Yet another effort, Citizens, if you would truly become [climate change] apocalyptic!

Thanks are due to President Obama for articulating the current End of Days scenario so clearly:

“The grim alternative… more severe storms, more famine and floods, new waves of refugees, coastlines that vanish, oceans that rise,” 

He said it is our “job,” our “task” to avert it.  Duty, I guess.  For the children…of our children.  Sounds suspiciously like another prediction of which I am very fond:

We must arm ourselves with all the material and spiritual forces at our disposal … or else our culture is doomed to destruction. Extrapolation from our present condition … yields a vision of busting sewer mains and all waters of the world made as wormwood, unfit to drink. Mankind will be reduced to a primitive state of disunity, neighbor isolated from neighbor by vast surging cataracts of fluid, while the monument of our era’s accomplishments will gradually be submerged beneath festering pools of stagnant runoff. . . Men in their frenzy of despair and disbelief will turn the evil upon themselves, building houses at the bottom of hills, in marshes, and along oozing gulleys, while the Few Who Know will be the object of arrogant derision. And it is the folly of human inaction which will bring down on us this recapitulation of the Flood.*

*Hilton S. Korngold, “Toward an Interpretation of the Drainage,” Journal of Historicist Philosophy, 98 (October, 1972): 302 – 398.
Let’s see:

More severe storms… Not much evidence of that.  Climate scientists are very hesitant to say that a storm or set of storms can be attributed to climate changes, such as they are.  We might have more severe storms – that’s what many predict – but that remains to be seen.  Of course, it assumes that all their predictions are correct.

More famine…  We seem to have our hands full with famine today, and have for some years now.  Any scholar of famine will tell you that their causes have much more to do with politics and infrastructure than with weather.  Our record dealing with those two issues is rather poor.

More floods…   Another speculation.  It’s not as though we haven’t had a hard time with floods for a long time, and done precious little about it.  Are we supposed to think it’s a “real” problem because climate change supposedly is involved?  We report more floods now – everything is reported more – and there is more property loss because humans continue to build heavily in areas that have been and will continue to be flooded.  It could get worse, yes, but it’s bad now!

New waves of refugees…  You guessed it, the same response as above.  If we are not moved by the plight of refugees now, why is the notion of “climate refugees” more compelling?  Shouldn’t we address the problems we have now?  We might foreclose the possibility of worse ones later on.  For instance, if people had enough land to grow their own food on, they might actually plan for the inevitable bad years…  Just a thought.

Coastlines that vanish, oceans that rise…  Coastlines vanish, then reappear.  They just follow you inland if the sea rises.  It will be a different coastline, but that happens now, much to the dismay of the Army Corps of Engineers which spends billions of dollars trying to hold back the seas so that municipalities can make money on beach tourism and property taxes.  And just how much are those seas going to rise?  And how fast?  Must we take as gospel the most extreme projection, that assumes a “rapid ice-melt” of the Greenland ice sheet?  How likely is that?  Not very, given the recent data, but then, that’s just a bump on the road on the way to Armageddon.


Look, maybe the predictions are true, but if we are going to examine them rationally, they become less likely with each year.  Would you invest your life savings on the basis of a projection for 2050 that had been shown wrong for the period 2002 – 2013?

6 Responses to Yet another effort, Citizens, if you would truly become [climate change] apocalyptic!

  1. btg5885 says:

    May want to do some more research. This is from an Independent, former GOP businessman. NOAA along with other global agencies have been able to trace the man-made influence of global warming on several major occurrences, ironically one being the extreme droughts in Texas. Mercer Investment Consulting, the largest investment consultant in the world, did a study with the largest pension trustees in the world and noted that cost of global warming will be in the trillions. Droughts are more severe, forest wildfires are more significant and the the rising sea levels makes hurricanes worse such as with Sandy. Before Sandy, I saw a climatologist on PBS Newshour say the hurricanes will be worse as they come ashore as it will be like dunking a basketball on an elevated court. 97% of scientists say global warming is here and we are well beyond the bewitching hour. Please note, one of the reasons I left the GOP was their stance on global warming. We need for them to join the rest of the world and help us move in a concerted away from fossil fuel. Thanks for letting me wax on. BTG

    • Lichanos says:

      I’ve only voted for two Republican candidates in my life: Clinton and Obama.

      The material you quote does not constitute research in my view. Investment firms and PBS? I prefer to look at the data itself.

      97% of scientists say global warming is here… I hear this endlessly, except it’s usually 90%, or 95%. I suppose if you asked all the scientists (which is not what is done – only certain ones are asked) the overwhelming response might be that the Earth has warmed. Question is, how much and over what period, and why? That’s a far cry from subscribing to climate change apocalypse.

  2. btg5885 says:

    I am not a scientist, but NOAA presents a pretty compelling argument in the news reports I have read and seen. This is not a science report either, but the largest insurance broker in the world Marsh says in the survey of global risk managers, the risk of global warming impacting their business is the by far the greatest risk. The US needs to up its game and develop an eco-energy plan. Fortunately, the solar energy effort has moved forward with the confederation of small, medium and large size projects that continue to get more scalable. CA when measured as a country is the seventh most prolific solar energy country in the world and my state of NC is up to the fourth best state and is home to Semprius, which produced the most elegant photo-voltaic panel in the world. This and wind energy which is now in 39 states have to be invested in more as we decrease fossil fuels. Thanks for your response. BTG

  3. Lichanos says:

    Marsh says in the survey of global risk managers, the risk of global warming impacting their business is the by far the greatest risk

    It all goes back to the models and how confident you are that they are good models. There is little evidence to support that view, but insurers clearly have an interest in generating more, rather than less fear of climate change.

  4. btg5885 says:

    Actually, insurance companies are worried as the risk is so variable and it will be harder for their actuaries to set premiums. I personally don’t think they can charge enough for the full risk. I think they will have to have higher threshholds on risk sharing pooling points to make a go of it. They will also have to reinsure a lot more risk. I think it is in their interest to have active conversations with their clients.

    • Lichanos says:

      So, is this a business opportunity for them or not? Sounds like “active discussions with their clients,” might be on the topic of why we need to charge more.

      I don’t see a downside for the insurers as long as people are buying the projections.

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