Well isn’t that nice? Someone in Alberta is having conversations about climate change that bring together differing viewpoints and … massage them into the alarmist “consensus.” Then they go outside and it’s freezing cold.
I know, I know, when we point out that Calgary just had its coldest February since 1936 and Banff its coldest ever they pat us on the head and say warming isn’t about warming. It’s about whatever bad stuff just happened, doubtless caused by wretched humans. Then they explain that it’s not “global warming,” it’s “climate change,” cite some imaginary increase in floods and send us to a psychiatrist.
Do I sound paranoid? Well, a January Psychology Today piece about helping us overcome climate “denial” said despite rock-solid science “we are the victims of a well-funded and sophisticated misinformation campaign that attempts to keep us in the dark about climate change.” Which frankly sounds paranoid to me. But then I’m not a psychologist.
Nor am I a scientist. But since they weren’t either, and Al Gore isn’t, and Elizabeth May isn’t, and Will Happer is, let’s avoid low blows and debate the issues.
It’s getting harder. Last month, reports Quartz, a “guide to the new global economy for people excited by change” (ugh), “philosopher and psychoanalyst Donna Orange, an adjunct professor at NYU,” spoke on “climate justice and psychotherapeutics” to the American Psychoanalytic Association, urging therapists to address “not just the demons of a patient’s subconscious, but the horrors of climate change.” (Which is apparently difficult because of “the colonialist past we all share.”)
In a slightly less excitable November 2018 TED talk, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe dismissed questions about solar activity or natural cycles as “sciencey-sounding smoke screens … designed to hide the real reason for our objections, which have nothing to do with the science and everything to do with our ideology and our identity.” Oh dear. I am a mess. Unlike those who cling to a theory that ignores or twists evidence because they possess the secret truth.
For instance, they call 2018 the “fourth hottest year ever,” “ever” here meaning “very recently.” But they don’t say it was cooler than 2017, which was cooler than 2016, which the models can’t explain since atmospheric CO2 kept rising, or that in the U.S., with the best current and historical temperature records, it was only the 14th hottest. Suspicious.
The reason some of us are skeptical about man-made global warming, or climate change, isn’t that we’re in “denial” or the pay of Big Oil. It’s the alarmists’ long run of lurid failed predictions. The models “run hot.” Arctic ice hasn’t vanished. The coral hasn’t died. We haven’t been overrun by rats and super-itchy poison ivy.
Back in 1988, NASA’s James Hansen famously assured a U.S. Senate committee “we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause-and-effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and observed warming.” So where’s the warming 30 years later? Oh, um, it sank into the ocean. Where several supportive papers just got in hot water for sloppy methodology.
Speaking of paranoid, CNN recently explained the switch from “global warming” to “climate change” as a 2002 Republican plot. Evidently a remarkably vast right-wing conspiracy since it includes countless leftists patronizingly correcting, or psychoanalyzing, anyone who talks about warming while assuring us that later, far too late to check before chucking our economy into the green bin, we will find it was about warming after all.
Which is why I don’t need a psychiatrist, or a state-funded communications exercise by Pembina and Climate Outreach. I need evidence. Not made-up stuff about “entire nations” washed away by 2000 or forest fires wiping out communities “at a blistering pace.” I need a prediction.
I don’t care if it’s next winter will be warm and dry or cold and snowy. Or more hurricanes or fewer. But it can’t be both and neither at once. It has to be something I can test. In my lifetime. About the future not the past.
After a warm 2011-12 winter, Maclean’s blared “THE YEAR THAT WINTER DIED … Why we may never have a real Canadian winter again.” In the brutal 2018-19 one, the press told us warming pushes polar vortexes south. What will it be next year? Wait and see. Then they’ll predict it.
Warming could push polar vortexes south. Or cooling could, as claimed in the 1970s. But science predicts. It doesn’t rationalize. And it certainly doesn’t label skepticism mental illness although back in the day, specifically June 22, 1633, it labelled it heresy.
So if you’re tired of condescending nonsense, here’s a place for real conversations: my Climate Discussion Nexus (Climatediscussionnexus.com). We won’t facilitate or psychoanalyze you. Our only taboo is rude ignorance. And the predictions point forward not backward.
Perhaps it sounds crazy. But it just might work.
Reprinted with permission of the National Post. The National Post reserves all rights
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