A Teenager Looks at Climate Change

Teenager's View

This is a guest post by my grandson, William Desormeaux age 17, consisting of an English translation of his essay in French to fulfill a philosophy class requirement.  The words and thoughts are entirely his own, based on his own research.  I added the images.

For a few decades, many people have given their opinions about climate change. Some are concerned by this phenomenon, while others try to prove that these changes do not actually have impact. The first group can be called warming alarmists and the second warming skeptics. For other individuals who are not part of these groups, the following question arises: Should we act against climate change? In my opinion, alarmists exaggerate much too much on the problems. In fact, the conditions of the Earth have already been worse, humans are not actually responsible for these changes and measured results contain errors.


First, I do not believe that we should act against climate change because the situation of the Earth, in respect of carbon dioxide has already been much worse. Indeed, according to Ian Plimer, Professor of geology at the University of Adelaide, several millennia ago, Earth had a rate of carbon dioxide 1000 times higher.1 Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and alarmists say that it is bad for the environment. It is true that it has an impact on our planet. On the other hand, when we look at the statistics of Ian Plimer, we realize that the Earth has already included much more of this gas and survived. Moreover, plant life depends on carbon dioxide and grows bigger and faster in higher concentrations than we have today. In short, although the concentration of greenhouse gases increases, it remains that it has been much higher without damage caused to our planet.

Greenhouse gases diagram

Secondly, in the same vein, I am not convinced that we actually have the possibility of acting against climate change since we are not responsible. Indeed, again according to Ian Plimer, human activities are responsible for only 3% of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere.2 If we take a moment to analyze these figures, we can quickly see that even if we succeed in halving our emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, there would still remain 98.5% of the gas that “pollutes our planet”. Further, I consider that all the sacrifices that we should take just to halve our emissions will do nothing to save the Earth. So, 98.5% means that climate changes are part of a natural cycle, and we shouldn’t be overly preoccupied about this issue.


Thirdly, the results recorded by meteorological stations are not completely reliable. Indeed, according to Anthony Watts, Chief Meteorologist of KPAY-AM radio, 89% of stations recording temperatures do not respect National Weather service standards.3 This statistic shows that some results used by alarmists are erroneous. It is easy for people to believe that the temperature is rising when different weather stations do not meet standards. For example, some of these stations have been found in the middle of parking lots, an area where heat is absorbed. So, in this way, the displayed temperatures are higher than they should be. Thus results promoted by alarmists are not typical since there are only 11% of stations that are adequate. Finally, I do not believe that action must be taken against climate change since published temperatures are misleading. In this way, it is easy to make global warming look worse than it is.


In conclusion, I am convinced that we should not take action against climate change. Several experts like Mr. Plimer and Mr. Anthony Watts have convinced me that these changes have already been worse, that they are not the fault of humans and that they are exaggerated by alarmists due to poor data collection. In addition, I believe skeptics’ thoughts are less taken into account by the population since they are less disclosed by the media. Among other things, it’s much more interesting for them to mention that a phenomenon such as climate warming may disrupt our lives than to share with readers that everything is normal. Finally, although I myself pay attention to my planet, by recycling and taking public transit frequently, I’m not convinced that it is crucial to act against climate change.

1 http://pcc15.org/the-ten-questions/question-1/
2 http://pcc15.org/the-ten-questions/question-1/
3 http://pcc15.org/the-ten-questions/question-10/



  1. Scottish Sceptic · December 14, 2015

    Interesting essay and nice summary of the evidence. I personally would prefer a more nuanced answer. Something like “most of what is proposed would either not be beneficial and some even counterproductive – but some things may be worth doing because they are almost negligible in cost”. (Like e.g. scrapping COPs).


  2. Peter Davies · December 16, 2015


    While there may well be some USA stations whose environments have changed, the USA is only 2% of the entire earth’s surface, of which 70% is water. The surface water temperature changes make the biggest contribution to the total temperature change records and have, in fact, been adjusted downwards over time (or more strictly the history has been adjusted upwards which does the same thing). So, almost whatever the researchers have done to the land surface temperatures, surface warming is pretty well proven because the sea surface has definitely warmed long term (over a century or more).

    Before making up your mind on climate change you should read Nate Silver’s book “The Signal and the Noise.” which covers various areas where it is very difficult to see what is going on because short-term and long-term random fluctuations in something tend to mask the signal you are really looking for. Needless to say football and sports in general is one of these and unfortunately climate change is also one of these, which means that a statistically advanced technique for teasing out long-term trends is required. Having read the book you would be better informed to judge the evidence.

    Since you mention meteorologists, their change in attitude is very interesting. Going back a decade, few of them believed in global warming. Mostly the weather forecasts then were not good beyond a couple of days, and the weather and climate mechanisms that meteorologists had to use and understand were therefore the short term ones. However, more recently, a combination of increased supercomputer speeds for weather forecasting, alongside a better understanding as to how to simplify the physics of the atmosphere has meant that weather forecasts are just as accurate now over periods twice as long or more as they were ten years ago for much shorter periods. As a result the meteorologists have had to pay more attention to slightly longer-term weather mechanisms, and the enforced increase in their knowledge has tended to convince them that the climatologists are talking sense. Hence a majority of meteorologists now will say that global warming is real.

    One other thing you should bear in mind. In general the opinion that global warming is not real is strongest among US conservatives. Some other English-speaking nations and for some reason a couple of northern Scandinavian nations have smaller but significant fractions of the population who also believe this, but thereafter support for this view drops off quite rapidly, though the topic is not necessarily at the top of everyone’s priority list. The support for action against global warming must be apparent from the nearly 200 countries who signed the recent climate change agreement in Paris last weekend. Therefore, the vast majority of the populations and leaders of the world are very serious in doing something about climate change and CO2. You might ask yourself why such an overwhelming number of world leaders of countries with their own highly-ranked science academies are of one mind. Given the plethora of political systems, political leanings (right / left) and cultures represented, the decision to take action on CO2 cannot be something which is either dependent on a particular political system or a particular culture. So you might like to ponder why it is only among limited national, political and cultural groups that global warming is rejected.

    Plenty to ponder here. I wish you all success in your studies.


    • Ron Clutz · December 17, 2015

      Thanks for commenting. We’ll see if William responds.
      Personally, I think it likely the future will have periods both colder and warmer than the present. Preparing for that means investing in robust infrastructure and ensuring reliable affordable energy. We are wasting time and money on the illusion that we can cause the weather to be more favorable.


      • Peter Davies · December 18, 2015

        We certainly should expect both local low temperature and local high temperature records to continue being broken in the future. The existence of human-induced global warming (weak signal) in no way reduces the intrinsic variability of the climate (strong noise at least in the short and medium term). That’s what makes climatology difficult. However, global warming would be expected to result in more local high temperature records that local low temperature records, whereas in the absence of global warming you would expect it to be 50 : 50.


  3. Hifast · January 18, 2016

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.


  4. wolsten · May 7, 2016

    Reblogged this on Wolsten and commented:
    Refreshing to see a young person’s view on climate change alarmism.


  5. Brett Keane · December 16, 2016

    When you have a good look nowadays, the cold records seem to dominate (and not just over the NH winter).


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