Monday, 31 December 2018

'Climate Change' is an obsession or 'ideology'

Living in Harmony.

We often seek deep patterns in thought to explain ideas. For example eco-modernists see modern environmentalism as a prescription and ideal for humanity to live in harmony with nature. This harmonic notion is behind the organic farming fad. It animates enviro oppossition to scientific agriculture, finely-tuned genetic techniques to improve crops, and even fish-farming. It explains enviro worship of primitive lifestyles and beliefs of Wiccan, hunter-gatherers, and off-grid drop-outs. Harmonic obsessions help explain their fervour for renewable energy and land-intensive energy systems such as solar, wind and bio-energy systems. Eco-modernists believe that by leaving harmonic obsessions behind they've liberated environmentalism from its worst excesses.

Stasis and Equilibrium

It's a shame self-styled eco-modernists stopped their analysis at harmonic fixation. There is an even more pervasive 'idée fixe' ruling the thoughts of the modern enviro and climate intelligentsia: an obsession with equilibria. The common idea uniting many so-called Left and Environmental ideas is a notion that equilibria are desirable states to aim for. That anything which isn't aiming for equilibrium is pathological. These imaginary pathologies, falling short of the ideals, include: Capitalism, climate change, fossil fuel use, ...

We see it in both climate policy prescriptions and analyses. Analyses increasingly blame nearly all "climate change" on more atmospheric carbon dioxide! Not just recent change, but past change hundreds of thousands and millions of years ago. We know for sure that a lot of past climate change is due to Milankovitch cycles combined with continental drift. For example: the changes resulting in the current Ice Age which now dominates our climate. Once they started down the path of blaming carbon dioxide, climate scientists forgot the science and, instead became anti-carbon evangelists. I think Mann, Hayhoe, ... and their acolytes show these symptoms. They can't talk about climate without demonizing carbon dioxide.

Climate policy seems to actually believe that climate change can be stopped. That we can, and should, 'go back to' a mythic, perfect climate associated with 280ppm (or is that 350ppm?) CO2. Surprisingly this is never really stated. It is assumed that we all desire this imaginary, perfect, past climate state - whether, or not, it ever existed! Seeking utopias is not a first for humanity. But harking back to an assumed utopia is a bit crazy?

Why do we dream up impossible ideals to aspire to?

Fear of resource depletion and losing balance became tied to a dreams of renewable energy, sustainable and 'circular economies. Our fears need alternative ideas to aspire to and counter negativity. That's part of our nature. Fear alone cripples us. Environmentalists created counter-narratives such as 'climate optimism' to rally around and diffuse their fears of resource depletion, over-population, Capitalism and environmental pollution. These optimistic narratives are invariably templated from equilibria. For example: 'climate optimism' promoted renewables where and when-ever. Not, at first, as a non-CO2 energy technology, but purely for its own sake. Germany's Energiewende was a perfect example of that. Done at vast expense, Energiewende had nothing much to do with reducing CO2 emissions in electricity generation. None of the major politicians promoting it gave emissions reductions more than a passing footnote. So don't be surprised it did nothing much to reduce Germany's carbon footprint.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Equilibrium-obsession syndrome

The main “intellectual fallacy” dominating climate alarmist’s ideas is the notion of a natural equilibria. It assumes our current climate is in equilibrium. That any climate change must be bad and man-made (upsets the equilibrium). That energy systems should be some variation of imaginary perpetual motion machines (they call it “renewable”, and say it makes “free” energy). The climate scare rename from "global warming" to: “climate change” was because it's the “change” that really scares. These people are afraid to stray from an imaginary stasis of equilibria. It’s an ideal or template they think all things should be in thrall to. They are not so much environmentalists, more “equilibrilists”. We see it in their neo-Malthusian economic suggestions too. It perfectly explains their hostility to none-CO2 emitting nuclear power as well. Many such people are called environmentalists, and may use that term for themselves. But anyone who prefers wind-turbines and solar farms to nature has travelled very far away from loving their environment.

I medicalized it by post-pending "syndrome" because it's become a pervasive pathological condition. These ideas are genuinely harmful to our fellows.

Notes

  1. Unfortunately, for me, the term “equilibrist” is already in use and it means a circus performer who keeps things in balance during performance.
    equilibrilist seems to be some kind of TMed product.
  2. “intellectual fallacy” = a wrong system of thought which dominates thinking. Examples: Marxism, Freudism, neo-Malthusianism. It’s basic precepts are taken for granted. It cannot be seen, by its believers, as a fallacy. It’s understood as “how the world works”. In this case as “how the world should work
  3. When I talk of neo-Malthusianism I refer to a general limits obsession in economics. To sustainable economics, scarcity thinking, and other systems which relegate human welfare behind equilibria concerns.

Monday, 24 December 2018

Scientific Consensus.

171 ya: Dr Ignaz Semmelweis makes hand-washing mandatory for obstetricians at Vienna General Hospital. The incidence of puerperal fever, a mass murderer of mothers, drops by 90% overnight, vindicating Semmelweis’ hunch that iatrogenic contagion is to blame. His students soon replicate this miracle in maternity wards throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire and publish their results in the scientific press.

153 ya: Almost two decades have passed since the empirical confirmation of Semmelweis’ ideas, but mainstream pathology perseverates in ignoring them, sticking to the ancient and evidence-free consensus on miasmas, ’humoral imbalance’ and leeching. Semmelweis himself has been vilified and hounded from his job by the medical establishment, to whom the very suggestion that their hands might be vectors of disease was an affront, coming as it did from a Jew with a low h-index. Unemployed, angry and deeply depressed by the needless deaths of thousands of women a year, Semmelweis is committed to an insane asylum. The guards welcome him with a savage beating. His injuries fail to heal and within a fortnight, at the age of 47, he has died of blood poisoning.

by Brad Keyes (part reblog from)