Climate change v. common sense

May 31, 2014

President Obama, sounding the clarion on climate change, plans to take action against this heinous enemy:

President Barack Obama said the curbs on carbon emissions to combat climate change that his administration plans to unveil next week will also help address a growing threat to the nation’s health. . . .

The Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to announce a plan to limit carbon emissions from U.S. power plants on June 2. The two-tired regulation will seek reductions in greenhouse gases of as much as 25 percent over 15 years, according to people familiar with the proposal.

Here’s my question: What good does unilateral action by the U.S. do if the rest of the developed and developing world doesn’t also act? A key word in anthropogenic global warming is global, so our carbon reduction alone will do squat unless China, India, etc., join in; and of course, they won’t, because they want to catch up to our standard of living.

But then, call me a skeptic—nay, a denier. I don’t believe in anthropogenic climate change or global warming or whatever today’s proper term is. Why? Well, as a rational human I would believe in it, I promise, if there were actually a good reason to believe—exactly what agnostics say about the existence of a deity: “Show me.”

I would believe in it if the people who preach loudest about it didn’t have the largest carbon footprints in the form of multiple giant homes and frequent private jet travel.

I would believe in it if even one of the major predictions about the coming climate apocalypse that have been made over the last quarter century had come true. Not one has.

I would believe in it if the “science” that determines these predictions was actually reproducible and verifiable rather than built on computer models constructed by humans who enter the data according to what may well be their own expectation bias.

I would believe in it if the “scientists” themselves behaved more like actual scientists eager to share their data with the world instead of like Vatican cardinals in the age of Galileo, insisting that they’re above reproach and questioning by heretics. If you don’t agree that that’s going on, you haven’t been paying attention to Dr. Michael Mann’s defamation lawsuit against columnist Mark Steyn, which should long ago have been thrown out of court on First Amendment grounds.

I would believe in it if many of those who do believe in it wouldn’t insist that the “science is settled” beyond discussion and that those of us who remain unconvinced are foolish “deniers” deserving of being jailed. Appeals to authority rather than rationality reek of fascism at the cost of persuasion. Besides, what science is settled? Certainly not forensic science, nor the science of nutrition; examples abound.

I would believe in it if that widely touted dictum “97 percent of all climate scientists agree that AGW is happening” weren’t so self evidently stupid. Put aside, for the moment, that this has been thoroughly debunked and focus instead on how credulous one has to be in order to consider the statement as fact—credulous enough to believe that there’s a roster kept somewhere of all climate scientists; that some governing body sent each of the scientists on it a questionnaire; and that the term climate scientist has a specific meaning.

I would believe in it if there wasn’t far more money, in the form of grants and research (particularly from the U.S. government) for science that confirms AGW than for science that finds the globe hasn’t warmed for the last 18 years. No wonder data incongruous with the prevailing notion must be hidden. What seems true is that 97 percent of climate scientists are 97 percent sure that 97 percent of their funding will dry up if there’s no climate warming.

I would believe in it if, given all of the above, I hadn’t therefore concluded that AGW is a crony capitalist racket intended to redistribute money from the masses to the favored elite. Labeling CO2, which we all exhale and without which greenery can’t grow, to be a pollutant allows a president who’s so inclined to impose carbon costs that raise everyone’s energy prices. Then those additional monies can be diverted to green-energy startups started up by cronies who aren’t even on the hook personally for those public funds when their companies that wouldn’t have existed without such colossal subsidies sink into the tar pits of marketplace reality. Solyndra is one of too many cautionary tales.

Now, all that said, even if I did believe that climate change/global warming was real and happening, I would wonder why all of these same scientists were so concerned about potential devastation. The history of man on this planet has been, if nothing else—literally nothing else—one of adaptation to the environment. In the beginning he had nothing: no clothes, no fire, no weapons, no tools. Somehow, though, he adapted, and today he has an iPhone.

A species who can do that can certainly find a way to cope with the changes a warming planet might bring and even turn those changes into an advantage, especially if we can recruit all those falling-sky scientists. Or at least 97 percent of them.

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