More Climate Change Fantasy-Land

Writing in the Huffington Post, Jeffrey Sachs has a column that neatly demonstrates all of the arrogance, ignorance, and wishfulness that epitomizes so much of the climate change lobby that insists we destroy our way of life to “save the planet.”

First up, frame the question in a slightly less-than-neutral manner:  “All signs suggest that the planet is still hurtling headlong toward climatic disaster.”  No, actually, they don’t.  All signs point to slight warming in the north, slight cooling down south, considerable variability all over the place, and major gaps and flaws in our ability to measure trends in local climate, much less global. 

Next, conflate separate issues, while minimizing major distractions:

Human-induced climate change stems from two principal sources of emissions of greenhouse gases (mainly carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide): fossil-fuel use for energy and agriculture (including deforestation to create new farmland and pastureland).

The climate lobby concentrates almost entirely on carbon emissions.  Note how Sachs shoves deforestation into a parenthetical underneath “fossil fuel use for energy and agriculture.”  They are two completely separate topics, and there is a vigorous debate regarding the extent to which deforestation — whether by hoe, tractor, or burning, contributes to increases in measured temperatures.  Yet Sachs subsumes deforestation underneath the topic of fossil fuels, acknowledging its existence, but diminishing its importance.

And good luck with this:

Changing the world’s energy and agricultural systems is no small matter. It is not enough to just wave our hands and declare that climate change is an emergency. We need a practical strategy for overhauling two economic sectors that stand at the center of the global economy and involve the entire world’s population.

We may be waiting on that for a really long time.  These are complex systems beyond our ability to overhaul through “practical strateg[ies].”  Anything we do will have massive unforseen and unintended consequences, and they are matters of life and death. 

An example — environmentalists were successful in eliminating DDT from use as an insecticide.  Hundreds of millions of Africans have died from malaria as a result. 

These things are immensely complex, we don’t fully understand them, and we can easily screw up.  Humility is in order, not “a practical strategy for overhauling two economic sectors that stand at the center of the global economy.”

And “involv[ing] the entire world’s population” has its own problems.  (As an aside, I doubt Sachs wants to involve me or anyone in red-state America or other unenlightened folks in the debate.)  The various sectors of the world population have different perspectives.  China, for example, couldn’t give a rat’s ass about carbon emissions or anything else that would slow its emergence as a global economic power.  Please explain what practical strategy might convince China to give up that goal, because that is precisely what would have to happen there, and everywhere else, for Sachs’ dream to come true.

In any event, the problem must be, of course, the ignorance of the masses:

The second major challenge in addressing climate change is the complexity of the science itself. Today’s understanding of Earth’s climate and the human-induced component of climate change is the result of extremely difficult scientific work involving many thousands of scientists in all parts of the world. This scientific understanding is incomplete, and there remain significant uncertainties about the precise magnitudes, timing and dangers of climate change.

The general public naturally has a hard time grappling with this complexity and uncertainty, especially since the changes in climate are occurring over a timetable of decades and centuries, rather than months and years. Moreover, year-to-year and even decade-to-decade natural variations in climate are intermixed with human-induced climate change, making it even more difficult to target damaging behavior.

This has given rise to a third problem in addressing climate change, which stems from a combination of the economic implications of the issue and the uncertainty that surrounds it. This is reflected in the brutal, destructive campaign against climate science by powerful vested interests and ideologues, apparently aimed at creating an atmosphere of ignorance and confusion.

Actually, the climate-science fraud perpetuated by global warminists is what, apparently, was aimed at creating an atmosphere of ignorance and confusion.  Al Gore and company are the ones who seek to suppress debate, delegitimize dissenting views, and declare that the debate is over.  Is is the “deniers” who have been forced to persevere until word leaked out that the science was not settled, and much of it was faulty or fraudulent.

The climate change lobby is increasingly desperate, and increasingly impervious to reason.  It is dying a well-deserved death.

I want to be clear here.  Pumping billions of pounds of anything into the atmosphere is a bad idea, even if it is carbon such as what we exhale with every breath.  It is the liberal tendency to use these issues as excuses to remake the economy and society in the image of their personal utopias that I have a problem with, not the idea that the benefits and detriments of pollution must be carefully weighed.

Published in: on August 3, 2010 at 10:45 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] I have written before, the global warming/environmentalist movement is more about advancing progressive social and […]

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