Friday, April 29, 2011

Thoughts on climate alarmism

Thoughts on climate alarmism

The movement called AGW, or Anthropogenic Global Warming, is basically an anti-modern or Malthusian belief in the finite availability of resources and a religion that believes that humans have soiled the planet due to our hubris and unquenchable greed. Believers in this religion can be called Warmists. Their redemption or solution to this "problem" is to back off of modernity by decreasing living standards and consumption to assuage the anger of the God Gaia. But they have their facts wrong. Since they base their religion on their claim that their religion is based on science and their belief in certain scientific "facts," the truth of those facts are a central to the understanding of that movement, and their view of where humanity stands here at the beginning of the 21st century. Those facts are not nearly on their side.

Life expectancy and health are on the increase world wide, as are personal income and living standards. Air and water pollution is similarly getting better every year. We have more resources of every type, as can be easily seen by commodity prices, whether steel or lumber, copper or wheat, or the availability of potable water to the poor. How can one reconcile Warmist beliefs in the face of these incontrovertible and easily proven facts? The only major threat our environment may be about to have to deal with is either global war or the appearance of the next ice age or a meteor strike, none of which is central to Warmist theology. Everything else they believe is faltering keeps getting better. We are so wealthy as a species, and getting more wealthy every day, that we can have this debate even as we make good money and live at a standard that our parents could not even dream of.

Our "addiction" is not to oil and coal, it is to wealth and modernity, and that requires immense amounts of energy. The discovery of hydrocarbon energy was the thing that brought us out of the middle ages, into the industrial age, and will bear us into the future. Until and unless we discover and build out a reliable source of energy to replace it, we will be "addicted" to oil and coal for decades. Windmills and sunshine ain't gonna cut it, because the wind and sunshine are not reliable energy sources. Malthusian fears of an impending die-off are no reason to impoverish our wealthiest societies or end our energy intensive ways unless or until the worst fears of the warmists become clearly true. Right now they are at the end of at least two years of being wrong about just about everything.

The planet continues to cool, as seen in measurements of heat in the oceans and weather on the ground. Even sea level has begun a small decline. The "Ozone Hole" has been shown to be a natural phenomenon, and banning chloro-fluorocarbons has had no effect on it. In any event the lack of ozone has initiated no increase skin cancers in affected areas, a central tenet of "Ozone Holism." In the face of unprecedented expansions of windmills and solar electric generation, no way to slow the growth of the thermal generation of electricity has proven effective, as these "green" technologies have no effect on the need for base load capacity. The same Warmists who decry carbon dioxide generation from hydrocarbon stand against expansion of nuclear electric generation capacity. Computer models that have been predicting melting ice caps and hotter climate have been universally unable to predict these non-events.

There is nothing new about religions that predict the end of the world. The difference here is that this religion is based on observable conditions. Their predictions have not been observed. That is how we know that this is a religion. No fact can withstand that portion of the human brain that insists on blind belief in a supernatural prediction. In this case the Jedi mind trick is correct. There is really nothing to see here, and we should really move along.