From an interview with the climatologist Judith Curry at OilPrice.com:
Judith Curry: The debate is polarized in a black-white yes-no sort of way, which is a consequence of oversimplifying the problem and its solution. Although you wouldn’t think so by listening to the Obama administration on the topic of climate change, the debate is becoming more complex and nuanced. Drivers for the growing number of layers in the climate debate are the implications of the 21st century hiatus in warming, the growing economic realities of attempting to transition away from fossil fuels, and a growing understanding of the clash of values involved.
Oilprice.com: How does the climate change debate differ, in your experience, in varying cultures; for instance, from the United States to Western Europe, or Canada?
Judith Curry: The U.S. is more skeptical of the idea of dangerous anthropogenic global warming than is Western Europe. In the U.S., skepticism is generally associated with conservatives/libertarians/Republicans, whereas in Western Europe there is no simple division along the lines of political parties. In the developed world, it is not unreasonable to think ahead 100 or even 300 years in terms of potential impacts of policies, whereas the developing world is more focused on short-term survivability and economic development.
Oilprice.com: How significant are cultural elements to this debate?
Judith Curry: The cultural elements of this debate are probably quite substantial, but arguably poorly understood. A key issue is regional vulnerability, which is a complex mix of natural resources, infrastructure, governance, institutions, social forces and cultural values.
7 thoughts on ““The Kardashians and Climate Change: Interview with Judith Curry””
“Worth reading”: I’d guess that that depends on how much you’ve read on this tedious topic already. Some of the Global Warmmongers are presumably just the crazed disciples of a secular religion, but others are scammers and extortionists. In short: zealots and crooks.
In the developed world, it is not unreasonable to think ahead 100 or even 300 years in terms of potential impacts of policies…
Oy-veh! If that quote doesn’t sum up the mindset of the Alarmists nothing does. 100 years ago we barely had aircraft, the majority of travel was done using steam power (rail and ocean) generated by coal, electricity and telphones were a luxury, radio technology was in its infancy, computation was done using mechanical devices, you were likely to die from a simple infection. And 300 years ago .. brother!
To think that we can accurately predict concerns and technologies a century in advance shows a mode of thinking that assumes a static world, rather than a dynamic one.
When people stop being idiots about this topic I’ll stop looking for better ways to persuade them to reconsider their views.
>>In short: zealots and crooks.
I agree with that generally. There is a larger question, however, lost in the noise here, which is how we should power our civilization. It’s probably not a good idea to put large volumes of soot and CO2 into the atmosphere for centuries on end. I think hydroelectric power and nuclear power both have a lot to recommend them. Solar or wind power to the degree that it’s useful. Environmentalists are opposed to both hydroelectric power and nuclear power, mainly as a result of zealotry, misinformation and propaganda. Environmentalists have long since left the path of reason and analysis and the movement has devolved into a religion, a form of Gaia worship. I keep waiting for them to start sacrificing lambs on burning pyres, but until then sacrificing civilization will have to suffice.
It’s also worth noting that some scientists DO have political agendas. I remember the American Federation of Scientists, a far left wing group, giving their ‘scientific’ opinion to every left wing media outlet that would host them that Star Wars could never work. You cannot, we were assured, hit a bullet with a bullet. Even if you could, countermeasures would be easy. Less than 10 years later PAC-3 missiles were intercepting Scuds in the Gulf. Twenty years later SM-3 missiles were intercepting ballistic reentry vehicles.
The two minute debunking of AGW:
First, climate models vs. actual observations.
Second, a one minute explanation of the scientific method by Richard Feynman.
Once again, it is not at all unusual for the earth’s climate to be warming or cooling. It does so in fairly regular cycles of varying time lengths in a pattern which has been well documented for several millennia.
We are now in the warming phase which began as we emerged from the centuries long little ice age about 1850. Regardless of any fudging by hockey sticks, or mismanaged computer projections, none of this is either controversial or not understood by actual climate scientists—i.e., those who actually employ the scientific method instead of building castles in the air and then demanding we live in them.
The crucial issue is the vast increase in government power and interference required by the proposals that every aspect of our lives must now be planned and approved by some agency of government before anyone can do anything, go anywhere, or build anything.
The bizarre assertion that government planners and politically approved managers can do a better job of running anything, much less an enormously complex multi-trillion dollar world economy, is refuted by the experience of several societies around the globe over the course of the entire last century.
The pretense that handing over the direction of our societal and economic lives to a new bunch of technocrats and state cadres will solve everything, when even their own figures show it will have a minimal impact on the warming we are alleged to be causing, is so delusional that only one type of mentality would consider it.
That is the mentality that considers the acquisition of political power to be the be all and end all of everything, and, for which, anything and everything is justified.
Those are the people we are arguing with, not science or those who truly practice empirical research and the scientific method.
>> We are now in the warming phase which began as we emerged from the centuries long little ice age about 1850.
Even more, the earth emerged from a real ice age starting about 15,000 years ago. It’s been getting warmer ever since, with ripples along the warming curve the entire time. This is not new knowledge. Most astronomy and geology texts discuss this. Still more, the geological record indicates that ice ages generally last 40-60 million years, interspersed with warming periods called interglacials. Until the latest hysteria, the common wisdom was that are currently living in an interglacial period and the Pleistocene Ice Age is not over.
A witches brew of environmentalists and politicians have made common cause in order to achieve their agendas. The enviros want to impose their economic-social vision on the world, the politicians have seized on the ‘crisis’ in order to accrue power and money to themselves under the rubric of saving us all from certain death.
So while there is a kernel of truth here in that CO2 and methane are greenhouse gases, the way the entire thing is unfolding has all the earmarks of a spectacularly large scam on the human race. If are concerned about long term climate, what are we doing to stave off the re-emergence of an ice age? The sword cuts both ways.
Socially, it seems to me sometimes, we’re still in the Middle Ages.
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