Al Gore, Church of Global Warming
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in a Crazy Gordon to Al Gore. Already an Oscar winner for his propaganda film “An Inconvenient Truth” Al Gore has walked away with a share in the Peace Prize, perhaps enough money to fund a new bid for the US Presidency. Hillary Clinton, USAF call sign Broomstick, is worried enough to be talking about making Gore “Ambassador to the World” if she becomes President, in the hope that this may deter him from standing against her in the race to the White House.
Gore also won another prize for his film this week, when a British judge ruled that schools could only show the film to students if it was accompanied with a health warning, pointing out the numerous errors and falsehoods it contained, and describing it as a political propaganda film.
Whatever prompted the Nobel Prize committee to award the Peace Prize for global warming propaganda is unclear. There has been some waffle claiming that Gore has staved off future wars over resources. That is not credible because there will always be conflict over resources between nations and racial groups although this form of conflict has been less bitter down the centuries than wars fought over religion and beliefs. As a high priest of the newest and fastest growing religion, Gore may have started on the road to war, rather than contributing to peace.
The Church of Global warming is making a number of claims in its Gospel. The first claim is that climate change is resulting only in rising temperatures. The next claim is that temperatures will rise at a rapidly increasing rate. The next claim is that this temperature rise will result in the melting of the polar ice caps and that this will release such a volume of water that New York will be submerged under 300 ft of it ( a simple home experiment is to place an ice cube in a full glass of water and measure the amount of water displaced. Then take the ice cube, place it in another empty glass and let it melt. Measure the volume of water released by melting and compare it with the water originally displaced by the ice cube when placed in the first glass). Having claimed that most of the land mass will be inundated, the Church of Global Warming then claims that the remaining land will become arid desert (consider what happens when water is heated. It turns to water vapour and creates clouds. Those clouds then release the vapour as rain when they pass over land. If most of the land is flooded, what remains is likely to receive more rain and not become a desert – which requires a lack of rain to become dry). Finally, the Church of Global Warming asserts that the sole cause of this process is man-made pollution from cars and aircraft. The claim is then made that if a new commodity exchange is set up to allow polluters to trade in pollution ‘futures’ together with a ban on air travel and 4×4 vehicles, the problem will go away (consider what the situation was in Europe 2,000 years ago when the temperatures were higher than they are today – how many 4×4 vehicles and aircraft were in use during the Roman Empire?).
These claims fly in the face of the real inconvenient truths. The last 10,000 years have seen a period of unusual climate stability. Temperature variation has been measured at a number of locations around the world but there have also been some locations where reducing temperatures have been noted. Some computer models interpret the increases as being common to all parts of the world and forecast that they will now increase at a greater rate each year, but other computer models show a different future from the same base data. It has to be remembered that all computer models include the prejudices of the person, or persons, who created the model. A scientist who wished to demonstrate climate change, leading to global cooling, could build a computer model and populate it with data that would support the hypothesis of Global Cooling. All models will produce different results as the scope of base data changes. Anyone using temperature estimates from the last 20,000 years could produce a computer forecast that temperatures in 100 years will be exactly the same as the average for the last 100 years.
Those scientists who are not trying to prove any preconceived idea, but wish to research what is happening, start by saying that the Earth’s climate is far too complex, and the period for dependable data is too short, to support any of the claims by the Church of Global Warming. That is a fair and honest position but one which does not support any immediate action. By their own admission, this group of scientists expect to be researching the subject for generations. Human nature of course likes to have a scapegoat to blame, a method of sacrificing to the gods, and to see evidence of action now, however misguided.
So the first great question is – Should we leap into action now, just to appear to be doing something, and just in case the worst warnings from the Church of Global Warming might be right?
Then there is the second question – how far should we go in taking action?
If we assume that global warming is taking place, and that it is entirely due to the actions of man, should we attempt to turn the clock back to 1950, 1900, 1500, or perhaps back 150,000 years (which is the current best guestimate of when man appeared for the first time)?
Then we have to ask ourselves who should be affected. Should we apply restriction to everyone equally, in every country? Should we apply restriction unequally, so that the ruling elite and the rich can buy indulgences and continue merrily on their way without any restriction?
So far, the Church of Global Warming has demanded higher taxes and more pollution. The demand for renewable energy is based on a convenient ability to ignore the cost and pollution it represents. The basis of the demand is that renewable energy is free and causes no pollution. That simply is not true.
Visual scale of wind turbines is frequently overlooked. This farm dwarfs the scattered buildings in what was previously an attractive and peaceful rural area. Those living in the area claim that the noise drives them mad and the turbines interfere with radio and television reception. When a single turbine is erected it may become a local landmark. Once a line of them are erected they are seen as a reduction of visual amenity.
Building a wind farm requires the use of a great deal of energy and the consumption of finite resources to build the components, and then requires the use of more finite resources to transport the components and build the wind farm. Once built, the wind farm will require maintenance, which uses more finite resources, until such time as the wind turbines have to be replaced. In addition to the use of finite resources and the creation of new pollution in building and maintaining the wind farm, the most suitable locations are usually some distance from the nearest power consumers. As a result more use of finite resources to transmit the power from the farm to the consumer is required. All of the economic arguments in favour of wind farms conveniently ignore the true costs of building and maintenance, and avoid including the life cycle figures. It is common for Global Warming fundamentalists to claim that a wind turbine will pay for itself in 12 years, ignoing the fact that its working life may be 6 years and, therefore, the quoted costs are less than half of the real costs.
People generally like the idea of saving energy and money, while reducing pollution and saving the planet, provided that the wind farm will not be built next to them. That is not entirely unreasonable because evidence is now emerging that people who live close to wind farms and overhead power cables suffer a range of health problems. Grossly underestimated is the damage caused by noise pollution which makes it difficult to sleep close to a wind farm, and it has been claimed as a contributory factor in mental illness.
The solution is to build the wind farms out to sea where they are out of sight and out of mind. Unfortunately this just increases the cost and the pollution from building wind farms.
Wind farms onshore and offshore cause visual pollution and harm other animals. The best place to build a wind farm for maximum power output is often on the migration route of birds. Experience shows that birds are killed and migration paths are disrupted. Building offshore presents problems for sea birds and can have serious effects on fish stocks and coastal erosion.
Once we look carefully at the reality of wind farms, the benefits start to be overwhelmed by the disadvantages. The same is true of wave-power schemes and hydro-electric power, where the building of barrages and dams causes serious ecological damage. As this comes to be more widely recognized, Global Warming fundamentalists try moving to the concept of many small windmills. These are even less efficient and proportionately more costly, requiring much longer than the probable working life to recover the cost of installation and maintenance.
Consistently, Global warming fundamentalists make unrealistic claims for the benefits of systems and procedures that they are putting forward as the answer to global warming. In Britain the costly and much derided HIPs have proved to be an unloved failure. The claim was that, by requiring every house to have an energy efficiency certificate, it would be much easier to sell houses and save the planet. The reality is that since the introduction of HIPS, the number of houses on the market for sale has fallen significantly and those that are for sale require the owners to pay a very high price for what is turning out to be a seriously flawed certificate. As existing housing stock was built before anyone thought about alleged energy efficiency devices. The consequence is that the values of those properties will fall once new housing stock, with the devices designed-in, come onto the market. As some buildings, particularly very old historic buildings that have been viewed as heritage to be preserved, will be very difficult and costly to modify, perfectly sound buildings will be removed and replaced. The premature destruction of those properties will cause more pollution and use of finite resources than would have been the case if they had continued in use without modification.
If we are honest with ourselves, energy and pollution issues can only be dealt with if we first prevent any further increase. At best, that means that we maintain the status quo between all countries, and ban all population and economic growth. That immediately sows the seeds for global conflict as those in developing countries demand parity with the rich developed countries. In this case, Al Gore may have sown the seeds of war.
If we decide that we will reduce the probability of war by making developed countries dramatically reduce their consumption and pollution to allow other countries to reach their level, we will almost certainly have civil war in developed countries.
We can only reduce pollution and energy demand by reducing population. That cannot be achieved by reducing birth rate alone because that will increase the proportion of old people in the population, who need greater resources, and eventually reduce fertility to the point where the population will not be able to replace itself.
There is a solution and that is to reduce the existing population and the well tried method is by war, which also consumes finite resources at a prodigious rate and creates massive pollution, or to engage in genocide
The less draconian solution woud be to encourage a lower birth rate and look for ways of reducing consumption even though this will produce a recession that may in turn lead to civil disorder and war.
There are two areas where some large savings could be made, but they would require turning the clock back. Accountants have encouraged the formation of larger units to benefit from savings of scale. That has produced a small number of large units producing product, then requiring that product to be shipped some distance to the consumers. The process has been made worse because larger retail units have formed near the points of consumption. Those units have been ruthlessly reviewed by accountants and their methods of presenting product have been guided by profitability and legislation on standards. The end result has been a huge growth in the use of packaging materials and the consumption of energy to move goods from producer to consumer with a massive increase in generated pollution. In parallel, we have all become more mobile and increasing traffic densities have encouraged the construction of motorways and the addition of lighting to improve road safety. Reducing the distance between producer and consumer would reduce packaging and transport costs, reducing traffic levels and allowing the elimination of street lighting. Unfortunately this might not be very popular either.
So the bottom line is that reducing consumption is the best way of reducing pollution and energy consumption, there are no easy answers, and we have a simple choice of either working methodically to a redirection of human consumption or rushing around like headless chickens taking dumb decisions and increasing taxation.
There are two final thoughts that may not be as insane as they at first appear.
Dr Strangelove learned to love the Bomb
One answer could be global nuclear war. One set of estimates suggest that the world population would be reduced to approximately 19% of its present level. Of those initial survivors, 60% would either die from resulting cancers and other complications, or be infertile. The nuclear winter would block out the sun for decades, leading to rapid global cooling and a new ice age. From that point the species would slowly recover and the Earth would regenerate.
Go boldly where no man………..
An alternative answer would be to dramatically increase spending on space exploration, building colonies on the Moon and on Mars as staging posts to go out ito the Universe.