Panic! Panic! Pay No Attention to the Scientist Behind the Curtain!

Paul Driessen’s op-ed in the first Providence Journal of the year is certainly worth a read. Regarding the U.N. Bali meeting on global warming:

Meanwhile, respected climate scientists were barred from panel discussions, censored, silenced and threatened with physical removal by polizei if they tried to hold a press conference to present peer-reviewed evidence that contradicts climate disaster claims, such as:

  • Climate change is natural and recurrent. The human factor is small compared to that of the sun and other natural forces. …
  • The best approach is to adapt, as our ancestors did. …

Other inconvenient arguments:

Even a 25 to 40 percent reduction over the next 12 years would impose huge sacrifices on families, workers and communities, especially poor ones — while leaving no room for population or economic growth.
Fossil fuels provide 85 percent of the energy we use. Slashing emissions by even 25 percent means slashing the use of these fuels, paying vastly more to control and sequester emissions, and radically altering lifestyles and living standards. Families will do so voluntarily, or under mandatory rationing systems, enforced by EPA, courts, climate police and “patriotic” snitches. Getting beyond 25 percent would require a “radical transformation” of life as we know it.

But here’s the possibility that glares as the symbolic crux of the debate:

Perhaps newly unemployed workers could find jobs in China and other developing countries, where the tough emission standards won’t apply … China is adding the equivalent of another Germany every year to global greenhouse emissions, says climatologist Roger Pielke.

Whether or not the West’s voluntary self-restrictions will ultimately enable global dominance of those oppressive regimes that simply refuse to play by the rules of panic isn’t really the point. One gets the impression that the allure of climate-based jeremiadry is that it offers an overarching concern that excuses activists for ignoring all of those complicated considerations that wind up advising the allowance of practices that they dislike, such as consumerism, big business, freedom, and so on.

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Monique
Editor
13 years ago

“The human factor is small compared to that of the sun and other natural forces”
Yes! In terms of impact on warming, the sun, with all of its energy and fluctuations, is King Kong; Mother Nature, which generates 94% of greenhouse gases, is a standard gorilla and man, with the 6% of greenhouse gases we generate, is a Pygmy Marmoset.
It is claimed that anthropogenic global warming is a scientific theory. It is not; upon moderate (not even rigorous) scientific examination, the various elements which supposedly constitute proof for AGW have dissipated.
But probably the punyness of man’s activity is the most important yet most overlooked factor in the evaluation of AGW. Draconian is an inadequate adjective to describe the measures that would have to be implemented EVEN IF man’s 6% is the tipping point for global warming.

Pragmatist
Pragmatist
13 years ago

Egads. Another scary theory for conservatives. Next thing you know, those liberals will be telling us that we all descended from apes. Thank goodness Mike Huckabee knows better.
Anyone who gets their scientific information from the National Review, I submit, isn’t really interested in science. The overwhelming majority of experts globally believe that man-made aspects of global warming should be slowed, although the extent of the problem is debatable.
And Mr. Driessen is a “senior advisor” for something called the “Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise”. Please. Yes, thankfully Mr. Driessen and his center have arrived to protect Warren Buffet and Goldman Sachs. Justin, what were you writing just the other day about the use liberals make of language to obscure their real aims and motives?

Justin Katz
13 years ago

I don’t see how this is at all incompatible with the content of this post:

The overwhelming majority of experts globally believe that man-made aspects of global warming should be slowed, although the extent of the problem is debatable.

I might agree if somebody argued that the rate of entropy ought to be slowed, but that doesn’t mean that I’d like to increase the burdens of millions of people around the world in the hopes of accomplishing that goal.
As for the ad hominem component of your strategy, I’ll take my informational sources over those personified by the founder and president of the Center for the Defense of Al Gore’s Ego.
Why it ought to seem shady for an advocate for free enterprise to argue that the cost of hyped-up environmentalism will be summarily inhumane is beyond me. As with religion, it seems you’d like just prefer that those who come to different conclusions because their premises and emphases are different stay out of the debate altogether (unless, of course, they expend adequate verbiage stomping on their own beliefs).
Again: pragmatic, maybe; honest, no.

Monique
Editor
13 years ago

One question, Pragmatist. If there’s all this consensus, why are scientists being censored and silenced?
And Bali was not a one off instance of such defensive, unscientific behavior by AGW advocates. Which leads us to wonder: can’t the “truth” stand up to examination and questions?
“respected climate scientists were barred from panel discussions, censored, silenced and threatened with physical removal by polizei if they tried to hold a press conference to present peer-reviewed evidence that contradicts climate disaster claims”

Pragmatist
Pragmatist
13 years ago

Justin:
Hyped-up environmentalism? What you miss when you let Al Gore be your boogeyman are the thousands of scientists and other experts standing in the background who agree with him.
Ok, on global warming and what we should or shouldn’t be doing about it, I’ll let you have the guy no one has ever heard of and I’ll even throw in the entire National Review staff, whatever crackpot “policy centers” they set up, and the “scientists” funded by the oil industry. Heck, you can even have Pat Buchanan, Mike Huckabee, and the entire faculty of Oral Roberts University.
I’ll take 1) the 2500 scientists and experts gathered from 130 countries who contributed to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change who agreed that man is causing the climate to warm and 2) the national academies of sciences of the G8 nations who concluded that the UN panel’s conclusions require that counter measures be taken immediately.
Look beyond the “D” after Al Gore’s name and perhaps in this case at least your reflexive opposition to anything you deem too mainstream or elitist will wane.

smmtheory
smmtheory
13 years ago

I’ll take 1) the 2500 scientists and experts gathered from 130 countries who contributed to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change who agreed that man is causing the climate to warm and 2) the national academies of sciences of the G8 nations who concluded that the UN panel’s conclusions require that counter measures be taken immediately.

You mean 2500 politicians, don’t you?

Anthony
Anthony
13 years ago

Pragmatist, You are correct in one assertion: a significant number of scientists believe that global warming- 1.) exists; 2.) is a problem; and 3.) is caused in part by human activities. But it is far from a settled issue and there are very credible scientists who don’t believe that numbers 1-3 are all true. Some believe it exists, but isn’t caused by human activities, others believe it exists and is caused by human activities, but is not as harmful as other would believe. In fact, over 400 scientists from around the world have publicly disagreed with the conclusion that global warming is the direct result of humans. And these individuals hail from some fairly reputable institutions such as: Harvard University; NASA; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR); Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the Danish National Space Center; U.S. Department of Energy; Princeton University; the Environmental Protection Agency; University of Pennsylvania; Hebrew University of Jerusalem; the International Arctic Research Centre; the Pasteur Institute in Paris; the Belgian Weather Institute; Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute; the University of Helsinki; the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S., France, and Russia; the University of Pretoria; University of Notre Dame; Stockholm University; University of Melbourne; Columbia University; the World Federation of Scientists; and the University of London. And yes, the national science academies of the G8, as well as those of Brazil, India and China all signed off on a scientific consensus regarding global warming. But the Russian Academy of Sciences later issued a statement saying its president should not have signed off. The outgoing president of the US NAS openly described the Royal Society’s portrayal of the consensus as “misleading”. So where does this leave us? Clearly, we’re far away from the level of proof needed to… Read more »

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