your answers questioned
Lots of things environmentalists say just aren't true.
Here are some of them related to climate change.
DOGMA: We need to reduce our emissions of fossil carbon.
DEBUNK: We need to completely cease our emissions of fossil carbon.
DOGMA: In order to be safe, we need to do it fairly soon.
DEBUNK: We should have done it twenty years ago, when we were first told. It may now be too late to save much of the life in Earth.
DOGMA: We should be prepared for fossil fuels running out (or something).
DEBUNK: The world has enough fossil fuel to fill its atmosphere with CO2 to dangerous levels (2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels) roughly twice over. Running out would be a blessing, but we can't.
DOGMA: Planting trees reduces global warming.
DEBUNK: Planting trees allows the inevitable cessation of emissions to be delayed by a few months at the expense of almost permanent loss of land from other uses (like food production).
DOGMA: Methane from livestock is increasing global warming.
DEBUNK: Grass contains carbon which is eaten by livestock and emitted to the atmosphere as greenhouse gases including methane. The same amount of carbon then returns to the grass as it immediately regrows, so there is no increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas (unless there is an increase in livestock). Fossil fuel (and, indeed, fossil material) used to manufacture animal food or fertiliser does accumulate in the atmosphere, just like fossil fuel used for anything else. So does methane escaping from fossil sources like coal mines.
DOGMA: Atmospheric oxygen is decreasing dangerously.
DEBUNK: Oxygen concentration does seem to have decreased by more than the corresponding absolute CO2 increase but, since lots of the atmosphere is oxygen and very little of it is C02, the percentage reduction in oxygen is small and probably not important.
DOGMA: Recycling is a major answer to climate change.
DEBUNK: Recycling was promoted by environmentalists because they knew no one would give up anything substantial of their lifestyles and would contribute to the cause only their rubbish. Apart from a few rare or high energy materials like aluminium (which would probably have got recycled eventually anyway) manufacturers save little or no energy by having to collect contaminated material from all over the country and take it back to where they already had a clean, reliable, cheap, energy-efficient, and plentiful supply.
DOGMA: The oceans absorb CO2 from the atmosphere so climate will return to normal after we stop disturbing it.
DEBUNK: Although oceans absorb CO2 (thereby acidifying) they also exchange heat with the atmosphere at a similar rate. In surface temperature terms, the result is as if the CO2 were not being removed from the atmosphere. So climate will not return to normal during the next few thousand years.
DOGMA: The more climate changes, the more carbon will be absorbed by land plants like tropical forests.
DEBUNK: Until now, land plants have reacted to climate change by absorbing a small amount more atmospheric carbon. From about 2010 on, it is expected that tropical forests will die and thereby do the opposite. (This is in addition to expected land methane releases at high latitudes.)
DOGMA: It will cost a certain amount to deal with climate change.
DEBUNK: At present, virtually all products and services are made or done with fossil fuel, which is effectively unlimited and almost free. So, money represents little more than fossil material and fuel. Reducing fossil use to zero means money will suddenly stand for something of which very little can exist (since much less can be done without fossil fuel). You could say there will be nothing to spend money on. Or you could say there will be no money to spend. You could say that money is already something of a nonsense, since it represents something of unlimited supply. But it is less appropriate to say that the necessary change will cost any particular amount of money.
DOGMA: Tackling climate change needs action by politicians.
DEBUNK: Politicians know they would be removed from office if they actually did what needs doing, because voters do not want to stop emitting. Politicians therefore cannot take any effective action (other than in their own lives).
DOGMA: Big business is partly to blame.
DEBUNK: The limiting factor is consumption. If people don't buy things, businesses won't bother to make or transport them.
DOGMA: We need to get together to deal with climate change.
DEBUNK: Climate change is caused by emissions. If you, as an individual, unilaterally cease to emit, it is unlikely that anyone will put a gun to your head and tell you to resume.