Friday, April 14, 2006

More on Euston: climate

Robert Sharp agrees with The Euston Manifesto, except that it has no clause about wearing sandals and saving the planet.
I am convinced that climate change will be just as disatrous for humanity as Stalinism, Maoism, and Nazism. I am also convinced that in a generation, the shame of our inaction on this issue will be comparable to the Left’s shame over communist ‘apologetics’, and European soul-search over inaction during the Holocaust.

Global warming is a ‘meta’ issue. It is likely to be a catalyst for many future conflicts, as different countries, groups and ideologies fight for control over scarce resources.

Today, ladies and gentlemen, Robert is channelling the post-apocalytic spirit of John Wyndham; tomorrow he will be tapping into the spirit of John Christopher and explaining what will happen when all the grass dies. One of the many problems with climate change is that the concensus that we are told exists simply does not.
The trouble with this position is the fact that this supposed consensus has just been shown not to exist - although, as noted, those dependent for their news upon the Guardian and Independent remain ignorant of this fact (and, one is tempted to add, much else). It's left to the Sunday Telegraph (evil capitalists) and the Daily Mail (deluded loons) to report on the open letter sent by 60 prominent scientists - many of them climatologists - to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and reprinted in the Financial Post.

In the letter, the scientists cast doubts on the computer models driving climate change theory, explicitly state that fears that "climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause"  are unjustified, deny the existence of a consensus concerning the weight of any anthropogenic component, and accuse "global warming alarmists" like Mr. Monbiot of ignoring science that "does not fit with predetermined political agendas".

It is certainly true that any projections have been massively overstated, to the extent to which the repeated meme is starting to sound more like a deliberate lie; Tim Worstall discusses this over at TCS.
The Kyoto Protocol was never going to be one of the things I thought we should do as it does not very much at great expense. I'm also on record here as stating that I think technology will save us, for my day job involves some contact with certain parts of the alternative energy research world and things are moving a great deal faster than the wider world seems to recognize.

He does know: the hydrogen fuel economy is on its way and Timmy, as scandium dealer extraordinary (for scandium vastly boosts the efficiency of hydrogen cells), is well aware of how fast things are moving, mainly because the vast proportion of the world's scandium passes through his hands at some point.

There is no point in looking to the Left to save us: there solution is always more regulation, more government funding and this means taking yet more money away from the far more efficient private sector. Bring in Kyoto, with all of its commensurate expense (which must inevitably be borne by business) and you swallow up money that could have gone towards research, for the sake of putting "disaster" back by a mere 6 years.

Even if the world is warming up, these is simply no evidence that it is going to lead to the wholesale collapse of society that Robert hints at. It was, after all, considerably warmer than today in mediaeval times, wine grapes were grown in the north of England, and yet Holland still existed (well, the land did), and vast swathes of Britain we not underwater. The hysteria surrounding climate change is as baseless as a belief in god, and as changeable as Edinburgh weather. After all, in the 70s, it was a new ice-age that was going to wipe us all out...

I enjoy reading Wyndham, Christopher, et alios, but I will restrict my tales of world destruction and societal collapse to those novels; this is only right, for they are works of fiction.

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