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Drawing Elephants and Ideology – The AGW Phenomena

One of the earliest memories of my first year in grad school at Princeton was a comment a speaker made about computer modeling: “With enough adjustable parameters, you can draw an elephant.”  I guess my view of the AGW phenomena is informed by that image.  I’m thinking that there are three possible explanations for the current views on AGW:

  1. The models used are accurate, and the catastrophic predictions are real
  2. The models are inaccurate, scientists made mistakes, and there’s no risk
  3. The models are inaccurate and there’s no risk, but they are promoted as accurate because of ideology

I find in what I read about AGW a toggle between #1 and 2, with the phrase “very likely” used for both extremes.  However, I believe that #3 is the only logical explanation.

One aspect of AWG that we can all agree on is that the CO2 percentage in the world atmosphere is on the increase.  The question thus arises, “So what?”  My conclusion is that the views of Patrick Moore and his veneration of CO2 are essentially correct.  Moore grew up on Vancouver Island, was one of the co-founders of Greenpeace, and unlike Al Gore, he has a PhD in Ecology; that discipline is an important aspect of the controversy.  Clearly the earth’s carbon is found in three domains: land, (including plants and animals), sea, and the atmosphere.  And further that the CO2 form of carbon is essential to life.  Thus, attempting to reduce atmospheric CO2 is accompanied by tangible risks, and might have devastating consequences for 3rd-world countries attempting to move out of poverty: they need energy.

I want to focus on #3, as I believe that is what has created the AGW phenomena.

We all remember the statement by Rahm Emanuel from the early days of the Obama administration: “Never let a crisis go to waste.”  In the decade or so prior to that expression, there had begun to be concerns about AGW, and some computer models in fact did predict catastrophic trends related to CO2 atmospheric increase.  However, the vetting of those models as well of the vetting of the source data were undoubtedly at that time not accomplished in a rigorous sense.

Nevertheless, the alarm produced by the predictions DID gain the attention of people in the political and commercial sectors.  In the commercial arena, a new platform for accruing wealth.  In the political, a rationale for gaining power. I don’t think much needs to be said about the wealth opportunities, except that part of that wealth would come not only from new technology and corporate enhancement, but also governmental and foundation funding within the AGW-related STEM fields of endeavor.  There are always going to be new schemes around; profit alone can’t explain the success of the AGW, although it is clearly a component.  Greed is always nearby.

However, it is my contention that political power is the underlying driving force of the AGW phenomena.  If you consider the politics concerning the support of AGW initiatives, the Left is uniformly on board, while the conservative position tends towards “denial”, tempered by possible retribution if one is too vocal about it.  Al Gore correctly points at the Koch brothers as supporting denial, but he does not also inform his listeners of the long string of Leftist donors who support the AGW cause, at figures much larger than the denier component.

So, if it is Leftist politics that is at the root of the AGW phenomena, then the question is how to characterize the politics of the Left?  It seems clear to me that it is based upon and controlled by postmodernism, which itself is nested in neo-Marxism.  It is vital that an understanding is obtained of this ideology, because it is deeply entrenched in our culture.

For example, if we consider universities in North America, wouldn’t it be fair to say that the humanities are essentially controlled by postmodern thought?  One survey states that 18% of social science faculty actually self-identify as Marxists.  Free speech?  Isn’t it under attack?  Safe rooms.  White privilege.  Male privilege.  Victim groups (defined by the postmodernists) everywhere.  Rights?  Yes.  Responsibilities?  Not part of the ideology.  Postmodernism.

And its reach is well beyond academia.

Over the past year or so, I’ve been paying special attention to the output of some anti-Marxist intellectuals in Canada, where postmodernism/neo-Marxism is in near totalitarian control, with the Social Justice tribunals, and similar.  There’s a recent very informative video concerning postmodernism by University of Toronto Psychology professor Jordan Peterson; it covers a lot of ground in 40 minutes.  If you don’t have time for that, at least take a look at this 12-minute version.  Peterson is a clinical psychologist, and does research in the psychology of personality.  He is deeply knowledgeable about 20th century Marxism, as well as being fluent in Nietzsche, Solzhenitsyn and Jung.  And he’s currently a Youtube rock star for his stand on free speech.  Peterson says that there is nothing more important than spoken truth, which “creates habitable order out of chaos.”

Postmodernist leader Jacque Derrida derided Western Culture as “phallogo centric”, whereby the Patriarchy uses logic to gain power.   Thus, postmodernists don’t believe in logic or dialogue. For example, conservative speakers routinely face “heckler’s veto” when they attempt to speak on campus, because dialogue has no purpose to the postmodernists that control most of academia.

If one considers the whole AGW phenomena as a power grab, it might be described in the following postmodern components:

Anti-objective truth/logic: Look at all the falsification of data.  Every year of so, more is revealed.  Two scandals even in 2017: February and July. And Climategate back in 2009 or so.

Dialogue is not tolerated: Sophisticated heckler’s veto’s for “climate deniers”.  It’s way too costly to exercise free speech, and possibly lose your job, or at least funding.

Identity politics: On the oppressor side are fossil fuel energy producers, as well as companies and people who use fossil fuels.  On the oppressed side are “scientists,” “intellectuals,” and media people, who must all agree on impending catastrophe, or be demonized, marginalized, and rendered invisible.  Additionally, all other people are assumed to be in the oppressed group, unless they turn out to be “deniers”.

Power is key: the UN and other multi-national bodies, the “Paris Agreement”, etc.  Big, powerful players.  The Globalization lobby sees this as a huge opportunity.  And lots of people are getting wealthy in various dimensions of the “Climate” industry; I’ve had close-up experience with greed, deception, and the resulting human suffering in the wind energy sector.

Finally, author Shelby Steele, in his 2015 book, “Shame.  How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country, describes the false narratives of the Left as “poetic truth”, that which supports an ideology — neo-Marxist postmodernism — whose ultimate goals transcend the requirement that this kind of “truth” corresponds to objective reality:

“… “poetic truth” disregards the actual truth in order to assert a larger essential truth that supports one’s ideological position. It makes the actual truth seem secondary or irrelevant. Poetic truths defend the sovereignty of one’s ideological identity by taking license with reality and fact. They work by moral intimidation rather than by reason, so that even to question them is heresy.”

In conclusion, I think that if I had done my grad work at a Canadian university, the seminar speaker might have said, “With enough adjustable parameters, you can draw a hockey stick.”  Eh?

Additional references

Two recent (May 2017) articles provide insight on the AGW effect:

Climate Alarmism: The Mother of All Availability Cascades

This is the Way the Climate Scare Ends; Not with a Bang, but a Whimper

Additional videos concerning AGW

Climate Change – What Do Scientists Say (05:48)

Dr. Patrick Moore outlines the important issues concerning Climate Change, indicating that global warming alarm is not warranted, based upon current understanding of the historical and contemporary data, as well as the relevant science.

Ocean Acidification – The Facts – Dr Patrick Moore (26:48)

Dr. Patrick Moore addresses the concerns of increase in atmospheric CO2 as it is absorbed into the oceans. He demonstrates that, rather than creating a catastrophe for coral reefs and fish, the slight decrease in pH is actually a net plus for the ecology of the oceans. Included in reference to the buffering accomplished which mitigates the move towards less alkalinity.

ACTUAL SCIENTIST – ‘Climate Change is a Scam!’ (45:56)

Steven Crowder interviews Ecologist and Climate Change Skeptic Patrick Moore. Crowder asks questions that concern him about the Climate Change controversy, and Dr. Moore provides detailed answers.

What They Haven’t Told You about Climate Change (04:36)

MIT Professor Emeritus Richard Lindzen states that Climate Science is not settled, and that there is no proof that CO2 levels in the atmosphere affect the world temperatures. He notes that in the past 20 years, there’s been a great increase in atmospheric CO2, but the world temperature is essentially the same. He is an American atmospheric physicist known for his work in the dynamics of the middle atmosphere, atmospheric tides, and ozone photochemistry. He has published more than 200 scientific papers and books

Must Watch – Climatologist Breaks the Silence on Global Warming Groupthink (04:40)

Dr. Judith Curry is Professor and former Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Following is her verbal remarks as delivered to last week’s US Senate Commerce Committee Hearing on “Data or Dogma? Promoting Open Inquiry in the Debate Over the Magnitude of the Human Impact on Earth’s Climate.”

American Freedom Alliance – Dr. Willie Soon – Are CO2 Levels and Climate Change Related? (1:15:21)

Dr. Willie Soon – lecture “CO2 Levels and Climate Change Related?” February 9, 2017. Dr. Willie Soon is an astrophysicist and geoscientist with numerous honors and awards from leading scientific organizations. He is a co-author of a number of climate-related texts. Dr. Soon earned his bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D.’s degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California.


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