Fearing Global Warming is Not America’s Brand

Close to the Fires

Humanity Lives Close to the Fire

The global warming alarmists of Western academia have inflated humanity’s contribution since back in 1958 when Charles Keeling established CO2-monitoring stations at the site of an active volcano, near the summit of Mauna Loa. Nevertheless, at least in a geophysical sense, the Earth’s climate has been Steady Eddie.

Looking for any evidence that humanity is cooking the globe, Jiansong Zhou and Ka-Kit Tung (Deducing Multi-decadal Anthropogenic Global Warming Trends Using Multiple Regression Analysis) began by excluding climate change due to natural factors and more specifically, by adding the effects of AMO (Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation) trends that alarmists neglected to consider. Zhou and Tung found what they were looking for –i.e., humanity’s contribution; but, it was small: so small it had to be less than half of, previously deduced anthropogenic warming rates, that government scientists have been using to base their fears of an impending climate doomsday. Moreover, Zhou and Tung found no statistically-relevant evidence of either an acceleration or pause in global warming over the last 100 years.

I wonder if Charles Keeling may have undergone a change of heart over his 30 years of measuring concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere. My guess is that any continued worrying by Keeling about global warming after that many years would seem reminiscent of Dr. Michael Crichton’s comparison of climate alarmists to his characterization of a patient he had that was suffering from hysterical blindness –e.g., where the the severity of the symptoms the patient presented and worried about no longer matched the patient’s emotional response to the supposed problem. What we see in the latter part of his life is that Keeling’s response become very nuanced – essentially, Trenberthian –e.g., Oh well, we at least did our saintly job of trying to save the world by raising this abstract issue now known as AGW Theory, about humanity heating up the globe with their release of CO2 — the so called “greenhouse effect”– and, now its up to those who don’t share our concerns (and who would put the future of the Earth at risk by continuing to live as I sure as hell will continue to live) to prove our beliefs are wrong.

The increase in global warming hasn’t changed in 100 years. The absence of warming going on 2 decades tells us climate change is not alarming. NASA’s most recent radar map also shows us warming is not alarming: the Arctic Ice Cap was larger than on any December 28 in the past five years (more than 4,000,000 square miles); and, at the other pole, the extent of Antarctic ice coverage has never been so great (at least since 35 years ago when radar measurement began). So, when is the right time to start worrying about the Left’s belief in a fearsome climate tempest in a teapot? We do not have to wonder about what mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell would say about the logic of who should bear burden of proof that humanity is cooking the globe, as follows:

Russell’s teapot, sometimes called the celestial teapot or cosmic teapot, is an analogy first coined by the philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) to illustrate that the philosophic burden of proof lies upon a person making scientifically unfalsifiable claims rather than shifting the burden of proof to others, specifically in the case of religion. Russell wrote that if he claims that a teapot orbits the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars, it is nonsensical for him to expect others to believe him on the grounds that they cannot prove him wrong. Russell’s teapot is still referred to in discussions concerning the existence of God. (wiki)

In the grand scheme of things, in his heart of heats, I suspect even Keeling came to know that humanity had at best the puniest forcing effect on Earth’s climate. Speaking of forcing, Nicola Scafetta observed (see, ‘Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications’), “there are many studies that have suggested a possible influence of the Moon upon climate [e.g., Keeling and Whorf]… After all, the phenomenon of lunar tides and their cycles are well known and clearly present in the ocean records. Thus, the Moon may alter climate by partially modulating the ocean currents via gravitational forces through its long-term lunar tidal cycles.”

How many of the climate-alarmists’ models include lunar forcing? Zero. Does that mean Keeling and others were totally or possibly wrong to suggest the Moon might have some effect on Earth’s climate? We just don’t know all of the possible things that the makers of all of AGW climate models (GCMs) have been left out of GCMs; nor all of the possible things that have possibly been left out of GCMs; nor all of the impossible things they may possibly have been included in GCMs. Like toys GCMs are to be played with but not believed in: they may someday be useful tools in helping us understand the world around us but are not Articles of Faith upon which we should build our lives.

Before he died, Keeling said, “I believe, however, that a more prudent attitude would be to heed the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration as serious unless proven to be benign.” But, when is taking precautions not the prudent thing to do? When is it the bad and harmful thing to do when it comes to fears about global warming? “The precautionary principle has at least six major weak spots,” observed Fabius Maximus, as follows: (1) assuming worst-case scenarios; (2) distracting attention from established threats to health, especially natural risks; (3) assuming that the effects of regulation and restriction are all positive or neutral, never negative; (4) ignoring potential benefits of technology and inherently favoring nature over humanity; (5) illegitimately shifting the burden of proof and unfavorably positioning the proponent of the activity; and (6) conflicting with more balanced, common-law approaches to risk and harm.”

Unfortunately, among Western academics who have made a living stoking the fires of AGW alarmism, from pointing at increases in ppm (parts per million) of atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa to framing humanity for killing the polar bear. It’s as if you are questioning the Koran when statisticians point out that Michael Mann’s GCM and hockey stick producing statistics were either knowingly fraudulent or unwittingly crapulent (Al Gore became as divinely inspired as any radical imam in his belief in AGW). But, Freeman  Dyson says all of the data has been fudged. So too are the CO2 stats where measuring it has become a cottage industry with Keeling’s son carrying on the family business of massaging CO2 readings at a site that can vary by 600 ppm during the span of a single day. “Mauna Loa does not represent the typical atmospheric CO2 on different global locations but is typical only for this volcano at a maritime location in about 4000 m altitude at that latitude.” (EG Beck, 2008, “50 Years of Continuous Measurement of CO2 on Mauna Loa” Energy and Environment, Vol 19, No.7.)

If alive today, given the rise of rise of ISIS and the imperial presidency, our inexorable loss of basic freedoms, the governments’ lack of respect for individual liberty and freedom of speech and the impotence of the West to address and deal with the real and pressing issues of our day, I suspect Keeling would say about global warming that we as a society have a lot bigger fish to fry. “The rise in CO2 is proceeding so slowly that most of us today will, very likely, live out our lives without perceiving that a problem may exist.” said Keeling (back in 1968). “But CO2 is just one index of man’s rising activity today.We have rising numbers of college degrees, rising steel production, rising costs of television programming and broadcasting, high rising apartments, rising numbers of marriages, relatively more rapidly rising numbers of divorces, rising employment, and rising unemployment. At the same time we have diminishing natural resources, diminishing distract-free time, diminishing farm land around cities, diminishing virgin lands in the distant country side…”

Effective prioritizing, beginning with recognition of and a renewed allegiance to the American idea that individual liberty is a God-given right that supersedes government authority, has never been more important. Worrying about global warming is a waste of time and resources. Nathan Shedroff and Davis Masten (Postcards from the Future…) describe several possible futures, among them are as follows: a scenario of plenty – “In world economies, whether due to new priorities, technologies, understandings, or cooperation, the vast majority of people are now able to meet all subsistence needs (shelter, food, healthcare, work, education, etc.) and have, for the first time for many of them, something called leisure time and new opportunity to pursue other interests…”; and, a scenario of deprivation – “The world economy suffers a tremendous collapse. Whether due to lack or resources (or accessibility), too much demand, insecure speculation, or political conflict that destroys the carefully balanced and orchestrated coordination of trade between countries, all monetary systems are severely devalued and a majority of people have problems meeting subsistence needs…”

The first scenario above is what happens in a free enterprise society where the productive and their families are not penalized for taking risks in pursuit of recognition and self-interest when they provide goods and services others want. The second scenario is what we can expect in the planned societies of the socialist liberal fascists when the cost of free lunches ultimately bankrupts the productive. Amidst all of the possible approaches to meeting society’s needs, Shedroff and Masten failed to hit upon the single most essential factor in building pathways to success:

The urgent economic, political and philosophical need of our time is making respect for the individual and personal liberty the brand of American society.




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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