Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Climate Change Cult

We have heard it so often that we believe it’s true.

We happily accept that global warming, or better, anthropogenic climate change is real because all scientists believe that it’s real.

Given the state of today’s marketplace of ideas, anyone who disagrees publicly with this statement will receive threats to life and limb.

Liberalism uber alles!

No one mentions that scientific fact is determined by experiments, not by taking a poll of scientists.

But, what do the true believers do with the fact that the former head of the climate science lab at MIT, Richard Lindzen, thinks it’s all a bunch of crap. (Via Maggie’s Farm) Of course, they send him threatening voice mails:

“I think people like you should actually be in jail,” the male caller told him, “because you must know where this is all leading now… the people you support and take your money from to make these outrageously anti-human comments (also ‘know’)… In other words, you’re a sociopath!”

One would be hard-pressed to declare so distinguished a scientist a crank. But, in a world where the belief in global warming has become dogma, true believers are doing just that.

According to Lindzen, global warming alarmism has become a cult. He explained it to Howie Carr on the latter’s radio program:

“As with any cult, once the mythology of the cult begins falling apart, instead of saying, oh, we were wrong, they get more and more fanatical. I think that’s what’s happening here. Think about it,” he said. “You’ve led an unpleasant life, you haven’t led a very virtuous life, but now you’re told, you get absolution if you watch your carbon footprint. It’s salvation!”

One might say that once predictions prove unfounded, once the hypotheses do not produce confirming evidence cult followers will insist that the facts have been skewed against them. They are so convinced of the rightness of their belief that they mistake intense conviction for truth. Thus, they call on their followers to ignore reality in favor of a higher truth. 

Sometimes they insist that eventually their prophecies will come to pass. In the meantime, they cherry-pick the data to find facts that seem to support their beliefs.

Speaking of skewed data, last week the government announced that 2014 was the hottest year in history. Howie Carr explains:

Last week, government agencies including NASA announced that 2014 was the “hottest year” in “recorded history,” as The New York Times put it in an early edition. Last year has since been demoted by the Times to the hottest “since record-keeping began in 1880.”

But that may not be true. Now the same agencies have acknowledged that there’s only a 38 percent chance that 2014 was the hottest year on record. And even if it was, it was only by two-100ths of a degree.

Lindzen explained the deception:

Lindzen scoffs at the public-sector-generated hysteria, which included one warmist blogger breathlessly writing that the heat record had been “shattered.”

“Seventy percent of the earth is oceans, we can’t measure those temperatures very well. They can be off a half a degree, a quarter of a degree. Even two-10ths of a degree of change would be tiny but two-100ths is ludicrous. Anyone who starts crowing about those numbers shows that they’re putting spin on nothing.”

What is happening here?

In effect, the environmental movement has been trying to reverse the Industrial Revolution, the better to impoverish and immiserate the world. Lindzen does not say that it is the intention, but it will happen if their policies are put into practice.

For good measure, he debunks the current hysteria about carbon dioxide levels.

Carr reports:

Lindzen said he was fortunate to have gained tenure just as the “climate change” movement was beginning, because now non-believers are often ostracized in academia. In his career he has watched the hysteria of the 1970’s over “global cooling” morph into “global warming.”

“They use climate to push an agenda. But what do you have left when global warming falls apart? Global normalcy? We have to do something about ‘normalcy?’”

As for CO2, Lindzen said that until recently, periods of greater warmth were referred to as “climate optimum.” Optimum is derived from a Latin word meaning “best.”

“Nobody ever questioned that those were the good periods. All of a sudden you were able to inculcate people with the notion that you have to be afraid of warmth.”

The warmists’ ultimate solution is to reduce the standard of living for most of mankind. That proposition is being resisted most vigorously by nations with developing economies such as China and India, both of which have refused to sign on to any restrictive, Obama-backed climate treaties. Lindzen understands their reluctance.

“Anything you do to impoverish people, and certainly all the planned policies will impoverish people, is actually costing lives. But the environmental movement has never cared about that.”

Starve the people; save the planet.

Now, that would be an interesting slogan.


Larry Sheldon said...

"No one mentions that scientific fact is determined by experiments, not by taking a poll of scientists."

More specifically, " determined by experiments DESIGNED TO PROVE THAT THE "FACT" BEING TESTED IS FALSE."

n.n said...

The system is chaotic by virtue of being incompletely or insufficiently characterized and unwieldy. The liberal assumptions of independence (e.g. parameterization) and uniformity (e.g. global statistics, decay) only increases "scientists" departure from the scientific domain.

The assumptions of independence and uniformity in pseudo-science is second only to the conflation of science, conjecture, and faith, but is arguably a greater sponsor of institutional and individual corruption. There are few people who will properly and willing distinguish between the scientific, philosophical, and faith domains. Most, perhaps everyone, is looking for answers, and will readily indulge in the corruption of science if it promises them a certain answer and comfort; and, of course, a material return. The modern "flat Earth" society exploits this human need for certainty and comfort in order to marginalize and neutralize its competing interests.

n.n said...

Larry Sheldon:

Observation, reproduction, and deduction. The scientific method ensures that the scientific domain is actually very limited. It does not even include all of Planet Earth or Homo sapiens for that matter. People have taken great liberties to expand its scope to cover the philosophical domain and even to the faith domain (e.g. atheism -- a pseudo-scientific philosophy). They will routinely make affirmative statements about phenomenon outside of the scientific domain, which is limited in both time and space.

n.n said...

It's definitely a cult. It has a pseudo-religious (i.e. moral) foundation with an underlying faith (e.g. predictions) and a material-oriented (e.g. control, money, ego) perspective.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I'm sure the Koch brothers are behind all of this!

n.n said...

One of the greatest successes (or failures depending on perspective) of the secular cult is the effort to not only support but promote reduce the "problem set" (i.e. native human lives). The unprecedented genocide of around 2 million wholly innocent human lives in America annually is justified by a fairy tale (e.g. spontaneous conception or discontinuity) and moral degeneracy (i.e. denial of human rights) for cause of pleasure and leisure. This primary failure suggests that the secular cult will always have ulterior motives that must be subject to comprehensive public scrutiny; including, their interest in [anthropogenic] global cooling, warming, change, etc. Their words and actions cannot be reconciled without acceptance of a fairytale or blind faith.

Ares Olympus said...

Richard Lindzen is a professional contrarian, a position that I approve of, but I wouldn't bet on contrarians for truth, only for keeping the open questions open.

So I'll go with Contrarian #2, Richard Muller, who was skeptical that scientists might have been cherry picking data and all that, and did his own detailed analysis of all the data available and he couldn't find any problems with the data, nor any other causes besides CO2.

Here's a short video of him recently:

Now as to the "politics" rather than the science, things are a little different. Muller will agree with the analysis of the past records, but predictions of the future are still open questions.

Dynamic systems have positive and negative feedback loops and perhaps we'll be relieved to determine by 2050 that increased clouds have reflected more sunlight into space, and offset the CO2 heating effect. Or maybe the sun will go into another extended solar minimum and we'll have 100 years of global cooling while atmospheric CO2 doubles and our great great grand kids can thank us for keeping them warm while they can figure out how to keep us cool again.

The future is an open question, and good scientists will admit they can't be sure what the future holds.

And myself, I don't see how we run a modern economy without fossil fuels. But I'm not actually sure we can run a modern economy for many more decades at all. Certainly an economy that has to double debt every decade to survive doesn't sound like something you want to bet on, so that concerns me more than doubling CO2 in a century or whatever.

As much as I'm sure the Climate Change deniers have the poor in the third world in their hearts, and aspire someday they can consume as much CO2 as we do, its not going to happen unless we find 2 or 3 more earths.

So myself I think its in our best interests to learn how to run an economy on less energy before we're forced to, whether by pollution or CO2 or depletion.

So feel happy if you want to call the "alarmists" a cult, and I do know some are more alarmists than others, but on the other side of caution if the worst comes, we have no way to remove net CO2 from the atmosphere we've added, not at the rate we can add it, or not without using more energy than our fossil fuels give us in the first place.

I'm not looking forward to all the geo-engineering solutions that mad scientists will offer in 2050 if things turn worse than expected, and I don't like the idea that we'll be trying to seed the atmosphere with reflective dust for 1000 years until the CO2 clears naturally is a sensible plan.

So its a mess at all angles for me, but playing dumb and only listening to voices that tell you what you want to hear because you don't know how to do better isn't a solution to anything except perhaps for future massive migrations of displaced populations.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I just wish the Climate Change crowd could be honest and declare their misanthropic goals/objectives. This would allow for the distinction to show itself: humanity is the problem, a parasite, a virus, a carbon life form with a horrendous software glitch. They are almost all secular humanists, but the miss the human part of humanism.

Without God, man is the measure of all things. When we put a personal God off to the side, we start to worship Gaea. Nature is recreated as an impersonal god of beauty, but we're still left with the problem of sin. If the standard of a sinful life is the size of one's carbon footprint, who/what are we worshipping? What is salvation? Where does one find it? How do we get there? As an environmental activist favoring a return to the primitive? As a socialist ideologue enforcing artificial scarcity as a way of life?

The cult's clergy amasses power, while offering precious little hope. Disease, war, famine and pestilence are awful, they say, but abortion is okay. It's like an abstract, scientific version of "The Killing Fields." The threat to the world could not be more acute, so we'll all fly to Switzerland to talk about it.

My sense is this cult is the latest installment in the oldest confidence game there is: a Rube Goldbergesque economic and bureaucratic mousetrap from hell, designed to help us all. The goal: to save us from ourselves. Of course, only the elites know how to do this, even though they have no clue what they're talking about. Government leaders gleefully call witnesses who recommend sweeping remedies to curb a phenomenon the government leaders don't understand as they nod vigorously (go figure). So who's driving the bus while we're bickering over two tenths of a degree? Havd we really measured that accurately over a sustained amount of time so we can predict the future? What for? What's the endgame?

If you take this cult's vision and trajectory of implementation to its logical end, it doesn't yield a humane end. It ends in death. I'm all for conserving resources. But I will never accept that I'm supposed to worship this Gaea and submit to an inquisition by a bunch of climatetologist clergy and their acolytes, all wielding doomsday scenario models predicting this Venusian future because of the menace of human activity. It's ridiculous on its face, and a self-fulfilling prophesy of terrifying proportions. Same old problem, new names and faces.

Ares Olympus said...

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...: I just wish the Climate Change crowd could be honest and declare their misanthropic goals/objectives.

That would make you happy? I thought it was the religious crowd that said humans were fallen, and sinful, and need the Religious elite to say "Do as I say, not as I do?"

And I don't think the Pope is a Humanist, while he seems quite concerned about climate change, and added some comment about not needing to "breed like rabbits" while still saying contraceptives are immoral.

Somehow its okay to charge 90% taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, but if you want a carbon tax and limit the ability of Walmart to ship products from Asia cheaper than we can make ourselves, its a conspiracy against the poor of the world, depriving them of their $1/day income so we can give cheap crap to friends and family on "Jesus's birthday" to prove our love of humanity.

I don't think being worried about the unlimited appetite of capitalism is being "misanthropic" any more than being catholic is misanthropic for suggesting limits on human behavior.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus @January 25, 2015 at 8:26 PM:

Such an admission by the Climate Change crowd wouldn't necessarily make me happy, but it would distinguish the conversation and provide some clarity. And some desperately-needed honesty and candor. There is a difference between environmentalism and conservation. We may seek to conserve because it is like stewardship over God's creation, honoring beauty and avoiding avarice, greed, etc. with uncontrolled corporatist laissez-fair capitalism in the form of "free markets." I can respect that position, because we'll all have to have a conversation to make that work. The environmentalists aren't interested in a conversation about any of this. They know the future, they know of the catastrophe, and it must be stopped now. There is no choice, there is no persuasion. Instead, they sow fear and division, like a cult. I would like to see people make a conscious choice about this kind of conservation, not have it come at the end of a gun barrel because some global elite thinks the've figured everything out for us.

I believe man is sinful, and must atone and follow a different path -- one aligned with the will of his God, not his own insatiable, selfish desires. We are fallen creatures. But I am not going to create a new God to worship. I am not going to worship the Earth. That's preposterous. And I don't look at the religious elite as any more gifted or supernaturally endowed than anyone else. I don't know what your "Do as I say, not as I do" thing comes from. I'm calling for stewardship for its own benefit, not force.

Pope Francis is most definitely a Christian Humanist, as were the two popes before him. He may be concerned about the way human beings have taken to exploiting nature, but I highly doubt he would recommend that a self-appointed elite of climatologists and politicians to solve what ails man's soul. And as for the "breed like rabbits," he was responding to a question asked about whether holiness is achieved by having lots of children for the sake of holiness. He rightly said this was a prideful and nonsensical position. It has nothing to do with contraception, nor does it depart from Roman Catholic teaching.

When you compare carbon to alcohol and cigarettes, you have made a basic element into a vice. That's ridiculous. And it's more of the same. You are making a moral judgment about human behavior by bringing in this canard, this pseudo-science, to make your point and claiming it's rational and morally superior. It's not. We don't need a tax on carbon any more than we need a tax on helium. Do we tax lead? This is a power grab by global government elites and their climatologist clergy. What are they going to do with the tax revenue? Make less carbon? C'mon, Ares... they're going to pocket it for themselves or give it to their friends. They're not going to make the environment better. They're not going to make the world a better place. They're just going to take more money. That's it.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Continued from above...

And by the way, I don't think it's okay to charge 90% on alcohol and cigarettes. This is another example of the insatiable appetites of the politicos. They say taxation must be "progressive" in order to be moral. Then they use sin taxes to extract more from the lower classes, which is definitionally regressive. Do you honestly think the government would allow for lotteries if they couldn't make money off of them? Lotteries are a tax on people who can't do math, which is inherently regressive. So please, no more lectures on an element in the periodic table that is necessary for all life being classified as a vice. That's ludicrous.

And it is a conspiracy against the poor of the world. The lower classes are the problem because they are stupid and "breed like rabbits." We need fewer human beings on this planet, not more! Isn't that the idea of the Climate Change cheerleaders? If there just weren't all these human beings around... They're like parasites. They exhale carbon. They fart methane. They cause mischief. They don't do what they're told. The horror!

And I don't know how you conflated "Jesus' birthday" with acquisitiveness. Christmas is a celebration of the Incarnation, where God came into the world by choosing to be with us. It has no more to do with Frosty, Rudolph and Santa as the Fourth of July is about barbecuing and baseball. What people choose to do with things does not make the things themselves bad. Same thing with Christmas. My celebration of Christmas has more to do with my thanks to God and goodwill toward my brethren than it has to do with anything else. Perhaps it doesn't for you, and all you see is materialistic louts falling all over themselves to show how generous they are. That's called pride. If you think you're exempt, I suggest you reconsider.

Being concerned about evils emanating from unbridled capitalism is not itself misanthropic.What is misanthropic is allowing yourself to be co-opted by a misanthropic global movement that views human beings as a sourge, carbon as "pollution" and claims a messianic mission to "save the Earth." All it will end in is death. As for the Catholic bit, I find it interesting that you're drawing equivalence to limits on human behavior is being misanthropic. That's strange. When you indulge all your desires and appetites, does your life really improve? Are you happier? I didn't think so. And I don't think much of the stuff in the trans-Pacific Wal-Mart container brings much happiness, either. But I'm not going to tell people that great evil is afoot because they're destroying the planet. I'm going to suggest it's because of the human condition, and that there's another way to transcend those material desires, a way that has nothing to do with carbon.