Though I try not to be political, the recent election here in Canada has focused my attention on politics. There is something about watching deliriously happy leftists celebrating the victory of politicians whose policies will end Western civilization that really bothers me. I have to say something and my target tonight is the leftist position on global climate change.
The primary proposition that draws the fire of climate change skeptics is the proposition that anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are causing a significant change in the global climate. Honestly, this proposition wouldn’t be that hard for me to believe if it weren’t for the near hysterical way in which the liberals are trying to force people to accept these scientific findings without question. But even accepting the idea that global climate change is caused by anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, I am still extremely skeptical of leftist environmental activism. Heeding the leftist call to action seems to require acquiescence to a number of propositions for which there is no evidence at all:
- Despite the fact that the global climate has changed dramatically in the course of geological history and despite the fact that the predicted impact is to occur over many decades, global climate change will catastrophically impact human civilization unless it is reversed.
- Climate change initiated by human activity can be reversed by human inactivity and we can keep the climate stable by gradually eliminating hydrocarbon emissions at enormous expense.
- This is a bit of a paradox for climate change advocates. Climate change is only a problem if the climate is unstable enough so that climate change becomes a “run away” phenomena. But “run away” phenomena are not generally reversible processes. For this reason, if climate change is a problem, there is good reason to believe that it would not be reversed by reducing carbon emissions.
- It is easier/cheaper to reverse climate change through eliminating anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions than it is to deal with the consequences of gradual climate change.
- I saw a scientist on a panel excoriating a skeptic with a hysterical claim. “Don’t you realize that if we don’t do anything about climate change, parts of the Middle East will become uninhabitable!” I had to laugh. Has this man ever lived in the Middle East? Parts of the Middle East are already uninhabitable. If, for some reason, technology stopped working in the Middle East, millions of people would die who are currently alive. This is the power of our current technology and it is becoming more powerful every day.
- The best way to eliminate hydrocarbon emissions is not scientific research and technological progress but government regulation of major portions of the economy.
- This is another huge problem for climate change advocates. Our technical knowledge is growing exponentially and is doubling almost every decade. Who is to say that if we wait for a few years we won’t be able to bioengineer an algae that reduces carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in a very cost effective way?
- The totalitarian government programs required to reverse global climate change are not worse than the disease they seek to cure.
- This is another huge problem for climate change advocates. Governments are proven killers having murdered hundreds of millions of people over the course of history. How many people has climate change killed?
- Human austerity measures will be more effective than diminishing returns in petroleum exploration and extraction at causing human beings to shift to alternate energy sources. (Billions of dollars worth of exploration over the last 10 years have resulted in only minor net gains in known oil reserves. This phenomena is often called “Peak Oil”.)
So in order to share the left’s concern with global climate change, I would have to believe that all 6 of those arguments went their way and not the other way. Using basic probability and giving each of those propositions a 50% probability, there is a 1 in 2 to the 6th = 1 in 64 chance that leftists will do anybody any good with their Trillion dollar efforts to fix global climate change. This is granting the assumption that climate change is occurring and that it is anthropogenic and the number just isn’t high enough to warrant the hysteria.
The primary problem is one of trust. I don’t trust politicians to be able to determine reality from unreality or to do the right thing. How can I when I see the way these same leaders process reality on other issues? Western leaders, for example, constantly assure me that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism. When I read the Koran, however, I find the kind of behavior practiced by these terrorists not only accepted but actively encouraged. Not only that, but I see active deception at work with regards to this issue. Consider the number of times we have seen a middle class Muslim kill a number of innocent people while yelling “Allahu Akbar” after posting a number of Koranic verses on his Facebook page. Before the bodies are even cold, a government spokesmen is on television claiming that the cause was grinding poverty or the oppression of the Palestinians and had nothing to do with Islam.
When dealing with issues as complex as climate change or immigration, one has to trust that one’s leaders have intelligence, compassion, understanding and a solid moral compass. When I examine today’s leaders by these criteria, I am unimpressed. These men could tell me that I needed sunscreen on a summer day in Arizona and I would check outside for myself. How can I trust them with enormous powers including the ability to make billion dollar decisions that will impact every aspect of our everyday lives?
That the government’s decisions with regard to environmental protection are highly questionable is illustrated by a couple recent news headlines. First, the U.S. government decided to ban a car that gets more than 200 miles per gallon. Second, the EPA’s devastation of the Animas River seems to have resulted from a preference for expensive measures over practical measures.