From Science Matters
By Ron Clutz
At Quora, Dan Gracia responds to this question: (in italics with my bolds)
Q: Why did people start using the term “climate change”
instead of the previous term “global warming”?
I’m 73 now and I remember on April 22, 1970 carrying the totally green American Flag (stars and stripes but in green) at college in a parade celebrating that first Earth Day. Problem then was that we were causing the earth to slip into an ice age due to the use of fluorocarbons as a propellant in spray cans of all types but the most significant factor was their use in hair spray cans. So it was an “Pending Ice Age Alarm”. Well, of course, that didn’t happen as actual temperatures didn’t sink and actually raised very, very slightly (less than a fraction of a degree over the next 10, or was it 20 years?) .
Then it turned into a “Global Warming Alarm” because there was some evidence of an increase in temperatures, regardless of how minuscule it was. So “Global Warming” is the earliest term most people remember now. Then the warming not only did not fit any of the climate models they were/are basing their alarmist claims on, it stopped warming entirely for about 20-years despite Al Gore’s claims the ice-cap would melt and our coasts would be underwater within 10-years.. And then temperatures sank slightly again.
None of these changes fit any of the computer models that were generating the Alarmist predictions. At that point, instead of trying to find out what variable(s) they were missing, the alarmists finally decided to just call it “climate change”. And now they could blame anything even slightly out of the ordinary as due to climate change. It’s a great catch-all term that you can claim regardless of what the temperatures actually show and also because the global climate is in a almost constant state of change. You’d be a fool to deny climate change because the climate is constantly changing and has been for over 4-billion years now. The trick is proving that human interaction is contributing to it in a meaningful and detrimental way. There are so many more powerful forces at play.
Add to that the fact that the earth was in its most prolific state millions of years ago when the Co2 ratio was much higher. Remember those elementary school science lessons that taught you that plants consume (ingest) Co2 (carbon dioxide) and exhaust O2 (oxygen)? Or perhaps that’s not common knowledge anymore? Plants and trees proliferated because growing conditions were better suited for them.
But regardless of weather getting warmer or colder,
climate alarmists are able to blame it all on climate change.
So it’s a catch-all phrase and anyone can chant it for any reason and claim there is a consensus among scientists that this it is a real threat. Unfortunately included in that “consensus” are medical doctors, dentists, Mechanical Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Biologists, Chemists, etc. – basically anyone who has a Bachelor of Science degree or higher. The thing that is missing is a consensus from climatologists. Many of these Bachelor of Science degrees may deal with some fringe parts of the problem but Climatology is an incredibly detailed with ever-changing data field and none of the others have the depth of knowledge to make an accurate claim of cause and effect with enough data and knowledge to make valid predictions.
Would you want a microbiologist to perform open heart surgery on you? Undeniably a scientific background but certainly not enough knowledge and practice to perform a long and complex surgery. Would you look to a Electrical Engineer for that? Definitely a scientist because he/she has at least a bachelor of science degree, ore perhaps a masters or even a doctorate degree. But would you trust that “Doctor” of engineering to perform open-heart surgery on you. Of course not. They don’t have the specialized education, ability to analyze relevant data, or even determine what data was relevant, let alone the fine motor skills needed to successfully complete open heart surgery.
To further muddy the waters, there’s huge amounts of money being spent on climate change research, and if they reach the conclusion that it is not a main ingredient in climate change, that research money dries up and goes away. So actually reaching a provable conclusion whose computer models can be born out with actual evidence instead of speculation, is working towards the elimination of their jobs. Plus, there’s real money to be made outside of climate research projects and grants. There’s the “Carbon TAX”.
Al Gore was one of if not the earliest proponent for “Carbon Credits”. If an industry or installation was generating too much Carbon Dioxide, they would have to purchase the carbon credits to offset their pollution. Ideally this money would then be spent to further other methods of Co2 control. And of course, you would purchase them from Al Gore’s carbon credits company. So then, if the installation had the credits, they could go ahead and continue polluting. As if Al Gore didn’t get enough money from his climate alarmism over the many years he’s been involved this is a Bonanza for him. And how much of that money is actually spent to improve methods and machinery to reduce the carbon levels? How much goes to the top executives of those companies and the people working for them…?
And of course, government has to get in on this cash cow too. A recent carbon tax was imposed on businesses in Washington state. The carbon tax basically requires companies to buy “greenhouse gas allowances,” sold at auction by Washington state, if they emit more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. The law took effect on Jan. 1, 2023. The first of 4 “auctions” of “greenhouse gas allowances” raised over $300 million dollars. The remaining 3 auctions for the year are expected to raise at least as much resulting in over $1.2 billion dollars for 2023.
Washington State Senator Ericksen said it best, “This legislation will raise billions of dollars from the people of Washington state. Now, who’s going to pay those billions of dollars? It’s not going to be the oil refineries, it’s not going to be the manufacturers, it’s going to be the people of Washington state who will pay through increased costs for their energy.” Anyone who’s had any experience in business from employee to CEO knows that if a company is to stay in business when their costs increase, they either have to raise their prices or decrease their costs. The first place they go to decrease cost is to chop hours and to let people go. Since it’s an industry-wide expense, they all raise their prices because they all have to do so to stay in business – competition doesn’t have a lot to do with this. If they delay raising their prices, then people lose their jobs instead.
As a result of this carbon tax, energy prices have skyrocketed. Promises were made that it certainly wouldn’t raise the price of gas by more than perhaps 5¢ per gallon because it was a tax on businesses, not a raise in the gas tax. In the first 3-weeks of 2023 it went up 25¢ per gallon and now has exceeded a 50¢ per gallon increase. Pricing of Diesel is even worse. Politicians who have never worked a “real job” for a “real business” don’t have much common sense when it comes to raising taxes.
Energy prices have also risen and continue to rise and since virtually everything moves by truck, that drives up the cost of all goods driving inflation even higher. And of course, now that the government has it, they will never let go of that tax regardless of how it hurts their residents.
So this is a self-perpetuating process originated by well meaning folks
who just didn’t have the knowledge or data to back it up.
Absolutely on that first Earth-day in 1970 everyone was concerned for the earth and wanted to find ways to help make it better. Since then it’s become a self-perpetuating scheme with prediction models that have consistently failed over the last 50-years raising alarms which still can’t be proven.
And people seem to forget that Science is not an absolute. What we believe is true today may be disproven tomorrow. THAT is the scientific method regardless of how many people believe in something. At one time virtually all the people in the world believed the earth is flat and the son revolves around the earth. Folks who disagreed were called heretics and persecuted.
The scientific method requires an proposal of what they believes is a reasonable hypothesis that can be proven or disproven. Then through a series of “repeatable” experiments the hypothesis is proven out and published for peer review. If the technique of proving the hypothesis does not generate the same result, then the hypothesis is not proven. Peer review invites dissent, opposing views, and proof of the ability or inability to reach the same result.
NOTE that peer review means scientists who are the peers of those offering the hypothesis with the ability to repeat the experiments used to prove it. You do not solicit or consider the opinion of a medical doctor to a hypothesis put forward by a climatologist, just as you don’t consider the opinion of a climatologist regarding a surgical procedure for a surgeon. Neither are actual peers in the other field of study. They can have opinions, but they are not “peer review”.
As a result I am far more interested in the opinions and research of Dr. Judith Curry and her true peers, than I am of a screaming media darling.