’tis the season of peace and goodwill to all men, so rather than write something snarky and mean about the climate change scam, which I’ve written on since 2010 with resolute scepticism (because climate change/global warming/extreme weather etc doesn’t exist, as far as I can see), here are some nice and positive notes on the topic. And happily, if my sceptical view is wrong, it doesn’t matter anyway. Here are three views as to why this is so.
First up is a real scientist, James Lovelock, now aged 96, and still cogitating effectively. His basic thesis is the global warming does exist, but: “We’re reaching an age in history where you can no longer predict the future with any hope of success….We should give up vainglorious attempts to save the world.” He is a population miserabilist, whose ideal world population would be about a billion humans, but to counterbalance it he’s a technological optimist, human ingenuity will find the way forward, to counteract the malign effects of global warming (if they exist, which they don’t). That doesn’t include wind farms, to quote Jim, they’re “an absolute scam. A great big German scam”. He supports nuclear energy, with good reason, but he’s referring to the existing nuclear fission sources, although just maybe, nuclear fusion is on the horizon. If you had to sum it up, even if you accept all the wild climate change rhetoric, there’s hope, because humans are special. Interestingly, after a lifetime of pondering science, Lovelock is no atheist, more of a convincable agnostic. Perhaps being 96 does that to you. He correctly identifies much of the ‘climate change problem’: “Scientists, have moved from investigating nature as a vocation, to being caught in a career path where it makes sense to ‘fudge the data'”.
Lovelock had his epiphany regrading the whole climate change fandango in about 2008, in part because of the flagrant abuses of scientific process that he was observing: ‘Fudging the data in any way whatsoever is quite literally a sin against the holy ghost of science… I put it that way because I feel so strongly. It’s the one thing you do not ever do. You’ve got to have standards.’
Next up is Tim Worstall, who is an intellectually self confident pragmatist, and often funny with it. Worstall knows science and he knows practical economics, here is his variation on Lovelock’s theme. Worstall thinks solar energy is working, and he provides the evidence:
Back in the 1990s Bjorn Lomborg said that climate change wasn’t going to be all that much of a problem. If we just straight line forecast the increasing cost efficiency of solar we will see that people will quite naturally start shifting to that in the early 2020s. My how he was shouted at for having said that. And here we are in the last lap before those early 2020s and solar has been plummeting in price. And we don’t think coal consumption is going to be anything like what it could have been without that now cheaper solar….The truth being that a lot of what we needed to do to “beat” climate change has already been done. We’ve gone and invented a non-fossil fuel manner of getting our electricity in a soon to be economic manner. That’s pretty much all we did ever need to do, we’ve done it, we’re done.
Seeing as it’s Christmas, The Knife will concede that one stimulus for developing solar power has been the hysteria from Al Gore and his like, despite their stupid claims. The main reason though, is that having been heavily subsidised initially, it may now start to be making money. Capitalism does work, occasionally.
And on this theme of the timelessly inventive nature of the human race, here is a recent beautiful summary, by Josh Gelernter, stimulated by the absurd Paris climate conference:
The deal sets various goals for 2023, and for 2050 through 2100. It is absurd to think that the world’s foreign ministers can intelligently discuss what the world’s climate, industry, transportation, or energy markets will look like in 2023 — much less 2050 or 2100. Consider that 2023 is eight years from now. Eight years ago, did anyone at COP21 know Uber was coming? Did any of those foreign ministers know how popular drones would become? That new supersonic passenger planes would be in development? That four different private companies would be launching space flights? That two companies would be going forward with tests of “hyper-loop” transportation? Did they know that zero-friction “quantum levitation” would be demonstrated? Or that hydrogen-powered cars would become commercially available? Did they know about the fracking boom?
Gelernter goes on to quote the great Michael Crichton on the hubris displayed by John Kerry et al, in their confident predictions of doom:
“I remind you that in the lifetime of most scientists now living, we have already had an example of dire predictions set aside by new technology. . . . In 1960, Paul Ehrlich said, ‘The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines — hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.’ Ten years later, he predicted 4 billion people would die during the 1980s, including 65 million Americans. The mass starvation that was predicted never occurred, and it now seems it isn’t ever going to happen. Nor is the population explosion going to reach the numbers predicted even ten years ago. In 1990, climate modelers anticipated a world population of 11 billion by 2100. Today, some people think the correct number will be 7 billion and falling. But nobody knows for sure.”
What all these have in common, and in complete contract with the warmist crowd, is a faith in humanity, and an optimisim that if there is a ‘climate problem’ (I readily admit we’re facing a problem with our energy sources), humans will deal with it. This is a long long way from the self flagellating maniacs who want to spend all our money and hamper our lives by futile gestures exemplified by that Paris summit. Of course, the good news there is that what was agreed in Paris means nothing in practice. Thank God.