Free Markets, Free People

The religion of climate change

Michael Tobias has written what can only be described as an incredibly ignorant column praising Al Gore’s latest “let’s pretend the science is settled” ebook. 

While reading it, I wondered how anyone could have not heard about the mounting controversy about AGW pointing to what seems to be an outright scam and embarrassment to the scientific community.

So I went to Tobias’s bio.  Then it made some sense:

For forty years I’ve been tracking ecological issues as an environmental historian/advocate, field researcher and animal rights/biodiversity conservation activist. I climb mountains, study as many life forms as possible, did my Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness, and am president of the Dancing Star Foundation where we focus on global biodiversity, policy analysis, animal rights and international environmental education.

Or, “Al Gore is advocating doing what I want done and saying what I want said , so screw the science”. 

But to the article:

The former Vice President’s “Inconvenient Truth” undoubtedly helped the planet. From Bangladesh to Argentina; from Texas to Germany I have heard policy makers, lawyers, students, educators and used-car salespersons discussing his well-earned Nobel Peace Prize, and the influence he has wielded. Indeed, Gore need only look at a glacier and it starts to melt (a case in point being the latest Extreme Ice Project that has been computing thousands of time-lapse images to get a better visual handle on just how fast glaciers are disappearing throughout the world).

And while many filmmakers thought of the Gore/David Guggenheim “Inconvenient Truth” as nothing more than an elaborate slide show plus the odd bit of filmic B-roll, it struck a chord like few advocacy films worldwide and has clearly pushed the climate debate in the direction where it should have gone in the first place: towards good science, not muddled politics.

Oh, my.  “… towards good science, not muddled politics”? 

Ye gods … I’d make an off-color reference here to his gushing tone, but we’re a family friendly blog.  However,  when you see articles like this, you have to ask where in the world has this guy been?  Has he kept up at all?  The refutations of almost all of Al Gore’s premises – I won’t dignify them with the word “theory” – have shown them to be mostly bunkum.  

To be kind, you’d  like to believe that Tobias is simply a victim of confirmation bias.  That he’s finally found someone who is, at least partially, “confirming” what he’s been saying for years.  But as you read the gushing review, it seems more like a religious tract – faith that his guru is infallible.  How else do you analyze such nonsense? 

Apparently, according to Tobias, Gore’s only sin was to leave a few things out of his new ebook:

Biodiversity, non-violence, animal rights, veganism – these are largely absent from the “30 summit”-based equations, and they are among the most crucial components needing to be addressed. Indeed, many ecologists see climate change as one of many sub-sets of the greater issues that include biodiversity loss, animal suffering, and habitat fragmentation. Gore does address the human population crisis which is, ultimately, the number one driver of all other human-induced crises.

I have to tell you that when I run into the term “animal rights” I usually write the person off using the phrase as, well, a bit of a loon.  Sorry, but that’s just the case.  When every you use such a term, it is blazingly obvious that you have no idea about the concept of rights and why they’re so important to human beings. And because of that, you lose any credibility as a serious person of intellect in my eyes.

Finally, and in keeping with everything that Tobias says in the article, he recommends the following article:  “5 Million Deaths From Climate Change Predicted By 2020”.

Well of course they are, because if they weren’t, how could we scare people into paying attention to our religion and buying into our solutions?

Oh, by the way, the article is published in Forbes.   When you see things like this, it makes you wonder what has happened to what used to be a fairly good news and information source.


Twitter: @McQandO


41 Responses to The religion of climate change

  • He had me at…”did my Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness”.
    Just another Collectivist Malthusian witch-doctor.

    • You beat me to it.  When I saw “PhD in History of Consciousness”, I blurted aloud, “WHAT THE F*CK???”

      With regard to a post a day or two ago about a “bubble” in higher education, here’s another reason why some people are starting to think that college is overrated: jebus, you can get a friggin’ PhD in ANYTHING.

      Gore does address the human population crisis which is, ultimately, the number one driver of all other human-induced crises.

      Oh, good grief!  Are the greenies STILL flogging the “population bomb” theory???  Gotta give ’em credit, though: they don’t give up.

    • Is there really a difference between a degree in the “History of Consciousness” and “basketweaving” (other than basketweaving can allow  you to earn money in any 3rd World country) ?

  • ” History of Consciousness,”
    Uh, yeah, sounds like a ‘hard’ science kinda guy then.
    Gotta admit, with the other two, that was as far as I read – well, not true, I read on till I hit ‘dancing Star’.  THEN I stopped.

    • You know, for all the dozens of episodes of the variants of Star Trek, not once have I ever heard the Captain ask that a History of Consciousness expert be added to an away-team, which prompts the question … is University of California, Santa Cruz the only school that offers such a degree ?  Wikipedia indicates that the degree program was slipped in without the knowledge of the school’s Chancellor, a real good sign that the world was clamoring for such a program.

      • Right up there with “Klingon Translator”.
        History of Consciousness –
        Police Officer  – “so, do you remember how you got in the tree…naked?”
        Naked man – “No, officer, honestly, we were drinking mojito’s and I probably had, maybe 3?  I was dressed!  The next thing I know, you’re shining a flashlight in my eyes and asking me questions!  Honestly!”
        Police Officer – “uh huh…I need for you to come down out of the tree sir”
        Naked man – “uh, yeah….uh….where AM I?”

        • “Klingon Translator” … don’t laugh.  There are now more people who can speak Klingon than can speak Esperanto.

          • I’m not, there was a state a while back that was actively looking to get one in case a whackjob who claimed to be Klingon came in and “needed a translator”.
            It’s things like this that bring out the totalitarian in me.

          • looker, I just look at things like that as proof that the “He needed killin’!” defense is both valid and necessary.

    • more like hard drug science

  • Animal rights- hey, I believe they have the same rights that nature gives them and us.  The right to live, procreate and otherwise hob nob with the environment until the environment arranges for them to die.
    Do these animal ‘rights’ people understand nature at all?  Nature truly is an uncaring bitch, I can see it standing in my backyard watching a rabbit dine on my flat leaf parsley, and a hawk dine on the parsley fed rabbit.

  • If you are a Forbes regular, you would instantly know that this type of feature is not uncommon. They often hire, and sometimes feature, prominent people who could be charitably described as oddballs. There’s nothing wrong with becoming familiar with how the other side thinks.
    As to “animal rights”, it’s another manifestation of Alinksy rules. Most people don’t have a philosophical education in the source of rights. Like the air they breathe, it’s just something that is. And you have to acknowledge that the concept of the source of rights was defined by in western religion and philosophy. Is it any surprise that the left wants to grant “rights” to animals, vegetables and minerals? That’s the worry. If “rights” become something that is granted, rather than being something that is inherent, they can be circumscribed or even taken away. Logically, the people who have PHDs are the most qualified to make those hard choices.

    • True, but not enough.  The “rights” industry provides people with what I would call “force multipliers”.  Some individual human is going to get the franchise on being the spokes-hole for whatever thing is imbued with “rights”.
      As if one knows what the wolf wants…I mean, beside the parsley-fed rabbits noted above.
      Hence, you have super-empowered humans who PRETEND to speak for the wolf, rabbit, drop of water…whatever…

      • “I’m the Lorax, I speak for the trees!”
        You’re just jealous because you mis-spent your youth indulging in fantasy empirical sciencey ways to earn your dough instead of getting in touch with the true consciousness of the dancing stars and speaking for the animals, plants and sea.

        • Hellova gig if you can kiss your integrity good-bye…!!!

          • ‘”kiss your integrity good-bye”
            Bitter experience indicates that’s not a problem for far too many people.  Scientifically speaking, I conclude they are not confronted by a mirror every morning.
            An alternate theory is these people can never miss what they never had.

    • “It has been quite painful.” So much so, that team members call their critics’ work “biased,” “nonsense” and “screwed up.”
      Such intransigence has been seen before in other cases of grand scientific claims. Sometimes those theories were based on data irregularities. Other times, the proponents succumbed to self-delusion. But typically, advocates become so invested in their ideas they can’t publicly acknowledge error.

      History apparently does repeat

  • As an antidote to the insanity, you might care to read this from the FP, written by a guy with 6 PhD’s and who actually worked a decade for Gore’s acolytes:

    • Add to that the recent musings of Alan Carlin, the EPA physics PhD who told the EPA that they were wearing no clothes in regard to AGW.

      From a policy perspective, the paper’s conclusions include the following:
      · The economic benefits of reducing CO2 emissions may be about two orders of magnitude less than those estimated by most economists because the climate sensitivity factor is much lower than assumed by the United Nations because feedback is negative rather than positive and the effects of CO2 emissions reductions on atmospheric CO2 appear to be short rather than long lasting.
      · The costs of CO2 emissions reductions are perhaps an order of magnitude higher than usually estimated because of technological and implementation problems recently identified.
      · CO2 emissions reductions are economically unattractive since the few benefits remaining after the corrections for the above effects are quite unlikely to economically justify the much higher costs unless much lower cost geoengineering is used.
      · The risk of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming appears to be so low that it is not currently worth doing anything to try to control it, including geoengineering.

  • “Gore does address the human population crisis which is, ultimately, the number one driver of all other human-induced crises.”  Actually Al Whore has not addressed the pop crisis as he is still alive.

  • A few years ago I had an online debate with some greenies about their advocacy of cycling, busses and other modes of transport that were not private cars. I contended that policies designed to reduce personal freedom of travel such as increased fuel costs, car-free cities, outrageous parking fees, coupled with non-on-demand travel options such as public transport or impractical transport options such as cycling and walking, were a great threat to their beloved socialist ideals. Basically I maintained that freedom of movement enabled by the automobile has been a great liberator for the masses and turning back that freedom in the name of green idealism was going to lead to greater inequality and hardship for the poor. Of course I was roundly dismissed, but I still firmly believe the contribution of the automobile and the freedom it represents to society is vastly underestimated by greens. But there is a definite underlying contradiction in modern leftwing environmentalism that if enacted as they desired (this Michael Tobias being a textbook case) would not only wipe out the progress of the poorest but plunge us all back into virutal serfdom. Which I suppose is why well-off trust-funders are such fans of the whole idea.

    • Keeps all us low-life proles out of their pretty green forests and flowery fields.

      • Basically yeah, but they don’t see the Enlightened Green Souls such as themselves being the proles of course. They got real pissed when I said that mandating super efficient small cars was a waste of time for reducing traffic, since if it is cheaper to drive the same distance people will choose to drive further as well. I said they should advocate people drive the most gas-guzzling vehicle possible since that would (a) limit the distance they’d travel hence reducing road usage and (b) probably be safer if they chose big-ass cars. They thought I was taking the piss, but really it makes perfect sense.

    • DocDI maintained that freedom of movement enabled by the automobile has been a great liberator for the masses and turning back that freedom in the name of green idealism was going to lead to greater inequality and hardship for the poor.

      Silly rabbit!  Socialism isn’t about freedom; it’s about equality.

      And “hardship” is relative: if life sucks for everybody*, then it doesn’t really suck for anybody, does it?

      / snark

      But your point about the freedom brought to us by the automobile is a very good one.  I wonder if this plays some subtle role in the difference between “urban” and “rural” political view, i.e. people who live in cities and rely to a significant extent on mass transit become accustomed to regimentation in their lives and hence don’t mind more of it, while those who live in the suburbs / rural areas and rely almost entirely on their car are accustomed to a greater level of personal freedom and hence reject efforts to regiment / regulate them.


      (*) Except, of course, socialist leaders who enjoy sending their kids to private schools, traveling first class or in private jets, wearing custom-made suits, living in mansions and luxury hotel suites, etc.  So long as they don’t sleep in beds with sheets, it’s all good, I suppose.

      • Definite rural/urban divide, or even just suburban/urban divide these days. I grew up a country boy and despite years living in cities later I still appreciate the value of a car (any car). True urban dwellers don’t really until one point in life… having kids. I have friends who live in the city and were perfectly happy with walking and subways and didn’t really understand why us suburb or country types insisted on owning at least one car. They occasionally borrowed or bought a temporary cheap car for the summer. Then they got pregnant and insisted that even so, after the summer they’d sell the car for the cash and carry-on. We told them there was no way in hell they would sell the car once the pregnancy progressed. Sure enough as the due date approached the car was not sold. They had finally realized that when it comes to things like rushing a pregnant woman to a doctor/hospital, transporting large quantities of family items and furniture, shuttling an infant around, getting shopping done in less than an hour… then public transport really, really sucks ass. It’s a pity that reality doesn’t smack most greenies upside the head more often.

        • Hopefully this will discourage greenie weenie urban dingbats from reproducing!

    • Yeah that fell on deaf ears. Lefties are no more interested in the proletariat than they are listening to right wing country music.  In fact, they are pleased as punch if the average person cannot go anywhere or do anything unless the government gives them a subsidy.

  • I guess we can expect to see more of this kind of stuff …
    2011 Kia Optima Hybrid – First Drive Review The gas-electric Kia mostly pleases, except for the gas-electric part.

    • Blasphemer!
      Bet you’re clinging to a set of 1971 Oldsmobile 442 keys, a Bible and a gun.  You retro archaic enviro-looter you.
      You’re burning the leaves you rake in your back yard, aren’t you!  Confess!  Confess!

      • Heck I ask the neighbors to dump their leaves into my yard so that I have more to burn! 

        I love the smell of burning carbon in the morning, Smells like prosperity!

        • I sometimes throw a tire in, just for the purty black smoke.
          Ah, yes…the crap I’ve burned…
          Good memories…

        • My local government recently sold out to the EPA for some grant money, so now we can only burn to cook food.

          • That’s not a problem put some weinners on a stick and smoke em above the fire.

            they aren’t bad with mustard and washed down with cold beer.

  • I wonder what his ‘crack’ footprint is?

  • ‘All I know is 34% of people say UFOs are real. If 34% of oncological community said something was causing cancer we’d listen to them’

  • In one of the author’s previous articles from May 15th, 2011:
    “Former “alarmist” scientist says Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) based in false science”
    he quotes some portions of an article by Paul Evans
    that inadvertently explains, in its closing sentence, why we’ve been unsuccessful in our attempts to defeat the Global Warming Hoax.
    Yes, carbon dioxide is a cause of global warming, but it’s so minor it’s not worth doing much about.”
    When Evans says “It’s not worth doing much about” he’s granting the legitimacy of the concept that “Warming” is something to worry about in the first place when it’s not. It’s not worth doing ANYTHING about!
    By not making clear the fact that the only type of climate change that poses a threat to living beings is cooling, everyone who’s speaking up about the AGW hoax, are sending a mixed message to the public and leaving the door open for the climate alarmists to come back at us in the future when it starts warming again. And they will return, probably within a few years after they stop screaming about “Global Cooling” at which time most of us will be dead and buried.
    This nonsense has been going on since time immemorial. For some more information about this aspect of the Climate Change hydra, please see my article at: