Harry Binswanger, in Forbes, commences what, after years and years of demonstrable non-warming, is likely to becoming a growing chorus of mockery of the greatest scientific fraud in human history.
I’ve grown old waiting for the promised global warming. I was 35 when predictions of a looming ice age were supplanted by warmmongering. Now I’m 68, and there’s still no sign of warmer weather. It’s enough to make one doubt the “settled science” of the government-funded doom-sayers.
Remember 1979? That was the year of “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge, of “The Dukes of Hazard” on TV, and of “ Kramer vs. Kramer” on the silver screen. It was the year the Shah was forced out of Iran. It was before the web, before the personal computer, before the cell phone, before voicemail and answering machines. But not before the global warming campaign.
In January of 1979, a New York Times article was headlined: “Experts Tell How Antarctic Ice Could Cause Widespread Floods.” The abstract in the Times archives says: “If the West Antarctic ice sheet slips into the sea, as some glaciologists believe is possible, boats could be launched from the bottom steps of the Capitol in Washington and a third of Florida would be under water, a climate specialist said today.”
By 1981 (think “Chariots of Fire“), the drum beat had taken effect. Quoting from the American Institute of Physics website: “A 1981 survey found that more than a third of American adults claimed they had heard or read about the greenhouse effect.”
So where’s the warming? Where are the gondolas pulling up to the Capitol? Where are the encroaching seas in Florida? Or anywhere? Where is the climate change which, for 33 years, has been just around the corner?
A generation and a half into climate change, née global warming, you can’t point to a single place on earth where the weather is noticeably different from what it was in 1979. Or 1879, for that matter. I don’t know what subliminal changes would be detected by precise instruments, but in terms of the human experience of climate, Boston is still Boston, Cairo is still Cairo, and Sydney is still Sydney.
After all this time, when the continuation of industrial civilization itself is on the table, shouldn’t there be some palpable, observable effect of the disaster that we are supposed to sacrifice our futures in order to avoid? Shouldn’t the doom-sayers be saying “We told you so!” backed up by a torrent of youtube videos of submerged locales and media stories reminding us about how it used to snow in Massachusetts?
Climate panic, after all, is fear of dramatic, life-altering climate changes, not about tenths of a degree. We are told that we must “take action right now before it’s Too Late!” That doesn’t mean: before it’s too late to avoid a Spring that comes a week earlier or summer heat records of 103 degrees instead of 102. It was to fend off utter disaster that we needed the Kyoto Treaty, carbon taxes, and Priuses.
With nothing panic-worthy–nothing even noticeable–ensuing after 33 years, one has to wonder whether external reality even matters amid the frenzy. (It’s recently been admitted that there has been no global warming for the last 16 years.) For the climate researchers, what matters may be gaining fame and government grants, but what about the climate-anxious trend-followers in the wider public? What explains their indifference to decade after decade of failed predictions? Beyond sheer conformity, dare I suggest a psychological cause: a sense of personal anxiety projected outward? “The planet is endangered by carbon emissions” is far more palatable than “My life is endangered by my personal evasions.” Something is indeed careening out of control, but it isn’t the atmosphere.
Jim Geraghty, in his emailed Morning Jolt, was today in a mood to fight back against the community of fashion’s blame game.
One of my nuttier ideas was taking a Twitter conversation between Cam Edwards and Kurt Schlicter envisioning a rightward sitcom answer to HBO’s “Girls” entitled “Dudes” and trying to turn it into an actual script.
At one point, I had a character in that script rant:
I’m a married middle-aged guy with a house in the suburbs who goes to work, pays his taxes and takes care of his kids. When the hell did I turn into the villain in society? Chris Brown still walks the streets! In the time it’s taken me to finish this sentence, “Shawty Lo” has impregnated three more women and Kim Kardashian’s been on four more magazine covers! I think one of ‘em’s a fishing magazine!
Yet somehow Madison Avenue considers me to be their go-to stereotype as a doofus, I’m the butt of every joke, sneered at for unsophisticated tastes, dismissed as a relic of a fading past, accused of not paying my fair share in taxes and insufficiently globally conscious because I’m only taking care of what’s directly in front of me instead of glaciers or the Gaza Strip. How am I the problem in the world today? What the hell did I ever do?
I remember a comment from Mark Steyn a few NR cruises ago, and I’m going to paraphrase it now: “Americans are first citizens of a global superpower with no interest in conquest. We don’t want other territory, we don’t seek to subjugate other nations, we’re not trying to wipe out any culture we deem inferior. And yet through the rhetoric and of the environmental movement, you, driving your SUV and drinking your Big Gulp and eating your Big Mac, are accused of literally destroying the planet! Not even history’s most brutal dictators faced an accusation on that scale!”
Our political culture and our popular culture are the one-two punch contending that you, ordinary American, going to work or looking for work or looking for better work and just taking care of your families, have somehow become the root of the biggest problems facing the country. It’s your fault.
In Friedrich Schiller’s Die Jungfrau von Orleans, when the enchantress Joan of Arc preaching her visions and prophesies, inspires the French Army to heroic efforts and panics the English into flight, the dying English commander Talbot complains:
„Unsinn, du siegst und ich muß untergehn!
Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens.
Erhabene Vernunft, lichthelle Tochter
Des göttlichen Hauptes, weise Gründerin
Des Weltgebäudes, Führerin der Sterne,
Wer bist du denn, wenn du dem tollen Roß
Des Aberwitzes an den Schweif gebunden,
Ohnmächtig rufend, mit dem Trunkenen
Dich sehend in den Abgrund stürzen mußt!
Folly, thou conquerest, and I must yield!
Against stupidity the very gods
Themselves contend in vain. Exalted reason,
Resplendent daughter of the head divine,
Wise foundress of the system of the world,
Guide of the stars, who art thou then if thou,
Bound to the tail of folly’s uncurbed steed,
Must, vainly shrieking with the drunken crowd,
Eyes open, plunge down headlong in the abyss.
Accursed, who striveth after noble ends,
And with deliberate wisdom forms his plans!
To the fool-king belongs the world.
James Delingpole is feeling a lot like John Talbot these days, listening to the leaders of the world spouting nonsense about Climate Change.
As regular readers will know I’m in such a continual state of foaming fury about the idiocies of the world that I sometimes go over the top. “Truly, there aren’t enough bullets”, I’m wont to cry in exasperation. ...
[T]hat’s me, completely buggered then. Maybe, since words are my stock in trade I should end it all now.
Problem is, every time I look at the internet or read the newspapers or watch something on TV I’m yet again reminded by just how right I am to feel the way I do. Truly, there really aren’t enough bullets.
By way of further proof, I give you two speeches made by politicians this week: Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey’s speech to the Royal Society; President Obama’s State of the Union Address.
Both were on the subject I try to mention as little as possible on Bogpaper because I don’t want to sound like a one-trick pony. Suffice to say that in both cases, both men were talking unutterable bollocks on a subject on which I know quite a bit: certainly a hell of lot more than they do.
And it wasn’t just disputable bollocks. It was unquestionably, demonstrably wrong bollocks. Almost every statement each of these politicians made was a flat-out untruth. They made scientific claims which were not remotely backed up by hard evidence.
Now whether they were themselves deliberately lying or whether they were merely badly misinformed we shall never be able to prove. But it really doesn’t matter, the more important point is this: this week two politicians in positions of enormous power made keynote speeches which will have a major impact on people’s lives. What they said was wrong in almost every way: yet serious public policy is going to be based on it.
Stupidity doesn’t always win, of course. It just wins most of the time.
A reanalysis of U.S. surface station temperatures has been performed using the recently WMO-approved Siting Classification System devised by METEO-France’s Michel Leroy. The new siting classification more accurately characterizes the quality of the location in terms of monitoring long-term spatially representative surface temperature trends. The new analysis demonstrates that reported 1979-2008 U.S. temperature trends are spuriously doubled, with 92% of that over-estimation resulting from erroneous NOAA adjustments of well-sited stations upward.
The Chronicle of Higher Education’s short posting warning that Heartland Institute was paying experts to develop school curricula and other public presentations casting doubt on Anthropogenic Global Warming received the most attention.
The Guardian’s environmental blog was particularly gleeful, trumpeting the news that “Leaked Heartland Institute documents pull back curtain on climate scepticism.”
Megan McArdle, at the Atlantic, looked closely, however, and concluded that the most scandalous of the leaked documents was almost certainly a fake.
The textual analysis alone would make me suspicious—but the fact that the document was created much later, using a different method, with different formatting—makes me fairly sure that while the other documents are real, this was written after the fact, by an author outside of Heartland. If there were any way to get conclusive proof, I’d bet heavily against this document being real.
McArdle later discovers that another blogger’s commenter ran a pdfinfo script over the suspicious document, and lo-and-behold! found it had been created in a different (West Coast) time zone from the others.
Why did they fake it?
[T]he quotes were punchier, and suggested far darker motivations than the blandly professional language of the authenticated documents—and because it edited the facts into a neat, almost narrative story.
The thing about both the Soviet Union and Adolf Hitler’s Germany was that the enemy was plain in view. We knew these guys were bad, they had black uniforms, they had swastikas, they had tanks – they were obviously the bad guys, they wanted to destroy us. What makes the modern environmental movement so dangerous is that it masks its intentions behind this cloak of cuddly, touchy feely, polar bear-hugging, Nobel Prize-winning righteousness. ...
What could be nicer than trying to save those cuddly little polar bears from melting due to our wanton greed and selfishness? It gels with a sense that I think grew in the affluent ‘90s, when people began asking themselves questions like, Shouldn’t there be limits to growth? You know, isn’t there more to life than consumption?
So, you have this alliance of ordinary people, of kids who’ve been brainwashed at school, of the big corporations which wanted to get in on the act by greenwashing their image, of powerful NGOs like Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund, of politicians wanting to be seen to take action in matters of public concerned. So what you have is this unstoppable bandwagon, all pushing this agenda based on the flimsiest of junk science.
Warmist whackjob Byron Kennard has a modest proposal for reducing entitlement spending on nursing home care for decrepit baby boomers.
I call on boomers to imitate the example of the Inuit, a tribe who occupy Greenland and Northern Alaska. In olden days, when food ran short, elderly Inuits who felt they were a burden on their community would wander off by themselves into the wilderness where they would perish of their own accord. ...
• A hero’s journey, in the mythical sense, is the highest goal to which humans aspire.
• There’s something about being alone in the wilderness that evokes humanity’s most intense, sublime experiences.
• Preservation of wilderness is of paramount importance to the future well-being of the planet.
My proposal builds on all this. It provides a strong new rationale for preservation of wilderness areas. After all, if aging boomers are to wander into the wilderness to die, there must be wilderness to wander into. But, of course, nobody wants suicidal seniors flooding into existing parks such as Yellowstone or Yosemite that are already crowded with vacationers looking for a good time. So my proposal calls for expanded wilderness protection in order to accommodate large numbers of nearly-dearly departed boomers. Think of this as the ecological dividend of your sacrifice.
Now, despite my emphasis on volunteerism, I’m realistic enough to know that economic incentives are what really count. Accordingly, my proposal includes a prod to encourage any boomers who are reluctant to “step up to the plate.” Cutting off their income ought to do the trick.
Under my proposal, Social Security payments would end automatically when beneficiaries turn 90. This sounds harsh, I know, but frankly, isn’t it reasonable to assume that by age 90 your overriding concern will be death with dignity? Well, anyway, that’s what it ought to be if you guys have any taste or gumption or healthy sense of self.
At present, most really old people lie terminally bored in rest homes watching Law and Order re-runs for the hundredth time—a fate worse than death. Most actually expire hooked up to expensive machines in overcrowded, unsanitary hospitals.
Hey, boomers, wouldn’t you rather bid life farewell on your own terms, in the great American outdoors, surrounded by scenic wonders, communing with nature? Sure you would!
Here’s the icing on the cake. As things stand now, you guys are going to exit life’s stage amid catcalls of derision from the younger generations you’ve screwed. But as followers of the Inuit’s honorable tradition, you’ll stride offstage to thunderous applause from a grateful posterity. And think how proud Mom and Dad would be.
It’s kind of hard to tell how much, if any, of this is tongue in cheek when it comes from someone with Kennard’s political views. His lot has a record of really implementing these kinds of ideas.
Princeton Professor Russell H. Nieli offers a serious critique of the establishment of AGW as orthodoxy on American university campuses and in the MSM. His list of issues is quite good, and so is his conclusion.
MIT’s Richard Lindzen, a long-time skeptic of the Gore-Hansen Model of global warming, has explained how the serious challenge to American scientific and military dominance posed by the Soviet launching of the Sputnik satellite in the 1950s sent a clear message to the American scientific community that has stuck with it ever since. After Sputnik, says Lindzen, it became clear that the way to gain status, prestige, and, above all, government funding for one’s scientific research, was through the medium of public fear and crisis creation. A similar dynamic was at work earlier, he says, in the creation of the Manhattan Project, which was originally established as a counterweight to what was believed to be an advanced Nazi atom bomb project. The threats and crises for which the government will shell out big money may be entirely real, of course, and not in need of any exaggeration or hype. But they may also be bogus or grossly inflated, a condition that Lindzen thinks accurately describes current global-warming concerns of the Gore-Hansen variety.
The New York Times science editor John Tierney offers a similar take on the global warming issue, stressing both the self-interest of scientists involved in crisis mongering and the more general, herd-like conformism that afflicts scientists along with everyone else. “I’ve long thought that the biggest danger in climate research,” Tierney writes, “is the temptation for scientists to lose their skepticism and go along with the ‘consensus’ about global warming. That’s partly because it’s easy for everyone to get caught up in ‘informational cascades,’ and partly because there are so many psychic and financial rewards for working on a problem that seems to be a crisis. We all like to think that our work is vitally useful in solving a major social problem—and the more major the problem seems, the more money society is liable to spend on it. … Given the huge stakes in this debate—the trillions of dollars that might be spent to reduce greenhouse emissions—it’s important to keep taking skeptical looks at the data. How open do you think climate scientists are to skeptical views, and to letting outsiders double-check their data and calculations?” (John Tierney).
The last sentence was an oblique reference to attempts by many climate scientists to suppress skeptical voices, which was so clearly in evidence in the scandalous Climategate emails. A commentator on Tierney’s blog adds the following valuable insight: “To survive, most workers in scientific fields must follow the grant money. If all the grants this year are for work on the crisis du jour, then that’s the work which gets done. The annoying fact is that somebody pays for science. The ‘somebody’ may be an Evil Oil Company, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, or anyone else with bags of money. We shouldn’t be too amazed when we find that the ‘somebody’ tends to get the science he or it wants to see.”
That money, power, vanity, and prestige may influence a scientific debate—or non-debate in the case of global warming—should not be very surprising. As I have said, scientists and scholars are human beings and prone to all the foibles and distortions of the human condition. This was the great insight of the mid-20th century “sociologists of knowledge,” and before them of most Calvinists and other discerning Christians (including most notably James Madison in Federalist No. 10).
But I think there is an additional element here that is less talked about but probably as important as the kinds of issues Lindzen and Tierney bring up. This is the attraction of global-warming orthodoxy not as a falsifiable scientific theory or source of research funding but as a substitute religion that engages all the energies and capacities to enhance meaning in life that an earlier generation of secular scholars and scientists often found in various brands of socialism or psychoanalysis. With the general decline and discrediting of both Marxism and Freudianism over the past thirty years radical environmentalism in various forms has taken their place in the lives of many secular intellectuals as a source of existential meaning and purpose. The insular, defensive, cult-like behavior displayed by so many global warming advocates when they are confronted with the concerns of informed skeptics reinforces such an interpretation and explains their refusal to debate dissenters. True believers have no converse with heretics. And such cult-like behavior reinforces one final suspicion: like socialism and Freudianism, global-warming alarmism may prove in time to be a God that failed.
Domenico Fetti, Flight to Egypt, circa 1621-1623, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna During the flight to Egypt, the Holy Family passes the bodies of two of the innocents massacred by Herod
Those of us who remember the Climategate scandal of 2009, when Russian Intelligence released damaging emails exchanged between Phil Jones, head of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Center and other principal figures like Penn State’s Michael Mann, will recall Jones promising Mann on July 8, 2004, that he and Kevin Trenberth (of the US National Center for Atmospheric Research) would keep dissenting papers out of the next IPCC report by hook or by crook:
“I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”
A year earlier one of Phil Jones’ emails addressed to a wider group of colleagues promised a boycott of the Journal Climate Research, guilty of publishing an important paper by Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics injurious to the cause of Warmism, if the editor responsible was not replaced.
March 11, 2003—“I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.”
The Soon-Baliunas paper is described by Wikipedia as having “reviewed 240 previously published papers and tried to find evidence for temperature anomalies in the last thousand years such as the Medieval warm period and the Little Ice Age. It concluded that ‘Across the world, many records reveal that the 20th century is probably not the warmest or a uniquely extreme climatic period of the last millennium.’ ”
The upshot of the 2003 Climate Research publication of a paper challenging the Warmist Industry consensus was a successful crackdown by Phil Jones and his allies.
Climate Research’s chief editor, Hans von Storch, was persuaded to torpedo the offending paper in the same journal which had published it: The review process had failed. An unworthy paper had been published which did not adequately taken into account opposing arguments. The editorial policy of board editor Chris de Frietas responsible for its publication was insufficiently rigorous.
Storch then announced in the same editorial that he intended to impose a new regime giving himself final say on any paper’s publication. The publisher refused to accept the proposed dictatorship, and Storch and four other editors subsequently resigned in a thorough bloodbath.
Universal denials were issued concerning reports that Messrs. Jones, Mann, and Trenberth had been responsible for all this. Storch publicly denied that the fix had been put in. It was just a case of “a bad paper.”
Well, what do you know? Here we are in 2011, and it’s déjà vu all over again.
Fox News identified the new paper’s significance in the world of climate science:
Has a central tenant of global warming just collapsed?
Climate change forecasts have for years predicted that carbon dioxide would trap heat on Earth, and increases in the gas would lead to a planet-wide rise in temperatures, with devastating consequences for the environment.
But long-term data from NASA satellites seems to contradict the predictions dramatically, according to a new study.
“There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans,” said Dr. Roy Spencer, a research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. science team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer—basically a big thermometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite.
“The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show,” he said. The planet isn’t heating up, in other words.
But, what do you know? Instead of another important paper challenging one Anthropogenic Global Warming’s central tenets, we have another case of the editor of the same journal in which the dissenting paper appeared, reversing course, denouncing the recently published paper, and resigning!
The staggering news today is that the editor of the journal that published the paper has just resigned, with a blistering editorial calling the Spencer and Braswell paper “fundamentally flawed,” with both “fundamental methodological errors” and “false claims.” That editor, Professor Wolfgang Wagner of the Vienna University of Technology in Austria, is a leading international expert in the field of remote sensing. In announcing his resignation, Professor Wagner says “With this step I would also like to personally protest against how the authors and like-minded climate sceptics have much exaggerated the paper’s conclusions in public statements.”
In his editorial resignation, Professor Wagner says the paper was reviewed by scientific experts that in hindsight had a predetermined bias in their views on climate that led them to miss the serious scientific flaws in the paper, including “ignoring all other observational data sets,” inappropriate influence from the “political views of the authors,” and the fact that comparable studies had already been refuted by the scientific community but were ignored by the authors. He summarizes:
In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents. This latter point was missed in the review process, explaining why I perceive this paper to be fundamentally flawed and therefore wrongly accepted by the journal. This regrettably brought me to the decision to resign as Editor-in-Chief―to make clear that the journal Remote Sensing takes the review process very seriously.
Isn’t it amazing? For the second time in under a decade, some feckless scientific journal has published a paper offering conclusions deeply injurious to AGW, and again, in otherwise unprecedented reversals, the journal’s editor has attacked his own journal’s paper ex post facto for alleged lack of rigor and for purportedly failing to do justice to its opponent’s arguments, and resigned.
Presumably, we can look forward momentarily to the next development: the denials by Wolfgang Wagner that Messrs. Jones, Mann, and Trenberth, and the other principals of the Catastrophist Industry had anything to do with any of this.
I would say it is remarkable that, even after their exposure in 2009, the Global Warming gangsters still have the chutzpah, along with the remaining prestige and power, to successfully arrange the strangling in the cradle of significant dissenting publications, smearing their adversaries with accusations of bad science and lack of rigor.
Yesterday, one of my liberal Yale classmates responded to my anti-Warmism posting by complaining that I was guilty of believing in a conspiracy of climate scientists.
If there is no imminent catastrophe, “climate science” is a very minor and insignificant branch of geology populated by ill-paid, failed chemists and people unable to do physics. If the very existence of life on this planet as we know it is at stake, and vast new accretions of governmental power and revenue are required, climate scientists are cooler than ****, and you can just back up the truck full of money to
the loading dock at the climate science research center. Gosh, I wonder what position most climate scientists are likely to prefer?
Jonathan Adler got himself quoted approvingly by Megan McArdle, in her Atlantic blog, for identifying conservatives outraged by NJ Governor Chris Christie’s recent public testimony to his belief in Warmism as being guilty of “anti-scientific know-nothingism.”
Last week, Christie vetoed legislation that would have required New Jersey to remain in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a multi-state agreement to control greenhouse gas emissions through a regional cap-and-trade program. The bill was an effort to overturn Christie’s decision earlier this year to withdraw from the program. Given conservative opposition to greenhouse gas emission controls, the veto should have been something to cheer, right? Nope.
The problem, according to some conservatives, is that Christie accompanied his veto with a statement acknowledging that human activity is contributing to global climate change. Specifically, Christie explained that his original decision to withdraw from RGGI was not based upon any “quarrel” with the science.
While I acknowledge that the levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are increasing, that climate change is real, that human activity plays a role in these changes and that these changes are impacting our state, I simply disagree that RGGI is an effective mechanism for addressing global warming.
As Christie explained, RGGI is based upon faulty economic assumptions and “does nothing more than impose a tax on electricity” for no real environmental benefit. As he noted, “To be effective, greenhouse gas emissions must be addressed on a national and international scale.”
Although Christie adopted the desired policy — withdrawing from RGGI — some conservatives are aghast that he would acknowledge a human contribution to global warming. According to one, this makes Christie “Part RINO. Part man. Only more RINO than man.” [“RINO” as in “Republican in Name Only.”]
Those attacking Christie are suggesting there is only one politically acceptable position on climate science — that one’s ideological bona fides are to be determined by one’s scientific beliefs, and not simply one’s policy preferences. This is a problem on multiple levels. Among other things, it leads conservatives to embrace an anti-scientific know-nothingism whereby scientific claims are to be evaluated not by scientific evidence but their political implications. Thus climate science must be attacked because it provides a too ready justification for government regulation. This is the same reason some conservatives attack evolution — they fear it undermines religious belief — and it is just as wrong. ...
[E]ven the vast majority of warming “skeptics” within the scientific community would agree with Governor Christie’s statement that “human activity plays a role” in rising greenhouse gas levels and resulting changes in the climate.
McArdle refers to scientific “denialism,” then establishes a new confirmatory experimental principle: if three libertarians accept it, then it must be true.
I am quite convinced that the planet is warming, and fairly convinced that human beings play a role in this. (When you’ve got Reason’s Ron Bailey, Cato’s Patrick Michaels, and Jonathan Adler, you’ve convinced me). I reserve the right to be skeptical about particular claims about effects (particularly when those claims come via people who implausibly insist that every major effect will be negative) . . . and, of course, of ludicrous worries that global warming will cause aliens to destroy us. But generally, I think global warming is happening, and even that we should probably do something about that, though I’m flexible on “something.”
However. Even if you disagree, it is reprehensible to have a litmus test around empirical matters of fact.
It is always difficult in addressing the enormous pile of rubbish and intellctual confusion that constitutes Warmism to decide exactly where to begin.
Megan McArdle tells us that she is “quite convinced that the planet is warming.” What does she mean exactly? If McArdle means that the climate is generally warmer today than in the 17th century when the Thames froze regularly in the winter, she is obviously correct. If she, on the other hand, thinks that the widely noticed warming trend that began around 1980 has continued uninterrupted to the present day and constitutes a meaningful pattern, she is obviously wrong.
It is generally accepted by everyone that mankind has been living for the last eleven thousand years in a period of Interglacial Warming. So, yes, Megan, the planet is warming. That’s is what happens during periods between glaciations.
The catastrophist statists allege that there is a grave danger of “climate change.” Climate change is a heads I win, tails you lose kind of proposition, as the climate is always changing. There is a major warming (or cooling) trend direction of the earth’s climate, and there are constant short-term variations of irregular interval.
Geologic evidence indicates that periods of glaciation have lasted as long as nearly two hundred million years. Climate change is an enormously long-term phenomenon and the earth’s climate has moved from extremes far beyond anything known in human history during times in which there was no possibility of human agency playing any role.
Human observational capabilities with respect to phenomena occurring over geologic periods of time is limited by the brevity of our life spans and also by the brevity of the existence of our species and our civilization. Anyone attempting to draw some kind of conclusions on the basis of temperature patterns going back three decades is an idiot.
Warmism rests on unverifiable models and on one grand scientific metaphor, the notion that the earth’s atmosphere is like a greenhouse. But the greenhouse reference is only a metaphor.
A 2007 paper by Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner argues, I think quite successfully, that the greenhouse model is incompatible with Physics.
The atmospheric greenhouse effect, an idea that authors trace back to the traditional works of Fourier 1824, Tyndall 1861, and Arrhenius 1896, and which is still supported in global climatology, essentially describes a fictitious mechanism, in which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump driven by an environment that is radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the atmospheric system. According to the second law of thermodynamics such a planetary machine can never exist. Nevertheless, in almost all texts of global climatology and in a widespread secondary literature it is taken for granted that such mechanism is real and stands on a firm scientific foundation.
Mr. Adler’s accusation that aversion to Warmism amounts to “know-nothingism” is based on uncritical acceptance of the greenhouse metaphor and acceptance of the proposition that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide causes warming. Only superstitious savages would deny that carbon dioxide must be decreased.
Well, the role of CO2 in warming and the timing of increased CO2 is a seriously controversial issue.
Patrick J. Michaels may accept the Greenhouse model and claims of increasing CO2, but Mr. Adler and Ms. McArdle ought to delve a little deeper into these issues before climbing on board.
I will only mention in passing that it is possible, further, to dissent from Warmist Catastrophism by taking the view that a slightly warmer climate would not be an entirely bad thing, particularly if you happen to live in Canada, Scandinavia, or Russia.
And, even if one were to surrender completely and abandon critical science and skepticism, even if one were to simply accept that everything Al Gore says is true, human reproduction and increased energy use and industrial development will inevitably continue. The undeveloped world will not relinquish material progress and efforts to close the gap with the developed world, and no collection of treaties and international conferences will prevent everyone in India and China from wanting an automobile and a full assortment of electrical appliances. If human population growth and economic activity really dooms the planet, the planet is well and truly doomed, because government efforts will not succeed in preventing growth and progress.
The real Know-Nothings, the real parties guilty of a lack of seriousness and respect for science, are the people who accept the herd consensus of interested parties and the community of fashion as probative, and who are willing to accept on its say-so unverifiable models as established science.
Adler and McArdle are totally wrong. It would take a very thick book to discuss all the ways that Warmism fails to represent legitimate science, worthy of acceptance and suitable as a basis for public policy. Some of the issues are technical, but a lot of all this is basically pretty obvious.
To believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming, you have be an urban narcissist whose perspective on reality resembles Saul Steinberg’s 1976 “View of the World From 9th Avenue” cover. You have to be the sort of person who believes that human actions, the human world, biomass, and mental life absolutely dominate the natural world, that mankind could “destroy the planet” through nuclear war, or by further indulgence in materialistic consumption. You have to be a dualist and a fool, who believes that there is an essential disjunction between humanity and the natural world and that the key ingredient of the fundamental basis of life on this planet (photosynthesis) is a dangerous pollutant, and you have to be stupid enough to fail to notice that we are dealing with a popular theory based, at root, on a few years of warmer weather beginning in 1980 promulgated by the same people who were previously warning us about a New Ice Age.
Stupidity on this scale is incompatible with a role in the Conservative Movement. Sorry about that! That’s not religion. That’s just having intellectual standards.