How to destroy the claim that the West must cut CO2 emissions

From Climate Scepticism


To justify the claim that Western countries must cut their CO2 emissions, the following statements must all be true:

1. The world is warming

2. Humanity is the cause

3. It’s dangerous

4. We can fix it  

Therefore, to destroy the claim, you only have to falsify one of them. But which one? 

Sceptics commonly choose 1, 2 or 3 – largely because they feel strongly about the issues involved. But that’s a mistake: in attempting to falsify any of these, you get bogged down in areas of science where, however learned you may be and however cogent and valid your arguments, you end up with ‚my experts vs. your experts‘, where minds cannot be changed and where you may well be accused of being a ‘denier’ or an advocate for fossil fuel interests.

That’s what’s been happening for years. And it’s why sceptics are getting nowhere and why Western governments are continuing to pursue their disastrous climate policies. 

So you’re left with item 4. And this is different: now you can base your position, not on disputed scientific evidence but on easily verifiable fact: the non-Western world is the source of about 75% of global emissions; a percentage that’s increasing.

And that’s because the overriding and understandable priority of billions of poor people in Asia, Africa and South America is to provide clean water, fresh food, shelter, healthcare and education for their children, to improve overall quality of life and to achieve prosperity.

This requires abundant, affordable, available and reliable energy – i.e. gas, coal and oil. These people want what we in the West already have, so there’s no reason to think that attitude is going to change for a long time – if ever. There’s nothing we can do about it. So item 4 is falsified.

My advice to sceptics: ignore items 1, 2 and 3 and focus on 4. 

Note: the useful four statements concept was inspired by this article in the Australian Spectator. My thanks.

Robin Guenier – March 2023