Tuesday, December 16, 2014
What a Nonsensical Phrase is 'Climate Denialism'
Climate Denialism is meaningless in and of itself. Whatever any of us think about trends in the weather, there is a climate, always and undeniably so. Lukewarmers like me think that increasing CO2 has some warming effect and part of the increasing CO2 is man made. But it's little and very likely to be beneficial. The lack of actual global warming over the past two decades has caused those who see catastrophe and doom with a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere partly through fossil fuel use, those who I call the Warmie true believers, to have had to abandon the untrue rallying cry about global warming and substitute for it something else. They still believe in global warming (despite the actual measurement of global temperatures for the past two decades) but they had to get a new name or be laughed at every time they said it.
Which brings me to the latest piece by Dana Millbank, who is kind of a dick and none too bright.
Millbank has just been made aware, apparently, of a scientific fact most of us learned in grade school.
“CO2 is basically plant food, and the more CO2 in the environment the better plants do,” proclaimed Roger Bezdek, a consultant to energy companies, at an event hosted Monday by the United States Energy Association, an industry trade group.
OK, the fact was stated by a consultant to fossil fuel sellers, but is it true? I waited for the refutation for the rest of the article but it never came. Millbank kvetches a bit:
I’m neither a scientist nor an economist, but I’ve heard that correlation is not the same as causation. I pointed out to Bezdek that increasing energy use fueled the economic growth, and CO2 was just a byproduct. So wouldn’t it make more sense to use cleaner energy?
“Fossil fuels will continue to provide 75, 80, 85 percent of the world’s energy for at least the next four or five decades,” he asserted. And even if we could reduce CO2, we shouldn’t. “If these benefits are real — and there have been five decades and thousands of studies and major conferences that pretty much have proven they are — then maybe we shouldn’t be too eager to get rid of CO2 in the atmosphere.”
But then he acts as if he has refuted it.
This was some creative thinking, and it took a page from the gun lobby, which argues that the way to curb firearm violence is for more people to be armed.
This is a what's know among the lefty intelligentsia as a two fer: 'Creative thinking' is apparently code for 'more bullshit from the Climate Denialists' and he gets to compare apples to oranges to take a swipe at supporters of our Second Amendment rights while pretending that this is refutation. Yeah, but Dana, is it untrue that more CO2 in the atmosphere is beneficial generally to the people on our fair planet? Alas, silence on that central question to the piece.
Another questioner at the event asked Bezdek if he had considered ocean acidification, the release of methane gases, pollution and other side effects of rising CO2.
The ocean is basic (above 7 on the ph scale) so that more carbolic acid in it (through CO2 absorption) actually buffers it and makes it less basic and more neutral but not acidic. If we tried, we couldn't make the ocean acidic. This is a recurrent example of Warmie anti-factual cant. Methane, measured in parts per Billion in the atmosphere (where it's 1800 ppbv), has not been and will never be a cause of atmospheric warming, as the frequencies of light where it does its greenhouse warming thing are already completely saturated by, that is, fully used by, water vapor in the air (measured in parts per Hundred and it's anywhere between 2 and 4 pphv). CO2 as a beneficial trace gas necessary to all life on Earth but the colonies of weird things around volcanic 'smokers' in the deep oceans. To call it pollution is to abandon the very meaning of pollution. I guess oxygen is pollution too as it causes fire and rust. Aren't those bad things? And, Dana, what are the side effects of rising CO2 other than the beneficial effects on plant life? Oh, that's right, the doubtful theory that the trace beneficial gas controls the 'thermostat' on the planet's weather, our old friend, global warming. Right. Back to Dana's lack of refutation.
The presentation began as a standard recitation of the climate-change denial position, that “there’s been no global warming for almost two decades” and that forecasts are “based on flawed science.”
Yes, those are standard facts we Deniers use. But are they wrong? It apparently is beneath Dana's dignity to address the truth or falsity of these difficult not to believe statements. Apparently the Warmies refute by ignoring.
Pretty pathetic, really.