Hop-on or Hop-off the Climate Change Bus!

Sometimes the best way to help people accept differences of opinion is to use an analogy that everyone can understand and possibly agree with.

Since Climate Change is one of these divisive issues, let’s pretend it is two Hop-On Hop-Off Buses on different routes and look at the stops each has made to get to today.

(An afterthought: it has been pointed out to me (in the comments below) that this post has a derisive slant and that it is highly unlikely that the varying schools of thought will agree on much of anything. I agree completely that I present politicians, mass media, alarmists and extremists in an unfavourable light. I apologize in advance if I offend you, but I’m not going to rewrite the post, so let the chips fall where they may.)

Bus One, Stop 1, in modern times, was at a location called Global Cooling.  Global average temperatures cooled by about 0.2°C after 1940 and remained low until 1975. It is believed this was caused by a rise in aerosols in the atmosphere released by industry and a number of volcanic eruptions.

Bus One, Stop 2 was at a location called Global Warming.  That was the first place many people, scientists for sure, boarded. There is general agreement that the Earth’s surface temperature has risen by .8 degrees Celsius or 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880. Scientists believe global warming has been caused by both human activities (such as the burning of fossil fuels and the clearing of forests) and natural causes.

Bus One, Stop 3 is at the location called Climate Change (the scientific version), which can be changes in Long-term averages of daily weather and/or Short and long term change caused by El Niño (the warm phase of ENSO); La Niña (the cold phase of ENSO); volcanic eruptions; solar radiation; earth’s orbital changes; continental drift; seasonal changes; and arctic oscillation.

Bus Two, Stop 1 is a bus that was called into service by people who didn’t think Bus One went far enough or fast enough. This bus stop is called Climate Change  (the political version) and now Climate Emergency. It is a popular boarding place for politicians and the mass media. Their goal is to create fear in the general population, stop the use of fossil-fuels and facilitate the redistribution of wealth.

Fear mongering is the deliberate use of fear based tactics including exaggeration and continuous repetition to alter the perception of the public in order to achieve a desired outcome.
– Wikipedia –

Bus Two, Stop 2 is at a location called Severe Weather Events. This is where  people board if they have been led to believe that weather is the same thing as climate and that storms, fires, hurricanes, floods, cold weather, hot weather, rain, and drought are all caused by Climate Change.

Sadly, this is also the Stop of Deception for two reasons: Weather isn’t Climate and Climate Change hasn’t, so far, caused extreme weather events.

Good weather, bad weather – these are the conditions of the atmosphere  over a short period of time – minutes to months. They are not Climate, which is how the atmosphere has behaved over relatively long periods of time – 30 years or more.

If you have unlimited time and patience, read the recently released IPCC -SR15  Chapter 3 Impacts, (the observed sections) which state that most of the actual ‘observed changes’ of floods, hurricanes, monsoons, etc were “non-statistically significant”.  In other words, extreme weather events cannot yet be linked to Climate Change.

Pragmatic Environmentalists will happily verify this. They produce data, charts and graphs that show that today’s extreme weather event is usually not so extreme if you look at historical records.

Bus Two, Stop 3 is popular with Climate Alarmists or Extremists – people who believe Climate Change is an existential threat (a threat to human existence that could cause human extinction or permanently and drastically curtail humanity’s potential). These people sometimes demonize opinions or facts that are contrary to their beliefs and some have suggested that ‘Climate Deniers’ should lose their jobs, go to prison, or be killed.

Bus One, Stop 4 is home base for Climate Realists. They are skeptical of some of the claims made by government, mass media, alarmists and extremists. They believe Climate Science is rapidly changing and that humans will figure out ways to both respond to and adapt to Climate Change in a strategic, thoughtful and fact based manner that doesn’t denigrate or demonize anyone.

To be clear, no particular absolute global temperature provides a risk to society, it is the change in temperature compared to what we’ve been used to that matters.
– Real Climate.org –

Last but not least – think about the vast difference between the climate of the Middle East and the climate of Canada. People are extremely adaptable… and think about a wider range of solutions than those presented by a single special interest group.

Interesting further Reading: Politics Disguised as Science: When to Doubt a Scientific ‘Consensus’

What Say You – are you on Bus One, Bus Two or do you hop-on and hop-off both of them?

Rethinking Nuclear Power

Here is an interesting story by Michael Schellenberger. He explains his transformation from being anti-Nuclear to pro-Nuclear energy generation.

Is nuclear power as dangerous as we’ve been led to believe?

How do the dangers of nuclear energy compare to the dangers of fossil fuel energy? A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that some 50,000-100,000 Americans die each year from lung cancer caused by particulate air pollution, the biggest cause of which is coal-burning power plants in the midwest and east. Even taking the maximum predicted death toll from Chernobyl, we would need a Chernobyl-sized accident every three weeks to make nuclear power as deadly as coal and oil already is.
Brian Dunning

Did you know that nuclear power could be one of the biggest, cleanest energy providers?

…we’ve been trying to do solar for a long time and yet we get less than a half of a percent of our electricity globally from solar, about two percent from wind, and the majority of our clean energy comes from nuclear and hydro.

And according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, nuclear produces four times less carbon emissions than solar does. That’s why they recommended in their recent report the more intensive use of renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage.

It’s time that those of us who appointed ourselves Earth’s guardians should take a second look at the science & start questioning the impacts of our actions Now that we know that renewables can’t save the planet, are we really going to stand by and let them destroy it?
– Michael Schellenberger –

It Was a Quick Trip Home

The best laid plans… When we booked our 2 week trip back to Alberta (from our winter abode in Arizona) we were optimistic that the brutal cold would be over by early March. It wasn’t. The last night we were in the chilly north, the wind chill temperature was -40C (-40F.)

Is wind chill something that the weather man warns you about where you live? Did you know there is a rather complicated formula for determining wind chill?

There is an equivalent formula for degrees Fahrenheit, of course.

But, we’re still old school. We don’t need a complicated formula. We look out the window and use a simple If-Then statement:

If the outdoor thermometer says it is pretty cold and the snow is drifting across the back yard and the visible chimney smoke is not going straight up then the wind chill will be greater than the temperature on the thermometer.

So yes, it was cold out. Of course we are hardy Canucks with over six decades of Alberta winters under our belts. We hauled out the really warm clothing and released The Car Guy’s truck from the garage. We were good to go.

Unfortunately, our house was not quite good to go. We live on an acreage, with our own water and septic systems. Water in – water out is our responsibility. The extreme cold, unfortunately, froze the ‘water out’ system. We hadn’t even unpacked our bags before we discovered this problem. We quickly shut down the ‘water in’ system and booked a ‘discovery meeting’ with the plumber for the next day. When ‘nature started to call’ … urgently… and the extreme cold removed the possibility that I was going to squat outside in the snow, we packed up and headed to a motel for the night. (And the next five nights…)

After several thawing attempts by the plumbers, it was decided that the most cost effective course of action for us was to let Mother Nature thaw the system in the spring, and for us to cut our visit down to 6 busy days.

Besides visits with family, we attended a High School performance of  the musical ‘Chicago’. Actually, we went twice. Our Grandson played ‘Amos’ in this production and though I don’t want to brag too much – he was really good! Did I hum along when he was singing Mr. Cellophane? You bet!

Cellophane
Mister Cellophane
Shoulda been my name
Mister Cellophane
‘Cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I’m there…

The rest of the cast was awesome too – such a lot of talent in just one High School. Multiply that by all the rest of the High Schools and all the other disciplines and the young plumbers who advised us on our septic system and the lively youngsters who bounced around the motel dining room at breakfast every morning – well you can’t help but feel optimistic about the future of our Province!