Assuming President Trump doesn’t blunder into World War III, the next greatest harm he may do is reverse the modest U.S. steps toward fighting global warming, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
By Paul R. Pillar
With the wide path of destruction that Donald Trump has been cutting — in which the damage is affecting matters ranging from principles of nondiscrimination to ethical integrity of government officials to reliable health care for Americans — it is easy to lose sight of what ultimately would be the most consequential destruction of all: the damage to a habitable planet.
The consequences may not be as immediately apparent, during the first 100 days or even during four years, as some of the other carnage, but the importance to humanity is even greater. As with many other Trump policies, it is not yet clear exactly what the administration will do regarding a specific initiative such as the Paris accord on climate change, but the overall thrust of opposing any serious effort to retard global warming is all too obvious.
The recent demonstrations known as the march for science, although ostensibly not aimed at any one leader, were a salutary expression of concern, given that denial of climate change and the associated opposition against efforts to slow global warming represent one of the most glaring rejections of science, right along with the Seventeenth Century inquisition of Galileo. The rejection is of a piece with Trump’s contempt for truth on most any topic.
It is hard to know what goes through the minds of the climate change deniers and skeptics that Trump has installed in his administration. Most likely they are smart enough to know better but are playing out an appallingly selfish, politically narrow-minded, and short-sighted approach toward what sort of world will be left to their children and grandchildren. This is suggested by some of their contrived verbal formulations.
For example, Scott Pruitt, to whom Trump has given the job of presiding over the evisceration of the Environmental Protection Agency, says, ”I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do…” Who’s talking about “precision”? That’s a false standard.
The overwhelming scientific consensus is that human activity is a major, and probably the major, contributor to what is highly consequential global warming, even if the exact effects cannot be measured or predicted with “precision.”
The posture assumed on this issue by the likes of Trump and Pruitt is highly irresponsible. The Washington Post editorial page puts it aptly: “Children studying [Trump’s] presidency will ask, ‘How could anyone have done this?’ ”
The Why of Climate Denial
Contempt and disdain are proper attitudes to adopt toward the climate change deniers, including the ones in the current administration. They should be shamed either for displaying such inexcusable ignorance or, what is even worse, for displaying selfishness and short-sightedness despite knowing better.
But that is not enough. And the problem goes far beyond Donald Trump. It extends to much of the Republican Party. As the Post editorialists observe, the GOP is “a once-great American political party embracing rank reality-denial.” James Inhofe was throwing snowballs in the Senate well before Trump was elected.
A savvy response to the deniers is to point out some of the more immediately visible economic and political consequences of the destructive approach toward climate change that the current administration has embraced. One should point out how not being in the forefront of developing renewable energy sources represents regression, not progress, for the U.S. economy, no matter how much false hope is given to Appalachian coal miners about getting jobs back. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a prominent political leader who commendably is adding his influential voice to this subject.
One also should point out how the Trump administration’s degenerate posture on energy and climate change isolates the United States internationally. The posture makes the United States an object of disdain for taking a Dark Ages approach toward an issue in which, more than any other, everyone in the world has a stake. Anyone in the United States who professes to care about U.S. leadership in the world ought to be concerned about this, regardless of attitudes about atmospheric science.
The loss of U.S. leadership is especially evident in comparison with the other of the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases: China. Although several years ago China had a backward view of the issue of climate change, seeing it as a Western excuse for trying to retard China’s economy — a notion that Donald Trump would later adopt in the reverse direction by describing climate change as a Chinese “hoax” — Beijing is now making a concerted effort to do something about the problem.
China may have already passed, as of four years ago, its peak use of coal. There are no signs that the Trump administration’s back-sliding on the issue has lessened China’s commitment to take a progressive and responsible path on the matter.
Besides revamping its own energy structure, China has become a global leader on the issue. And besides being persuaded by the scientific research that describes how vulnerable China is to damage from climate change, Beijing also sees its progressive posture on the subject as a further way to exercise soft power in the sense of international influence.
Trump’s retrograde attitude toward many aspects of the international order that have served the United States well has already meant surrendering much global leadership to China. His backward attitude on climate change means surrendering still more.
Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is author most recently of Why America Misunderstands the World. (This article first appeared as a blog post at The National Interest’s Web site. Reprinted with author’s permission.)
Load of Cr*p! Global Warming is a scam and lie! How dare you attack President Trump for having the integrity to tell us the Truth!
Randal, go to the Skepticalscience website and click on the “arguments” section and disabuse yourself of your stupidity.
Paul Pillar, you are such a liberal it’s scary. You and the left keep quoting A landmark 2013 study assessed 4,000 peer-reviewed papers by 10,000 climate scientists that gave an opinion on the cause of climate change. It showed 97 percent of the authors attributed climate change to manmade causes. Now that may be true but given they were caught colluding their data to make it look warmer theres a good chance it was fake but the argument is fake.
There are over 4,000 scientists who have signed off that Global Warming is a hoax and guess what, 100% of their findings prove that it is a hoax! CO2 is actually what causes plants to grow faster yet you fear more CO2, really? Where’s your logic gone?
All forecasts have been grossly wrong! This alone should be enough to prove that its a hoax and just another reason to tax humanity.
Its a free world and if you lefties want to fund a program then go ahead but leave us out of it!
If you are really concerned about the climate then you should be exposing the aluminum barium and other toxins that they are spraying our skys with, you don’t need to raise taxes just stop the black opp funding of it. That is killing forests all over the world. And also the RoundUp or Glysophate, WHY DON’T YOU BAN IT BECAUSE ITS KILLING EVERYONE’s FLORA IN THEIR INTESTINAL TRACK AND THEN THEY HAVE NO IMMUNE SYSTEM. rOUNDUP IS IN ALL OUR FOOD NOW, EVEN IN OUR ORGANIC FOOD. If you care so much fight these issues which are real man made issues!!!!
Rick Pol, go to the Skeptical science website and click on the “arguments” section and disabuse yourself of your stupidity.
Something which doesn’t happen very often.
How a Professional Climate Change Denier Discovered the Lies and Decided to Fight for Science
And of course the time issue is a problem. That’s something we’re running out of, assuming of course that we already haven’t passed some point of no return.
Well, Elmer, absolutely your second post makes more sense to me. But, how do we get rid of these individuals who have so corrupted the way we are living on earth? Can we? If humans truly operated the way indigenous societies did, and if there were a viewpoint of the greater good (including nature), things would be different and workable. Now, since we have control by too many oligarchs who don’t care about the greater good but only their personal satisfaction and greed, even getting agreement on something as basic as limiting carbon output (which I said is still not enough to protect the planet, and stand by fervently), what are we to do? There are small group social experiments whereby people who hold to small scale thoughtful practices around the world, and that is the best people can do, if large scale reform continues to be resisted. Bottom line is really the question of human nature, do we care about others, and do we care about our planet? Predatory capitalists do not. And the US leads the world and sets the example for predatory capitalism, a term that I will continue to use until reform is made. I really do recommend Jerry Manders’ book, “The Capitalism Papers: Fatal Flaws of an Obsolete System”. It covers many aspects of this great problem, including various social experiments going on throughout the world by groups who see that reform will have to be individual and local.
Jessica K, There’s a hope of sorts on the horizon, unfortunately additional human suffering must come before a true paradigm shift appears (the devil insists on this point!) The feudal lords and fascist aristocrats are knowingly, burning the candle at both ends, -well, there will be a brief period of darkness…and it will be very scary. Pray to the god of your choice for Justice, because true Justice brings a universal peace and that’s the sort of globalism I’m all for!
a billion more hot dinners plus volcanoes and newer finds of methane release shoujd be given a mention .
The problem is that once people find out how much they have been lied to, they lose all confidence in there being any true information out there, and so any wild theory has as much of a chance of being right as anything. Pretty soon for them the theory of gravity is just another possible hoax to feel superior to from one’s position of universal skepticism – a fertile breeding ground for paranoia.
Question everything does not imply that everything is equally questionable at the end of a careful examination. There is truth, it just needs to be thoughtfully evaluated.
Elmer, I don’t make any sense of your argument at all. What in the world are you saying, this can go on indefinitely if it weren’t for controlling forces like Rothschilds and other controls like them? The Sumerians and Mayans, and other societies that long preceded ours collapsed for purely ecological reasons.
Go visit a landfill, out of sight, out of mind. There are millions of them. Go dive in the ocean, do an autopsy on a whale whose innards are full of plastic bags! There are legions of those victims of our exuberance for plastic. Your thinking is wishful that everyone can keep going like this, and you won’t be around for the crash.
Use of resources is built into capitalism, but not preservation. I’ve read Perkins’ book, am familiar with all the covert and overt operations, etc. that you cite, and that still has nothing to do with ecology. “Global warming” or “climate change” have occurred in regular cycles on earth, the issue of resource use and preservation is key. I would refer you to Jerry Manders’ book “The Capitalism Papers: Fatal Flaws of an Obsolete System”. A basic tenet of ecology is that when an animal society outstrips its resource base, it will crash. It’s happened before, and it will happen again.
A rather mild article about climate change sure brings a lot of AGW deniers out of the woodwork. I have a feeling they will still be singing the same songs no matter how hot it gets. It just gives one such a good feeling to contradict thousands of professional climate scientists from the comfort of one’s armchair. Ha! What do they know? HAHAHAHA……….
(This was not aimed at you Jessica – the page would only let me comment if I put it as a reply to your post.)
Jessica K, my arguments have less to do with what is or what is not biodegradable and more to do with who steps forward to control the levers of environmentalism. Who can assume a self proclaimed authority over sovereign countries? Broadly speaking, the peoples of the second and third worlds can only learn from our nuclear power and “fail to recycle” mistakes (perhaps out do us in a positive way). The second and third world countries for the most part, avoid inviting the Western Occident billion even trillion-aire oligarchs (with their corporate entities) into their domestic management, or mismanagement of economies or ecology. You know the phrase; Problem, Reaction then Solution. First, the international corporations create the problem, (in this case) the people React- frequently in a self destructive way, followed by a political and or economic “Solution” that the originators of the problem create in the first place! Case in point; North Korea, where Rummy Rumsfeld lobbied congress and then President Clinton signed off, authorizing the construction of two nuclear reactors for North Korea (contracted out to ABB ltd. Zurich?). After completion, their near vicinity neighbors saw two nuclear bomb factories, so our war mongering fellows (military industrial complex) proceeded to approach Japan and South Korea with anti-missile defenses and a few U.S. Air Force bases as back up against a threat OUR CORPORATE WAR MONGERS created in the first place! A third example was the US Intel agencies looking the other way thus permitting the Israelis to steal substantial quantities of weapons grade plutonium from one of our reprocessing facilities in Tennessee. Not to be out done, the French government, in the same war profiteering cabal, helped the Israelis to fabricate that stolen plutonium and build Dimona. What I’m trying to say is this; by what right do our “best and the brightest” (and richest) intervene without first cleaning up their own backyard? For starters, we have a nationwide commercial nuclear cooling pond crisis, filled to the brim-they are, or Anniston Army Depot in Alabama, chemicals just oozing into the water table such as nitrogen tetroxide from those old Titan 3 C missiles. You see, first one should take the plank out of ones own eye before DICTATING to our southern hemisphere (among other sovereign nations) on what constitutes a green planet, green policy or even common sense.. The dictating should begin with a U.S. nationwide federal flat tax (no wiggle room) so as to initiate adequate funding for clean up, the R & D tweaking of finished product plastics, so as to quickly degrade into harmless materials and so on…but what chance is there? approaching the CULPRITS who have their own ideas about -Problem, Reaction and Solution? I say, down with “Ming the Merciless” down with the scoundrels who created the problem and now wish to dismantle our hard earned savings, our constitutional rights (terrorism jive), social security (lock box) and swindle national treasures like those commodity reserves of gold, silver, platinum and oil. All in the false hope that Western Occident oligarchs, singularly possess the SOLUTION to those environmental, political (feudal corporatism) and economic (fiat currency crisis ) they created, in concert together, in the first place!
Jessica- Elmerfudzie response, to your comments, a few paragraphs below this one.
Jessica K, national economic growth, wealth and prosperity are not necessarily a part of or intertwined with capitalism, globalism or environmental destruction. People of the second and third worlds can raise themselves to the level of consumption that we here in the west enjoy, without overheating the planet or depleting it resources-that’s all rubbish!. The idea that human beings are equated with pollution and over consumption are both a moral and scientific deception, invented by the likes of Rockefeller, Rumsfeld, Rothschild, the Federal Reserve Board members, ET AL. This malevolent movement of billionaires share one objective; to devise any excuse, use any tool that promotes their bottomless lust for power over the people(s), politics and sovereign currencies of this world. To wit, endless CIA inspired insurrections and assassinations in South America, ditto CIA “Gladio” assassination programs in Post World War II Europe, in the USA where any person or policy resembling a movement towards “social democracy” i.e., Huey Long, JFK, MLK, were met with violence. I reference here a good articulation of this thesis, John Perkins book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. Our Intel agencies are under the direction of the “deep state” (Council On Foreign Relations) . Once the order is given, governments fall, assassinations and or bribery of officialdom runs rampant, thus any potential for each country to fairly distribute its wealth among it citizenry -vanishes. We’ve seen this time and again; with one hidden objective, to destroy competition, level the wealth and prosperity(s) of the first, second, and third world countries into some freakish homogeneous “whore house” of impoverished masses, except, of course for those families of the oligarchs! Yes we’re back to feudalism, corporatism and the billionaires will bend any science, use any movement, direct various Intel agencies, use any amount of fiat currency, to achieve this goal for ultimate “global” power.
It was during the Carter administration that David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission, through Brzezinski, got hold of US policy to develop globalization. As the world economies continued in this direction through predatory capitalists who advanced globalism, and as human populations and technology increased, we have arrived at a critical stage in earth’s exploitation. Now, without a sustainability ethic, negative effects on the environment are definitely piling up. Trump and his administration represent the apogee of this stupidity, which native peoples have warned about since their subjugation. Bill Clinton ushered in the era of NAFTA, competition between nations intensified, populations naturally kept increasing, digital technology increased, more junk was been thrown into landfills and the ocean, nuclear reactors were built everywhere, and the US can’t give up its perpetual war policies. It is pathetic that Trump and the GOP can’t even subscribe to basic policies to try alternative energies.
Earth is definitely under assault from human activity. I remember when Jimmy Carter went on TV to talk about saving energy, turning down heat at night in cold climes to save fuel, wearing a sweater indoors instead of turning up heat, driving less, basic steps. Carter also put up solar panels atop the White House. Reagan came along and tore them down. The predatory capitalists, particularly of the fossil fuel industry, ensured that Carter did not get a second term.
It is not just alternative energies that must be advanced. We have to get rid of very dangerous nuclear power. We all have to take steps to limit consumption despite living in such a user world. We have to limit production and usage of plastic, which is filling the oceans through thoughtless dumping. Competition between nations, rather than cooperation, also is making the assault on earth worse. We are really at a critical juncture now, and small steps that have been taken through climate accords, I don’t see as nearly enough. It is predatory capitalism, having no thought about limits, that has to be dumped.
I just ran into what appears to be a promising Climate site.
I was following a link about the neocon NYT hiring a Climate Change Denier. “…millions of people agree with him…”
The hero in question wants to partition Syria for Israel. Hardly a surprise after reading this:
In brief, this Stephens guy looks like a perfect new jackass to add to the NYT stable.
At the Climate Denial Crock site is a 7 minute video of the new hire at the NYT strutting his stuff. If the topic wasn’t survival of the planet Earth, it would be a funny-as-hell thing. The NYT predicted a collapse of the oceans in 1935? Sure. The man is a professional liar and hack, and yet the NYT felt it was useful to hire him.
Something I’m doing now is a personal boycott of both the Washington Post and the NYT. Unless I click on an unidentified link or fail to notice the small identifying print, they are both no-go zones for me. I may make an exception in the case of an essay here specifying some special lunacy at one or the other of them, but that’s it.
For those with a stronger stomach than me, here is the link. Personally, I didn’t last over two minutes before my gag reflex kicked in.
I still adhere to, and re-publish for Paul Pillar, a comment I made at CONSORTIUMNEWS back in November, 2016: First let’s clear the table and allow me to suggest that the Hockey Stick graph underpinning the climate change myth has been thoroughly debunked, I reference here http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/myths-vs-fact-regarding-the-hockey-stick/. Papers by McIntyre & McKitrick sharply criticizing the hockey stick curve (M&M) have subsequently been thoroughly validated in their criticisms with additional support, uncovered by the Climategate scandal-www.en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_email_controversy. The climate change lobby is sponsored by the “scarcity crowd”, of the Rockefeller ilk, who along with the true believers of the late, Maurice Strong….
Sorry to be over-present in this discussion. I initially got sold onto Al Gore’s new church launching commercial called An Inconvenient Truth. After a few years, I realised that the correct title should have been A Blatant Lie because its main point – the hockey stick curve was a complete fabrication. In the mean time Al Gore became the first Green Billionaire Oligarch. My complete turning point arrived when I attended a presentation of PriceWaterhouseCoopers on how to make money from AGW. This particular presentation was meant to be a technical one, but it ended up an investment one.
Ummmm, Elmer I read Limits to Growth and Robert Malthus back in college before Raygun was elected and Cow farts gained a Methane ascendancy. The Earth is warmer now than it was then and Global warmings effect are obvious in many regions of the planet. I didn’t needs no hockey stick to know what I knew. you got to believe the research, eh? Of course there were certain groups trying to advance agendas everywhere in the debate, Climate Deniers have been by far the best funded and have had the most political support. WHY YOU ASK? Because the entire NEW WORLD ORDER is fossil fuel based and the entire world economy is directly pegged to the dollar vis-a-vis energy purchases. All government, the UN , corruption everywhere, even in banking, are “fueled” by energy purchases. That this system is untenable in the long run is obvious to all. The Green Revolution and ocean acidification more or less render the finger pointing blame game pointless. The Bakken Formation , the Leviathan Formation , etc., nobody will turn down the cash. It’s a problem for sure but IBG YBG won’t we?
The solution to climate change has been in front of us for decades and is still there. It is nuclear power. Humanity has two choices, it can burn coal or it can burn uranium. Burning uranium is infinitely better than burning coal. The shame is that anti-nukes and climate-change deniers are two sides of the same anti-science coin. I have a little more hope that those concerned with climate change will eventually realize the truth. Many of their leaders have … Stewart Brand, James Hansen, … quite a few more.
Yeap, the nuclear industry is very much on board AGW since it sees a wonderful selling opportunity, because after Chernobyl and Fukushima the sales have tanked.
The solution to climate is very simple – sack/fire Pentagon and all other militaries and at least 20% of the wasteful use of energy on this planet is gone at once. Personally, I use LED lights everywhere, even then I switch the lights off in all empty rooms (I go behind other family members to do it), I use the car to the minimum possible (never joy ride) and so on and so on. All this not because of AGW bull then because burning of all fossil fuels produces a wide spectrum of chemical pollutants. Educating people to behave rationally about their environment and the energy they use makes a lot of sense. But your AGW and Climate Change, Mr Pillar, you can shove where the Sun does not shine, because there only the anthropological effect is present.
One more thing. We need to get over our sense of superiority. Read this book by Derrick Jensen.
The world is dying from our ignorance. The information we need already exists. No miraculous breakthrough of science is needed. The truth has the characteristic of simplicity. A few simple changes could transform our lives and save our world. Eat vegan, don’t hurt others, use reproductive sex very carefully or not at all. Think about it. These simple actions would change everything. People won’t do them? Too bad. Goodbye everybody.
Number one cause of serious diseases? Eating animal products. Don’t believe it? Look at the overwhelming scientific evidence. If you don’t research these things, you will linger in “everybody knows.” Bad place to be.
Many are unaware that eating meat is the number one cause putting CO2 in the atmosphere, and hence driving global warming.
The link author is wrong, but it’s not entirely his fault, for if you follow HIS source-links they’re wrong too. Getting back to the origin of the claim a person discovers “Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options is a United Nations report, released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on 29 November 2006, that “aims to assess the full impact of the livestock sector on environmental problems, along with potential technical and policy approaches to mitigation”. At some point in the long chain somebody simply misunderstood what they had read.
As the wiki for this long report says,
Doing away with feed-lot livestock will be part of the solution (if there is one) but grass-fed beef will be darned near neutral on the issue. I’ll grant that beef and other meats will likely be more expensive, for the still-high demand and lower availability if for no other reasons.
Zach Smith, sorry for my ignorance but are you saying grass fed beef would be better?
The truth about climate change is much, much more dire and immediate than is reported. Just as with the political realities we are trying to discern through the fog of lies and myths that we are concerned with on CN, you will have to research to dig out this frightening reality. In the process you will discover once again how much you have been lied to and deceived about it all.
Trump will lose his majority in the Senate and Congress in two years . He will not have a lasting imprint : the Supreme Court was hijacked by the Scalia’s ( AND Rehnquist, Kennedy, Thomas & Sandra Day O’Connor) in the Gore V Bush 2000 decision . But this is the status quo. The Democrats only have a majority post facto to the Republicans having the Presidency. It takes years to change governments. This is a flaw in the Constitution , a flaw that was not anticipated by Jefferson the Founder of the Democratic Party who did not create a two Party System in the Constitution but one has evolved and been validated in the last 170 years Hasn’t it? Is there a point to my diatribe? Not really except politics doesn’t really matter. The beat goes on. Another nuclear core meltdown or two from an attack on North Korea would matter . More so since the TEPCO Clean-up at Fukishima is failing and Robots can’t get anywhere near the most distressed melted reactor core while the wastewater problem remains intractable and radioactive spikes are increasing… Can you spell catastrophe? Better to worry about Putin and Assad and Israel getting F-35’s for free that’s what m matters. Trump Schlump. Trump is a symptom of a cancerous disease that has obviously metastasized. How to cure the disease? Sorry, no cure is possible inside this box.
There are two propaganda lines. The first is the nuckleheaded lie that “Global Warming Is A Hoax”. The second is “We Can Save The Planet With Renewable Energy”. The first is designed for the idiots, the second(which is also a lie) is designed for those that have a brain. Both propaganda lines are soporifics for the masses and are meant to delay and buy time. The Propertied Class, which receives expert advice, knows that a climate disaster is imminent and unstoppable. By imminent I mean less than 10 years, much less. For example, if 2017 Average Worldwide Temperature reaches 1.3C above preindustrial(2016 was, minimum, 1.2C) then it is a certainty we with hit 1.5C in 2019. What does 1.5C mean in terms of effects? We had a taste in February 2016 during the El Nino, when February hit 1.5C Average Worldwide Temperature. Here in Toronto, I was sitting in a park in a short sleeve T-shirt comfortably, that is zero winter. My prediction of 1.5C by 2019 is based on the current rate of warming of 0.1C per year with 2016 being 1.2C AWT. But the rate of warming is accellerating so it is realistic to expect that things will be much worse. The realistic assessment is by 2024 we will already be deep in the climate disaster, and getting deeper. Regarding the “build-in of renewables” it is too little too late, not even “robertscribbler.com” can make the numbers add up, but you can go to his website and watch him try. ….
I had “robertscribbler” bookmarked for a brief while, but quickly dumped it. The guy is glib, and possibly even educated, but he doesn’t really know anything about climate science. That’s a problem because he pretends he does, and crazy claims he makes can and do get legitimately ridiculed by the Deniers.
Z.S. the link you provided is more badly written than a “robertscribbler” article, an impressive accomplishment. To argue that because “robertscribbler” misreported one item, therefore “we are not in a climate emergency” is a fallacy, as well as puposely deceptive. The author is in denial and, paradoxically, so is “robertscribbler”, who carefully fudges his reporting to lengthen the time window of global warming so that a ” build-in of renewables” can “save the planet”. All of media reporting on global warming, including ” scribbler” and Mr.Pillar’s article here is a “don’t disturb the animals” tactic by The Propertied Class. Now is The Great Accelleration. To say there will not be a 2030 is not “alarmist” but realism.
I believe you misunderstood what my link blogger wrote. Here it is again:
In my opinion he (or she) is extremely worried about the climate situation.
“Promoting catastrophic scenarios that are simply untrue just plays into the hands of those who would rather avoid addressing this issue.” The problem is that the housing loan, the yacht loan and all other loans of the AGW priest need repayments now, not in 50 years time, thus the emergency. David is probably just naive, not financially interested in this issue. He is generalising his personal experience onto the whole planet.
And the day after that in that Toronto park – were you still sitting with short sleeves and no coat? How many days did that warm spell last? Make sure you’re talking about climate here and not just weather. I looked at Toronto temps the other day and found it was 45F – I wouldn’t be sitting in the park in short sleeves with no coat in that temperature. But maybe I’m just not a rough tough canuck anymore. Although I can remember warm January days from my youth in Scarborough. Maybe the climate changed when Scarborough was assimilated by Metro TO?
Chris Moffatt, not only the day after that but all of January, February, and March 2016. The difference between us is I am telling the truth and you are telling lies. If your youth was before 2000, you are lying if you claim you “can remember warm January days” in Scarborough. There has been massive warming of the climate in Toronto since 2000, and most of it since 2011, that is much greater change in the last five years than the previous twelve, a catastrophic trend line.
The author uses a lot of loaded words here.
In my view he could have been even more vitriolic and written even rougher ones.
But my scan of the essay noted a significant omission – not once was “Obama” mentioned. During his 8 years he played the role of the second son in the parable Jesus told of the Two Sons.
At the beginning of 2009 Obama had both houses of Congress and he himself had the White House. What did We The People get out of that? Obamacare, Bush+ neocon policies, and lots of “respectful”, “polite” and entirely empty words about climate change.
It is true that Trump is an ignorant and half-educated old fossil who truly doesn’t give a damn about the future of the Earth, but in everything except for the nice talk-talk of Obama, there isn’t a nickel’s worth of difference between the two of them.
There is a long line of administrations going back decades that put fossil fuel energy interests ahead of what’s good for Earth and her inhabitants. In the 60’s when I was in junior high ecology was taught in every science class starting at about the 6th grade, at least. An ‘inconvenient’ truth ignored by most leaders for years. To be fair we did get the EPA, endangered species act, clean air and water legislation. and others, now ignored by the current administration. And yes, Earth and her inhabitants are in real trouble.
In grade school I had to sing “killing the ozone” environmental indoctrination songs. To this day I feel like I should be put in time out for throwing away a styrofoam cup. It keeps it so damn cold though. Global Warming seems a lot like ozone 2.0. The “contempt and disdain is the proper attitude” language is frightening.
What is AGW endgame? What’s the story behind the “we just want to save the polar bears and Miami?” If real environmental disasters occur then we the people will beg for security and yield to gov’t. Fondle our genitals and spy on us, whatever to keep us safe from the terrorists, I mean climate.
Are Koch brothers and other industrial global national corps paying for research that raises skepticism. You can hardly trust that either. Failing to measure negative externalities like pollution is like a subsidy. We should care about our environment because it holds clues. Listen to Dennis McKenna on Joe Rogan Podcast.
So I think it’s reasonable to be agnostic on the issue. My gut is we have already successfully orchestrated environmental false flags. Whether the blasphemers are we’re right or wrong doesn’t matter if AGW can and does orchestrate weather events. That’s the next mythical narrative, communists, terrorists, carbon/space catastrophes.
Although your post is vague and confusing, there is really nothing confusing about human caused climate change. Over 95% of climate scientists worldwide agree that this is happening, and that it is very dangerous and needs to be stopped. The small % of scientists disagreeing are in the pay of fossil fuel corporations and their numerous subsidiaries, who have also spent many millions of $ to PR firms to convince the American public that AGW is no problem, with great success.
Patrick McMahon, you comment is so murky it would improve if you would stick to Fartland Institute talking points, but it would still be 100% wrong.
Don’t know what that is David.
Of course climate is changing. Of course humans have affected the environment.
What’s the solution? Outlaw cheeseburgers. Make everyone ride their bikes to work?
You don’t think governments can manipulate the weather?
Mike k you admit we’re being lied to and deceived about everything. Why trust the same entities doing the deceiving to come to the rescue?
Pat, these are not the same entities. These are scientists working independently.
They have no financial or other interest in lying about the climate. Why would they do that? Realize that many of them risk their jobs to tell the truth.
And we are not being lied to by everyone. There is truth out there, and those who are speaking it – like many who contribute here on CN.
You are joking right!?!?!? Independent scientists!?!?!? You are not even a thousand miles off any scientific institute. I used to be a scientist but I bailed out because there was very little idealism in science, only money (grants, grants and more grants). 99.99% of scientists are leeches on the skin of society. In all the years I spent in science I met only a few low level idealists, everybody else was only after the money. Science is a business, the rest is propaganda just like Syrian Government gassing of blond babies. Kudos to Patrick for calling AGW a false flag.
It is sad how a few smart people (a minority) on the left recognise the warmongering of TPTB but fail to recognise climatemongering. This climatemongering will hurt the environment much more than the dirty industry or fossil fuels, by siphoning the money away into the pockets of the AGW priesthood.
P.M., you claim you don’t know what the Fartland Institute is, then you parrot two of their talking point lies, you are not only 100% wrong, you’re dishonest. If you have the guts to read my main comment you will see my opinion is that nothing can be done to stop the disaster. I like cheeseburgers, do not ride a bicycle, and at 60 years of age have never owned an automobile. I am a realist(the propagandist robertscribbler would smear me as a “doomer” ) that remembers the normal climate and I see massive, accelerating, global warming since 2000. By 2020 we will be roasting, it is over, period. Being a dirty old man of 60 years, I still have a outdoor thermometer, an I laugh when I see the temperatures on the internet, 10C-20C LOWER than reality(that’s 18F-36F). I know things are really bad when TPTB start lying about the temperature, so should you.
Mike I agree that’s why I come to CN.
I’d say most readers here realize the deception perpetrated by MSM. Global warming is more in line with the globalist liberal orthodoxy, so I’m naturally skeptical of it. Im more inclined to believe you that’s it’s actually way worse because of my bias that everything in MSM is fake news.
David many people can come up with ideas independent of one another. I believe you that I’m talking fartland lines. That doesn’t make me a liar.
I had the courage to read your main post. “It’s over” by 2020? The propertied class has hundreds of billions at risk. If so, there is a huge profit motive for engineers, SV, “the market” to solve the problem. Do you think the market is just ignorant of the truth? I’m asking this sincerely, not in the sense I that I’m doubting the market can be wrong.
P.M., apologies if I offended, I am sharp edged from jousting with trolls. The Propertied Class gets expert advice and they have known for decades the climate disaster is coming and is unstoppable, and have planned accordingly. The problem cannot be solved. There are no realistic technologies to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and if there were we would have to draw down from present 405ppmCO2 to a 1950’s level of 315ppmCO2, an impossible task. Our civilization is being rapidly crushed by the numbers.
David: “By 2020 we will be roasting, it is over, period.”
Sorry, but this dirty old man (me) had a very hearty laugh. Well, since we have been drowned already by the AGW rising sea levels (by 2012), it should not matter now that our corpses will get roasted, right?
Has it ever occurred to you that the difference in the measured temperature between your (unprofessional) thermometer on the porch and the professional weather station may be due to:
1) quality of the measurement equipment and
2) microclimatic effects (aka spot heating) etc.
And BTW, this old man has been freezing since a little before year 2000, because I live in an area which has clearly been cooling down. I crave heat, interested to swap places?
David, from what you write below, you live in hot Canada and I live in cold Australia. So funny! Naturally, the Australian “climate scientists” talk about warming all the time, but I listen to my own bones which crave summer, which has gone MIA in this country for about the last 17 years. Oh, the endless joy of the “climate scientists” when this past summer there was a day of 44 degrees C, but it ended up being only a three-four day hot spell in a slightly warmer summer. We have not had a properly hot summer in Sydney since about 1999. In 1996, most of the Royal National Park near Sydney got burned down (96%) by a very, very hot December. A cloud of brown soot hanged over Sydney for two weeks over Christmas and NYE. It used to be Australian Summer = Bush Fires, but now Australia is becoming like England: green and wet. Queensland has been getting flooded all the time and so on.
Once again, Kiza, I sympathize with your fear. I am very frightened too.
This is or should be about risk assessment. The problem with the warming denialists is they believe that any human activity has virtually no effect on the world’s weather. Considering that nearly all scientists are certain (I have known scientists and they are usually very reluctant to jump to conclusions unless they are corrupt and then they are more likely to work for industry). The problem is that if you deny warming—what is the likelihood you are right? 100%? 50%? 85%? In risk assessment we measure what happens if our assumptions are off. If, for example, there is only a 10% chance that the scientists are right, then is doing nothing an acceptable risk?
We have to go with the evidence. Not unsupported hypotheses, not impact claims that have no actual science behind them. Evidence. Real honest-to-gosh scientific evidence. Observations not model outputs. Observations not guesses. So what is the evidence?
Oh and the heck with polar bears. These are not cuddly, furry little animals to be played with – these are vicious efficient highly dangerous predators; one of the few species that will hunt and kill humans for food. If you want something cuddly and furry that’s endangered, try pikas. Oh sorry scientific research reveals that they aren’t endangered after all; they just move from time to time. Just like adelie pengiuns. So lets stick to the scientific evidence and cut out the BS.
Chris Moffatt, go to the Skepticalscience website, which directly confronts the BS that you and Kiza are peddling.
Trump is a Neanderthal and as President of the US has become the cheerleader for mega corporations to get their way on everything anti-diluvian. He is a destructive right wing reactionary. Discussion over.
I am just curious, as you already know I’m on the opposite side of this issue, and in agreement with Mr. Pillar. Do you believe that global warming is not happening, or that it is not human caused?
Just because it’s happening doesn’t prove the cause: whether it’s natural or human in origin. Keep in mind there has been no significant warming for the past 20 years. So, what happened to CO-2 as the driving force ? “believe” has no credentials in science: only proven facts. Before you express your beliefs, go do some research at GISS, Sea Levels On-line, and RSS Temperatures.
You are 100% wrong, try again.
Skip, thanks for a polite challenge/question. Climate changes now as it always has been, continuously and in a multitude of cycles. It is difficult to even decide if the whole globe is warming or if it is cooling right now because the proper (satellite) measurement has been going on for only a few decades. A few decades in the existence of this planet and its atmosphere is like a picosecond of our lives. At this time, some areas of the planet appear to be warming up (for example, the Northern Russia), other areas are definitely cooling down (for example, Australia is colder and wetter).
Do humans influence climate? Yes they do. How much? Much, much, much less than the elephant in the AGW room – the Sun. Probably still not as much as the natural chemical processes in the oceans and in the atmosphere. Therefore, in my opinion, humans perform a relatively small, third-degree of climate influence, negligible compared with the Sun and the Earth itself. Did you know that the prevailing view in astrophysics is that the Solar System is one of the most benign, quietest of all solar systems? It is much more common for a star (or stars in a multi-star system) to shower its planets with an amazing variety of forces. But this does not mean that Sun is ideally constant for the Earth.
Simply, the consumption guilt is why AGW has been so successful and the Green Oligarchy is selling indulgences just as the Catholic Church did before – the church was the first to recognise the human need to get absolution from the sins of indulging, Al Gore was the second. But there is a whole new church now surrounding AGW renamed into Climate Change trying to tax humanity for its consumption of resources. The worst is that its profit seeking is distracting us from the real environmental problems. It reminds me much of the US health system – lawyers & insurers earn a sizeable chunk of the high US expenditure on health.
I believe graphs indicate a direct correlation between historically high temperatures ( every year the most hot) and increasing CO2.
Of course statistics are excellent liars but it is your reponsibilty to disprove the graphs if you disagree.
Kiza, you tried again, but not only did you fail to avoid, but you used ALL of the Fartland Institute talking points.
I can agree with you that the arguments of both “scientific” sides are biased. I am totally disinterested to read more of either side’s arguments, I got tired early even reading this article. I try, as much as I can, to go by my own mind on all issues around me, after listening to arguments of both sides. I have listened and I have understood – neither side really knows, but both sides have vested interests. The moment someone tells me – “the science is settled” I tell him to f.o. AGW is a religion and its proponents are approaching it as one.
Kiza, you are so right on this “science is settled” issue. Not being a scientist, I’m however in regular contact with high level theoretical physicists (not “climate scientists”) from various countries, and not one of them seems to support this CO2 – global warming claim. Where the 97% consensus comes from, has been clearly explained on a Youtube video. It is noteworthy that scientific questions are not decided in a referendum. It is enough for ONE scientist to prove that all the others have been wrong.
As for the correlation between CO2 levels with temperature, there are obviously two observations: 1. the CO2 levels rise b e f o r e the warmer period. 2. the CO2 levels rise a f t e r the warmer period. Who is lying?
My physicist friends have pointed out the following: There are definitely cycles of warmer and colder periods during the earth’s long history, but the science cannot explain what triggers the regular change. The climate is an extremely complicated system. And when the tide has turned, there is NO way of moving it backwards by some trivial attempts to influence the CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Looking at the CO2 levels historically, we are now at the very minimum of those levels for normal plant growth.
Let me assure you that not me, not these physicists are in any way connected to the interest groups on the climate change and do not benefit of either side winning.
Personally I have never owned a car, use a bike or public transport for travelling, fly very rarely, but do not believe for a second that this would influence anything. It is just my way of life. There are plenty of environmental hazards to threaten our existence – air pollution, seas full of plastics, deficit of clean drinking water and many more. It is a pity that all attention and money goes to CO2.
Lisa I found a like mind in you: there is not a single sentence in what you wrote that I would disagree with, I am aware of the science that you mention in your point 1. Although I mentioned Sun as the principal climate influencer, this is more intuitive than scientifically proven. But the life on Earth would probably have never happened if the Sun was not such a mild star and if the Earth did not have a magnetic field to deflect the remaining radiation of this mild star. If Sun were to turn ugly and overwhelm the Van Allen belts, all life on the planet would quickly turn to ashes. Is it then hard to deduce that Sun is also the driving factor of climate on this planet?
I wrote another comment that disappeared which made the same point that the amount of CO2 is at the historical minimum because the plants have almost starved themselves of CO2 by photosynthesis. Importantly, the photosynthesis becomes more efficient at higher CO2 concentrations than current. Unfortunately, we are clearing the forests too fast, so this effect may not get much chance to play out.
I have never reached the level of theoretical physicists, but I believe that they are the scientific idealists worth respect – they also need grants but they are not the scientific prostitutes I described below.
I also wanted to write a summary of the real environmental problems that the AGW priesthood is diverting money from, thank you for doing yours.
You have great friends Lisa and thank you for your worthwhile contribution to this debate.
Kisa, I could not agree with you more. Thank you.
Thanks for the thoughtful reply. There is no doubt that the earth is a very complex system, and there are natural causes to climate variation. I’m no scientist, but I have heard that ice ages cycle in and out every 10,000 yrs. An ice age would obviously not be very good for humanity. I’ve never been to Australia, but I can tell you here in the USA it’s been warming during my lifetime, which I realize is a nanosecond in geologic time (I’m 61yrs old). From what I’ve heard, the northern hemisphere is definitely warming, and both poles are melting. Maybe Australia is getting colder from the melting in Antarctica. The Northwest Passage is now open to shipping. The climate models (for which I have some healthy skepticism) show that more extreme weather will be coming, and we have seen that in my lifetime here in the USA. Where I live (rural eastern Arizona), we have had a major drought. In the Western USA in general, we have seen huge die-offs of forested areas. Some of that may have been due to mismanagement (fighting small fires for 100 yrs, and cattle grazing). I have also seen that the oceans coral reefs are dying, and have talked with military divers who confirm it. A disruption of the ocean’s ecosystems (and the associated oxygen generators and food chains) can’t be good.
At some point I think we may have to set aside the cause and effect argument, and attempt the task of geo-engineering. Many argue that it would be dangerous, but if our food chains are disrupted with a population of 7 billion, mayhem will no doubt be the result. As for nuclear energy, I’ve seen on other comment threads the discussion of Thorium nukes, and them being safe. If that’s true, it may be a part of the solution. I think green technology development would be a plus, even outside of the global warming argument.
If the CO2 and atmospheric methane increases continue, and the models are right, I think we need to try to counter it somehow. Again I’m no scientist, but using human resources to attempt that, rather than just building more bombs, would be good for mankind’s future.
Thanks for a nice comments Skip, I understand your PoV better now. We do agree that the climate is changing and that the NW Ocean Passage has already opened up (I called it the Northern Russia). Regarding the more extreme weather – nobody really knows, but suffice that nine billion people are like ants covering a globe and no natural disaster can happen any more without a major human impact. This is probably the main reason for the insurance rate increases. All other effects you mention could be due to climate change or due to other causes (for example acidic rain etc).
But I am very sceptical of the geo-engineering as a cure. Scientists can make huge blunders when they start playing with really important things. In Australia, there is a famous case of the cane toads which the most respected national science organisation CSIRO introduced from, I believe, Brazil to Australia to fight insects eating sugar cane. Instead, the toads refused to eat the insects and when eaten by the wild-life poisoned millions of domestic and wild animals and the human food chain. On top, the toads climbed on young sugar cane plants and devastated the sugar cane fields that they were supposed to protect. Total environmental and economic disaster. In science, we are still like children playing with matches – we have no firm idea what we are doing.
Also, please note what Lisa says above: when the tide has turned, [oftentimes] there is no way of moving it backwards by some trivial attempts to influence the CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Logically, if we are really not causing the climate change, then how could we think that we could try to reverse its effects? Manage maybe, reverse not.
But there is no clear proof yet that climate change has caused significant damage overall. Some areas of the planet may even be doing economically better than before (e.g., the new NW passage between Asia and Europe).
In other words, “we have to do something” does not appear to have ever been the right approach.
This whole debate has one very good side – that it raises our awareness of the importance to care about the environment. Whether this makes enough difference to the planet remains to be seen.
As for extreme weather events, here in the USA tornados are forming in January. They were always a springtime phenomena. They’re getting bigger and there’s more of them too. No doubt the weather channel hypes everything to the nth degree for ratings purposes, but it really is happening. If sea levels rise to the point they predict (again if), major coastal cities will be flooded. It’s already beginning to happen in Florida.
As for geo-engineering, I’d be leery of anything like sowing the clouds with reflective particles, but I can’t see how planting a lot of trees where we’re now growing corn for cows would hurt. And I think we need to pursue electrolysis of ocean water because we are mining our ground water out of existence to feed agriculture. Many of these type projects would no doubt be reasonably safe, at least a whole lot safer than our obsession with making and dropping bombs.
The earth has it’s cycles of its own nature of Global Warming and Global Cooling. We just don’t live long enough to witness it complete one full cycle to the next.
My question is to people like Al Gore and all of our current and former elected leaders.
They cannot go asking for $600 billion dollars to do more Global Warming researches without first ending the Petro Dollar with the Saudis and other Middle Eastern Countries. Why’s that? If they just end our full dependency on oil and go 100% solar first that would be a start, right? Yet again the same people who are asking for this money are mostly the same people who can end our dependency on foreign oil. If we went all solar wouldn’t that help your beliefs that it would slow down Global Warming?
The elites will never agree with ending the Petro Dollar because this has a lot to do with wars, remember Iraq oil for Euros instead? Sadaam killed and not only the Petro Dollar was put in place but it also made it one step closer to the One World Currency Ideation for the Rothschild Private Central international Banks and their 1% Club.
Gadhaffi wanted Gold for oil, same thing has happened there.
If they are willing to go create wars for the Petro Dollar then we will forever turn a bling eye to yet another story about the Saudis excecuted another man for insulting their prophet Muhammad..
End the Petro Dollar ?, Stop being dependent and enslaved to foreign oil, start going more solar before them asking for hundreds of billions of dollars to do researches on what I believe is truly a waste of time and money.
You and David Smith both seem to have reading-comprehension issues. How about addressing what Kisa actually wrote rather than some strawman you created yourselves.
Kiza repeats Fartland Institute talking points and Fartland Institute talking points are lies. Therefore Kiza is intellectually unfit to participate in the discussion.
Considering the big interests lined up behind the Anthropological Global Warming lie I am rather positive that Trump will flip on that one too, not to worry Mr Pillar. It is just the usual luck of the left that the Green Oligarchy of the World found them to be the stupid little foot soldiers of that profit center.
Trump always follows the power and power is behind AGW.
Kiza, you are 100% wrong, so try again. Hint: avoid use of Fartland Institute talking points.
I have no idea what you are referring to and I am not interested to find out. We can politely agree to disagree on this one.
Kiza, sticking your head in the hole of denial cannot change the fact you are 100% wrong. I do sympathize with your fear, I too am very frightened.
I look back over our long string of leaders and government in the U.S. as a chocolate sundae being prepared, and the Trump Adminstration as being the cherry on top. Seriously Trump didn’t finally come along, and become the first president to give big business a seat at the table. In fact I think each Cabinet post chair has a corporate name attached to it, and no president dare switch those names out. I mean the GMO food business has been around longer than the age of many of America’s voters. I read where JFK had become greatly concerned over the planets ecology after reading Rachel Carson. I’m 67 and I can remember as a child hearing the grown ups talk about air and water pollution. Let’s be real, think what you want but Donald Trump isn’t a cause as much as he is a result. The best we the people can do is become active, and call your representatives to let them know where you stand. I wish I had better to advice, but I don’t, I am you.
Thank you Joe, for pointing out the fact that ecology and discussions have been going on for years. I was in 10th grade for the first Earth Day back in 1970 and the public schools had a ‘teach in’ with various talks and presentations that needed attending to be considered in school. Everything discussed at the talks I attended have come to fruition at a greatly accelerated time frame than first proposed. Nixon was in the White House and signed the legislation for the EPA and various other items that saved the bald eagle, alligators, and ushered in cleaner air and autos. Now 47 years later we are going backwards!!! What happened? Did the public schools stop teaching ecology and conservation? Even after it’s been shown that Exxon was well aware of global warming from burning fossil fuels there are imbeciles in positions in power that want to continue down the dark path toward extinction. A convergence of the three greatest threats to a planet that can support life: Nuclear war, global poisoning, global warming, in that order, are poised to threaten extinction. An epitaph to a species: Humans; the hubristic, short sighted, warring, greedy, clever apes.
Having read many of your comments Ol’ Hippy I am happy you agree with me.
Growing up in Pittsburgh back in the 50’s and 60’s we use to watch on Saturday night the dark sky turn purple with a orange ring halo around it over the skies of Southside and Homestead, and back then we all thought how crazy and cool it was. We would paint cars in a garage with the windows shut, and we didn’t wear no stink’n respirators…we were real men. Then one by one there were those around us who were becoming ill, and the reason for the illness was staring us in the face all the time. It is truly amazing that with what we know now that we have people in corporate positions who deny us the right to have clean air, water, and land. I guess the rich corporate mega-executive has their own air, water, and land…I guess. Think of the bottled water sales, and that’s all you need to know about their mindset. Take care Ol’ Hippy you are a great value to this site’s comment board. Joe
We are in a post-rational society where fantasies replace anything resembling reality. You can teach science (often taught badly) but it will go in one ear and out the other if the rest of the culture is about fantasy, massive delusions, advertising, mind-control techniques and so on. Reason has no place in our society at least in public matters. If a policy makes sense it cannot be adopted at this point in our history.
Although I quibble with the idea that there is a whole lot of investigative reporting here ( mostly opinion pieces ) I can point to some of the articles concerning Ukraine and RT as significantly increasing my base knowledge in those areas. Thank you very much. I know CN operates on a very limited budget, so it’s amazing what you have and can do. My monetary contribution can’t really do justice to what you deserve, but there it is. Onward towards truth and justice!