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Considering the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the World Meteorological Organization recently released AR5 demonstrating a 95% chance of anthropological climate change existing as the main cause of increased global temperatures, how does the "practical" (humans having a life free of massive floods, droughts, agricultural and oceanic problems) go along with the "moral" (humans retaining some semblance of freedom)?

My best answer would be to allow economic growth to fuel technological progress creating better energy and production outcomes rather than attempting an economy ruining "wet-blanket" which would especially hurt the undeveloped world. The downside to this plan is it doesn't guarantee a quick reduction in CO2 emissions like global taxes and regulations might, but rather a sustainable and slower development.

I saw the last question that tried to address this but It turned into an absurd debate lacking in clear policy or scientific solutions.

asked Oct 08 '13 at 01:32

TheBucket's gravatar image


edited Oct 08 '13 at 02:43

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

Although I respect your opinion Greg (you've answered many questions before), I don't think we can automatically reject a scientist claim, but take it seriously.

(Oct 08 '13 at 23:06) TheBucket TheBucket's gravatar image

TheBucket, what on earth are you referring to? I haven't said anything about your posting.

(Oct 09 '13 at 13:57) Greg Perkins ♦♦ Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

I figured you down-voted and changed my post to show disapproval of a controversial issue. If I was mistaken it's my bad.

(Oct 10 '13 at 00:21) TheBucket TheBucket's gravatar image

I'm the one who voted this question down. I don't think a question of how best to engage in central planning of the economy belongs on Objectivist Answers. Additionally, I judged this question to be the worst of a series of bad questions, so I didn't feel it deserved a response, just a down vote.

(Oct 10 '13 at 08:28) anthony anthony's gravatar image

Good grief, TheBucket: I NEVER editorialize by changing others' content; that would be both dishonest and unnecessary since I can vote, comment, and post as well as anybody. As indicated in the FAQ and visible in the editing history of the overwhelming majority of postings (at least 95%), I routinely edit question tags and titles to fix their grammar, punctuation, and clarity. That is to preserve the information structure and therefore the utility of the site. At the same time, you can verify that I do not lend the same aid to question bodies, no matter how atrociously written.

(Oct 10 '13 at 16:44) Greg Perkins ♦♦ Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

I just noticed this comment and I thank you for your efforts to make this a better community.

(Oct 16 '13 at 22:16) TheBucket TheBucket's gravatar image
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The headline form of this question should be read very closely, especially the first word: "Assuming..." In other words, ACGW (anthropogenic catastrophic global warming) is only an assumption, not scientific fact. On the basis of that assumption, the question proposes major, probably drastic governmental action to stifle industrial-technological civilization, probably permanently. That kind of proposal is not a scientific issue at all. It's a philosophical-political issue.

The scientific evidence that I have seen has indicated that:

  • Completely natural temperature cycles have occurred often on our planet over the last 500,000 or 1 million or more years. Each cycle of warming and cooling has taken approximately 110,000 years to complete, with the warming phase lasting roughly 20,000 years. The current warming phase has been going on for about 18,000 years, suggesting that we may be nearing the start of a new global cooling phase within the next one or two millennia. (Obviously, on this kind of timescale, data spanning only a decade or several decades means very little.)

  • If CO2 data is plotted on the same graph as the temperature data, it is found that CO2 levels show strong correlation to temperatures, but with a time shift of about 800 years. The CO2 levels turn out to lag behind the temperature levels by that amount, suggesting that the rise in temperature may actually be the cause of the rise in CO2 levels (possibly through greatly increased activity of all living things on the planet in response to warmer temperatures), not vice versa.

  • CO2 is not the only "greehouse gas," nor even the most major one. The most potent "greenhouse gas" by far is water vapor. It's a major stretch to claim that CO2 is a "pollutant," but water vapor? (The "greenhouse" effect helps greatly each day to keep our planet warmer at night. Otherwise, nighttime temperatures would plummet dramatically each night.)

  • On the whole, warmer temperatures actually benefit life on earth, allowing it to thrive more energetically.

If we are going to have a discussion of the alleged science behind ACGW, let's be sure to give the above points the serious consideration which they merit. I have also seen challenges to the accuracy of the computer models that ACGW arguments often cite, since computer models inevitably have to make simplifying approximations in order to be mathematically computable within the limitations of today's computers.

One of the favorite ACGW arguments amounts to the following:

(a) The ice is melting, the ice is melting. (b) It's recent, it's recent. (c) Man did it, man did it.

The argument relies on a high degree of repetition over and over. Yet if there is a warming trend, then it is logical that polar ice sheets would show signs of melting (receding from year to year; we already know there is cyclic melting and refreezing every year as the seasons change). The issue is whether or not it's recent, and whether or not man had (or could have had) anything to do with it. But the ACGW arguments typically don't differentiate between normal 110,000 year warming and "catastrophic" warming, nor do they mention the time lag between warming and CO2 levels nor the effects of water vapor in the atmosphere. I see no reason not to continue to regard the ACGW arguments as just an "assumption" until there is a more comprehensive consideration of the full context. This is a philosophical (epistemological) issue. Man needs to look at reality and accurately conceptualize what he observes if he is going to deal with it effectively to produce the values that his life requires.

Numerous references for the opposing perspective on ACGW can be found by searching for "global warming hoax" on Google. Here are just a few examples:

Climate Change Reconsidered -- excellent in detail and approach.

WNHO -- extensive additional references.

Forbes article




Canada Free Press

It should also be noted that furthering man's life isn't the goal of environmentalists. They know there is no way to achieve environmentalist goals without a massive reduction in the current worldwide human population, which would bring corresponding destruction and misery to those who survive. One ecologist/environmentalist in the 1960s asked in one of his books, "Is not man, then, a planetary disease?" (From Design with Nature by Ian McHarg, hardcover edition, 1969, quoted from memory.) According to Wikipedia, McHarg reiterated and amplified upon his "planetary disease" view in a 1971 speech. (There is an interesting parallel between "landscape architecture" and Roark's Monadnock Valley resort in The Fountainhead (link). Modern environmentalists, however, typically favor pristine nature untouched and largely uninhabited by man, rather than nature that is highly stylized and integrated around man-made, man-centered buildings and living areas.)

Update: Continued Activism

In light of a new question recently posted on this website about "Climate Change," I decided to revisit this earlier question and update the reference links if needed, so that the essential factual information can remain together in one place. The new question is mainly just a repeat of this one, but with a few new changes in emphasis.

I have verified that all of the web links listed above still work. In addition, I have become aware of some additional links that might be of interest:

Altogether, what these links show is that the current "Climate Change" activism is not "settled science" at all, and that serious and important dissent exists which needs to be heard. All the talk about allegedly "settled science" is little more than a frantic attempt to silence legitimate dissent and move forward politically in spite of it. That is politics (and philosophy), not science. Science rests on facts, not on headcounts of how many scientists might be pro or con. A single dissenting voice can bring about a major shift in scientific "consensus" if the dissenter has credible evidence and reasoning to back up his dissent, and if scientists and other reasonable people listen.

answered Oct 09 '13 at 22:06

Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image

Ideas for Life ♦

edited Apr 29 '14 at 01:51

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Asked: Oct 08 '13 at 01:32

Seen: 1,074 times

Last updated: May 15 '14 at 05:20