Friday, May 09, 2014

Global warming true believers, global warming deniers and settled science

I have been a "believer" in global warming for most of the time since it has been an issue on the radar screen of the public. However if you were to measure my belief, it has wavered from strongly believing to just barely being over the fifty percent belief mark that would move me from being a "denier" to a "believer."  During the few periods when I have been a "denier," such as after climate gate and the "hide the decline" revelation, even then, my "denier" status was just barely below the fifty percent mark that made be a "denier" rather than a "believer." Often I think global warming is a complicated issue that I am uncertain about and my opinion can not be reduced to a bumper sticker slogan (link).

To some, belief in global warming is a measure of political ideology.  I have been assailed by fellow conservatives as not a very good conservative because I accept the preponderance of scientific opinion on global warming.  It is not so much that I am passionate in my believe about global warming as that I acquiesce in accepting the best available information on the topic. I know that the big bucks for scientific research is in proving global warming to be true, however I do not accept that the many scientist who have concluded that global warming is a reality have sold their soul and abandoned scientific objectivity just to make a buck. Call me naive, but I believe most scientist can not be bought. Despite what some popular conservative talk show host proclaim, I simply cannot believe that global warming is all a hoax perpetrated by Al Gore

I know the scientific opinion is not unanimous, but it is almost so.  Global warming skeptics like to trot out their scientist who dissent from the majority opinion, and there are a few skeptics who have good credentials. However, when opponents put out list of hundreds of "scientist" who dissent from global warming theory, often the list is full of TV weathermen "meteorologist" or scientist who are scientist is totally unrelated fields. A great chemical engineer or biologist may know no more than I do about climate change theory. Face it, the overwhelming opinion of scientist in the field is that global warming theory is valid.

While I have been disappointing in the number of conservatives who have dogmatic views on global warming, I have been dismayed at how those who are true believers offer no practical solutions for combating it.  They engage in symbolism and often treat it as a spiritual issue rather than a problem to be solved. They talk of properly inflating tires and changing light bulbs as if that will solve the problem.  They like to do things that make them feel virtuous. They support programs such as ethanol that are very costly and damaging to the environment. They support out and out scams such as carbon offsets.  Earth day and the annual one-hour black-out and other symbolic things seem to be designed to call attention to the issue and to show how cool the true believers are rather than do anything about it.

I am not sure we can do anything about it, but many of the true believers lack common sense when they favor carbon reducing activity without any cost-benefit analysis. They lack humanity when they would condemn Africa to remaining the third world tragedy that it is rather than supporting modernization. If they can't redistribute wealth to make the wealthy of the world less wealthy, they want to condemn the poor countries to perpetual poverty. Many true believers seem interested in redistributing wealth and growing government and see the global warming crisis as a vehicle for achieving that aim.  Few true believers endorse revenue-neutral carbon tax programs, which could actually reduce carbon output.  Revenue-neutral pricing of a negative externaility does not fit in with their political views. They may believe in global warming but they do not believe in economics. Also, there seems to be little support for technological solutions to offsetting the growth of carbon in the atmosphere. It often seems that the truest believers of the true believers do not want to find a solution that involves pricing and markets or technology.

Ever since climategate, my acceptance of climate change theory has never reached the high mark that it once did.  One thing, in addition to climategate, that has made me almost a global warming agnostic is that we have had no global warming in the past seventeen and half years (link).  This is not coming from some right-wing talk show host. It is a fact. Do the research.

Another things that makes me a less of an orthodox believer in global warming is that the north polar ice cap was to be melted by now and it is not. All of the polar bears were to be dead by now and they are thriving. While the Artic ice cap has shrank some, the Antarctic ice cap has grown to a 35 year record.  The dire things that were supposed to have already happened have just not happened. The global warming alarmist are like the Christians who predict the end of time and when it doesn't happen, they just predict it again for a latter date.

Since we are not seeing global warming occurring it has been renamed, first to "climate change" and now "climate disruption."  Now  it is fair to blame blizzards, floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes and volcanoes and all natural disasters on "climate disruption," formerly know as "global warming."  Maybe, global warming is occurring and is caused by human activity, but maybe global cooling from natural causes is occurring at the same time and the two are cancelling each other out. I don't know, but maybe. I would like to see the theory researched.

Please read the following by Charles Krauthamer. It comes close to representing my point of view.  

The myth of ‘settled science’

Charles Krauthammer, February 20 - I repeat: I’m not a global warming believer. I’m not a global warming denier. I’ve long believed that it cannot be good for humanity to be spewing tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. I also believe that those scientists who pretend to know exactly what this will cause in 20, 30 or 50 years are white-coated propagandists.

“The debate is settled,” asserted propagandist in chief Barack Obama in his latest State of the Union address. “Climate change is a fact.” Really? There is nothing more anti-scientific than the very idea that science is settled, static, impervious to challenge. Take a non-climate example. It was long assumed that mammograms help reduce breast cancer deaths. This fact was so settled that Obamacare requires every insurance plan to offer mammograms (for free, no less) or be subject to termination.

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1 comment:

  1. I do not know what the scientists say in their conferences, but I know that my good friend said to me, whom I met last year when I was on a journey to Antarctica He has been there many times, and said that the ice disappears only at the top and sweeps out, and is formed in a different place. I believed him when watched for a while there. I advise you to go there.