Saturday, June 23, 2007

Fears of Global Climate Change, Past and Present


There are ominous signs that the earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically...
[T]hese changes may portend a drastic drop in food production...
The drop in food production could begin quite soon, perhaps only ten years from now.
The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard pressed to keep up with it.
"A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale," warns a report by the National Academy of Sciences.
"The world's food producing system," warns Dr. James D. McQuigg of NOAA's Center for Climatic and Environmental Assessment, "is much more sensitive to the weather variable than it was even five years ago."
This was written in 1975 in a Newsweek piece heralding the new consensus among scientists over an impending disastrous climatic change.

What was the feared climatic change? Global cooling.

Okay, so they got it wrong back then. But a commentator today is truly afraid of global climate change. However, his fear is not of global warming (or cooling), but of the destruction of our liberty and prosperity that will ensue in an attempt to end it. That person is Vaclav Klaus, the President of the Czech Republic. Here are a few selected quotes from his recent editorial and interview in the Financial Times.

The environmentalists ask for immediate political action because they do not believe in the long-term positive impact of economic growth and ignore both the technological progress that future generations will undoubtedly enjoy, and the proven fact that the higher the wealth of society, the higher is the quality of the environment. They are Malthusian pessimists.
The global warming propaganda is, I agree, similar to the Avian flu propaganda, the Y2K propaganda, the end of resources propaganda, the overpopulation propaganda, etc

There are huge material (very pecuniary) and even bigger psychological incentives for politicians and their bureaucratic fellow-travellers to support environmentalism. It gives them power.

Read both pieces. It is worth it. It takes only one person of courage to change the world. Dissidents such as Klaus who opposed the Soviet domination of their country (from 1945-1989) were such people. They are such people today.

Continue to speak out, President Klaus.


Anonymous said...

Gailelo would have looked at the science (as known in his time) and considered the facts. This is what the creators of this ill informed website should be doing. Look at weather / temperature records in your own part of the world if you doubt global warming / climate change. Compare temperatures / climate today with those 50 years ago. Any one can do this - school children are doing it around the world!! when you see the changes for yourself then argue against global warming / climate change - or stop this nonsense and close down this website !!

Galileo Blogs said...

It is only Church leaders who would demand that free speech be silenced. Truth is never afraid of inquiry and debate. If your ideas are right, reasoned debate will prove it.

It is quite telling that you demand I close down this website.

"Galileo" will never close down this website or alter his speech because of threats like yours.

Burgess Laughlin said...

Anonymous said...
"Gailelo would have looked at the science (as known in his time) and considered the facts.[...] Look at weather / temperature records in your own part of the world if you doubt global warming / climate change."

The statement above is very puzzling. If I want to find out about global climate (which is an average of various weather conditions over a period of one human generation or more), why would I want to look at the temperature records of one part of the world?

Drawing a conclusion about the whole from merely one part is unscientific in method fundamentally because it is illogical -- the fallacy of hasty generalization, for example.

Speaking of Galileo, I should note that as an adult he pursued a special independent study of logic to make sure he wasn't commiting errors in his arguments. (See William A. Wallace, Galileo and His Sources: The Heritage of the Collegio Romano in Galileo's Science, Ch. 1, espec. secs. 1 and 2, as well as pp. 337-338.)

Inspector said...


Your anonymous poster would like us to assume that the temperature change record, the one that "school children... around the world" can see, supports his position.

But even a school child could actually look it up and see that it does not in fact support his position at all.

Surely, he is relying on the assumption that we are easily intimidated and will fall for his bluff.

Well, I just called it.

Galileo Blogs said...

Yes, and he is relying on the passivity, laziness and/or lack of curiosity of most people who are unwilling to examine the evidence for themselves.

Most people never consider that what they read in the newspapers, magazines and watch on Oprah may not be true. These are the same people who praise their children when they come home from school showing the latest "Save the Planet" project they completed in "science" class.

Of course, such people do not move the world. They are the "social ballast" that Ayn Rand describes. However, the weight of such ballast constitutes massive inertia that takes much effort to overcome.