Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Forgiving Global Warming (Climate Change)

Regardless of where you live on earth or in what country, global warming is a pertinent issue because it is global.

The establishment narrative about global warming is that carbon dioxide (CO2, the gas you are exhaling right now) released mostly through the burning of fossil fuels is warming the climate and it will have disastrous effects if not stopped and reversed very soon. Conversely, the rebuttal to that narrative is that yes CO2 levels are rising, yes human activity produces CO2 and yes there is some sort of rising temperature trend, but to conclude that all are directly correlated and that the correlation will result in global doom is premature science at best. The rebuttal to the establishment narrative about global warming comes from the skeptic scientists and the skeptics don't trust things such as current assumptions about feedback and amplification in regards to CO2.

I am not a climate scientist or any other kind of formal scientist. That makes me just like global warming evangelists such as Bill Nye, Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Gore lol. However, unlike those people, I'm not going to take sides and make a case for either side in the global warming debate. Instead, since the objective is to forgive global warming, I'm going to just focus on the psychological aspects of global warming and the tactics of the warring factions.

Realistically, if it wasn't for the impending global doom aspect to the theory of CO2 fueled global warming, science would not feign such certainty about the topic. But there is an impending global doom aspect to the theory of CO2 fueled global warming. And the fear that comes with impending global doom has made CO2 fueled global warming into a kind of political religion rather than a calm, honest scientific inquiry into the effects of CO2 on climate.

Deep down, the psychological appeal of the theory of catastrophic CO2 fueled global warming is no different than that of conventional religions. As the global warming mythos goes:
Long ago the climate was perfect and humans were in harmony with nature. But then humans gave into temptation and sinned. Humans ate from the tree of knowledge to usher in the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution brought great advances as humans continued to eat from the tree of knowledge. But it all came at a cost: humans unleashed the devil in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2). Now, the devil of CO2 has taken over the world and is thus contributing to every bad and anomalous thing on earth. The earth is doomed to flood and become literal hell unless humans repent. Fortunately, there is a plan for salvation. In order to be saved from the hell of a heating earth, humans must first accept the blood of the warming earth and repent for the sin of CO2 emissions. Humans must then submit to and support the higher authority of a Global Governing Body who will tax and regulate CO2. By sacrificing money through taxation and sacrificing freedom through regulation, the sins of CO2 will be forgiven. 

As ridiculous as it is in its similarity to common religious beliefs, that is the current global warming mythos believed and promoted by devotees. And skeptics are the heretics that dare question any parts of that mythos.

Like a religion, the heretic scientists that vocally question CO2 fueled global warming alarmism become ostracized. For that reason, the scientists who most vocally question CO2 fueled global warming tend to be older tenured or retired scientists. My personal favorites from the skeptic crowd are former warmist Dr. Judith Curry, the now late hurricane forecasting pioneer Dr. William Gray, and climate scientist Dr. John Christy. You have to search out the skeptics to hear their side of the story because the establishment media (other than maybe Fox News Channel in the U.S.) only pushes the warmist side of the argument. Consequently, just about everyone gets exposed to the CO2 warming side but only those who look for it ever find the skeptic side.

As I mentioned in the post I wrote titled Forgiving Debate, the basic logic fallacies of ad hominem and straw man are ample in the back and forth between the warming promoters and skeptics. One would think that with such certainty the warming promoters could directly address the skeptics on every point without resorting to ad hominem and straw man attacks, but that is not the case at all. Dilbert comic creator Scott Adams has been on a mission of late to improve climate debate. Scott Adams has been using his powers of persuasion to nudge climate scientists into doing a better job of communicating their side of things. So far he's managed to get warming promoting climate scientists to debunk their own models lol.

Overall, whether by logic or logic fallacy, for just about every piece of evidence that the CO2 fueled global warming promoters have, the skeptics have a rebuttal to cast doubt. In turn, for just about every rebuttal the skeptics have to cast doubt, the CO2 fueled global warming promoters have a rebuttal to cast doubt on the rebuttal. And it just goes back and forth. Just research the often touted 97 percent scientific consensus on global warming sometime and you'll see the warmists defending the stat to the death while you'll see the skeptics poking an endless number of holes in the stat thus reducing it to having about as much meaning as saying 97 percent of Catholics have some beliefs that support Catholicism. Consequently, who you end up believing will just depend on who you want to believe. And that same back and forth plays out on every level of global warming science.

As an example, the climate models attempting to model what effects CO2 should have on warming have consistently given forecasts predicting much higher warming than what has been observed. And that is despite constant tweaking to hindsight model the past. That gives fuel to the skeptics. But there are enough models that some get it right from time to time and so those models are put forth by warming evangelists to tout the accuracy of the science behind the models.

As another example, there are a lot of different historical temperature and atmospheric CO2 data sets. A particularly popular data set is one that shows the correlation between higher atmospheric CO2 and higher temperatures from Antarctica over the course of 400,000 years. Warmists point to that data set as undeniable evidence for CO2 causing warming.

The skeptics argue though that higher temperatures cause trapped CO2 to be released, like a glass of 7-UP losing carbonation as it warms. Consequently, rising CO2 levels are an effect and not a cause of warming. Instead, the skeptics like to refer to a 600 million year data set that shows no reliable correlation between temperature and atmospheric CO2.

Furthermore, some temperature and atmospheric CO2 data sets present a vastly different picture of the past than others. Consequently, each side latches onto data sets supporting their own stances while dismissing data sets that don't.

That's part of the problem with inferring from data sets. All the historical global data sets are at best made of dispersed samples processed by humans. Even most data sets of current global temperatures rely on dispersed samples processed by humans. Like it or not, there is a margin of error to all data sets and the degree of that margin is open to debate. That margin of error leaves room for doubt for people looking for it. And when headlines read things like "2016 Hottest Year on Record" based on dispersed temperature data that beat by 0.01 degree with a margin of error of at least 0.1, skepticism is a logical response. (Here is a good but somewhat old presentation looking at the margin of error in collecting temperature data.)

The favored global temperature measurement system of the global warming skeptics comes from satellites measuring temperatures of the lower troposphere, which is where the global warming should be most evident. Although satellites have only been collecting global data since 1979 and the methodology has had some issues that have been tweaked over the years, the broadness of the measurements made possible by the satellites has resulted in some arguably superior data. According to the satellite data, the 13 month running average difference between the coldest years globally of 85 and 92 versus the hottest years of 98 and 16 (both El Nino induced) is a mere 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 Fahrenheit). If the satellite data temperatures are ever to drop down to 85 or 92 levels again, that will be at least a big temporary blow to the CO2 warming case. So far that hasn't happened yet though.

Overall, those who venture to find raw data rather than processed data consistently fail to find the same global warming trend that is displayed by the processed data. As an example, these two charts below show Ohio temperature data from 1895-2016. The first chart shows the raw data. The second chart shows the NOAA processed data that cools the past to warm the present. Warped data equals warped conclusions.

But anyway, regardless of the science, it's really just psychology that separates the believers from the skeptics. And the psychology for most people is shaped by politics. Once someone takes a stance one way or the other on the issue of global warming, confirmation bias sets in. Confirmation bias helps a person feel vindicated. A sense of vindication is important because being right allows a person to project guilt on those who are seemingly wrong. Once confirmation bias sets in, people see what they want to believe. So a drought, a hurricane, tidal flooding, or a chunk of melting ice becomes construed in the mind of a warmist as evidence for global warming. Conversely, a cold snap, newly frozen ice, or a quiet hurricane season becomes construed in the mind of a skeptic as evidence for lack of global warming. And someone looking for climate change instead of just global warming can see evidence for changing climate whenever anything is above or below average, which is most of the time since averages are generally the average of extremes one way or the other.

Most people, regardless of politics, are anti-pollution. Pollution is a simple property rights issue that arises from socializing pollution rather than requiring containing pollution to one's own property. Seeing as CO2 is what we exhale when we breathe, it's a stretch for many people to see it as a legitimate pollutant. But even if CO2 were a legitimate pollutant, almost all people would be happy to do away with it if there was a convenient alternative. But there currently isn't a convenient alternative (?). And that is the main source of contention in the global warming issue.

What drives resistance to the theory of CO2 fueled global warming more than anything is the currently proposed solution, which is political. The currently proposed solution is a global government gun in everyone's face that says stop producing CO2 or pay. That's not a solution, that's a recipe for a scam. And it's doubly a recipe for a scam since not every country or group would concede to that gun in the face without putting up a fight and thus a war. And if you've read my previous piece on the free-range debt-slave plantation you should be able to see how convenient such a solution would be to making the debt-slave scam more globally centralized.

A real solution would be something like a new clean energy source that is as good or better at producing energy relative to cost as fossil fuels. Such a solution would be naturally and voluntarily accepted. Another solution would be some sort of cheap, efficient air scrubber that removes CO2 from the atmosphere.

Forecasts about what could happen to human society due to global warming and how humans should react require economic models. Economic models have notoriously horrible predictive power. Economic models are so bad they are often worse than no model lol. So, even if the theory of CO2 fueled global warming is correct, without a real global solution there are a lot of cases to be made for inaction. One such case is the fact that more CO2 and warmer temperatures has benefits and not just negatives. For instance, it's much easier to grow plants in a warm CO2 rich world than a cold CO2 starved world. Plus, who is to say what the ideal climate is? The current default assumption is that the climate of the 20th century was the ideal climate.

And who's to say humanity doesn't face bigger more pressing problems than theoretical effects of CO2? Is bringing the third world out of poverty through cheap fossil fuel energy of more value than reducing CO2? Depends on who you ask. Last time I checked, most beachfront property still costs at least a small fortune, and the money interests are still eager to invest in developing land vulnerable to even small amounts of sea level rise, so the market obviously isn't too concerned about CO2 induced sea level rise anytime soon... nor is it worried about increased or stronger hurricanes.

My personal prediction and hope is that real solutions, such as in the form of new, better, cheaper energy sources will come to market steadily enough to stop and even reverse human produced CO2 regardless of how potentially dangerous it is to climate. Conversely, my fear is that people will become so hysterical about CO2 that a solution will be implemented that will impoverish people, enslave people, facilitate centralized global tyranny, or will simply over-adjust climate in the opposite direction and usher in destructive cooling.

If you really believe in catastrophic CO2 fueled global warming, forgive it by looking for a real solution, not by projecting guilt on those who don't share in your fears or forceful solutions. You're kind of being a cold tyrant if you can't empathize with people who don't trust solutions that just involve a gun in people's faces. A real solution won't require force and therefore won't require political action. Therefore, you won't have to worry about those who don't share your fears if you have a legit solution. A problem without a legit solution is just a recipe for guilt projection. And if you don't want to look for a real solution, just forgive yourself by admitting that you really don't care about global warming, you just like guilt projection lol.

Conversely, if you don't believe in catastrophic CO2 fueled global warming, forgive it by not projecting guilt on those who believe it, who are fearful, who think force is a solution, who hate fossil fuels despite using them, or who think they are saving humanity by simply holding onto a belief. And just in case your disbelief is incorrect, embrace any legitimate solutions proposed; you can still resist false solutions just not legitimate solutions. And if your disbelief in catastrophic CO2 fueled global warming is because you own an oil well or something, forgive by not resisting a legitimate replacement for the CO2 producing energy from which you profit.

It's all about being honest and getting out of the guilt projection trap. You can sit there and pretend to forgive all you want, but often you won't forgive until you're willing to sit down and rewrite the story in your mind that you wrote to justify your guilt projection.