Tag Archives: global warming

Global Warming: The Good, the Gullible and the Greedy

einstein

"Question Everything"

A lot of good people are alarmed by the prospect of a warming planet and want to act quickly to stop it. It is quite possible that the greedy, once again, have manipulated the good.

Humans Can Be Gullible

Acccording to the AlphaDictionary “Today’s word, gull, began as a noun referring to what we swallow with, a throat or gullet, then moved on to become a verb meaning “to swallow”. The noun came to mean a person who “swallows” (believes) everything they hear, then this sense became a verb meaning “to convince someone to “swallow” (believe) something”.

Humans Are Not Often Rational

Human beings are not stupid and are capable of using critical thinking; it just seems that they often do not choose to do so. Examples abound, but an interesting example is the fact that while Americans usually say they vote for Presidential candidates “on the issues” they almost never vote for a short or bald candidate. Short or bald candidates do not seem to fit the image of the warrior king we unconsciously want-as if our leaders will be called upon to defend the nation in single combat with an enemy leader.

On Authority

Human beings believe things for many reasons, and one of the reasons is that the information comes from an authority. In our era, scientific authority is almost sacred. The famous Milgram experiment demonstrated the powerful influence of scientific authorities on human behavior.

Obedience to Authority

In the experiment, test subjects were “teachers” who would help “learners” by administering an electrical shock when learners (who were actors) made a mistake. The level of shocks ranged from “slight” to the horrifying “XXX.” The actor could be heard responding verbally as he was shocked and Milgram expected most test subject-teachers to refuse to continue shocking the learner at some point. If a teacher protested the shocking, the authority said, “The experiment requires that you continue.” To Milgram’s surprise, 65 percent of the teachers administered shocks to the lethal level.

Emotional Reasoning

Global warming, which has been re-christened climate change, is promoted on the authority of scientists (and emotionally on the basis of a movie.) The evidence is “incontrovertible” according to Al Gore. While some scientists do challenge this, they are in the minority and are shouted down. If a regular citizen questions the climate change scenario as outlined, they are accused of being stupid, regressive and a “flat-earther.” The level of emotion as opposed to open debate should raise a red flag and engage some critical thinking, but it shows little sign of doing so at this time.

What is the Climate Change Scenario?

First the climate change scenario should be defined, since many interminable arguments rage on due to faulty definitions. The climate change scenario is made up of several parts.

  1. The climate is getting warmer.
  2. It is getting warmer very quickly.
  3. This is due to the influence of human’s carbon emissions.
  4. Carbon emissions should be limited through government policy.

Should this be swallowed whole? Or should this be chewed piece by piece and the good parts ingested and the bad parts spit back out? 1). Is the climate warming? Very probably, since the climate is always warming or cooling if viewed over a long enough time-frame. We have had ice ages; glaciers once covered quite a bit of North America and they are gone now. So obviously climate changes. In the past 100,000 years 25 significant changes in temperature have occurred, resulting in the extinction of some species and the spread of others. Absolutely-climate changes-and it always will.

2). It is getting warmer very quickly. Maybe-we’ve all seen the hockey stick graph. The climate has also changed in the past very quickly (100 years or even decades is “very quickly” in geologic terms.)

3). The climate is changing because of human being’s carbon emissions. This requires some chewing. There are an awful lot of human beings right now and if nothing else they all breathe out carbon dioxide, as well as produce carbon emissions with their various activities. CO2 is not a pollutant, it is actually beneficial to plant life which very conveniently “breathes in” CO2 and “breathes out” O2. Neat little arrangement, that. This raises the question “Then what caused climate to change in the past?’ This question is not answered very definitively because no one really knows.

4). Can government policies reduce carbon emissions? Maybe; a little bit. Will the carbon emissions they reduce stop global warming? Unlikely. But even if it did, will they then need new government policies to reduce global cooling when the whole cycle swings around later on? Humans have survived major climate events (the desertification of the Sahara, the Ice Ages) by adapting to changing conditions. Now we seem to think we can control the whole world with a carbon tax.

Follow the Money on Climate Change

Finally, I would be much less suspicious of swallowing the climate change enchilada whole if Al Gore did not have himself in a position to get very, very rich(er) from new carbon policies. Al Gore owns Generation Investment Management, backed by Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers, huge venture capitalists who aim to build “category defining companies” that will become leaders in the field. Gore’s Generation Investment Management states, “”There is a significant gap between the capital needed and the capital currently deployed to create enduring solutions to the climate crisis. To address this financing gap will require the efforts of many players, including entrepreneurial ventures, multinational businesses, governments, multilaterals and investors.” Follow the money.

Would Scientists Lie?

Would scientists lie about something like this? Sure they would, they depend on government/industry grants to keep their research departments going. Just because they wear a lab coat doesn’t make them Marcus Welby, MD. We may forget that along with the military-industrial complex, President Eisenhower, in his Farewell Speech,  warned that, “the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research… The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.”

The Power of Money

The power of money is to be gravely regarded, Eisenhower warned. The Club of Rome consists of about 300 of the richest men in the world, including Al Gore. They meet to discuss world developments and issue reports, one of which, The First Global Revolution (1993) shows that global warming was on their mind. On page 115 (first edition, page 75 PDF) it says, “In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill … All these dangers are caused by human intervention and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy, then, is humanity itself.”

Humanity the Enemy

It is unlikely that these 300 men include themselves in the great mass of human beings who are the enemy, however. One of the threats that would “fit the bill” to unite the rest of us is global warming. Is it a real issue and is the proposed solution something that the Club of Rome members truly believe in? Apparently not, because in a footnote on page 25 of The First Global Revolution they state, “Although the “greenhouse effect” is still a controversial subject and absolute certainty about its existence will not be possible for another ten years, if it is confirmed by that time, which is very likely, it will too late to do anything about it.”

If it is confirmed by that time, it will be too late to do anything about it, they say. Philosopher Karl Popper states that a scientific theory that isn’t falsifiable isn’t valid. Every twinge in the weather, every hurricane or blizzard, is trotted out to “prove” that global warming is soon going to kill us all, and those statements can’t be falsified, they are “incontrovertible.” This sounds more like a fundamentalist religion than science. Remember that Einstein was a pretty smart guy and he said, “Question everything.”

Karl Popper, “Conjectures and Refutations,” Science: A Personal Report, British Philosophy in the Mid-Century, 1957

Alexander King and Bertrand Schneider, The First Global Revolution, A Report by the Council of the Club of Rome, 1993

 

 

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Global Warming and Al Gore: Who Benefits?

Thinking fearfully

Dang it's hot today-must be global warming.

Is global warming, AKA climate change, a real threat or something manufactured to enrich the already uber-rich? Is it a plot by those who favor a one-world government? Could it possibly be all of the above? Bipolar thinking appears to the default mode of presenting any issue these days. You are either a conservative or a liberal, for big government or for small government, you are either with the terrorists or you are “with us.” Bipolar thinking is at best limited and at worst, stupid.

Environmental Activism

I was an environmental activist in college long ago. I love nature, the land, and the whole complex and fascinating process of life taking place there. So in college I opposed pollution, the cross-Florida barge canal, and the aerial poisoning of fire ants. Looking back, I think you can’t go wrong opposing pollution-who is in favor of pollution? The cross-Florida barge canal was stopped, though the Rodman Dam was built, creating a reservoir that flooded thousands of acres of forest.

 Changing Environmental Perspectives

We had thought that was bad. I smiled as I drove past the site a few years ago and saw a sign the current environmentalists had posted, “Save the Rodman Reservoir.” As for the fire ants, they did successfully invade and every time they swarm over my feet and sting me, (feels like fire-hence the name) I say, “That’s what you get for not nuking the dang things when you had the chance.”

 The Right Side of an Issue

When I was an environmental activist and heading to some kind of congressional hearing, a Political Science professor pulled me aside and gave me some good advice. “Are you sure you are on the right side in this issue?” “Of course,” I answered. I was nineteen; I was sure about everything. “Just be careful working with politicians. They sometimes use idealistic people to pull a fast one. Ask yourself, ‘Who benefits?”

 The Climate Changes

When I first heard about global warming due to human activity and the apocalyptic consequences if we didn’t act quickly and globally to stop it, I protested, “But the climate has always changed. Change is inevitable. Glaciers once covered substantial parts of North America where dairy farms now pasture cows.” But no, this was different, this was drastic, and we had to act now. How would we act? Something to do with taxes and fees charged for carbon emissions combined with the development of green technology.

 Carbon Tax

I like green technology and I even accept taxes as dues we pay to live in a developed nation, but I still had questions about changing climates. What about the unusually warm period in the middle ages from about 950-1250 AD. What caused that? Flatulence from livestock, perhaps? Solar storms? Although Einstein said, “Question everything,” he should have warned us that when we do, we are sometimes accused of being stupid or worse, a friend of Big Oil. I object on principle to the suppression of honest questions, no matter how strong the opposing popular opinion.

Good People Saving Mother Earth

The people lined up on the side of global warming (PC term “climate change”) seemed to be good people-environmental groups, friends of the earth. The people opposing the concept seemed to be right-wing friends of Big Oil. That is evidence of a sort, but not conclusive. The science itself is not conclusive, no matter how many times proponents stomp their foot and say. “The evidence IS conclusive! I suppose you think the earth is flat?” Snark, though a lot of fun, does not advance truth.

Plants Like Carbon Dioxide

Inconclusive evidence that carbon dioxide (which is a natural substance that animals breathe out and green plants ‘breathe in’) produced by using fossil fuels is so rapidly warming the planet that the end is very near for mankind if we don’t institute the carbon tax quickly and globally. There seems to be an almost religious zeal about this issue, as if doubters are heretics. Why all the emotion, what is the big impetus? Historically, big movements like this are generally pushed along by someone for some reason, and neo-hippy tree huggers (may their tribe increase) don’t have the clout to do it.

 The Power of Stories

Does a very wealthy ex-Vice President of the United States have the clout? Yes. Who benefits? Does Al Gore benefit? He gained more fame, a Nobel Prize, and an Oscar for his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” which informed the world about the imminent danger of global warming. Never underestimate the power of a story to sway public opinion! Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” had massive impacts on public opinion on the issues of slavery and pollution, respectively.

 Connections: Ecology of Relationships

Is that the only benefit to Gore? Everything is connected, what is Al Gore connected to? Various environmental causes, as expected, but there are a few flies in the soup of his unwavering committment on those issues. Al Gore is connected to the Club of Rome, which in 1991 released a report called “The First Global Revolution,” which states on page 76:

 Threats to Unite People

In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill. In their totality and their interactions these phenomena do constitute a common threat which must be confronted by everyone together. But in designating these dangers as the enemy, we fall into the trap, which we have already warned readers about, namely mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself.

 Red Flags on Global Warming

This statement raises red flags on several levels. First, it appears they “came up with” using global warming and then went out to get the research to back it up. Second, the manufacture of enemies to unite popular support is an old, old, propaganda technique. Third, I am really sick of the self-hatred exhibited by human beings calling “man” the enemy. If man is the enemy, perhaps we should eliminate vast numbers of the enemy through population control. This Report suggests that as well and I suspect could come up with a panel to decide which populations should be reduced.

 Data Can be Manipulated

The fact that conservatives went to great lengths to discredit the whole global warming scenario does not prove that it is either true or false, just unpopular with conservatives. None of this means that global warming is NOT taking place or that human activity has NO effect on it. That, as many scientists admit, cannot really be determined. Like most Americans, I am not an expert on climate change over the centuries but I am fully aware that data can be manipulated to back an ideology. I just don’t see it as proven that humans are causing a catastrophic warming of the globe which must be instantly and drastically dealt with.

 Much Money to be Made

We must be skeptical of politicians and of “ACT NOW!” apocalyptic messages. One question we must ask is, “Who benefits?” as the Political Science professor suggested. FYI: Al Gore owns Generation Investment Management, which has been backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, enormous venture capitalists who aim to build “category defining companies” that will become leaders in the field. The fact is, if the global warming threat is swallowed uncritically and entirely, Mr. Gore would be in a position to make a WHOLE lot of money; from consumers to a government-subsidized monopoly and backed up by force of law. This is how the world works, day in and day out, the real-world trickle-up economy.

 

Is human activity making the world rapidly warmer? Perhaps! But let’s admit that the world is going to get warmer and colder regardless of human activity. Is this a scheme to enrich the uber-rich? Yes. Is it a plot to institute one-world government? Well, universal worldwide laws can not hurt such plotters. It looks like same old story: A relatively small group of very powerful people use their connections, their money, their think tanks and policy papers, and the media to do whatever they want-and what they inexplicably and always want is to become even more wealthy and powerful. They love money and use people-good people-instead of loving people and using money.

Christopher Booker and Richard North, The Deceit Behind Global Warming, The Telegraph, November 4, 2007

Al Gore Before Congress