Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > Anthropogenic Climate Change is a Form of Secular Apocalypticism: 4

Anthropogenic Climate Change is a Form of Secular Apocalypticism: 4

In the previous two parts (link 1 and link 2) of this series, I wrote about multiple and independent lines of paleontological and geological evidence for Earth being significantly warmer during the period between between 34 to 2.6 million years, even though atmospheric CO2 levels during the relevant geological epochs were about the same as today. This fact is more noteworthy as major continents were fairly close to their current locations during that period, especially between the Mid-Miocene (14 M years ago) and end of Pliocene (2.6 M years ago). Furthermore, solar output during that period was almost identical to what we have today. In other words, changes in the levels of atmospheric CO2 is NOT a good hypothesis for why Earth cooled during the Pleistocene (starting 2.58 M years ago). Changes in ocean circulation due to formation of the Isthmus of Panama around that time provides a far better explanation for global cooling during that period.

While I will get back to more paleontological and geological evidence against prevailing beliefs about anthropogenic climate change in later parts of this series, let us look at this whole issue from a different yet complementary angle. As mentioned in the first post in this series, I would have preferred to start that series by talking about the psychological, religious and yes.. racial reasons why people in certain countries desperately want to believe in the bullshit narrative of anthropogenic climate change. So let me begin this part by talking about the similarities between belief in man-made global warming or “climate change” and Christianity, especially its Catholic variant. As early as 2003, Micheal Crichton openly talked about the considerable similarities between belief in man-made climate change and traditional religions. Heck, he even wrote a novel based on that premise. I am now going to take that idea further, much further.

The first and most obvious red flag that belief in man-made climate change (MCC) is a religion masquerading as science comes from the label its followers use to describe those who refuse to share their belief system. If you label somebody as a “denier” you are talking about a religion or ideology NOT science. Let me explain that point a bit further. Have you ever heard of “gravity deniers” who claim that gravity does not exist? Why not? Ever heard of people who “deny” that antibiotics can cure diseases caused by microorganism sensitive to them? Again.. why not? How people who believe that internal combustion engines, electricity, computers etc are not real? Note that I intentionally choose examples where lay people do not understand the details of how all those things work, and yet.. there are hardly any deniers when it comes to those topics.

It all comes down to whether something can be measured independently and reproducibly. While we cannot see gravity, we can measure it very accurately as well as observe it effects. Effects of antibiotics on microbes can be measured and ascertained in vitro (petri-dish type tests) and in vivo (live animals, including humans). Similarly, you can drive a car, turn on the light and read this article on your computer. In other words, it is not even necessary to convince people about the reality of these things. Now you know why you haven’t met somebody trying to convince you that the sky is blue, ice is cold to touch or fire is hot. It is simply not necessary. But haven’t there been examples throughout history where people used to believe something different from what they do now? And what finally changed their minds?

Well, here is one recent example. As some of you might remember, throughout the 1980s and well into the mid-1990s, many people did not believe that HIV caused AIDS. So how did that change? To understand that, you have to first acknowledge the two main reasons why many people in those decades were skeptical about HIV causing AIDS. The first, and minor, reason was that killing CD4 cell with HIV outside the body required almost thousand times higher viral concentrations than those measured in people suffering and dying from the disease. It took over two decades to finally understand how HIV causes death of those cells in the body at far lower levels than those required in cell cultures. And yes, the mechanisms are quite different.

But the second, and far more important, reason was that until the development and approval of second generation protease inhibitors and nucleotide analogues in the late 1990s, the prognosis for people with AIDS was really bad. Many of the first nucleoside (not nucleotide) analogues used to treat HIV were pretty toxic and lost efficacy within a year or two. Even the very first protease inhibitors approved for human use in mid-1990s had tons of side-effects and required people to take dozens of pills every single day. The prognosis of AIDS changed only after newer, less toxic and far more effective drugs became available. And guess what, the vast majority of people stopped questioning the link between HIV and AIDS. It was that easy.

Now let us apply the concepts we discussed above to the issue of belief in man-made climate change, beginning with- is it a problem? I mean.. is it really a problem if the global temperature goes up by 2-3 degrees Celsius? Based on paleontological records, the earth was far greener and productive (than today) during the Oligocene, Miocene and Pliocene (34-2.6 M years ago). In other words, a significantly larger fraction of the land surface on Earth would have been suitable for agriculture during those eras than today. More importantly, the increase in global temperature was far more pronounced in areas that are today temperate than in those which are tropical. There is also no evidence that deserts were bigger in those epochs, and considerable evidence to the contrary. To put it another way, a slightly warmer earth = more rain, greenery and much nicer climate at higher latitudes. I, for one, fail to see the problem.

But.. but.. what if it leads to a runaway greenhouse effect on Earth, like on Venus? To be pretty blunt, the sheer amount of CO2 (like 40-50x all known organic carbon) and other greenhouse gases necessary for anything even close to that would require raising the temperature of earth’s surface near the boiling point of water. See.. releasing even a fraction of that much CO2 in the atmosphere requires the inexorable chemical dissociation of carbonate minerals (chalk, limestone etc) which are currently on (or just below) the surface of land and ocean floors. Our planet would cease to inhabitable for any organisms other than some bacteria long before we reached the point of a runaway and planetwide greenhouse effect. Also, we have not reached that point in over 4.6 Billion years. And this has not been for lack of trying.

Earth’s geological history has seen multiple massive basalt flows that ended up covering areas as large as continental USA upto 3-5 miles high and lasting for a couple of million years in some cases. The sheer amount of CO2 and other gases pumped into the atmosphere during those times makes our current attempts seem incredibly puny by comparison. FYI- most volcanic gas is a mixture of H2O (water vapor) and CO2 with a decent amount of SO2. And yes, I know that some of those outflows are connected with mass extinctions. But my point still stands. It took two large basalt flows, one in China and another in Siberia (the later being as large as the continental USA and lasting for over a million years) to cause the largest mass extinction in past 540 million years. And even that was insufficient to cause a runaway greenhouse effect.

In the next part, we will go into the close similarities between Christianity and the secular religion of anthropogenic climate change. I will show you why this religion and its immediate precursor aka environmentalism only started gaining traction in the 1970s. You will see the connection between the terminal demographic decline of whites in the “west” and their eagerness to believe in this religion. You will also see the connection between the relative decline of the “west” in past two decades to the desire among its elites to convince others (especially non-whites) about MCC.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. bonzo
    July 23, 2019 at 3:13 am

    Other than discredited predictions of ocean methane burp suffocating us, even worst case predictions of global warming are not that bad. Worst case, at least a billion humans can survive at high latitudes/altitudes, and we can gradually reduce population to that level over the few hundred years it will take Antarctic ice sheet to melt. Warming is way less serious than stuff like estrogens in the food chain, another Carrington event, global flu pandemic, asteroid impact, Yellowstone super volcano, major nuclear war, etc. But fear mongers insist global warming is the major issue of our time, though it clearly isn’t.

    Assuming global warming caused by CO2, prevention would require paying fossil fuel producers, including Russia and Saudi Arabia, to not burn that fuel, plus paying more to get energy from some other source. Extremely expensive. Makes more sense to spend money (read: allocate scarce resources) figuring out a way to make deserts bloom or create a plankton bloom in the ocean so as to suck up excess CO2, since such geoengineering would presumably have beneficial side effects (more lumber or other plant products, more fish to eat). But global warming fear mongers are instead focused solely on cutting CO2 emissions in developed countries. Something amiss here.

    • nyolci
      July 23, 2019 at 11:31 am

      Sorry, but you are showing terminal stupidity.

      “Other than discredited predictions of ocean methane burp suffocating us”
      There are no predictions like that. What they predict is increased methane emission, mainly from ground sources, due to higher temperature at northern latitudes. This is already happening (ie. it is measurable), and they expect it to get considerably worse. And no, “suffocation” is NOT the danger. Methane itself is a highly potent greenhouse gas, much more than CO2, so what is feared is a non-linear, positive feedback loop that SUDDENLY increases temperature.

      “we can gradually reduce population to that level over the few hundred years it will take Antarctic ice sheet to melt”
      See above. It won’t be a slow, linear process, but a one with sudden episodes of more or less unexpected positive feedback loops that introduce extreme changes to the world in a matter of a few years. “Population reduction” is feared to be an extremely quick and violent thing.

      “would require paying fossil fuel producers, including Russia and Saudi Arabia, to not burn that fuel,”
      Of course they NOT burn it, they mine it, and they only mine it if there’s demand (their domestic consumption is kinda negligible compared to the total consumption). So no, we don’t have to “pay” for them. We are paying them NOW.

      “paying more to get energy from some other source. Extremely expensive”
      “Gradually” reducing population (with global wars) to the eight, moving out from coastal areas (cc 40% of the current population lives there) seems to me much much more expensive. Actually, in some countries, renewable energy production is already in the same magnitude as fossil. The most important problem is storing energy (and/or distributing, like overhead cables for cars), not the source.

      “figuring out a way to make deserts bloom or create a plankton bloom in the ocean so as to suck up excess CO2”
      This is the problem with pseudo scientific crap. These are likely to increase the problem, at least in the short run. Irrigating the desert will of course absorb carbon but (1) change the albedo of desert (ie. increase the absorption of sun light energy), and (2) increase water evaporation, thus increasing another greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, and (3) it can only absorb a certain amount of carbon, so without cutting CO2 emission, it can only slow down CO2 build up. Plankton bloom is an extreme problem because it can consume all the oxygen in water, causing further problems. Oceans already have O2 depleted zones now because of increasing temperature.

    • nyolci
      July 23, 2019 at 11:42 am

      Yeah, and another thing:
      “cutting CO2 emissions in developed countries”
      Most of the emissions come from developed countries plus a few developing. The rest is peanuts. Historic emissions are almost exclusively from (Western) Europe and the USA.

  2. bonzo
    July 23, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    I’m certainly no expert and it’s easy to pick apart a hastily scribbled together comment (edited on a smartphone, I might add, not that I’m asking for sympathy). Anyway, you didn’t address my main point, which is that global warming, even in the rapid change scenario, is still very survivable. It’s just not this great crisis that it’s made out to be.

    If population reduction is rapid under the fast warming scenario, that’s because we’ve overpopulated as a species. Most environmental problems boil down to consequences of overpopulation. Note that there’s no “problem” with overpopulation per se. Rather, it’s simply a fact of life, and Mother Nature will eventually respond same as when other species overpopulate. Though it bears keeping in mind, for those of us currently alive, that in event of a shipwreck, limited lifeboats will be available, so better have a plan in place to grab one of the available places. (Assuming you want to stay alive, of course. Much simpler of you’re prepared to go down with the ship.)

    I don’t have children myself (because I’ve always been rational, and only do things that are likely to increase my long term happiness, and children would likely do the opposite under conditions of modern society), but even if I did have them, I would be far more concerned about them slowly being poisoned by those estrogens I mentioned than about climate change. As for me, I’ll be gone in another 40 years, maybe sooner if that Yellowstone volcano blows or we get sucked into a black hole or smashed by an asteroid or maybe I’ll die in a pandemic or be murdered by rampaging criminals when the lights go out because of a Carrington type event. Global warming is way down on the list of things I personally need to worry about. Why are you so worried?

    • nyolci
      July 24, 2019 at 1:29 am

      “Anyway, you didn’t address my main point”
      Yeah, I did, I demolished that. Look, in a certain sense you’re right, mankind will probably survive (if we don’t do anything). But that will be a very shitty existence. Perhaps this is a bit of over dramatization, but quite a few people survived Auschwitz as well.

      “If population reduction is rapid under the fast warming scenario, that’s because we’ve overpopulated as a species”
      This is simply not true. Neither the first part, nor the second. In a sane society (not what we have today) mankind would be able to cope with sudden events without unnecessary losses (ie. without war and rush for resources). And NO, we are not overpopulated. This is a BS, yeah, exactly that kind of dogma AD is keen on ranting about. The ruling class blames anything except today’s capitalism for the bad things. “Overpopulation” is just one of them. The average population density (excluding Antarctica) is like 55, which is the 13% of that of India’s and 35% of China’s.

      “Most environmental problems boil down to consequences of overpopulation”
      No, not true either.

      ” Rather, it’s simply a fact of life, and Mother Nature will eventually respond same as when other species overpopulate”
      OUR inability to reduce emissions (and plain old pollution) is Mother Nature’s answer? Now really THIS is stupid.

      “hat in event of a shipwreck, limited lifeboats will be available, so better have a plan in place to grab one of the available places”
      Even your analogies are wrecked. Kinda from the Titanic, LAW requires that the lifeboat capacity should exceed the theoretical maximum number of people on the board, and this law IS observed.

      ” I would be far more concerned about them slowly being poisoned by those estrogens ”
      This is a real danger (not just estrogens but other stuff like plumb in water etc.). Solar storms may cause problems and temporary catastrophes. The currently collapsing capitalism will probably die with a big big war and much upheaval. But climate change is ALREADY noticeable, and it will produce trouble in a very small time scale. More like years and not decades. The decade from – say – 1998 and 2008 for example produced an very definite and measurable change (to the worse) in climate. In a matter of 10 years. Again, the changes will be abrupt, not gradual. We will experience sudden crop failures, long droughts, very uneven rainfall with catastrophic floods. Very soon, unfortunately.

      • fffsv@gmail.com
        July 24, 2019 at 12:34 pm

        Just about any accident with an iceberg was likely to sink the Titanic in 10 – 20 minutes, denying any time to launch the boats. That’s why those 4 large ships – Titanic, Olympic, Luisitania, Mauretania lacked sufficient boats. Any other incident would be easily survivable due to the mass, i.e. smaller ships would be thrown away not causing long slices.

        The real problem was that the British admiralty denied/banned the use of searchlight to merchant navy out of ego related reasons. No other country was that retarded.

        Bergs were visible from 400 – 800 m and the new breed of big, fast ships needed 1000 – 1200 m to stop/turn – about twice as much as those smaller, slower ships. Optics were of little use in the 1910s due to their poor quality and other issues.

  3. bonzo
    July 23, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    nyolci wrote: “Sorry, but you are showing terminal stupidity”. Why do leftist soy boy types preface their snarky comments with “sorry”, when of course they mean nothing of the sort? I find that curious. Any theories?

    • nyolci
      July 24, 2019 at 1:34 am

      “Why do leftist soy boy types preface their snarky comments with “sorry””
      You are mistaken in more than one count concerning me. (1) The “sorry” is a rhetorical device from my native Hungarian, and I apply it perhaps unwittingly. It is a non rude way to tell you you’re plainly stupid. It has nothing to do with my being “leftish”, which is probably something I’m not, at least not in the sense people in the US understand it. (2) I’m certainly not a “soy boy”.

      • fffsv@gmail.com
        July 24, 2019 at 12:29 pm

        of course, AGW is caused by humans and is moderately serious, denying it is embarassing… rly showing the NPD of AD

        however, other problems are much more serious

  1. August 1, 2019 at 8:09 pm

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