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ANDERSON: Climate Change and the Great Horse Manure Crisis of 1894 (Part Three)

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May 22, 2019 - 12:26 PM

 


OPINION


PART THREE

In Part One and Part Two I talked about the apocalyptic portrayal of the climate “crisis” and the uncertainty of actual climate science, and in Part Three ask if there's really a crisis at all?

"...in this year was a very strong hail and wind, as never seen before, and it did great damage, [...] and so many women, which it's said to have made the hail and the wind, were burned according to the law." 

"...all the vineyards were totally destroyed by frost […], the same with the precious grain which had already flourished.[…] Everything froze, [something] which had not happened as long as one could remember, causing a big rise in price.[…] As a result, pleading and begging began among the peasants, [who] questioned why the authorities continued to tolerate the witches and sorcerers destruction of the crops. Thus the prince-bishop punished these crimes, and the persecution began in this year..." — Bavarian and Swiss chronicles, circa 1445 and 1626 respectively

“What I would challenge you to do is to put a lot of effort into trying to see whether there’s a legal way of throwing our so-called leaders into jail because what they’re doing [re: climate change]is a criminal act.” — David Suzuki, Anno Domini 2008

“'You idiots ... The planet's on fucking fire!'” ~ Bill Nye (The alleged 'Science Guy') 2019

Within the context of our own era it's hard to see the similarity between these four examples, except that they all assign blame for climate change. After all the first two, although originating two centuries apart, are based on late medieval superstition and the last two on what we think of as modern science, right?

Never mind that two centuries from now our own progeny will look back and scoff at our silliness as we scoff at those that came before us. And so it is and so it will ever be, as Edward Harrison explains in “Masks of the Universe: Changing Ideas on the Nature of the Cosmos”:

“In every age people believe that their universe contains all that is believable and real. Wise men in their palaces, temples, academies, and universities reject the rest as opinion and illusion. Forget all the superstitions of the uneducated and the myths your parents taught you. For behold! Here is the true universe, awesome, vast, and wondrous. The world is an immense tug of war with gods and demons pulling on a giant serpent; the world is the handiwork of almighty gods whom we must obey and worship or reap the misfortune of their wrath; the world is a finite concentric unity of crystalline spheres; the world is a dance of atoms and waves, all else is outworn myth and discredited theory. The scene is timeless. Yesterday there is a false image, today the true face.”

And so the TRVE face of the world today is catastrophe in the form of climate change. But is it really?

In a February 22 Tweet, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna claimed that “Canadians are feeling the impacts of climate change on their health, from deadly heatwaves in Quebec last summer to asthma-inducing smoke from B.C. forest fires.”

The trouble is that the RCMP had already announced that 29 of the 2018 BC forest fires were a result of arson, and since the RCMP don't release speculative figures, those 29 fires were only the ones the police were absolutely sure were arson...there were no doubt many more the police believed but could not substantiate as arson. And arson, according the best science available, is not a function of climate change. Further, it is well understood within forest management circles that the superfires we are experiencing now are mainly the result of decades of reactive forest mismanagement.

Bill Nye the science guy assures us in measured scientific tones that “The planet's on fucking fire! By the end of this century, if emissions keep rising, the average temperature on Earth could go up another four to eight degrees.” That's all very scary, except no. The earth is not on fire and not even the IPCC gives any credence to a rise in temperature of 4-8 degrees (it claims 1.5-2 degrees). Bill Nye is simply regurgitating alarmism of the most unscientific sort. It's the same sort of false narrative that has led many people to believe that fringe ideas like the runaway greenhouse effect leading to a Venusian life-extinction is actually on our future menu.

This kind of unsubstantiated and unscientific fablemaking has seeped into public perception by means of repetition and is flogged to death by climate activists, many of whom have no scientific background at all. Take Russ Francis for example, advertising his academic bona fides as “third-generation vegetarian,” in what amounts to a rant against LNG. His article is chock full of alarmist hyperbole like “truly terrifying updates to the looming climate catastrophe,” and “'cascading chaos' of climate change,” and the old standby, “unprecedented global threat.” Where does this all come from? Certainly not objective, questioning, ever-changing science.

And have you ever noticed that the advertised effects of global warming are 100 per cent negative? Stop and think for a moment. Does it seem reasonable, on a balance of probabilities, that climate change, regardless of its cause or severity, only has bad effects? Does that seem reasonable to you? Is it even mathematically possible? But if there are good effects why don't we ever hear about them?

Catherine McKenna, in a tweet replying to Don Cherry, emoted – with no scientific basis – that he “might want to think about all those kids who might not have outdoor rinks to play on some day.” That would be sad for hockey-playing kids if there were the slightest indication that Canada would have no ice someday, and there's not, but let's look at the positive corollaries to a warmer Canada. Longer growing seasons, more readily accessible energy and minerals, more agricultural land available, more CO2 fertilization, more livable terrain. Can nothing good ever come of these things? And that's only in Canada.

Worldwide, the situation is the much the same. While there are of course negative effects of climate change, Dr. Ranga Myneni of Boston University, on the basis of 30 years of satellite data, has shown that in that time 31 per cent of the global vegetated area of the planet has become greener and three per cent has become less green. Not only that, but there has been a net 14 per cent increase in productivity of ecosystems and all vegetation types. Most notably, the Sahara desert is becoming greener thanks to CO2 fertilization – not 'may become, according to an imperfect climate models based on uncertain data – but actually is, as we speak.

So not only is the world not on fire, but weather disasters, including droughts, floods, and hurricanes are NOT getting more intense or more frequent, and the earth is in fact becoming greener. And yet the cherrypicking of negative factoids and horrific prognoses continue apace, both in the activist community and the media. And of course politicians in Canada are piling on the climate bandwagon as well, with the federal Liberals and NDP competing via Bills to grab attention by declaring a pre-election“climate emergency”; a move that will achieve nothing in the way of policy but signal to all the world that the sky is falling and WE MUST PANIC NOW. Why?

Stay tuned for Part Four.

— Scott Anderson comments and analysis from a bluntly conservative point of view.


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