Science and Panic
We are bombarded with dire warnings about our environment, but nearly all of the research purported to support those claims was funded by the political powers advocating them. Political powers will pick-and-choose scientists who provide useful factoids, despite what caveats those scientists attach to preserve their credibility.
The topic of climate change brings this mixture to an extreme, such that some scientists have traded activism for credibility. Politicians may further distort or lie about scientific findings, especially when results are scarce, inconclusive or contradictory. For the layman or dangerously educated, point-by-point arguments are pointless, as it becomes difficult to discern between fact, deception, science or politics. Resources are so tainted by deception that individual study is frustrated, and most laymen take sides out of political allegiance. Rather than arguing factoids, the truth can be revealed by exposing the modus operandi and true objectives of environmental activism.
Would Darwin have published On The Origin of Species if he had to worry about the opinions of government scientists and politicians? The issue was still touchy enough in 1967, that many scientists proclaimed the Patterson-Gimlin film a hoax, for fear that “Patty” might have been the “missing link.” Answering why a stout, hairy, naked woman was roaming the woods could have made careers. The opportunity is far from lost, as hairy, naked and roaming the woods is humanity’s past and future, if the environmental extremists get their way, and likely even if they fail.
Environmental extremism is a tool of communist change. Any product of industry can be attacked as harmful to the environment, until it is addressed or found harmless. If something is truly harmful, the amount at which harm occurs can be readily determined, and the problem solved. Eventually, all harmful chemicals and behaviors will be addressed. This tool of anti-capitalism is done, or so one would think.
What if activists allege that some chemical, definitely harmful at concentration [X], is also harmful at 1% of 1% of [X]? Such levels may be undetectable, and allegedly take decades to show any effect. Results may range from weak positives to nothings. The positives can be lauded, while the negatives ignored or belittled as “industry funded.” Studies might take decades and end inconclusively, and so the activists can continue attacking, and the scientists can continue studying, while John Q. Public is panicked into action over something unmeasurable. Calcium supplements contain “unsafe” amounts of lead; however, that lead is not a contaminant of industry, but the normal background trace found in all calcium, present for countless eons. Never try to find out what is in sea salt. Our world is so naturally polluted, it must never have borne life, by definition of the extremists.
Like many school and university students, this author was deceived about the environment. Given what was taught in high school, at this point in time, the gas pumps should be empty, our boilers without coal, O-zone nowhere, skin cancer everywhere, and the Midwest a desert covered in trash. If what my parents were taught was true, the Midwest should be a glacier covered in trash. My eyes were opened when I learned environmental science from a real environmental scientist. During my graduate years, my department invited many climatologists to present their research. Not one of them showed anything to demonstrate that the Earth had warmed, nor did any claim it had. Some of them presented evidence that the Earth was unusually cool. All of them had been cited by the extremists as part of the global warming “consensus.”
It is pointless to provide lists of scientific findings versus political dogma. If I told you that scientists are uncertain whether the Earth has warmed or cooled over the last century, that it depends on how the data is analyzed, that modern data shows cooling, that glacial and ocean sediment data raise questions about the relationship between CO2 and temperature, then what would happen when you confront someone steeped in dogma? An argument. Both beholden to what each was told, and neither an expert.
Even catching the extremists in the fallacies of their own arguments is tricky. The rage was “global warming,” but after temperature data showed a multi-decade pause, and predictions were proved wrong, many of the extremists switched to “climate change.” Searching Google to find when the switch occurred, one finds page upon page of activists attempting to convince you that it never occurred, or that “climate change” is about more than warming, and thus more correct. Activists now promote “unusual” climate events as “proof”; but while infrequent, many of these events are recurrent over decades, and very few of them have broken any records. The extremists are constantly creating new lies to cover for the exposed lies, and are forever slippery, never admitting that previous lies were exposed or disproved, while simultaneously abandoning them.
Deception is the norm. One good example is the SkepticalScience website, operated by anthropogenic global warming (AGW) advocate John Cook, who did some shoddy and debunked research trying to prove a 97% “consensus” (Bill O’Reilly cited it, unaware it was debunked). The SkepticalScience website is designed to match Google searches about points of scientific disagreement (e.g. consensus), lure in searchers with deceptive titles suggesting an AGW skeptical article, and then present convincing but questionable science, logic and references decidedly advocating for AGW. Simply put; bait and switch, deny the lie.
A significant amount of resources have been thrown at measuring global warming, but it has proved unmeasurable; a common theme in environmental activism. Once again, this last year has seen numerous funding opportunities seeking advanced sensors to measure minute environmental changes, in the hopes of definitively detecting Man’s influence. If not for the political desire to attack fossil fuels and the industries they power, this funding would be non-existent, as would the “consensus” it pays for. Instead of tallying overt opinions of scientists, that “consensus” has been measured as John Cook did it, by the titles of their research. It creates a strange logic: because government funded thousands of climate research studies, AGW must be occurring, regardless of study results.
The Midwestern United States is a patchwork of unnatural green circles, and the rolling hills of Scotland were once forested. Man definitely affects the environment, but climate is a slowly changing average with a lot of yearly variation. Over the next 2,000 to 4,000 years, this interglacial period will end and the average temperature will drop by 2 to 3°C. Atlanta in the year 5,000 will be like Chicago now. Most likely, our descendants will have no fossil fuels to warm their homes (or planet), and will be grateful for their stout, hairy forms. The 10,000 years beyond that will see temperatures plunge another 4 to 8°C, and people will complain about Orlandsberia; that is natural and measurable climate change. We can make super-instruments to detect a few atoms of lead in a calcium supplement or molecules of CO2 in a liter of seawater, but if that is what it takes, was it worth worrying about in the first place?