Leaps of faith and Conjoined Science
Posted by Jeff Id on September 17, 2010
Do something now, before it’s too late. The mantra of climate science™ and the IPCC. To believe that we must act now, there are several leaps of faith one must accept.
Besides the basic and obvious physics, you first have to believe that CO2 causes a positive feedback in the atmosphere and therefore serious warming. All by a minuscule changes in trace CO2 levels. The feedback is a difficult and faithful leap when there is little ‘data’ to back it up.
The second leap you must undertake is that which says warming is bad. Certainly there are plenty of stories about warmer weather which sound scary, but in general, warm weather is more pleasant and more livable. Things grow in warm weather and die off in cold. More warm, more things will live, biodiversity will expand, famland will expand. Of course to assume that CO2 will cause these pleasant effects to happen requires the first leap of faith. But assuming that several degrees C will cause the massive problems predicted is very very much a leap of faith.
There is a third leap, and this one is actually the hardest. The belief that somehow we can control the emission of CO2 through ‘green’ energy. That somehow we can just stop emitting CO2 worldwide and it will all be ok. Nobody starves, nobody dies, everyone just tightens up a bit and we’re good. Happy green people on happy cooler earth.
Three leaps and you are almost home, but which ones are based on science.
Leap one, is based on CO2 warming (known true) and moisture feedback to that warming (unproven with quite a bit of contrary data).
Leap two is based on nothing but conjecture, absolutely no damage can be shown from warming. It is voodoo and fear mongering. Nobody knows what will actually happen, but they do know how to scare you. Someone please show me where I’m wrong, because I’ve been at this two years and have found not one thing. Some have taken advantage of the fact that it is nearly impossible to prove wrong at this point in our understanding.
Leap three is political. Nothing more, but many of the solutions are based on demonstrably unworkable technologies. Things like biofuel, I liked it until I did some basic calculations. Biofuel does not work, cannot work and will never work. It’s a boondoggle industry filled with charlatans and crooks nursing at the public money fountain. Wind, I’ve recently discovered is also very very bad. Solar power is great, if you want to triple or quadruple your costs and don’t mind covering five states with solar installations. These ‘solutions’ are completely bogus with today’s technology although solar may cross the credibility line in the future (30 years maybe).
Electric cars today– my god we monkeys are gullible. I love electric cars and really can’t wait until they do what I need, but they are nowhere near ready yet. The torque will be a blast. Smooth power, open interiors, no transmissions and wheel mounted motors. That is going to be sweet! And if we don’t chuck our economy to the wind (some pun intended), we might actually get to try one before 30 years.
Still there are those who buy into the concept that a tax can fix everything. Tax the wealthy, spend on implementation and problem solved. This is what my new blog friend Bart Verheggen wrote:
Implementation is needed to get started on emission reductions. It’s the cumulative emissions that are of concern, so earlier cuts in emissions are more useful to climate stabilization than similar cuts made later.
Now Bart is an honest scientist in my opinion but we have several disagreements. His small paragraph makes a point which is oft overlooked in the climate discussion. The fourth leap of faith required to believe in the emergency of AGW is the centuries long persistence of CO2 in the atmosphere. CO2 must have an enormous atmospheric lifespan as the IPCC claims, otherwise when bad things start happening, we can just stop making CO2. If CO2 is quickly reabsorbed, we can simply build nukes when stuff gets bad and 30 years after that, we’ve returned to normal. There is no need to spend any money today. Of course this leap is yet another monstrously large and unproven step which is absolutely core to the AGW case. Unsurprisingly, there is plenty of data which contradicts leap four also.
Climate scientists often accuse those of us who work in hard science of not understanding uncertainty. Here, I am making the reverse claim. Climate science is too soft a science to be demonstrably wrong in the short timeframe in which it has become mainstream. These guys haven’t been proven wrong enough by the god of climate. Being human, the hubris and narcissism build on them – source. Not because they are so good, but rather because of the career long timeframes and lack of feedback involved. My accusation is that Climate Science has misinterpreted uncertainty.
Finally, in the real world where most of us live, the ‘solution’ to CO2 output is very simple. It’s blatantly and flatly simple, and what is more – it’s guaranteed to be found. Nuclear power in its various forms will be the power of the future. I don’t like some of the dangers because the doom scenario’s are a bit scary, but it IS what it IS. Coal today and nukes tomorrow. Why can I make such a claim? Because that is where GOD put the energy — in matter! It is NOT my fault.
When a few hundred tons of matter can replace all the fossil fuel in between every grain of sand on earth, it is pretty hard to deny. Yet with all the blatant knowledge about energy, we get comments like Barts which say — do something now. He doesn’t say — do nuclear now, in fact that is probably the hardest item to find on the IPCC list of recommendations yet nuclear is the ONLY something, the singular ONLY thing that works to eliminate CO2.
The ugly stepchild, nuclear energy.
I’m feeling inspired.
If we the science minded are to make the uncertain leaps of faith
____and climate change is truly the greatest pollution
_________then climate science must recognize with grace
_______________that there is little uncertainty in the solution