Al Gore, Arthur Chrenkoff, Capitalism, Carbon Forcings, Chicken Little, Child Advocacy, Climate Alarmism, Climate Deaths, David Viner, Goose Eggs, Greta Thunberg, Michael Oppenheimer, Model Bias, Over-Prediction, Paul Erlich, Prince Charles, Scott Adams, Seeing CO2, United Nations
Empiricists, take note: The kids were out in the streets on Friday, skipping school to warn us of a climate doomsday fast approaching. Like Greta Thunberg, one of several teenage girls billed as modern-day Cassandras, they just know it. But wait, I think I heard the same thing many years ago… doomsday is nigh! In fact, I’ve heard it over and over through my entire adulthood. And here’s the empirical regularity: “Goose Eggs: No Climate Doomsday Warning Has Come True“. Ever. From the link:
- 1967 — Stanford … expert Paul Erlich predicted “time of famines” in 1975.
- 1971 — A top NASA expert predicted an “ice age” by 2021.
- 1988 — It was predicted that the Maldives would be under water by last year.
- 2008 — Gore said the Arctic would be free of ice by 2013.
- 2009 — [Prince] Charles said there was just 96 months left to save the world.”
Here are a few other warnings that haven’t panned out:
“Within a few years ‘children just aren’t going to know what snow is.’ Snowfall will be ‘a very rare and exciting event.’” — Dr. David Viner, senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia [March 2000]”
“[By] 1995, the greenhouse effect would be desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots…[By 1996] The Platte River of Nebraska would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers. — Michael Oppenheimer in 1990″
There have been many others (also see here and here). Oh, but you just wait, they say. This time it’s different and it won’t be long!. You know, people just love to worry. Even so, what kind of daft world do we inhabit with children and adults completely freaked out about “problems” that don’t approximate reality.
Predictions of a more clinical variety, such as upward temperature trends, have been way off on a consistent basis: much too high, that is. But here’s the key: all of the other calamitous developments said to be in our future are predicated on those temperature forecasts. The warnings are not based on data per se, but on on crappy climate models (and see here), which are simplifications of reality, loosely calibrated to capture a relatively short period of historical records. And the models are crappy because they often rely on one input, CO2 forcings. The modelers have difficulty addressing the empirical sensitivity of temperature to carbon, the net effects of radiative forcing, clouds, and ocean circulation. In many prominent cases they don’t even try. Hey look, we’re all gonna die!
A striking misconception one hears repeatedly is that we experience many more hot days, and they are hotter, hot days than in the past. Sure, extremely hot days are bad, but not as bad as extremely cold days, and probably worse than warm nights. The truth is, however, that nearly all of the warming experienced over the past few decades has been in nighttime lows, not daytime highs. More “seasoned” climate alarmists don’t seem to have any memory of the hot days of their youth, and the kids… well, they just fell off the turnip truck, so they have no idea.
One of the great perversions of climate alarmism is the notion that the private enterprise system must be heavily regulated or even abolished in order to put an end to global warming. Never mind that governments are directly responsible for a major share of environmental degradation. And as private economies flourish, the environmental efficiency of production actually improves. In fact, if one were to stipulate that climate change is a problem, as I will for just this one sentence, vibrant capitalism offers the best path to environmental solutions. There are several basic reasons. One is that economic growth and higher income levels give consumers the wherewithal to demand and pay for costlier “green” products. More fundamentally, economic growth facilitates development and investment in cleaner technologies by business and government.
Miss Thunberg doesn’t understand any of this, of course, but she’s a pretty good little scold:
“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean, yet you come to us young people for hope. How dare you.”
Here’s Arthur Chrenkoff’s take on poor Thunberg and her message:
“[She] should be going to Beijing or Bangalore and staging her protests there instead of, or at least in addition to, Sweden or New York. She should be hounding President Xi and Prime Minister Modi about their shameful emissions. She should be leading throngs of Asian kids out of schools for her Friday student strikes. She should be castigating the industries and the consumers of the developing world for destroying the planet and killing humanity in the process. She should be doing all this if she were serious about the global nature of the problem.”
I especially like this quote from Scott Adams on the “child advocate” phenomenon we’re witnessing:
“Adults sometimes like to use children to carry their messages because it makes it hard for the other side to criticize them without seeming like monsters. If adults have encouraged you to panic about climate change without telling you what I am telling you here, they do not have your best interests at heart. They are using you.“
Of course, Thunberg is thoroughly propagandized and a useful theatrical tool for the alarmist establishment. She has made all sorts of ridiculous and unquestioned claims before the United Nations and elsewhere (e.g., people are dying from climate change (no); that she can “see” CO2 (okay, her mother said that, but what a hoot!). Don’t think for a second that “we have to listen to the children” is uttered sincerely by any adult climate alarmist. It’s manipulation. I feel sorry for Thunberg not least because she is probably deeply frightened about the climate, but also because she is a tool of a death cult.
You really can’t blame kids for being worried about bogeymen foisted upon them by foolish elders, but you can blame the adults for their own frightened acceptance of chicken-little climate augury. And that’s what the kids are being taught. The schools certainly won’t penalize them for missing classes. In fact, many of their teachers accompanied them to the protests.
The climate scare is part of a larger agenda to dismantle not just capitalism, but a host of innocent individual liberties. Scaring children and making teens into miserable pessimists will groom them as good (if neurotic) environmental soldiers for life. They’ll be fit as compliant subjects of a new, environmental fascist state, never to know the sweet freedom and growth possible without the needless bindings imposed by climate cranks. Children, the protection you’ve been told to demand isn’t necessary or worth it. You’re fighting for goose eggs!