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Climate Change Denialism and the Conservative Loss of the Skeptical High Ground

 

I posted a comment on this week’s Ricochet Podcast (Bjorn Lomborg was one of the guests) and someone suggested I turn it into a post. I think that’s a great idea, so here I go.

I am essentially as much of a Climate Change Denier as one can intelligently be. Yes, the Earth’s climate is always changing, slowly, for various reasons, and yes, perhaps it is changing slightly and slowly from human activity. But the current Consensus on Climate Change that is making predictions of what is going to happen to Earth’s Climate in the next 20-100 years, I believe, is radically wrong.

Manhattan will not be underwater in 100 years. We will not all be dead from hurricanes and heat waves. We will still have plenty of snow days and blizzards, and the average person will experience everyday weather in 100 years in basically the same way we experience it today, and like they did 100 years ago. In other words, there is no Climate Change crisis, and the field of science that is telling us that there is has basically been captured by activism. This is the current residence of the new Green Movement that is, at its heart, anti-capitalist, and needs a crisis like Climate Change that can be both catastrophic and vague at the same time.

The purpose of my post is to point out how much I have noticed that conservative commentary on Climate Change has shifted, in, say, the last five years, in the direction of retreat. By that, I mean that there are very few conservative journalists and commentators who actually hold and defend what has come to be called the Climate Denier position. What has replaced it has been a kind of lukewarm position that concedes that of course Climate Change is happening, and of course it’s a problem, but. … And then comes the list of things that basically amount to a kind of changing of the subject. “But China and India are the real problem, not us.” “But thanks to fracking, we’ve actually lowered our carbon output.” These arguments basically imply that conservatives care about the problem, and we just have different ideas on how to solve it. And I suspect, for most of the commentators and columnists making them, that these arguments aren’t really sincere. At least I hope they aren’t.

I first noticed this after Trump pulled us out of the Paris Agreement. I expected to hear, from the Right, “good, because Climate Change is a load of hooey.” But I didn’t. Instead, I heard, “good, because actually, the Paris Agreement wouldn’t have really solved Climate Change. It wasn’t even binding!” This caused me to do a mental double take because it was almost as if we were suddenly pretending that we were concerned about really tackling Climate Change, and a non-binding agreement simply wouldn’t do. Of course, we don’t really believe this, because if we really thought Climate Change was a big problem, we would be proposing solutions to it. We aren’t, because we don’t.

So then why have we ceded the skeptical high ground on this subject? The burden of proof is on a very young branch of science that is making stark predictions of something that is apparently 1) already happening, and 2) going to, very soon, get catastrophically much worse. Their record of successful predictions since the 1980s (and I won’t even take the obvious cheap shot of mentioning the global cooling predictions of the 1970s) has been abysmal, and anyone saying that the Earth’s climate today is really any different than it was in 1980 is insane. The record has been failed prediction after failed prediction. So why are we now acting as if they are slowly being proven right, and we need to jump on board the Science Train lest we get left behind?

My answer to this question is that climate science, as a field and a community, has been utterly captured by this issue and the activism that has flowed from it, so there is really no alternative science being done from within its ranks. Yes, there are excellent bloggers and researchers who are holding up the Denialist conversation, but these have all been thoroughly outcast from the scientific field. So it’s hard to go on CNN and stake out a Climate Denier position because you immediately get bombarded with “but 97% of the scientific community says you are wrong!” Even people like Lomborg have taken the Lukewarmer position and run hard from accusations of being a denier. So I get that it’s hard to do. But we need to be honest about what we really think about this issue because otherwise less informed people will really start thinking the science is settled and now all that remains is discussing solutions. And once we start having that discussion, it will become apparent that a lot of people who are saying of course this is a problem, really don’t think it is, as evidenced by how much we are truly willing to sacrifice for it.

I have become, in the same time period, somewhat obsessed with reading every single pro-consensus climate article that comes across my feed, because I really want to know what is passing for evidence for climate catastrophe these days. Most of it is click-baity stuff like “This Town Has Been Ravaged By Climate Change,” and you click on the article, and it’s about a town in Louisiana that is sinking into the ocean because it was built on the Mississippi Delta. Then the article will say “a combination of sinking, unstable ground, and rising oceans is making this town get slowly swallowed by the sea,” basically handwaving the evidence of rising oceans, as if coastal flooding from sea levels is a thing that is happening in the US.

Another article came out last year in Canada’s Globe and Mail called “The Costs Of Climate Change Are Rising.” In it, the author, who presumably is an intelligent person who went to college, compares insurance claims from the 1980s to insurance claims today, and, get this, tells us that the amounts of insurance claims due to weather events are going up. Can you imagine why insurance claims due to weather events are more costly today than they were in 1980? I can’t! The lesson we are supposed to take away is that our weather today is much more extreme that it was 30 years ago, a claim that people are apparently accepting without any serious critical thinking or scientific study.

All this to say: it is clear to me that either a hardcore denialist position like I have, or perhaps a more lukewarm position like Bjorn Lomborg maintains, is going to be shown to be correct as the decades pass. Weather and climate in 2050 are going to be pretty much like it is now, and most of us will be there to see it, and point out all the hysterical predictions of our current decade that didn’t come to pass. So why would we cede the skeptic’s high ground for a kind of lukewarm “of course its a problem” middle ground that no one actually buys? I think this is one of these issues where conservatives will be shown to be on the right side of history. We should talk like we are.

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There are 108 comments.

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  1. Member

    I agree 97%.

    Really 100%.

    • #1
    • February 16, 2019 at 11:44 am
    • 11 likes
  2. Thatcher

    Same reasons Conservatism, Inc was and is NT

    • #2
    • February 16, 2019 at 11:53 am
    • 5 likes
  3. Thatcher

    Of course climate change is real. There is too much money to be made / stole for it not to be real. Too much power to be grabbed, took or borrowed. The truth of it does not matter as long as there is money to be made solving a problem that may not need to be solved.

    • #3
    • February 16, 2019 at 12:04 pm
    • 7 likes
  4. Member

    Though I wouldn’t consider myself ‘a Denier’, I am so very, very skeptical of the motivations of these researchers, the temperature record (and the manipulated temperature ‘norming’ records), ground vs. satellite inconsistencies, I believe in the Urban Heat Island Effect, that I’m basically ‘a denier’.

    Curious if you know any short (layman’s terms) summary of the glacial ice core studies? Reason I ask is that we sat a a family through this horribly biased film at the Museum of Science and Industry that had a very dramatic graph of ‘purported’ CO2 levels in the ice cores but I think they intentionally just correlated CO2 levels with a hockey-stick like temperature set (again, who knows what data set). One thin I did notice however, was that their graph showed CO2 levels lower during the melting of the North American Glaciers during the last Ice Ages, than supposedly now, during all this warming. Seems to me that those cores should at least correlate to actual periods of increasing and decreasing glaciation. They didn’t appear to.

    We have every reason to be doubtful

     

     

    • #4
    • February 16, 2019 at 12:18 pm
    • 4 likes
  5. Member

    You make so many good points. I totally agree. I think climate change would have been used by Pol Pot to justify his dream of an agrarian society. Mao would have loved it for the Cultural Revolution . It is difficult to resist peer pressure. In this Universe, for me there are so many things that effect our climate rather than a few parts per million of CO2.none of which man has any control. Our solar system travels around our galaxy about every 235 million years. It most likely has done so 20 times in it’s existence. Humans have been along for that ride for about 1 thousands of 1% of that time. We have kept track of the weather for just a small fraction of that time ,a blink of an eye. Causes of climate change are on limited by our imagination of all the unknowns. I can usually stop the pedestrian Global Warming believer by two simple questions, what temperature is the correct temperature and then a follow up question asking them to give a break down of the different parts of the atmosphere. Most change the subject fast.

    • #5
    • February 16, 2019 at 12:19 pm
    • 7 likes
  6. Thatcher
    Icarus213 Post author

    WI Con (View Comment):

    Curious if you know any short (layman’s terms) summary of the glacial ice core studies?

     

    So as far as I know, there’s nothing wrong with core sampling to give us an idea of how much CO2 was in the atmosphere at different times of Earth’s history. But just the last 100 years should tell us that the relationship between CO2 and Earth’s temperature doesn’t do what the Climate Change theorists say it does. There is now about double the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere than there was a century ago, and…. here we are. Are temperatures that much different than they were in 1919? We keep being told they are, and every passing year is the “hottest on record.” But if we’re learning anything from that, it’s that you can double the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere in the space of 100 years, and not a whole lot actually happens. We will no doubt double them again, and…. and what? This is mainly where the theory falls apart for me. No doubt the Greenhouse Effect is a real thing, but it doesn’t cause a runaway cascade of catastrophic effects that we were hearing about in early (1980’s & 1990’s) versions of Global Warming predictions.

    • #6
    • February 16, 2019 at 12:27 pm
    • 5 likes
  7. Member

    While I trace my advanced, extreme skepticism back to at least the mid or late 1990s and a Forbes article about the Second Assessment Report of the IPCC (I believe the author of that piece still lingers in this neighborhood), it has now been almost fifteen years since I read Mr. Lomborg’s opus. An excellent book from cover to cover but one passage sticks with me yet today:

    When answering questions about global warming, the most obvious point is that temperature has increased some 0.6 degrees Celsius over the past century (Figure 135). However, it turns out that the global temperature increase does not mean that everything just got a bit warmer. Actually, there is a general strong trend that it is the cold temperatures that have warmed the most.

    Globally, minimum (night) temperatures have increased much more than maximum (day) temperatures. This characteristic is evident for all seasons and both hemispheres in Figure 155. From 1950-1993, the global trend has been just 0.1 degrees C / decade for maximum temperatures whereas the minimum temperatures have increased by 0.2 degrees C / decade. The tendency has also been observed individually for the US, China, England, and Northern and Central Europe. At the same time, more warming has taken place during the winter than during the summer…where the temperature increase has been strongest in winter and spring. Finally, winter temperatures have been warming most in colder locations – actually, more than three-quarters of the winter warming in the northern hemisphere has been confined to the very cold high-pressure system of Siberia and northwestern North America. – Pages 297-298

    Hence, most of what people think they perceive as warming is all in their heads. (And, as I hinted at a few days ago, warmer winter temperatures in Siberia and Alaska may be a good thing.) Take that perception away (i.e. the condescending, non-science via the ignorant mass media) and I think more people would show more of the natural skepticism people have when a fast talking carny is trying to talk them out of their hard earned cash. As for ceding ground (primarily by spineless leaders) in the larger debate, I think many are very scared of the “denier” terminology in the historical sense. As for me, in the context of this debate, I wear it proudly because it simply means that I am a scientist. (Well, an engineer. But close enough.)

    • #7
    • February 16, 2019 at 12:35 pm
    • 13 likes
  8. Member

    I have been struck in the last few years by the parallel in reporting “facts” by the Global Alarmist “scientists” and MSM reporting: Both entities selectively report what fits their particular narrative, and simply ignore what does not fit that narrative. This leaves those of us who don’t make the effort to learn the actual truth of matters to follow and believe the chosen narrative of those who supposedly inform us.

    It pays to do some serious research on areas of concern; whether of science, current events, culture, or politics.

    • #8
    • February 16, 2019 at 1:20 pm
    • 4 likes
  9. Inactive

    My only questions are Who is paying for all this climate alarmism and WHY?

    • #9
    • February 16, 2019 at 2:37 pm
    • 4 likes
  10. Inactive

    Icarus213 (View Comment):

    This whole CO2 argument reminds me of a discussion we had in biochemistry once. The professor said that one of the classically known effects of fluorocarbons is to break O3 down to O2. And as he said, someone simply asked the question of what that would do to the ozone layer, and the rest is history. But we knew by then that UV light only penetrates so far in to the ozone, and that’s why it’s so helpful, but we also knew UV light creates ozone at the same time it’s trying to penetrate. The whole system should reach stasis much as ice in water in continually changing state between solid and liquid, in a homeostatic effect. But how much ozone exists in the homeostatic range?

    I’m sure someone must have done this calculation but I’ve never seen it or heard it, as someone not in the field. Similarly, how do we know what CO2 will do in the atmosphere?

    And more importantly, if we can’t tell the weather accurately even a month head, how can we know the weather 10 or 100 years ahead. We really have no idea how such a complex system works, and we seem to refuse to accept certain variables as important. Such as changing solar activity.

    So who’s paying for this outlandish play science and why?

    • #10
    • February 16, 2019 at 2:49 pm
    • 8 likes
  11. Thatcher

    It’s not about the money, there are too many easier ways to make money. It’s got to be about control.

    No matter what the prediction or claim, the solution is so far 100% more control over you and what you may do (and, increasingly, say) by the government and every censorious busy-body out there. If this were a real developing situation, at least some of the solutions would be for the government to back off. I mean, by pure chance at least ONE new planet-saving regulation would return control over one’s life to the individual. But I can’t think of one that’s been proposed so far.

    This doesn’t mean “Climate Change – the Horror” is not happening, I’m not saying that – my comment is not an argument, it is an observation. [Shhhh – but it’s not happening.]

    Another observation – completely free of scientific analysis of climate and weather, granted – is that none of the most vociferous proponents of climate hysteria seem to live their lives as though they really believe it. They recycle. They buy Priuses. They use cloth sacks at the supermarket, and glare censoriously at we philistines who say “plastic, thanks”. But the way they conduct their lives is 99% indistinguishable from the way I conduct mine.

    • #11
    • February 16, 2019 at 4:27 pm
    • 8 likes
  12. Inactive

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):
    Another observation – completely free of scientific analysis of climate and weather, granted – is that none of the most vociferous proponents of climate hysteria seem to live their lives as though they really believe it.

    Shhhh. That’s another thing we won’t mention.

    • #12
    • February 16, 2019 at 4:34 pm
    • 6 likes
  13. Thatcher
    Icarus213 Post author

    Flicker (View Comment):

    My only questions are Who is paying for all this climate alarmism and WHY?

    Well, for what it’s worth, I’m not a big believer in “it’s all about the money to be gained” theories of political movements, since ideology usually is a more powerful motivator of people than money is. So to answer your question, people who believe in alarmism do, and the reason is, because they are environmentalists.

    The Green Movement in the 2oth century became a victim of its own success. Most of the things it cared about and lobbied for (air quality, water quality, pesticide restrictions), it successfully got. But notice all those things were things that common people can see and touch, and hence could be more easily supported. You can notice air and water quality and littering in the environment. So now that the Green Movement got pretty much everything it wanted in the 20th century (even things like restrictions on the building of nuclear plants), it found itself at the end of the 1970’s without as much to do, and the more radical wing of the Green Movement, the anti-capitalist wing, still wasn’t much nearer to its main goal of lobbying against development and industrialization. So the environment, by any measure, was getting better, and capitalism was helping it do that. What to do?

    So this was not coincidentally when the theory of Global Warming started to take off. It was a new theory that had the benefits of being 1) global, 2) catastrophic, and 3) really vague. It was a world wide theory (so you can say it affects all people, everywhere, regardless of nationhood) that promised global destruction, but was at the same time so vague and subtle in its effect that you could tell people not to believe their lying eyes about the day to day weather: you couldn’t just walk outside and experience climate change, you had to trust the Data being handed down from the smart scientists who were busy analyzing such things. So it is one of the first environmental issues that the average person cannot see or experience (perhaps with the exception of the hole in the ozone layer- that was also something we were asked to believe scientists about, but didn’t personally experience).

    So it’s not a huge leap to say that the organizations responsible for educating us about climate change are all inhabited (or became inhabited over the last 30 years) by environmentalists. NOAA, East Anglia, the IPCC, and climatology as a small scientific field, all over time became inhabited by activists on this issue, because it made what they do extremely important, perhaps the most important thing humanity can be doing at any time in history. That’s a prestigious mantle to be wearing. It’s not unlike college faculty getting ideologically more extreme over time, as people who disagree with the prevailing theories simply choose not to participate or join those fields and organizations.

    • #13
    • February 16, 2019 at 6:33 pm
    • 5 likes
  14. Inactive

    Icarus213 (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    My only questions are Who is paying for all this climate alarmism and WHY?

    So it’s not a huge leap to say that the organizations responsible for educating us about climate change are all inhabited (or became inhabited over the last 30 years) by environmentalists. NOAA, East Anglia, the IPCC, and climatology as a small scientific field, all over time became inhabited by activists on this issue, because it made what they do extremely important, perhaps the most important thing humanity can be doing at any time in history. That’s a prestigious mantle to be wearing. It’s not unlike college faculty getting ideologically more extreme over time, as people who disagree with the prevailing theories simply choose not to participate or join those fields and organizations.

    Thanks. The fewer boogey men I see the happier my meals. (I’m still going to miss my meat though.)

    And the way you describe it it sounds like a true case of mass hysteria. Smart mass hysteria, but yeah, hysteria. :)

    • #14
    • February 16, 2019 at 6:51 pm
    • Like
  15. Member

    This is a game Lefties play (and win) all the time. They keep the Right in a frenzy — debunking, debating, and mocking the most extreme cases imaginable — when all they’re really after is establishing their dubious premises as received wisdom. Once that’s done, it’s game over.

    Note: Watch out for AOC and her Green New Deal. They are running the same play book.

    • #15
    • February 16, 2019 at 8:54 pm
    • 5 likes
  16. Member

    You didn’t provide much detail, which is sadly the way these “conservatives suck” arguments often roll. Not even a Bill Kristol or David Frum quote? Anything? Lomborg and Scott Adams aren’t conservatives.

    Anyway, there was a 15+ year warming Pause. It emboldened many outright deniers. But in 2015-2016, there was a sudden warming surge. Unsurprisingly, many “deniers” starting moving to the “lukewarmers” camp. So, if you notice people caving a bit (although you haven’t shown any evidence)…. thats probably what caused it. Either way, even the “lukewarming” case gets you maybe 2 degrees warmer before fossil fuels run out….so still doesn’t justify wrecking the economy

    • #16
    • February 16, 2019 at 10:21 pm
    • 1 like
  17. Member

    Wonderful article. I fear some who know better don’t fight it under the belief that reality will prove the alarmists wrong, but things don’t necessarily work out that way. Once power is consolidated, they can change their story because it won’t matter. Obviously not even many of them are serious about the issue, or the truth of it. It’s clearly, at least for a large, perhaps majority of the alarmists, all about power, and milking the system.

    • #17
    • February 17, 2019 at 4:51 am
    • 3 likes
  18. Member

    rgbact (View Comment): Anyway, there was a 15+ year warming Pause. It emboldened many outright deniers. But in 2015-2016, there was a sudden warming surge.

    I’m old enough to remember when people that were serious about attempting scientific study of climate discussed their data in 30 year averages. (I would argue that is still too short a period but I’ll put that aside for now.) In and of themselves, 15 years “pauses” and 2 year “surges” are meaningless to measurements of “global climate” except in the effect they have on that running 30-year average data. 

    For the record, both of those words – “global” and “climate” – denote massive scales that most people do not…cannot…factor into their everyday thinking. Used together they become not only incomprehensible to most but also mostly meaningless. The climate alarmists won the most decisive battle in this long ago when they started marketing their “science” with annual global temperatures. Forget for a minute the dirty pool they play with the data that goes into their annual announcement of the “hottest year ever” twaddle, I cannot think of a more meaningless figure of merit regarding the living environment for any human – or the human race as a whole -than that. It is all a big con.

    • #18
    • February 17, 2019 at 5:06 am
    • 8 likes
  19. Coolidge

    I just don’t understand the need to be angry. Can I not disagree with your “scientific conclusions” without being outraged? Does a “No, the science is not settled. Here are some flaws in that conclusion…” necessarily have to come with a “YOU IDIOT!”?

    If I agree with some of the observations an environmentalist espouses on climate change but do not agree with the overall conclusions or what to do about it, am I by definition “lukewarm”?

    PS. Do I get a praise for being on “the right side of history”? (A term I used to hearing from those on the Left)

    • #19
    • February 17, 2019 at 6:36 am
    • 3 likes
  20. Inactive

    Fwiw, I looked up CRU on wikipedia and read this sentence.

    “The story was first broken by climate change denialists,[6] with columnist James Delingpole popularising the term “Climategate” to describe the controversy.[7] Several climate-change “skeptics” argued that the emails showed that global warming was a scientific conspiracy and that scientists manipulated climate data and attempted to suppress critics.”

    Notice skeptics are not simply deniers, but have a much more scientifically academic name denialists — is that even a word?

    And skeptics is in quotes as if they’re not really skeptics, but secretly convinced that AGW is real and are criticizing it for some other nefarious hidden reason.

    Wikipedia: 80% right 50% of the time (when it’s not pure propaganda).

    • #20
    • February 17, 2019 at 7:09 am
    • 1 like
  21. Coolidge

    I agree with the OP that there is less denialism among politicians and pundits. I assume this is because the economics argument is easier for a politician to make. I don’t fault them for choosing the easier argument, but agree that if feels like a capitulation to bad science.

    I am more disturbed that the scientists that are fighting the bad science tend to be old. Will Happer and Richard Lindzen are both 79 years old. Where are the young guns? Is academia so corrupted that no new dissenting voices can emerge?

    We should not loose sight of this hysteria being a Western-only problem. India and China are building coal powered plants and stretching their grids as quickly as they can. Their leaders know that “cheap electricity = prosperity” and prosperity keeps leaders in power. Meanwhile a new gas field was announced in England. Enough natural gas to power the country for 20 years. But it will stay in the ground, since the English dislike frac’ing. A new coal field in Australia was recently disallowed by a judge as the coal export could affect global climate. People who embrace the hysteria are becoming less powerful a voice compared with those who ignore it.

    • #21
    • February 17, 2019 at 8:39 am
    • 3 likes
  22. Member

    Flicker (View Comment):

    My only questions are Who is paying for all this climate alarmism and WHY?

    You are paying for climate alarmism, if you are a taxpayer.

    Climate change is real, evidence can be seen in the rock record.

    What may or may not be real, is human influence on climate change. The alarmism arose because the academy is infested with leftists, and environmentalists, who, some innocently, and others, not so innocently, saw some evidence, and used it to gain influence and power. From there, politicians used it to gain power. (BTW, any politician who advocates open borders is not serious about climate change, because low-skilled immigrants from the southern hemisphere do not share our attitudes towards garbage, sewage, and the rule of law.)

    In any case, the ability of humans to influence the climate, for good or ill (and the big question is, good or ill for which country?), is likely small. It is not chance that every “solution” to the “problem” of climate change is to increase government power and reduce liberty.

    We would do better to spend our money on ways to adapt to climate change. Breeding new plants and animals that can thrive in different climates, for example. In our present day, wheat grows in climates from the Sahara desert to Alberta, Canada. Does any one think this is a happy accident? It is not, but it is the result of centuries of genetic engineering. There are breeds of cattle for nearly every climate except the Arctic, and even there, musk oxen and caribou live.

    Unfortunately, adapting to climate change is not nearly as liable to result in a one world communist government, and paying money to agronomists to grow plants is not as sexy as giving speeches about how awful your neighbors are because they drive trucks.

    Bah!

    • #22
    • February 17, 2019 at 8:43 am
    • 7 likes
  23. Member

    Icarus213: My answer to this question is that climate science, as a field and a community, has been utterly captured by this issue and the activism that has flowed from it, so there is really no alternative science being done from within its ranks

    This is only part of what really bothers me. You can’t trust the data and the models are not tracking reality. In my life as an engineer, you didn’t blame reality for that. Looking at the data, many of the surface stations have been encroached over the years by urban development. Picture a measuring station at a small grass strip airport 40 years ago. It now has a paved runway right next to it. The adjustments are all biased towards a conclusion of warming and unfortunately, no one keeps track of the adjustments. Here is a “hockey stick” to be concerned with. It is a plot of the adjustments made to the temperature records: (taken from https://realclimatescience.com/2016/03/all-temperature-adjustments-monotonically-increase/)

    In addition, the concept of a global temperature is pretty amazing – and if you look at how many sensors are spanning the globe (ignoring if they are reliable or not), there is very sparce coverage of large parts of the planet. The solution has been to extrapolate from one station to assume similar temperatures hundreds of miles away.

    You need to read into the various discussions of catastrophic impacts on wildlife to realize that you are seeing a model of species population based on a flawed model of climate. Its models “all the way down”

    The almost religious dedication to CO2 as a causative agent has stopped any real science. The argument is that there are no peer reviewed “skeptical” papers, but if you read the “ClimateGate” papers, it is abundantly clear that the in-crowd was fighting tooth and nail to keep any skeptical opinion out. These days, it would be a career-killer to investigate anything which goes against the grain. As a result, there are a lot of complicated and very interesting problems that aren’t getting the attention they need to get:

    1. How do you really tell the difference between a rise in the ocean and a drop in the land? Is the drop due to subsidence (The Chesapeake Bay is dropping due to the rebound from the retreat of glaciers (which squeezed them up)) Is the drop due to lack of replenishment (like New Orleans)? Is the drop due to ground water withdrawal?
    2. Are the glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica really melting? That’s hard to tell, since different parts are doing different things. Is it due to warming or volcanic action underneath or changes in ocean currents? What causes those changes?
    3. What is the impact of sunspots and climate? The Maunder minimum corresponds to 

    Sorry – you triggered me. :-)

    • #23
    • February 17, 2019 at 8:53 am
    • 12 likes
  24. Member

    ChrisShearer (View Comment):

    I just don’t understand the need to be angry. Can I not disagree with your “scientific conclusions” without being outraged? Does a “No, the science is not settled. Here are some flaws in that conclusion…” necessarily have to come with a “YOU IDIOT!”?

    If I agree with some of the observations an environmentalist espouses on climate change but do not agree with the overall conclusions or what to do about it, am I by definition “lukewarm”?

    PS. Do I get a praise for being on “the right side of history”? (A term I used to hearing from those on the Left)

    In case you missed it, Leftist are constantly on the lookout for things to be angry about. They need some one to whom they can feel superior and despise. Manmade climate change is a perfect issue for them-very little actual evidence one way or another, and abundant opportunities to oppress people they dislike. The tell is that their answer to the “problem” of climate change is always more power to the central government and less freedom, especially for the outgroup (that would be any one who dares to disagree with them). They suffer from the adolescent need to be part of the in crowd, and they are constantly anxious about fitting in, because the in crowd rules are capricious and ever-changing. The constant is who is not part of the in-crowd, those who can safely be hated. You can be a sexual predator (Bill Clinton), a money-grubbing, selfish, corrupt liar (Mrs. Clinton, Sen. Warren), an idiot (Sen. Markey, Rep. Swalwell), and an advocate of infanticide (Gov. Cuomo, Gov. Northam) and still be a good leftist if you demonstrate sufficient hatred for the out group.

    I have long suspected that Leftism is a form of mental illness, because nothing ever makes them happy.

    Serious scientists are extremely wary of “consensus opinions”, after all, in Galileo’s day, consensus opinion was the the sun orbited around the earth.

    There is no right side of history. It is very strange that people who do not believe in God, do believe that “history” has some kind of direction. One of these days, the gods of the Copybook Headings will rise again, and the “arc of history” will get erased, again. I’m sure that the Carthaginians thought the “arc of history” bent in their direction, too, until it didn’t.

    • #24
    • February 17, 2019 at 9:12 am
    • 4 likes
  25. Thatcher

    Icarus213: The purpose of my post is to point out how much I have noticed that conservative commentary on Climate Change has shifted, in, say, the last five years, in the direction of retreat. By that, I mean that there are very few conservative journalists and commentators who actually hold and defend what has come to be called the Climate Denier position. What has replaced it has been a kind of lukewarm position that concedes that of course Climate Change is happening, and of course it’s a problem, but. … And then comes the list of things that basically amount to a kind of changing of the subject.

    Ic,

    My most current comments on Ricochet were that it isn’t the environment that will cause catastrophe but the environmentalists who will cause catastrophe (worldwide depression followed by thermonuclear exchange, cheers). I hope this helps you some in your search for a good offense to end the retreat.

    On the other hand, I find the most compelling understanding to be found in the so-called global warming “pause”. What really transpired was that the temperature measurements at the Ocean surface (3/4ths of the globe) were always very inaccurate. Instead of accepting this lack of definitive knowledge the Climate hysterics went ahead and postulated the worst case scenario accepting the worst case scenario as a proven fact. Starting over 20 years ago much more accurate satellite data on the temperature of the oceans became available. When this data was factored into the climate models global warming disappeared. The Climate hysterics referred to this as a mysterious “pause” in global warming. This mysterious “pause” correlated exactly to when the very accurate data from the satellites became available. Of course, this suggested (at least to those with an I.Q. above 98.6) that there had never been any global warming at all and that it had always been the Climate hysterics using the lack of good data to project their bad dreams onto the body politic.

    Just another day on the third rock from the Sun.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #25
    • February 17, 2019 at 10:39 am
    • 7 likes
  26. Member

    I don’t want proof of catastrophic-man-caused-climate-change (socialists are asserting all three conditions). I just want evidence of it. Computer models without a scintilla of predictive value are not evidence.

    Until evidence is provided, I’m a denier. CMCCC is a fraudulent hysteria ginned up for the sole purpose of imposing socialist “solutions” (and isn’t it suspicious that the solutions are always socialist??).

    We’re living in an interglacial period — thank God! If that means slightly warmer (nighttime and winter) temperatures — bring it!

    • #26
    • February 17, 2019 at 11:33 am
    • 5 likes
  27. Coolidge

    Accepting progressive premises is a specialty of the Republican Party. 

    • #27
    • February 17, 2019 at 11:46 am
    • 6 likes
  28. Member

    I highly recommend this book. “Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years.” by Fred Singer. Well written and referenced. My husband and I both read it several years ago. I suspect he’ll pop in here to add to the discussion at some point. This is one of his pet interests he enjoys discussion.

    • #28
    • February 17, 2019 at 12:07 pm
    • 2 likes
  29. Thatcher
    1.  If we cannot accurately measure global temperature, how are we supposed to be affecting it?
    2. Since every human being exhales CO2 all day long, why not just kill all the people? With no people exhaling that pollutant gas, and not mining and using “fossil fuels”, no more adding CO2 to the atmosphere, and the Earth is left to those superior beings, animals. Too bad that Progressives are people too, and they would have to die for the cause.
    3. Except that, Plants require CO2 to exist. No more CO2, all the plants die. How do the Greenies account for the overgrowth of plant life caused by increased CO2 around freeways? Every time I drive down I5, I notice the ivy growing over and on the “sound walls” next to the highway. If all human beings were sent back to the dark ages before fossil-fuel-powered transportation, how much of that plant growth would stop?
    4. I follow Rush Limbaugh (obviously), and he has been calling “climate-change alarmism” a hoax for years. He is correct.
    • #29
    • February 17, 2019 at 12:20 pm
    • 3 likes
  30. Member

    (I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but I had to comment…)

    I disagree. Global warming is simply not a battle worth fighting. First off, you can’t win the argument as the definitions are vague and change faster than a game of Calvinball. And secondly, winning the argument doesn’t buy you anything. You can’t do anything with it.

    So I say forget it, don’t waste your time.

    A much better approach is to adopt global warming and use it for good instead of evil:

    1. Accept global warming as truth and of the highest importance.
    2. Hold all environmental programs up to scrutiny and remove any and all that are not producing significant measurable results.

    And that’s a win-win.

    It’s a win-win because pretty much all of the environmental programs have, in practice, had serious negative environmental effects. They have no incentive to produce positive measurable results.

    Car pool lanes increase congestion, fuel consumption, and exhaust emissions. The MTBE fuel additive to reduce air pollution had a side effect of contaminating groundwater. Biofuels have worse pollutants than regular fuels. Corn ethanol messes with the food supply and drains the Ogallala aquifer. The EPA released 3 million gallons of toxic chemical waste into the Animas river in Colorado, and so forth. “Cash for Clunkers” was gamed (the Hummer was okayed as a replacement car) and required killing the engine rendering it unrecyclable.

    This way you can argue, that if you really cared about the planet, you would work diligently to remove these and all other programs that are not living up to their claims.

    • #30
    • February 17, 2019 at 12:28 pm
    • 6 likes
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