Posted by: Tony Carson | 5 November, 2009

Climate change: sticking with the devil we know

Bullshit baffles brains. We all know that.

That’s why we believe the ignorant opinionists over the scientific community.

It doesn’t make sense but we’ve been backing bullshit over brains for a century — ever since man got smart enough to understand science.

Take global warming. All but a few scientists agree we’re heading into unprecedented peril: global warming is, in large measure, caused by man. Yet the majority of us who know little more about climate than what the weather is doing outside, believe that global warming is a crock.

Why? Because we listen to the bullshitters.

And why do we do that? Because there is in most of us a warm and fuzzy faith in the devil we know.

Hey, we know him, we’re used to him, he doesn’t make us do anything. But the devil we don’t? Ah, that’s a whole different deal. He makes us act; he makes us change; he makes us take risks.

Conservatism is another word for status quo. Don’t take us out of our comfort zone; don’t foist those liberal ideas on us. Leave us with the devil we know.

So they beat their drums to do nothing — and against change. They have their arguments:

  • statistics — ya, 1,000 scientists agree, but one doesn’t, so there is no unanimity, there is doubt.
  • anecdotal evidence — it was colder last February than I ever remembered. Global warming, are you kidding?
  • economics — change is going to cost too much, we’re going to lose jobs.
  • deflection — we’ve got too much to worry about already.
  • blame — it’s China. Have you ever seen pictures of their smog?

What never seems to be factored into the arguments of the stand-patters is the risk of doing nothing. What if they’re wrong? It could well be catastrophic … and as immediately as imperilling their children, certainly their grandchildren.

It’s all well and good to mock the alarmists as so many Cassandras … but Cassandra was right! And so, by any empirical measure, are the scientists who have used actual data to make their case, not the comfort food of do-nothing banalities.

We have to find a spine. It is long past time to give up on the devil we know. He hasn’t done us any favours and he is just about to do us irreparable harm.

It’s time we go with the devil we don’t know. He just could be our saviour.

There is a much more compelling argument here.



  1. Except that it is thousands of scientists, including many meteorologists, who are skeptical of the Warmists’ claims, not just one or two.

    Except that it is empirically proven that most of the hard data that the Warmists have presented is based upon flawed data-sets and broken, irregular, or mis-calibrated sensors.

    But it’s hard to argue religion with people, especially apocalyptic cultists like the AGW followers…

  2. Jonolan, the empirical proof you claim shakes the foundations of the global warming has never appeared in peer review journals – unlike the mountains of actual evidence, not just statistical but also observed that makes up Nature, Science, Scientific American, etc and the other scientific journals. Instead it resides on blogs and other venues for misinformation.

    Five minutes on or the like should be more than enough show you that.

    The global warming debate has changed and now moved on to mitigation and adaptation. Won’t you join us?

  3. I’m not talking about the counter-theories, Sam. I’m talking about the fact that the hard data the warmists have is flawed and that they know it but care.

    Most, if not all of the temperature sensors in the US were either miscalibrated or were not set to take into account urbanization near them.

    We also have many more sensors now, both on land and in the ocean, than we had earlier. This means “normalization” routines must be run in order to extrapolate the older data into the newer, larger model. That can be skewed easily.

    Oh…remember the Hockey Stick Graph?

  4. So Jonolan, you’re calling for more testing? The sounds pretty familiar. I think we moved on from that last January.

    • Tony, that the Warmists stuck with their dogma despite the flaws in their data doesn’t change the fact that the data is flawed and so likely are their conclusions.

      But, as I said earlier, it’s hard to argue religion with people, especially apocalyptic cultists like the AGW followers.

  5. Well, ya, but religion is a belief system based on faith, Warmists, as you call them, are pragmatists who base their beliefs on trusting the message from an overwhelming majority of the scientific community. And that’s the point: we’re over the fuzzy vagaries of faith; we’ve moved on to base our way forward on fact, or as close as we can get to it.

    I’ve tried to make the same point a different way here:

    I concede these issues are dilemmas. I just don’t think they should be.

  6. Once again, (or rips through the “crap data” argument pretty sharply. I mean, is that what you really believe? The Copenhagen summit resting upon a couple poor data samples that it seems only bloggers and drama novellists can figure out? Really?

    I’m not a climateologist (or a meteorologist for that matter – though I have quite a bit of amateur experience in the area), so I rely on such people to give me the word on this. They have spoken, and continue to do so. Its boring, not sexy and generally bad news. There might be dissenters, I haven’t come across any convincing ones – you have it seems.

    But I can’t see how you can be CONCLUSIVE with this perspective in the light of the amount of risk. You have to be 100% correct for things not to be really quite terrible. If I am 100% wrong, we still have energy independence, greater energy diversity and less pollution.

    From this perspective its hard to see how you can conclude that I am the one being dogmatic here.

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