Just in case you find yourself short on things to worry over, two New York City artists have given you another. And it lets you know the moment you can stop fretting because ultimate doom is imminent. Artists Gan Golan and Andrew Boyd have created what they call “the Climate Clock” set ten stories above Manhattan’s Union Square so that all passers-by can chart the precise moment the world passes its irreversible point toward global demise. According to their clock, that moment is just about seven years and some change from today. Golan said his motivation for the project was the birth of his daughter two years ago.
He realized,“What we did in the next few years would determine the world my daughter would live in, that all of us would live in, and I felt that timeline needed to be understood by everyone, everywhere.”
So they constructed a massive digital clock on the side of a building in one of the busiest places in the world. The artists made a much smaller climate clock last year for Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenage environmental activist; one she could hold in her hand during her famed appearance at the United Nations Climate Action Summit.
“This is arguably the most important number in the world,” the team explained to the New York Times, adding, “You can’t argue with science, you just have to reckon with it.”
Actually, you can argue with science. That is precisely what the scientific method is, the discipline of questioning, being skeptical about what others claim is beyond debate. Questioning environmental alarmism is precisely what two leading, mainstream environmental climate scholars have done this year in two extremely important books on what science actually does and does not say regarding the earth’s future.
The first is Michael Shellenberger, a TIME magazine “hero of the environment” who explains in his book Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All that nearly every piece of scare data presented by the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Leonardo DiCaprio and Greta Thunberg is not only incorrect, but actually tells a story that is the opposite of the scientific truth. Not only is the world not going to end due to climate change, in many important ways, the environment is getting markedly better. And Shellenberger explains that it is technology and industry that are fixing these problems, not Greenpeace and other activists. Certainly no conservative, Shellenberger wrote Apocalypse Never precisely because he was “getting fed up with the exaggeration, alarmism, and extremism that are the enemy of a positive, humanistic, and rational environmentalism.” Shellenberger is both pro-people and pro-technology, explaining counter-intuitively that the scientific “evidence is overwhelming that our high-energy civilization is better for people and nature than the low-energy civilization that climate alarmists would return us to.”
The other major environmentalist voice challenging hysteria is Bjorn Lomborg of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, a think tank seeking global solutions for our most pressing problems. He is also a visiting professor at Copenhagen Business School and listed by the UK’s Guardian newspaper as one of the 50 people who could save the planet. In his book False Alarm, he explains how “climate change panic” is not only unfounded, it’s also wasting trillions of dollars globally, hurting the poor and failing to fix the very problems it warns us about. Lomborg explains that “the rhetoric on climate change has become more extreme and less moored to the actual science” at the very time that “climate scientists have painstakingly increased knowledge about climate change, and we have more – and more reliable – data than ever before.”
What is that science telling us? “Science shows us that fears of a climate apocalypse are unfounded.” Lomborg explains, admitting that while “global warming is real, …it is not the end of the world.” “It is a manageable problem” he adds. He is dismayed that we live in a world “where almost half the population believes climate change will extinguish humanity” and do so under the mistaken assumption that science concludes this. It doesn’t.
Care for the gift that God has given us in this beautiful planet is imperative. It was the second command He gave to humanity, after the charge to populate it with generation after generation of new people. But hysteria is not what is called for in this work. Both Shellenberger and Lomborg tell us that not only is it not helping, it’s actually making things worse in significant ways. And they both regret it’s needlessly freaking out the world’s young people.