AGW – What would Jesus do?

Amongst Christians, it is a popular past-time to ask “What would Jesus do?” But let’s be a little more PC about this… What would Muhammad, or King Solomon, or Buddha, or Confucius do? In fact, what would Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, Rene Descartes, or John Locke do? Bringing things right up-to-date – so as not to exclude secular humanists – what would Richard Dawkins, Stephen J Gould, Carl Sagan, or Edward O. Wilson do?… [N.B. Although we certainly have not always done so, in the last 40 years the majority of people have come to accept that we do actually have a problem but, even if you do not, will you humour me for a moment; and read on?]… In Douglas Adams’ Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, a super-computer is famously programmed to provide an answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?” If we were to programme a set of computers with the entire written records of each one of the above great thinkers, alongside a summation of the AGW problem, what answer (i.e. solution) would they come up with? Hopefully, it would be something more useful than “42”! Let’s take the weirdness a little further, let’s say computer geeks crack the problem of Artificial Intelligence, and let’s say our computers are actually robots… What would happen if we locked them in a room and told them they had to reach a two-thirds majority decision on a course of action? What solution(s) would they propose? One thing I think we can be sure of is this: If the marketplace of ideas had demanded that robots programmed with the thinking of people like Senator James Inhofe and “interpreter of interpretations” James Delingpole had also been allowed into the room; they would be ejected for being illogical (or blow-up trying to compute the data). So then, as before, that leaves us with all the world’s great thinkers, what course of action would they propose? Of course, no-one can know, but one thing I am fairly certain of is this, they would not reach the conclusion that there is no cause for concern; and no need to act! I know that it will come as unwelcome news to some (influenced by Dr. S. Fred Singer and Chartered Accountant Andrew Montford) to discover that this is in fact exactly what the IPCC was asked to do. The IPCC was not asked to come up with a plan to stall Western development, halt human progress, and facilitate worldwide authoritarian government. It was asked to try and come up with a plan to decouple environmental degradation from worldwide economic development. Our biggest problem today remains (as ever it was) that those with a vested interest in the continuance of business as usual continually seek to water-down IPCC reports (so that they are not too challenging); and to downplay, deny or dismiss the scale or immediacy of the problem we face. However, although the long night of deception has lasted between 20 and 40 years (depending on whether you think the campaign started in 1972 or 1992), I think dawn is fast approaching. The only trouble is that we may no longer have enough time to limit the damage in the way we once could have done. At a book launch for Requiem for a Species, given at the University of Queensland on 24 March 2010, Clive Hamilton put it this way: “The presence of feedback effects and tipping points calls into question some of the most fundamental assumptions of climate change negotiations, including the belief that we can ‘overshoot’ to, say, 550 ppm and then work back to 450 ppm…, that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere can be stabilised at some level, and the belief that we can adapt to some given degree of warming.” (p.11 of 17)

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About Rick Altman

Possibly just another 'Climate Cassandra' crying 'Wolf' in cyberspace. However, the moral of the old children's story is that the Wolf eventually turned up!
This entry was posted in Climate Science, Economics, Environment, Hockey Stick Illusion, IPCC, James Delingpole, Limits to Growth, Maketplace of Ideas, Merchants of Doubt, Philosophy, Religion, Scepticism and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to AGW – What would Jesus do?

  1. Donald says:

    The climate is like a rollercoaster .. hot, cold, hot, hotter … cold .. colder. …..ICE AGE!!!! 😦 Yeap, why bother with the climate when we know things are getting colder? just buy a new jacket, I say 🙂

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  2. Rick_Altman says:

    Donald, With regard to your reference to “Ice Age”, I am tempted to refer you to my Background page… However, here is something for you to think about: Just as we were duped into fearing global cooling in the middle of the last century (because of the “global dimming” effect of rapid industrialisation in the developed world), it could be that global warming is currently being impeded by rapid growth in the emerging economies of India, China, and Brazil (etc)! I only mention this because some denialists insist on claiming that AGW stopped in 1998. However, even though there is undoubtedly some truth to the global dimming idea, that fact remains that we continue to keep breaking records for the warmest-ever year; which cannot be blamed on urbanisation around weather stations: All such explanations are just futile attempts by denialists (“grasping at straws“) to delay the inevitable need to take some kind of action.

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  3. Donald says:

    In Montevideo it gets so hot (always has) that one can actually fry an egg on the cement roads; they have to be made of cement because asphalt melts under the strong heat. Not once, here in Australia, has it gotten so hot that the tar/asphalt melts and I been watching for it for 41 years ….. but … It has been getting steadily colder each and every year, I’m not really saying that there is an ice age coming straight away, but it does make me wonder if perhaps we’re not going a bit over the top with Global Warming

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    • Rick_Altman says:

      I’m not sure where in Australia you are but, when I was working in Newman (WA) in 1987-89 we regularly fried eggs on sheet metal; and Marble Bar (just up the road in Outback terms) used to hold the record (it may even still do) for the longest number of consecutive days with daytime maximum shade temperatures over 40 Celsius… Furthermore, although any and all such comments are in danger of confusing weather and climate, the fact remains that an increased frequency of extreme events was predicted and is being observed (see the front page of the UK’s Independent newspaper on 1 July 2011). 😦 How’s your knowledge of volcanic CO2 emissions coming along? 🙂

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  4. Donald says:

    increased frequency of extreme events was being predicted as far back as 1979, In fact it was “Time” magazine and a newspaper (can’t remember which one) that started all this hoo haa about Global Warming and never let up printing about it. However … they rarely if ever allowed anybody to put them right on some of their exaggerations, such as Seas rising by meters if the Arctic thawed and the glaciers melting by 2010 and so on. I do believe we’re hotting up, but most of the stories are ludicrously exaggerated. Science need to get off its high horse and come back down to earth …. quickly. (I know plenty about volcanoes!, Rick … I’d give you a run for your money alright. 🙂

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    • Rick_Altman says:

      What do you say to Colin Summerhayes and the USGS then, regarding their rebuke to Ian Plimer for suggesting that volcanoes produce more CO2 than humans? (i.e. It is my post today that I am trying to get you to address.) 🙂

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  5. Donald says:

    The Pinatubo Eruption placed more CO2 into the air that all of mankind’s follies put together. just do your figures based on how much material was thrown into the air, amount of dust, etc … CO2 ejected may be represented as a percentage of ejected matter .. and so on. This wouldn’t be the same USGS that once said CO2 from volcanoes was not the same as man-made CO2? .. would it? 🙂

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    • Rick_Altman says:

      Donald, I’m sorry but, if you are going to question the validity of research published by the USGS (please see the link to it in today’s post), I really am beginning to think you are also so far down the conspiracy theorist rabbit-hole you do no not realise that you have left reality behind a long time ago… Stop stating your misinformed opinions, and look at the latest USGS data first. They reckon Mt Pinatubo was equivalent to little more than 10 hours of global man-made emissions (at current ever-increasing rates).

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      • pendantry says:

        Intriguing. I’d wondered where Donald got to. To find this (admittedly quite old) discussion with him in which he appears to be in denial mode… most odd.

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      • Anthropocene Reality says:

        I’d love to know what happened to him to. He has not visited this blog since I subjected one of his long comments to severe moderation… But that does not really explain why he seems to have stopped blogging completely…

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      • pendantry says:

        I may be wrong (I often am) but if memory serves, when he and I first ‘met’ he had recently moved from one blog to another. You say ‘he seems to have stopped blogging’: my bet would be that he’s moved on to another blog, and a different circle of people to engage in discourse. And, looking at what ‘Donald’ says in this thread, I can’t help but be reminded of those merchants of doubt, and how little they would need to Shell* out from their vast fortunes to fund the activities of some who might be persuaded to disseminate FUD and misinformation, and generally distract those whose time would otherwise be devoted to more useful activities… * pun intended

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      • Anthropocene Reality says:

        I first came across Donald/Perfect Stranger (albeit using yet another alias) on the My Telegraph website but, even then, his main vehicle was WisdomBlogs. He used to go on about his engineering background and his potentially-World-saving inventions; and spent a lot of time talking about Heat. He had an incredible ability to dig up dirt on people and organisations; but eventually appeared to accept CO2 is the main cause of AGW/ACD. He may have been a bit of a fantacist (claiming people were out to get him) but, it did seem that, more than once, his websites were attacked. I therefore do not think he was a paid misinformer.

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      • pendantry says:

        Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you 😉

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