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  • Let the Global Warming Wars commence again...

    Excerpts from Michael Crichton's speech at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club, September 15, 2003

    Yes, it is THAT Michael Crichton. Underline emphasis mine.

    http://www.michaelcrichton.com/speec...aseligion.html

    I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.

    We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we're told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears.

    As an example of this challenge, I want to talk today about environmentalism. And in order not to be misunderstood, I want it perfectly clear that I believe it is incumbent on us to conduct our lives in a way that takes into account all the consequences of our actions, including the consequences to other people, and the consequences to the environment. I believe it is important to act in ways that are sympathetic to the environment, and I believe this will always be a need, carrying into the future. I believe the world has genuine problems and I believe it can and should be improved. But I also think that deciding what constitutes responsible action is immensely difficult, and the consequences of our actions are often difficult to know in advance. I think our past record of environmental action is discouraging, to put it mildly, because even our best intended efforts often go awry. But I think we do not recognize our past failures, and face them squarely. And I think I know why.

    I studied anthropology in college, and one of the things I learned was that certain human social structures always reappear. They can't be eliminated from society. One of those structures is religion. Today it is said we live in a secular society in which many people---the best people, the most enlightened people---do not believe in any religion. But I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.

    Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it's a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.

    There's an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there's a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.

    Eden, the fall of man, the loss of grace, the coming doomsday---these are deeply held mythic structures. They are profoundly conservative beliefs. They may even be hard-wired in the brain, for all I know. I certainly don't want to talk anybody out of them, as I don't want to talk anybody out of a belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God who rose from the dead. But the reason I don't want to talk anybody out of these beliefs is that I know that I can't talk anybody out of them. These are not facts that can be argued. These are issues of faith.

    And so it is, sadly, with environmentalism. Increasingly it seems facts aren't necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It's about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them.

    But let's return to religion. If Eden is a fantasy that never existed, and mankind wasn't ever noble and kind and loving, if we didn't fall from grace, then what about the rest of the religious tenets? What about salvation, sustainability, and judgment day? What about the coming environmental doom from fossil fuels and global warming, if we all don't get down on our knees and conserve every day?

    ...

    Well, it's interesting. You may have noticed that something has been left off the doomsday list, lately. Although the preachers of environmentalism have been yelling about population for fifty years, over the last decade world population seems to be taking an unexpected turn. Fertility rates are falling almost everywhere. As a result, over the course of my lifetime the thoughtful predictions for total world population have gone from a high of 20 billion, to 15 billion, to 11 billion (which was the UN estimate around 1990) to now 9 billion, and soon, perhaps less. There are some who think that world population will peak in 2050 and then start to decline. There are some who predict we will have fewer people in 2100 than we do today. Is this a reason to rejoice, to say halleluiah? Certainly not. Without a pause, we now hear about the coming crisis of world economy from a shrinking population. We hear about the impending crisis of an aging population. Nobody anywhere will say that the core fears expressed for most of my life have turned out not to be true. As we have moved into the future, these doomsday visions vanished, like a mirage in the desert. They were never there---though they still appear, in the future. As mirages do.

    Okay, so, the preachers made a mistake. They got one prediction wrong; they're human. So what. Unfortunately, it's not just one prediction. It's a whole slew of them. We are running out of oil. We are running out of all natural resources. Paul Ehrlich: 60 million Americans will die of starvation in the 1980s. Forty thousand species become extinct every year. Half of all species on the planet will be extinct by 2000. And on and on and on.

    With so many past failures, you might think that environmental predictions would become more cautious. But not if it's a religion. Remember, the nut on the sidewalk carrying the placard that predicts the end of the world doesn't quit when the world doesn't end on the day he expects. He just changes his placard, sets a new doomsday date, and goes back to walking the streets. One of the defining features of religion is that your beliefs are not troubled by facts, because they have nothing to do with facts.

    So I can tell you some facts. I know you haven't read any of what I am about to tell you in the newspaper, because newspapers literally don't report them. I can tell you that DDT is not a carcinogen and did not cause birds to die and should never have been banned. I can tell you that the people who banned it knew that it wasn't carcinogenic and banned it anyway. I can tell you that the DDT ban has caused the deaths of tens of millions of poor people, mostly children, whose deaths are directly attributable to a callous, technologically advanced western society that promoted the new cause of environmentalism by pushing a fantasy about a pesticide, and thus irrevocably harmed the third world. Banning DDT is one of the most disgraceful episodes in the twentieth century history of America. We knew better, and we did it anyway, and we let people around the world die and didn't give a damn.

    I can tell you that second hand smoke is not a health hazard to anyone and never was, and the EPA has always known it. I can tell you that the evidence for global warming is far weaker than its proponents would ever admit. I can tell you the percentage the US land area that is taken by urbanization, including cities and roads, is 5%. I can tell you that the Sahara desert is shrinking, and the total ice of Antarctica is increasing. I can tell you that a blue-ribbon panel in Science magazine concluded that there is no known technology that will enable us to halt the rise of carbon dioxide in the 21st century. Not wind, not solar, not even nuclear. The panel concluded a totally new technology-like nuclear fusion-was necessary, otherwise nothing could be done and in the meantime all efforts would be a waste of time. They said that when the UN IPCC reports stated alternative technologies existed that could control greenhouse gases, the UN was wrong.

    I can, with a lot of time, give you the factual basis for these views, and I can cite the appropriate journal articles not in whacko magazines, but in the most prestigious science journals, such as Science and Nature. But such references probably won't impact more than a handful of you, because the beliefs of a religion are not dependent on facts, but rather are matters of faith. Unshakeable belief.

    Most of us have had some experience interacting with religious fundamentalists, and we understand that one of the problems with fundamentalists is that they have no perspective on themselves. They never recognize that their way of thinking is just one of many other possible ways of thinking, which may be equally useful or good. On the contrary, they believe their way is the right way, everyone else is wrong; they are in the business of salvation, and they want to help you to see things the right way. They want to help you be saved. They are totally rigid and totally uninterested in opposing points of view. In our modern complex world, fundamentalism is dangerous because of its rigidity and its imperviousness to other ideas.

    I want to argue that it is now time for us to make a major shift in our thinking about the environment, similar to the shift that occurred around the first Earth Day in 1970, when this awareness was first heightened. But this time around, we need to get environmentalism out of the sphere of religion. We need to stop the mythic fantasies, and we need to stop the doomsday predictions. We need to start doing hard science instead.

    There are two reasons why I think we all need to get rid of the religion of environmentalism.

    First, we need an environmental movement, and such a movement is not very effective if it is conducted as a religion. We know from history that religions tend to kill people, and environmentalism has already killed somewhere between 10-30 million people since the 1970s. It's not a good record. Environmentalism needs to be absolutely based in objective and verifiable science, it needs to be rational, and it needs to be flexible. And it needs to be apolitical. To mix environmental concerns with the frantic fantasies that people have about one political party or another is to miss the cold truth---that there is very little difference between the parties, except a difference in pandering rhetoric. The effort to promote effective legislation for the environment is not helped by thinking that the Democrats will save us and the Republicans won't. Political history is more complicated than that. Never forget which president started the EPA: Richard Nixon. And never forget which president sold federal oil leases, allowing oil drilling in Santa Barbara: Lyndon Johnson. So get politics out of your thinking about the environment.

    The second reason to abandon environmental religion is more pressing. Religions think they know it all, but the unhappy truth of the environment is that we are dealing with incredibly complex, evolving systems, and we usually are not certain how best to proceed. Those who are certain are demonstrating their personality type, or their belief system, not the state of their knowledge. Our record in the past, for example managing national parks, is humiliating. Our fifty-year effort at forest-fire suppression is a well-intentioned disaster from which our forests will never recover. We need to be humble, deeply humble, in the face of what we are trying to accomplish. We need to be trying various methods of accomplishing things. We need to be open-minded about assessing results of our efforts, and we need to be flexible about balancing needs. Religions are good at none of these things.

    How will we manage to get environmentalism out of the clutches of religion, and back to a scientific discipline? There's a simple answer: we must institute far more stringent requirements for what constitutes knowledge in the environmental realm. I am thoroughly sick of politicized so-called facts that simply aren't true. It isn't that these "facts" are exaggerations of an underlying truth. Nor is it that certain organizations are spinning their case to present it in the strongest way. Not at all---what more and more groups are doing is putting out is lies, pure and simple. Falsehoods that they know to be false.

    This trend began with the DDT campaign, and it persists to this day. At this moment, the EPA is hopelessly politicized. In the wake of Carol Browner, it is probably better to shut it down and start over. What we need is a new organization much closer to the FDA. We need an organization that will be ruthless about acquiring verifiable results, that will fund identical research projects to more than one group, and that will make everybody in this field get honest fast.

    Because in the end, science offers us the only way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don't know any better. That's not a good future for the human race. That's our past. So it's time to abandon the religion of environmentalism, and return to the science of environmentalism, and base our public policy decisions firmly on that.

    Thank you very much.

  • #2
    Re: Let the Global Warming Wars commence again...

    Originally posted by c1ue View Post
    Excerpts from Michael Crichton's speech at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club, September 15, 2003

    Yes, it is THAT Michael Crichton. Underline emphasis mine.

    http://www.michaelcrichton.com/speec...aseligion.html
    Loved the post C1ue

    A cruise through the iTulip archive [not as far back as your item above, but then I am lazy] returned me to this thread from last November ["Follow up (and reality check) on iTulip Global Warming Thread from July"] initiated by Lukester which prompted some interesting debate between numerous iTulipers. In this post on the thread I responded to Lukester's entreaties thus:

    Originally posted by GRG55 View Post
    Lukester: You are quite clearly very passionate about this topic, and I have great respect for your views...

    ...From my perspective climate change is now well on its way to becoming the next in a long line of secular global religions, complete with all the usual trappings. In addition to the Gospel according to Gore, we have the Synod of Bishops in the form of the IPCC, with the Nobel committee substituting for Papal ratification (exactly how does a committee of eminent climatologists bring about "World Peace" anyway?). And let us faithful vassals not fail to pay due homage to the annual gathering of the College of Cardinals, at the diocese of Davos, ably led by Camerlengo Soros. (By the way, whatever happened to Bono and the African poverty problem they were going to solve?).

    iTulip is not intended to be a political forum, so I will close this rant with this observation. Although there appears more and more observable evidence that something is changing with respect to our climate, it is still not clear to me to what degree this is the result of man or, more importantly, to what degree even severe and immediate responsive action by man can truly alter the entire atmosphere (Only a UN agency could possibly imagine that we can control the weather). Is this indeed a secular change in the climate, or another in a long series of cyclical temperature gradient alterations? To be frank, I just don't know. And that puts me a long ways from those, such as the IPCC, that are "over 90% certain" about a subject that appears incomprehensibly complex to me.

    Respectfully,
    GRG55
    Unfortunately I fear it is far too late for any sort of objective assessment or debate about climate change. If one is a "believer" then, as Crichton points out, what more can be said to someone who already has "The Truth". And if one is an "unbeliever" there are few alternatives, if one wishes to maintain a serene and peaceful existence, but to eschew prominence on the subject in the hope of evading the Inquisition.
    Last edited by GRG55; 07-18-08, 11:39 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Let the Global Warming Wars commence again...

      YAWN.

      Michael Crichton writes great novels. I've had lots of fun reading them. But to fall back upon him in rebuttals of Global Warming (whatever it's merits) is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

      You are elevating his novelists' opinion to weigh more than the concerted opinions thousands of scientists worldwide on global warming, who are now all speaking in unison on this topic. It might be more stringent an examination of investigative method on your part C1ue, to look carefully at your own rationale, for stubbornly insisting that all of these climate scientists extraordinary degree of consensus on this topic is just a marvelous example of exquisitely coordinated collective delusion.

      When one finds oneself feeling (as GRG55 describes) "backed into a corner" by a growing consensus of opinion - among climate scientists, no less - that global warming is real and man-made, then it begs the question whether one's sense of being "backed into a corner" is itself clear evidence (and a very broad hint) that one's own opinion is being relegated to a minority due to it's ever diminishing lack of sound rebuttals or arguments.

      I have Michael Crichton right down there in the same waste basket of knee-jerk reactive types as Bob Hoye. Ok, maybe Bob Hoye is considerably smarter than Crichton. Michael Crichton's speciality is "imaginative writing". That's about as far as I'll follow his theses on the science. You should not let his opinions on this topic sway you C1ue. He's notorious for having a bee in his bonnet on this topic.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Let the Global Warming Wars commence again...

        Lukester,

        Every once in a rare while, I deign to answer your posts.

        HA HA HA HA

        All you can criticize about Crichton's speech is that he's a novelist?

        Since when does one's profession detract from the stand alone merits of one's statements? Or add?

        Another (nonunderlined) excerpt from the posted speech:

        Most of us have had some experience interacting with religious fundamentalists [Lukester], and we understand that one of the problems with fundamentalists [Lukester] is that they have no perspective on themselves. They [Lukester] never recognize[s] that their[his] way of thinking is just one of many other possible ways of thinking, which may be equally useful or good. On the contrary, they [Lukester] believe[s] their[his] way is the right way, everyone else is wrong; they[Lukester] are[is] in the business of salvation[Peak Oil], and they[Lukester] want[s] to help you to see things the right way. They[Lukester] want[s] to help you be saved. They[Lukester] are[is] totally rigid and totally uninterested in opposing points of view. In our modern complex world, fundamentalism is dangerous because of its rigidity and its imperviousness to other ideas. {No, Lukester? Impervious to other ideas? No way! :rolleyes:}
        p.s. as a regular on iTulip, clearly I piss on consensus. Or I'd be flogging real estate and/or internet stocks still

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Let the Global Warming Wars commence again...

          Originally posted by Lukester View Post
          YAWN.

          Michael Crichton writes great novels. I've had lots of fun reading them. But to fall back upon him in rebuttals of Global Warming (whatever it's merits) is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

          You are elevating his novelists' opinion to weigh more than the concerted opinions thousands of scientists worldwide on global warming, who are now all speaking in unison on this topic. It might be more stringent an examination of investigative method on your part C1ue, to look carefully at your own rationale, for stubbornly insisting that all of these climate scientists extraordinary degree of consensus on this topic is just a marvelous example of exquisitely coordinated collective delusion.

          When one finds oneself feeling (as GRG55 describes) "backed into a corner" by a growing consensus of opinion - among climate scientists, no less - that global warming is real and man-made, then it begs the question whether one's sense of being "backed into a corner" is itself clear evidence (and a very broad hint) that one's own opinion is being relegated to a minority due to it's ever diminishing lack of sound rebuttals or arguments.

          I have Michael Crichton right down there in the same waste basket of knee-jerk reactive types as Bob Hoye. Ok, maybe Bob Hoye is considerably smarter than Crichton. Michael Crichton's speciality is "imaginative writing". That's about as far as I'll follow his theses on the science. You should not let his opinions on this topic sway you C1ue. He's notorious for having a bee in his bonnet on this topic.
          The new, but as yet unofficial, iTulip position on global warming: The global climate has gone through many major changes over the millennia, most recently after humans belched hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 into the air by burning fossil fuels and through agricultural activities. But correlation is not causation, so we have been looking for credible, independent research that proves causation. The book The Weather Makers : How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth argues causation. But is it truly independent?

          The Intergovernmental Panal on Climate Change's most recent Fourth Assessment Report concludes:
          Changes in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and aerosols, land cover and solar radiation alter the energy balance of the climate system. Global GHG emissions due to human activities have grown since pre-industrial times, with an increase of 70% between 1970 and 2004. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important anthropogenic GHG. Its annual emissions grew by about 80% between 1970 and 2004. The long-term trend of declining CO2 emissions per unit of energy supplied reversed after 2000. Global atmospheric concentrations of CO2, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) have increased markedly as a result of human activities since 1750 and now far exceed pre-industrial values determined from ice cores spanning many thousands of years.

          Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 (379ppm) and CH4 (1774ppb) in 2005 exceed by far the natural range over the last 650,000 years. Global increases in CO2 concentrations are due primarily to fossil fuel use, with land-use change providing another significant but smaller contribution. It is very likely that the observed increase in CH4 concentration is predominantly due to agriculture and fossil fuel use. CH4 growth rates have declined since the early 1990s, consistent with total emissions (sum of anthropogenic and natural sources) being nearly constant during this period. The increase in N2O concentration is primarily due to agriculture.

          There is very high confidence that the net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming. Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations. It is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over each continent (except Antarctica). During the past 50 years, the sum of solar and volcanic forcings would likely have produced cooling. Observed patterns of warming and their changes are simulated only by
          models that include anthropogenic forcings. Difficulties remain in simulating and attributing observed temperature changes at smaller than continental scales.
          iTulip has very high confidence that the IPCC's assessment is correct.
          Ed.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Let the Global Warming Wars commence again...

            http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06...a_thermometer/

            The problem I have with IPCC is that the input data itself has inconsistencies both in interpretation as well as the history of data revision.

            The link above - for which I'd post graphics of the relevant info if it wasn't such a giant pain to do so - shows a very clear, though small, bias in the NASA data vs. 2 other sources, and this bias is both in trend and in magnitude.

            This itself isn't necessarily damning - conflicting data shows up all the time.

            However, it is only one example of many where it seems there is indeed something going on besides pure 'science'.

            That said data emanates from Robert Hansen's little fiefdom in NASA might be a coincidence, and yet might not.

            And for all those who say that all those climate scientists are there to do pure science, and aren't motivated by things like money, well, there are entire departments devoted to CO2 and climate change in the government.

            It would be fascinating to see a graph on the annual budgets of some of these agencies over time, for example:

            http://cdiac.ornl.gov/aboutcdiac.html

            Or the big one: AmeriFlux:

            http://public.ornl.gov/ameriflux/participants.cfm

            I don't have anything against conservation. I have always gone out of my way to take public transit, to recycle, and to not be part of the consumerist ideology.

            But I am very suspicious over 'the sky is falling' type crap, seems too much like a Reichstag fire to me.

            In fact, taking a different angle at global warming, it seems that this is the perfect modern atheistic/agnostic equivalent of the Catholic plenary indulgence.

            You've been bad, you've sinned and polluted the whole planet, but you can make it all good by buying a Prius and/or organic vegetables.

            Oh, and from the weatherman who founded the Weather Channel:

            http://media.kusi.clickability.com/d...is+a+Scam1.pdf


            CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a trace element essential to plant growth and a natural product of human breathing and many other normal processes. Yes, it is way up in the atmosphere; but still it is only 37 of every 100,000 atmospheric molecules.

            UN IPCC reviewer and climate researcher Dr. Vincent Gray of New Zealand, an expert reviewer on every single draft of the IPCC reports since its inception going back to 1990, had a clear message to UN participants. "There is no evidence that carbon dioxide increases are having any effect whatsoever on the climate," Gray, who
            shares in the Nobel Prize awarded to the UN IPCC, explained. "All the science of the IPCC is unsound. I have come to this conclusion after a very long time. If you examine every single proposition of the IPCC thoroughly, you find that the science somewhere fails,"

            Last edited by c1ue; 07-22-08, 02:13 AM. Reason: More juicy tidbits

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Let the Global Warming Wars commence again...

              Originally posted by Lukester View Post
              YAWN.

              ...When one finds oneself feeling (as GRG55 describes) "backed into a corner" by a growing consensus of opinion - among climate scientists, no less - that global warming is real and man-made, then it begs the question whether one's sense of being "backed into a corner" is itself clear evidence (and a very broad hint) that one's own opinion is being relegated to a minority due to it's ever diminishing lack of sound rebuttals or arguments.
              1. I certainly do not feel "backed into a corner", mostly because the proponents of global warming have been forced to demonize objectors suggesting their own arguments, and their own faith in those arguments, is highly suspect.
              2. As for a "growing consensus of opinion", at times like this I try not to forget Margaret Thatcher's observation that "Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus". And these days there's few things more fashionable than climbing aboard the climate change tour bus
              But I do not expect that to last much longer. In the same way that the Davos groupies promptly dumped African poverty when a more attractive photo-op-with-a-starlet/celebrity "issue" (climate change) came along, I have complete confidence that your accurately predicted petroleum energy supply/demand imbalance will displace climate change as the globe's primary political and economic problem very shortly (and no amount of ETN gaming of the market, if that is actually even possible, will make any damn difference)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Let the Global Warming Wars commence again...

                Originally posted by GRG55 View Post
                I have complete confidence that your accurately predicted petroleum energy supply/demand imbalance will displace climate change as the globe's primary political and economic problem very shortly
                OK you trumped me GRG. This is dead on right, like a continent wide black shadow cast by the four horsemen of the apocalypse, this event is going to break over our lives right and do a good job of blotting out the carefree feeling from the next couple of decades - and the big point here is we (still) have no freaking idea of what savior technology will step in to save our collective butts.

                Agreed. Global warming, just like the death of fiat money, are going to be sideshows, mere footnotes to this one event.

                Nobody has a real handle on how ugly this thing is going to get, but my most sober, non-doomer bet, is that it will be uglier than a much of what we can as yet imagine. I'm thinking this over every day now and I think we will see dislocations similar to events from the two world wars, except these will be in some ways worse, as this problem about to break over our heads is intractably structural to the way our entire civilisation has evolved.

                Depressing as all shit to contemplate. Just how hardscrabble is it going to get? My most utterly sincere, honestly expressed guess, is that iTulip's estimation of the fallout falls well short of the sheer meat-grinding ugliness we'll see. I am absolutely not ready for this - financially, physically, emotionally - not ready.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Let the Global Warming Wars commence again...

                  Originally posted by Lukester View Post
                  OK you trumped me GRG. This is dead on right, like a continent wide black shadow cast by the four horsemen of the apocalypse, this event is going to break over our lives right and do a good job of blotting out the carefree feeling from the next couple of decades - and the big point here is we (still) have no freaking idea of what savior technology will step in to save our collective butts.

                  Agreed. Global warming, just like the death of fiat money, are going to be sideshows, mere footnotes to this one event.

                  Nobody has a real handle on how ugly this thing is going to get, but my most sober, non-doomer bet, is that it will be uglier than a much of what we can as yet imagine. I'm thinking this over every day now and I think we will see dislocations similar to events from the two world wars, except these will be in some ways worse, as this problem about to break over our heads is intractably structural to the way our entire civilisation has evolved.

                  Depressing as all shit to contemplate. Just how hardscrabble is it going to get? My most utterly sincere, honestly expressed guess, is that iTulip's estimation of the fallout falls well short of the sheer meat-grinding ugliness we'll see. I am absolutely not ready for this - financially, physically, emotionally - not ready.
                  Waddaya mean you're not ready for this? You're driving a VW diesel something'r'other (Golf TDI?). You might be the only one around who can afford the fuel to get to the supermarket. Hope there's something on the shelves. :eek:

                  Seriously, hard for me to imagine a Kunstler style apocalypse in "our world" (I don't do disaster real well). But severe dislocations are going on already in the poorer nations. The food situation (which is inextricably linked to energy, despite many wishing to deny this) is causing ever greater hardship according to the UN World Food Program and other agencies (as you know I am no big fan of the UN WFP, but at this point in time it, and others like it such as Oxfam, really need tangible support).

                  We have both the wealth and the technology wherewithall to move down the chain to ever lower grades of crude and convert it to ever pricier finished product. We also have the national wealth (yes, even in the USA) to pay for that ever dearer fuel, at least for those activities essential to maintaining a high standard of living. Finally we have the education levels, political organization, and ability to create sufficient economic incentives (through tax and other policies) to eventually reduce our petroleum energy footprint. Too much of the rest of this world has none of these. Excepting those regions that remain agriculture rich but have not graduated to petroleum dependent methods of planting and harvesting (hard to have an energy crisis when your primary energy sources are animals and animal dung), what are the rest going to do. Starve? Depopulate? Expanding chronic malnurishment? Mass migration? Illegal immigration to the OECD? What?

                  I spent a lifetime in the petroleum business. I am installing wood heat as a backup to the natural gas fired high-efficiency boiler in the cottage I am building later this year. Will we run out of natural gas? Nope. But I'll be damned if I can figure out how it'll be priced 5 or 10 years from now.
                  Last edited by GRG55; 07-22-08, 03:42 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Let the Global Warming Wars commence again...

                    Can we revisit gravity, evolution and other similarly proven theories too while we're at it?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Let the Global Warming Wars commence again...

                      Originally posted by WDCRob
                      Can we revisit gravity, evolution and other similarly proven theories too while we're at it?
                      I love it - the power of 'assumptive close' marketing.

                      I hardly classify man made global warming as a proven theory.

                      For one thing, there is no smoking gun. For a second, all the predictions are based on modeling thus far.

                      From the aforementioned report:

                      John McLean, a climate data analyst based in Melbourne, Australia and Tom Harris, the Ottawa, Canada based Executive Director of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project, researched the inside story of the IPCC and wrote about it in the Canada Free Press.

                      They tell us the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is actually divided into three working groups. Only one of those groups, Working Group I (WG I) is assigned to report on the extent and possible causes of past climate change as well as future projections. Within that group they determined how many scientists really did agree with the most important IPCC conclusion, namely that humans are causing significant climate change--in other words the key parts of WG I. According to them, in total, only 62 scientists reviewed the chapter in which this statement appears, the critical chapter. And of the 62 expert reviewers of this chapter, 55 had serious vested interest, leaving only seven expert reviewers who appear impartial.

                      That is a very long way from the "consensus of 2,500 scientists" that is constantly reported. Another insider tells us that while several thousand scientists were consulted in crafting the report, not all of them agreed with its conclusions.

                      Dr. John W. Zillman is a generally supportive member of the IPPC. He noted: "[The IPCC was] meticulous in insisting that the final decision on whether to accept particular review comments should reside with chapter Lead Authors." He then ads, "Some Lead Authors ignored valid critical comments or failed to... reflect dissenting views... "The report was therefore the result of a political rather than a scientific process."

                      As for the 'impending peak cheap oil' crisis: as I've said before: ultimately the ones who suffer - as in starve and/or remain in poverty - are those nations who are poor and who don't have natural resources which can be inflated in cost to compensate for energy/fertilizer/food cost.

                      $5/gallon gasoline itself won't destroy the United States, but $5 gasoline coupled with a wasteful and profligate national lifestyle and expectation set, plus an ongoing demonstration of the Peter principle in government and corporate management, does make significant decline a realistic outcome.

                      Sure, we may get another Teddy Roosevelt. God help us if we get another FDR.

                      As times get worse, every sovereign entity ever known has always done one of two things: turn inward or start a major 'war for survival'.

                      Bad times aren't the only cause for wars - but are definitely major ones.
                      Last edited by c1ue; 07-22-08, 11:00 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Let the Global Warming Wars commence again...

                        Originally posted by GRG55 View Post
                        1. I certainly do not feel "backed into a corner", mostly because the proponents of global warming have been forced to demonize objectors suggesting their own arguments, and their own faith in those arguments, is highly suspect.
                        2. As for a "growing consensus of opinion", at times like this I try not to forget Margaret Thatcher's observation that "Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus". And these days there's few things more fashionable than climbing aboard the climate change tour bus

                        But I do not expect that to last much longer. In the same way that the Davos groupies promptly dumped African poverty when a more attractive photo-op-with-a-starlet/celebrity "issue" (climate change) came along, I have complete confidence that your accurately predicted petroleum energy supply/demand imbalance will displace climate change as the globe's primary political and economic problem very shortly (and no amount of ETN gaming of the market, if that is actually even possible, will make any damn difference)
                        Well this might get the ranting and raving started again.
                        Maybe the IPCC should contract with the Fed to construct "better" models...

                        The global warming hiatus? Climate models all wrongly predicted warming, so let’s call it a discrepancy

                        June 16, 2014 | Last Updated:Jun 17 9:31 AM ET

                        While the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) still uses the iconic word “unequivocal” to describe warming of the climate system over the past century, a new word has slipped into its lexicon: the “hiatus.” They have begun referring, with a bit of hesitant throat-clearing, to “the warming hiatus since 1998.”
                        Both satellites and surface records show that sometime around 2000, temperature data ceased its upward path and leveled off. Over the past 100 years there is a statistically significant upward trend in the data amounting to about 0.7 oC per century. If one looks only at the past 15 years though, there is no trend.

                        A leveling-off period is not, on its own, the least bit remarkable. What makes it remarkable is that it coincides with 20 years of rapidly rising atmospheric greenhouse gas levels. Since 1990, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have risen 13%, from 354 parts per million (ppm) to just under 400 ppm.

                        According to the IPCC, estimated “radiative forcing” of greenhouse gases (the term it uses to describe the expected heating effect) increased by 43% after 2005. Climate models all predicted that this should have led to warming of the lower troposphere and surface. Instead, temperatures flatlined and even started declining...

                        ...The chart on this page reproduces an important diagram from Chapter 9 of the IPCC report. The gray line shows the surface temperature record (HadCRUT4 from the UK Met Office) from 1860 to the present. The black line shows the average of climate model runs covering the same interval. The black line in effect sums up mainstream views on how the climate works. Leading theories of major climatic mechanisms are programmed into models, which are then used to simulate the evolution of the climate. All models remain within a fairly narrow neighbourhood of the mean. This implies that the models share an overall central tendency and do not wander too far from it. In that sense the black line can be described as the mainstream thinking of contemporary climate science.



                        ...But the post-1999 gap is something new. It has not only run the longest of any previous gap but it is still widening. Even if the black line were to rise over the next few years, it is difficult to foresee it ever catching up to and re-crossing the gray line. In other words, it is difficult to see models and observations ever agreeing again.


                        The IPCC briefly discussed the seriousness of the model-observation discrepancy in Chapter 9 of the 2013 report. It reports that over the 1998-2012 interval 111 out of 114 climate model runs over-predicted warming, achieving thereby, as it were, a 97% consensus.
                        The IPCC informally proposes several candidate explanations for this discrepancy, including the possibility that models are simply too sensitive to greenhouse gases, but does not identify a solution to the problem...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Let the Global Warming Wars commence again...

                          Originally posted by c1ue View Post
                          As for the 'impending peak cheap oil' crisis: as I've said before: ultimately the ones who suffer - as in starve and/or remain in poverty - are those nations who are poor and who don't have natural resources which can be inflated in cost to compensate for energy/fertilizer/food cost.
                          Your strengths are with your understanding of the politics regarding the environment, and you are fairly weak on understanding social and economic phenomena. For instance, natural resources have almost no bearing on how a nation's economy fares. Nations rich in vast natural resources are often poor, such as the USSR which couldn't even feed itself from its fertile farmland. Nations with negligible natural resources can become top contenders globally (considering their size--or even not), such as Japan.

                          Nations, or more specifically societies, generally fare economically in proportion to their respect for the rule of law and their respect for the economic endeavors of their people. Put another way, a nation or society prospers when it respects its people and its people value being industrious.

                          I know your post is old, but you should consider wrapping your head around that.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Let the Global Warming Wars commence again...

                            I think c1ue left some time ago.

                            Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Let the Global Warming Wars commence again...

                              http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/2...-sea-ice-area/

                              Ice is increasing in the Antartic.

                              http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/2...t-month-again/

                              The global warming "scientists" (on the grant gravy train) have been found to have fudged the figures to support their "desired" findings. Yes some anti global warmers have also taken money,
                              but they haven't provided inaccurate data to support their thesis.

                              Yes, we must reduce the use of fossil fuels. But where is the call among the global warmers for massive building of nuclear? Where is the call to use teleconferencing and other
                              technological solutions? The supporters only wish to tax the middle class more and control more of what citizens do. The public is not buying the scam.

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