Some Truths Are More Inconvenient than Others
Some say that Science says this or that; when they only mean scientists, and do not know or care which scientists. – G.K. Chesterton
We at Dearborn Underground don’t plunge willy-nilly into every controversy or fad.
But when it comes to this recent push on global warming I’m really getting a major case of sour grapes: If the world is going to build a consensus to save humanity, why not agree to confront global jihadism—which is so bad for the planet right now—before we dismantle the global economy over a potential climate change that might make some difference in another 100 years?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC), has just released its most recent Summary for Policymakers. France hosted this year’s IPCC gathering, and as a sign of hospitality to these UN hacks, they briefly turned off the lights on the Eiffel Tower.
The purpose of the IPCC report has always been to elevate the persuasiveness of the climate-change evidence from “smoking gun” level to “slam dunk.” Though the Summary has only now just been released, the global warming crowd has been talking it up for months, and predicting that the IPCC was going to reach this very “consensus.” The temptation for me to refer to this pre-release period as the “buildup” to the 2007 report, and to accuse the scientists of “sexing up” their results is almost too much to resist, so please just forget I mentioned it.
It goes without saying that this is a weather forecast. The prediction and causation findings in the Summary range on a highly scientifical certainty range from “More likely than not,” to“Likely,” “Very likely,” and “Virtually certain.” The overall report itself only dared to call its conclusions “Very likely,” or, as it might be rephrased, “less than virtually certain.” (Sort of the way “virtually certain” would accurately be rephrased as “not exactly certain”).
Not only is it not a slam dunk, it isn’t even a smoking gun. A smoking gun is direct evidence. Very likely is still a guess.
Not that anyone on the “smoking gun” side of the argument cares.
As is evident from the statements being released since the Summary was announced on Friday its only purpose was to establish that there was a “consensus” of scientists on the issue, so that dissenters can be marginalized and silenced. As was utterly predictable, the usual kinds of people now are claiming that the “consensus” is incotrovertible proof for their case that “human activities” are responsible for global warming, and so we must now curtail those activities as fast as we can.
National Audubon Society President John Flicker pronounced, “The clarity and completeness of the IPCC’s global warming findings permanently relegates skeptics to the fringe.” The St. Louis Dispatch pontificates, “We’ve heard enough from Flat Earth Society members,”such as Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., who rightly said the Summary was a political document, and not a scientific one. Flat Earth is the reigning pejorative for any one who questions the theory. Google “flat earth” and see what I mean. The point is, there is no time for argument, there is no room for dissenters.
Is this the language of science? Listen to this expert, as quoted in one Fox News story:
“‘It is critical that we look at this report … as a moment where the focus of attention will shift from whether climate change is linked to human activity, whether the science is sufficient, to what on earth are we going to do about it,’” said Achim Steiner, the executive director of the U.N. Environment Program.”
This is like a prosecutor saying on the first day of trial, “Ladies and gentleman of the jury, you are not here to decide the evidence, nor even to wonder about whether or not the defendant is guilty or innocent, rather the question before your minds should be: ‘Should we hang him or just lock him up for life?’”
And here’s where I get to the sour grapes: the complete disjunct with liberals between what qualifies as an imminent danger and what doesn’t.
You see, the maddening thing about the certainty on the Left about the imminent danger of global planetary catastrophe in another century or two is how insanely it clashes with their absolute indolence and self-delusion on the clear and present danger of global jihad expanding right now. One would think jihadism might raise some concerns among Greens if only because a nuclear exchange provoked by Iran and leading to the incineration of Israel and Tehran would result in even more global warming, and even sooner than that warned about by the IPCC, leaving no time fore the mitigating effects of the new CAFE standards.
There’s no need for me to repeat all the reporting on the Iranian determination to get a bomb. It has also been reported that the madmen who run that country intend to use it when they get it, and are even calculating the cost of an Israeli response. Most of us are well familiar with Iranian rhetoric on the subject:
“In a Dec. 14, 2001, speech, former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (long depicted by the Europeans as an Iranian “moderate”), declared that, if the Muslim world had an atomic bomb, it would be in good shape after a nuclear exchange with Israel, because a nuclear bomb would destroy the Jewish state, while Muslim countries (with their much larger populations) would survive.”
By the way, Rafsanjani later said his nuclear-survival strategy was firmly rooted in the “consensus view” of Iranian scientists.
But observe how the Left views the threat level a nuclear Iran. In response to a Washington Times editorial in December 2005 warning about the looming danger of a nuclear-armed Iran, liberal website Media Matters complained that the editorial “ignored key facts about Iran’s nuclear capability” just “to exaggerate the threat.” Note that the charge isn’t that the threat referred to in the editorial was invented or false, but only exaggerated.
You’ll see in the Media Matters response the painstaking effort to minimize the Iranians’ technical capacity to make weapons-grade uranium for at least another two years. The significance of the two years prediction was to counter Drudge Report’s and Washington Times’ estimates of Iran being “months away” from enriching uranium, in conjunction with Iran’s stated foreign policy goals of nuking Israel. The whole Media Matters argument was not over Iran’s intentions, nor even its eventual success in producing nuclear weapons, (which Media Matters appears to take for granted), but whether they were going to be significantly closer to enriched uranium in mere months or in up to two years. In the meantime, it is now fourteen months later, only months away from the two year prediction. Yet Media Matters blasted the Washington Times for being alarmist.
Months? Two or three years? By way of comparison, the IPCC report makes predictions as far out as 2090-2100, and even 2200. One of the authors of the report, Kevin Trenberth, the director of climate analysis for the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., made this kicky comment: “We’re creating a different planet. If you were to come back in 100 years time, we’ll have a different climate.”
How’s that for a persuasive argument? You want proof? Just come back here in 100 years and see for yourself!
But see how alarmed Media Matters gets over any challenges of a “consensus on global warming,” a subject to which it is absolutely committed. (So far, I haven’t seen them post on the 2007 IPCC Report).
On just this January 7th they attacked Willard Scott (Willard Scott, for God’s sake!) for daring to suggest that anyone, anywhere, could cast “doubt on global warming.” In a moment of thoughtless morning-show ebullience over the deadly snowstorms in Colorado, Scott obliquely questioned the dogma by asking co-host Meredith Vieira if she was “a global warming fan.” Media Matters felt this called for a response, and in it referred back to the overwhelming proof of consensus they had already “documented” in a previous attack on Tucker Carlson in August 2006 when he questioned the existence of consensus.
This example from Media Matters is only meant to show the widespread approach by liberals to global warming, which is to go to any lengths to answer any critic denying there is a consensus view of it, waging arguments that the critic is demonstrably wrong, and incensed that the dissenter could be so reckless with the future of humanity, or at least the future of the planet. In this view of it we simply can’t tolerate dissent when we are facing a growing danger from climate change in response to which we cannot act fast enough, nor commit sufficient resources.
It is only when confronting global jihadism, or deposing weapons-mad dictators, or searching out and stopping terrorists across the globe that Leftists always find there’s a fatal lack of evidence, and malign those trying to oppose jihad as liars, distorters of the facts, intolerant of dissent, and always rushing into action at “the drop of a hat.”
Using the IPCC’s likelihood scale, Iran’s acquiring nuclear weapons by developing them internally or getting them from a rogue actor like North Korea or the Russians is “Virtually certain.”
The likelihood that the UN, or any other combination of international diplomats will never take any meaningful action to forestall Iran’s plans is “Virtually certain.”
The likelihood that Iran will use its nukes aggressively as soon as they’ve got them is “Virtually certain,” or, at least “Very likely,” which puts it into the same 90% category as the IPCC weather forecast for 2090. Only Iran could easily be pushing the button in 2008 or 2009.
Now do you think the French are going to turn the Eiffel Tower off over that?