24 April, 2011

Bill McKibben’s Fight with Reality

The alleged, slight, recent warming of the world attributed to the small increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide is, apparently, “the worst thing that’s ever happened”.  Anthropogenic global warming, it seems, is far worse that the Black Death, the devastations of Hitler, Stalin, Mao or Pol Pot, concentration camps, any war, taxes, the designated-pitcher rule, paper-cuts, asteroid strikes, slavery, cancers, smallpox, syphilis, AIDS, malaria, institutionalised injustice, tyrannies of all sorts, the burning of the library at Alexandria, the rise of militant Islam, man’s first disobedience, reality television, candirus, the monster in Harry Potter’s chest, Jar-Jar Binks, or even boy-bands.  Bill McKibben, an awarmist and possibly criminally insane journalist, recently presented a speech packed with doom-laden but fallacious ravings at PowerShift 2011:
It’s tough, it’s grim, but the good news at least is that it’s clear, the science.  We have a number:  350 parts per million.  350, the most important number on earth.  As the NASA team put it in January 2008, “any value in the atmosphere greater than 350 parts per million is not compatible with the planet on which civilization developed and which life on earth is adapted.”  Getting back to 350 parts per million will be very very tough, the toughest thing human beings have ever done, but there is no use complaining about it, it’s just physics and chemistry.  That’s what we have to do.  [...]
So far, we’ve raised the temperature of the planet one degree and that’s [...] melted the arctic [really? see this evidence], it’s changed the oceans. The climatologists tell us that unless we act with great speed and courage that one degree will be five degrees before this century is out. And if we do that, then the world that we leave behind will be a ruined world.
We fight not just for ourselves, we fight for the beauty of this place.  For cool trout streams and deep spruce woods.  For chilly fog rising off the Pacific and deep snow blanketing the mountains. We fight for all the creation that shares this planet with us.  We don’t know half the species on Earth we’re wiping out.  [...]
The only thing that a morally awake person to do when the worst thing that’s ever happened is happening is try to change those odds.
I have spent most of my last few years in rooms around the world with great people, many of whom will be refugees before this century is out, some of whom may be dead from climate change before this century is out.
So, many “great people” might not live to be much over a hundred years?  Many other centenarians will be refugees?  No!  Let’s halt all industry immediately!  The lunatic behind the nonsensical, NASA* team’s claim that “any value in the atmosphere greater than 350 parts per million is not compatible with the planet on which civilization developed”, by the way, is that bonkers boffin, James Hansen.
Notice that McKibben refers to a “morally awake person” who must take action to alleviate his spurious crisis.  As Maurizio Morabito says, it’s a short step from considering the rest of us as morally asleep to considering us subhumans—not that anyone need ever fear crazed monomaniacs with political power.

UPDATE: as demented as McKibben is, he has at least realised that forecasts of doom are best made for the far away, distant future.  Compare, for instance, the deluded predictions of awarmists, such as the irrational James Hansen et al., with those of Harold Camping; they made the mistake of forecasting immediate doom.

* see “NASA keeps mum on data that could disprove anthropogenic global warming theory”, at the Hockey Shtick:  “The theory of anthropogenic global warming is based upon the notion that increases in the minor greenhouse gas CO2 result in increases of the major greenhouse gas water vapour, thereby supposedly increasing global warming to alarming levels of 2-5ºC per doubling of CO2 levels.  Without this assumed and unproven positive feedback from water vapour, there is no basis for alarm. [...] a 2005 paper based on the NASA water vapor data set [called NVAP] showed that water vapour levels had instead declined (with 95% confidence) between 1988-99.” 

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