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Since I’ve never touched upon before, I’d like to briefly share my views on what many consider to be the greatest issue of our era: ‘global warming’- interchangeably known as ‘climate change’.
Despite being interested in the subject (as we all should be), I’ve been deterred from getting into this debate for several reasons, but first among them is the irrational fury, cult-like dedication and inflexibility of the warring parties.
In a sense, Global Warming is for the Political Left what demography and Islamisation is for the Right – a potential so dire and of such far-reaching disruption that it relegates all other issues to irrelevance.
After all, what are human trifles compared against the end of the world? What is there to gain by politics if our children cannot live to enjoy the results? And so on…
The position I would (perhaps wrongly) imagine most of my audience to occupy would be that of climate scepticism. This is a blog that offers opinions on other matters in tune with the conservative worldview, and conservatives have a very emphatic line on global warming – it isn’t happening; the only reason the climate movement exists is to resurrect in green clothes policies that failed wearing red.
The Left-Liberal position meanwhile is a mirroring confidence to outright denial. To them, the climate argument is not only persuasive, it is conclusive and should be taken as fact.
Neither view is consistent enough, friendly enough, softly-spoken enough to escape the suspicion of ulterior motives. And true to this, a substantial majority of activists (for and against) have political or economic interests to advance.
Anti-global warming theorists are usually sponsored by the oil industry. Pro-Global warming activists are usually employed by pressures groups, money-hungry ‘charities’ or in receipt of lucrative government research grants.
The closer you get to the climate change debate, the more the stench of money overwhelms you.
My own view? I don’t think political movements as big as this can be based purely on fabricated evidence. There must be something going on, and it mustn’t be to our common advantage.
That said, those who maintain we are on the brink of apocalyptic climate change, a change in the weather system so drastic that we will no longer be able to go about our lives, is not backed up with any substantial evidence at all.
It is important to remember that climatology, for all its certainty, is a science in its tender infancy. It should not be considered to possess the same predictive power as physics or biology. It is still developing and this means that it may be wholly wrong in its current outlook.
We must continue to test the predictions of the global warming theorists. If their predictions come about, action must follow. If not, then difficult questions must be answered by those profiting by making them.
Peter P said:
The ‘Global Warming’ thesis is based on the assertion that it is caused by human activity, especially the use of fossil fuels. In particular it is caused by a rise in CO2.
One scientist, Patrick Moore of Canada and a co-founder of Greenpeace, denies this thesis and has testified before Congress to this effect. I might add that it is not a question of whether the Climate is changing or not, but it is a question as to what drives climate change. For Moore it is not CO2. CO2 he maintains is necessary for life, not its enemy. Moore has also repudiated Greenpeace in his book, “A Greenpeace Dropout”. Moore claims that ‘Climate Change’ is a tool of the Left to hobble the West and the World in is modern development. Why does the Left hate the West and especially America? ‘Cultural Marxism’ is the answer. Communism is not dead, and its aims to destroy Western(Judaeo-Christian) culture is almost complete, a prerequisite for the triumph of Communism in the World according to Antonio Gramsci one of the great thinkers of Communism.
Defend the Modern World said:
I agree that Climate change has become a socialist cause, but there are non-socialist, indeed conservatives, who believe in the theory. Roger Scruton’s ‘Green Philosophy’ is a beautifully written and persuasive case for environmentalism from the Right.
I really don’t know who to believe, but I certainly don’t believe we should shut down the modern world before the theory is proven.
Defend the Modern World said:
And to prove it, we must test the predictive powers of climatology. If it cannot predict, something is wrong with it.
The large number of leftists and open and hidden Communists in the Global cooling/Warming/Climate-change bandwagon does make the whole issue highly suspicious, highly politicized and controversial to me and many others on the centre and right.
If it does exist, if it is in some way caused by human activity, the causes and solutions(if they exist) are to my opinion, highly complex and little understood, for, as you say, the whole science of climate itself is its infancy.
Also, global warming or climate change is taken seriously only by the advanced Western countries.
China and India, for example, two of the world’s largest economies, representing half the population of the world, do not really take it seriously.
The nationalists in these two countries, particularly, see the Western concerns on climate change as both patronizing and hypocritical. The nationalists in China and India want to see their nation states rich and powerful and consider the concerns of the Western countries as ‘scheming’ of the West to put a hold on their growth and their rise to power and prosperity.
This is a very powerful sentiment and any amount of environmentalism in the West is not going to make much difference in the global context if these two huge economies and populations are not convinced.
Perhaps India and China are not concerned about climate change – they have however certainly changed their tune on pollution. With air qualities in New Delhi and Beijing the lowest two in the world, they are quickly adapting as a result their own environmental catastrophes. As to whether it has climate change implications: it does at least on metro level – one can be sure if the sky is filled with smog on cold winter’s night in Beijing, it is not as cold as it could be as long as there is a layer of smog. That is a human induced climate change effect that is definitely happening right now.
We may see some cataclysmic changes in CHINDIA’s approach to climate change: it depends on the long term health implications in their middle and upper class citizens’ health first.
I agree though, that the the Kyoto, Copenhagen climate-fests are a side-show. If the climate changes – humans will adapt. And actually we know from ice-ages and volcanoes that climate has had long periods of change from what is “normal” now. The results of the side-show though have been fruitful: for green energy is becoming more and more affordable.
Its unfortunate if like me you live near a beach or river mouth that you may have to move or get washed away, but that has happened for millennia. But on the flip-side, maybe rain over the great deserts of Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas will provide new arable land to replace what we lose to salination and climate change…
We do know this: the climate changes every day. It always has. The earth is at its most crowded right now, there is less green pastures to travel and settle freely. There will be hot summers, cold winters and every inverse permutation going forward.
Defend the Modern World said:
Pollution is far more worrying than climate change in my opinion, and I consider it as a separate issue. In Asia, and other overcrowded, over-industrialised countries, they are right to focus on this and not the hit and miss predictions of the climatologists.
The biggest challenge the whole Global Warming/Climate Change movement faces IMO, is that the predictions have been wrong, and continue to be wrong. Climate models and short term weather models are proving to be 60% accurate on a good day. The next problem is the money influence. There are BILLIONS of dollars given out by the Federal Govt. Just in the USA. for climate science studies this doesn’t include the massive clean energy movement. Figure heads like science flunky Al Gore have made Millions, I think he’s close to 250,000,000.00 now? It gets very suspicious. The last big hurdle is that we don’t have accurate data on anything beyond about 180 years. Sure we have ice core data, tree rings, glacial scrapes on rocks, etc… But the isotopes in ice cores are limited in what we can learn. Yeah we can tell if it was a warmer season or a colder season. We can tell if their was Volcanic ash in the air. We can get a reasonable rating of CO2 in the air.. But can we measure temperature down to a hundredth of a degree? No really we can’t. All we can do is estimate when it comes to the finite data.
This is why I am and at this point will remain a climate agnostic 🙂