Rising Climate Change Skepticism

Walter Russel Mead wrote about the rising rate of climate change skepticism in a recent post at the American Interest. Mead is something of  a moderate environmentalist in that while he agrees with the environmentalists on many points, he is also aware that the Green’s alarmism and their playing fast and loose with the facts has caused a great deal of damage to their credibility and effectiveness. His views on global warming aka climate change are close to my own so I will quote him at length.

 

 

 

Before we go any further, let’s get something out of the way. At the most basic level, climate scientists have a very solid grasp on a relatively simple set of facts: certain gases, carbon dioxide among them, “trap” the sun’s heat in our atmosphere, much like a greenhouse’s glass. Humans have been emitting these gases at very high rates of late, and that’s a problem, because it will lead to a warmer climate and a variety of new challenges to which life on earth will have to adapt, ourselves included.

The devil is, as usual, in the details. Our climate models weren’t able to predict the recent plateau in warming over the past decade or so, a reflection of our incomplete understanding of the “fiddly bits” of Earth’s climate. The central problem here is the enormous complexity of the system we’re dealing with. Our planet is filled with many different feedback loops and relationships, some of which we understand, but many of which we remain ignorant of. Because of that, any prediction of what might happen when we ramp up one variable like carbon dioxide is going to have a significant margin of error.

But the green movement has made a habit—and for some a living—of exaggerating the dangers of climate change to justify unworkable policies. In the past this probably produced some short-term payoff in terms of public support, but over time it has weakened the credibility of not just the environmental movement but the scientific understanding that these greens claim to be advancing. This recent Gallup poll reflects a damning fact for today’s greens: Climate alarmism tops “big oil” money as the leading cause of climate skepticism.

 

A great deal of my own skepticism regarding global warming is due to the fact that actions of the people most involved in promoting the idea are not the actions of honest people who have the facts on their side. If the facts were on their side, they would feel little need to slander their opponents by referring to the as “deniers” or implying that they are all funded by Big Oil. They would not corrupt the peer review process by attempting to censor any paper that opposes their received wisdom nor would they exchange e-mails discussing the best “tricks” to “hide the decline“. They would not call for jailing people who disagree with them. They would admit that current models have done a poor job of predicting changes in climate and work to create better models instead of dismissing and contrary facts as disinformation and insisting that the science is settled.

English: Graphic illustrating the percentages ...
The American people seem to have trust issues on the subject. Why would that be? Based on Rasmussen polling of 1,000 American adults conducted July 29-30, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many who would consider the results of the Gallup poll that Mead refers to as an indication of the ignorance of the American people, especially those who live in flyover country. I think that it shows that the bitter clingers are smart enough to know a con when they see it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Soylent Green

A little while back I made a reference to the movie Soylent Green while writing on a very different subject. I’ve been thinking about that movie ever since so I might as well write about it. It must be around twenty years since I last watched Soylent Green on video so I only remember the general plot. Soylent Green was based on Harry Harrison’s 1966 science fiction novel Make Room!, Make Room!. I’ve read the book more recently. The movie and book share the same setting, an overpopulated, polluted, dystopian world and mostly the same plot, a detective is investigating a murder in the impossible circumstances of a dying New York City. There are a number of differences, though. Make Room! is set in the year 1999 rather than 2022. I guess the producers of Soylent Green thought that adding another 23 years might make the setting more plausible. Soylent green is not made of people in the book, it is plankton. The murder that the Charlton Heston character is investigating had nothing to do with the corporation or with the environment. The victim was a mob boss and the only reason the police want his murderer is because the New York mafia is afraid that a rival organization is moving in and they are putting pressure on corrupt officials to learn if this is the case.

The book is a whole lot more depressing than the movie. Harry Harrison works to make the world of Make Room!a world of poverty and misery, without any hope for improvement. All people have to hope for is the world might end. In fact, one of the characters is a crazy hermit who expects the end to come when the year ends. When 1999 becomes the year 2000 without incident, he can only despair. Water and food are tightly rationed and diseases of malnutrition, such as kwashiorkor are widespread in the United States. Cars, no longer working because there is no more gasoline, sit abandoned in parking lots, to be used as shelter by the large population of homeless people. Freight is transported by wagons pulled by people. Overpopulation is only getting worse, since the masses of permanently unemployed people have baby after baby to qualify for larger welfare benefits. It goes on and on.

There is, of course, a certain amount of preachiness throughout the descriptions of the miserable life of the future. At one point the Edward G. Robinson character discusses how the world came to be in such awful shape. He laments that if only people started to take overpopulation seriously about thirty years before (when the book was published), the world wouldn’t have been ruined.

These sort of sentiments were widespread throughout the sixties and seventies. This was the era of Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb and The End of Affluence. It was widely accepted that unless major changes were made, the world of the future was going to be nightmarish. We couldn’t afford have the luxury of an affluent lifestyle, or even basic freedoms if we wanted to save the planet. This sort of messaging was always in the background while I was growing up in the seventies and early eighties and I believed it. I worried about global warming, overpopulation, and the depletion of natural resources. I considered myself an environmentalist.

What changed? Well, if you look around, you might happen to observe that the world was not an overpopulated dystopia in the year 1999 nor is it likely to become one by the year 2022. As I grew older, I couldn’t help noticing that none of the horrible scenarios predicted by the environmental alarmed ever seemed to actually occur. We always had just ten years to save the planet. When ten years elapsed, we still had just ten years to save the planet. I also actually read some environmentalist literature and even got a degree in Environmental Studies. I took what I call my environmentalist wacko class. That helped me to learn just how anti-capitalist, anti-technology, anti-science, anti-American, and anti-human many environmentalists actually are. I have since developed the deepest skepticism about environmentalist claims of doom and gloom. I am on to them.

This is why I am a global warming skeptic. There are some who have suggested that I should defer to the experts. I am told that ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is real and that drastic action is needed right now. I am not impressed. I happen to possess a functioning memory and very little of what these people are saying is any different than what they were saying forty years ago. Their solution to the crises is the same: the masses must live like medieval serfs while an all powerful government of the elite decide what’s best for everyone.

At some point, you realize that the boy cried wolf is a liar, especially when he seems to have an agenda which involves getting the villagers to hand over wealth and power to the only boy who can save them from the wolf only he sees.

 

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Snow in Israel and Egypt

These are strange times we are living in. Right now, there is a snowstorm in Israel. I didn’t think it ever snowed there. It is even snowing in Egypt. Here is the story at the Israel National News via the Drudge Report.

Snow continues to fall across Israel Friday morning, reaching new regions of the country and causing major power outages and road closures. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat released a statement saying “we are battling a storm of rare ferocity.” The capital has over 37 centimeters (15 inches) of snow, with deeper snowfall in other areas.

A weather forecaster on public radio described the storm as “historic,” as Jerusalem temperatures already dropped to 2 degrees celsius (35.6 Fahrenheit), and are expected to drop below freezing. Snow is anticipated to continue falling through Saturday.

The views in Jerusalem are spectacular, as the hills of the city turn white and the rooftops in older neighborhoods wear a white contrast to the Jerusalem stone.

A power outage has affected more than half of Jerusalem, although some areas are reporting a return of electricity. In Kiryat Moshe, Merkaz Harav Yeshiva opened its dormitory and dining room to stranded families who reached the entrance of the city, where the yeshiva is located, but could not get to their destination.

Many more drivers were stuck on the roads in the city overnight, without food and water, after attempting to reach the city to see the snow.

The Jerusalem municipality is continuing with the rescue operations that began Thursday night and have so far saved over 2,000 people. The IDF and the Border Police are assisting in the operation.

Drivers who have been rescued have been taken to the Binyanei HaUma (International Convention Center), a community center in Mevaseret Zion and the Ofer Camp on Highway 443.

The Israeli police have released a particularly strong warning to drivers in affected areas against going out in blizzard conditions. Police have warned residents across the country to avoid leaving their homes for any reason during the snowfall.

Judea and Central Samaria villages are also receiving more snow – some for the first time in over ten years – including in Ariel, Nofim, Yakir, and Barkan.

In light of the situation, schools are closed in the following places: Yakir, Ariel, Barkan, Revava, Tapuah, Alei Zahav, Peduel, Rehalim, Nofei Nehemia, Bruhin, Kiryat Netafim, Yitzhar, Har Braha, Itamar, Alon Moreh, and Karnei Shomron.

Power outages have been reported across the central Samaria area; all roads are closed. The Shomron Regional Council is working to help Judea and Samaria residents and to provide aid.

I wonder if drivers there even know how to handle snow. Here is the story about the snow in Egypt from the LA Times again via the Drudge Report.

Snow coated domes and minarets Friday as a record Middle East storm compounded the suffering of Syrian refugees, sent the Israeli army scrambling to dig out stranded motorists and gave Egyptians a rare glimpse of snow in their capital.

Nearly three feet of snow closed roads in and out of Jerusalem, which is set in high hills, and thousands in and around the city were left without power. Israeli soldiers and police rescued  hundreds trapped in their cars by snow and ice. In the West Bank, the branches of olive trees groaned under the weight of snow.

In Cairo, where local news reports said the last recorded snowfall was more than 100 years ago, children in outlying districts capered in white-covered streets, and adults marveled at the sight, tweeting pictures of snow-dusted parks and squares. In other parts of the city, rain and hail rocketed down.

I’m surprised the Egyptians even know what snow is. Before, they could only have known snow from watching movies and television. There have also been records in cold and snow set here in the United States, as I have noticed whenever I have gone outside.

Meanwhile, solar activity is the weakest it has been observed for a century. Could this have some effect on the Earth’s climate? Perhaps we are in for a cold winter and a cool summer next year. Maybe even a repeat of the Little Ice Age. It may be that in the not too distant future we will be longing for some global warming.

Carbon Pollution

I have gotten another assignment from Organizing for Action.

David —

This may sound crazy, but it’s a fact: Today, there are no emission limits on our nation’s single largest source of carbon pollution.

About 40 percent of all carbon pollution in America comes from our power plants, but we don’t have anything in place on a national level to regulate the amount of carbon they put into the air.

That’s why the EPA announced a new proposal to set carbon pollution standards for power plants, the same way we regulate other dangerous substances, like arsenic and mercury. It’s a common-sense way to start to make a very real dent in reducing carbon pollution.

Right now, the EPA is asking for the public’s input on these new limits on carbon emissions — add your name to show your support, and we’ll pass it along.

Climate change is real — there’s no credible scientific debate anymore. We’re seeing its effects more and more every year. That’s why we need to do something about it — that includes taking action to reduce our carbon emissions.

President Obama knows how crucial this is. The Climate Action Plan he laid out this summer set guidelines for these proposed EPA rules and laid out a roadmap for further carbon pollution reduction, expanded renewables, and more energy efficiency projects.
He’s keeping his word on climate change — and now we need to do our part.

Add your name today to support the EPA’s proposal to clean up our power plants:

http://my.barackobama.com/Support-the-Presidents-Climate-Plan

Thanks,

Jack

Jack Shapiro
Deputy Climate Campaign Manager
Organizing for Action

By carbon pollution I assume he means carbon dioxide. Mercury and arsenic are pollutants. They are not found naturally in the Earth’s atmosphere in any appreciable amounts and are hazardous to human health. Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring

Carbon dioxide
Not a pollutant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

compound in the Earth’s atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is not  hazardous to human health except in concentrations great enough to displace oxygen. Carbon dioxide is essential to life on Earth. Without it, plants cannot photosynthesize and the Earth  would be a frozen wasteland. It makes no sense to talk of carbon pollution especially in comparison with arsenic and mercury. Either the people responsible for this e-mail, and the whole talking point about carbon pollution, are ignorant of the science of the Earth’s atmosphere or are dishonest and using semantic games rather than actual facts to convince people. If they want to make the argument for reducing carbon dioxide emissions to reduce global warming, then they should make that argument. The fact that they do not make that argument perhaps says something about their credibility.

As is happens, current levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are neither unusual or unprecedented. There is good reason to believe that in ages past levels were far higher than today’s. In the Jurassic Period, carbon dioxide levels were five times the present levels. The long term trend is decreasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and eventually there will not be enough for life on Earth to survive.

 

The Sun is Acting Strangely

History of sunspot number observations showing...
History of sunspot number observations showing the recent elevated activity. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Glenn Reynolds linked to this story at Slashdot.com about the puzzling behavior of the Sun. I wrote something about the worrisome lack of solar activity since the last cycle almost two years ago and it does not look as if things are getting any better. The Sun ought to be approaching the maximum point of its eleven year cycle but so far this maximum has not amounted to vary much.

 

“Robert Lee Hotz reports in the WSJ that current solar activity is stranger than it has been in a century or more. The sun is producing barely half the number of sunspots as expected, and its magnetic poles are oddly out of sync. Based on historical records, astronomers say the sun this fall ought to be nearing the explosive climax of its approximate 11-year cycle of activity—the so-called solar maximum. But this peak is ‘a total punk,’ says Jonathan Cirtain. ‘I would say it is the weakest in 200 years,’ adds David Hathaway, head of the solar physics group at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Researchers are puzzled. They can’t tell if the lull is temporary or the onset of a decades-long decline, which might ease global warming a bit by altering the sun’s brightness or the wavelengths of its light. To complicate the riddle, the sun also is undergoing one of its oddest magnetic reversals on record, with the sun’s magnetic poles out of sync for the past year so the sun technically has two South Poles. Several solar scientists speculate that the sun may be returning to a more relaxed state after an era of unusually high activity that started in the 1940s (PDF). ‘More than half of solar physicists would say we are returning to a norm,’ says Mark Miesch. ‘We might be in for a longer state of suppressed activity.’ If so, the decline in magnetic activity could ease global warming, the scientists say. But such a subtle change in the sun—lowering its luminosity by about 0.1%—wouldn’t be enough to outweigh the build-up of greenhouse gases and soot that most researchers consider the main cause of rising world temperatures over the past century or so. ‘Given our current understanding of how the sun varies and how climate responds, were the sun to enter a new Maunder Minimum, it would not mean a new Little Ice Age,’ says Judith Lean. ‘It would simply slow down the current warming by a modest amount.'”

 

I’m worried. We could be in for another Little Ice Age, which really wouldn’t be much fun at all. Wouldn’t be ironic, though, if all the carbon dioxide we are emitting was the only thing keeping the glaciers from moving south again? I think I read a science fiction book about that once.

 

 

 

Calling Them Out

Ivan Frishberg sent me another e-mail asking me to call out the climate change deniers in Congress.

David —

Today, all across the country, people are telling members of Congress that it’s not OK to deny the science behind climate change.

There are 135 climate change deniers in Congress — elected officials who refuse to believe that climate change is real, manmade, and dangerous. Today, we want everyone pointing and laughing at these folks.

It’s easy to join in. Can you help by sharing something on Twitter or Facebook?

Tweet at Speaker John Boehner, the lead climate denier in Congress — and call out the climate denial.


Or share this graphic on Facebook:

Call on Speaker Boehner to stop denying the science behind climate change.
Share on Facebook

It only takes a second — but if we do our jobs, it’ll be fun to watch these climate change deniers try to explain themselves.

Keep it up and tweet right now:

http://my.barackobama.com/Do-One-Thing-for-Climate-Change-Twitter

Or share the shame of climate change deniers on Facebook:

http://my.barackobama.com/Do-One-Thing-for-Climate-Change-Facebook

Thanks,

Ivan

Ivan Frishberg
Climate Campaign Manager
Organizing for Action

It seems to me that an important part of science is observation. For instance, I have observed that the high temperature on the day I write this is about 75°. This is unusually cool for Indiana in the middle of August. I am aware, of course, that one unusually cool summer does not disprove the theory of global warming, but then, if we were having an unusually hot summer, the climate change alarmists would be taking that as proof that the Earth was getting dangerously warmer.

I wonder why we are having such a cool summer. I am a little concerned. I believe I’ve said before that I would be a lot more worried if there were a worldwide cooling trend than a warming. It really wouldn’t take much of a decrease in global average temperature to affect agriculture adversely. Of course, this is only one year and I am sure next year will be more normal. In the meantime, I will enjoy the pleasant weather.

The One-Acre Mosquito Trap

I occasionally buy gifts from Hammacher-Schlemmer, even though they are a little too upscale for my budget. Even though I can’t afford most of their products, I still find it fascinating to browse through their catalog. They really do sell some unique items. One thing that caught my eye was the One-Acre Natural Attractant Mosquito Trap. Here is the description from their website.

This trap attracts and kills mosquitoes across one acre without harmful chemicals. The trap mimics the natural conditions of human habitation by emitting heat and odorless carbon dioxide (the same gas people expel during respiration) and light to lure mosquitoes. Carbon dioxide is generated when ultraviolet rays from two fluorescent bulbs react with a titanium dioxide coating inside the trap. When the mosquitoes are drawn inside the device, an integrated fan traps the insects and sends them to a removable net where they die of dehydration. Unlike propane systems that require frequent refills or electrocution traps that release pathogens when an insect is killed, this superior model uses 5,000-hour rated UV bulbs and does not create biological agents. Plugs into AC. 22″ H x 13″ Diam. (9 lbs.)

And a picture.

81846_1000x1000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really like this,not only because I really, really hate mosquitoes, but also because it generates carbon dioxide, or “carbon pollution” as they call it these days. I would love to run this thing all year round just to increase my carbon footprint and promote global warming/climate change/climate catastrophe/ climate something bad. At $199.95,the mosquito trap is more than I can afford, but it might be worth the money just to irritate global warming alarmists.

Bracing for Climate Change Policies

Brace yourselves. President Obama is getting ready to address climate change.

David, this is huge news:

President Obama is set to announce his plan this week to address the growing threat of climate change.

We’ll know more specifics on Tuesday, but it’s expected he’ll offer a bold, national approach to reducing carbon pollution — and lay out a vision to lead global efforts to fight climate change.

The powerful, well-financed forces who still deny the science behind climate change aren’t going to like this — and they’ll be fighting this progress every step of the way. In fact, before he’s even seen the plan, House Speaker John Boehner is calling it “absolutely crazy.”

That’s why President Obama is calling on all of us — anyone who believes that climate change is a threat — to join him in taking action right now.

Add your name today — say you’ll do your part to help fight climate change:

http://my.barackobama.com/Stand-Up-Against-Climate-Change

Thanks — more on this soon.

Jon

Jon Carson
Executive Director
Organizing for Action

Get ready for higher electric bills and gasoline prices, if Obama manages to have his way on this.

By the way, Britain just had its coldest spring since 1962, and the fifth coolest spring since they began keeping records. This is part of global warming, no doubt.

Snake Oil

Al Gore is still at it. You might think he would be just a little ashamed to be continuing to spread the gospel of global warming considering that he sold his network CurrentTV to Al Jazeera which is backed by the decidedly ungreen Kingdom of Qatar, not to mention that there has been, in fact, no warmer for the past several years, as even the New York Times is forced to admit. Recently, Gore compared the fight against global warming to World War II. I found this article in PJMedia entertaining.

Comparing “global warming” to World War II, former Vice President Al Gore said America should “mobilize” to combat climate change and put a “price on carbon pollution.”

“Even though we give FDR and the New Deal the credit for ending the Great Depression, what really ended it was World War II when we mobilized for a great national effort in which the survival of our country and our values was deemed to be at stake and when we decided to act, then we put people to work and the economy started booming like never before,” said Gore on Tuesday at Rhode Island Energy and Environmental Leaders Day sponsored by Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.

“Well, this time the threat is different and it doesn’t trigger the ancient reflexes we inherited from our ancestors when they were attacked by other humans with weapons, but it is nonetheless a threat to our survival. This stuff is no joke. We’re now, we’re seeing the acceleration of this.”

Gore, who won an Academy Award for his documentary An Inconvenient Truth, said he is training 800 representatives from 91 countries in Turkey this weekend on a “new version” of his global warming slideshow presentation. After the training, Gore said, they would give the presentation in their home countries.

“Even though on a population basis the cities that are most affected by sea level rise are in India and China and so forth, Bangladesh – if you look at the value of assets at risk in coastal cities, number one is Miami, number two is New York, New Jersey and we are paying the cost of carbon pollution. It is well past time that we put a price on carbon pollutio

n and not just accept the price that it extracts from us,” Gore said.

The former Tennessee senator said retrofitting U.S. buildings and infrastructure would create more jobs and lower “global warming pollution.”

“It’s a huge fork in the road, huge choice that we have to make and if we mobilize the way we should, if we put a price on carbon and get the signals correct in the economy, then we’re going to put many millions of people to work installing the solar, installing the wind, reconfiguring buildings with more insulation,” Gore said.

“We can save 90 percent of the energy saved being used in most buildings – 25 to 30 percent of all the global warming pollution in the world comes from poorly insulated, poorly constructed buildings. The retrofitting of our buildings and our infrastructure, that’s the way to create jobs and the installation of the renewable energy systems.”

Pollution can be defined as “The contamination of air, water, or soil by substances that are harmful to living organisms.” Carbon dioxide in a naturally occurring substance in the Earth’s atmosphere and is necessary for life on Earth. Carbon dioxide, therefore, cannot be considered pollution. It makes just as much sense to complain of oxygen pollution.

Of course, it is the dosage that makes the poison and an Earth with substantially less carbon dioxide would be a frozen wasteland, while an Earth with a much greater level

English: Al Gore's Hearing on Global Warming
Just shut up Al (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

would be too hot for comfort. Still, the amount of carbon dioxide and the Earth’s temperature has varied somewhat over the ages without catastrophic results. There have been long eras with higher temperatures than present in which life has flourished.

I am pleased to see that Al Gore admits that Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal did not end the Great Depression. Roosevelt did not really know what he was doing and it is likely that his policies made matters worse. To be fair, no one knew what to do about the depression and the different varieties of socialism that were fashionable at the time helped to make the 1930s  a lost decade in terms of world economic growth. Roosevelt was also worried about his chance of re-election as 1936 approached and tried to out-demogoguethe socialist populists like Huey Long and Father Coughlin. This did not help inspire economic confidence. By 1940, Roosevelt had begun to see that his antagonistic attitude toward business was making an economic recovery almost impossible. Since World War II had begun and it was obvious that America would eventually enter the war, he eased back on many New Deal policies.

The war did stimulate the American economy, but it doesn’t say much for Roosevelt’s policies that something as destructive and inefficient as war did a better job at promoting economic growth. In general, war is a terrible and wasteful way to stimulate a nation’s economy. Resources get used to make weapons, ships, tanks, or planes which are blown up or end up at the bottom of the ocean. Economic efficiency must make way for military necessity. People get killed. Aside from the horror of many deaths, there is also the loss of the talent and skills those killed in war could better have used in peacetime. If Al Gore is proposing that we undertake a massive, national effort to waste and squander resources on green energy that could better be deployed more efficiently, as the market decides, than he is simply a fool and a fraud. He really needs to stop selling the snake oil.

Unicorns

I got another e-mail from Organizing for Action.

David —

If I said to you: “Unicorns exist, I totally just saw one galloping down the street,” most likely you’d give me a sad look and get on with your day.

But what if House Speaker Boehner and the chairman of the House Science Committee said they didn’t know if the science behind climate change was real. (Yeah. That actually happened.)

Now obviously, it doesn’t matter if I just make stuff up about unicorns. But it matters, and it matters a whole lot, that so many of our elected officials in Washington who represent us are denying science and using that denial to refuse to take action on climate change.

It’s actually dangerous — and it matters how we react.

Each and every day that congressional leaders hold on to their bizarre fantasy world, OFA is going to be there, not letting them get away with it.

Add your name and say you’re ready to hold climate deniers accountable.

We’re going to make them say it out loud — either double-down on their claims, or come to their senses. The National Academy of Sciences and more than 13,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers all confirm that the carbon pollution in our atmosphere today is causing dangerous climate change.

The sticky thing about the truth is that it’s the truth whether Congress likes it or not.

Unicorns don’t exist, climate change is real, and we said we weren’t going to let this go.

Sign here and help Congress get real:

http://my.barackobama.com/Hold-Climate-Deniers-Accountable

Thanks,

Ivan

Ivan Frishberg
Climate Campaign Manager
Organizing for Action

I wouldn’t necessarily dismiss out of hand an account of a unicorn viewing out. Although I have never seen a unicorn, that does not mean they don’t exist, although I have to admit the evidence that unicorns are real is slim. If a person who I know to be honest and not subject to hallucinations were to tell me that he saw a unicorn, I would believe that he either saw a real unicorn or something that resembled a unicorn until I found evidence to the contrary. On the other hand, if a person who has had a history of not being very honest or who has often made doomsday predictions that have never come to pass, than I would be more skeptical.

I do not believe that climate change is settled science. I am not a climate scientist, so it is not likely that I possess the information and training to determine that on my own. Nevertheless, I have observed that the people who have been pushing the climate change hypothesis have not acted in an honest or honorable fashion. There is the use of the word “denier” with the implied resemblance to Holocaust denial. This is not a scientific or logical argument. This is name calling. There is the rebranding of the name of the crisis. You never hear “global warming” any more. The expression now is “climate change”. Why is that? Could it be that the Earth has not warmed significantly in the past few decades? There are scientists who are apparently communicating with each other on the best means of manipulating data to obtain the desired results. Shouldn’t science be in the business of following where the data leads, even if it disproves a cherished hypothesis? What is carbon pollution? Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring component of the Earth’s atmosphere. Every animal exhales carbon dioxide as a waste product of respiration.

Then there is the fact that for most of my life I have been told that an environmental catastrophe is just around the corner unless drastic action, which somehow always seems to involve an expansion of government into everyone’s personal lives, is begun right now! There is no time to debate! We have to act! And yet, the catastrophe never comes. How many times do we have to listen to the boy who cried “Wolf!” before we stop listening to him?

It would be better if Ivan Frishberg stuck to believing in unicorns. Believing in unicorns would do a lot less damage.