Jeff Nesbit, a former director of two federal science agencies, was one of the first to call climate change “settled science.” What he gets wrong, though, is that science is rarely truly “settled.” Newton’s famous three laws of motion were upended by Einstein’s theories. Scientists are still trying to pin down the exact age of the universe and will sometimes discover exoplanets that are supposed to be impossible based on current theories of planetary formation. So it’s reasonable to assume that the work of climate scientists, though valuable, is nowhere near settled.
While it may be unfair, not to mention poor form when debating issues that depend on scientific information, to refer to scientists as shills, part of the issue is that scientists need to make a living, like everybody else. They are often dependent on government grants to earn an income while pursuing research projects. This becomes a problem when politicians and government agencies demand that scientists reach conclusions that support the policies they want to implement regardless of what the data actually says. Then it effectively becomes a choice between lying to a client who wants to use your supposed expertise to justify implementing a bad policy and losing a paying job.
It would definitely be better if scientists didn’t have to worry about earning an income so that they could be honest with the American public. Efforts such as the Institute for Advanced Study have aimed to address the issue by providing scientists the opportunity to pursue their studies without the need to worry about earning a living. The Institute for Advanced Study provided Albert Einstein with an academic home after he was forced to flee Germany in the face of the rise of anti-Semitism during the lead-up to World War Two, for instance. However, these organizations often fall short due to lack of resources.
Climate Models Incomplete Or Inaccurate
The problem with many climate models that scientists use to make predictions is that they often overestimate, underestimate or completely ignore variables that can affect climate. Scientists were actually able to make their climate predictions more accurate by adding the impact of volcanic eruptions to their equations. Other studies make the case for improving the understanding of the ways that the variables that impact Earth’s climate interact.
Despite predictions that polar ice was going to completely disappear due to global warming, a NASA study shows that the Antarctic is actually adding more ice than it loses to glacial melt off. This is a trend that has gone on for over 10,000 years, meaning essentially that human industrial activity has not made any difference in this particular case.
So it’s pretty well safe to assume that human industrial activity is not the only factor, or even a major factor, that contributes to climate change. The Little Ice Age was primarily influenced by a period in which solar activity was at its lowest since human observers started recording their observations of the sun through telescopes capable of spotting sunspots. Scientists say it’s likely to happen again by 2030. So why should we pretend that human industrial activity is the only factor involved in climate change?
Climate Doomies and Policy (and How To Counter It)
According to the most “far out” predictions of the effects of climate change, the ice caps of both the Arctic and the Antarctic will melt, and the resulting surge in ocean levels will drown most coastlines, small islands, and the entire state of Florida. Even ignoring the fact that the Antarctic polar cap is effectively gaining weight, such extreme predictions play into the hands of those who want to curtail human activity and even bring the human population down to the same level as it was in the year 1900.
It’s basic Malthusian economic theory: Earth was only designed to support so many humans if one accepts that there is a finite supply of resources. It’s a closed-loop system in which nothing is added or subtracted. Is it true, though, that Earth was never designed to support more than the 1.6 billion humans who were alive in 1900 without a severe negative impact on the climate? Or is the hypothesis of a closed loop system simply a false flag used by the most extreme environmentalists to justify genocide and human rights abuses?
The important thing to remember is that believers in Malthusian theory are absolutely terrified of the idea that they might be wrong. They might detest coal and oil, which are both non-renewable sources of energy. However, they also detest the idea of using nuclear energy, which is backed by numerous studies showing that nuclear energy can be clean, safe and sustainable and can meet the energy needs of the human species for several centuries using the current supply of Uranium-238. Sustainable and clean energy sources can be obtained using resources that are readily available on Earth, but extreme environmentalists won’t tell you that simply because they are terrified of a future in which resource scarcity is a thing of the past and the economic models on which they hinge their predictions (and reasons to keep the human population under control) have been invalidated by advances in science, technology, and improved methods for harvesting and utilizing resources more efficiently.
In the near future, the idea of a closed loop system may not be very valid at all. Aerospace insiders such as Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos believe that the entire solar system contains enough resources to sustain one trillion humans. Corporations such as Deep Space Industries are already working on ways to harvest rare Earth elements from asteroids. If successful, Deep Space Industries will be able to compete with corporations that harvest resources through strip mining and the associated environmentally harmful methods. This will invalidate the need to regulate terrestrial mining companies to the point where strip mining is unprofitable and they would go out of business anyway.
These are businesses that are capable of looking beyond the next quarterly report so that they can harvest, transport and sell resources that can benefit humanity without harming Earth. Some aerospace companies, such as SpaceX, are also very interested in forming colonies well away from Earth. In fact, until very recently, SpaceX made the idea of forming a Martian colony of up to one million people a major part of its brand. Beyond the idea of creating a “backup planet” for humanity – an idea that Jeff Bezos rejects in favor of simply making Homo sapiens a multi-planet species – this will open up the floodgates for what Ebenezer Scrooge would call “the surplus population” who only need an opportunity to gain some breathing space well away from the snoots who look down on them as worthless wastes of space.
— Fox News SciTech (@FoxNewsTech) June 16, 2017
Then leftists get what they want – an economy in which scarcity is less of a problem and industrial activity is less of a burden on Earth – and everyone else keeps the right to exist free of the artificial guilt trip of, “Look what we’re doing to the planet!” If there’s any loser in this scenario, they are the extreme environmentalists and believers in Malthusian theory who are suddenly less relevant. Then they no longer have an excuse for genocide and tyrannical behavior because their inaccurate models and predictions regarding climate change and what should be done about it have suddenly been debunked.