Global warming meets Godzilla – global warming wins

The belief that AGW can be rolled back by evidence is a quaint enlightenment notion that has had about as much evidence as global warming. Apparently, the new Godzilla film is drenched in AGW and anti-nuclear sentiments as well. The title of the review explains the rest: Suspend your reality for Godzilla: It’s an anti-global-warming alarmism smash.

The film opens at a huge quarry, where humanity’s insatiable thirst for fossil fuels (or diamonds or platinum or something) has uncovered a terrifying secret: a pair of radioactive MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms). The point here, nominally, is that man brings about his own destruction by despoiling the planet. However, it’s worth noting that the one of the MUTOs immediately attacks a nuclear power plant, while the other, later, attacks a repository of nuclear waste. In this, the MUTOs feel like close cousins of the worst of the greens, those folks who demand action on climate change yet mindlessly attack nuclear power—the sole technology that could allow us to maintain our standard of living while reducing carbon emissions.

As the film progresses, the intellectual center of the picture is revealed to be Dr. Ichiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe), who takes an almost zen-like approach to the MUTOs. He believes that Godzilla, who he has been searching for his entire adult life, is not a threat to humanity but a part of Earth’s natural biosphere. The giant lizard exists to “restore balance.” Serizawa also laments the “arrogance of man” for thinking he can control nature; the good doctor believes that the only way to stop the rampaging MUTOs is to let Godzilla fight them and kill them, to let nature run its course. The leaders of men disagree, opting to try and gather all three of the giant creatures into the same area off America’s west coast, where they will be destroyed by a thermonuclear warhead. This plan backfires, leading to a nuke threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of San Franciscans.

Etc, etc etc. Anyway, great cinematography. And since it’s only a movie, what possible influence could it have?

The global warming clergy deal with another heretic

The global warming clergy will never give up their faith. They have grown insanely wealthy and powerful on the back of bamboozling the hoi polloi and have no intention of letting go the riches that have flowed in their direction since this scam began. So if you are one of those with an open mind about the minimal likelihood of a carbon planetary death over the next century, then the assault on Professor Lennart Bengtsson will just seem par for the course. And while James Delingpole thinks this may be “a bridge too far” for the AGW brigade, it is really nothing more than a small skirmish in The Great Climate War that was settled long ago. So while it’s a big story today and even made it to the front page of The Times, you are kidding yourself if you think it will make the slightest difference. Other than the billions it will cost us in wealth, since it is billions we do not have and will never earn, money we will never receive cannot be used in a campaign of our own to turn this particular tide. The only thing we have on our side are the facts. So it goes. But the Bengtsson moment is nevertheless a moment worthy of our consideration.

Bengtsson is a scientist who has moved from having accepted the global warming hypothesis to a more sceptical approach, last month joining the board of Nigel Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation. This is the story of the reaction from his fellow “scientists”.

The leading Swedish climatologist and former director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, astonished the academic world with his decision to join the advisory council of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), founded by renowned climate change critic Lord Lawson.

Explaining his decision earlier this month, Professor Bengtsson said he wanted to learn from the highly qualified experts at the GWPF in areas outside of his own expertise and to help widen the debate through his own extensive meteorological knowledge.

His perceived “defection” was described as the biggest switch from the pro-climate change lobby to the sceptic camp to date.

But in his resignation letter to the London-based GWPF today, the 79-year-old said the enormous pressure he had felt from around the world to his appointment on the organisation’s Academic Advisory Council had become “virtually unbearable”.

Prof Bengtsson added: “If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF.

“I had not [been] expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship, etc.

“I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years.”

The Professor’s letter concluded: “Under these situation I will be unable to contribute positively to the work of GWPF and consequently therefore I believe it is the best for me to reverse my decision to join its Board at the earliest possible time.”

As someone commented, this ‘has the potential to do as much harm to climate science as did the Climategate emails’. Exactly my point. It will do no harm at all.

“A lot of these guys are basically shysters and crooks”

James Delingpole has a new book out, The Little Green Book of Eco-Fascism: The Left’s Plan to Frighten Your Kids, Drive Up Energy Costs, and Hike Your Taxes!. He is being interviewed here by Ed Driscoll.

“I’m not a scientist and actually given what I’ve seen of scientists in my experiences following the global warming scam, I’m glad I’m not a scientist because a lot of these guys are basically shysters and crooks. They’re not some kind of white-coated elite with a special hotline to the truth. In fact, they’re just ordinary guys and girls trying to earn a living like the rest of us but slightly more dodgily than the rest of us in the one or two egregious cases.”

The left seems to have a system for achieving power by finding some element in every issue that is a giant step too far and then harping on it. No one is uninterested in “the environment” and everyone wants to preserve the planet whatever that might mean. But global warming is so inane and so lacking in evidence that it separates those who have common sense from some kind of herd of conformity. But it also absorbs almost all of the attention so that people who are not interested in seeing the Great Barrier Reef, let us say, ruined if it is in danger from some commercial proposal are still seen as outsiders to these crusaders for a green environment. Their extremism is the problem and their leaders are to an incredible extent in it for the money and political power it gives.

Apocalyptic idiocy

This comes from the advertising notice for the latest Spectator which is an interesting summary of where we now are. For myself, I remain the deepest kind of sceptic, having cut my teeth on predictions of famine, resource depletion and ecological disasters for over fifty years, not a single one of which has ever turned out to be remotely true. Both of The Spectator authors unfortunately accept there may be something to this global warming creed. Seems a weak position from which to start but maybe when in the grip of such delusion, that is the only available course.

The hype around Monday’s IPCC global warming report was the usual alarmist nonsense. The real story lay in the small print. In our cover piece this week, Matt Ridley has done the digging and found that the authors of the UN climate consensus have now accepted what Nigel Lawson has argued for years: that we may not be able to do much about the planet warming, but we can adapt to it. The apocalyptic scenarios need never emerge, as long as we take the right action.

Meanwhile, Bjørn Lomborg exposes the true green scandal. When Rowan Williams talks about climate change, his assumption is that it hurts the poorest hardest. There’s much truth in that, says Bjørn, but what the alarmists don’t realise (or don’t want to accept) is that green policies inflict far more harm on the poor than the global warming they are trying to avert. Access to cheap and plentiful electricity is one of the most effective ways to escape poverty; green energy is neither cheap nor plentiful.

But for more of this apocalyptic doomsaying, let me take you to a book written exactly a century ago, and to its introduction dated 21 March 1914. Reading the economics of the past is beneficial for a hundred reasons (see my Defending the History of Economic Thought) but one of the most important is that it takes you out of the time in which you live and allows you to look at things in a wholly different way. This is from the preface of a book titled, The Nation’s Wealth which was written by L.G. Chiozza Money:

That the conditions of British wealth are static is a common and dangerous assumption. That assumption is challenged in this volume. The British national economy is revealed as a thing of uncertain equilibrium, the future of which it may be beyond the power of the British people to determine. From a careful examination of the facts of the case, the conclusion emerges that as modern British wealth depends upon a peculiarly good supply of coal, and as the duration of the Coal Age is uncertain, it is the supreme duty to regard the present as a preparation, during which it is necessary to train our people, and so to mould our social and industrial institutions, that the nation may be fortified for that scientific future as to which, while are many uncertainties, there is one absolute certainty – that Coal will pass. [My bolding]

Those absolute certainties! Six months later, his world would be plunged into a different kind of disequilibrium but in the meantime the absolute certainty was that coal would run out and soon. A century later, coal has not run out, there is something like 500 years’ worth of the stuff in easy reach, never mind all of the other forms of carbon-based energy. The effort is therefore being made to rid us of carbon-based energy through another kind of apocalyptic vision, one about as accurate as the one held by L.G. Money a century ago.

So if there is one absolute certainty it is this: these same apocalyptic the-end-is-nigh types will be forecasting the end a hundred years from now just as they will be there two hundred years from now and so on ad nauseam ad infinitum.

You’ve been warned

If you happen to be the kind of person who thinks the global warming is a modern form of the madness of crowds, then the world must indeed look like an insane asylum. The article is titled, Global warming dials up our risks, UN Report says. This, remember, is not science fiction:

If the world doesn’t cut pollution of heat-trapping gases, the already noticeable harms of global warming could spiral “out of control,” the head of a United Nations scientific panel warned Monday.

And he’s not alone. The Obama White House says it is taking this new report as a call for action, with Secretary of State John Kerry saying “the costs of inaction are catastrophic.”

Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that issued the 32-volume, 2,610-page report here early Monday, told The Associated Press: “it is a call for action.” Without reductions in emissions, he said, impacts from warming “could get out of control.”

One of the study’s authors, Maarten van Aalst, a top official at the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said, “If we don’t reduce greenhouse gases soon, risks will get out of hand. And the risks have already risen.”

Twenty-first century disasters such as killer heat waves in Europe, wildfires in the United States, droughts in Australia and deadly flooding in Mozambique, Thailand and Pakistan highlight how vulnerable humanity is to extreme weather, according to the report from the Nobel Prize-winning group of scientists. The dangers are going to worsen as the climate changes even more, the report’s authors said.

“We’re now in an era where climate change isn’t some kind of future hypothetical,” said the overall lead author of the report, Chris Field of the Carnegie Institution for Science in California. “We live in an area where impacts from climate change are already widespread and consequential.”

Nobody is immune.

The art and science of debate

Let me start by taking up a couple of issue as examples of the lack of reasoned debate in our society.

The first of these is global warming. There has been an across-the-world debate on whether the planet is in the midst of unsustainable warming due to increased greenhouse gases. Even though I have had my doubts from the start, what you do is examine the arguments others bring up to see what truth content there is and you look at the evidence that’s presented along with the theoretical explanations. And OK, for a while, the temperatures were going up, which was a correlation but not proof. I, like others, therefore kept an open mind and watching brief. But then, around fifteen years ago, temperatures stopped rising even while atmospheric carbon continued to increase. As a result, my scepticism has been maintained and I think of such scepticism as fully justified. Yet I do not know of a single person of the green persuasion who has come to the conclusion that perhaps they might have been wrong?

Or take another of my areas of interest, Keynesian economics. I have, for theoretical reasons, strong doubts about modern macroeconomics and its focus on aggregate demand. In my view, Say’s Law is valid while the whole of modern macro is built on a well known classical fallacy. And what is the the fallacy: that increases in public spending will increase aggregate demand and therefore return an economy to low unemployment and faster growth. OK, comes the stimulus, I set down in print my expectation that it would fail on a grand scale, that it would make economic conditions far worse than they were, and would not return our economies to strong growth and full employment. And had our economies, contrary to my expectation, recovered I would have had to give up my opinions, not least because everyone would have reminded me of what I had written. But instead, the world’s economies have unfolded almost exactly as I expected they would. But has any Keynesian actually said that, well, you know, perhaps modern macroeconomics is wrong after all. If there is, I have not heard of a single instance.

This brings me to a very high level and interesting discussion on why arguing with people on the left is not the same as debating, more like talking to a wall. Beyond that, as Captain Capitalism, the name he calls himself, points out, a proper debate is about advancing the truth, whereas dealing with the left merely ends up with abuse but little advance of knowledge. A long post on the art and science of debate but here is one part of which the whole is well worth the effort:

Aurini . . . delves into detail explaining the “debate” structure of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Grammar basically meaning you all have to agree on the definitions and meanings of words. Logic meaning you have to be intellectually honest and adhere to associative rules and other logical concepts that ensure integrity. And rhetoric meaning you apply it in the real world or test one another’s arguments with anecdotes from reality. If both parties in a debate or even a discussion have these three things, then the conversation/debate is much more productive and progresses towards an inevitable “conclusion,” “reality” or agreement.

What’s funny though is for the longest time I never viewed debate as a cooperative effort, but rather an adversarial one. One of competition. One where you had an enemy that needed to be defeated. Of course, this was the sad consequence of growing up with the mentally deficient people that populated my generation. Parties I attended in my 20’s I was regularly attacked and berated for being a conservative. Debates in college (or even post college) were filled with emotion and vitriol. And in nearly 100% of the cases my opponents degraded into name calling, ad hominem attacks, accusations of “ism,” or being a nazi, etc.

And then a little later in his article there is this:

The majority of people are weak-minded. They are also lazy. However, they are also egotistical . . . and so their mind reaches for something that will not only allow them to claim some kind of intellectual “superiority” or “achievement,” but also allow them to do so with no work.

Going green
Protesting
Claiming they’re a caring liberal
Joining a religion
Going vegan
Becoming a professor
etc.

This not only results in them living in a delusional, non-real world, but also makes them emotionally and egotistically invested in keeping up their ideological facade. Thus, when you make impassionate, logical, stoic arguments of fact, math, and statistics you (consciously or not) pierce their ego, expose their charade, and therefore trigger a visceral, emotional, and often hate-laden response from them.

The left tend to deal in feelings rather than facts and proof. It actually seems that facts and proof are no part of anything they propose. They believe what they wish to believe because it makes them feel better, not because it is actually valid or demonstrable to reason and common sense.

The science is settled – Capricorns are more pragmatic

This is about the generation most worried about global warming: Majority of young adults think astrology is a science.

According to a new survey by the National Science Foundation, nearly half of all Americans say astrology, the study of celestial bodies’ purported influence on human behavior and worldly events, is either “very scientific” or “sort of scientific.” . . .

What’s more alarming, researchers show in the 2014 Science and Engineering Indicators study, is that American attitudes about science are moving in the wrong direction. Skepticism of astrology hit an all-time high in 2004, when 66 percent of Americans said astrology was total nonsense. But each year, fewer and fewer respondents have dismissed the connections between star alignment and personality as bunk. . . .

Young people are also especially inclined to offer astrology scientific legitimacy, with a majority of Americans ages 18 to 24 considering the practice at least “sort of” scientific, and the 25-34 age group is not far behind them

So let me re-write that, taking into account that 47% of adults (i.e. voters) in Australia still think global warming is a problem with presumably an even larger proportion of those under 30 having swallowed the Kool-Aid. Please bear in mind that this is a paraphrase just for satirical purposes:

According to a new survey, nearly half of all adults say anthropomorphic global warming (AGW), the study of carbon dioxide’s purported influence on our economy and world temperatures, is either “very scientific” or “sort of scientific. . . .”

What’s more alarming, researchers show in the study that attitudes about AGW are hardly budging. Skepticism about global warming still remains low, with only just over half of those surveyed saying AGW is total nonsense.

But don’t worry. When the moon is in the seventh house and Mars is at its zenith, things will begin to shift.

The UN says democracy is a poor political system for fighting global warming

This is from Hot Air, UN climate chief declares communism best for fighting global warming:

United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres said that democracy is a poor political system for fighting global warming. Communist China, she says, is the best model.

China may be the world’s top emitter of carbon dioxide and struggling with major pollution problems of their own, but the country is “doing it right” when it comes to fighting global warming says Figueres.

“They actually want to breathe air that they don’t have to look at,” she said. “They’re not doing this because they want to save the planet. They’re doing it because it’s in their national interest.”

It did seem a bit daft even for a climate expert working at the UN. So I went and followed the trail of threads back to the original Bloomberg Report where her comments may be found. More insane than you can imagine:

China, the top emitter of greenhouse gases, is also the country that’s “doing it right” when it comes to addressing global warming, the United Nations’ chief climate official said.

The nation has some of the toughest energy-efficiency standards for buildings and transportation and its support for photovoltaic technology helped reduce solar-panel costs by 80 percent since 2008, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said yesterday in an interview at Bloomberg News headquarters in New York.

The country is facing growing public pressure from citizens to reduce air pollution, due in large part to burning coal. Its efforts to promote energy efficiency and renewable power stem from the realization that doing so will pay off in the long term, Figueres said.

“They actually want to breathe air that they don’t have to look at,” she said. “They’re not doing this because they want to save the planet. They’re doing it because it’s in their national interest.”

China is also able to implement policies because its political system avoids some of the legislative hurdles seen in countries including the U.S., Figueres said.

Key policies, reforms and appointments are decided at plenums, or meeting of the governing Communist Party’s more than 200-strong Central Committee. The National People’s Congress, China’s unicameral legislature, largely enforces decisions made by the party and other executive organs.

The political divide in the U.S. Congress has slowed efforts to pass climate legislation and is “very detrimental” to the fight against global warming, she said.

Think of that the next time the IPCC puts out one of its reports on behalf of the UN.

Jon Stewart – moron extraordinaire

If in the midst of the deep freeze in the US if you can still hang on to your global warming beliefs without at least, maybe perhaps, thinking that, oh well, you never know, it might not really be true after all, then you are certainly a political moron. And thus, we give you Jon Stewart, moron extraordinaire.

THE Daily Show’s host Jon Stewart is back – and in his first taping for 2014 he dropped the F-bomb while attacking reporters for mocking global warming as the US faces a polar vortex.

Stewart was in his usual witty form after he began rolling a series of clips from news reports around the US, which describe the below-zero temperatures which have left some like Illinois in a state of emergency.

He then played a few excerpts from Fox News reports where they mocked the concept of global warming, saying it’s non-existent.

Stewart said that just because something is ‘your f*cking opinion’ doesn’t mean it’s just as valid as tested scientific fact.

What exactly are these valid as tested scientific facts? That average temperatures will rise by 3-4 degrees by the end of the century, that the oceans will rise and invade our shorelines over the next fifty years, that snow will almost completely disappear.

As I tell my students, there are no facts about the future. But we do have some facts about the present.

Global warming is just so 2013. Global warming is likely to turn out about as valid as just about everything else that has originated on the left.

From Tim Blair.

The spirit of Turney

Andrew Bolt’s most informative post has now shown up on Instapundit. Something’s cracking, and it’s not the ice around the warmists’ ship is about the single greatest practical demonstration in the entire global warming fraud that the people, these scientists, at the centre of this scam have almost no idea of anything to do with the real world or things like the actual weather. Although now rescued at great expense, both in terms of money and genuine scientific endeavours, the sentiments found in the opening of Andrew’s post should now adhere to the entire global warming enterprise from now until forever:

The expedition of warmists now on a Russian ship trapped in ice is called “Spirit of Mawson” in honor of explorer Douglas Mawson who, a century ago, spent two years on Antarctica during which he lost two colleagues on a trek. Mawson himself survived only by eating his huskies and trudging back on feet that had lost the skin of the soles.

Guardian journalist Laurence Topham on the ‘Spirit of Mawson’ now demonstrates how that spirit lives on in this ship of warmists, awaiting rescue by helicopter after a week trapped in ice they’d assumed was melting away:

It is quite stressful… I miss banana and peanut butter milkshakes… I’ve got this really thin, small bed… I’ve hurt my back… I jammed my leg in the door last night… And it’s only going to get worse… Stranded in ice. Oh, God I’m going mad.

I doubt there will be a commemorative expedition in a hundred years to remember this particular trip although there should be as a reminder of our own modern version of the Mississippi Bubble, tulip mania and the madness of crowds.