Image: Alley cropping, Public domain.

It’s time, once again, for another climate conference. This will be the 27th desperate effort to save the planet. It doesn’t have to be this way.

The fearmongers are hard at work. They’ve put out no less than 8 reports in the run-up to the event. We must act now, experts squeal. The alternative is dire, as always. The coverage is relentless, especially in rags that take money from conservancies.

A small twist this year is the number of leaders who won’t show up. UK prime minister Rishi Sunak was among the first to pass. The event was set for failure by the time he changed his mind. As of writing, the leaders of China, India, and a host of other countries will not attend.

Buckingham Palace stepped in to steal the spotlight in between. King Charles hosted a reception on Friday to signal how critical the issue is for him. He understands the stakes better than anyone. The Crown pockets rent revenues for offshore wind turbines, and the conservancies that run its hunting reserves pocket carbon offsets.

The usual charade will start on Sunday. Dignitaries who arrived in private jets will lecture us about fossil fuels. Except for John Kerry, that is. He’s flying commercial this year. That’s more virtuous, still a lot of carbon emissions. Try sailing and riding a mule next time, John.

​Looming food shortages might put land use tied to meat in the spotlight. Or not. This problem seems to be solving itself. Feed costs are prompting feedlot operators to thin their herds. Schools are getting our kids used to eating bugs.

Another question mark is deep-sea mining. The Metals Company has just finished tearing down what few legal barriers stood in the way. Destroying our oceans to save the planet may seem offbeat, but mineral reserves are short, and our green tech transition demands that we mine more, faster.

Thankfully, climate experts have sketched a few options for us to stay on track. One is simply to use less energy. This makes sense, except no one wants to be told to lower their thermostat or drive less. You do that only when off-the-charts energy prices (or rationing) force you to. Or when blackouts rule out heating your home and charging your electric car.

Another option is to capture and sequester the carbon dioxide that comes out of industrial smokestacks. Fossil fuel giants love this idea. Pumping carbon dioxide down a well makes oil come up. The market potential is huge. They will be rebranding themselves as climate saviors in no time.

The last option is bio-sequestration. If you know anything about rocket mass heaters and hemp’s knack for soaking up toxins, this might conjure up the image of a smokestack piped inside a hemp field using a glorified irrigation system. But that would hurt carbon sequestration profits.

In practice, bio-sequestration stands for activities that range from benign ones like coastal restoration projects and regenerative farming to far less benign ones like tree planting and nature conservation projects.

The latter two are nothing short of malevolent, in fact. One’s wilderness is another’s home, and conservancies tend to mismanage it after taking over. Mines are that much easier to open once the locals are kicked out. The park guards sometimes leave huts behind for the tourists.

In their defense, conservancy donors seldom know that they are funding big game hunting estates, safari tourism, commercial tree plantations (tree planting), and mining operations on stolen lands in developing countries.

It’s less defensible that environmental policy preachers don’t know that they’re promoting racist neocolonial policies. They’ll be thrilled to learn what they’re devoting their careers to if you politely tell them.

At the same time, methinks exposing this egregious reality to them will not stop the climate agenda any more than debunking climate science ever did. A clique of “experts” is all that’s needed to keep it going. What might stop it, however, is an oversight that I’d like to share with you.

Climate science, you see, is not just wrong about the link between carbon dioxide and climate. It is so wrong that it doesn’t even get the diagnosis right when you take the narrative at face value.

The proof of this arose out of the 2020 lockdowns. Two findings emerged. The first was that fossil fuel use dropped by only so much. The other was that atmospheric carbon increased like clockwork.

Explaining the fossil fuel use drop is straightforward. Take a supply chain, the violence needed to secure it, the job you need to buy what it is, and the parasites like bankers who facilitate this all. Food is what you use this Rube Goldberg machine for most. Food is huge. Heat is the runner-up.

It follows that the most effective way to reduce fossil fuel use is to promote gardening and urban farming. Concerned activists would be much better off doing just that. (Some do.) For heat, use a rocket mass heater.

The low correlation between fossil fuels and atmospheric carbon is subtler. It derives from an accounting chicanery. Whereas industrial emissions get tracked, natural emissions get stashed inside a carbon stock black box. This keeps them out of sight except for cherry-picked entries like meat.

This framework makes sense only if avoidable natural emissions are small. Forestry research shows that they are anything but. A cleared forest emits kilograms of carbon dioxide per square meter until the canopy recovers, or nothing at all if you leave a canopy behind by thinning the forest instead.

Farm fields emit too. You can tell on NASA visualizations when farmers are tilling or harvesting. In the past, hedgerows would keep the fungi alive, slow down the wind, and help soak up these emissions. Nowadays, farm fields are more like cleared forests: they’re wide open with no canopy.

These emissions are so much bigger than fossil fuels that it’s not even a contest. A recent research paper showed that a mere 12% of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was tied to fossil fuels. So clearly, it’s soil, not oil. The carbon hockey stick is a simple canopy loss problem.

Planting trees where we harvest crops would trivially solve it. Switching to alley cropping is a good way to do that: you get the hedgerows, and you can still use machinery. It is profitable and allows one to harvest more water when done right. Enough water harvesting will allow us to re-green a desert.

So there you have it. Promote growing food if you care about fossil fuels; alley cropping if you care about the carbon hockey stick; or both if you care about stopping the climate agenda.

The latter will end this clown show in my opinion because empowerment breeds hope. There is no more effective way to wake up a demoralized person than to give them hope by empowering them. This is because it’s easier to give hope than it is to dispel fear. Hope is a potent weapon.

As such, live empowered and empower others at every opportunity. You can do your bit to spread hope by sharing this information far and wide.

This article was first published in American Thinker