Global Warming is Conjecture, Consensus and Anything but Science

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 20th, 2011

Week in Review

What’s that sneaking up behind you?  Could it be global warming?  Probably not.  But a whole lot of scientists with a vested interest are saying it is (see Weather disasters to increase report warns, climate change signal slow to emerge for some extremes by Jason Samenow posted 11/18/2011 on The Washington Post).

A report from 220 of the world’s leading climate scientists cautions climate change may bring “unprecendented extreme weather and climate events” in the coming decades.

The report by the United Nations Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change makes clear that warm weather extremes and heavy precipitation events have increased, most likely as a result of manmade climate change. And it projects with a high degree of confidence increasing hot weather and heavy downpours in the future…

But the “Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation” (SREX) is somewhat guarded about the links between manmade climate change and hurricanes, floods, droughts and weather disaster losses. And some of its findings are more conservative and characterized by greater uncertainty than the major volume released by the IPCC in 2007, known as the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).

What other science reports their findings using words like ‘may’ and ‘likely’ and a ‘high degree of confidence’?  I’ll tell you what kind.  Bad science.  Good science knows that if you raise the temperature of water to 212 degrees Fahrenheit at standard atmospheric pressure it will boil into a gas.  And there’s no ‘may’, ‘likely’ or a ‘high degree of confidence’ necessary in the report documenting this.

Science is not consensus.  That said, there isn’t even a consensus in the scientific community studying climate.  One says it’s definitely man-made global warming.  While another is saying there may not even be a link between man and rising temperatures.

The equivocal nature of some of the report’s scientific findings demonstrates the difficulty in drawing conclusions from a patchwork network of weather observations. It also illustrates the challenges in identifying a human fingerprint in data that is inherently noisy due to the highly variable nature of climate and weather, not to mention the challenges in modeling its future behavior.

The report is clear that when it assigns “low confidence” in observed changes, it doesn’t mean the extreme hasn’t changed or won’t change in the future. It simply conveys lack of data and/or knowledge. For some extremes, it seems to be the case that more we learn, the more we recognize we don’t know.

Climate is complex.  It’s far more complex than predicting tomorrow’s weather.  And we all know how often the weather people get tomorrow’s weather wrong.  And if it’s the case that as we learn more the more we recognize we don’t know, then it’s a safe bet that the global warming alarmists are wrong.  They were, after all, wrong about the coming ice age back in the Seventies.

Perhaps it’s time we ask them how do they know what they’re telling us.  I think you’ll be surprised by what you hear.  For it’s all a lot of guess work with some elaborate man-made computer models.  Not hard science spent in a laboratory.  Or study of empirical data going back a few ice ages or so.  It’s just conjecture.  And consensus. Which is anything but science.

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Environmentalists don’t give a whit about Human Happiness

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 3rd, 2011

Environmentalists just don’t like an Advanced Human Race

Environmentalism is a zero-sum game.  Save the planet.  Kill man.  Either quickly by making cars lighter to be more fuel efficient.  Making them less survivable in an accident.  Or over time by turning the hands of time back.  To a time where there weren’t factories pumping pollution in the air.  Before we used coal to fire our power plants.  Or before we used oil to unleash economic activity.  And exploded our standard of living.

No.  The environmentalist would rather we sit in our own filth.  Subsist only on home-grown vegetables.  And be born, live, work and die within a mile of each other.  They don’t want anything man-made wafting into the atmosphere.  And they don’t want anything pumped from underground.  Or pumped over ground for that matter (see Stung by Obama, Environmentalists Weigh Options by Leslie Kaufman posted 9/3/2011 on The New York Times).

In late August, the State Department gave a crucial go-ahead on a controversial pipeline to bring tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast. Then on Friday, leading into the holiday weekend, the Obama administration announced without warning that it was walking away from stricter ozone pollution standards that it had been promising for three years and instead sticking with Bush-era standards.

John D. Walke, clean air director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, an advocacy group based in New York, likened the ozone decision to a “bomb being dropped.”

Mr. Walke and representatives of other environmental groups saw the president’s actions as brazen political sellouts to business interests and the Republican Party, which regards environmental regulations as job killers and a brick wall to economic recovery.

And the environmentalists are not pleased.  In fact, they are furious.  They don’t care about double-dip recessions.  Or even depressions.  They don’t care if people live in caves where they eat their vegetables in one corner.  And poop in another.  They just don’t like an advanced human race.

Most People want the Comforts of an Advanced Human Race

Of course, this presents a bit of a problem for President Obama.  These hardcore environmentalists are but a sliver of the population.  But it’s one of many slivers the Democrats need.  It’s the aggregate of these fringe groups that have electoral weight.  Lose a couple and you may simply lose the next election.

The majority of people, though, want the comforts of an advanced human race.  And they vote, too.  Especially those with jobs.  Real jobs.  In the private sector.  The vast majority of which are non-union.  So these people don’t have money to burn.  Like government workers.  The economy is important to them.  Because they want affordable gas for their cars.  They enjoy red meat.  Taking daily showers.  And the pleasures of a luxurious toilet paper.  In other words, they are not environmentalists.  They’re human.  Proud of it.  And they want to keep their jobs.

So far the Obama policies have hurt the economy.  Not helped it.  Stopping the pipeline deal would have only pushed gas prices higher.  Once the depression was over, of course.  The ozone pollution standards, on the other hand, would have made it difficult to get a job.  And left the nation in a permanent economic decline. 

EPA Regulations Equal no New Jobs and higher Consumer Costs

So how bad were these ozone standards?  Pretty bad (see Obama Postpones New Ozone Standards, Has More Work to Do by Nicolas Loris posted 9/2/2011 on Heritage).

This is an important victory for businesses as well as the additional 565 U.S. counties that would have been pushed into non-attainment status and suffered economically as a result.

The EPA’s regulatory overreach on this one rule would have destroyed 7.3 million jobs and nearly $700 billion in economic activity by 2020, and the EPA significantly overestimated the purported health benefits from a lower standard.

That’s an interesting number.  That $700 billion.  This was the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts just for high-income earners.  The Left was angry when Obama extended those tax cuts.  But he said he had to.  Because the economy was too fragile to pull $700 billion out of it.  And here is one EPA standard that will cost the economy that same amount.  Can you imagine the cost of all the other EPA standards?  Perhaps this is the reason why there is no economic recovery.  Too many costly regulations for business to comply with.  For they surely aren’t incentives to expand business.

The costs for states to comply with a tightened ozone standard would have been substantial. These federal mandates for more strict ozone pollution can discourage companies from expanding, and counties that do not meet attainment measures could have lost federal transit funding. As Heritage Visiting Fellow Andrew Grossman writes:

“The economic consequences of non-attainment are severe. New and modified sources—factories, power plants, and the like—in non-attainment areas must employ costly emissions control technologies and offset emissions by taking other industrial capacity offline, directly costing jobs. At best, this drives up the cost of development and discourages businesses from expanding. At worst, it is a near prohibition on new industry. And where businesses are unable to relocate—such as is often the case with utilities—the result is higher costs for consumers.”

EPA regulations equal no new jobs.  And higher consumer costs.  For what?

From 1980 to 2005, when levels of ozone and other pollutants fell in the United States, the number of asthmatics increased by 75 percent. In fact, some of the lowest asthma rates in the world are found in highly polluted developing countries in the former Soviet Union, while countries in Western Europe have considerably higher asthma rates and relatively lower levels of air pollution.

What is clear and well established, however, is that improved economic well-being means that people are healthier and live longer. A tighter ozone rule would slow economic growth, reducing economic well-being.

Nothing, apparently.  They want to hammer businesses with these new costly regulations just to feel good.  For history has shown that there are other contributing factors to asthma.  Perhaps it’s Dr. Spock‘s fault.  For there is ample evidence now that bottle-fed babies develop more allergies.  Perhaps this is the cause.  And not the clean ‘dirty’ air of 1980-2005.

We die Young and the Earth stays Pretty

For a polluted planet the earth is pretty damn clean.  And healthy.  We’re living longer.  And the more improved economically we get the longer we live.  This was the core argument for giving us Obamacare.  The richest nation in the world should be able to provide health care to all.  So even the Left must see the benefits of a booming economy.  It buys them all the things they want.  While other people pay for it.

But the environmentalists don’t care.  Not the hardcore ones.  They’d prefer to see the human race regress back to a simpler time.  When we were just beginning to walk upright.  Before we spoiled Mother Nature.  With all of our thinking.  

And if that means living to a ripe old age of only 30, so be it.  The less we live the less damage we can do.  We die young.  And the earth stays pretty.  Nothing would make them happier.  Ending human happiness.

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