Microplastics, Global Greening, & the Dangers of Radical Alarmism | Dr. Patrick Moore | EP 439

Microplastics, Global Greening, & the Dangers of Radical Alarmism | Dr. Patrick Moore | EP 439

Tour Update: Konstantin Kisin (00:00:00)

  • Dr. Moore will be going on a tour called "We Who Wrestle with God" for the next nine evenings.
  • He invites Konstantin Kisin to join him and offer critical responses to his arguments.
  • The tour aims to explore the concept of the "god-shaped hole" and whether it is filled by God.

Coming up (00:00:59)

  • Dr. Moore criticizes the notion that a 1.5-degree Celsius increase in global atmospheric temperature will be disastrous.
  • He argues that it will open up new areas of farmland that were previously too cold.

Intro (00:01:27)

  • Dr. Patrick Moore is a former founding member of Greenpeace who has become skeptical of the doomsday predictions of climate change.
  • He believes that environmentalist organizations have been taken over by actors promoting radical self-interest and hysterical doom-mongering.
  • The discussion will examine evidence of climate change and environmental composition over a 500 million year period, focusing on the last 2 million years.

The advent of ecology in modern science (00:03:50)

  • Dr. Moore began his career as an ecology PhD student at the University of British Columbia.
  • He was radicalized by the Vietnam War, the threat of nuclear war, and concerns for the environment.
  • The term "ecology" was not yet widely used in the popular press at the time.
  • Dr. Moore believes he may have been the first PhD ecologist to graduate in Canada.

The complexity of earth, three tenants of the scientific method (00:05:04)

  • Ecology is the science of how all living things are interrelated with each other, the planet, and even the solar system.
  • Science is primarily about discovery.
  • The scientific method involves observation, verification, and replication.
  • Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic that are less than 5 millimeters in length.
  • Microplastics can come from a variety of sources, including plastic bags, bottles, straws, and clothing.
  • Microplastics can be harmful to marine life, as they can be ingested and block the digestive tract, causing starvation.
  • Microplastics can also absorb toxic chemicals from the water, which can then be passed up the food chain.
  • Microplastics are a global problem, as they have been found in all of the world's oceans.
  • There is no easy solution to the problem of microplastics, but reducing the use of plastic products and properly disposing of plastic waste can help.
  • Global greening refers to the increase in the amount of vegetation on the Earth's surface.
  • Global greening is primarily caused by the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, which is a result of human activities such as burning fossil fuels.
  • Global greening has a number of positive effects, including reducing soil erosion, improving air quality, and providing habitat for wildlife.
  • However, global greening can also have some negative effects, such as increasing the risk of wildfires and reducing the amount of water available for human use.
  • Radical alarmism is the tendency to exaggerate the risks associated with a particular issue.
  • Radical alarmism can be harmful, as it can lead to people making decisions based on fear rather than on facts.
  • Radical alarmism can also be used to justify political or economic agendas.
  • It is important to be aware of the dangers of radical alarmism and to make decisions based on facts rather than on fear.

Why our modern crises are all invisible or remote - fear dissipates with interaction (00:08:45)

  • Dr. Patrick Moore argues that many current environmental concerns, such as those about CO2 radiation, GMOs, polar bears, and coral reefs, are exaggerated or unfounded.
  • He points out that the Great Barrier Reef, which was claimed to be dying in 2016, actually had the highest coral cover in 36 years in 2022.
  • Dr. Moore asserts that the Earth is currently in one of the coldest periods in its history and that the poles were ice-free until relatively recently.
  • He suggests that focusing on short time frames in climate change and carbon dioxide debates can lead to misleading conclusions and that a longer-term perspective is necessary.
  • Dr. Moore emphasizes the importance of using accurate data and avoiding sensationalism when discussing environmental issues.

The Pleistocene period, the “last ice age,” and the emergence of life (00:14:59)

  • Earth has experienced periods of extreme cold, including the Pleistocene period, also known as the "last ice age."
  • The most recent ice age occurred 2.6 million years ago and was colder than any period in the past 550 million years.
  • Evidence for ice ages further back in time is limited and speculative.
  • Life emerged on Earth around 3.5 billion years ago, with multicellular life appearing around 560 million years ago.

How good is our understanding of climate across millions of years? (00:18:55)

  • Our understanding of climate and atmospheric composition across millions of years is derived from various proxies, such as oxygen 18 and foraminifera shells.
  • These proxies provide information about temperature, carbon dioxide levels, and other climate-related factors.
  • The accuracy of our estimates improves as we move closer to the present day.

Today’s scientists have built up shells, but forget we evolved with spines (00:20:31)

  • Multicellular life started as jellyfish without shells or bones.
  • The Clam family developed shells as protective armor, reducing predation.
  • Bony fish developed skeletons and central spines for support and mobility.
  • Shelled creatures are sedentary, while jellyfish have evolved defense mechanisms.
  • Various life forms have survived for 500 million years due to successful adaptations.
  • The Earth experienced a hotter period called the Eocene Thermal Maximum with no ice for 250 million years.
  • Life, including dinosaurs, thrived during this hot period.
  • Humans evolved from ancestors that survived the hot period.
  • The 500 million-year history shows that the climate emergency and the strong relationship between CO2 and temperature are not always in sync.
  • The cause-and-effect relationship between CO2 and temperature is not consistent over time.

What we know already disproves what alarmists have been predicting (00:24:18)

  • The Earth's climate and atmospheric composition have been studied for approximately 500 million years through various methods.
  • During most of this period, the planet was much warmer, with no ice at the poles, and life flourished abundantly.
  • Carbon dioxide levels were significantly higher than today, but there was no apparent causal relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature.
  • The current interglacial period, which began about 10,000 years ago, is likely not nearing its end, as previous interglacial periods have typically lasted around 10,000 years.
  • The slight change in global temperature observed since the 19th century is part of a natural cycle that began around 1600, coinciding with the end of the Little Ice Age.
  • The most recent glacial maximum occurred 20,000 years ago.
  • The evidence suggests that the Earth may get colder or stay the same, with a 5% chance of it getting warmer.

Playing devil’s advocate, “Why is carbon to blame?” (00:33:40)

  • The earth has experienced multiple cycles of glaciation and deglaciation over the past half a million years.
  • Various forces, including the tilt of the Earth's orbit and the gravitational pull of Jupiter, influence these long-term climate cycles.
  • The current rate of climate change since 1850 is unprecedented compared to natural variations over thousands or millions of years.
  • The stability of ecosystems and human societies, which are adapted to specific climate conditions, is threatened by the rapid pace of change.
  • John Clouser, a Nobel laureate in physics, has joined the CO2 Coalition, a group of climate scientists and experts who challenge the mainstream narrative on climate change.
  • The difference in global temperature between 200 years ago and now is less than the temperature difference between breakfast and lunch anywhere in the world.
  • A 1.5-degree Celsius increase in global temperature is not catastrophic but could open up new areas for agriculture in colder regions.
  • Warming temperatures can also lead to increased plant growth and food production, benefiting humanity.

The world does not end if it gets a few degrees warmer. (00:37:57)

  • The Earth has experienced warmer periods in the past, such as the Eocene Thermal Maximum, when temperatures were 5 to 7 degrees Celsius higher than today.
  • During this period, there was no ice on Earth, and CO2 levels were higher than they are today.
  • Clouds are more important in regulating the Earth's temperature than CO2.
  • Climate models do not have sufficient resolution to accurately model clouds.
  • Temperature measurements from terrestrial weather stations are not reliable enough to determine if the Earth's temperature has increased by 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Even Michael Crichton called this out (00:40:45)

  • Michael Crichton wrote about the flaws in climate science in his book "State of Fear".
  • He pointed out that most terrestrial weather stations are located in or near cities, which can affect their temperature measurements.
  • The urban heat island effect can cause temperatures in cities to be higher than in rural areas.
  • This can lead to errors in temperature measurements and make it difficult to determine if the Earth's temperature is actually increasing.

“This whole thing is so corrupt” (00:42:08)

  • Politicians use fear-mongering tactics to gain votes and direct billions of dollars in funding to scientists and universities that support their agenda.
  • Scientists who don't comply with the narrative risk losing their jobs or facing ostracization.
  • Major universities are producing biased research, not just on climate change but also on social issues, war, etc.
  • Big corporations focus on creating useful products rather than promoting doom and gloom scenarios.
  • The push for electric vehicles ignores the fact that electricity generation still heavily relies on fossil fuels, resulting in significant CO2 emissions.

Global greening as C02 rises (00:44:24)

  • CO2 levels have increased, but not significantly.
  • Plants thrive with higher CO2 levels, opening their stomata wider and reducing water loss.
  • Semi-arid areas have expanded due to low CO2 levels, causing plants to lose more water.
  • Increased CO2 levels have led to a greener planet and improved crop production by 13-15%.
  • Desertification is not occurring due to CO2 but rather the opposite, with increased plant growth.
  • Releasing CO2 from fossil fuels can be seen as returning a necessary nutrient to the atmosphere, making it a net positive.
  • Adding CO2 to the atmosphere could be an effective way to distribute fertilizer.

Henry’s Law, and why it matters (00:48:04)

  • Henry's Law determines the equilibrium between CO2 in the water and in the atmosphere.
  • During the most recent glacial maximum, CO2 levels dropped to 180 PPM, potentially causing high elevation plants to die due to lack of CO2.
  • Human emissions of CO2 are seen as a positive development, reversing the continuous downward trend of CO2 levels over the past 500 million years.
  • The Sahara Desert was once green and supported human settlements, but became a desert around 5,000-6,000 years ago, leading to the development of urban centers along the Nile Valley and in the Middle East.

The IPCC has twice stated that it is impossible to determine future climate trends (00:53:17)

  • The IPCC, part of the UN, has stated twice in their publications that it is impossible to determine future climate trends.
  • Climate models are not reliable as they are based on initial presuppositions and do not accurately model water vapor or clouds.
  • The models are used to generate 100-year predictions, which are highly inaccurate due to the accumulation of errors.
  • An economic model is then stacked on top of the climate models, claiming that a 1.5-degree temperature increase will have devastating economic consequences in a century.
  • Bjorn Lomborg's analysis shows that even if the climate scientists' predictions are correct, economic growth and human progress will outweigh any negative climate effects.
  • Dr. Moore's license to practice as a clinical psychologist in Canada is being threatened due to his criticism of climate models.
  • A complainant in the US submitted a transcript of Dr. Moore's interview on the Joe Rogan podcast, where he discussed climate issues.
  • Dr. Moore argues that the economic models used to predict climate consequences are unreliable and lack a scientific basis.
  • Climate models are heavily influenced by those who benefit from promoting climate alarmism.
  • The models are not data-driven but rather rely on initial assumptions and are therefore not reliable.
  • The further into the future the models predict, the more the errors multiply.
  • It is impossible to accurately predict the future climate using computer models due to the chaotic nature of the climate system.
  • Humans evolved at the equator and are not adapted to extreme cold.
  • Fire was a crucial development for human survival, enabling warmth and shelter.
  • Proper forest management is necessary to prevent wildfires.

We cannot model clouds, let alone climate or economic trends (01:00:00)

  • Clouds have complex effects on climate, reflecting sunlight, trapping heat, and causing precipitation.
  • Water is a crucial element with unique properties, and its role in climate should be studied.
  • Carbon capture and storage projects are ineffective and wasteful.

A history of radical alarmism (01:01:42)

  • The climate apocalypse narrative emerged from concerns about overpopulation and resource depletion in the 1960s.
  • The Club of Rome advocated for drastic measures to control human population growth.
  • The radical side of the environmentalist movement emerged as a consequence of these concerns.

What drove Greenpeace’s concerns originally, hardcore activism (01:03:08)

  • Dr. Patrick Moore believes that humans are misdirecting their attention to certain environmental concerns, such as carbon dioxide production, while ignoring more pressing issues like the devastation of coastal waters.
  • He argues that the apocalyptic narrative surrounding climate change is driven by a combination of genuine environmental concerns and anti-human sentiments, which politicians exploit for their own gain.
  • Dr. Moore was involved in the early environmental movement, particularly with Greenpeace, which initially focused on humanitarian work, such as opposing nuclear weapons testing, rather than solely ecological issues.
  • Greenpeace's successful campaigns against nuclear testing in Amchitka and Moruroa Atoll involved direct actions like sailing to the test sites and occupying Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris to raise awareness.
  • At the first international meeting on the environment in Stockholm, Moore and Jim Bolan, a leader of the early Greenpeace group, lobbied southern hemisphere countries about atmospheric nuclear testing and planned to send a boat to raise awareness.
  • The New Zealand delegation, convinced by Moore and Bolan, successfully proposed a motion against atmospheric nuclear testing at the Stockholm conference, leading to its eventual cessation.
  • Greenpeace's boat was sunk in New Zealand by bombs, resulting in one fatality, the only such incident during a Greenpeace campaign.
  • Moore's upbringing in a natural environment and his involvement in Greenpeace led him to focus on various environmental issues, including toxic waste pollution and cleaning up rivers in Europe.

What changed, “They started seeing humanity as the problem” (01:12:27)

  • In the early 1980s, environmental groups began describing humans as the enemies of the earth and a great cancer on the planet.
  • The green movement dropped the "peace" from its name and became more focused on anti-capitalism.
  • Greenpeace was infiltrated by the political left and became more radical in its views.

Greenpeace wanted to ban chlorine worldwide (01:14:40)

  • Greenpeace launched a campaign to ban chlorine worldwide, despite its essential role in public health, pharmaceuticals, and water treatment.
  • Dr. Moore opposed the campaign and left Greenpeace when it refused to drop the demand.
  • Dr. Moore started a salmon farm with his brother and brother-in-law, which they ran for 10 years.

The tragedy of the commons, and why we need borders (01:17:01)

  • Overfishing and overexploitation of resources can occur without proper management and jurisdiction.
  • International agreements, such as the treaty between Canada, the United States, Japan, and Russia, can help prevent overfishing by setting quotas and regulations.
  • However, some countries, like Japan, disregard international agreements and overexploit resources.
  • Historically, conflicts over fishing rights have occurred between countries, such as the French and English.

Phobia-first approach to science, plastic is not toxic - that’s the point (01:19:26)

  • Greenpeace has undergone a radicalization, with the incursion of Marxist, anti-capitalist, and anti-human ideologies.
  • There is an irrational over-concern with chemicals, leading to claims like the presence of 9,000 toxic chemicals in plastic without specifying the chemicals.
  • Plastic is widely used in healthcare due to its non-toxic properties, such as blood bags, vinyl tubing, flooring, and gloves.
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch has not been discussed yet.

What convinced Dr. Moore that mainstream science had been captured (01:21:23)

  • Dr. Moore realized that the environmental movement had been captured in the 1980s.
  • He separated himself from the group when he realized that the climate issue was exaggerated or even antithetical to the truth.
  • The consequences of this discovery for him have been significant.
  • CO2 and water are the most essential elements for life on Earth.
  • Nitrogen is important but cannot be directly absorbed by life and must go through nitrogen-fixing bacteria in plants.
  • Nitrogen dioxide cannot be metabolized by humans and must be broken down by microscopic life forms.
  • Dr. Moore believes that climate activists are causing mass confusion and engaging in ridiculous behavior.
  • He questions their motives and suggests that they may not fully understand what they are advocating for.
  • He points out that humans are a tropical species and would benefit from a warmer climate.

It makes no sense for the green movement to be anti-nuclear (01:23:52)

  • Environmentalists tend to be anti-nuclear, which contradicts their concern about carbon dioxide.
  • Nuclear energy is a reasonable alternative to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Closing nuclear plants in places like California and Germany has negative consequences.
  • Germany turned to burning lignite, increasing carbon dioxide emissions and dependence on fossil fuels from Russia.
  • The real problem is the association of nuclear war and nuclear power in the political side of the movement.
  • Nuclear energy should be seen as a positive technology like nuclear medicine, not associated with nuclear war.
  • There have been no deaths from nuclear plants in North America, and accidents like Three Mile Island and Fukushima were avoidable.
  • Strict regulations have unnecessarily increased the cost of building and maintaining nuclear reactors.
  • Windmills and solar panels receive massive subsidies, while China benefits by exporting them at a lower cost.
  • The fear of radiation is irrational due to its invisibility and the strict regulations that have been implemented.
  • The strict regulations have almost doubled the price of building and maintaining nuclear reactors.
  • Windmills and solar panels receive massive subsidies, while China benefits by exporting them at a lower cost.

It’s a free country until you mention carbon (01:29:21)

  • Criticizes the notion that carbon dioxide is harmful and argues that it is essential for life.
  • States that there is no evidence that carbon dioxide has a significant effect on temperature.
  • Suggests that other factors, such as the position of tectonic plates and ocean currents, play a more important role in determining the Earth's temperature.

A summary of the conversation thus far (01:30:46)

  • Over the past half a billion years, the Earth has experienced periods of being much warmer and with higher carbon dioxide levels than present.
  • The current Ice Age, which began 2.5 million years ago, is characterized by periodic advances and retreats of ice.
  • The current interglacial period is relatively cold and has low carbon dioxide levels, which could potentially harm plant life.
  • Burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which benefits plants and has led to increased greening and crop productivity.
  • The environmental movement, which started with good intentions, became derailed by overpopulation fears and Marxist influence, leading to an irrational phobia of industrial and nuclear activities.
  • Despite concerns, there is evidence that carbon dioxide emissions may actually be beneficial for life on Earth, as they could mitigate the effects of the next glacial maximum.

Is micro plastic a myth? (01:34:47)

  • Microplastics are not a myth.
  • Plastic in the oceans is beneficial, just like driftwood.
  • Driftwood provides habitat and food for marine life.
  • Plastic does not become toxic when it enters the ocean.
  • Plastic is one of the most inert things in the world.
  • It takes a long time for plastic to break down.
  • Microplastics have not been found in the livers and kidneys of fish.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch does not exist, and other egregious lies (01:36:27)

  • The Pacific Garbage Patch is a myth; the image often presented as such is actually debris from a tsunami.
  • Seabirds benefit from plastic as a substitute for rare grinding agents in their gizzards, and no negative effects on seabirds have been found in 50 years of study.
  • The Smithsonian Institution perpetuates the false narrative that plastic is harmful to seabirds.
  • Dr. Patrick Moore warns against radical alarmism and the misuse of information to create fear and panic, citing the example of the Fukushima nuclear disaster where the media focused on the nuclear crisis rather than the actual human toll of 18,000 people killed by the tsunami.
  • Dr. Moore emphasizes the importance of critical thinking and evaluating information before accepting it as true, particularly regarding scare stories such as those surrounding GMOs and microplastics.

The end of science at the hands of the woke (01:42:48)

  • The anti-GMO campaign in Europe is costing African farmers billions of dollars.
  • Golden rice is a genetically modified crop that could save millions of lives, but Greenpeace is preventing its adoption.
  • The environmental movement has been taken over by ideologues who are not interested in science.
  • The climate change movement is using the language of equity as a sledgehammer to attack anyone who disagrees with them.
  • The modern environmental movement is politicized and has lost its way.
  • Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic that are found in the environment.
  • Microplastics can be harmful to wildlife and humans.
  • The amount of microplastics in the environment is increasing.
  • There is no easy way to remove microplastics from the environment.
  • The Earth is getting greener.
  • The increase in green vegetation is due to human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels and the use of fertilizers.
  • The greening of the Earth is having a positive impact on the climate.
  • The greening of the Earth is not a sign of environmental degradation.

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