I was having a chat yesterday with a friend who like many has still to make up his mind about climate change, not whether it is happening (he like me believe it is) but if it is so bad that in a few years if the global we don’t do what is needed by drastically reducing man made carbon dioxide emissions the planet might become extinct. This was brought home recently by recent protests in London, including by friends (see here), children walking out of school, led by the likes of Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, and assorted politicking in the USA over the New Green Deal, which to implement will lead to an extreme form of socialism and control, justified as being needed to seriously tackle climate change. It also relates to the Trump agenda that is more leaning to the notion that climate change is a hoax.
My friend related watching a televised debate between a reputable scientist who was also a climate change skeptic and an environmental journalist who clearly believed things were that bad concerning climate change. My friend’s take was it was too one sided, with the arbiter of the debate showing bias against the scientist, and this naturally concerned him. Having not seen the program, I can’t offer a view other than present my impression that in my media watching those offering a view it really is that bad are given a much easier ride than those who take an opposite view. In fact I find it perturbing that many intelligent people uncritically accept climate change as the big issue. The problem I and others have is deciding who to believe. The science is complex and while it is true I have not studied the ins and outs as much as I could, the reason is there are many other calls on my time that I consider to be more pressing. Notwithstanding, I have several concerns, which I feel I must air as part of my remit to wake people up.
Casting my mind back to when I was sixteen, I was politically very left wing and believed in a socialist state, including nationalizing all industry as in the interests of the common people. Over the years, while I have not become a fully convinced free market capitalist, I have come to modify my youthful position including, as it happens pertinently given this discussion, concerns over excessive government control. It makes me wonder why this sixteen year old girl having been widely lauded and given platforms to regurgitate the rhetoric of the climate control lobby, comprising all sorts of non science people that I look upon with suspicion, should be believed and feeling anger that she has been manipulated and brainwashed as have many children in state schools. It seems the fear that the planet is about to be wiped out in the next few years if we don’t exercise far greater control over peoples’ lives and thus restrict individual freedoms is a compelling argument if indeed things are as bad as my extinction rebellion friends etc. think. But is it?
Argument is often quickly shut down by statements like all serious scientists believe there is catastrophic global warming taking place. Except that is not the case, for example one eminent climatologist does not believe this “Lukewarming – a Discussion with Climate Scientist Patrick Michaels of the Cato Institute” and while I am still trying to follow the logic presented by either side, it seems to me to amount as much to what model to believe and the extent of the preventable man made element to global warming being a point of contention. Michaels raised the concern that scientific consensus, meant to be objective etc., has been hijacked by those with something to gain by pushing the narrative catastrophic climate change is happening. He also makes the point that a lot of climate change projections, particularly that which is human induced, is based on modelling and different models provide widely different projections. Unsurprisingly, those who predict imminent calamity adopt the model based on a worse case scenario.
My own take is there are many issues that matter as much if not more e.g. stopping abortion. A bigger danger to the planet is a moral / spiritual one that can only be reversed if people obeyed God (incidentally it does include looking after the planet, meaning that there is likely to be big common ground with the extinction rebellion folk). At the risk of being called a conspiracy theorist, I do fear the alarm being raised, not by those at grass roots level who sincerely believe there is a problem, but as a ruse by the hidden hand that controls the world to subjugate humanity, by controlling what one can and can’t do in order to save the planet. It is for that reason I remain a skeptic but open to being convinced either way that the climate change problem is as huge as some claim. Come to think of it I am tempted to launch my own protest movement: rebellion against extinction rebellion or at least question what you hear.