Sunday, July 8, 2012

There They Go Again

That didn’t take long. One heat wave, a severe thunderstorm event, and the global warming ideologists are out in force. Ok, I acknowledge Eugene Robinson’s disclaimer:no heat wave, no hurricane, no outbreak of tornadoes or freakish storms — can be definitively blamed on climate change.” But the rest of Robinson’s recent column is all about how this heat wave correlates to global warming.

Robinson starts out with a blatantly false presumption—that the issue is whether or not you “believe in climate change”—as if we’re talking about an ideology. Well, at least in regards to the Left, we are. Here Robinson goes:

Still don’t believe in climate change? Then you’re either deep in denial or delirious from the heat.

“Climate Change” is not the issue. It’s always been a fact of nature.

Yes, it’s always hot here in the summer — but not this hot. Yes, we always have thunderstorms — but never like these.

Never!?! Robinson says just 4 paragraphs later that “recordkeeping began in 1895.” That’s 117 years ago; not even a proverbial pinprick in climatological time. So, even for cities in the path of the “record setting” heat wave and/or storms, it’s at worst the strongest in 117 years, not ever—which is a hell of a lot longer than a mere century. Whenever you read “on record,” keep in mind how short a time records have been kept, and how long man has been around, let alone the Earth.

Why might this be happening? Well, the level of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is more than 35 percent greater than in 1880, NASA scientists report, with most of the increase coming since 1960.

Carbon dioxide levels rose from 280 parts-per-million to just under 400 PPM since the industrial revolution began. To keep it in perspective, the first figure represents .007% of the atmosphere, or ¼” on a football field. The second figure represents .01%, or 3/8”. So the entire increase in CO2 since the industrial revolution equates to a 1/8” gain on a football field. Even if you attribute the entire rise in CO2 to human activity—not at all proven—then human activity is responsible for just 1/10th of the warming over the past 150 years, because water vapor and clouds are responsible for more than 90% of the greenhouse effect.

The news gets worse for anti-carbon zealots. As Robinson points out, most of the CO2 increase has occurred since 1960, yet the current warming trend began much earlier; in the mid to late 19th century. Not only is CO2 a minor player in the greenhouse effect that keeps Earth hospitable to life, the correlation between CO2 and warming is dubious at best.

The problem for those who dismiss climate change as a figment of scientists’ imagination…,

The problem with science is that it is politicized. Most basic research has been taken over by government. This means scientists must depend on politicians for funding, and the political class is dominated by the environmental lobby and environmentalist dogma. How can their claims be considered objective? How can the science be trusted? This is not to say that all of the science is bogus. It is to ask how much of it is legitimate and how much is politically coerced.

…or even as a crypto-socialist one-worldish plot to take away our God-given SUVs…,

If that’s not the case, then why has the Left seized on “climate change” as a means of expanding government controls? E.G., the EPA has an instrument of totalitarian powers—the regulation of CO2 as a pollutant. Considering the fact that human life and well-being requires a huge process of CO2 production, from breathing—each human exhale generates 100 times as much CO2 than is inhaled—to electric power to transportation, regulating CO2 is clearly a means of controlling every aspect of our lives, right down—potentially—dictating how many children we can have. Climate change ideology is all about statism, socialist or not. That power is real: e.g., It is being used to destroy an entire American industry, coal, while climate change ideology is the excuse for creating a massive welfare industry—so-called “renewable” energy.

…is that the data are beginning to add up.

Again, data from how far back?

Which brings me to:

Critics have blasted the Obama administration’s unfruitful investment in solar energy. But if government-funded research managed to lower the price of solar panels to the point where it became economical to install them on residential roofs, all you global warming skeptics would have air conditioning right now.

Exactly what I’m talking about. Obama’s “investments,” like all government funding, are funded by money taken by force from those who earned it, laundered through political hands, and shoveled into the pockets of special interests waiting at the public trough. Regarding solar, the subsidies have been going on for decades. But if solar is potentially economically competitive, then why the subsidies? If not, then why the subsidies? Oh, that’s right. The climate change disaster scenario. Turns out thecrypto-socialist one-worldish plot” narrative is not so outlandish, after all.

To return to my first comment, let me say this. The issue is not whether or not climate change is occurring. The issue is the political agenda of the Left, which is pure statism. The dispute over climate is what to do about it, if anything, and the government’s proper role in the “doing.”

The Left wants less freedom. They concoct disaster scenarios to justify economic controls, even though global warming is on balance very good for human life. Any negative effects can easily be dealt with in a free capitalist society.

And that’s the real divide on the climate issue; statism vs. individual freedom. No matter what the consequences of climate change, or what role human activity plays in it, the broad context must not be forgotten.  When you consider the monumental advance in human living standards that fossil fuels made possible during the industrial revolution—and the vatal role of capitalistic freedom—any alteration in climate was well worth the price—if it even is a price.

We “skeptics” do not doubt the actual facts of climate change. We just don’t want to slide into totalitarian rule on the pretense of saving the planet. 

1 comment:

Steve D said...

‘just 1/10th of the warming over the past 150 years, because water vapor and clouds are responsible for more than 90% of the greenhouse effect.’

Assuming that the greenhouse effect caused by water vapor and clouds has remained the same over the past 150 years, this factor should have already been accounted for. So, this statement makes no sense.

The hypothesis is that the 90% of the greenhouse effect from the water vapor should maintain the earth’s surface temperature; while the other 10% from increasing CO2 has increased it.

The cooling of the stratosphere coupled by the warming of the troposphere over the last sixty years is hard to explain except as a signal for some level of greenhouse effect.

‘Obama administration’s unfruitful investment in solar energy.’

Or we could decrease the outlandish regulatory and insurance costs of nuclear power to align it with fossil fuels and then stand back and watch what happens. Get ready to dodge out of the way of the flying thorium-powered vehicles, which BTW will never need to be refueled.

‘We just don’t want to slide into totalitarian rule on the pretense of saving the planet.’

Nope, but under a purely capitalist system, nuclear power would sooner or later dominate the world – and so far as I know nuclear plants do not emit any CO2.

Know nukes!