EPISODE 267: CO2: The Miracle Molecules with Dr Will Happer and Greg Wrightstone

Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is portrayed as the worst villain in climate alarmism’s pantheon of satanic gases.

The claim is that increasing levels of greenhouse gases are purportedly driving atmospheric warming to dangerous and unprecedented levels which is said to be leading to ever increasing natural disasters, severe weather events and human health concerns.

But what if these claims are wrong, catastrophically wrong.

What if, rather than being at unprecedented high levels, CO2 is at one of its lowest concentrations in the long history of the Earth and that the modest warming anticipated from increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases will be benign. More carbon dioxide will bring huge benefits to agriculture, forestry and life in general.

Returning guests Dr Will Happer Professor Emeritus of Physics at Princeton University and geologist Greg Wrightstone, both with the CO2 Coalition, make a convincing case in this episode for just that. Atmospheric CO2 is the primary carbon source for life on Earth.

Carbon dioxide concentrations – in part due to human emissions – are slowly growing from near-famine, pre-industrial values toward levels that are optimum for plant growth and which have prevailed over most of the geological history of higher life forms.

Carbon dioxide, at a current concentration of about 420 ppm, represents just 0.04% of the atmosphere, or about 420 molecules out of every million. Current levels are an incredibly small percentage of the atmosphere, albeit a critical one, as advanced plant life could not survive without at least 150 ppm. Recent declines in concentration have pushed the world dangerously close to that 150 ppm “line of death.”

Nearly all great leaps in human history occurred during warm periods. Before climate science became politicized, historians called warm periods “climate optima” because Earth’s ecosystems and humanity benefited from the blessed warmth.

Contrary to the demonization of the gas, CO2 is essential to life on Earth. CO2 is not a poison. Without CO2, there would be no photosynthesis, no plant food and insufficient oxygen to breathe. Just some of the benefits of CO2:

• Increasing crop growth

• Increasing soil moisture

• Shrinking deserts

• Expanding forests

• Lengthening growing seasons

• Declining cold-related mortality

What we should be worried about is that throughout most of Earth’s history, carbon dioxide existed in beneficially high levels that were multiples of our current concentration. Geological sequestration of CO2 into fossil fuels has depleted our atmosphere to levels below the optimum for plant growth.

The great irony is that through the burning of fossil fuels, the carbon stored in the remains of ancient plants and organisms is now being liberated and helping to return the planet’s atmosphere to more beneficial levels of CO2.

We can correctly refer to fossil fuels as “natural solar-powered energy” or, if you like, giant solar energy storage batteries!

Without fossil fuels there would be no reliable, low-cost energy worldwide and less CO2 for photosynthesis to make food. Eliminating fossil fuels to attempt to reduce CO2 emissions would be disastrous for the world’s people, especially for the two billion impoverished poor.

An underreported consequence of the “green” energy transformation is the loss of habitats and species.

The “green” solution to a non-existent climate crisis is to encourage a great acceleration in habitat loss by abandoning efficient fossil fuels for inefficient wind and solar energy that requires vast swaths of forest, grasslands and farmlands for solar and wind installations and further habitat loss through:

  • open-pit mining of minerals needed for batteries, photovoltaic cells and electric transmission,
  • conversion of diverse jungle habitat to plantations for biofuel,
  • large-scale electricity transmission lines and
  • destruction of mature forests to make wood pellets as biofuel.

So-called green energy is causing the destruction of massive numbers of birds, bats and insects slaughtered by wind turbines. Offshore wind projects are killing whales, dolphins and other cetaceans.

We have been seized by a great madness.

Under the false claims of coming calamity, bureaucrats and politicians seek to shut down coal-fired power plants, kill the internal combustion engine, ban natural gas for home use and advance the misguided objective of a “net zero” economy.

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”

Charles MacKay

“What historians will definitely wonder about in future centuries is how deeply flawed logic, obscured by shrewd and unrelenting propaganda, actually enabled a coalition of powerful special interests to convince nearly everyone in the world that carbon dioxide from human industry was a dangerous, planet-destroying toxin. It will be remembered as the greatest mass delusion in the history of the world—that carbon dioxide, the life of plants, was considered for a time to be a deadly poison.”

Dr. Richard Lindzen

“I don’t see a whole lot of difference between the consensus on climate change and the consensus on witches. At the witch trials in Salem the judges were educated at Harvard. This was supposedly 100 per cent science. The one or two people who said there were no witches were immediately hung. Not much has changed.”

Will Happer




Speaker 1:                    Welcome to the Bill Walton Show featuring conversations with leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and thinkers. Fresh perspectives on money, culture, politics and human flourishing. Interesting people, interesting things.

Bill Walton:                   Climate alarmist and the green industrial complex have been warning [00:00:30] incessantly that increasing levels of greenhouse gases are purportedly driving atmospheric warming to dangerous and previously unknown levels. They say that higher temperatures are leading to ever increasing natural disasters, severe weather events, and human health concerns. Is this true? What if just the opposite is true? What if the slight warming caused by [00:01:00] manmade greenhouse gases is overwhelmed by natural climate drivers that have been active for hundreds of millions of years? What if based on thousands of years of historical records documenting temperature and human experience, the possibility of additional warming will be overwhelmingly beneficial to humanity? Carbon dioxide or CO2 is portrayed as the worst villain in the climate alarmist [00:01:30] pantheon of satanic gases. Is this true? What if CO2 is a miracle molecule dramatically improving the earth’s ecosystems and creating the conditions for human flourishing? Well, I’m back with Dr. William Happer, co-founder and chair of the CO2 Coalition, and Gregory Wrightstone, it’s executive director and they’re going to explain why they believe this to be true. Dr. [00:02:00] Happer.

Will Happer:                 Well Bill, thanks for that introduction. And of course they have got the sign wrong on CO2. Carbon dioxide is very beneficial to life on earth. It’s at historically low levels, very seldom in geological history has it been this low, and you can already see that plants are growing much better. Crop yields are going up because of the increase of CO2. [00:02:30] So nothing about CO2 is bad, so it’s unbelievable that they’ve managed to turn this beneficial molecule, which you and I breathe out with every breath into a pollutant.

Bill Walton:                   But what they say, what Al Gore, that great scientist from Harvard reliably tells us that CO2 is driving temperatures through the roof and the oceans will begin foaming, and I can’t his remember speech of Davos, [00:03:00] but it’s going to be terrible. And CO2 is the thing that’s driving temperatures up. We’re going to droughts and famine. You’re saying it is just the opposite.

Will Happer:                 It’s nonsense. We are in a warming period now that began about 1800 maybe a little bit earlier as we have come out of the little ice age, which was a very cold period, 1500, 1600. Most of the warming that we’ve seen over the last 100 years or so is almost [00:03:30] all due to natural causes. There’s probably been a little contribution from CO2, but it’s not very much because CO2 is not a very potent greenhouse gas. It’s a puny greenhouse gas. It’s heavily saturated. It can’t do much more than it’s already done.

Bill Walton:                   Well, Greg, you’ve written an amazing book. It’s called A Very Convenient Warming, and it’s just coming out. It’s also on Kendall, and it’s astonishing. I mean, just an example of what it might [00:04:00] look like. The charts in this book illustrate all the points that Greg and Will are going to make during our show. And you have an interesting chart in here where you show that this has not been a straight line of warming. The earth has been warming and cooling, warming and cooling for millions of years, and in fact, it’s been warming and cooling and warming and cooling with glaciers receding, coming back in the last 10,000 years. And a lot of the health of [00:04:30] humans and human civilizations is tied to those climate cycles.

Greg Wrightston…:       Yeah, it is. And if we look at particularly the last 10,000 years, and that dates back to the end of the last glacial advance. And so we’re in what’s called an interglacial warming period. These are on 100,000 year cycles over the last million years or so, and we should be thankful we are in a warming period. But it’s important to note [00:05:00] that during that 10,000 year period, and as Will had said, we are in a warming trend. We should welcome that. But the warming trend we’re looks eerily similar to nine other warming trends over the last 10,000 years on a cyclical basis. And what’s really fascinating, or really the last 5,000 years, if we go back to the first great civilizations that rose up, the empires that rose up, each one of those warm periods [00:05:30] were correlated closely to the rise of empires, the rise of civilization, food was bountiful. And we know that these periods were warmer just from historical records where they were growing olives or where they could grow citrus. And so we don’t need to take carbon isotope data to get the science, but we can go-

Bill Walton:                   People writing about it, talking about it. You could grow grapes in the UK.

Greg Wrightston…:       Citrus in the north of England [00:06:00] near Hadrian’s Wall. The Romans were growing at the time, you can’t do that now.

Bill Walton:                   The era have been named and the Greeks have, when it was getting colder, what was that called?

Greg Wrightston…:       The Greek Dark Ages.

Bill Walton:                   The Greek Dark Ages.

Greg Wrightston…:       There’s a word I use often in the book, and that’s horrific. And the horrific consequences to humanity and the human condition were during the cold periods. It’s completely opposite of what we’re being told. We’re being told that [00:06:30] CO2’s driving warming, which will lead to horrible consequences. That’s not what history tells us. History tells us we should welcome the warmth and fear the cold.

Bill Walton:                   Well, you make the point in this book, and I want to reemphasize this several times as we talk. Dr. Happer, Will says, and it’s documented in here that temperatures drive CO2. It’s not the opposite. And so this notion of we’re going to eliminate CO2 and change temperatures, [00:07:00] it doesn’t work that way. And I want to stick with this historical discussion because there’s also this period that coincides exactly with the Roman Empire, which is when the earth warmed.

Greg Wrightston…:       Yeah, that was the Roman warm period. And again, food was bountiful, and of course the Romans conquered much of the world, and the Roman army marched on its stomach and the Roman Empire was fueled and that Roman empire was fed, their food [00:07:30] supplies were coming from North Africa a lot of it. Egypt and Tunisia were the bread basket of the Roman Empire at that time. We hardly think of Egypt being a breadbasket of the world today, but life was good for them. And there were a lot of reasons why the Roman Empire collapsed, it wasn’t all due to climate. The previous warming trend, the minow warm period in the Bronze Age clearly led to the what’s called the late Bronze Age collapse, and maybe in 50 or 100 years, all [00:08:00] these great empires, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Hittites, the Harapan Empire and the Indus River Valley, all of those great civilizations collapsed within 50 or 100 years when it started getting cold. And so it’s this strong relationship between the rise and fall temperature and the rise and fall of human civilization.

Bill Walton:                   But I like the way you summarized the Romans, though. There’s a reason they got to wear togas.

Greg Wrightston…:       Exactly. Yeah. It was warm.

                                    It was warm. [00:08:30] But when it got cold, that was around 400 AD, four, 500, that’s when we went into the so-called Dark Ages and that’s when it got horrifically cold.

Greg Wrightston…:       And we know from the COVID era, we’ve all learned a little bit, we’ve learned that cold weather in the winter, we see an increase in flus and diseases. And it was exacerbated during the dark ages because think about it, they were huddled together in their wooden homes, [00:09:00] in their homes huddled together for warmth maybe with animals in there. And so because of the cold temperatures, it was easy to spread diseases, fleas, rats, and the like.

Bill Walton:                   And then we saw with COVID, cold temperatures are conducive to viruses. They do better in cold than they do in heat.

Greg Wrightston…:       They are, and a lot of the consequences and deaths during the dark ages were due to the associated illnesses [00:09:30] and diseases that came along and not just direct-

Bill Walton:                   And didn’t the High Renaissance, I’m a history buff, I never really knew that the climate was that determinate here. Didn’t the High Renaissance come about because it started warming up again?

Will Happer:                 Well, actually, the High Renaissance was pretty near the middle of the Ice Age, the little Ice Age. But it didn’t occur in northern Europe. It occurred in Italy where [00:10:00] the little Ice Age didn’t matter.

Greg Wrightston…:       Mediterranean Club.

Will Happer:                 Yeah. Okay.

Greg Wrightston…:       But you’re thinking, I think perhaps what they call the high Middle Ages which is-

Bill Walton:                   I’ll have to-

Will Happer:                 A little bit earlier, the high Middle Ages was a warming period.

Bill Walton:                   I was referring to the high Middle Ages.

Will Happer:                 High Middle Ages, yeah. That was definitely a warming period. Absolutely. That was when the North, for example, farmed Greenland, which you can’t do today, but there’s wonderful evidence that they flourished for a couple [00:10:30] hundred years.

Bill Walton:                   And that’s when all the gothic cathedrals were built.

Will Happer:                 That’s right.

Bill Walton:                   With the soaring things with lot of glass, which you couldn’t have if it was-

Greg Wrightston…:       And they captured too things that makes it easy to understand that olive groves were much farther north during that period than even what they are today. So we can compare historical records of that time to what’s actually going on now. Where can you grow citrus? Where can you grow tropical?

Bill Walton:                   What caused the climate to change in what roughly [00:11:00] four or 500 year cycles where we had hot and then, I mean, what causes the glaciers to come in and go out?

Will Happer:                 Well, I think the honest answer is that nobody knows. And getting the answer has probably been set back by at least 50 years by this crazed fixation on carbon dioxide as the control knob of climate is clearly not the controlled knob of climate. And there are probably a number of control knobs, and we’ve neglected to try and investigate them [00:11:30] because of obsession with CO2. So we’ve caused a lot of damage to real climate science by this obsession.

Bill Walton:                   Well, clearly the CO2 emitted from the chariots was a big factor in the-

Greg Wrightston…:       Exactly.

Bill Walton:                   Civilization flourished, Wayne flourished and then we got to around 1850, and I think it’s helpful to bring it up to where we are sort of post-industrial [00:12:00] revolution. And I always thought that the industrial revolution is mainly driven by the ideas and that the freedom and democracy and that sort of thing, the middle class, the bourgeoisie, they flourished, but you also attribute it to the weather getting better.

Greg Wrightston…:       Well, let’s go back, just step back one moment. Let’s talk. The coldest period of the last 10,000 years was what Dr. Happer referred to as the little Ice Age, horrifically cold. And [00:12:30] we know that, again, I like using historical records just south of where we are today, George Washington’s at Mount Vernon, Martha loved ice in her summer drinks. And so he would’ve his slaves and servants go down to the Potomac River and cut the thick ice that accumulated every year up into his ice house. Well, the Potomac hasn’t frozen like that in many decades. It rarely freezes over.

                                    So we know just using historical records like that, we know it was really [00:13:00] cold at that time. And so we’ve been warming since the late 17th century, more than 300 years. In the first 200 plus years that had to be entirely naturally driven. But the others will tell you, oh, but that’s all changed in the middle of the 20th century. Now it’s all being driven by carbon dioxide and our excesses and our sins, what I’ll call the sins of emission, but that’s just not the case. Those same natural forces that were driving temperatures since the time [00:13:30] of George Washington upwards are in action today. They didn’t go away.

Bill Walton:                   Well, let’s get to the central, what I think is a central point here, which is that, as I said in the introduction, and you two have written persuasively about this, and I think other people have, you’ve got a growing coalition of scientists that are, I won’t call it a consensus because I don’t like that word much anymore, but there a lot of people agree on the science that CO2 is [00:14:00] not the poison. CO2 is part of the solution and one of the reasons that manmade CO2 emissions and let’s say there isn’t a lot of manmade CO2 emissions that’s been beneficial because you’ve got some very interesting charts here about the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been dropping for tens of millions of years and was dropping precipitously [00:14:30] till what, around 1800, 1850. And then we started using fossil fuels. We started emitting CO2 from our activity, and that’s actually raised the CO2 levels, which has been beneficial to agriculture and to human flourishing.

Will Happer:                 You can see that directly from the yields of crops like wheats and soybeans and corn. And there’s been a recent study, a very good one, I think, [00:15:00] that argues that about 40% of the increased yield has been from more CO2. There are other factors too. Nitrogen fertilizer, which Greg mentioned has been very important and better cropping, better varieties of crops. They’ve all contributed, but CO2 has been a major factor and we should be grateful for that. Who wants to give up 40% of the yield of agriculture that you couldn’t feed the world [00:15:30] if we did that?

Greg Wrightston…:       And we see too, as you mentioned in the book, we capture from the UN data, we see that global food production, crop production greatly outpacing population growth. We often hear, well, the population’s too large. Well, no, it’s not. We’re outpacing population growth with crop productivity. In the book, I capture the top eight crops in terms of tons of production, and all eight of those [00:16:00] are breaking growth in production records year after year after year. And as like Will said, it’s attributable for the most part to CO2 fertilization effect more. But there’s also the warming that we’re seeing is hugely beneficial to agriculture. We know that the growing season in the continental United States is increased by more than two weeks since 1900. The warming is great. It means that [00:16:30] killing frost and earlier in the spring arrive later in the fall.

Bill Walton:                   Well, and also 20 times more people die due to cold than to warmth.

Greg Wrightston…:       That’s right.

Bill Walton:                   Why do we take vacations and-

Greg Wrightston…:       Wales. We’re not seeing a population-

Bill Walton:                   Hey darling, let’s go to Siberia. Let’s have a really cold, desolate vacation. This is Bill Walton, the Bill Walton Show, and I’m with Greg Wrightstone and Dr. Will Happer who are leaders of the CO2 coalition, [00:17:00] and we’re talking generally about the beneficial nature of CO2, but specifically, I think everybody listening to this needs to get a copy of a Very Convenient Warming subtitle is how modest warming and more CO2 are benefiting humanity. And this is a really essential point for us to get because people say, “Well, carbon may be bad, but it’s an uneconomic thing to get rid of it, and we need to deal with it even though it’s evil.” Well, it’s not evil.

Greg Wrightston…:       [00:17:30] You just throw me up a softball, so I’m going to hit it out of that part.

Bill Walton:                   That’s what I was trying to, but then we also, there’s a difference between carbon and CO2. We’ll get into that later on.

Greg Wrightston…:       Dr. Happer’s been a huge proponent here of the benefits of carbon dioxide. And if you had talked to me maybe two years ago, we talked a lot about that there is no climate crisis, and it’s true there isn’t, and we can document that with science backs of data. But we’ve moved beyond that and Dr. Happer [00:18:00] predated me in this revelation and what we see today by almost every metric we look at, Earth’s ecosystems are thriving and prospering, and the humanity is benefiting from modest warming and more CO2. It is what I call build the greatest untold story of the 21st century, that of a thriving earth and an increase in the benefits to the human condition. And these are things that should be celebrated. Instead, they’re demonizing [00:18:30] it using false data, misinformation and disinformation. The disinformation isn’t coming from those of us that are skeptics, it’s coming from those promoting climate crisis.

Will Happer:                 Let me just add a few words to that Bill. If CO2 really were dangerous, if it really were a pollutant, then I would be on the side of Al Gore and Greta Thunberg. I would be out there pushing back against [00:19:00] it. But I’m a scientist. I know more about radiation transfer than most people, and I know that CO2 really can’t do the things that they’re claiming, and there’s no evidence for that. And I also know as a scientist that CO2 is tremendously beneficial to life. Greenhouse operators for years have doubled or tripled the amount of CO2 inside greenhouses, and you have to pay for it. It’s not [00:19:30] cheap. But it’s worth buying the CO2 because the fruits and the vegetables and the flowers are so much higher quality as a result of the higher levels of CO2, that it more than pays for the cost of the CO2. Now, this is not driven by ideology, it’s driven by the pure profit motive, which is I think one of the purest motives that drive humans. I can understand it more clearly.

Bill Walton:                   As a recovering private equity [00:20:00] guy, I’m all in favor of the profit motive. Yeah. Why has the CO2 level and the atmosphere been declining for as long as it has? I mean, millions of years. Don’t want to get too scientific here, but there was some geologic reasons and you’re trained geologist.

Greg Wrightston…:       The biggest reason here is that carbon sequestration, natural removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and that’s through things like carbonate, [00:20:30] limestone and that’s calcium carbonate, so it’s removing carbon dioxide. It’s also from coal formation with the coal swamps mainly the carboniferous period removed huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and incorporated into the coal. We’re now liberating that carbon dioxide that was captured in the coal also was captured in oil and gas source rocks. A lot of these were algal blooms [00:21:00] that need carbon dioxide and sunlight for photosynthesis that accumulated on the sea floor are now turned into fossil fuels.

Bill Walton:                   But none of those sound like manmade causes. And this is kind of what we need to get away from this conceit. What was it, you had a quote in your book from John Carey about how they were so fortunate to be gathered at Davos, who was the special nature of, continue.

Greg Wrightston…:       Well, [00:21:30] in my book too, it was interesting. I’ve looked at it a little different way with fossil fuels. I call them nature’s solar powered batteries. So what they did, these fossil fuels, bear in mind, coal of course we’re mainly vegetation, trees, swamps that lived, died, accumulated, lived, died and accumulated, and then were buried and turned into coal. And they live because of photosynthesis. What do we need for photosynthesis? Water, sunlight and carbon dioxide. And the more carbon dioxide, the better. [00:22:00] Oil and gas, the source rocks were again from photosynthesis of plankton and algal blooms. And so they used sunlight. So the sunlight powered the fossil fuels and created the fossil fuels we’re using. And now we’re liberating all that energy that was trapped in these fossil fuels. So we can actually view coal, oil and gas as nature’s solar powered battery that we’re now liberating and using for our betterment.

Bill Walton:                   I think we’ve got our tagline for our movement [00:22:30] here. It is. You want solar, we’ve already got solar power. We’ve been using it for 150 years.

Greg Wrightston…:       Exactly.

Will Happer:                 It’s definitely true. Yes. And I would just add to your question of why has it been going down? And it’s true over the last what, 90 million years CO2 has gradually been going down, and I think the honest answer is nobody’s quite sure why. Greg had mentioned a number of things that clearly contributed. [00:23:00] Another thing I would add is that this has also been a period of mountain building. The Himalayas started rising up some 60 million years ago, the Andes and so much faster erosion over many geological periods, which brings calcium ions and magnesium ions, which are necessary to form the carbonates that Greg mentioned and the enormous beds [00:23:30] of limestone, the chalk cliffs that we see in England. So that’s probably at least partially associated with the mountain building that we’re experiencing today.

Bill Walton:                   Well, there’s an illusion too that CO2 is some massive part of our atmosphere. Yes, the man in the street, what percentage of the air you breathe, that’s carbon dioxide and they’ll say 20%. Half. They don’t know. I mean, see, [00:24:00] this whole debate’s going on and we’re supposed to radically transform all of civilization because of something that almost nobody understands. And you’ve got some pie charts in your book which show that there’s this big chart, the number one thing is water-

Greg Wrightston…:       Watermaker.

Bill Walton:                   … in the atmosphere. And then number two-

Greg Wrightston…:       It’s for greenhouse gas.

Bill Walton:                   It’s for greenhouse gases. But then you get down to something, you’ve got a little slice here called trace elements, and then you have to break out a separate pie chart to show those [00:24:30] trace elements. And somewhere in there is carbon dioxide. What is it like 0.04% of the total. 0.04?

Greg Wrightston…:       It’s minuscule, but it’s very valuable and necessary without, although it’s only four hundredths of a percent of the atmosphere, it’s one of the most important. It’s just as important to life on earth as oxygen. And so the more of it, the better as we can see, because we’re actually living in an era that’s [00:25:00] CO2 impoverished.

Bill Walton:                   Well, you talked about it Will as a high powered, what was your analogy that you poured the die into?

Will Happer:                 Well, CO2 actually, although it’s a very tiny fraction of the atmosphere or 0.4%, it’s very small, is at 0.04?

Bill Walton:                   I think it’s 0.04. 0.04, yeah.

Will Happer:                 0.04%. It is a very potent greenhouse gas in small amounts. So if you look at the greenhouse [00:25:30] effect today, probably about 2/3, it’s due to water vapor. The other one third is CO2, but the greenhouse effect doesn’t increase very much. If you double CO2, it only changes the greenhouse effect by 1%.

Bill Walton:                   Well, that’s the point I think we need to make. There’s a chapter in your book that frankly I needed more coffee to really understand it, but evidently once CO2 is out there and influencing [00:26:00] whatever it influences, adding more doesn’t really change much because it’s already done its work.

Will Happer:                 That’s right, Bill. I often try to explain it to my wife by saying, “Look, it’s like painting a barn red. If you have an old barn and you want it to look nice, you put a coat of red paint. If you think that’s not red enough and it’ll get redder by putting on a second coat of red paint, you’re wasting your money. It won’t make the slightest difference.” So the amount [00:26:30] of CO2 in our atmosphere today, it’s a little bit like red paint. It acts much like paint, but it’s the maximum amount you can put in and it won’t get any redder if you double it. It’s like putting another coat of red paint on a barn and it won’t get any redder. And so the technical term for that is saturation is something that’s been well understood for 100 years or more. It happens in stars, and so there’s nothing mysterious about it.

Bill Walton:                   Well, I was referring to John [00:27:00] Carey and Al Gore. These men have massive, massive, massive egos, and they go to Davos and they think, John Carey was explaining that he’s like, among gods that Davos, these people understand the problems and they’re going to solve it for all of us little people. Well, he flies into Davos and what is his Gulf Stream five or maybe probably he might have a Boeing by now, I don’t know. But [00:27:30] we are not gods and the earth has been what it’s been the been for hundreds of millions of years, and now all of a sudden we show up and we’ve got to reorder our whole economic social system based on the ideas of these people. Your book is notoriously short on villains. Who is behind what I now think of as the lie that CO2 is so bad for us and that we need to reorganize things, who’s behind it?

Will Happer:                 [00:28:00] Well, I think part of it is just group things. It’s something that’s been indoctrinated for many decades now. Young people have never heard anything different when they grew up, so you have to feel sorry for someone like Greta Thunberg, who’s never heard the truth. And so once you get a bad idea going, it’s hard to get rid of it. So that’s part of it. But I think there are some intentional [00:28:30] efforts to keep this myth going. It started with organizations like The Club of Rome who were looking for some sort of threat that people could unite against. And so we would fight climate change instead of fighting each other, or that’s the basic idea. It hasn’t worked that way. And I’m not sure even the idea is correct, but [00:29:00] there has been a deliberate promotion of the threat from CO2 when it’s not a threat at all.

Bill Walton:                   Sarah and I drive back and forth between our house and town and out in the country, and she reads aloud, and we finished State of Fear by Michael Crit, and he has a very interesting idea that as soon as the Cold War ended, the Soviet Union collapsed, [00:29:30] the ruling class needed a new demon, a new enemy to label to keep all of us in a state of fear. And so the climate thing was created to keep us worried about something so they could solve the problem that didn’t exist and stay in power.

Will Happer:                 Yeah, I think Crichton was right, and I’m very sorry he’s not with us today.

Bill Walton:                   Yeah. Wouldn’t he be great to have here-

Will Happer:                 He was a wonderful voice, rationality.

Greg Wrightston…:       [00:30:00] I capture some quotes from Michael Crichton at the back of the book. I’ve got a notable quotables on consensus, and probably the quote from him that most people use and I’ll let you read.

Bill Walton:                   Here’s Michael Crichton. “There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus.”

Will Happer:                 That’s right.

Bill Walton:                   Period.

Will Happer:                 That’s right. And in fact, a little historical note, Greg wasn’t there, but when we formed the CO2 Coalition, [00:30:30] we talked about calling it the Creighton Coalition.

Greg Wrightston…:       I was unaware of that.

Will Happer:                 And the only reason we didn’t was we were unable to negotiate with the Crichton family, the use of his name.

Bill Walton:                   Well, he was famously a good businessman, so I guess his state ended it up with that attribute. Then now I think the problem we have is that the [00:31:00] demons been baked into our economic policy, we just passed an inflation reduction Act that is anything, but it’s really the Green New Deal. And we’ve given John Podesta, who’s I think would’ve Clinton’s top advisors, a $400 billion slush fund to throw at wind and solar and batteries and things like that. And they’re building into constituencies for this bad science all over America, all over the world, where local communities are investing in it that now they feel like [00:31:30] they’re all in. How do we turn that around?

Greg Wrightston…:       Well, we’re doing our part by providing the science, the facts, and the data that dispute this need for carbon capture and sequestration that disputes the notion that we need renewables like solar and wind. There are actually economically and ecologically destructive. And so people need this information, the information [00:32:00] that we’ve provided, our website, CO2coalition.org, within our books, our members are highly huge writers. They’re highly published.

Bill Walton:                   Well, we, I mean we now that I want to help us all succeed in getting the word out. You’ve read a section in here, you call it, we must destroy the environment to save it.

Greg Wrightston…:       A great example there is this notion of [00:32:30] extinctions. The UN claims that they’re exploding. We’re in the sixth grade extinction

Bill Walton:                   Species extension.

Greg Wrightston…:       Species extensions.

Bill Walton:                   Number of, okay.

Greg Wrightston…:       And we document that in the book that actually we’re in a huge significant decline. That UN report stated clearly that the greatest threat to our endangered species is habitat loss. What’s their solution for curing a non-existent climate crisis? Destroy the habitat, [00:33:00] pave over thousands of square miles with solar panel, and don’t call them farms. They’re not farms. They’re industrial complexes. Cut down thousands of acres of mature forests that are either converted to wood pellets to be shipped to United Kingdom and call them green, and also to cut down huge swaths of our mountains to put the soaring wind turbines on the tops of the house.

Bill Walton:                   Well, somebody calculated that to replace fossil fuels with wind [00:33:30] and solar, you would need to cover about half of North America.

Greg Wrightston…:       Well, the greatest example, Bill, if we look at just north of us here in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Game Commission controls 1.8 million acres in Pennsylvania. And that the 18 member committee voted unanimously to permanently ban any wind turbine projects on their properties of the mountain ridges because they said it was counter to their task, which is to [00:34:00] preserve the animals and protect the animals and protect the mountains and the forest in Pennsylvania for sportsmen.

Bill Walton:                   Well, and there’s the other part where the manufacturer of batteries, the manufacturer of wind and solar equipment is massively destructive. The mining for one battery, I understand it, a 2000 pound battery requires like 500,000 pounds of materials to be unearthed. And we’ve got to create [00:34:30] new mines and we’ve got to put those all over. And of course, we’re not going to put them in Nantucket or what was it, Martha’s Vineyard where I’m sure they wouldn’t want it there. We’re going to put it in Africa probably, or maybe Asia, but more likely Africa. And the other thing about this green agenda is that we’ve got 2 billion people in the world who are suffering extreme poverty, whether they live on $2 a day or something. And without fossil [00:35:00] fuels, without cheap abundant energy, which it provides, they’re never going to get out of poverty.

Greg Wrightston…:       Those people are cooking, bear in mind, they don’t have access to electricity. There’s some 800,000 people that die every year according to the UN of indoor smoke pollution from cooking on dried dung and wood in their homes. And what we’re doing following this Green New Deal, net zero these people [00:35:30] to continue generational poverty.

Bill Walton:                   Could you explain net zero to me? I find it very hard to understand.

Greg Wrightston…:       I’ll let Will take a stab at that.

Bill Walton:                   We need a big brain scientist. How do we get to net zero?

Will Happer:                 How do we get to net zero?

Bill Walton:                   Yeah.

Greg Wrightston…:       We don’t.

Will Happer:                 Well, it’s a suicide pact. If we all die, there will be zero emissions. And if you really look at what’s being proposed, it’s pretty close to that. It’s like the People’s Temple and [00:36:00] Guyana. I think most people are not going to drink the Kool-Aid, so I think sooner or later this will collapse. And I hope it’s sooner rather than later because a lot of damage can be done, but it will eventually collapse because people don’t want to commit suicide. In Guyana, most of them didn’t want to drink the Kool-Aid, they were forced to drink it. So we should keep an eye on [00:36:30] who controls power.

Bill Walton:                   Well, I want to stick with the science, but the philosophy of the green movement, or particularly the club of own roots seems to be profoundly anti-human, and they think fewer people on earth is better than more. And you just described human flourishing, massive growth and doubling lifespans because [00:37:00] of the prosperity that was brought about in part by the global warming and in part by the fossil fuels revolution. They want to bring that to a halt.

Greg Wrightston…:       Dr. Happer last year wrote an important paper with Richard Lenson. In it, they concluded that this attempts for net zero, I believe you said, millions of people are likely to die, and they’re trying to ban nitrogen fertilizer and decrease carbon dioxide.

Will Happer:                 [00:37:30] And what’s so ironic is if they are worried about the growth of the world population, the demonstrated way to stabilize population is you make people prosperous. And so every prosperous country, whether it’s the US or Europe or Japan or now even China, the birth rate isn’t enough to sustain the population. And so why wouldn’t you want to make India prosperous [00:38:00] or Africa prosperous so that people can have a decent life, they can have the luxuries that everyone else in the world has and they don’t have to continue cooking with animal dung. It’s just crazy. I don’t know why they’re doing this.

Bill Walton:                   Speaking of crazy, methane. Methane is even less of a trace gas than CO2 and methane’s impact, [00:38:30] describe what methane does?

Will Happer:                 Methane is the greenhouse gas. It’s sort of third after water, paper, CO2 then comes methane. But methane, its contribution to the warming is only about 1/10 that of CO2. And so CO2 itself isn’t doing any harm. And so why we would go after methane and the victims are farmers, for example. All over the world, farmers [00:39:00] are being attacked because their cattle are belching methane. If you’re a cow, you have to belch methane. That’s how you digest the fodder. And so I’m hoping that maybe the farmers will finally lead the world and push back against this craziness that-

Bill Walton:                   It’s happening in Germany of all places.

Will Happer:                 It’s happening, yes. And it happened once in this country. The embattled [00:39:30] farmers stood and fired the shot hurt around the world, and maybe they’ll do it again. But all of it is nuts. It’s all made up threats that empower a very small minority and cause enormous harm to everybody else in the world.

Bill Walton:                   That’s what it seems like an elitist agenda to really stamp down [00:40:00] or tramp down on people’s happiness and flourishing. And the methane scheme also aimed at less meat, which people, and cows I just learned, why do we raise so much cattle? Well, the cattle can use land that’s otherwise not usable. They’re very sturdy.

Will Happer:                 That’s why cattle are amazing. They can actually get food value from cellulose, which we can’t, from fiber. So they have [00:40:30] this rumen, this special stomach that is full of microorganisms that are able to break down the cellulose and convert it into fatty acids and proteins. And the cow then converts that into beef and to milk and things that are good for the world. But in the process, you release a lot of methane. You can’t metabolize cellulose without producing methane. So cows, termites, anything that does that has [00:41:00] to produce methane and it’s completely harmless. It’s been doing that for hundreds of millions of years and it’s caused no harm to the world.

Bill Walton:                   And so the attack on methane is an attack on the farmers, attack on cows, attack on an abundant source of protein that would benefit everybody. And it’s part of their secular religion essentially.

Will Happer:                 That’s right. It’s a religious dogma. It’s not science, it’s not altruism, [00:41:30] it is dogma. And we have to stop them as soon as possible.

Bill Walton:                   Greg, how are we going to do that? Let’s talk about the coalition. We’re about to wrap up here. Tell us what we can do to get involved in what you’re doing.

Greg Wrightston…:       Well, the CO2 Coalition, we’re very proud to be the leaders of it, Dr. Happer and I, and we’re 150 of the top scientists in the world that are pushing back, that are climate skeptics. We’ve just [00:42:00] brought on, for example, Dr. John Klauser, who was the 2022 Nobel Laureate in physics. Hard to call him a science denier. We have Dr. Patrick Moore, who was a co-founder of Greenpeace until they lost their way. They all believe as we do that there is no climate crisis and that CO2 is a huge beneficial effect on the earth and we need more of it, not less. And so we’re trying to get our message out. But of course, the mainstream media, and thank you very much [00:42:30] for having us on Bill, the main street media will not have this conversation, will not promote the science, the facts, and the data, but continue to promote this disinformation of a false climate crisis.

Bill Walton:                   Assuming YouTube doesn’t pull this show, they will probably do what they did last time is they’ll give a context warning, which is that this does not comport with the United Nations IPCC.

Greg Wrightston…:       I’ve been permanently banned on LinkedIn. That was a year and a half ago. [00:43:00] My very last post, this is actually pretty funny, my very last post was, I believe I’m about to be banned and de platformed by LinkedIn. They removed it, called it false and misleading and then banned and de platformed to me. Now that’s funny. It’s true, but it’s still, you got to laugh.

Will Happer:                 But I think education is important. I mentioned the brainwashing that our poor children have gone through for several generations now. And so one of the things that Greg [00:43:30] is leading is a educational initiative. We have a learning center at the CO2 Coalition. You can click on the net and find material there. And we’re working hard on that, trying to make it better.

Bill Walton:                   So we find the website, co2coalition.org?

Greg Wrightston…:       Yes, that’s correct. And our companion is CO2learningcenter.com, the educationalist.

Bill Walton:                   And you’ve had a wildly successful direct mail campaign because people, it seems like once you [00:44:00] get exposed to the truth about what’s happening, it’s very intuitive and very, oh yeah, that makes sense.

Greg Wrightston…:       We’re seeing response from people around the country that is unprecedented, we’re told. And so people are responding because we’re actually doing something to fight back against the nonsense. We’re doing something to fight back against our children and grandchildren being indoctrinated into this climate cult. We’re promoting [00:44:30] critical thinking skills and the scientific method, they’re promoting group think and indoctrination. This has to stop. And so we’re actually doing something at the CO2 Coalition about that.

Bill Walton:                   Dr. Will Happer, Greg Wrightstone, CO2 Coalition, thrilled. We’ll be back. We got a lot more to do here. You all ought to buy this book, A Very Convenient Warming. We covered about 2% of the interesting material in it, [00:45:00] but we’ll also cover some in future shows. Anyway, this has been the Bill Walton Show and I’m Bill Walton. And you can find our show almost always on YouTube unless we go against the science consensus rumble substack, our show’s posted there on all the major audio podcast platforms. If you’re not already a subscriber, please subscribe and ask your friends to subscribe. I think we go deep into some interesting topics that other people aren’t covering with experts [00:45:30] you normally don’t get an opportunity to hear. So this is the place and thanks for joining and I hope you found this interesting and we’ll talk with you next time.


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