Message to governments: Don’t kill human creativity with political stupidity
By Franco Battaglia and Guus Berkhout
This is from an interview of Professor Guus Berkhout by Professor Franco Battaglia, published July 20, 2022 in La Verità, a daily newspaper in Italy. Berkhout is a retired professor of geophysics from the Technical University of Delft and a co-founder of CLINTEL. Battaglia is a professor of chemistry at Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia.
Q: Can you tell me something about CLINTEL?
A: Climate Intelligence (CLINTEL) is an independent foundation active in the field of climate change and energy transition. CLINTEL was initiated by emeritus professor of geophysics Guus Berkhout with the objective to make the many critical climate organizations around the world combine forces and work closely together against one-sided information and false conclusions promoted in the news media. CLINTEL was founded by Guus Berkhout and science journalist Marcel Crok (author of the book The State of the Climate) in March 2019.
The Clintel mission is: “Bringing Climate Knowledge to the World”. The “World” means mainstream climate scientists, green energy engineers, model-driven policy makers and (supra)national political leaders. In the coming year, the judiciary and the general public will receive extra attention from CLINTEL. Not only in The Netherlands and Europe, but worldwide. An important opportunity will be Clintel’s presence in the forthcoming high-profile Shell lawsuit.
CLINTEL’s climate vision can be simply summarized by: “There is no climate emergency”. We formulated the World Climate Declaration (WCD), a one-page summary of what scientific climate realists agree upon. In a few words, the WCD states that global warming is a fact but not a crisis, the cause of global warming has large natural components, more CO2 in the atmosphere is a blessing, and climate measures must be focused on adaptation. Currently, the WCD has been signed by more than thousand scientists and engineers. Both the Declaration and the list of signatories (arranged per country) can be found at www.clintel.org.
The ambition of CLINTEL is to generate and collect knowledge about, and understanding of, the causes and consequences of climate change as well as the effects of climate policy on the energy and food system, both determining the welfare and well-being of the world.
Signatories constitute a close network of climate and energy experts. It makes CLINTEL a strong organization with a wealth of operational knowledge. To keep in close contact with all countries around the world, CLINTEL has appointed ambassadors that provide firsthand information on the latest developments in each country.
Q: Considering your large international exposure as leader of CLINTEL, are you worried about the future?
A: No, I am very hopeful and let me explain why. In the past centuries, faith and superstition have been replaced by rational thinking (“Age of Enlightenment”). For instance, by rational thinking it became clear that extreme weather is not in the hands of mysterious gods but it is determined by a complex interplay of natural forces. Another example shows that, step by step, primitive medicine men became the qualified doctors of today. And, last but not least, enlightened thinkers initiated a continuous flow of great technological developments in all sectors of society. As a result, the quality of life has greatly improved.
Surprisingly, we only hear doom and gloom from the media. According to them, the world is collapsing due to the influence of man. But hard facts show the opposite. Did you know that (i) in the past 100 years the number of people on our planet increased from 1.9 billion in 1922 to 7.9 billion in 2022, while global life expectation increased from 40 to 73 years, (ii) the number of people who died by natural catastrophes decreased by more than 90%, and (iii) there were never so many people taking care of the natural environment, etc., etc. What a hopeful perspective!
LIFE EXPECTANCY IS THE BEST SINGLE MEASURE FOR QUALITY OF LIFE. The increase of world life expectancy with increasing world population (more people, more brains, more creative power) is the best evidence against the evil Malthusian movement and WEF’s destructive Great Reset ideology.
However, if we stop thinking rationally, if we stop investing in truthful science and education, if we stop setting the right priorities in technological development, if we stop improving the agricultural productivity, then progress will stop. That is what I fight against.
Q: Can you give an example of setting wrong priorities in technology?
A: Today’s huge technological investments that try to stop climate change are a historical mistake. If we study the past and present, we see that the cause of climate change has large natural components, the combination of solar irradiation and oceanic behavior being by far the most important. Thinking that we can stop climate change by decreasing the CO2-concentration in the atmosphere is not only naive, but also an outrageous waste of money. The cost is huge, the benefit miniscule.
What must be done is: 1) accept climate change as an unavoidable natural phenomenon, 2) better understand the climate system with truthful science and 3) adapt to its continuous changes by developing effective adaptation technologies. To illustrate the importance of early adaptation, see three topical examples on floods, droughts and energy shortages:
- Look at last year’s flood crisis in Western Europe (Limburg, Ardennes, Eifel). The large amount of casualties and the enormous material damage were the result of administrative incompetence. Deforestation, canalization, asphalting and more solar farms were the real causes. Water couldn’t get into the soil and caused levels to rise superfast, leading to a huge flood. With the debris taken with it, the damage was enormous. Brussel’s plan for more logging will make it even worse in the future, giving green administrators the opportunity to blame the climate even more.
- This brings me to this year’s drought in the Po delta. Droughts in deltas are increasingly caused by – yes again – administrative incompetence. Outdated water management strategies aim at mitigating floods by rapidly draining excess water (see also previous point), while the opposite need be done. Excess water should be taken up by the soil and stored into freshwater basins. In dry periods the stored water is available for the ever-increasing local water demands, the latter being mainly due to expansion of agricultural land use and related intensification of groundwater extraction. Again, don’t blame climate change!
- Look also at the current energy shortage. That is not (only) the fault of the Ukraine-Russian war, but it is (entirely) the fault of incompetent governments who banned investments in fossil fuels. An old Dutch saying states: “Never throw away old shoes, before you have bought new ones”. Wind turbines and solar panels are not only extremely expensive and space intensive, but they are also unpredictable energy suppliers and, therefore, they require a huge back-up system. So, totally unsuitable to replace the current energy infrastructure (‘the old shoes’). Using hydrogen for storage purposes involves big energy losses and makes the renewable circus even more foolish. Did you know that in the current global energy mix, 80% is fossil fuels and only 2% is wind and solar?
Q: In your country citizens don’t trust the government anymore and farmers make an uproar. How could this happen?
A: The green policy of Western governments has nothing to do with the real world, nor with honest science, nor with common sense. The CO2-crisis is artificial, constructed by climate alarmists who, with their pitch-black scenarios, have Western governments and parliaments in their power. To formulate it nicely, Western administrators are naïve and do not (want to) realize how essential the role of CO2 is in nature. Bear in mind, climate change is much more than CO2, and CO2 is much more than climate change. Isn’t CO2 the raw material for all life on Earth? Looking at total costs and benefits, isn’t more CO2 in the atmosphere a blessing for mankind and nature? In the Netherlands citizens see that green policies are pushing them into poverty. Poor citizens. We see that the fake climate crisis is leading to a real economic crisis!
And then there is the fake nitrogen crisis. According to the militant Dutch green movement, the use of fertilizers by farmers is causing a NH3-disaster to adjacent heath areas. Poor farmers. Why should innovative agriculture make way for artificial nature on artificial pieces of poor land? Isn’t NH3 indispensable to ensure sufficient food in the future? Let us hope that the fake nitrogen crisis does not lead to a real food crisis!
Dutch farmers are inventive and are willing to put their heart and soul into further harmony between intensive agriculture and nature. But only in cooperation with administrators with common sense. And right they are.
Q: What is according to you the solution to stop the transition to darkness?
A: I have three principal recommendations:
- Today’s government policies are driven by computer models. However, the results of those models are completely determined by what the modelmakers put into them. Modelmakers can set up a model in such a way that it produces whatever the financier wants to see. Politicians are fond of models. In governmental research institutes, scientists follow instructions to set up ‘scientific’ models in such a way that the outcome favors the intended governmental policy. They then blatantly claim that the outcome is scientifically sound. My advice is to ban the use of politics-driven ‘scientific’ models all together. Those false models push us back into the dark times of superstition.
- History tells us that scientific breakthroughs were always initiated by new and better measurements. Think of the spectacular developments in telescopes and microscopes, such as the recent James Webb space telescope. This stunning imaging instrument searches for the first galaxies that were formed in the early universe. The first pictures are spectacular. Think also of the newest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-T, for weather observing and environmental monitoring. My advice is to heavily invest in high-quality observation systems that can accurately measure the complex properties of the Earth’s atmosphere, land surfaces and ocean behavior in both space and time. Better measurements will show us the way forward!
- Today, we see that supranational organizations – such as the WEF, IMF, World Bank, IPCC, UNFCCC, WHO, FAO, etc. – bring global regulations that overrule national laws. The worrying trend is that they want to establish a so-called ‘World Government’ that tells national governments what to do. However, individual countries (often with very diverse regions) are very dissimilar and, therefore, their national needs and opportunities are very different from each other. They all require tailor-made approaches and solutions. Coming up with one uniform global regulation will be counterproductive. In addition, it will be the end of the Western democracies.
When the voice of the people no longer comes through in government and parliament, democracy fails. This means that regulation of undemocratic, unelected supranational organizations must NEVER overrule national law. In addition, to undo the enormous green damage, we urgently need in each Western country a national RECOVERY CABINET with a competent team of PROJECT-MINISTERS, who know the content of their portfolio inside out and who are not the playthings of supranational bodies, rigged advisory committees (who already know what the outcome is expected to be), commercial research firms (who think of a follow-up assignment while they are writing their proposal) and cunning lobbyists (who plunder the big subsidy pots).
In conclusion, false scientific models have given (supra)national organizations a license to experiment with the global energy and food system. As expected, the outcome is catastrophic. If you are not yet convinced, have a close look at Germany. This country has worldwide the largest share of renewables in its energy system (about 20%). As a result, its energy supply has become unreliable, and its energy prices have become unaffordable. Don’t blame the climate or the Ukraine-Russian war. In Germany, the fake climate crisis has caused a real energy crisis!
And have also a close look at Sri Lanka. This country was persuaded by the supranational elites to make its national agriculture system sustainable by banning its fertilizers and its traditional crop protection. As a result, not only did the country’s food exports collapse, but now Sri Lanka cannot feed its own people. In Sri Lanka, the fake sustainability crisis has caused a real food crisis.
Despite these dramatic realities, the global ‘Great Reset’ circus continues. Every human activity must be NET ZERO: Net zero CO2 (no fossil fuels for energy), net zero NH3 (no fertilizers for agriculture), and what is next ….. net zero CH4? Germany and Sri Lanka give us convincing evidence of what we can expect on a global scale. I advise all green utopists to critically evaluate the great harm they are doing to the world.
From a July 15, 2022, interview of Guus Berkhout, by Franco Battaglia on the supposed climate crisis.
Professor Battaglia plays a leading role in the critical climate community of Italy and Professor Berkhout is president of CLINTEL.
This is the full interview, the version published in Italian, in La Verità, has been edited down a bit for space. Andy May improved the English a little.
The featured image is a cartoon by Peter Schrank from The Economist, July 15, 2021.