Dr. G. Cornelis van Kooten:
Who are “climate skeptics”?
Greg Garrard, Associate Professor of Sustainability at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan, thinks he knows. In fact, he believes “environmentalists” generally “know who climate skeptics are: oil company shills, religious fundamentalists and neoliberal cheerleaders.”
With that courteous and respectful opening, Garrard issued a call for papers for the symposium “Who Do They Think They Are? Cultures of Climate Skepticism, Anti-Environmentalism, and Conservative Environmentalism,” scheduled for June 6–8, 2016, at Garrard’s campus in Kelowna, B.C. One knows not whether to laugh or cry at Garrard saying “this symposium seeks to understand ‘the enemy’, challenging reductive stereotypes and homogenizing assumptions in the interests of constructive democratic debate” (emphasis added).
Clearly the conference’s sole purpose is to denigrate those with views contrary to environmentalists’, particularly the so-called global warming consensus. The likelihood that it will lead to “constructive democratic debate” is approximately zero.
As my friend and colleague Jeffrey Foss, former head of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Victoria, warns:
It’s like reading Malleus Maleficarum, aka The Witches Hammer, a 15th century tract on the detection and destruction of witches and warlocks—and it almost makes my stomach turn to think that I and my friends are among the witches and warlocks of today’s green druids. … Thank goodness we have, at least formally, freedom of thought and expression. That freedom, however, is under attack and is bending under the pressure of this attack….
David K. Johnston, another philosophy professor at the University of Victoria, suggested that the organizer might be amenable to receiving climate skeptics’ papers or “artefacts”, Foss countered:
The first paragraph is a scurrilous manifesto tarring “climate scepticism”. The next paragraph presents some sketches of “climate scepticism”—sketches that seem quite believable to me. But apparently not to their author, who in the third paragraph returns to treating ‘climate skepticism’ as a social phenomenon that needs to be analysed and addressed—rather than a set of beliefs that are supported by reason and evidence.
So climate skepticism is not addressed at all. To do so requires studying the actual climate and asking whether it is accurately described in global warming theories. There is no invitation … to do any such thing. The concepts of truth and falsehood do not arise … presumably because these concepts themselves are seen as tools of suppression used by the “elites” who wield power over us all. Instead, it is the socio-psychological syndrome of “anti-environmental discourses” that are to be analysed.
Foss’s comments are dead on. This type of thing does indeed harken back to witch hunts. Certainly, it is anti-science and deeply rooted in ideology.
One of the ironies of Garrard’s conference is that he himself is a critic of apocalyptic views in his book Ecocriticism (2004), writing: “Just like Christian millennialism, environmental apocalypticism has had to face the embarrassment of failed prophecy even as it has been unable to relinquish the trope altogether” (p. 100). For some reason, Garrard has now embraced this failed trope in the belief that climate apocalypticism, unlike all previous environmental apocalyptisms, is the real deal.
It is by no means clear how we can counter such ideological and anti-scientific views.
Consider two issues today: GMOs and climate change. The science (at least that considered “overwhelming”) says GMOs are safe and climate change is primarily human caused. Environmentalists overwhelmingly accept the climate change “science”, no questions asked, but reject the GMO “science”. Why? The GMO “science” says human intervention in nature can be positive, while the climate change “science” says it is negative. So the position taken by environmentalists is consistent: it has nothing to do with science, but everything to do with their anti-human agendas.
The author was in Edmonton recently for his mother’s 90th birthday—a remarkably long time to live not just in the long history of humanity but even today. But she was scooped by someone in her seniors’ home who turned 100 the next day!
Not too long ago we could count on one hand the number of people who reached 100—and they got a lovely letter from the Canadian Prime Minister. People over 90 were rare, and 60 was considered old.
The environment improved as a result of human intervention. Since the Second World War:
- water and air quality have improved tremendously (at least in the West),
- improvements in nutrition, housing, and health care have raised life expectancy and reduced infant and child mortality (sparking a short-term “population explosion” that is levelling off worldwide and already reversed in many developed countries),
- cheap fossil fuels have made it possible to keep warm/cool on the coldest/hottest days, and
- this same cheap energy enabled us in the West, even the poorest (except the homeless who often suffer from mental illness and whose plight environmentalists mostly ignore), to live richer than kings of old.
All these good things are now under threat because of a theory backed by flimsy evidence but promoted as Armageddon.
The problem is that the climate change agenda has little to do with climate change, let alone science. After all, most people’s position regarding the science of global warming comes from newspaper reports that sensationalize the evidence of a future catastrophe, however skimpy, while downplaying or even ignoring any “good news” (e.g., higher crop yields from enhanced CO2) or evidence to the contrary.
The entire climate scheme is simply a new way to separate people from their money.
Reason has little to do with it.
The Kyoto Protocol omitted Peat from its carbon-charging scheme.
This although Peat emits far more carbon when burned than oil or wood!
So, harvesting Peat has become a big industry.
It is a carbon traders’ dream come true.
The price of it is rising as the pollution from it is also.
Here’s how the climate fascists can convince non-believers; state some facts. Stop making dire, scare-tactic predictions, then feigning surprise when they lose credibility.
Perhaps those promoting this farce are more akin to the radical Islamists that want the technological clock turned back to the middle of the last millennium.
Demonizing in climate change discussions??? like calling the other side fascists? Or comparing them to radical Islamists. Or calling others delusional?
Mr Pott meet Mr Kettle
@Nanny G: I was unable to find anything that indicates the use of peat as a fuel is increasing. Since its only real competitor is coal and THAT is under intense price pressure from natural gas it would seem to me to be improbable
@Nanny G: Koyoto was only about spreading the wealth around. Obama has helped that considerably. Our manufacturing industry has moved to other countries where the cost of doing business is much lower since they do not have to deal with environmental activists.
The reason that manufacturing moves overseas is because they are willing to work for 25 cents an hour
And no bathroom breaks
Of course in the dirties industries like say lead smelting? Yeah sure our health laws do drive up the cost
And that is also why YOU can expect a longer healthier life than some polluted Chinese
If you want to go over their where the jobs are good riddance to you
Send us an email and tell us all how living in a country without environmental law is
Yeah the Birdie haters and the vicious wind turbines, that the rich greenies dont want in their neighborhood, which happens to be oceanfront with the good wind, that will sure be under water in 2 or 3 years. The little people or useless eaters must watch their carbon footprint to have our gains wiped out by every climate conference as the “smarter” rich ones fly in private jets to eat caviar and make up new ways to force the little people to do with less so they can have more of what they couldnt spend in 5 lifetimes.
Then there is average Joe
Yo John it might matter where the dirtiest things are made, if in USA the controls and regulations imposed may be better for the planet..or dont you care? Is it just our little part of the earth that pollutes, yet this admin wants unfavorable trade agreements with the worst planet killers, while trying to impose further restrictions on our job creators. Our industries meet the standards and they tighten the noose, idiots.
Starting to look a little bitter their about your life Kitt?
Actually our local Audubon was against the Cape Wind proposal
During migration times the little birdies prefer to fly over water, less danger from raptors. Martha’s Vineyard and the Cape are part of the Eastern flyway
Of course wind turbines should be properly sited
Wisconsin gets 62% of its power from coal the dirtiest of all fuels
Coal kills 100s times as many birds as turbines according to birdie liver Audubon
@John: Wisconsin also has the 9th best state economy I pay 13 cents a Kwh for my electric, about 2.20 at the pump for gas. Skilled labor has no reason to be unemployed here. Housing prices are reasonable. We have loads of happy tweeties here.
No matter how much I run my blow dryer the bears, wolves, and coyotes refuse to croak off from carbon, I have to carry a 9 mil when walking the dogs on our vacation acreage.
have an hour?
I live in a beautiful state.
Bitter no they are assholes, I have a pretty good life.
Just wish they would keep their noses out of it.
Where is the proof from Audubon? They make a baseless statement and you baaa like a sheeple.
“Renewable” energy is technologically and economically unviable. Tesla’s don’t run on electricity; they run on fossil fuels that gets burned to create electricity. The climate scam is just the latest way for leftists to pry more of our money and sovereignty from us, like the ice age scam, the acid rain scam and the ozone hole scam.
Of course Wisconsin is quite beautiful
And you personally are doing the environment good to keep your electric bill so low as 80$
And in your lifetime probably the biggest change you will see if more forests losing conifers and more hardwoods appearing
@John: Actually due to oakwilt the opposite is happening, the mighty oaks are dying and being replaced by maples, birch and fir, see how nature goes in cycles. I have transplanted several nice 4 or 5 year old oak babies to our clearing, the deer love acorns, I wont see these babies hit 30 feet in my lifetime.
You never told me how much I was going to save with solar in my location.
This is an interesting article