April 20, 2015 32 Comments
Cui bono is one of those phrases that indicates a skeptical man (or woman). You’d probably not be surprised that it is one of my favorite phrases. Why? because so very often people want us to do things that are (usually obviously) against our rational self-interest, and always, I wonder why. Do they have a higher good in mind, or do they merely seek some benefit at my (and your) expense? Nine times out of ten it has proved to be the latter.
There are people in the world who work selflessly for the common, or higher, good, mostly they are clergy. In my experience they are never politicians, who in my experience have no conception even of what the term means.
Cooling, Warming, Climate Change, especially Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change is no exception.
Robert Tracinski over at The Federalist has something to say about it the other day, I think we should read it.
What It Would Take to Prove Global Warming
If generally rising temperatures, decreasing diurnal temperature differences, melting glacial and sea ice, smaller snow extent, stronger rainstorms, and warming oceans are not enough to persuade you that man-made climate [change] is occurring, what evidence would be?
This has since been picked up by Jonathan Adler at the Washington Post‘s token right-leaning blog, the Volokh Conspiracy. There’s no pressure: Bailey and Adler merely insinuate that you are “obscurantist”—that is, you hate new knowledge—if you don’t agree.
That, by the way—the smug insistence of global warming alarmists on presenting themselves as the embodiment of scientific knowledge as such—is one of the reasons I stopped taking them seriously. In fact, II have thought about what it would take to convince me global warming is real. And it’s pretty clear that Bailey has not thought about it.
He really hasn’t. He’s thought a lot about the various scientific claims made by those who insist global warming is a man-made catastrophe. But he has not thought about how those claims add up or how they would have to add up to be convincing. All Bailey’s piece amounts to is: here is a long list of factual claims that seem to support the global warming scare; how high do I have to pile up these claims before you are convinced?
There is no sense that the proof of global warming has to proceed according to some systematic method, requiring it to clear specific hurdles at specific stages. Which betrays an unscientific way of thinking.
When I refer to “global warming,” and when Bailey and Adler refer to it, that term is a stand-in, not just for the trivial claim that average global temperatures are rising, but for “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”: i.e., global temperatures are rising, it’s our fault, and we’re all gonna die.
Did you read his article? Good for you! He makes a good case, I think. What it takes to convince me is very similar. I would also say this, I’ll be more likely to believe that we can predict the climate, when we can reliably predict the weather a couple of weeks in advance. No, they aren’t the same but they are related, and why should I believe you can predict the far more complicated climate, if you can’t do the short-term characteristics of it, the weather?
To convince me you have a multi step project.
First you have to convince me that the climate wouldn’t change normally, because I’m one of those people who remember back around the year 1200 or so, there were farms in Greenland, that had to be abandoned later because the climate got too cold. the climate has always been changing, to suddenly believe that it’s caused by man (and almost only, man) strikes me as a severe case of hubris and little more.
Then you have to convince me that it’s catastrophic. It might be, I suppose, it might also be beneficial. How many more people could we feed if we could grow crops a couple of hundred miles further north (or south)? I don’t know, and I don’t think anyone else does either. I haven’t seen any scientific evidence (reputable or not) on the subject. What I have seen is nothing more than attempts to scare us, and that ain’t evidence.
That leaves you with the hardest one of all, you have to convince me that we (mankind) did it and that we can (and should) undo it. Most of us supported environmental legislation in the 1960s and 1970s because we could see that we were making a mess. When one gets sick from breathing and we’re watching rivers burn, well, that’s pretty clear, isn’t it? And it was clear that we were doing it, as well. And so it was time to fix it, and we did a pretty good job of it, overall.
None, not one, of the parameters of that are met in this amorphous mess of ‘Climate Change’. It’s called climate change, you’ll recall, because they can’t figure out if we’re making it warmer, or cooler, or to stay the same.
And then at the end of this article we get to the title of it. Cui Bono. Webster defines it this way:
1: a principle that probable responsibility for an act or event lies with one having something to gain
It’s a pretty useful concept, not least here. Our air and water is actually pretty damn clean, often our rivers are actually cleaner downstream from cities than they are upstream anymore, the fish are back, and safe once again, to eat. The air is fit to breathe once again. What’s a poor environmentalist to do to raise the money that pays his (her) exorbitant salary? Why start another crusade, of course, one can’t expect these people to get productive jobs, all they know is to scare people into giving them money, for them to give to politicians, if any is left after the fund-raising expenses, of course.
So add to that all the advertising agencies involved and the professional fund-raisers on the front end whose living disappears when this is debunked.
Then we get to the politicians, the bought dispensers of our money, whose power is directly attributable to the amount of our money that they can manage to divert to their (so-called) friends. And who, in addition, have an insatiable desire to control us, the people.
Amongst the recipients are those very universities that have made such a good thing out of generating this crisis, and so cooked the research books to keep the golden eggs coming in.
Cui bono? Almost everybody except the poor shmuck out there that gets to pay for all this with his money, while paying more for everything he needs to make a living, if his job hasn’t been exported to China, which is more worried about making a living than this nonsense.
And then they have the sheer effrontery to claim that they have our best interest at heart while simultaneously telling us that a damned polar bear is more important than our children.
Like I said above, when these patronising fools can predict the weather two weeks out, maybe I’ll start to listen to their shrill screaming but until then…
Well mostly we can expect them to keep screaming, “Shut up and sit down you little people. What do you know?”