The Worm Has Turned

Okay, so I lied. I don’t have more time. I don’t have the ability to write more frequently. In fact, my job change has only encouraged me to take on more projects and fill every nook and cranny of my schedule. Yep, that’s right, I’m nuts.

So, let me make a deal with my handful of hardy readers. Instead of writing frequently, I will write more deeply. I have a hard time writing short updates with a bunch of links anyway. You don’t come to read here to get redirected to other places. Instead, I hereby promise to write on those things that are important to me, but with a little more depth into my personal opinion. Think of this as a monthly essay rather than a regular update. The truth is that’s about all I can muster now, but I still need the outlet.

To kick off this new plan, let me dive in to a subject that I’ve commented on frequently: Anthropogenic Global Warming… and the lack thereof.

I’ve been consuming and digesting a prodigious amount of material on the drama around the global warming discussion over the past few months. I have firmly believed for years that while the planet may have had measurable warming over the last decade or so, it was most definitely not the result of man’s activities. I flat out deny that we are the cause of any climate change on a planetary scale. And, in fact, the temperature graphs have plateaued for the past few years. It simply isn’t shooting up like we were warned it would.

For those not reading alternative media, you may not be aware of the event now called Climategate. In mid-November of last year, a large cache of reports, software code, emails, and other electronic documents from inside the East Anglia Climate Research Unit were leaked to the public. This is significant because much of the evidence used by the UN IPCC (United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) came from this group and some of the biggest names in arguing for AGW either worked in this group or were closely associated with them. This was a glimpse in to the inner workings of the primary engine of the AGW claims. It wasn’t pretty and, in some cases, it appears to be illegal.

There is some debate over whether these released items contained smoking guns or not, but at the very least it cast considerable doubt on the objectivity and the desire for good science by all of those involved. There was discussion of molding data to hide or show the results to achieve a desired outcome (the classic molding of data to fit the theory). There were emails clearing asking or admitting to destruction of original data and efforts to avoid complying with Freedom of Information requests. There were clear statements about keeping any alternative studies or theories out of respected journals or, if necessary, trashing the journals themselves so that no alternative ideas could gain traction. The obvious question is why would otherwise respectable scientists engage in such behavior.

In any large endeavor, you can usually find the motivations by following the money. These scientists realized that there was grant money and influence to be had by documenting an impending disaster and suggesting remedies. Once the ball got rolling, it became the biggest bandwagon in science. In short, this is a hideous breach of public trust and climate science will have a cloud over it for years to come. They brought this upon themselves.

Since November, there has also been revelations about authoritative claims being made by the IPCC regarding Himalayan glacier loss that were based on nothing more than a phone interview and a Master’s thesis. The bad news for the IPCC and their supporters seems to have gone from drips to a constant stream.

I believe the house of cards is beginning to fall. It may take a few years for the true believers to be convinced, but the public is no longer buying it. Polls continue to show climate change at the bottom of the list of important issues for the American public. It’s even beginning to fall rapidly in Europe where governments were the first to sign up for carbon limitations. After years of being berated about how little we care for the planet, we are finding that those looking down their noses at us were just doing a bunch of hand-waving to cover outright deception. Hand-waving was not a sufficient proof in my college courses, and I certainly don’t think it should be enough to upend the world’s largest and most influential economy. It makes no logical sense to try to dramatically remake the economy of the US based on unclear and shaky science that seems to be crumbling as we watch.

So, you can explain the second wave by pointing to the money and influence, but how does something like this get started when there’s no bandwagon to join? What’s the first handful of snow that turns into the snowball? It’s all about freedom. Those who think they know a better way to run society are looking for was to do just that, for your own good. The problem is that central planning by imperfect people will always be a disaster. The twentieth century had more than a few examples of just how bad those societies can be. We have a few that have made it into the twenty-first century in Cuba and North Korea, but they are on their last legs.

Forcing the public to use energy technologies not yet ready for prime-time will drive successful businesses out of the marketplace, prop up businesses that cannot yet support themselves, and limit the spending power and freedom of the public in the meantime. Increased cost of anything always flows to the consumer. Making businesses pay extra for anything is a joke because those costs will just be passed along. The only way to for a business to pay more without changing their prices is to tilt the playing field, and that is not capitalism. That is something else. But, when the public cannot afford the only available options, they will go to the government for help. And, the government that can supply whatever you need can take whatever they want.

I’ve long agreed that the most rabid of anthropogenic global warming supporters fit the description of being watermelons: green on the outside and red on the inside. The love of the environment was sheep’s clothing for the wolf of central planning and socialism. Thankfully, the truth was revealed in time to avoid any further damage.

Now, please, can we all move on to more pressing matters and leave this boondoggle in the dust? I fear that it will be some time before I’ll have nothing to talk about in this arena. But, it seems clear that the worm has turned.

Update 2/9/10: An article on point from the The Globe and Mail. Thanks to Todd S. for the link.

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