The One Minute Case Against Global Warming Alarmism

Earth’s climate is complex and constantly changing

Earth’s climate is an enormously complex system with thousands of variables in constant flux. Natural cycles of warming and cooling have existed as long as earth has had a climate. We only began to make large-scale measurements in the last 100 years, so this system is poorly understood.

Attempts to manipulate climate are limited by the complexity and inertia of the system. Dr. James Hansen of NASA, the father of the global warming theory, estimates the Kyoto protocol would only affect temperatures by .13°C by 2100, and it would take 30 Kyotos to have an “acceptable” impact on climate change. “Should a catastrophic scenario prove correct”, states Dr. Richard Lindzen, an MIT climate expert, “Kyoto will not prevent it.”

No single indicator can provide proof of a global change. The thinning of the Greenland ice sheet may be due to human causes, natural variations in snowfall, changes in ocean currents, a long-term warming of the planet since the transition from the last glacial period, continued warming since the end of the Little Ice Age following the Medieval Warm Period, or all of the above.

Politicians and the media are eager to embrace the latest crisis

Climate changes during the twentieth century were often accompanied by widespread panic, only to be quickly forgotten when dire predictions failed to materialize. Intellectuals, the media, and political institutions find it profitable to capitalize on emergencies which focus public attention on the issues they champion. Often their predictions go far beyond the most alarmist of scientific bodies. Science writer David Appell, who has written for such publications as the New Scientist and Scientific American believes that global warming will “threaten fundamental food and water sources. It would lead to displacement of billions of people and huge waves of refugees, spawn terrorism and topple governments, spread disease across the globe.” It would be “would be chaos by any measure, far greater even than the sum total of chaos of the global wars of the 20th century.” This doomsday scenario hardly follows from the hesitant estimates of a 1.1 to 6.4°C temperature rise and 18 to 59 cm sea level rise by 2100 predicted in 2007 by the IPCC.

Attempts to halt climate change are not only costly and futile, but ignore the benefits of a warmer climate

Adapting to a warmer climate has many costs, but many benefits as well. According to NASA satellite data, higher levels of CO2 have dramatically increased biomass production and biodiversity worldwide. Global warming may cause Africa to become more arid, but enormous territories in Siberia and Canada might finally be open to settlement, and new resources and shipping routes will become available.

The focus of environmental movements is usually on reversing anthropogenic causes of ecological change. Such attempts are not only futile, but ignore the large scale economic destruction caused by environmental restrictions on human productivity. Free societies and technological innovation have allowed human ingenuity bring about vast improvements in human life. This change has almost doubled the life expectancy and quadrupled the standard of living in the developed world – and is now transforming the developing world. Disrupting the global economy would have a snowball effect on future living standards, as well as retard future technologies will help us adapt to a constantly changing world.

A genuine cost-benefit analysis should weight the costs of wealth destruction and long term inhibition of technological progress against the highly uncertain costs of adjusting to environmental changes. Human beings have never passively resigned themselves to environmental changes, but adapted their society to make optimal use of their environment.

Wealth, technology, and human ingenuity are our most powerful tools for dealing with change

Even the most alarmist of scientists generally agree that there is little humanity can do to influence the global climate for many decades, even if we wrecked an industrial civilization that has allowed billions of people to leave immeasurably longer and better lives. Our resources would be far better spent creating innovative technology that allows us to make the best of a constantly changing climate than crippling industrial civilization (our best tool for dealing with a constantly changing world) in a futile attempt to stop climate change.

Further reading:

  • U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe: The Facts and Science of Climate Change
  • Global Warming on the Objectivism Wiki
  • Channel 4: The Great Global Warming Swindle (2007)
  • CBC:”Doomsday Called Off”: about; Google video
  • CNN: Exposed: The Climate of Fear
  • CEI: Inconvenient Truths for Al Gore
  • Monte Hieb: Global Warming: A closer look at the numbers
  • R. Warren Anderson: “Journalists have warned of climate change for 100 years, but can’t decide weather we face an ice age or warming “
  • “Five strategies for debating global warming and environmentalism” by David Veksler
  • On “Global Warming”

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  1. #1 by Bob on December 11, 2009 - 12:17 pm

    You must follow the money and agendas. Thousand talk global warming, and they could not care less about whether it is happening or not, but they can make billions. Al GOre is an idot. He invented the internet, so he claimed. He recently said the earth was several millions of degrees just two kilometers deep. Wow how do those miners we send down there live? No he is an idoit and a liar, but what does his snake oil net him? Millions if not billions. And for one worlders/redistributionists? This is a wet dream, who cares about reality. If you are to look at global warming you MUST think about who has an agenda here and who has much to gain by lying to you! Also remember that 99% of the people talking about how to mitigate CO2, or generating new energies, etc. all the while talking about their ideas in the context of GW are not GW/climate experts, they are mirely addressing an “issue” which has been presented to them. All their talk has the preception to the public of “proving” consenus, but again they are not making a case for GW only resonding to the issue presented. Just because I give you an anwser to a “problem” does not prove the problem actually exsits.

  2. #2 by Peter Moss on March 21, 2010 - 11:04 pm

    People who think we’ve made or contributed to global warming are just being arrogant fools.

    Earth was here before us and will be here when we are all gone. It will shake us off like a bad habit.

  3. #3 by Phyllis DeGerra on April 18, 2010 - 10:10 pm

    The age of the Earth can be described as one minute and in that one minute Humans have only been on in Earth the equivalent of less than a second. To believe that our actions are not altering the climate is absurd. Today a person can literally walk from their house to the store without ever touching the actual, natural Earth. We are too self-absorbed to believe that our actions actually have consequences when we have only been here for a very very small time, but have managed to make a huge impact. What we need to realize is that it is bigger than ourselves.

  4. #4 by Phyllis DeGerra on April 18, 2010 - 10:46 pm

    @ Peter Moss
    Earth was here before us, but do we see remnants of prehistoric creatures burning fossil fuels? No, we don’t therefore it is ignorant to believe that we haven’t altered the Earth’s energy exchanges and the climate.

  5. #5 by Son on April 25, 2010 - 4:27 am

    Dear ‘rationalmind’, you’re a total moron. I would have thought that an international scientific consensus amongst those who have spent their entire careers studying climate would take somewhat longer to provide a case against than one minute. Furthermore, I would have thought such a case might require some ground-breaking facts, rather than a mass of psuedological rhetoric.

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