The Backwards-Thinking Environmentalist

justin-katz-avatar-smiling

Is it just me, or does this sound like the sort of thing that Hollywood would put in the mouth of an unsophisticated rube standing in the way of progress?

“Our climate crisis is at such an advanced point that we can’t be developing new fossil fuel resources, especially in one of the wealthiest countries in the world that has the largest historical responsibility for causing climate change,” said nationally-known climate activist Tim DeChristopher, of Pawtucket. “All of our oil and gas needs to be kept in the ground and here in Rhode Island we’re going to make sure that happens.”

The logical fallacies and just plain thinking are bad enough.  The stage of climate change is an independent variable from developing new fossil fuels.  Indeed, at a certain point, it might be too late to stop calamity, meaning that the only way forward is rapid technological advancement powered by cheap fuel.

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Similarly, the wealth of a nation has little bearing on its right to harvest fuel.  Indeed, environmentalists should account for the probability that the United States will extract fuel in a relatively environmentally friendly way, and with its produce driving down the price of fossil fuels worldwide, there is less incentive for the world’s truly bad actors to join the market.

But punctuating all DeChristopher’s bad thinking is this Luddite notion that the fuel must stay in the ground.  Does the superstitious bubba believe that Gaia will lash out in anger, like the goddess of nature in Disney’s Moana?



  • BasicCaruso

    “it might be too late to stop calamity, meaning that the only way forward is rapid technological advancement powered by cheap fuel.”

    Exactly, when racing towards a precipice don’t slow down and hope to stop. Floor it on the off chance you’ll clear the chasm. That’s “sophisticated” rube thinking right there.

    Meanwhile back on planet Earth…
    “North Pole surges above freezing in the dead of winter, stunning scientists”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2018/02/26/north-pole-surges-above-freezing-in-the-dead-of-winter-stunning-scientists/

    • Rhett Hardwick

      Didn’t that happen here, just about week and a half ago? Have you noticed that they just discovered all those missing penguins?

      • Mike678

        He’s trapped in an ideological fantasy zone–facts and thoughts other than those he supports can’t penetrate. :)

        • guest

          Mike, you can do better than that. Can’t you show us a link to one of your “credible” new sites claiming global warming is hoax?

  • Monique Chartier

    I would like to fully associate with everything Justin says in this post and add one item:

    Every AGW advocate like the person quoted needs to be given the following pop quiz:

    1.) What percentage of greenhouse gases does man generate versus Mother Nature? (Answer: only 6%.)

    2.) What was Earth’s climate at the start of the temperature record (mid/late 1800’s) that purportedly shows the warming trend that purportedly clinches man’s culpability in purported global warming? (Answer: Earth was coming out of a mini-ice age.)

    Third and final question: now do you see why we are so skeptical about the theorized phenomenon of manmade global warming?

    • BasicCaruso

      Like saying that a virus isn’t life threatening because 94% of your body temperature is naturally occurring. No question, that helps me understand your skepticism.

      • Justin Katz

        That’s a pretty bad, inapplicable analogy.

        • BasicCaruso

          Totally apt for the point being made. If a system can handle a load of N units, then N + 1 units is catastrophic, irrespective of whether that +1 is an additional 1 percent, 6 percent, or 500 percent.

          In this case, the human body can shed a certain amount of heat. Increasing the load even slightly above that level is fatal.

          • Justin Katz

            A virus is not a fever. By your analogy humanity is the virus, which I infer is actually your view.

            Also, greenhouse gases don’t equate directly with temperature.

            I could go on.

          • BasicCaruso

            No, by my analogy the burning of fossil fuels in excess of the Earth’s capacity to handle is like a virus.

            Come on, you’re sophisticated enough to understand a simple analogy.

          • Justin Katz

            A virus is not a fever. By your analogy humanity is the virus, which I infer is actually your view.

            Also, greenhouse gases don’t equate directly with temperature.

            I could go on.

    • BasicCaruso

      Question, what would be the conservative response to a looming threat to national security?
      https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/os-dcoats-021318.PDF
      The impacts of the long-term trends toward a warming climate, more air pollution, biodiversity loss, and water scarcity are likely to fuel economic and social discontent—and possibly upheaval—through 2018.

      The past 115 years have been the warmest period in the history of modern civilization, and the past few years have been the warmest years on record. Extreme weather events in a warmer world have the potential for greater impacts and can compound with other drivers to raise the risk of humanitarian disasters, conflict, water and food shortages, population migration, labor shortfalls, price shocks, and power outages. Research has not identified indicators of tipping points in climate-linked earth systems, suggesting a possibility of abrupt climate change.

      • Justin Katz

        Which record?

    • BasicCaruso

      What me worry?

      “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.” (Albert A. Bartlett 1923-2013, American Physicist)

      http://jclahr.com/bartlett/
      A SELF-EVIDENT TRUTH
      If any fraction of the observed global warming can be attributed to the activities of humans, then this constitutes positive proof that the human population, living as we do, has exceeded the carrying capacity of the Earth. THIS SITUATION IS NOT SUSTAINABLE!

      • Rhett Hardwick

        “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.” (Albert A. Bartlett 1923-2013, American Physicist)

        “The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest”. Albert Einstein, noted Physicist.

  • Guest

    Seeing how there are so many climate change experts at Ocean State Current I’d like to ask two questions;
    1- I live in the middle of the largest Ocean on the planet and on one of our islands is the Mauna Loa Observatory (MLO) a premier atmospheric research facility that has been continuosly monitoring and collecting data related to atmospheric change since 1950’s in undisturbed air, remote location (above 11,000 ft elevation on an elevated telescope tripod) and minimal influences of vegetation and humans activity at MLO are ideal for monitoring constituents in the atmosphere that can cause climate change. The 1950’s readings of co2 started out below 320 ppm and has continuously risen each year to currently 407 ppm.

    Please explain to me and your readers what is causing the continuous rise in this known greenhouse gas in such a remote location up in the upper atmosphere with no humans almost no vegetation and no animals on the side of this extinct volcano?

    2- Located likewise in the middle of the Pacific Ocean a five day motor cruise from the Island of Oahu is a 6-mile test site called Station ALOHA an acronym that stands for A Long-term Oligotrophic Habitat Assessment (“Oligotrophic” refers to environments without a lot of nutrients, such as the Ocean far from land.). More than 2,000 scientists from the United States and across the world have taken the five-day cruise North of Oahu, and some 1,500 scientific papers have relied on data collected at Station ALOHA.

    At Station ALOHA, scientists have measured and recorded the hydrography, chemistry and biology of the water depths at this remote spot in the Pacific Ocean for the last 30-years.

    At Station ALOHA scientists have recorded a steady rise in near-surface Ocean carbon dioxide and corresponding Ocean acidification–a rise that matches observations of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. Records of oceanic have been documented at Station ALOHA. Like the atmosphere, it is changing for the worst under man-made influences. Among other things, the Ocean is losing its oxygen , becoming more acidic, growing warmer and losing fish.
    So as you say no rush is needed this is all a farce to sell alternate energy, take man out of the equation what is causing this especially in the world’s largest ocean?

    • Red State Guy

      Fox News says it’s not true.

  • BasicCaruso

    “Next time you meet a climate change denier, tell them to take a trip to Venus. I will pay the fare.”
    — Stephen Hawking

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