Saturday, April 5, 2008

Why I'm a 'climate change denier'

Made the gross error of clicking on a news link about climate change today. I was thinking about something else and found my eyes roaming across some pretty flawed assertions. It seems that every problem in the world is supposedly the fault of the weather, in particular because we (The Western Nations) live such wasteful and profligate lives, the Earth is going to get hotter until we all die. We must all stop, now.

I don't get this. I also don't understand the blatant failures of logic demonstrated by the pro Anthropogenic Climate Change faction. The 'science' is nowhere near being settled on either side of the argument, but there are those in the pro AGW camp calling people who don't share their apocalypitc assertions 'deniers', as in 'Holocaust deniers'.

Now I object to this sideways comparison most strongly. The murder of six million Jews by the authoritarian Nazi regime from 1936 to 1945 is a well documented fact. We know where the bodies are buried. Allied troops even helped bury some of the poor bastards. The Holocaust happened. The Nazi regime killed Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Allied Prisoners of War, Russians and homosexuals in their murder machine. Mind you, the Russians committed a few 'war crimes', the Katyn Massacre for one. Using the term 'denier' even remotely in this context is insulting and highly inaccurate. As is calling people who aren't taken in by the deeply flawed arguments in Al Gores film 'An Inconvenient Truth' "Great fat stupidheads". That is not only juvenile, it also illuminates the pro climate change factions failure to provide a halfway decent supporting argument for their assertions. All they currently are reduced to seems little better than childish name calling, and demands for the criminalisation of people who do not share their views.

Anyone with any brains knows that the climate changes. No two years are the same, unless of course you live in the middle of the Sahara where hot and dry is the default state year upon year. Rain does fall sometimes, but not very often. Some years have long wet winters and cool summers, some are characterised by storms and high humidity. Sometimes we get a run of warmer than usual summers, but there is no provable overall upward trend that can be definitively linked to human activity. Current data indicates no oceanic warming, and most certainly no global warming since 1998. Run these trends as a graph against human activity and the correlation is far from clear. There is no proof. The empirical evidence is hardly conclusive.

If anything, I tend to look at the overall trend as a cyclic trend. Even anecdotal evidence alone from the early 1900's indicates warm summers despite a great deal of urban pollution caused by the burning of cheap coal. This was followed by a cooler, wetter set of years followed by warmer years in the 1920's and early 1930's, when temperatures were higher than in 1998. I have heard 1934 quoted as an exceptionally hot Summer. After that the weather grew cooler until the panicmongers in the 1960's 70's and early 80's were prophesying a 'New Ice Age'. Then came a short warming phase which has come to an end. Overall, the temperature trend of the past few years has been relatively flat. According to some sources global temperatures have even started a downward trend. All I know is that my friends over here on Vancouver Island are saying that this is one of the coldest, wettest years they've ever known.

People in politics and the media keep on telling us that global CO2 is increasing. I say this is not entirely bad. Plants need CO2 for photosynthesis. More CO2 should be good for plants, and ergo for the rest of the food chain. No CO2 would be disasterous. No CO2-no photosynthesis, no more trees, shrubs, crops or anything else. We'd starve unless we all went cannibal, and it wouldn't affect the climate much. We'd just be another layer of strange fossils. "What caused this strange two legged species to die out?" a future sentient commentator might conceivably say. "Were they responsible for the extreme low levels of atmospheric CO2 sixty million years ago?"

All I know is that the pro AGW arguments simply aren't convincing enough to form proof. If that makes me a 'denier', so be it. Time to go, I've wasted enough time, and Dog needs feeding and walking.

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