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What to do with climate change deniers? LET THEIR HOUSES BURN

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What to do with climate change deniers? LET THEIR HOUSES BURN

Post by Tony Bennett on 20.04.12 22:16

This is a recent, serious article in the popular U.S. magazine Forbes on the 'problems' caused by 'climate change deniers'.

It's an odd time to get upset, since temperatures have not warmed since 1998, and indeed may have got marginally cooler.

In posting this article, can I just make clear that there is overwhelming evidence that the world has got warmer between about 1940 and 1998.

But equally, along with tens of thousands of eminent 'climate change deniers', we say there is no evidence that this is the direct or indirect result of man's activities. There have been warmer and colder periods in the past, and most likely this is related in some way to the sun's activities.

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A Tennessee Fireman's Solution to Climate Change

Every former addict seems to remember the moment he decided to change: maybe he woke up in prison, or in the hospital; or maybe he injured someone, or lost his job. Whatever the cause, something forces him to accept that his actions have consequences, and that those consequences will lead to disaster for him and others if he doesn’t alter his behavior. Then, in the best of cases – and if it’s not too late – he fixes himself.

A recent poll by Yale and George Mason Universities shows that most Americans are at or near that point on climate change, with 72% of us seeing a link between extreme weather and our own actions. It’s a link that climate models have long predicted, and with the benefit of hindsight we see that even the earliest models have proven accurate over time.

Poll: Most Americans Now Link Extreme Weather To Climate Change At the same time, however, the denial machine is ratcheting up its disinformation campaign, and therein lies the problem. Every time someone validates or fine-tunes the science, ten or twelve well-funded and active propagandists pop up to distorting it – usually by twisting the attempts at fine-tuning into “proof” that the models are fundamentally useless, and then launching childish attacks on the scientists themselves.

This propaganda has already set us back two decades, during which the costs of dealing with climate change have risen and our chances of curtailing it have diminished. As crop failures mount and costs from damages rise, the denial machine will first continue to blame everything on nature, then it will pretend to be reconsidering its position in light of “new” evidence, and finally it will pretend this was all just an honest mistake – oops, sorry.

Well that doesn’t wash, because the evidence is there right now for anyone who does their homework, and it has been for some time. What’s also there is a very public record of who has been lying to the public and who hasn’t – and it’s time to start using this information to make the liars and shirkers pay.

Let’s take a page from those Tennessee firemen we heard about a few times last year – the ones who stood idly by as houses burned to the ground because their owners had refused to pay a measly $75 fee.

We can apply this same logic to climate change.

We know who the active denialists are – not the people who buy the lies, mind you, but the people who create the lies. Let’s start keeping track of them now, and when the famines come, let’s make them pay. Let’s let their houses burn. Let’s swap their safe land for submerged islands. Let’s force them to bear the cost of rising food prices.

They broke the climate. Why should the rest of us have to pay for it?

Obviously, the ideal solution is to get our collective act together and prevent this from happening, but we need a fall-back – a mechanism that puts responsibility for damages on the shoulders of the shirkers and deniers who cause it and profit from it, and we need to build that mechanism before the damages materialize.

If the shirkers and deniers actually believe their propaganda, they’ll go along with this – because they only have to pay if they’re wrong and 98% of all climate scientists are right. (And what are the odds of that happening – nudge nudge, wink wink?)

I’m not the only one thinking along these lines, as Slayde Hawkins pointed out a few weeks ago in “Suing to Stop Climate Change”.

Some groups, she writes, have already tried suing oil companies under “public nuisance” laws, and a handful of cases are ongoing – but she says the chances of success look slim, because the US Supreme Court ruled that the US Environmental Protection Agency has responsibility for dealing with climate change.

If you want to sue someone, the court seems to be saying, sue the EPA. Well, why not sue the people who have been hobbling the EPA?

Beyond the jurisdictional issue – which can be corrected through legislation – we have the problem of how to assign damages, and this is a doozy. The models have proven incredibly accurate when it comes to projecting the overall rise in extreme events, they still can’t tell you exactly which specific storms arose from climate change and which would have happened anyway – and they probably never will. They also can’t tell us which company’s emissions caused which change in temperature – and that’s something they’ll never be able to do, because CO2 emissions all get mixed up in the air.

But they can tell us how many extreme events would happen each year on average without manmade greenhouse gasses, so we can see what percentage of the damage is caused by man and what percentage is caused by nature. This gives us a global amount of damage that can be attributed to man.

We combine this with our transparent reckoning of who the bad guys are, and we have the beginning of our Tennessee fireman’s solution to climate change.





http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevezwick/2012/04/19/a-tennessee-firemans-solution-to-climate-change/

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Re: What to do with climate change deniers? LET THEIR HOUSES BURN

Post by tigger on 21.04.12 6:47

Climate isn't stable. We've been living the last 10.000 years or so in a most unusually stable climate.
We've only been looking at the 'hole in the ozone layer' for less than 50 years - so how can one know if it is meaningful?
We're overdue for the next ice age, overdue the next super volcano, overdue the next magnetic pole shift.

Climate change is a useful concept to keep us in a permanent state of low level anxiety - and it is very lucrative.

Pollution, landfill and so on are dangerous in the short and long term. We can do an awful lot about that. But perhaps there's not much money in stopping it, more money in creating pollution. A lot of so-called recycling is never done at all - e.g.glass uses more energy to recycle than to simply produce again.
Poisoning the food and water supply with chemicals is dangerous and of immediate concern.
We really need not worry about our carbon footprint as the C14/C12 balance has always had ups and down.
Data for that are available up to about 34000 years ago.



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Re: What to do with climate change deniers? LET THEIR HOUSES BURN

Post by tigger on 21.04.12 7:57

On re-reading this fascist polemic, it's a format that will allow almost any subject.

This is the new religion - these hate preachers - is the fact that they believe enough to save them? Because whether you believe or not, extreme weather is going to hit you regardless.
The non-believers - they say - should be punished. How? By directing tornadoes to their houses?

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Wetter or drier? Or a bit of both?

Post by Tony Bennett on 21.04.12 12:19

@tigger wrote:...The non-believers - they say - should be punished. How? By directing tornadoes to their houses?
Er, by compulsorily re-housing them in areas likely to flood? (like the Ganges delta).

Or maybe rounding them up and coralling them in a timber-dry forest in the midst of a prolonged drought.

Mind you, I'm a bit lost on whether the climate-change believers think that man-made climate change means there'll be more wet weather...or more drought?

Anyone?

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