Tag Archives: greenhouse effect

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