Climate Change Redux

It continually amazes me how intelligent people can be fooled.

Take Climate Change. I know a lot of people who don’t believe that humans can have any effect upon climate. Others think that there’s still question about the issue. It’s not that they are stupid. It’s that there are a lot of people with a vested interest in fooling the general public, mostly because if could hurt their profits.

Over  year ago I wrote Astroturf in the Climate Change discussion, which covered how industry has been using fake organizations to fool the general public. Things have only gotten worse since. So I thought it was time to visit the topic again.

It Snowed in Washington DC, That Means The World Isn’t Getting Warmer!

I had to laugh when I heard this one last winter. One snow storm means that thousands of scientists are wrong! What everyone who made this claim ignored was that several hundred miles north in Canada, we had the warmest, driest, winter on record… Just think – Washington DC gets snowed under. Meanwhile in the Great White North, we saw hardly any snow.

One storm, or one winter, doesn’t make a trend.

Instead you have to look at all of the numbers worldwide, and remember that a trendline will never be even. You’ll have some cooler years, in the middle of warmer ones.

Climate Change Is A Joke, The Email Scandal Proved That!

Actually it didn’t. Because there wasn’t a scandal. The emails in question, which talked about trying to limit giving out information, were concerned with what the scientists considered an attempt to overload them with Access To Information Requests. They had received a lot more than usual, mostly from Climate Change Deniers, and answering the Access To Information Requests was interfering with work.

If you don’t believe me, read the report. The one thing that the report did recommend was better data sharing, so that people wouldn’t have to issue Access To Information Requests to get the numbers.

Climate Change Is A Government Funded Scam

This one really surprised me. Governments have been spectacularly ineffective in doing anything about Climate Change, but Climate Change is a government plot? Think about this. If it was a government plot, government would be doing things. And it’s not. Take the Canadian Government – it’s lack of action has made a lot of Canadians think that we are suffering from a massive case of regulatory capture.

In fact Environment Canada has been so ineffective, that the agency might as well not exist. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has been marginally more effective, despite being sued by the fossil fuel industry, and the states that are heavily involved in fossil fuel production several times.

Curiously almost everyone who believes that Climate Change is a government funded scam, is against saving money. Seriously. Just think – you can buy 7 watt LED light bulbs, that output the same amount of light as a 60 watt incandescent bulb. Yes, the purchase price is higher, but the long term savings are huge.

Or consider the Nissan Leaf which is a full electric. How much do you spend on gas each week? $80.00? $100.00? Just think of how much money you could save if you didn’t have to buy gasoline. Yes, you have to plug it in. Nissan Canada estimates a cost of $2.25 per day to charge it, or $15.75 per week. Bit of a difference, isn’t it? Oh, and electric cars don’t require oil changes…

David Brin – Skeptic

Scientist and author David Brin wrote an article titled The Real Struggle Behind Climate Change – A War on Expertise. David’s an incredibly intelligent guy (I’ve meet him). One paragraph stands out:

Let there be no mistake, this is all about power, and the struggle goes way back.  In Britain, the “Boffin Principle” long held that technical people have no business making policy suggestions to their betters. In America, waves of anti-intellectual populism – like the 19th Century Know Nothing Party – were  deliberately stoked by aristocracies who saw the new, mental elites as a threat.

How many ‘Climate Skeptics’ have you meet that are scientists? Ask them what skills they have, that allow them to examine the evidence, and make a reasoned judgment? For that matter, ask them if they’ve even seen the evidence! Almost none will have, and those that have won’t have the skills to understand it.

I’m on the edge. I can’t do the work, but I can (barely) understand the work that others have done.

Another article of David’s, Distinguishing Climate “Deniers” From “Skeptics”, is a must read for anyone interested in the Climate Wars, on either side. To get an idea of David’s level of expertise, check out the list of articles published at Salon.

One final David Brin quote from his own website:

Another Shibboleth: “Harm to the economy.”

I cannot get over how little faith in markets is displayed by purported defenders of markets! Dig it. Society has artificially subsidized or scarcified numerous commodities, over the ages. Grain subsidies go back to Pharaohnic times. If past history is any judge, the chief effect of artificially advancing the rapidly-approaching era of higher carbon-fuel costs — in gradual increments — will be simply to open new frontiers for innovative businesses.

(Indeed, to start economizing now, while we still have some domestic petroleum reserves, would seem the prudent and “conservative” thing to do. But more on that, later.)

Sure, some troglodyte SECTORS of the economy may have to adapt if we take action now, using market incentives to act on climate change. But you don’t see Apple or GE or Hitachi crying fear of a general economic downturn.

And if you have problems with the idea of conserving fuel, check out the articles at The Oil Drum.

How about Foxgate?

Someone leaked an email from Bill Sammon, the boss of Fox News, in which he orders news staff to cast doubt on Climate Change. In theory the Fourth Estate is supposed to be non-partisan, and to act as a brake on the power of the state and corporations, but Fox News is a corporation itself, and many of the stock holders, including Rupert Murdoch have investments in Fossil Fuel companies.

If It’s A Government Conspiracy, Why Is BP Helping To Write Climate Legislation?

Seriously. British Petroleum helped to write the Climate Legislation adopted by the European Union. The changes that BP asked for will help their profits, by passing the costs for BP’s actions onto the taxpayers of the EU. Wasn’t that nice of them?

And then we’ve got our friends at Wikileaks, who have released a cables covering United States embassy actions to block substantive Climate Change action at Cancun. Curiously those actions seem to benefit the powerful United States energy industry. It’s a rather unusual government conspiracy that benefits those who are complaining about it.

But England Is Having A Snow Emergency!

Well yes, it is. One of the major predictions of Climate Scientists, is that as the ecosphere warms, we will suffer from massive climatic disruptions. Think of the storms in Bangladesh and Pakistan, hurricanes in the Atlantic, and winter storms in England.

It’s all part of the same thing. A recent report from England covers problems that future disruptions could cause. How about a report from the United States military?

In Closing

If you don’t believe in Climate Change, sit back and think. Why don’t you believe in it? And why do so many others? The United States Military isn’t know for jumping at shadows. Who exactly is capable of bribing all of those Climate Scientists so that none of them will tell the truth? Why are we seeing so many Climatic disasters, as compared to the past?

And if you still don’t believe in Climate Change, do you believe in your own wallet? Tell me. Why you wouldn’t want to spend less money by conserving energy? Do you like paying for gasoline? I don’t. I’d rather put that money in the bank myself, maybe plan a trip to England, a place I’ve never been to, but have always wanted to visit.

Remember – those most opposed to doing anything are companies like BP, Exxon, Koch Industries. Curiously they are all heavily involved in fossil fuel exploitation. Is they why they oppose solar cells and wind turbines? Could their interests be economic, rather than principled?

Let’s face it. Either Climate Change is real, or it isn’t. If it is, doing something about it’s a good idea. If it isn’t, you’ll end up saving money. It’s a win-win situation.


Wayne Borean

Thursday December 23, 2010


3 thoughts on “Climate Change Redux

  1. Hello,

    Please take out this section:

    Or consider the Nissan Leaf which is a full electric. How much do you spend on gas each week? $80.00? $100.00? Just think of how much money you could save if you didn’t have to buy gasoline. Yes, you have to plug it in. Nissan Canada estimates a cost of $2.25 per day to charge it, or $15.75 per week. Bit of a difference, isn’t it? Oh, and electric cars don’t require oil changes…

    I like everything else in this text very much. This part is wrong. In an electric propulsion system ebike or ecar, price calculation price of electricity is irrelevant component, or very close. Battery price is the key to correct overall calculation. When you state its price you must take into account capacity and how many reloads it can survive as key qualities. If one day someone makes a battery technology breakthrough it might change….

    Thanks for writing excellent articles!

    1. Stef46CA,

      You are wrong, and right. Now, before you start jumping, think about this. I used to sell Electric forklifts, batteries, and chargers. I know how this works. Been there, done that.

      Yes, you are effectively buying part of your fuel at the time of purchase. However you also have to consider weekly running costs. And if you are willing to make the initial payment (which is minimal in places like Ontario where the government covers part of the battery cost), the weekly costs are important. Because that’s what everyone sees.

      And also because that’s what is going to cause a very weird adoption curve, because as more electrics come into use, more gas stations will go out of business, and finally there will come a point where buying a gasoline car will be totally inconvenient because there won’t be any places to buy fuel for it.

      The question is how quickly things are going to change. And I think they are going to change a lot quicker than most people expect. I’m willing to bet that within five years half of the vehicles sold will be electric.

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