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Explaining Where We Are with Climate Change
I have been a climate change skeptic for quite some time. When I read this piece by Scott Adams, I was inspired to create this hub.
- Jan. 2017
Here is the link to Scott's blog "Climate Change and Trump." In his piece, he makes an excellent observation about how the average person cannot evaluate this issue objectively.
As a long time skeptic on climate change and having debated other hubber on this topic here on HubPages, I feel an obligation to explain in more detail my position.
Also, I have no vested interested in this debate either way. I am an engineer by training. I am not being paid by oil companies for my views. My interest in this subject is purely personal. I just want to have "good" science prevail. I don't want out tax dollars wasted on a wild goose chase.
My Observations from the Sideline
Since I am not involved directly in this climate change science, I can only comment from the sideline. I do try to be engaged by reading books, papers and news articles on climate change from both perspective. I am also blessed with the fact thst I am retired and have time on my hand and I live close to a top Scientific School that is studying climate change.
I am able to attend lectures and colloquiums on a periodic basis to learn about latest studies in this field or related fields. Here are my observations in no particular order.
- Group Think - The phenomenon of group think is real. Studies have been conducted by psychologists that confirm humans are prone to a group mentality even when presented with evidence that are contrary to the majority belief.
- Funding - The common adage of follow the money is also true. When you have a system where money is allocated by a federal agency that have a certain bias, you can't help but end up with a focus on the hot topic at hand.
- Bias - Humans and scientists all have bias whether they choose to admit it or not. If you have a bias towards a certain group or a certain philosophy, it is hard to separate that bias and be completely objective.
- Fear - Michael Crichton wrote a best selling book called "State of Fear" in 2004 and it tells the fictional story of a group of people using fear tactics to gain advantage financially. That is partly what has happened in this arena. Some are using scare tactics to convince the public and our youth that our world is in jeopardy.
- Environmental Connection - Part of their strategy is to use the environment issue to convince people that this is a real concern and that if you are against their ideology, you are against protecting our environment. It is the same logic that created the false belief that CO2 gas is a pollutant.
- The UN and IPCC - Another part of the strategy is to use an international organization like the UN to create legitimacy. They are being used as a tool to convince nations that part of the solution is to re-distribute wealth and have wealthy advanced nations pay a tax for 3rd worlds efforts to combat climate change.
- Models and Projections - Climate Science is based on models. By creating complex mathematical models, we are being told these "experts" know what is going on and will have confidence that the future will be dire if we don't heed their warnings. The problem is these models have been wrong or vastly off in their projections and they are incomplete.
- Cause and Effect - This is the hardest part of science in my opinion. How to determine if an observation is due to a well defined cause. The AGW theory is clear. They claim increase CO2 emissions by burning of fossil fuels will cause global warming due to the greenhouse effect. However, the data is not so conclusive. The system is much more complex and there are various feedback loops that are both positive and negative. The net effect or even cause is not clear which comes first. Did CO2 cause global warming or did warming of globe from natural cycles cause the CO2 levels to rise? Or a combination of both?
- Reality set in - After 25 years of climate change, the reality of what we see and measure does not agree with what was projected. That is the killer. It is not to say they were wrong but it does say at minimum that they exaggerated the problem and used fear to get their way. This will not go over well with the public. It is one thing if you tell people that they don't know but they have a suspicion... It is another when they tell peope they are 100% sure and it turned out they were wrong by an order of magnitude. The negative effects of their drastic proposals are real. People are loosing their standards of living, paying for higher energy bills and putting resources towards inefficient technology... The list goes on.
What Can You Do?
As average individuals, what is our role in all this chaos? My advice to all is to try and ask questions of those who are in charge. Attend talks by climate scientists as they present their theory and their technical data. Ask common sense questions and get their response. Be a skeptic and make them convince you of their conviction.
Here are some basic questions:
- what percent of global warming is due to man made activities?
- is CO2 a pollutant? that requires regulation.
- what is the normal variation of temperature before the industrial age?
- how fast will ocean rise to the projected 20 feet if gobal termperture rises by 2 degrees C?
- assume we do everything the IPCC proposes, what effect will we see the amount of temperature decrease?
- why are there 28 different climate models? And they don't agree with each other or with reality.
What is Wrong with the Two Chearts?
The above two charts are plots of global average termperaturss. Can you spot the problem?
A Simple Test Anyone can Perform
Here is a simple experiment anyone can perform at home. Take a block of ice, and placed in a controlled environment like your oven during winter when the outside temperature is below 50 degrees F (assume you have turned off your heating system. See how long it takes this block of ice will melt to all water.
How long did that take?
Now multiply that by a million times... That is how long it will take the polar ice to melt if the Earth's average temperature is raised by 2 degrees C.
A Fresh Look
In summary, I think we do need a "reset" on this whole climate change scientific study. Our priorities in the field of science needs to be re-aligned. We cannot spend most of our research dollars on the study of climate change and expect a result different than what is theorized. We need to let the science research do what it does best and let the chips fall.