How to Think about Climate Change

Last week I posted a poll about climate change. Around 40 people voted. Here are the results as of right now:

Given such a low number of respondents, very little can be concluded about how concerned people are about climate change and what they expect the government to do. But it is still a bit worrisome that half a dozen people responded that they are “seriously concerned” and that they want the government to take dramatic action.

The problem I think that a Swedish teenager who is given to hysterical harangues gets more media attention — and therefore influences public opinion more heavily — than the reasoned, data-driven, sober writings and presentations of experts who have spent decades more time studying climate change than the teenager has been alive. Continue reading

Climate Change Hysteria Considered Dangerous

Let’s start with a story.

Once upon a time, so the story goes, a king got mightily upset with one of his ministers and sentenced him to death. The minister pleaded for his life and promised the king, “If you let me live, I will invent a flying horse in five years, and you’d become very powerful.” The king agreed to spare his life if he invented a flying horse.

The minister went home and told his wife of his narrow escape. She said, “Oh how terrible. How on earth are you going to invent a flying horse?” He said, “Don’t worry. Five years is a long time. The king might die in the meanwhile, or I might die, or someone may invent a flying horse. Who knows what will happen in five years!”

TL;DR Summary

The global hysteria whipped up by certain groups regarding climate change is fascinating. It represents a toxic mixture of politics, economics, science, ignorance, myopia, stupidity, fear, hubris, technology, power dynamics, racism, benevolence, malevolence and arrogance.

Climate is changing, as it always has. The data show the rise in temperature. Humans affect climate. Humans adjust to change too. Technological advances in the near future will allow humans control over the environment. Doing anything to control C02 emissions now by edict will be too expensive, be extremely harmful to the poor, will shift resources from other important matters, and have no discernible benefits for future generations.

Continue reading