 2019 Season So Far

It has been a quiet tropical season through August in all the Northern Hemisphere with the exception of the North Indian Ocean where 1 major cyclone produced an above normal Accumulated Cyclone Energy total. In The Atlantic we had Hurricane Barry in July but the big one has been Dorian, a strong CAT5 storm.

Name                 Dates         Max Wind (mph)
STS Andrea         20-21 May            40
H   Barry          11-15 Jul            75
TD  Three          22-23 Jul            35
TS  Chantal        21-23 Aug            40
MH  Dorian     24 Aug-                 185
TS  Erin           26-29 Aug            40

Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 7.52.24 AM.png

The decade has been a quiet one though it turned active the last 3 years. For landfalls, we had the quietest decade for landfalls excluding 2019. With Barry and assuming Dorian makes landfall, we will have 12, matching 1970s. If Dorian touches land as a CAT 3 or higher, we will match the 1970s also for major hurricane landfalls. We still have at least September and October to deal with.Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 8.45.11 AM