Monthly Archives: April 2018

Skeptical

Why I am a Climate Change Skeptic

When I went to college, it was to study Biochemistry and Environmental Sciences. Back in those days, it was understood that we were, geologically speaking, due for an Ice Age “any day now”.

Within ten years, this changed: Over time, “Global Cooling” became “Global Warming”.

More time passed. It soon became apparent that the planet was neither warming nor cooling; some parts of the globe were getting cooler, other parts were getting warmer. So the Scientific Community, presumably in a bid to not sound like idiots, coined the term “Climate Change”, which has the advantage of meaning … whatever you want it to mean (see also “Hope and Change”).

Before we go any further, it must be said that I accept that there is such a thing as Climate Change. Planet Earth is not a static system. As we speak, the force of the Indian Subcontinent driving into the underbelly of Asia is driving the Himalayan mountains ever higher. And the world’s largest island, Australia, is charging around the globe looking for some unsuspecting continent onto which it can disgorge its cargo of Kangaroos, Koala Bears, Duck-Billed Platypuses… and some of the most dangerous and venomous insects in the world. So some places are getting warmer, some are getting cooler.

What I remain unconvinced about is Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC), the idea that humans are single-handedly ruining the planet. I “deny” nothing, but I am skeptical, for a great many reasons. So if you call me a “Climate change denier“, I will call you a “Climate Change Alarmist“. I prefer the terms “Climate Change Believer” and “Climate Change Skeptic/Agnostic“. I appreciate that others will not like these terms, with their religious overtones, but the “Consensus” claims of the Alarmists, along with their eschatological panic, make them look a lot like religious zealots.

So yes, climate change is a thing. No sensible person will dispute that. The salient questions are:

  • Are we causing it?
  • How did we cause it?
  • How can we fix it?

Are we causing Climate Change?

Here are some thoughts on the subject:

  • Two thousand years ago, the Romans grew grapes in London. That no longer happens.
  • Between the 14th and the 19th centuries, Europe experienced a “Little Ice Age”. The river Thames froze over many times. That no longer happens either, and has not happened at all in the last two hundred years.
  • So England was cooling, and warming, for centuries, long before industrialization came along.
  • My utility bill tells me the average temperature during the past month, along with the average temperature for the same month last year. In the vast majority of cases, this year has been colder than last year.

Climate Change Alarmists are convinced that unless we change our ways quickly, bad things will happen. However, they cannot agree on what that change will be. We cannot trust the weatherman to tell us what the weather will be a week from now, but they expect us to believe that they know what the climate will be a thousand years from now.

How did we cause it?

The accepted answer from the Climate Change community is “Greenhouse Gases” There are two major greenhouse gases: CO2 and Methane.

CO2 is emitted by emission from burning fossil fuels and also by plants in sunlight. Fossil fuels, however, are not born equal; they range from clean-burning (in terms of CO2 emissions) Natural Gas, to the relatively “dirty” Coal (in the past thirty years, the percentage of power generated from coal has dropped from 57% to 37% in the U.S.).

Methane is a far worse “greenhouse gas” by a factor of about 30 (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327111724.htm) is found mostly generated mostly by natural seepage. Our main contribution is cow flatulence.

Can we fix it?

If ACC is true, There is only one way that works, and that is de-industrialization on a massive scale; no more motor cars, no more power plants, no more electricity, no more civilization; we and go back to living in tents and caves, dying young, and reducing ourselves to a third-world lifestyle. Women will die from childbirth or iPhone withdrawal, men will die in battle. Life will return to its historically natural state: “Nasty, brutish, and short”. Well sign me up!

Assuming that this is not an option, what else is to be done?

  1. Build Nuclear Power Stations. They don’t emit greenhouse gases. Wind-generated power won’t be enough, and Geothermal power, while a viable future option, isn’t there yet.
  2. Give up eating beef.
  3. Buying a hybrid or electric car won’t help. All this does is move the pollution from the vehicle’s exhaust pipe to a power-plant. See #1
  4. International agreements like the Paris Climate Accords are a farce; China and India refused to sign up, and they are among the world’s biggest polluters. Yet when Donald Trump abandoned the accords, he was savaged by the press. I applaud him. No President should embark on a course of action that puts American businesses at a disadvantage.

Some will say things like “95% of scientists agree that ACC is real. That claim may be true, but should be taken with a grain of salt. What they fail to mention is that 100% of government research funding goes to defining and finding a solution to “The problem of Climate Change”. There is no money to be made in pointing out that the emperor has no clothes. It is impossible to make someone believe something if their paycheck depends on them not believing it.

Climate Change Alarmists’ predictions are inconsistent, and often hysterical.

  • In 2007, Al Gore predicted that the Arctic Polar Ice cap could be gone by 2014 . This has not happened, Not even close.
  • Back in the 1970s, and 1980s, there was much talk about the “Hole in the Ozone Layer”, ostensibly caused by CholoFluoroCarbons — or CFCs for short. As a result, CFCs were banned throughout the industrialized world, though it is still in use elsewhere. Within a decade, the hysteria subsided, and there is currently no evidence that there ever was a hole in the Ozone layer. No explanation or apology has ever been given by those who were spreading all of this panic, except for the “It-is-healing-really-really-fast” theory, which is not science. But we are supposed to trust them this time. This reminds me of the end-times claims given by many religious folks.

Conclusions:

I have yet to be convinced that Anthropogenic Climate Change is real.

For obvious reasons, cutting pollution is a good idea, as long as it does not interfere with progress or economic growth.

The Evidence Is Not Conclusive. Climate change “consensus” is not science.

  • Thirty years ago, eggs were good for you.
  • Twenty years ago, eggs were bad for you.
  • Ten years ago, egg yolks were bad for you, while egg whites were good for you.
  • In these enlightened days, eggs are good for you… again.

So much for “Scientific Consensus”

Next time you hear someone saying “We believe that climate change…” or “I believe in science“, remind them that science is not something that you believe in, it is something that you do. When you “believe” in science, something that many prominent atheists claim, you are actually making science your religion.

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Dreadnought!

Anyone who has spent more than a couple of minutes reading my blog can tell, I like games.

That is not to say that I consider myself a “Gamer”, I have never owned a gaming console of any kind. However, I have been playing computer games since the early 1980s, which, I suppose, makes me something of an expert on the subject.

I recently discovered a rather nice game called Dreadnought.

In it, you get to fly and fight in multiplayer battles over land and in space. with a variety of ship types, including:

  • Corvette: Small, quick and fragile, but packs quite a wallop. A lot of fun to fly, once you have mastered the art of stealthy flying.
  • Tactical Cruiser: Provides support and healing to your team. Often the most-appreciated member of your squad.
  • Destroyer: Jack-of-all-trades. Fairly quick, Heavily-armed, but relatively fragile, and the ideal beginner ship.
  • Artillery Cruiser: Long range sniper, which rains down electric death from afar. Easy to kill, hates Corvettes.
  • Dreadnought: The big one. Heavy, slow, and bristling with offensive and defensive weaponry.

Battles take place in various space and planetary scenarios, and take place between two teams with eight players each.

There are several different types of battle, including:

  • Team Deathmatch: You get points for killing enemies. They get points for killing yours. First team to 100 points or a time limit wins.
  • Onslaught: Protect your Command ship from enemies while trying to take out theirs.
  • Proving Grounds: This is basically Team Deathmatch against AI enemies, with seven other AI NPCs backing you up.

A typical game takes 10-20 minutes. Getting killed is a minor inconvenience; you are back in the game in less than thirty seconds, and have the option of changing ships during your short hiatus.

The nice thing about this game is that is free to play, but shelling out some shekels will give you some neat stuff, but won’t make the game too easy to win, which is a problem with certain games I could mention.

Check out the video. If you like what you see, I’ll see you on the battlefield.