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.

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