Damn you Al Gore, now we’re all going to die.

Al as you all probably know invented the Internet, or at least claims to have done so, or maybe it’s an urban legend he has somehow not gotten around to correcting.

In the ultimate case of the application of the law of unintended consequences it is now claimed that in the process he has doomed humanity and all furry and cuddly critters to extinction.

For those of you are probably going to dismiss such a claim as rubbish, you will find that you are on the wrong track. Try to use the logic, (or what passes for it) of the climate tragics who see doom at every turn.

Lets face it, in the good old days before Big Al unleashed the power of the net on an unsuspecting left, if you had the politicians eying off a new source of plunder, (check), the media in the bag, (check), and a large body of scientists on government grants to prove your disaster scenario, (check), you had it made. If some idiot had contrary evidence, it didn’t matter; nobody was going to hear about it anyway.

Richard Glover in the Sydney Morning Herald is on to it though. The Internet is allowing the unwashed hordes who don’t even read Dostoevsky to express their ignorant and dangerous views for all to see. Worse still, there is no one out there to counter their outrageous claims. 

The planet may not be so lucky. It’s increasingly apparent that the internet may bring about the death of human civilisation, beating out previous contenders such as nuclear holocaust and the election of George W. Bush.

The agents of this planetary death will be the climate-change deniers who, it’s now clear, owe much of their existence to the internet. Would the climate-change deniers be this sure of themselves without the internet?

Somehow I doubt it. They are so damn confident.

They don’t just bury their heads in the sand, they fiercely drive their own heads energetically into the nearest beachfront, their bums defiantly aquiver as they fart their toxic message to the world. How can they be so confident, in the face of so much evidence to the contrary?

It’s the internet, of course, and the way it has given climate-change deniers the perfect forum — one in which groups of quite dim people can swap spurious information, reassuring each other there’s no evidence on the other side, right up to the point they’ve derailed all efforts to save the planet. Call it ”mutually reassured destruction”.

Bastards!

The very idea of contrarian views being expressed, never mind being entertained by the yobbos, is an absolute anathema to the elite. There aught to be a law …

 

21 thoughts on “Damn you Al Gore, now we’re all going to die.

  1. I know this post is partly tongue-in-cheek, and that I’m going slightly off topic, but this line made me think I should do my little bit to counter the underlying misunderstanding:

    “a large body of scientists on government grants to prove your disaster scenario”

    Variations on this assertion – essentially that governments are pushing AGW theory, with dependent or acquiescent scientists falling into line – are quite common. But it’s fundamentally wrong.

    Concerns about AGW grew slowly at first, from a very small base, and predominantly among scientists (physicists first, the rest later). Data trickled in gradually, with a lot of initial scepticism about the implications. Slowly, a growing number of scientists became convinced about the magnitude and scope of the problem, and the data accumulated more and more quickly as more turned their attention to it.

    A portion of those studying the problem decided that simply amassing data wasn’t enough, that they were duty-bound to warn the general public and get policy-makers to do something about it. They were rebuffed in no uncertain terms, because the ‘something’ required would be expensive and politically painful. Politicians are inherently risk-averse, so it’s no wonder.

    It took decades – and the growth of the concerned proportion of scientists to near-unanimity – to convince even a minority of politicians that action was needed. Even today, when not a single scientific group remains sceptical about the core findings, governments are apathetic and divided on the issue, and quibble over 5% reductions, let alone real action.

    So don’t try to peddle the claim that it’s all a big conspiracy by power-hungry politicians and corrupt lap-dog scientists, because “that shit don’t fly”.

  2. Yeah, that article kind of smacked of a dislike of freedom of speech. In a free marketplace of ideas the truth has nothing to fear.

    I agree that we shouldn’t deny the large amount of evidence that points to AGW either, it’s irrational and counterproductive. Those who support free markets shouldn’t be denying the evidence, but should rather be supporting MARKET SOLUTIONS to the problem, as opposed to the big government solutions proposed by the economic left.

  3. Yes Jarra, I remember the progression. The concerns about AGW grew slowly at first because they were originally plugging the idea that the planet was about to cool down to the point of a new ice age. From Time Magazine 24 June 1974:

    Man, too, may be somewhat responsible for the cooling trend. The University of Wisconsin’s Reid A. Bryson and other climatologists suggest that dust and other particles released into the atmosphere as a result of farming and fuel burning may be blocking more and more sunlight from reaching and heating the surface of the earth

    This has since been dismissed as bad science combined with sensationalist reporting. (Irony is lost on these people.)

    There are erroneous arguments on both sides but the one of the things that has been consistent throughout has been the deliberate and dishonest attempts to deny access to any contrarian thought. ‘Climategate’ was a typical example of this. There have been demands all the way along the line that opponents shut up or that they be silenced or charged with crimes.

    There is plenty of stuff out there similar to the SMH article, but few are as elitist, condescending, or sneeringly contemptuous of those who will pay the tax daring to argue the point.

  4. It took decades – and the growth of the concerned proportion of scientists to near-unanimity

    I call bullshit. If you want to make outrageous claims you need to substantiate it. What’s the majority? What exactly do they agree upon? Links please.

  5. “The concerns about AGW grew slowly at first because they were originally plugging the idea that the planet was about to cool down to the point of a new ice age.”

    Again the repetition of what is basically an urban myth. This does not reflect well on your understanding of the issues, Jim.

    A handful of papers speculated about the minor dip in temperatures. That’s it. Do you even know how many studies have been done that find evidence for AGW? Thousands, across many scientific fields.

    “There have been demands all the way along the line that opponents shut up or that they be silenced or charged with crimes.”

    Sorry, but again this is not true. You’re not doing well today.

  6. You don’t get it. YOU are the one making outrageous claims. I’m just passing on what should be common knowledge, but often isn’t among the denialosphere. It would be amusing seeing people rant without a rational basis, except that it poisons public debate.

    “Links please.”

    So you want me to link to a synopsis of the last 40 years of AGW research? OK.

  7. So you want me to link to a synopsis of the last 40 years of AGW research?

    Well, I asked “What’s the majority? What exactly do they agree upon?”, but a synopsis of the last 40 years of AGW research directed at answering those questions would be great.

    Your link doesn’t work.

  8. I think there are quite reasonable odds that during the life of this federal parliament the AGW issue will claim another leadership scalp. It killed Rudd and Turnbull and may well kill Gillard. If not during this term then quite likely at the next election. This is a quite fascinating assertion of democratic power over elite opinion. The people are in essence calling for a government to leave alone and do nothing. Which in my view would be the right outcome. I broadly agree with the IPCC science, am somewhat skeptical about the temperature sensitivity but ultimately reject the policy prescriptions.

    As for Abbott abolishing the carbon tax if he wins I think it is more important to abolish MRET and ditch his direct action plan. MRET is a highly distortionary policy that picks winners as does Abbotts direct action plan. Between now and the next election Abbott needs to seriously refine what he is offering.

  9. I broadly agree with the IPCC science, am somewhat skeptical about the temperature sensitivity but ultimately reject the policy prescriptions.

    I agree CO2 concentrations have increased in the general atmosphere (and the ocean) since the Industrial Revolution. I agree CO2 is a greenhouse gas. These are the only established facts.

    The temperature sensitivity, effect on overall climate, ultimate impact on humanity and risk levels associated with all of these is very much not established. It is also still very possible that the effect in all these areas will be negligible, all other factors considered.

    Hence, all expensive and negatively impacting policy proposals from carbon taxes to wind farms are excessive and subject humanity to a reduction in quality of life they should not be compelled to accept. Every one of these proposals should be subject to cost/benefit and have particular emphasis on public mandate.

  10. I broadly agree with the IPCC science, am somewhat skeptical about the temperature sensitivity but ultimately reject the policy prescriptions.

    I agree CO2 concentrations have increased in the general atmosphere (and the ocean) since the Industrial Revolution. I agree CO2 is a greenhouse gas. These are the only established facts.

    The temperature sensitivity, effect on overall climate, ultimate impact on humanity and risk levels associated with all of these is very much not established. It is also still very possible that the effect in all these areas will be negligible, all other factors considered.

    Hence, all expensive and negatively impacting policy proposals from carbon taxes to wind farms are excessive and subject humanity to a reduction in quality of life they should not be compelled to accept. Every one of these proposals should be subject to cost/benefit and have particular emphasis on (near universal) public mandate.

  11. Incidentally, Jarrah and others, a scientist in Britain has been making better predictions than the whole of the meteorology office! Piers Corbyn has a blog, WeatherAction, where he uses solar cycles to predict the weather, and he correctly called the cold winters that Britain just went through- the Met Office did not! He thinks we’ll cool until 2035, or so. Let’s see if the next few years are cold, or not! It seems the science is NOT settled!

  12. “I agree CO2 concentrations have increased in the general atmosphere (and the ocean) since the Industrial Revolution. I agree CO2 is a greenhouse gas. These are the only established facts.”

    Exactly. Any other “consensus” has been proved to be scientific fraud pushed by socialists for the same reasons they ever do anything: More socialism.

  13. A handful of papers speculated about the minor dip in temperatures. That’s it. Do you even know how many studies have been done that find evidence for AGW? Thousands, across many scientific fields.

    Science is not, and never has been, about weight of numbers. Jim is perfectly correct to point to prior predictions about global cooling. The concerns were front page for quite a long time and many people were persuaded, with governments considering policy responses.

    Thousands of studies may have been conducted into warming, but they do not all agree. Indeed, aside from increasing CO2 levels virtually every point is contested. The fact that a majority supports the warming hypothesis does not make it factual itself.

    There are plenty of precedents in science for majority, even dominant, views to be proved wrong. Unless you are an expert in the field, the only rational approach is to remain agnostic.

    In terms of policy response, it makes sense to consider whether impeding the economy now will save the future if the warming forecasts prove correct. That’s all the more interesting when it may take up to a thousand years before temperatures fall, as Tim Flannery says. The science needs to be pretty cut and dried before embarking on that course. And numbers or not, the science is not cut and dried.

  14. The point Flannery made about temperature not falling for 1000 years is a side issue and not really relevant to the carbon tax policy debate. The stated intent of the carbon tax is to help avert warming, not to create cooling. Given that between now and 2020 the policy will cost households over $6000 (based on the leaked treasury report) what is interesting is how much warming the policy will avert. Based on the IPCC assumed temperature sensitivity Andrew Bolt published calculations showing the global temperature will be 0.00005 degrees lower as a result of a 5% cut in emissions. This calculations look credible to me. Tim Flannery was asked if the temperature increased avoided would be less that 0.001 degrees and he refused to refute that assertion. That is the key revelation from his interview.

    Note that in the decades beyond 2020 households will have to continue the financial outlay simply to maintain the temperature saving. And given the 5% cut will involve low hanging fruit any further cuts will be even more expensive.

    Formultating the policy as a carbon tax has always been the right approach because it focuses the political discussion on what we are prepared to pay for a given result. Other approaches such as “direct action” obscure the policy price and assist politicians in being opaque. MRET is also quite democratically dreadful in this regard.

    $6000 per household for a 0.00005 degree Celcius reduction in warming is simply too expensive. Even if the whole world did it and the temperature saving was 200 times higher (0.004 degrees Celcius) it still would not be worth the cost. Nor would the result even be measurable. It is a dud policy.

  15. “There are plenty of precedents in science for majority, even dominant, views to be proved wrong. Unless you are an expert in the field, the only rational approach is to remain agnostic.”

    Since these people exist, I guess you’re agnostic about the shape of the planet too?

    Your argument is illogical, and your conclusion ridiculous. When you’re not an expert, the only rational approach is to go with majority expert opinion.

  16. When you’re not an expert, the only rational approach is to go with majority expert opinion.

    Or else become expert enough to more carefully discern between the varying opinions of the supposed experts. This is what I do on all manner of topics. Including in my professional role where I routinely hire experts to solve problems but must be able to discern which advice to take and which to ignore.

  17. Your argument is illogical, and your conclusion ridiculous. When you’re not an expert, the only rational approach is to go with majority expert opinion.

    That’s illogical and ridiculous in itself. A majority of “experts” believes in a supreme being and reincarnation. Do you believe in them too, because of that?

    Personally I reject the former and remain agnostic about the latter. Like anthropogenic climate change, time will tell.

    And the flat earth supporters are not remotely experts.

  18. This is exactally what is expected to happen in a democratic society.

    Its amazing how one-track minded people who right this article are. From reading it I see the obvious problem: democracy and government control of enviroment. Yet they will claim that the problem is getting everyone to agree on facts.

  19. Beware the difference between wasn’t and isn’t.

    This grew out of a concern over what data was showing. True.

    It took a long time to gain traction. Also true.

    ‘Not a single scientific group remain sceptical about the core findings’. Quite evidently false – although with a tight enough definition of core it may be true but misleading.

    Ask why it gained traction; ask who benefits from the changes (because it certainly wont be the planet); ask who is in the driving seat now (because it is certainly not science).

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