A View From the Cheap Seats

May 23, 2007

The Other Side Of Global Warming – Part 4

Filed under: Environment,Global Warming — trzupek @ 2:30 am


The Other Side of Global Warming
Part 4: Wrap Up

By: Rich Trzupek
In part one of this series, we took a look at the way that legitimate scientific discussions about global warming were being systematically silenced. In parts two and three, we examined the science behind the theory that human activity causes global warming and we found that science wanting.

If you accept those propositions, or even if they just make you think, the natural question to follow is: why? Why would a group of people engage in this kind of deception? Why would they want to silence voices of dissent? What’s the point?

I can not speak for the global-warming Nazis, but I can offer an opinion. In my view, there are three groups involved here: politically motivated scientists, pseudo-scientists and politicians; the mainstream media; and the public at-large. Each is motivated by different factors.

The first group is most similar to a group of petulant 8-year-old children. They simply want to be noticed and what they do or say to be noticed doesn’t matter all that much. They see a world in which other people make the decisions and dammit, what do those people know? Look at me! Look at me!

That mindset has given rise to people like Climatologist Steven Schneider. Back in the 70s, Schneider was warning everyone about global freezing. He then believed that human activity would lead to a new ice age. Then, he decided that he was wrong; we’re going to boil to death, not freeze to death.

Paul Erlich is probably the king of this mindset. Thirty years ago, Erlich said that the world would run out of petroleum and natural gas by 2000 and would be so over-populated that mass starvation would kill off the planet.

None of that happened of course. We’ve found decades worth of oil and natural gas reserves. Global population will start to decline in the next 20 years. You would think that being so wrong, so often, would result in guys like Erlich being dismissed for the cranks that they are. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Erlich, and those like him, continue to have a voice as long as they have the imagination to predict a new disaster, no matter how far-fetched.

And that’s why global warming is so attractive to publicity-hungry scientists, pseudo-scientists and politicians. They are going to save us from the end of the world. How can you beat that? What better evidence can they have for showing how smart they are, and how stupid the people in power are? The powers-that-be are ignoring THE END OF THE WORLD. That makes the doom-mongers heroes, and they absolutely relish that role.
Which brings us to the mainstream media, the CNNs and USA Todays of the world, who so willingly sign on to the global warming fantasy. What’s their motivation?

One part involves a lack of expertise. We’re talking about journalism majors here, not people who spent much time in science classes. When it comes to science, they are going to rely on “experts.” And what “experts” will they choose to listen to? In general, the answer is not the dry climatologists who want to sift through intricate data. Journalists don’t have time to do that, nor much interest in doing so.

They rather listen to the message, not the substance of the message, which brings us to the second part of their motivation. “The World Is Coming to an End” is a much more interesting story than “No, It’s Not.” If someone with a Ph.D. behind their name were to publish a paper that claimed excessive exposure to moonlight turns people into vampires, the popular press would publish the story with glee.

The mainstream media can be very clever when it covers non- technical issues. But, when it comes to issues that involve science or technology, they default to sensationalism. Just ask any doctor, or engineer, or airline pilot, or anyone else involved in a technically oriented profession. Invariably, they will tell you that the mainstream media covers their profession with all the insight of a fifth-grader. Global warming is just another example of that phenomena.

And that brings us to you, the public. The majority of you, if the polls are to be believed, accept the proposition that humans cause global warming. Why should this be so?
I don’t think that you have an agenda. You’re not looking for attention. In fact, I suspect that you would prefer the happy ending to the “end of life as we know it” story.
But you are understandably concerned about your world. You’ve been lied to before and you’re very sensitive about being fooled again–as you should be. Plus, you don’t have the time or the inclination to dive into the nerdy details. From your point-of-view, you’ve got one group of people who say “don’t worry, everything’s cool,” and another group of people who say “we’re in grave danger–if we don’t do something quick, we’re all going to die.”

In the absence of any other information, the second message is clearly more powerful. It’s as if your on vacation and one neighbor calls and tells you that your house in on fire, while another tells you that it’s not. You’re not there. You can’t assess the truth yourself. So, naturally, you’ll do the safe thing. You’ll dial 911.

In this case, dialing 911 is not only a pointless exercise, it’s incredibly damaging. Not to the United States, which is a nation rich enough to absorb the blow of paying for the global warming fantasy, but for all the poor nations of the world that will be devastated by the economic chaos to follow.

We have reached a crossroads. If we are willing to be fooled by so obvious a fraud as global warming, if we are willing to silence every voice in the name of “good-think,” we will have surrendered society over to every alarmist with a scary story to tell.

We’re better than that. We certainly deserve better than that. If Al Gore needs to feel important, let’s let him design the new Internet. That will keep him busy and will prevent him from doing even more damage to a planet that is in pretty damn good shape– whether he will admit it or not.


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