Politicians, media pundits, general talking heads, celebrities, corporate moguls, and now even the pope are all weighing in on the growing geopolitical issue of anthropogenic (that is, man-made) global warming.
It is certainly true that ignorant people exist on the “denial/skeptic” side of this “debate,” but it is also true that ignorant people exist on the so-called “alarmist” side as well. If there is one thing that is prevalent in the populace-at-large, it is that having an opinion and actually being informed on the subject of that opinion are two statuses that are not necessarily positively correlated. In any event, neither demagogic perspective is relevant at all to the substantive merits of the issue. So what are the real merits of this issue? Is global warming a reality, and, if so, is it directly caused or influenced at all by human activity? If both are true, what can and should we do to try and address it?
Much and more is made of the “overwhelming consensus” among scientists, by politicians especially, that man-made global warming is real. Somehow, it has become trendy to conflate democracy and science. However, scientific proof, by its very definition, cannot be demonstrated or proved through consensus; even if it could, who decides what percentage of scientists (let alone the additional technocrats, politicians, pundits, and/or lobbyists that flock to this cause for one reason or another) actually qualifies as a consensus?
Further compounding this issue, any notion of consensus itself in this context is demonstrably inconsistent. To that point, what do we make of the plethora of presumably equally (or perhaps more) qualified scientists who continue to disagree with the “consensus?” Who gets to decide which qualified opinion is superior, if not the evidence itself? Interestingly, studies suggest that even amongst the “rabble,” the informed among “skeptics” are (at least) as equally informed as the common “alarmists.”
As we know, repeating a proof by assertion fallacy does not make something true that is not. Science is not a faith-based venture but rather a rigid standard of methodology and outcomes. It requires a hypothesis that is provable by repeated, accurate experiments (or observations) which consistently produce the hypothesized result(s) within a given framework of conditions. But we can easily see that climatologists’ predictions and outlooks regarding man-made global warming are consistently inaccurate. It was just a generation or so ago, in fact, that alarmist climate reports warned of an impending return to a “new ice age,” followed shortly thereafter by dire desertification predictions for New York City.
And speaking of ice ages, what do we make of potential alternative explanations for the hypothetical existence of global warming? After all, climatologists will tell us that the last ice age ended some ~10,000 years ago due to global warming, despite the absence of industrial infrastructure and corresponding mass fossil fuel burning and a trifling presence of human population as compared to today. Surely genuine science should thoroughly consider other explanations such as solar activity, undulating cycles, natural weather patterns, and natural variability (among others), before dismissing them out-of-hand?
And then there is the observable evidence that appears to contradict common alarmist assertions. Attempts to reasonably explain these contradictions ought to be offered in good faith, instead of simply being dismissed as unimportant.
But the most egregious affront to real climate science has taken the form of large scale manipulation of data meant to bend “evidence” to hypotheses, rather than the true scientific method of adapting hypotheses to the evidence. This practice borders on outright fraud, purposeful or otherwise, and undeniably adversely affects the credibility of the science and scientists in question. As the saying goes: “garbage in, garbage out.” Just who exactly is “denying” science in this scenario again?
For argument’s sake, however, let us assume global warming is both real and anthropogenic in nature. The logical follow-up question is what to do about it? Should we faithfully turn to the state to manage this situation, despite the overabundance of evidence that the government virtually never solves the problems it purports to (and often makes them worse)? Never mind the true and very clear profit motives that underpin many notable proponents of government action in addressing global warming, or the very clear power motives that various oligarchs wish to secure, how exactly are we to trust that the inevitable bureaucratic incompetency will deliver a viable solution(s)?
Notwithstanding the numerous large-scale problems that the state consistently fails to solve, from poverty to education and unemployment to warfare, we can already see a number of related policies and programs (both direct and indirect) that have not only failed to address problems in question but are actually exacerbating them, all the while incurring larger and larger sunk costs with real impacts on real people.
Given Obama’s unabashed desire to redistribute Americans’ wealth in nearly all forms, is it not reasonable to conclude that global warming fearmongering is his (and his supporters’) primary impetus behind supporting such redistributive legislation/regulation as so-called “cap and trade?” As any cop will tell you, look to who stands to gain the most and how and you will likely find your real motive and culprit. This is, in my view, why he and his proponents tend to personally vilify their opponents: because the merits of the case itself do not stand up independently and there is a whole lot of power and profit at stake. When someone feels the need to resort to bully tactics, ad hominems, censorship, and/or a dismissively stubborn “discussion settled” approach to their particular argument, this is generally a sure sign that the substance of their argument is weak and consequently unable to withstand even mild scrutiny. Surely if there were any subject that can and should stand or fall on its merits, it would be the so-called “hard” or natural sciences, right?
I contend that global warming, or climate change, or whatever it will be called next, is nothing more than the latest scheme du jour to loot the people of their wealth and transfer it to politically favored parties. Even if this were not the real intent of the oligarchs it is surely the likeliest of possible outcomes, and presents with very little promise of efficacy toward the publicly espoused end. Even if my cynicism is wrong, the central question still remains: should we sink crazy amounts of monetary and social costs into suspect programs and powers based predominantly on illogical decision making, with little to no probability of success?
Proposed global warming regulations and redistribution schemes, both domestically and globally, will most likely hammer the already poor by driving energy prices further through the roof. And when those in the lowest economic classes tangibly realize their pain sufficiently to complain, the oligarchical “saviors” who created this problem in the first place will likely respond with the traditional raping of the middle class, by confiscating their property in order to directly and indirectly subsidize the aforementioned poor. All the while the energy monopolies, which can only exist with state-sponsored protectionism incidentally, will continue to grow richer at the expense of everyone (the 1% is the government and its crony capitalist benefactors). All this does not even address the individual liberties that will be sacrificed in the name of such policies and regulations.
The key thing to remember going forward in this and other discussions regarding “big” problems is that there is no profit in a cure, only in a treatment – a concept the state knows all too well.