Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The End is Nigh

Fashionable Nutters

The Climate Change Doomsday Cult has tossed up more than its fair share of nutters.  If you stupidly, but genuinely, believe that "the end is nigh" for the human race, let alone the planet, then such desperate times call for desperate measures.  We can understand the logic, just as we grasp the logic of those who have believed that the world will end at midnight on the 13th of June, 2001 (or whenever) and who have traipsed out into the desert to set up survivalist compounds, thereby avoiding the worst of Armageddon.

In each case, the logic is sound; it's the premises that are false.  The Climate Change Doomsday Cult has  this one distinction from apocalyptic forbears, however.  It has managed to capture the fears and febrile imagination of the chattering classes and the Commentariat, normally too urbane and sophisticated to get taken in by Doomsday cults.  Here are a couple of examples of the elites having been suckered.  First, the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, as reported in BreitbartNews

NEW YORK CITY -- New York's Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters on Sunday during the People’s Climate March that the city’s private sector buildings may be mandated to be retrofitted to adapt to the city’s green house gas emission reduction plan. “We are now the largest city on the earth to adopt the 80/50 standard. We are going to retrofit all of our public buildings. We are going to work with the public sector. We are going to work with the private sector to retrofit their buildings. I’ve said very clearly, I think the private sector is ready and willing. I think it's in all of our interests,” he said. “It’s a matter of survival. We’ll work with them. We’ll incentivize. We’ll support. If that is not moving fast enough, we will move to mandates because we have to get there. This is a matter of survival.” 

Mayor de Blasio announced he was committed to an 80 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, beginning with sweeping regulations among buildings in the city.
The cost impost upon New York City will be horrendous.  Unintended perverse effects will follow: businesses migrating out of the city, owners of buildings going bankrupt; buildings being abandoned, economic growth (also known as employment, wages, and the ability to provide for families) will lag.  The only growth industry will be the power, organs, officials, and rules and regulations of the city government.  De Blasio is going to command and control New York into becoming a giant survivalist compound.  Paradoxically this will bring upon the city the equivalent of a nuclear winter, albeit by other means.  His plan will cause the alleged disasters hectored abroad by the Climate Change Doomsday Cult to come into being. But it's all OK, because New Yorkers' very survival is at stake. 

And here are some examples of the Climate Change Doomsday Cult in action the UK:
Actress Emma Thompson, arguably best known for her Best Actress Oscar in Howards End and for her courage in naming her daughter Gaia, has declared that anyone who doesn't believe in climate change is "bonkers".  . . .

"Unless we're carbon free by 2030 the world is buggered," Ms Thompson claimed, apparently unaware that the trace gas carbon dioxide is a natural byproduct of almost every industrial process and that if anyone took her prescription seriously then Western Civilisation would be brought grinding to a halt and the world would indeed be "buggered."
Yup.  Doomsday is looming.  Here is another version of the Climate Change Doomsday Cult, this time from a fashion designer.
Emma Thompson and Gaia weren't the only celebrities lending their expertise to the climate march. Also present was fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, who averred:
"A triad of [fossil fuel] monopolies, banks and politicians are ruining the planet. If runaway climate change kicks in then within a generation, there will be very little habitable on the planet and the suffering will be unimaginable."
Could these icons of the Commentariat be wrong?   Yes.  Their passion may be compelling--but that's always been true of Doomsday Cults.  Here is the "other side" of the argument, as summarised in the New York Post, soon to become the ex-New York Post (we confidently predict, if the madcap mayor has his way): 
Oregon-based physicist Gordon Fulks sums it up well: “CO2 is said to be responsible for global warming that is not occurring, for accelerated sea-level rise that is not occurring, for net glacial and sea ice melt that is not occurring . . . and for increasing extreme weather that is not occurring.”
  •  According to NASA satellites and all ground-based temperature measurements, global warming ceased in the late 1990s. This when CO2 levels have risen almost 10 percent since 1997. The post-1997 CO2 emissions represent an astonishing 30 percent of all human-related emissions since the Industrial Revolution began. That we’ve seen no warming contradicts all CO2-based climate models upon which global-warming concerns are founded.

  • Rates of sea-level rise remain small and are even slowing, over recent decades averaging about 1 millimeter per year as measured by tide gauges and 2 to 3 mm/year as inferred from “adjusted” satellite data. Again, this is far less than what the alarmists suggested.

  •  Satellites also show that a greater area of Antarctic sea ice exists now than any time since space-based measurements began in 1979. In other words, the ice caps aren’t melting.

  •  A 2012 IPCC report concluded that there has been no significant increase in either the frequency or intensity of extreme weather events in the modern era. The NIPCC 2013 report concluded the same. Yes, Hurricane Sandy was devastating — but it’s not part of any new trend.
The climate scare, Fulks sighs, has “become a sort of societal pathogen that virulently spreads misinformation in tiny packages like a virus.” . . .The costs of feeding the climate-change “monster” are staggering. According to the Congressional Research Service, from 2001 to 2014 the US government spent $131 billion on projects meant to combat human-caused climate change, plus $176 billion for breaks for anti-CO2 energy initiatives.

Federal anti-climate-change spending is now running at $11 billion a year, plus tax breaks of $20 billion a year. That adds up to more than double the $14.4 billion worth of wheat produced in the United States in 2013.  Dr. Bjørn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, calculates that the European Union’s goal of a 20 percent reduction in CO2 emissions below 1990 levels by 2020, currently the most severe target in the world, will cost almost $100 billion a year by 2020, or more than $7 trillion over the course of this century.

Lomborg, a supporter of the UN’s climate science, notes that this would buy imperceptible improvement: “After spending all that money, we would not even be able to tell the difference.”  Al Gore was right in one respect: Climate change is a moral issue — but that’s because there is nothing quite so immoral as well-fed, well-housed Westerners assuaging their consciences by wasting huge amounts of money on futile anti-global-warming policies, using money that could instead go to improve living standards in developing countries.

That is where the moral outrage should lie.

Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa-based International Climate Science Coalition. Bob Carter is former professor and head of the School of Earth Sciences at James Cook University in Australia.

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