The One Minute Case Against Global Warming Alarmism

The scientific theory of anthropogenic climate change should not be confused with global warming alarmism — the advocacy of drastic political action as a response.

A consideration of both the costs and benefits a warmer world as well as the costs of vast controls on industrial civilization, in addition to the uncertainty of climate and economic predictions suggest that humanity should adapt to a changing climate instead.

Earth’s climate is complex and constantly changing

Earth’s climate is an enormously complex system with thousands of variables in constant flux. Natural cycles of warming and cooling have existed as long as earth has had a climate. We only began to make large-scale measurements in the last 100 years, so this system is poorly understood.

Attempts to manipulate climate are limited by the complexity and inertia of the system. Dr. James Hansen of NASA, the father of the global warming theory, estimates the Kyoto protocol would only affect temperatures by .13°C by 2100, and it would take 30 Kyotos to have an “acceptable” impact on climate change. “Should a catastrophic scenario prove correct”, states Dr. Richard Lindzen, an MIT climate expert, “Kyoto will not prevent it.”

No single indicator can provide proof of a global change. The thinning of the Greenland ice sheet may be due to human causes, natural variations in snowfall, changes in ocean currents, a long-term warming of the planet since the transition from the last glacial period, continued warming since the end of the Little Ice Age following the Medieval Warm Period, or all of the above.

Politicians and the media are eager to embrace the latest crisis

Climate changes during the twentieth century were often accompanied by widespread panic, only to be quickly forgotten when dire predictions failed to materialize. Intellectuals, the media, and political institutions find it profitable to capitalize on emergencies which focus public attention on the issues they champion. Often their predictions go far beyond the most alarmist of scientific bodies. Science writer David Appell, who has written for such publications as the New Scientist and Scientific American believes that global warming will “threaten fundamental food and water sources. It would lead to displacement of billions of people and huge waves of refugees, spawn terrorism and topple governments, spread disease across the globe.” It would be “would be chaos by any measure, far greater even than the sum total of chaos of the global wars of the 20th century.” This doomsday scenario hardly follows from the hesitant estimates of a 1.1 to 6.4°C temperature rise and 18 to 59 cm sea level rise by 2100 predicted in 2007 by the IPCC.

Attempts to halt climate change are not only costly and futile, but ignore the benefits of a warmer climate

Adapting to a warmer climate has many costs, but many benefits as well. According to NASA satellite data, higher levels of CO2 have dramatically increased biomass production and biodiversity worldwide. Global warming may cause Africa to become more arid, but enormous territories in Siberia and Canada might finally be open to settlement, and new resources and shipping routes will become available.

The focus of environmental movements is usually on reversing anthropogenic causes of ecological change. Such attempts are not only futile, but ignore the large scale economic destruction caused by environmental restrictions on human productivity. Free societies and technological innovation have allowed human ingenuity bring about vast improvements in human life. This change has almost doubled the life expectancy and quadrupled the standard of living in the developed world – and is now transforming the developing world. Disrupting the global economy would have a snowball effect on future living standards, as well as retard future technologies will help us adapt to a constantly changing world.

A genuine cost-benefit analysis should weight the costs of wealth destruction and long term inhibition of technological progress against the highly uncertain costs of adjusting to environmental changes. Human beings have never passively resigned themselves to environmental changes, but adapted their society to make optimal use of their environment.

Wealth, technology, and human ingenuity are our most powerful tools for dealing with change

Even the most alarmist of scientists generally agree that there is little humanity can do to influence the global climate for many decades, even if we wrecked an industrial civilization that has allowed billions of people to leave immeasurably longer and better lives. Our resources would be far better spent creating innovative technology that allows us to make the best of a constantly changing climate than crippling industrial civilization (our best tool for dealing with a constantly changing world) in a futile attempt to stop climate change.

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Filed under Environment, Politics, Science

68 Responses to The One Minute Case Against Global Warming Alarmism

  1. And

    @Spencer Weart
    My points…

    Note that over 31,000 scientists in the USA alone have signed a petition that states: “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

    The bushfires that recently burnt in my home state of Victoria pumped more “greenhouse” gases into the atmosphere than the entire country of Australia had managed to do for the past year and to quote global warming as a cause of the bushfires is madness – I live in regional Victoria, in an area affected by the bushfires – one of the the primary causes is the state government allowing the fuel sources to build up through the cutting of budgets within forestry management – see this article (written by on of Australia’s primary environmental scientists)…,25197,25031389-7583,00.html

    When looking at climate, or in fact science in general – there are NO definites – science is about theory, inference, repeatable experiments and HEALTHY DEBATE – not being prepared to enter debate and to take a broadbrush approach to attempt to ridicule and undermine any argument or debate is essentially politics of the worst kind – deliberate supression of valid points of view – we may as well have let Hitler win.

  2. George

    “Earth’s climate is an enormously complex system with thousands of variables in constant flux”; if that ain’t a case for concern about anthropogenic alterations of our environment I don’t know what is! The fact that there has been disinformation and exaggeration concerning global climate change DOES NOT change the reality; carbon emissions contribute to a warming of the climate, a change RELATIVE to a climate without anthropogenic alterations. Why are we even arguing about whether there is warming and whether anthropogenic changes are the sole cause?

  3. Bob

    This is no man caused global warming; however, even that fact is not relevant. The first point is that NOT ONE PLAN proposed claims to stop the warming that they claim we are causing. It is not possible. CO2 under any plan will continue to rise. Period. And if that is the case then warming by the snake oil peddlers line of reason will continue to rise. So ok, lets spend 20 trillion dollars or so, destroying your standard of living, and killing the technology which has saved billions of lives and would save billions more, FOR NOTHING. What if instead we spend 100 billion and cure Malaria? Ask anyone in the third world if they would rather piss away 20 trillion for nothing or never have another loved one die of Malaria? Then take another trillion and end WORLD POVERTY! No, really. END World Poverty! Charitiable Organizations will tell you 60 billion dollars a year would do the treat. Spending 20 trillion on destroying economies will not feed one starving child or cure cancer.

  4. Bob

    You must follow the money and agendas. Thousand talk global warming, and they could not care less about whether it is happening or not, but they can make billions. Al GOre is an idot. He invented the internet, so he claimed. He recently said the earth was several millions of degrees just two kilometers deep. Wow how do those miners we send down there live? No he is an idoit and a liar, but what does his snake oil net him? Millions if not billions. And for one worlders/redistributionists? This is a wet dream, who cares about reality. If you are to look at global warming you MUST think about who has an agenda here and who has much to gain by lying to you! Also remember that 99% of the people talking about how to mitigate CO2, or generating new energies, etc. all the while talking about their ideas in the context of GW are not GW/climate experts, they are mirely addressing an “issue” which has been presented to them. All their talk has the preception to the public of “proving” consenus, but again they are not making a case for GW only resonding to the issue presented. Just because I give you an anwser to a “problem” does not prove the problem actually exsits.

  5. People who think we’ve made or contributed to global warming are just being arrogant fools.

    Earth was here before us and will be here when we are all gone. It will shake us off like a bad habit.

  6. Phyllis DeGerra

    The age of the Earth can be described as one minute and in that one minute Humans have only been on in Earth the equivalent of less than a second. To believe that our actions are not altering the climate is absurd. Today a person can literally walk from their house to the store without ever touching the actual, natural Earth. We are too self-absorbed to believe that our actions actually have consequences when we have only been here for a very very small time, but have managed to make a huge impact. What we need to realize is that it is bigger than ourselves.

  7. Phyllis DeGerra

    @ Peter Moss
    Earth was here before us, but do we see remnants of prehistoric creatures burning fossil fuels? No, we don’t therefore it is ignorant to believe that we haven’t altered the Earth’s energy exchanges and the climate.

  8. Son

    Dear ‘rationalmind’, you’re a total moron. I would have thought that an international scientific consensus amongst those who have spent their entire careers studying climate would take somewhat longer to provide a case against than one minute. Furthermore, I would have thought such a case might require some ground-breaking facts, rather than a mass of psuedological rhetoric.

  9. Kstep

    There are a couple of things I disagree with in both this article and on the entire side of the debate that doesn’t believe in global warming.

    First and foremost, there are many many scientists who support global warming. I would probably say more than those who dont, but I have no numbers to confirm with. However, let us look at the debate itself. One side is saying if we dont rapidly change the way we use resources the human species will surely go extinct in a number of years. The other side is saying no its not. To me it doesn’t even seem worth arguing. Wouldn’t it be smart, nay logical, nay common sense, to air on the side of caution and not roll the dice with the human species? ALL scientists agree that human activities are impacting the earth, its just a debate on how much. That being said, even the most conservative guess on how long we can sustain this lifestyle gives a date in the future that we will have to change by. We are gonna have to give up our oil addiction sometime, why not now, when the world is starting to get a little shaken up by the thought that our time here may be short lived?

    On to the article. First segment’s point was that not one thing can be an indicator of global warming because of the climates complexity. This is true, however scientists point to many, many things/events that indicate a global crisis. Therefore your point is null.

    Second paragraph. I lol’d at this one. First off if you think about it, the fact that someone could be trying to make money off of this (as many smart people do during a real crisis) does not prove or disprove the crisis’s existence. Politicians also have close ties with oil companies (as we can see by the massive oil spill, and the war in the Middle East depending on your views) so why are they going to spread ‘lies’ that could possibly hurt their good friends? It would prove more likely that the few politicians who speak out about global warming are the few politicians who care more about the USA than they’re bank account (either that or they’ve realized they wont have a bank account when the world ends). I did a google search that was just ‘ICPP Governments involved’ because I saw on their website that they were a intergovernmental group. On the first page alone I saw links referring to deception and corruption. I only accept information about global warming from legit sources, meaning they have been known to give good, solid facts. I’m also suspicious of any government sourced information as their stance on global warming seems to have taken the good old politician route, ‘deny, deny’, deny’. Last point on this paragraph. The ICPP’s conservative estimate of a 5 degree climate change over the next 90 years might actually be accurate. Not terribly long ago National Geographic did a show on the discovery channel about how 6 degrees would change the world (and annihilate the human race). So back to a point I made before, if theres a problem that could end the human race, we might as well fix it now before shit gets ugly.

    Third paragraph. First off a warmer climate WOULD be bad (see above paragraph) and ending our dependency on oil WOULD be good, as it is a limited resource and we will eventually run out. How good do you think our economy will run when were out of oil? Not well.

    I don’t have anything to say about the last paragraph because you didn’t really make a point in it.

    So, as you can see, your argument is garbage. There there dont cry! Glen Beck is here to support your totally unfounded argument!

  10. Climate Change really causes the formation of bigger tornadoes and bigger typhoons too,~`

  11. i think that global warming could slow down in the future due to the steps that we are doing;’~

  12. the climate change that we experience these days are caused by too much air pollutants ‘

  13. Isaiah

    Many people have bean wrong before on allot of things.What do you think of this? it is true. “Attempts to halt climate change are not only costly and futile, but ignore the benefits of a warmer climate.”

  14. Harry Hondo

    I checked the petition against GW and did some background on a few from my state. Most of the names on the list were M.D.’s. The few PhD’s I looked up, one was an entomologist and the other mathematician. I was hoping to find a physicist and/or a meteorologist in the group. Also, it seemed that all of the PhD’s were either deceased or retired. The older scientists, in my opinion, would be more likely to resists the idea of change and would likely reject the GW notion.

    Just because you have a PhD or MD and sign a petition it does not mean you are qualified to say whether or not GW exists! Now, if you can show me a petition where scientists, who have studied GW, and have come to the conclusion that GW does not exists, I’d give it more credence.

    • You show us a list of the climate scientists with PHD’s who believe in global warming? Once you’ve done that, then we’ll make a proper comparison.

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  16. outsidethebox

    Why is there universal inherent expectancy that the life of our civilisation is infinite and should be extended as long as possible, no matter what? Our civilisation should simply run its course to its natural conclusion.

  17. Pingback: AGW: atmospheric physics - Page 8 - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

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