My Turn, Bruce LaRue: Climate alarmists — skating on thin ice?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 15, 2022

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.

—Soren Kierkegaard

In a recent essay concerning Antarctica, climate change, emissions, home insulation and depression in young adults, the author of the piece, probably due to the constraints placed on contributors by op-ed page word limits, left out some important details. As is often the case with climate change essays, there is more to the story.

The author states, “Due to climate change, Antarctica is melting faster than any other time in history.”

A couple of things: The history of Antarctica, as it relates to record-keeping, does not go back very far in time, perhaps a hundred years at most. Moreover, recent history includes an increase in ice prior to the latest decrease. According to an article from NASA Earth Observatory/ World of Change: Antarctic Ice, “From the start of satellite observations in 1979 to 2014, total Antarctic ice increased by about 1 percent per decade… For three consecutive Septembers from 2012 to 2014, satellites observed new record highs for winter sea ice extent. These highs occurred while the Arctic was seeing record lows. The climb came to an end in 2015, and significant decreases in sea ice around Antarctica started to occur in 2016. There have been small rebounds in recent years, but nowhere near the record high in 2014.”

The writer of the essay references the Thwaites glacier: “…and the glacier is now sliding rapidly into the ocean.”

Not so fast, literally, at least according to an article by Stephanie Krzywonos from Oct 18, found on, hardly a friend to AGW deniers:

“Thwaites is melting, and at a risk of melting a lot more. That ’16 feet of sea level rise’ projection is also accurate. What’s missing is the timescale. Scientists are concerned that only part of Thwaites — its eastern ice shelf — will collapse within ten years. It is true that the shelf’s collapse would set off a ‘chain reaction,’ but according to the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder, that ‘2 to 10 feet’ of sea level rise will require centuries to unfold, possibly a millennium—we don’t know.”

There is an important aspect of “rising sea levels” and their impact on coastal cities that almost no one mentions. Ocean water does not stop at the shoreline. As sea levels rise, some of that water will push from the Atlantic up into the Cape Fear, Neuse and Roanoke rivers hundreds of miles inland. Water from the Atlantic will flow into the St. John’s River, possibly affecting water levels in Jacksonville, Green Cove Springs, Palatka and beyond. Water will flow from the South China Sea into the Mekong River, all 2,700 miles of it. The point is, the many rivers throughout the world that empty into oceans and seas can probably handle some of the extra water from a small rise in sea levels. The alarmists never mention the rivers; they keep us focused on cities like Miami and New Orleans being underwater, ignoring places like St. Louis and Vientiane.

Finally, is it any wonder young adults suffer from depression? They have been told since they were old enough to watch Captain Planet that Earth is fragile and we humans — mainly American humans — will destroy the planet in 10 years if we don’t change our evil ways and abandon fossil fuels and capitalism. They have been taught too much resentment of the success of achievers and not enough critical and analytical thinking. For example, would it not make sense to divert money from make-work man-made global warming research projects to real environmental problems like public water systems?

Somewhere out there among our young people are the future engineers who will improve our quality of life in an environmentally responsible way, but only if we stop lying to them, stifling their ingenuity with bogus 10-year doomsday scenarios that never come to pass, as we have done for the last 50 years. They deserve better. They deserve the truth.

Bruce LaRue lives in Mt. Ulla.