Continuous change -- week by week, day by day, second by second -- denotes everything. Call it the basic law of the universe. The sentient mind has been mindful of this law from time immemorial. The law motivated the sentient mind of the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus to note that "no man ever steps in the same river twice." Heraclitus' noting occurred 2,600 years ago.
The climate and its changing: I question whether a more contentious, more inciting change topic exists.
Type "climate change" into any search engine and prepare to be swamped instanter with hundreds of millions of observations, opinions, scientific studies, charts, graphs, editorials, reports, books, blog posts, and Lord knows what else related to climate change. (This is no hyperbole on my part. My Google search returned 279 million entries.) Most of what the search returns favors stopping climate change.
Such titles featuring "stopping" bewilder me. Do we not agree that everything about and related to this planet, nay, universe, changes, and, yet, the climate should be the exception? To even suggest such a thing reveals a mind so addled by fantastical delusion that it borders on the insane.
So, there, I am no climate-change denier. The climate changes. Yes, you concede. But I am also a disingenuous prevaricator while I concede. I have conveniently swept past the change we can control and that you believe supersedes all other variables changing the climate. I refer to our behavior and anthropogenic climate change: atmospheric changes caused by greenhouse gases belched forth by human activities.
Yes, human activity interacts with the atmosphere, which, we suppose, likely changes the climate. That, I concede (once again). So, let's agree that the science on that matter is settled (even if science is never "settled"). Now, let's disagree: The science on the degree and magnitude of the anthropogenic variable and its influencing on the climate is far from settled, as is the science on proposed remedies and behavioral changes demanded by those persuaded by the catastrophic predictions of impending annihilation.
Those of us of an ornery nature -- the intractable individualist, the skeptical fiend (of which I am one), and other perceived enemies of mother earth -- are the problem. We insist on weighing costs against benefits. We see the costs of intervention exceeding the benefits. Our orneriness, you assert, is blinding us to evidence before our eyes: the heatwaves, the famines, the wildfires, the hurricanes, the floods, the melting icecaps.
My vision is sharper than you might think. I see it all. What is more, I have seen it time and again for the past fifty years. I cannot remember a year without a heatwave, a famine, a wildfire, a hurricane, a flood, and a melting icecap. I also remember every year and its particular apocalyptic prognostication that demands the intellects overlord the hoi polloi.
Perhaps the number of natural disasters has averaged higher the past decade compared to the average over the past century. This more likely nothing than something. The average is simply the equivalent of flipping a fair coin and producing a streak of heads for the past decade. It's unexpected, but it happens. If we agree that the earth's age can be measured in billions of years, should we extrapolate the past decade (or even the past century) into eternity? The past ten years is to the earth what an eyeblink is to an eighty-year lifespan.
But the science doesn't lie and a specific cabal of government-supported scientists assert that human activity is changing the climate (agree) and harming the planet (disagree). True enough, the science doesn't lie, but scientists can and do, even if they assert otherwise. No one is objective. Every human is encumbered with prejudice, bias, and wishful thoughts. Data can be easily enough mined and combined to support any prejudice, bias, and wishful thought. The mined data are presented to elevate the plausible to the factual, even if the factual is unprovable.
What's more, I question whether scientists are practicing science within climate change. The scientific method I remember taught in college centered on empiricisms and knowledge. It involves dependent and independent variables, careful observations, and rigorous skepticism about what is observed. It involves formulating hypotheses, via induction, based on such observations; experimental and measurement-based testing drawn from the hypotheses; and refinement (or elimination) of the hypotheses based on the experimental findings. The null hypothesis is a big deal.
I see scientists conflating modeling with the scientific method to arrive at a pre-determined outcome. They festoon hypotheses with higher math and Greek letters to construct models that impress the dupable lay person. The pro-climate-change scientists construct predictive models, and many of these models assume trend-line continuance that predict catastrophe twenty or thirty years in the future (and always twenty or thirty years in the future, never now). Like all models, the climate-change variables are always at the modeler’s discretion. Because we are all biased, this fact conflates the biased modeler with the drug dealer: The modeler addicts the consumer with his bias. He then sells his wares to the unquestioning, addicted consumer. It is what the seller says it is, and the consumer takes him at his word.
Modeling has its utility. The successful predictive model in the natural sciences is revealed by its immediate results. Model how airflow over a wing creates lift and then manufacture a plane accordingly. Your model will prove successful if the plane lifts off the ground and lands in one piece. If it does otherwise, the model failed. No one will dispute the results. Congress won't be called into play. Media pundits won't lament the obstructionism of the skeptics. The natural sciences are encumbered with a goal (lift an airplane into the air) that conjures no politics.
The results of past climate-change models? As a group, they run hot because the consensus runs hot, predicting about 2.2 times more warming that actually occurred over 1998-to-2014. Peer longer term with the earth's age in perspective, you'll find results more dismal.
Political power often gives those who possess it the illusion that they control events. They get what they want through a perpetual drumbeating of fear and uncertainty. Ceaseless tweets and articles hound the isolated reader with tales of gloom and misery. The process turns minds once capable of independent thought into playhouses of irrational forces. The mind's deepest desire parallels man's unconscious feeling in the face of his universe: it is an insistence upon familiarity, an appetite for certainty.
Climate change is an irresistible tool to the intellect and interventionist. It is a facile tool for conjuring any diktat to control human behavior. Climate change is to the interventionist what the utility belt was to Batman in the campy 1960s television series: a solution to everything. If the philosopher kings are enabled to stop anthropogenic climate change by stopping you, the above natural disasters will cease, so they assert. The diktats not only solve all things macro, they ameliorate many of the things micro. Who knew that climate change contributed to lower sperm count, changes in menstruation cycles, hair loss, depression, nail fungus, and domestic violence? Macro and micro, it's all covered.
The story of King Canute and the tide, though apocryphal, reveals human nature. Canute's couriers flattered him with their belief that he can stop the incoming tide. Canute refused the bait. He disabused them of their self-serving notion by wading into the ocean to prove he lacked such power. Then the king leapt backwards, saying: 'Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.'" So few politicians, scientists, economists, socialists, journalists possess Canute's humility.
The anthropogenic-climate-change brigade assumes and ignores so much in its desire to control. It assumes the living creatures that inhabit this earth are unadaptable. We can exist only in a climate, in a world, as it is today, or as it was in perfected time in the past (which is asserted, but never proved.). It ignores the benefits, which have been monumental and have exceeded the most imaginative, futurist minds of our ancestors. Our ability to harvest and exploit the immense energy sealed in carbon-based fuels has produced health, well-being, material comfort, and longevity that exceeded the wildest fantasy only one-hundred-and-fifty years ago.
Why is not the cleanest, most efficient path simply to allow perceptive humans, under their own directives, to adjust to the world, to the climate, over time? Why always the authoritarian approach? The organic way is sloppy and unmeasurable, to be sure, but property-respecting individuals slogging along in a capitalist economy get it right more than anyone else slogging away in other economic ecosystems. Wealthy, free societies inevitably clean up after themselves.
I have told you what I am. You, I suspect, are no one Estienne de La Boétie would admire. I know because of government policy. You crave safety most of all. You crave security in expert opinion. You delude yourself that the experts are scales-of-justice types with only your best interest in mind.
It's not so; it never has been. You are, in reality, only a faceless member of a herd that elevates the expert's status. You are, to the hero expert, no more than a number in a Robert McNamara algorithm.