9/23/14

The world is still very much on fire, in spite of the very initial action that we at long last see from the U.S. on ISIS. However, President Obama has time to head a meeting today of heads of states convened by the UN to promote the cause of climate change.

Instead of using every precious moment of the very busy week of the UN General Assembly to deal with China, Pakistan, Iran, ISIS, and Ukraine to name but a few of the issues, he spends valuable time on the much inflated issue of climate change.

On Sunday, many people around the world tried to raise the profile of climate change and global warming. The organizers say that in NYC alone about 400,000 people marched in the day of action, although some other estimates called it more like a few tens of thousands.

How interesting then that on the same weekend the Wall Street Journal published an article which basically debunks the entire case for the alarm over climate change and at long last reports things that I have been saying for years based only on logic and common sense, except that this article provides scientific facts and numbers to support these assertions.

The shocking thing is that the article was published not a by a climate change skeptic (or denier as the media likes to call them) but by a climate change believer—an insider, a full-fledge member of the “church” of climate change. Dr. Koonin is the director of the Centre for Urban Science and Progress at none other than NYU and a former undersecretary in the energy department under Obama. Who better to debunk the claim that climate science is a settled issue?

His very thoughtful article here highlights that:

  • Climate changes in the world all the time.
  • The entire effect of man-generated climate change over the next 100 years is estimated to be between 1 –2% of the actual overall climate change…
  • Measuring climate all over the world throughout an entire year is not an easy proposition or an accurate one. But the measurements from historical periods of more than 50 years ago are so inaccurate as to make the reliable data set very short in terms of climate changes, and this makes the whole theory of climate change very uncertain and very reliant on computer models.
  • The computer models predicting the future of climate change are simply unreliable. They disagree between themselves materially; they have a bad track record of predicting future temperatures (based on their track record for the last 20 years or so); and given that the effect of mankind is so small, a tiny error in computer models may make the whole thing irrelevant.
  • The issue of climate change must be considered from the perspective of a willingness to take risks—or as I have said many times, in terms of risk-reward. It is not enough to just evaluate the risk.
  • There are other issues in this world according to him, such as economic development and poverty reduction (and I will add such as malaria, clean drinking water, and even say…Ebola?), and given the limited resources, only proper assessment of climate change and its risks (or rewards I claim) can allow us to decide where in the priority it stacks and thus what resources should be invested toward it. I will add that an Extinction Level Event is much more worrying to me and as such I would fully support extensive government involvement and funding of ELE research (due to meteors, etc.). Climate change does not fall into this category.

Dr. Koonin does call for more research and better technology to be able to predict climate change as well as development of alternative energy sources.

I am all in favor of government-sponsored research and early-stage development of elements that the free market simply cannot handle. Space technology in the ’60s was one great example as was the Internet. Therefore I am in favor of government-sponsored research into climate changes and even, to an extent, alternative fuels. But I am very much against subsidizing green-energy production. If the research was not able to produce green energy that is commercially viable, work further on the research. It is never right for government to skew the free market by incentives or subsidies that cause disruption and misallocation of resources.

The bottom line is this—climate change is far from being the catastrophe that people are trying to make it out to be.

Do we need to research it? Absolutely. But we need to keep it in proportion.

The comparatively low level of media coverage for the Day of Action just shows that even the media has better things to cover these days.

It is ironic that the lack of leadership manifested by President Obama caused the world to be so unstable and with so many problems that even his followers cannot garner much enthusiasm for one of his main priorities— climate change. However ironic, it is typical. Nearly every goal that Obama had he has failed on, if not all of them, due to his bad polices, both domestic and international.

And as we speak a man-made satellite has arrived on Mars after years of travel in order to investigate how Mars changed from the burning inferno that it once was to the freezing tundra that it is now. I wonder if this would have been the fate of Earth too if it was not for human intervention…

Ironic.