Monday, 2 December 2019

"Here Are Five of The Main Reasons People Continue to Deny Climate Change"

From Science Alert.

Yup, good list, sign me up to all of those five.

Point 1:

Deniers suggest climate change is just part of the natural cycle. Or that climate models are unreliable and too sensitive to carbon dioxide.

Climate or climates clearly exist, and it or they keep changing. The derogatory expression 'Climate Denier' is based on 'Holocaust Denier', people who flatly refuse to accept that there was such a thing despite a huge mountain of evidence saying that it did happen. Even the perpetrators didn't deny that it happened, they just downplayed their own personal roles.

The chart shows that average temperatures have increased by about 1C over the last fifty years. I'm happy to take this at face value. They can say what they like, this is entirely within the normal range of up- and downward fluctuations since we started recording temperatures reliably.

And don't they keep telling us that last time CO2 levels were this high, global temperatures were 3C higher? Which sort of illustrates that there is little correlation between CO2 levels and temperature.

So that whole section falls flat on its logical arse.

Most insulting of all are the sweeping generalisations under point 5:

Deniers argue that climate change is not as bad as scientists make out. We will be much richer in the future and better able to fix climate change. They also play on our emotions as many of us don't like change and can feel we are living in the best of times – especially if we are richer or in power.

But similarly hollow arguments were used in the past to delay ending slavery, granting the vote to women, ending colonial rule, ending segregation, decriminalising homosexuality, bolstering worker's rights and environmental regulations, allowing same sex marriages and banning smoking.

These are not scientific questions, they are value judgments. As it happens, I am, or would have been had I been alive and asked at the time, in favour of everything on that list, except of course the smoking ban. Most of the items are pro-freedom; the smoking ban is anti-freedom.


Lola said...

MW. I Agree.

A K Haart said...

I agree. Apart from anything else the word 'denier' is such a giveaway.

Bayard said...

Did you follow the link in item one "All these arguments are false" which leads to a real motherlode of shite, including this gem of a diagonal comparison on why a tiny amount of CO2 is supposed to have such a powerful effect:
"As for the “common sense” scale argument that a very small part of something can’t have much of an effect on it, it only takes 0.1 grams of cyanide to kill an adult, which is about 0.0001% of your body weight. Compare this with carbon dioxide, which currently makes up 0.04% of the atmosphere and is a strong greenhouse gas. Meanwhile, nitrogen makes up 78% of the atmosphere and yet is highly unreactive."

Also on Radio 4 today I heard someone who must have been a militant vegetarian saying that we should not keep cows because cows produce methane, which is "a very powerful greenhouse gas". That's as maybe, but what he didn't point out is that the concentration of methane in the atmosphere is 1866 ppb, 220 times less concentrated than CO2 at 412ppm and 10,000 times less concentrated than water vapour.

Lola said...

Grass fed cows are certainly carbon/methane/whatever neutral. And arguably grass fed cows are possibly carbon/methane absorbers.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, AKH, ta.

B, I didn't click that link. my favourite alarmist porn website is Skeptical Science that is a treasure trove of false logic like that.

Pablo said...

Some interestin' stuff here:

Timbotoo said...

And they get a free pass when none of their dire predictions comes true.

Mark Wadsworth said...

P, good find. But clearly he's a Science Denier.

T, in their view, we are at the start of a catastrophic phase. They select a few random unconnected flood or drought events and cite them in evidence.

Bayard said...

Mark, isn't it just! However, I am saddened to find NASA, who really should know better, signing up for the "CO2 warming amplified by water vapour" myth

(For those that don't know it it goes like this: the more CO2 in the atmosphere -> warmer atmosphere -> more water vapour in the atmosphere -> even warmer atmosphere (water vapour is a more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2), thus accounting for CO2's power despite there being so little of it). However, the water vapour can't tell that the initial warming is coming from CO2, any warming will do, so more water vapour in the atmosphere -> even warmer atmosphere -> more water vapour in the atmosphere -> even warmer atmosphere and so on until all the oceans boil away. This is basic physics. Because this doesn't happen, there must be some sort of control mechanism, which makes the original theory a load of bollocks.)

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, I did a post on that. If CO2 and H20 were self reinforcing, then the seas would have boiled dry millions of years ago. That didn't happen. hmm.

mombers said...

@MW smoking is much like farting. I've never met anyone who enjoys smelling other people's. Yet we all have the freedom to enjoy making smells away from other people :-). I know I do

Ralph Musgrave said...

So the one degree rise in temperatures is “entirely within the normal range of up- and downward fluctuations since we started recording temperatures reliably”?? Unfortunately that does not prove that temp rise IS ACTUALLY CAUSED BY “normal fluctuations”.

The “normal fluctuation” that is normally invoked here is the rise in temperature since the “little ice age”, i.e. the cold period between roughly 1600 and 1800 when the Thames regularly froze over.

The flaw in that argument is that the little ice age was NOT a global phenomenon: it was a phenomenon confined to Europe and one or two other areas in the Northern Hemisphere.

Bayard said...

"Because this doesn't happen, there must be some sort of control mechanism, which makes the original theory a load of bollocks."

I've discovered what it is: water vapour is less dense than air, so it naturally rises through the air until it gets cold enough to condense back into water, releasing its latent heat of vapourisation. This mechanism mechanically transports heat away from the Earth's surface and because the transport mechanism is mechanical, it is not affected by the greenhouse effect.

Dinero said...

There was also a Cosmic ray theory in the news recently.

ontheotherhand said...

The whole issue is so complicated that in order to understand it fully, one needs to quit life and study it full time, or one has to pick trusted sources to digest the complexity and summarise. Based on the other beliefs that tend to be correlated with climate alarmism - e.g. big government controlling lives rather than freedom, SJW, rejection of most tradition in favour of this replacement new "religion", I tend to smell a rat with the data selected by climate change proponents.

I come from a position that every generation thinks that there is some massive problem that will never be solved - Malthus and overpopulation, global cooling in the 70s, DDT and pesticides, nuclear war, acid rain and forests, ozone lazer, AIDS going epidemic in the general population, GM food, bird flu, ebola.

Global warming is one of our problems, but I am sure that it will make more sense to invest in research and innovation and adapt than to bomb our economy now for certain just to slightly reduce the possibility of catastrophic GW theory being right.

The end of the world is nigh. Repent, or at least signal your virtue by campaigning about plastic straws.

Mark Wadsworth said...

OTOH, bingo, you have got it in one.