Doc Ippel: Some In-Your-Face Climate Optimism
by Bruce Ippel, M.D.
Melting ice caps: Many drown.
Massive droughts: Many more starve.
Climate change: Ruins everything for those who are left.
These types of thoughts are behind the worldwide drumbeat of our news media. Yikes! If it’s anything like they predicted for Y2K, we might as well all spend an hour in a closed garage with the car running.
Or not. As a physician, I’ve learned to be a cynical optimist. That means I try first to carefully assess what I’m being fed. I usually discover things are skewed by agendas. Scaring people is prioritized in multiple agendas. Ergo, if something sounds scary, it’s suspect. For example, what used to be called global warming is now the scarier-sounding climate change.
So let’s ignore all “scientific” predictions, and ignore all recent weather events said to presage the coming meltdown. Focus instead on what simple observation tells us. Observe that we do know the tiny but significant amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air is increasing. Do we know why it’s increasing? Lots of things put CO2 in the air, but the reason it’s increasing is that the things that suck CO2 out are not able to keep up with current production.
The cause of that inability to keep up with current production is the new reality that humanity is using carbon-based energy from the ground to power our rise to the only current life form to go from being formed by its creation to reforming its creation.
Personally, as a creationist, I believe that carbon was stored in the ground for us by God, to discover and use like we’re doing now — for us to get to what He’s stored in nuclear physics to go on to the next level and on . . . and on and on. Of course, mine is the distinctly minority opinion (what most readers would consider an “agenda”) that I will heretofore avoid.
So, how else did all that carbon get there? Current dogma tells us that biology put it there — specifically plants. Evolutionists insist that when the planet first glommed together, the air had huge amounts of CO2, ammonia (NH3), water (H2O) and nitrogen — the perfect “green house” (now considered scary) atmosphere. It was similar to what the planet Venus is now and a hellish place that life can’t abide.
Amazingly, Earth was “lucky” enough to have everything in what scientists call the “Goldilocks zone.” They figure that 1 in 10 to the 18th power (a really, really big number) of planets would possibly be in this zone. Add in a gazillion years and chemistry and physics and more luck and you might get . . . plants.
We did get plants. First algae that filled the oceans, then rain forests on steroids. They sucked in almost all that huge amount of CO2 and NH3 and spit out their version of waste (pure oxygen). Another gazillion years, and we have the beginning of the “industrial revolution” and “fossil fuel,” with most of that CO2 stored in the layers of earth.
The-sky-is-falling Chicken Little faction would have us believe we’ll cruise past what they call “the tipping point,” where the Earth’s climate can’t recover or deal with the change, and free fall into mass meteorologic catastrophe envisioned in the imaginary headlines at the beginning of this piece.
But a cynical optimist might realize that plant life has handled this strain before to good effect. Right now it is in the process of rapidly adapting again (the data are out there if you look). Our oceans and Indiana will look a lot greener. The amount of dead plant material will outpace the germs digesting it to CO2. Oil will start forming on the ocean floor. There will be some changes in our life-friendly climate, and humanity will do what it does best — we’ll adapt and be better off for it.
My next prediction is that we’ll have to use our nuclear-power generation abilities to dissolve limestone to put CO2 back into the air to prevent the next Ice Age.
Bruce Ippel, M.D., is a solo rural family physician in central Indiana and an adjunct scholar of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation. He and his wife of 40+ years have 10 children. For the last 38 years, Dr. Ippel has run a private “hardscrabble” clinic serving the under-served.