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Telling ‘Noble Lies’ About Climate Change Will Backfire

Doing the right things for the wrong reasons is a serious mistake

by
Tom Harris

Bio

April 18, 2014 - 12:14 am
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Over the past twenty years, we’ve been subjected to a barrage of catastrophic climate change forecasts, prophecies that would put Moses to shame. Coastal communities will be submerged due to rapid sea-level rise caused by soaring temperatures and glacier melt. Record heat waves, droughts, floods, insect infestations, and wildfires will result in millions of climate change refugees fleeing their ruined homelands. Competition over increasingly scarce water resources will lead to armed conflict. About all that has been missing from these doom and gloom predictions is alien invasion.

Like Moses’ warnings to Pharaoh in the Bible, we are told there is a high price to pay if we are to avoid climate change-driven “death, injury, and disrupted livelihoods,” to quote from the March 31 report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We must reduce our carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 70% by 2050 to keep so-called global temperature from exceeding 2° C above pre-industrial levels, the IPCC claims.  This will require massive cuts in our use of coal, oil, and natural gas, the sources of 87% of world primary energy consumption. What’s also needed, according to yet another IPCC report, Climate Change 2014 – Mitigation of Climate Change, released on April 12, is nothing less than:

a tripling to nearly a quadrupling of the share of zero‐ and low‐carbon energy supply from renewables, nuclear energy and fossil energy with carbon dioxide capture and storage [CCS, a technology the IPCC admit is currently problematic], or bioenergy with CCS by the year 2050.

Former Vice President Al Gore tells us that “the survival of civilization as we know it” is at risk if we don’t take these kinds of actions.

While historical evidence increasingly suggests that cataclysm really did follow Moses’ prophesies, modern-day forecasts of climate Armageddon are not coming true. The reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) reveal that there is nothing extraordinary about late twentieth century warming, a temperature rise that stopped over 17 years ago. The NIPCC explains that ice cover “is not melting at an enhanced rate; sea-level rise is not accelerating; and no systematic changes have been documented in evaporation or rainfall or in the magnitude or intensity of extreme meteorological events.”

Contrary to the IPCC’s warnings, the NIPCC report released this month, Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts, shows that long-term warming and CO2 rise are benefitting nature and humanity, “causing a great greening of the Earth.”

Faced with such good news, what are global warming activists to do?

The latest IPCC reports demonstrate that many are following a strategy taught in law school: “if the facts are on your side, pound the facts. If the facts are not on your side, pound the table.” In their February 24, 2014 paper “Information Manipulation and Climate Agreements” published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Chinese professors Fuhai Hong and Zhao Xiaojian explain:

The IPCC has tended to over-generalize its research results and accentuate the negative side of climate change. Following its lead, the mainstream media has gone even further.…Analyzing a sample of print, broadcast and online media coverage over a three-month period between 2005 and 2006, Ereaut and Segnit (2006) concluded that climate change was most commonly constructed through an “alarmist” repertoire as “awesome, terrible” and “immense,” characterized by “an inflated or extreme lexicon.”

On the surface, this strategy appears to work. Hong and Xiaojian conclude that, when the climate change threat is not very severe, as the NIPCC demonstrates is the case today, exaggerating the dangers tends to increase public concern and so their countries’ participation in international climate change agreements. Gore clearly supports this approach, admitting in 2006,

I believe it is appropriate to have an “over-representation” of the facts on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience.

Taken to extremes, this approach can backfire. Fully one-third of Americans now believe that the media exaggerates the climate change problem, according to research reported on in Public Opinion Quarterly. In a U.S. Gallup poll conducted in early March, global warming ranked 14th out of 15 issues respondents were asked about. The survey showed that people care far more about unemployment and the economy than they do about climate change. After years of overplaying their hands, climate activists now find themselves tuned out by a large fraction of the population.

So supporters of climate change mitigation are increasingly resorting to the “Noble Lie,” a political concept introduced by Plato in The Republic. Plato believed that most people lacked the intelligence to behave in ways that are in their own and society’s best interest. Therefore, he advocated creating religious lies that are fed to the public to keep them under control and happy with their lot in life. False propaganda to enhance public welfare is completely acceptable, Plato argued.

Whether the real underlying purpose is to reduce pollution and energy consumption, or to promote foreign aid, crop biotechnology, alternative and nuclear energy, or even personal fitness, social justice, and world government, use of the Noble Lie has become common in the climate debate.

Leading the pack is Connie Hedegaard, the European Union’s commissioner for climate action. She told the London-based Telegraph newspaper in September 2013 that, even if the science backing the climate scare is wrong, the EU’s climate policies are still correct as they would, according to her, lead to more efficient use of resources. Hedegaard asks, “Would it not in any case have been good to do many of things you have to do in order to combat climate change?”

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
And, I changed my avatar just for this commentary. It pretty much sums it up.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
A lie told to punish people for their accumulated wealth is not noble, is not honorable, is not for the betterment of society.

It is a vile and despicable scheme.

Playing Robin Hood while acting like Don Corleone is an old trick. You make the "gift recipients" your rear guard. The "neighborhood" won't turn you in, because you have handed them a crust of bread.

The fury with which the Ignoble Lies are told...slandering those who wish to uncover the scheme is what is most galling.

They are not merely lying to promote the greater good, they are stealing, cheating, slandering, and abusing power.

Plato lived in 428 B.C. We would have to ask Al Gore whether Al had given the Internet invention to Plato, but I'm guessing not...because Al would be too old to be a sex poodle today if he was teaching Plato back then.

Totalitarians are arrogant and abusive. That's what makes a totalitarian. It is the elemental structure of a tyrant to believe that his tyranny is beneficent because the "little people" don't know how to take care of themselves.

I will put my IQ up against any of these traitors and be happy to measure the results. I don't need them chewing my food for me.

And...if they have to lie about everything they are doing...the truth, evidence and facts must not be solid enough to base a policy on. Therefore, it is little more than criminal fraud. They are not philosopher kings. They are treasonous frauds.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Chinese professors Fuhai Hong and Zhao Xiaojian explain...

Well they would. The Chinese degree of pollution is almost unprecedented in world history, when they should have known better from the start, just look at the air in Beijing - and the surrounding 500 miles! China pollutes the air in Los Angeles now, almost as much as Los Angeles does!

“why not create a world we like, with a climate we like — while we still have time?”

OK, cue the unicorns.

Just to summarize your presentation (to maximize my agreement) yes there are things we might want to clean up, and yes energy efficiency is often a good goal for all kinds of reasons, but lying to get there is wrong and likely counterproductive, leads to wasting money, backing crazy efforts, and failing. Lying is failing, is the big fail. End of story.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (46)
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When the public gets disillusioned, it will begin generating CO2 like crazy. Which is a Very Good Thing!
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
So... you mean the liberals have been LYING to me...
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I will believe it when during the summer, the UN, the WhiteHouse and all Kennedy, Kerry and Gore mansions turn off their AC.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Howdy 3X
Your points are valid. More broadly than conservation, which is generally wise, the real answer to a shortage is to produce more of the shortage item or to work out alternatives. We do not have a shortage of fuels, we have a blockage of regulation.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wish that instead of taking office and immediately launching some very expensive boondoggles:

1. 0bama-care
2. send N.A.S.A. out to coddle muslims
3. a.g.w. > sylontra (etc.)
4. socialism
5. free stuff for votes
6. destroy the military
7. fast & furious, Benghazi, etc.
8. pervert the i.r.s.n.s.a.f.b.i. ....
and so forth.

imagine, that instead of creating one cluster-frack after another, prez. feel good had embraced America's greatness and led us all into space, or better medicine, or better production of existing our natural resources (coal, gas, natural gas, etc.), or better ______ (insert good stuff here).

an example: we have an unimaginable wealth of minerals sitting just beyond mars in the asteroid belt, just waiting for us to go get it. we have a moon chocked full same, and we had ready the scientific knowledge and the ability and space experience to build moon elevators (or whatever was needed) to retrieve that wealth, robotically if necessary. this wealth could have really launched the entire earth into an era of prosperity never even imagined. he could have been another Kennedy, leading mankind into a future built on what we can do for all time. our creation of wealth has always fed and clothed the world. models of our systems have enriched countries all over the world, even those where we only paused during a world war, like post war Japan, S. Korea, post war Germany, and many, many more.

and yet, look what a disaster we got instead. the only ones liking our current policies are those standing in the handout lines and illegals flooding across our open border for their share of free stuff. instead of leading us into a rich, plentiful future, we have been pushed into feeding off the success of our past. we are now feeding on existing wealth which is running out, instead of surging ahead with a new vision and a new place to go where we Americans can do what we do best, explore, invent, and create prosperity where famine, misery and gov. corruption has stifled real development over and over again. the track record of socialism and communism reads like something out of a horror novel, w/o the happy ending. untold million murdered by the elites and poverty beyond measure. we let the worst of these leeches worm and lie their way into our systems, like a destructive virus.

maybe we should start calling him prez. 'lying-virus of destruction'. much more appropriate than some muslim name he made up for himself to escape his pathetic past.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
But Obama was not going to embrace the best that is America because he believes it is our worst. And we knew that in 2008, even more clearly in 2012.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Didn't Al Gore get a D in the only science course he took in college?

What kind of acumen could he have regarding science?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
None, and/or any other kind of acumen.

The Goracle was yakking earlier this week in Honolulu. Took the private jet. When you combine him spewing CO2 from lavish living as well as the hot air from his mouth, he should count himself chief enabler of the planet's demise.

http://weaselzippers.us/183066-al-gore-calls-global-warming-skeptics-immoral-unethical-and-despicable/
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Goracle is a hypocrite of the first water. He is not an enabler of the planet's demise because, of course, CO2 is not causing any problems.
He is an enabler of the deaths and misery of the world's really poor people. His actions against energy and development harm Africa's poor (and the rest of the world's poor) far more than any projection of climate change damage.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
"He is not an enabler of the planet's demise because, of course, CO2 is not causing any problems."

My statement was sarcasm, does not always come through in writing.

But IF what the Goracle said had any truth whatsoever (other than being a cover for the control agenda of individuals like Obama/Boxer and organizations like the UN), he himself would be a big contributor, just as The One contributes in constantly flying around on AF1 which, at the start of his term, cost "only" $180,000/hour to operate and is now up to $228,000+/hour to operate.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
During the last interglacial before the last ice age, the average temperature was 4 degrees higher than it is today. This would have been about 125,000 years ago. Yes, no doubt sea levels would have been higher, but any rise in sea level is going to be slow enough that we should have no problem in adapting to it.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Is Al Gore yelling at himself for traveling around in his private jet? When Al Gore gives up his CO2 lifestyle, I might have just a tiny bit of support to give. As it stands now, due to price hikes in the grocery store, I have had to cut back on other things even more. That means the TV is not on very often anymore, therefore I don't get bombarded with all those delicious hamburger commercials. No more pizza deliveries, either. But you go ahead, Al Gore, you hop your fancy jet and fly to Chicago for some deep dish.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
And, I changed my avatar just for this commentary. It pretty much sums it up.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Climate change/global warming is the Y2K times a million.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Howdy Skipper50
I was on the front lines of Y2K. There really were some issues that could have been very serious without being addressed. No such thing with climate.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
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