Category Archives: The Other Side

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 civilization; we and go back to living in tents and caves, dying young, and reducing ourselves to a third-world lifestyle. Women will die in childbirth, men will die in battle. Life will return to its natural l 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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Who were you?

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Who were you?

What did you do with the life God gave you?

Were you ready when your time came, or were you taken too soon?

Were you mourned and missed, or are you gone and forgotten?

Who were you?

Tax Facts

  • The top 1% pay 38% of Federal Income taxes
  • The top 5% pay 59% of the taxes and make 30% of the income
  • The top 10% pay 70% of the taxes
  • The top 25% pay 86% of the taxes
  • The top 50% pay 97% of the taxes
  • The bottom 47% of taxpayers pay no Federal Income Tax.
  • About half of them get money back from the Government – a “refund” on taxes they did not pay.
  • 70% of donations to charities come from 10% of taxpayers (Indiana + Syracuse University study)

Source

A Sacred Cow Dies

Southeast Christian is not our home church, but we have a long-standing tradition of going there every Good Friday. They hold a candlelit service that we have enjoyed attending every year.

When we showed up there earlier today, we were surprised at the traffic, both vehicular and human. But that was nothing compared to the surprise that awaited us in the sanctuary. Instead of a quiet, dimly-lit, reflective atmosphere, we were confronted by bright lights, loud music, and no seats to be had on the ground floor. We ended up – and I do mean up – in the balcony, so far off to one side that we were looking at the backs of the heads of the band.

I am not here to critique the music or the preaching. Everything that SECC does reflects high values of quality and production.

Judging by the size of the crowd – easily double over the previous year – this is what folks want. But I am not “folks”; I came to take time away from the cares of this world and seek a time of quiet reflection, and stumbled into a rock concert. As a result, I left feeling unsettled and shortchanged.

To quote Timon the Meerkat: “Did I miss something?” Am I turning into a crusty old geezer? Are they supplying the needs of the spirit, or are they merely “giving the crowd what they want” and tickling itching ears?

I leave that for you, dear reader, to decide.

But I will be going somewhere else next year.

Methotrexate: The other side of the story

I recently saw a couple of stories (here and here) that piqued my interest. They both dealt with shortages of a drug called Methotrexate. Wanting to know more, I spoke to a friend who happens to be a pharmacist. Here is what I learned.

  • Methotrexate is a fifty-year-old chemotherapy drug that is still used to treat certain types of cancers, such as ALL
  • The patent has long since expired and it is cheaply available as a generic – a single dose costs about $1.58.
  • It is possible to source Methotrexate from overseas, but there are justifiable concerns about quality control
  • It is possible to source Methotrexate on the black market – a $15 bottle costs $85.

Why is there a shortage of this drug? Because the pharmaceutical companies in the US have stopped making it.

Why have they stopped making it? Because it is no longer profitable for them to do so.

Why is it no longer profitable? Because the government expects to purchase their supply below cost.

In most cases, this is not a problem; the private market pays a higher rate that makes the drug profitable. But since the vast majority of the Methotrexate consumed in the US is by Medicare and Medicaid, there is not enough money on the table to make it cost-effective to produce the stuff.

So there you have it. The Government has decided on how much they are willing to pay for Methotrexate, and the suppliers say that they cannot produce it at that cost while making enough profit to make it worth their while.

Amazingly, the commonest solution that I have heard is that we must somehow force the companies to supply Methotrexate at the desired price. And yet, if you ask people if they are willing to go to work for nothing, they will look at you as if you were insane. But what they are asking for is pretty much the same thing.

This is where Keynesian economics falls flat on its face – the government can mandate whatever price it wants, but the one thing it cannot do – at least for long – is to force a business to sell a product to them at a loss. And that appears to be what has happened here.

Sadly, the press is not reporting this side of the story; they ‘re too busy telling us about the eeeevil pharmaceutical companies, and showing us pictures of cute bald children suffering from leukemia.

Did I miss something?