“Weather isn’t climate.”
Now that we’re once again in the grips of Polar Vortex or Arctic Blast or whatever we’re calling it this time, you’re going to hear that refrain a lot.
“Weather isn’t climate.”
And that’s true, of course — until it isn’t. Over a long enough timespan, weather IS the climate. If your tropical beachfront property has had a century of temperate seasonal weather, complete with snowstorms and summer dry spells, it would probably be a mistake to keep calling it tropical. Things change. Climate typically changes slowly, but it does change. There are ancient tropical ferns and palm trees buried under the ice of Antarctica. So of course the climate changes, and expecting stasis on a planet where the continents move around is insanity. Even our sun is somewhat variable, going through periods where it emits more light and heat, and periods of less.
So before we go around signing bad deals with bad men (oops — too late!) a few questions need to be answered, in order.
• Is the change detrimental or beneficial to the human habitat?
• Do we understand the how and the why of climate change?
• Do we have the technical means and knowhow to make things better instead of worse.
If climate change is beneficial, you can skip the rest, pop open a beer, and plan how to make a killing growing oranges in Alaska.
Republican and early Imperial Rome flourished during a warmer period, able to bring in enough crops from Tunis and Egypt to feed one million inhabitants. A cooler period brought smaller harvests — and Germanic invaders from the north, seeking warmer climes because Germania had cooled, too. There was a period in the Middle Ages when Rome’s population had declined to a scant 10,000 — one one-hundredth of its imperial peak. The reasons for that had to do much more with politics than with the climate, but many of Rome’s bad policies were the direct and indirect results of global cooling. So it would seem that warming — to a point — would be beneficial to humanity, and that cooling would be bad. But this is still a question in need of answers.
If we’re just going to jack up energy prices to make ourselves feel good in the name of “doing something,” fuggidaboudit. Cheap energy promotes production, it promotes trade, it promotes mobility — three of the keys to American prosperity. Any permanent “skyrocketing” of energy prices would condemn millions, perhaps billions of people to lives of continued poverty. Or condemn them to death.
Assuming we can safely determine that the coming climate change would be bad for us, we then move on to the question of how and why the change is coming. Is it due to sun cycles? Carbon emissions? Hyperintelligent Wampa terraformers from ice planet Hoth? Some combination of factors? This is a vital question, and the models only provide answers based on the untested assumptions of the programers.
But let us now assume that we know bad change is a-comin’ and that we know what’s causing it. Now we have to do something, right? Not so fast there, pardner. If it turns out carbon emissions are actually helping keep things warmer and better than they otherwise would be, it would be a mistake to play into the Hothians icy hands by reducing those emissions. But until we know, we don’t know. Ignorance is neither bliss nor a basis for swift action.
Near as I can tell, we have yet to answer even the first question. We’re told the climate is supposed to be warming radically due to carbon emissions, and yet the warming seems to have stopped about 20 years ago — right around the same time the booming Chinese economy began radically upping China’s carbon emissions. On the Donald Rumsfeld Epistemology Scale, it’s safe to say then that there are still many unknown unknowns to all three questions.
Earlier I said that expecting stasis on a planet where the continents are in motion would be insanity — and yet stasis is precisely what climate alarmists are trying to sell you, built on a foundation of ignorance. For what it’s worth, even as science begins to answer these questions, always keep a wary eye on any political solution to a technical problem. We just saw earlier this week, ♡bamaCare!!! architect Jonathan Gruber practically bragging about all the lying and obfuscation he went through to get ♡bamaCare!!! passed into law — there’s really no limit to what the Left will do or say to tighten its stranglehold on the economy.
But mostly, beware of Wampas with terraform machines.