Name: Ken DeGraaf
What is your background?
I was a Distinguished Graduate from the USAF Academy before attending Columbia University as a Guggenheim Fellow. My undergraduate degree was Aerospace Structures, and I earned my Masters of Science in the Dynamics of Indeterminate Structures. After that, I successfully completed pilot training and flew a variety of aircraft. I taught Weather for Aircrew as an Air Force Instructor Pilot, and AP Calc2 at the USAF Academy for four years. I am currently a commercial pilot so I experience “high level” weather every day. As of January 2023 I am a representative in the Colorado General Assembly (in the 2023 General Assembly, I presented a bill to revoke CO2 as a pollutant).
As a commercial pilot, I like to point out what airports should be under water per Al Gore’s “Inconvenient (in)Truths”, predicting a 20 feet rise in sea level by 2010 (NYC and SFO combined put over 8 billion dollars into new terminals that should have been underwater…
who’s the ‘climate denier’?)
Since when and why are you interested in climate change?
My active interest started around 2013 after I had made the determination that life would be easier if I believed the climate narrative, so I set out on a journey to fail to falsify it. In chats with a PhD friend, who is now a University chemistry professor, and an ardent believer in anthropogenic climate change, I would present challenges to his positions. Those discussions introduced me to Arrhenius, spectral absorption, Planck curves, etc. During the COVID lockdowns, my daughter encouraged me to take an online Climate Science course from MIT, which I did to hopefully convince me that anthropogenic climate change was true and that the near-certain catastrophic outcomes were necessary.
It seemed odd that there was so much effort put into eliminating water vapor from the discussion. Very little was discussed about evaporation. Wondering about the energy moving in the water vapor rising from a lake led to my cartoon on “Rain” (https://rumble.com/vtdo6w-rain.html), to both demonstrate the magnitude of evaporation and make it easier for someone to falsify. I made another cartoon on melting ice (https://rumble.com/v1bws0f-iceice-baby.html) to demonstrate using differential equations in modeling real-world observations, and also for falsifiability (I would like to get a better understanding of the latent energy of freezing merits further measurements, as well as what I loosely refer to as the ‘irrational stability’ of multiple combined cycles, plus the dampening effect of the peaks & valleys by water vapor and ice, canceling out runaway extremes.)
How did your views on climate change evolve?
The more first-source papers I read (the oft-cited work of Arrhenius, papers by NASA & MIT, etc.), I noted that the conclusions often had nothing to do with the paper itself which was often overly complicated smoke & mirrors. All of my studying made me realize that the climate was much more straight-forward than the math-magic presented in the narrative, but also much more complicated than the models can capture. Having taught weather, I know about how the earth’s rotation not only causes the Coriolis effect, but moves warm water and air toward the poles and the cold water and air toward the equator creating the massive heat pump moving both positive and negative energy. The “aha” probably came with calculating the power of evaporation (I was informed that some of the Navy’s top hurricane prognosticators agreed with my calculations); the energy utilized by mankind is minuscule comparatively.
I realized that the real superpower of CO2 in the climate narrative is that going from 3 parts in 10k to 4 parts in 10k, can be breathlessly presented as a “33% increase.” When I informally polled my USAF Calc students, the average estimate was that CO2 comprised over 30% of the atmosphere. When they learned it was 0.04%, they appropriately asked “why do we even worry about it then?”
When I pointed out to another pilot that moving from 3 to 4 molecules of CO2 in 10,000 was a (gasp!) 33% increase, but moving from 3 to 2 would have meant broad scale plant death and famine, she seemed thoughtful and commented simply “they never tell you that part…”
Is climate change a big issue in your country and how do you notice this?
Yes. It is a huge part of the narrative forming the excuse for legislators to increasingly take control of your life, while enabling them to project that they are saving humanity. As a House Representative, I can tell you that the science-span of representatives is minimal, and their interest in learning is less. “If you’re looking for an excuse, any excuse will do,” so anthropogenic climate change fits the totalitarian agenda since hydrocarbon-based energy is the basis for all of our activities.
What would climate policy ideally look like in your view?
It would be decoupled from CO2. Climate is an existential threat—it threatens our very existence. We live our lives protecting ourselves from the elements. It takes energy to do anything, especially to stay alive.
What is your motivation to sign the Clintel World Climate Declaration?
I would like to connect with actual scientists willing to help me in openly opposing the climate narrative. I would like to develop material about climate that is simple enough for a politician to understand and be unable to evade, but robust enough to preclude simple refutation. As Dr. Richard Feynman asserted, “if you cannot explain something in simple terms, you don’t understand it.” The complex needs to be distilled into something easily understood in order to counter years of indoctrination.
I want to encourage signatories and scientists to give witness testimony at the State level (in Colorado, this can be done remotely) to push back against the narrative where it counts—the ONLY time, legislators will hear countervailing opinion is in committee witness testimony, and they will need to hear it a lot to make a dent in their indoctrination. Dr. Happer’s testimony to Congress is an excellent example, but it needs to be repeated at every opportunity.
Where do you see the climate question going?
Particulate matter (PM) and Ozone. Several bills this year latched onto ozone, for which I can find very little research. It is another example of moving the goalposts. I also think the CO2 narrative might be losing steam (water vapor), and the never ending list of health concerns makes it easy to blame something/anything besides lifestyles. “Experts” even testified how the brown haze over Denver which is due to pollutants trapped by temperature inversions was due to ozone even though the latter is blue in high concentrations. Of course, the culprits for blame are the same—transportation and the oil & gas industry. If not from the oxidation of hydrocarbons directly, as a resultant of affiliated nitrous oxides. Ultimately this is about eliminating oil and gas and personal transportation in the creation of a totalitarian utopia of high-concentration housing and mass transit. It is completely ignored that much, if not most of the decried pollutants originate from Asia using non-cleaned coal to accomplish the manufacturing displaced from the United States.
What needs to be done?
We need more cartoons and accessible information. I think a large majority of people “know” the hysteric narrative is false, but they don’t know why they know. Even most scientists seem reticent to go public with their views, not recognizing that “silence is consent” in the minds of the Left, and they are willing to suppress to achieve that silence. Dr’s Lindzen & Happer do a great job of simplifying climate, but it’s easy to miss amidst the depth of more technical information.