Sunday, February 08, 2009

Reasons why climate policy will collapse

Roger Pielke Jr wrote an interesting article about the actual reasons why climate policy is going to collapse.



An unnamed Dutch kid from a book about Hans Brinker (Dr Pielke, your description is incorrect!) plugs a hole in a dike with his finger, resembling the recent activity of climate activists and scientists.

He says that the dynamics of the climate discussion is not determined by the progress and changes in climate science, by a decade without any statistically significant warming, or by a cool winter. All these things are slow and irrelevant.

When the climate hysteria bandwagon crashes, many skeptics will think or suggest that it will have been a result of their work.

But the reasons will be different, Pielke argues. The main reason will be that the promises about the climate will be moved from the realm of dreams to the world of reality where they inevitably have to collide with facts.

And let me tell you, I agree with that. I would be much happier in a world where new scientific results - or their successful explanation to the broader public - would significantly influence political decisions but we're not living in such a nice world.

Climate science has always been an irrelevant puppet show, a young woman forced to be a prostitute by the side that was "winning" the ideological debate. Nothing substantial has changed about our scientific understanding of the climate for a decade or more.

What was driving the intense dynamics has always been politics, the personal interests of various groups, and groupthink that has run amok.




Climatologists - and maybe even other scientists who prefer comfortable life over the truth - love the hysteria because it encourages the funding of their discipline(s). Journalists like to write absurd catastrophic stories because they're never hard to invent and they help them to sell the newspapers to hundreds of millions of stupid readers.

And the politicians love to paint themselves as the saviors of the world. They also love to promise things that no one will be able to verify during their careers.

However, I agree with Pielke that the last sentence is going to be invalidated rather soon. I think that Pielke doesn't quite say where the sudden change comes from. So let me tell you. The plans to lower the CO2 emissions have become so megalomaniac that they have actually moved from the realm of pure fantasy to the real world where they can be seen to be insane.

You know, if someone promises 80% reductions of CO2 by 2050, that's just an irrational vacuous babbling, a nonsense analogous to promises that we will colonize Jupiter by the year 3000. Cheap politicians, presidents, lawmakers, and university presidents often promise such absurdities to be elected by a very low-quality segment of the electorate.

But this babbling is not the last part of the story.

Other politicians, policymakers, and activists are actually working hard to translate these nonsensical pledges into material plans to change the world. Unless a viable and quickly realizable alternative to fossil fuels emerges in a few decades, which is extremely far from a guaranteed scenario, the idea of an 80% reduction of CO2 emissions is clearly nothing less than a plan to destroy the world's economy in a way that would make the bombing of Germany in 1945 or other effects of world wars innocent children in comparison.

Even if one divides such a hypothetical reduction to individual decades, it leads to insane decadal reductions of the CO2 output in a world that is naturally increasing it as the economy grows (most of the time) - and has been increasing it in the last decade despite the silly games known as the Kyoto protocol. The climate promises have become so saturated that the "costs" of making some pledges began to exceed the "benefits" for a growing number of politicians.

They are going to leave this bandwagon, for reasons that are political, not scientific, and the same feedback mechanisms that were operating in the last decade are going to switch the sign and deconstruct this pyramid of hot air pretty quickly. As Pielke IMHO correctly predicts, such a deconstruction is going to have a negative impact on many people not only in the "pure climate science": some of them even don't deserve it.

But that's how the real world works.

Bonus: Australian ABC poll

Andrew Bolt reports about a poll in Australia whose results were censored. The readers were asked whether the most recent heat wave can be explained by global warming. 94% of readers said that global warming itself was a myth while additional 3% said "No".

Although the poll included software against multiple voting, someone said that 90% of the votes were rigged. Well, as Bolt noticed, even if it were the case, the "myth" group and the "No" would win over the "Yes" group by the 70:30 ratio. I guess that this kind of censorship can't survive for too long in the information era.

2 comments:

  1. Lubos,

    It's kind of ironic that all the liberals in the USA have blamed George Bush for the economy's downturn when the economy's downturn may be the straw that breaks the AGW alarmism's back and hence saves the world from the idiocy of Al Gore, James Hansen, and Gavin Schmidt.

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  2. I agree with you and Reed C above.
    I thank God too, for the medium of the blogosphere that lets debate proceed.
    In spite of the scepticism of the general public that you allude to there is very little, ie virtually none at all, information in the MSM about this colossal debate ranging throughout the world.
    For the disinterested, the apathetic and the brain dead the science is settled.
    An interesting string here from my local alarmist site...
    http://hot-topic.co.nz/censoring-science/

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