Monday, December 16, 2019

Reasons to be a climate skeptic

I am not really a climage change skeptic, as I believe that the climate has been changing for millions of years, and will continue to change.

No mention of benefits. Increased CO2 and global warming have some very positive benefits, such as increased crop yields and possible navigability of the Arctic Ocean. If someone tells you harms without any comparison to benefits, then you are not getting the full story.

Emphasis on man-made causes. If building windmills is going to make life better for us somehow, then I don't see why it matters whether the global warming was caused by industialization or cosmic forces. It appears that they would rather give us a guilt trip, than tell us the policy benefits.

Alignment with leftist causes. Most of those wanting action on climate change are leftists, and nearly all of their recommendations are things that they are ideologically committed to, independent of climate.

Avoiding nuclear energy. Nuclear fission power is still the only large-scale non-CO2 energy source, and we would be switching to it if we really needed to get off of fossil fuels.

No mention of demographics. The biggest threats to CO2 increases are demographic, such as people moving from Third World countries to the USA, or the population explosions in Africa and India. Climate change activists hardly ever mention this.

Alarmist rhetoric. I hear scare stories like the polar bears going extinct, or that we are doomed without drastic action in the next ten years. It seems obvious that the people who say this stuff do not even believe it themselves.

When I see a climate change argument that suffer the above defects, I just tune it out. It reminds me of a couple of times in my life when a salesman tried to pitch a product or service to me, and refused to answer basic questions like how much it costs or how long is the contract.

It is all too dishonest for me.

A recent SciAm article says:
One year ago, the international scientific community could hardly have expected that Greta Thunberg, a teenager from Sweden, would become one of its greatest allies. Since beginning her weekly “School Strike for the Climate,” the petite 16-year-old has skillfully used her public appearances and powerful social media presence to push for bolder global action to reduce carbon emissions.

“Again and again, the same message,” she tweeted recently. “Listen to the scientists, listen to the scientists. Listen to the scientists!” ...

A little-publicized Stanford University study, also released on Earth Day, found that global warming from fossil fuel use “very likely exacerbated global economic inequality” over the past 50 years. The study’s authors found that warming has likely enhanced economic growth in cooler, wealthier countries while dampening economic growth in hotter, poorer countries.
Wow, that is worded in a funny way. So it admits that global warming has enhanced our economic growth!

Economic growth in those poorer countries is entirely dependent on those cooler wealthier countries. Without the industrialized West, those poor countries would be getting poorer. So those poorer countries are probably benefitting from global warming also.

Notice how the result is written in a way to appeal to leftists, rather than to just explain the result.


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  2. Roger,
    Being a climate skeptic does not mean you don't believe the climate is changing, quite the opposite. It means you are skeptical of predictions made by computer models which purport that human produced carbon dioxide is what predominantly drives any climate change on the planet, and that you are even more skeptical of the people who claim they have solutions to address said problem that coincidentally are almost economically and socially identical to the various flavors of Marxism that killed over one-hundred and fifty million people in the twentieth century. For some mysterious reason, totalitarian solutions to (fill in the blank) set off my skepticism for some reason.

    If you believe CO2 is what drives the climate, you would have to provide several pieces of confirmed information before you even brought humanity into consideration, namely,

    Can you produce historic evidence that CO2 and temperature change are linked casually, specifically that CO2 pushes temperature (and not nice vice versa), and if so, by how much and in which direction?

    Once you have determined that CO2 is the primary cause of said temperature change (an actual testable number please in either direction please), specifically, how much of it is caused anthropogenically, and of this amount, how much influence does it have on the temperature. The question is not if human activity produces some heat, of course it does and no one contests this, the question is, of human activity causing temperature change, how much actually is it? Emotionally indignant sixteen year olds aside, There is a considerable difference between some (which can be quite small and almost statistically insignificant against natural in losing the signal to noise), and large (which would have to be specified in some actual amount that could be tested and confirmed).

    Now after all these burdens of proof (not emotional theater) have been achieved, What is being proposed to be done about it, and will it have the desired effect? This last question is actually a completely valid point since if the effects of demonstrated temperature change are greater than can be changed without economic devastation, it serves little point to try to do so. You can't spend on climate change strategies if doing so causes your economy to collapse...else how are you going to pay for it? Divine intervention? Perfected Communism/Socialism? Star Trek social transcendence?