A few interesting points in this article.
Humans are naturally selective in what we notice. For instance, selectivity occurs when, after being introduced to someone, you seem to meet them frequently. They were always there, but just not part of your "noticing." Similarly, the media and the public have started to "notice" extreme weather, glacier melting, sea level rise, etc. more because alarmists tell us that an increase in such events is a precursor to the coming 'climate crisis'. Since people are on the lookout for such trends they seem to be accelerating even though recent quantitative studies demonstrate they are not (NRSP 'allied scientist' Dr. Madhav Khandekar has shown this clearly in his studies for the Alberta government, for example).
This is a lot like when people's fears increase because of crime rates. The perception is that crime is increasing and their neighbourhoods have become more dangerous places, when crime rates are often actually falling. They get the perception of increased crime rates because they're hearing about crimes from all over, more often, because it's in the news so much. The mind takes what it sees and applies it to what it's familiar with, so seeing more crime reports in the media becomes a perception of increased local crime.
Phenomena such as severe weather events are now often presented as unusual or unique: it was the highest or lowest temperature, rainfall, etc., 'ever.' What is referred to is the barely century-old instrumental data-based official weather record, an inadequate sample of the Earth's five billion year history. Long term geologic records indicate much greater and more rapid changes occurred long before civilizations started.
This is particularly true, I'm finding, with the scare articles about loss of Arctic ice. Especially with the term "melting" is used. It turns out that there was indeed been less ice there than today, as recent as 1905. Yet the articles claim Arctic ice is at its lowest point "in history." "History," it turns out, started in 1979, which is when we first started having satellite records.
Besides the public's lack of awareness of our planet's dynamic climate history, a difficulty in comprehending long time frames has made them susceptible to the propaganda of Al Gore and David Suzuki. Echoing Suzuki's myth of nature's "gentle rhythms", then Canadian environment minister Stéphane Dion told the Commons Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development on October 4, 2005, "Climate change is a new phenomenon, a very worrying one, but a new phenomenon." Dion's total ignorance of the issue is revealed by simply noting one historical fact - half of North America was under a vast ice sheet just 22,000 years ago.
This is something I've noted as well. Heck, I went through school being taught the "gentle rhythms" belief, and that global climate change was something that only happened very slowly, over 10's of thousands of years. That Dion should claim climate change is a new phenomenon does nothing but make himself look amazingly ignorant. Unfortunately, people believe him!
The exploitation of climate science for purely political goals is occurring throughout the developed world. For example, politicians in Canada have started to ban inexpensive and convenient technologies such as light bulbs, coal fired electricity generation and used oil heating to "stop climate change." They can't show how the alternatives being promoted will actually help the environment – we are expected to simply believe that such sacrifices for the climate will benefit us all, even if real pollution levels rise, food prices increase as agricultural land is converted to biofuels production and millions of birds are cut to pieces by wind turbines. 'Believe' is the key word here, not 'think'.
This is one of the things that drives me nuts about the whole issue! I'll have more to say on that in another post.
Along with Vermont Senator Bernard Sanders and a handful of other Democrats, Boxer is promoting the ludicrously titled "Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act", also referred to as the" Sanders/Boxer bill, S.309". The phrase 'global warming pollution' is wildly inappropriate but is used repeatedly by Gore, Boxer and others in the hopes that the public will look upon their actions as honest attempts to help the environment by reducing pollution. In reality, the major target of the act, Gore's crusade and other futile attempts to 'stop climate change' (e.g. the Kyoto Protocol) is carbon dioxide (CO2), a gas essential to life and in no way a pollutant. Using the sweeping and more threatening sounding term "greenhouse gases" (of which CO2 is only one), environmental alarmists clearly hope the public don't wake up to the fact that they are really speaking mostly about the benign gas CO2. While many politicians know very well that CO2 emission reduction is pointless and will have little if any impact on climate, some truly don't know the difference between CO2 and pollution – witness the Boxer-like statement of Canadian Liberal MP Joe Volpe before entering the House of Commons to vote in favour of Canada's ratification of Kyoto in 2002, "For all intents and purposes, there isn't anybody that I know that doesn't want cleaner air and a cleaner environment, so why would you vote no?"
Another point that gets my back up! CO2 and carbon, often used interchangeably, are both being labeled as pollutants! Well, carbon *can* be part of smog pollution. It is, after all, a solid and breathing it just isn't a good thing - any more than breathing any other particulate matter will cause problems. Thing is, we are carbon based life forms, living on a carbon bases planet. To label carbon and CO2 as pollutants is ignorant and disingenuous.
Divorcing themselves entirely from science, political opportunists proceed to claim the moral high ground by appealing to our natural instinct to protect children.
Ah, yes - the final and greatest emotional appeal! "Won't somebody please think about the children!"
Of course we have no chance of "reversing global warming" (and why would we want to? Global cooling is far more dangerous and climate is never constant). Boxer's rhetoric is simply an appeal to emotion over rational thought. Such an unscientific stance is bad for society and, ultimately, bad for the environment as well, but political spin doctors seem to have concluded that it still attracts many voters.
That's the greatest power AGW proponents have - appeal to emotion. The "skeptics" and "deniers" tend to use logic to explain their views. People don't respond to logic unless it is tied to emotion. The politicians know this and use it to full extent.
The specter of industry-caused "climate chaos" - a ridiculous term used by Canadian Green Party Leader Elizabeth May - ultimately leading to the 'destruction of the planet' is a perfect vehicle for people who want to radically alter, or even dismantle, western civilization. Chief among these is Canadian Maurice Strong, head of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and until recently, Executive Officer for Reform in the U.N. Secretary General's office. His comment, "Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized nations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?" speaks volumes about what is really going on in the minds of some environmentalists.
The following quotes illustrate the dangerous anti-human nature of cells within the environmental movement, many of whom have adopted today's climate crusade as their primary raison d'être:
Biologist David Graber (U.S. National Park Service): "They [natural things] have intrinsic value, more value - to me - than another human body, or a billion of them. Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, are not as important as a wild and healthy planet. Somewhere along the line - about a billion years ago - we quit the contract and became a cancer. We have become a plague upon ourselves and upon the Earth. Until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along."
Philosophy Professor Paul Taylor, City University of New York in "Respect for Nature: A Theory of Environmental Ethics", p. 115): "Given the total, absolute, and final disappearance of Homo Sapiens, not only would the Earth's community of life continue to exist, but in all probability, its well-being would be enhanced. Our presence, in short, is not needed. And if we were to take the standpoint of that Life Community and give voice to its true interests, the ending of the human epoch on Earth would most likely be greeted with a hearty "Good riddance!"
Dave Forman, Founder of Earth First!: "Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental."
Earth First! Journal editor John Daily: "Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs."
An equally extreme case is Peter Singer, a 'bioethicist' at Princeton University. He maintains that the suffering of a crippled ant deserves equal consideration to that of a crippled human child. If we could only save one, he says, we should decide by the flip a coin or else we would be "speciests".
And of course the macabre " Voluntary Human Extinction Movement " is apparently alive and well with its "volunteer" class members agreeing that, "All of us should voluntarily refrain from reproducing further, bringing about the eventual extinction of Homo sapiens." Asserting that "Phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth's biosphere to return to good health", the group's motto is "May we live long and die out."
In the extraordinary book "Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" written 150 years ago by Charles Mackay, is written, "Men … think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."
Wow. What more can I add to that? Stunning!