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Archive for June, 2017

On Climate Change

I think people are asking the wrong questions on climate change. And then, when they don’t get the answer they want, they devolve into ad hominems and insults.
The questions that should be asked are:
How fast is the climate changing? We all know climate changes. Charles Dickens lived through a little ice age. According to some scientists, we’re heading for a new Maunder minimum that might usher in another. Other scientists predict warming, yet others predict cataclysmic disruptive events. Climate changes. That’s not really the question, though.
The question that the climate doom-and-gloomers really want to ask is “Do you believe in anthropogenic global warming?” This is an entirely different question from the first, and I’m not convinced that we know, to a scientific certainty, the answer.
But suppose we agree, arguendo, that the answer to the above questions are it’s changing fast, and yes, it’s manmade. By itself, those answers tell us nothing. Nothing, that is, except that attitude of the questioner. Because the people that ask those questions aren’t looking for answers. They’re looking to judge your level of social justice awareness, while at the same time signaling their own virtue. The really serious questions come after those two.
Suppose, as I said, that we agree that climate change is happening, and we’re causing it. By itself, that’s a big nothing. We’ve been changing the climate ever since we discovered fire and started liberating all that sequestered carbon dioxide. The question is, has our changing of the climate, and pari passu, the physical environment in which we live, made things better or worse for mankind as a whole? I think any rational person would agree that mankind’s altering the environment has been a good thing. Bridges, canals, wells, penicillin, sanitation and medicine all alter the natural world for better. We haven’t always been perfect, and in some cases we’ve been downright horrible, but overall that changes have been good. I doubt anyone would trade their standard of living today for that of someone in the 6th century A.D.
Suppose that AGW (anthropogenic global warming) results in an increase in the available arable land worldwide, thereby alleviating world hunger issues? Would you agree or disagree that eliminating starvation is good? There may be other benefits that I am, as yet, unaware of. I am sure that the potential benefits are being explored; it would be unscientific and short-sighted not to.
Finally, the last question that goes unanswered is what can we seriously do about it, if, in fact, AGW is real? The Paris Accord that has the lunatics all kerfluffled promised to reduce the global average temperature one-tenth of one degree by the end of the century. At an astronomical cost to be paid for by the least polluting countries on earth. Under the Paris Accord, China has no obligation to reduce carbon emissions until 20 years from now. That would put the U.S. at an enormous disadvantage economically and militarily. How far shall we reduce our standard of living to allow China and India, Niger and Cameroon, to do as they please?
Until we can answer all these questions, to a scientific certainty, I think Trump did the right thing. The Paris Accord is less about the environment and more about taking from the have to give to the have-nots.
And finally, apropos of nothing I’ve written above, bring back DDT for God’s sake. There are children dying of malaria that could be saved by its use. And, by the way, Kathy Griffin is a whiny little idiot.

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Categories: Uncategorized
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