I had thought the furor was over, that those who held ultramontane views about climatologists like James “Lock me up!” Hansen (see below the fold) had given up and gone home, the state of the world being so pleasantly clement and so on. But no. Many remain screwed up into tight little balls of pure fret.
Take poor Alec Loorz, who is nigh eighteen years upon this globe and who, so the Atlantic informs, became a climate activist at age 12 after watching An Inconvenient Truth twice in one evening. Now, I once performed a similar feat when I was that age with Star Wars but as much as I then lusted after a light sabre, I did not delude myself into thinking I was a Jedi Knight. Full disclosure: I still pine for a light sabre.
Poor Loorz is thoroughly American. Not only did he become an “activist,” he turned to that most modern of paths, the Way of the Lawsuit. So dedicated an adept is he that he managed to wangle four other “juvenile plaintiffs” to sue the “federal government in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.”
Incidentally, I say “poor Loorz” because I hate to pick on a kid and because, so the magazine says, poor Loorz has been “diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder” and it is not clear how much this malady drives his activism.
The five children “are demanding that the U.S. government start reducing national emissions of carbon dioxide by at least six percent per year beginning in 2013.” You will be interested in the name of the suit: Alec L. et. al vs. Lisa P. Jackson, et. al. The later named individual is the power-grubbing head of the EPA. It must have come as a pleasant shock to her to be sued to do what she most earnestly wants.
Skip all the legal mumbo jumbo and focus on what is tangible: the reduction of CO2 by six percent each year. Supposing the lawsuit wins (it won’t), we would have to find a way to measure precisely how much CO2 is emitted before we can know if the decrease from one year to the next is six percent. This being strictly impossible, we would have to resort to bureaucratic definitions of “emit” and “reduce” and of even what “CO2” means.
This tool, if in the hand of a progressive government, would dwarf the fear factor of the IRS by three orders of magnitude. Think of the indulgences given to “minority owned” and “union staffed” businesses (as in Obamacare). Think of a weaselly EPA “investigator” sniffing around your home with his “greenhouse gas” detector, issuing non-disputable citations for “leakage.”
Somebody needs to tell poor Loorz that the Way of the Lawsuit is a one-way path to hell.
But poor Loorz is not entirely culpable. We can put some of the blame of folks like James Hansen, who peeked out of his cell yesterday to issue yet another conditional threat which promised (again) that end is near.
A “conditional” threat is one which says, “If we don’t do X, then the end shall come.” X can be anything the activist earnestly desires, such as X = “reduce CO2 emissions by six percent,” or X = “enable the EPA to tax businesses on emissions,” and on and on. You’re hearing a conditional threat whenever you hear of “tipping points.”
One reason to be suspicious of environmentalist threats is that they are almost always in conditional form, and the X is always reduced to monetary or bureaucratic terms. Conditional threats can be valid, of course, but any physical theory worth its weight should be able to make unconditional predictions.
Hansen’s newest conditional threat is projected at Canada. “If Canada [uses its oil sands], and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate.” Game over! Oh, Hansen also says the future he envisions is “apocalyptic.”
We can say with high confidence that the recent heat waves in Texas and Russia, and the one in Europe in 2003, which killed tens of thousands, were not natural events — they were caused by human-induced climate change.
That’s high confidence, brother. That extreme cold weather in Alaska and other parts of the globe this past winter? Also global warming. Say, medium confidence.
Anyway, Canada will indeed use its lucrative and much needed oil sands. And the US of A will do…what exactly? Well, either we take those oils for our own use or we let China buy them. Both of these scenarios see the USA “doing” something. Do these somethings thus negate the conditional apocalyptic prediction?
Come on, Hansen, old boy. Let’s give us a real forecast. Cease these vagaries and put some dates and hard numbers on the doom you see so clearly.