Academia’s Climate Change “Wolf!”

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Ah yes, It’s now or never! We’ve heard that before –i.e., We Must Act Now! Al Gore gave humanity 10 years.

You know, Al is a funny guy, but he’s also a very serious guy who believes humans may have only 10 years left to save the planet from turning into a total frying pan. ~Larry David (promoting Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, at the Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 27, 2006)

If as Gore claimed back in December 10,2007, “that our world is spinning out of kilter,” there would be no polar ice cap by now. Just “10 years left to solve the global warming problem,” as Dr. Roy Spencer remembers back on Gore’s prophecy eight years ago. “In the grand tradition of prophets of doom,” Spencer says, “[Gore’s] prognostication is not shaping up too well… still no statistically significant warming.”

We are familiar with the usual anti-business aspect of Leftist politics but the continued pushing of AGW theory (the belief that man’s CO2 is frying the globe) is beginning to look more and more like a cheesy Hollywood comedy-horror show. Global warming has become wholly academic in its most pejorative sense –i.e., of no practical relevance –e.g., AGW is just academic because not even lifetime Leftist and serial hypocrite Al Gore has the slightest intention of practicing what he preaches.

The hubris and hypocrisy of global warming alarmists is palpable and that is what Richard Muller, et al., is shining a spotlight on. “Environmentalists who oppose the development of shale gas and fracking,” Muller said of the greenhouse gas fearmongers, “are making a tragic mistake… [and] concerns are either largely false or can be addressed by appropriate regulation… [S]hale gas is a wonderful gift that has arrived just in time. It can not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also reduce a deadly pollution known as PM2.5 that is currently killing over three million people each year, primarily in the developing world.”

We may perhaps have finally found an area that marks the beginning of building a more pragmatic and empathetic consensus of opinion among more reasonable academics of global warming alarmism –e.g., among those who find themselves at a dead end and  looking for a graceful way out of the fine moral and economic mess they helped create. According to Muller’s numbers those who oppose the development of shale gas essentially are responsible in part for, “causing over three million deaths per year worldwide,” so for Muller, this is a humanitarian issue.

[E]nvironmentalists should recognize the shale gas revolution as beneficial to society – and lend their full support to helping it advance. ~Richard and Elizabeth Muller, Why Every Serious Environmentalist Should Favour Fracking

The Left certainly is proving how effective Eurocommunism has been in helping them destroy economies, which they do despite America’s example of such awesome power as was unleashed through the liberation of the individual and diminishment of the power of the state. The Left with the aid of Western academia is again embarked on the systematic ranking of society, harkening back to humanity’s darker past, with politicians and academicians as the chiefs and new priests ruling over their would-be Utopian global village.

But, it has become, harder and harder to misinterpret the signs – as Al Gore would say – that these climate priests high up in Western academia’s ivory towers are really bad at math. The amount of government involvement and money that is going into to underwriting the added expense of alternative energy is ruinous much like chewing off your arm to get more protein in your diet. Mark Steyn in ‘The Spectator’ likened the mindset of global warming alarmists to being in first-class staterooms aboard the Titanic and rooting for the iceberg.

Dr. Lee C. Gerhard (Geologic Constraints on Global Climate Variability) concludes that it would not matter even if a human influence on climate was verified (although he says, “We have falsified by correlation that humans are a major cause) because  the current warm event is coming to an end — similar to the Roman and Medieval  events — but, “perhaps a bit cooler.” As Dr. Gerhard observed, “There is no flat line in climate.”

Rather than thinking about how to deal with a cooling trend, in addition to CO2 the Left has now added latent heat alarmism to its basket of worries. Dr. Roy Spencer was moved to respond to John Holdren’s amazing claim that, “recent cold weather was due to global warming,” and that the warming was caused by waste heat from humanity’s use of energy, as follows:

What is astounding from a science perspective is that Holdren blamed warming on waste heat, the result of humans and their energy use, rather than a slowly increasing greenhouse effect. He predicted that the localized nature of this waste heat would eventually spread to be a global problem.

But a little research and few minutes of math (which I assume Holdren learned at some point) would have revealed that humanity’s waste heat generation is, from a global perspective, trivial.

Assuming today’s global energy use is about 150 petawatthours per year, and dividing that by the number of hours in a year and the surface area of the Earth, this yields an average energy flux of 0.03 Watt per sq. meter. This is about 100 times smaller than the estimated heating from increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is almost 10,000 times smaller than the rate of solar energy input into the Earth.

It scares me that someone with so much energy policy influence has so little knowledge of basic physics.

Western academia and the UN continue to fail society in many areas. But, their greatest disservice to all of humanity: the expensive avalanche of warnings about global warming – supposedly resulting from nothing but normal human  behavior – that serve only to trivialize and undermine our ability to deal with the real dangers that humanity does face.

There are historical examples throughout the march of humanity to compare with the faith Western academics invest in the predictive ability of their numerical models (General Circulation Models or GCMs). Academia’s belief that they can represent physical processes in the atmosphere, ocean, land and poles some 50, 100 years and even 4,000 generations out compares with some pretty odd rituals of legend-days like reading tea leaves or making a journey to the Oracle of Delphi.

The Delphic pronouncements of global warming alarmists like Hansen, Mann, Alley, etc., all have increasingly taken on an air of the macabre. About the very best you can say about any of them now is to compare them to the boy who cried, Wolf! Academia’s incessant, crying wolf! about dangers that never materialize and being admonished by these hypocrites who at every turn undermine the seriousness of their warnings by their own actions, serve only to blunt the usefulness of all warnings and interfere with society’s ability to assess and avoid real risks.

The boldness with which misinformation is promoted by the government science and education bureaucracy makes climate change warnings useless… and, worse: they are not protecting us from harm they’re causing it.

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About Wagathon

Hot World Syndrome—fear of a hotter, more intimidating world than it actually is prompting a desire for more protection than is warranted by any actual threat. A Chance Meeting– We toured south along the Bicentennial Bike Trail in the Summer of 1980, working up appetites covering ~70 miles per day and staying at hiker/biker campgrounds at night along the Oregon/California coast (they were 50¢ a day at that time). The day's ride over, and after setting up tents, hitting the showers, and making a run to a close-by store, it was time to relax. The third in our little bicycle tour group, Tom, was about 30 yards away conversing with another knot of riders and treating himself to an entire cheesecake for dinner. He probably figured Jim and I would joke about what a pig he was eating that whole pie and decided to eat among strangers. Three hours later after sharing stories and remarking on a few coincidences that turned up here and there, Tom and one of the former strangers realized they were cousins, meeting in this most unlikely place for the first time. ~Mac
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