Sunday, November 22, 2009

Global warming cooling

With the hacking of the East Anglia climate lab’s data and documents, and the revelations therein (that Mish does an adequate job of summarizing) I am reminded of the late Michael Crichton’s remarks on the subject to the National Press Club.  Crichton was admirable for maintaining throughout his life—even after becoming rich and celebrated—the ability to apply critical thinking skills typical of college graduates of the early postwar period to current events.  In other words, he resisted spin.  I recommend reading “The Case for Skepticism on Global Warming” (2005).  Crichton shows that just on the face of the research presented, global warming was a fraud.

But remember, Al Gore (allegedly) invented the Internet, so he must know what he’s talking about.  And he also got really rich selling fear, a topic that Crichton addressed in his novel State of Fear.  George W. Bush made fear-mongering his stock in trade, and Dick Cheney is pathetically still carrying the torch.

We have so many fear-mongers now that it’s hard to get good panic attack going.  Was that a meteor streaking across the Western sky that if it had been bigger could have started the next ice age in six months?  Oh well, back to worrying about the collapse of the world economy….

Maybe people will wake up, learn to think, and shut the fear-mongers up.


Movie rental recommendation:  Food, Inc.  Eye-popping.  Corporate consolidation of the food industry based on mass production and the horrors thereof; the demand for organic food by consumers is the only hope as Walmart and others come on board. 

When the Supreme Court gave corporations the right to patent life forms, they set the stage for evil on a planetary scale by agribusinesses.  Thank you, Clarence Thomas.

Crichton’s novel Next is an entertaining diatribe on this topic, although he seems to have given up the fight spiritually.  It was one of his last novels.

The housecleaning that the human race faces over coming decades is truly staggering, if we are not to perish by our own misdeeds.


  1. Mish goes a bit over the top on this one - although that is par for the course for him isn't it? A few emails from a scientist nobody's ever heard of, quoted out of context. In and of itself it isn't really evidence of anything other than a few mails quoted out of context from a random scientist.

    Unfortunately things are warming up, glaciers are melting and habitats are disapearing. The best science we have (and it's more of a hard science than economics) at the moment suggests we're the cause.

    And given that, it would be irresponsible not to do something about it - even if the science turns out to be wrong. At worst we'll probably reduce pollution and make the world a nicer place to live, at the cost of a few coal mines and smelly noisy cars. I don't see why everyone gets so worked up about it - getting rid of the dependency on fossil fuels has so many side benefits from national security to road safety to whole new industries, particularly for the usa.

  2. NotZed -

    Is Crichton's reading of the IPCC documents wrong? He quotes from them directly. The confidence intervals seem way too weak to take the kind of drastic action being proposed by the major fear-mongers.

    Of course we need to take better care of the environment. In America there are many success stories to point to: the Hudson River and Great Lakes cleanups, for example, and reductions in air pollution in many cities.

    "Food, Inc." has interviews with organic food activists who credit *Walmart* with being most responsive to increased demand for organic foods. The food radicals conclude that the consumer really is king.

    Change consciousness, change people's demands (of all varieties), change the world. The Internet helps, doesn't it? Let's keep it "neutral."

    Thanks for your gracious comment.


  3. Why not go Nuclear power 100%? The Republicans would favor because it is "pro growth" and would lower electricity costs. And the Democrats would like it because it is an easy quick way to eliminate C02 from electricity production.

    Too dangerous?? really? Compared to their global warming destruction scenarios? Al Gore never even mentioned it in his movie. The most obvious and direct way to get 100% carbon free with current technology.. How seriously do they take their global warming disaster scenarios if they dismiss the obvious compromise solution so easily?

    They would rather wait for hyper efficient solar panels that don't yet exist, to be distributed onto peoples rooftops, then curtailing electricity demand to match the limited supply.. Yeah, right, And I'm supposed to take their global warming scenarios on faith??

  4. I don't have a good feeling about "nucular" power.... I think I'd rather stick with wind, solar, tidal, and whatever else clean comes along. We may have to conserve a whole lot.

  5. Its like playing with fire. Mankind will learn to cook with the green fire without getting burned.
    Google thorium