Friday, November 15, 2013


Sacrifice to the Sky God Seeohtu

This is actually a pretty fair, well reasoned discussion about Global Warming Climate Change, until the end. Ivy League professors Adam Sobel and Naomi Oreskes talk about the impossibility of saying the recent typhoon in the Philippines was caused by global warming or by the warming, if any, caused by man made CO2, the invisible, beneficial, trace gas which omnipotently drives all the Earth's climate, apparently. The impossibility of divining any one cause of the storm is correct. The only way to say whether a single event is possibly caused by something is by statistical analysis involving all the known factors over a long period of time. The authors flat out admit that in an extended comparison to cancer etiology. (Could anything be less alike than weather and human disease?) Then things begin to slip.

When we emphasize the uncertainty, we appear to justify a course of no action on climate.

If we're uncertain, shouldn't we hold off doing something which, in our uncertainty, might well do more harm than good? Shouldn't we hold off if we are uncertain that what we do now will have any effect whatsoever?
Shouldn't we hold off if we are uncertain that there even is a problem?

Instead, we might focus on the reality of the threat that warming poses, even though we can't say with any certainty that it caused the particular case in front of us. We might focus on the fact that we expect warming to cause exactly this type of extremely intense typhoon to occur more often — as well as a range of other harmful and irreversible consequences, some of them quite certain.

If I were advocating corrective action which necessarily involves sacrifice to some subset of the World's population, shouldn't I first have a lot of evidence that: 1) There is a problem; and, 2) What I propose will actually help solve the problem? These questions answer themselves.

These guys assume a problem ("the reality of the threat that warming poses") despite a real lack of sufficient supporting evidence ("even though we can't say with any certainty that it caused [a more powerful typhoon]," for example). That's the wrong way, the anti-scientific way. Let's do what they actually advocate--looking at the statistical data over a longish period of time:
This is a chart of 40 years of Cyclone Energy in the northern hemisphere (bottom line) and in the World (top line). There is no increasing trend in energy in storms, that is, in stronger, harsher storms. There is no evidence to support the supposed problem of ever more powerful storms caused by man made greenhouse gasses. None, at least, in that chart. There have been a lot of very powerful typhoons, many more powerful than Haiyan, over the centuries of well recorded history. That's evidence against the "certain" harm of CO2, not for it. Back to the article.

The authors "expect" ever more intense typhoons (and other "certain" harmful and irreversible consequences). What causes them to "expect" these bad things? Is it evidence? I am certain there is no evidence of ever increasing intense typhoons. What makes them certain of the opposite? Some of the better, more powerful, scientific minds, Richard Lindzen and Freeman Dyson, for example, are very skeptical about the supposed horrible consequences of added CO2. I'm neither a scientists nor near as smart as those fellows, but I can read and analyze things as a lawyer analyzes an appeals court opinion, for example.

But which is worse? At present, it seems that the human race stands little risk of overreacting to global warming but a great risk of underreacting.

What evidence do the authors have that overreacting involves little risk? Doing things which will have no effect or for which there is no problem to help in the first place is necessarily wasted effort. The authors present no evidence regarding the supposed lack of risk of inherent in CO2 suppression. Bjorn Lomborg, who believes in anthropogenic global warming, has written tons about just what the proposed anti-global warming actions will do to the World's population. He certainly thinks we have more pressing problems. At the very least, the alarmist Climate Change true believers advocate using less fossil fuel. That has a cost, imposes a sacrifice, on both the end users of the product (who no longer have it or have it at a cost they can ill afford) and on the fossil energy producers (who, if they cannot bring the product to market, go out of business, taking the jobs with them). In my mind, at least, that's a lose/lose.

And the risk of underreacting exists only if the unknowable future change in the climate is alarmingly bad for humans. I have written hundreds of posts on the fact that the only "evidence" for alarming Climate Change is climate models which are not evidence and are almost universally wrong. The scientists have, I believe, failed to show a problem even exists. I believe my view of the kerfuffle is one which is gaining ground while the true believers are becoming every more desperate, duplicitous, shrill and obnoxious.

Not only can we afford to wait to see if a problem exists, we owe it to those being called upon to make not inconsequential sacrifices (and we owe it to the very concept of Truth) to ascertain if there is any problem at all. Otherwise we're just making religious sacrifices solely on faith and not on science. Like the Aztecs used to do for their invisible Sky Gods.


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