Climate Change: 21st Century Snake Oil

File:Snake-oil.pngSnake oil is an expression that originally referred to fraudulent health products or unproven medicine but has come to refer to any product with questionable or unverifiable quality or benefit. By extension, a snake oil salesman is someone who knowingly sells fraudulent goods or who is himself or herself a fraud, quack, charlatan, and the like.

Two main hypotheses for the origin of the term are as follows: The more common theory is that the name originated in the Western regions of the United States and is derived from a topical preparation made from the Chinese Water Snake (Enhydris chinensis) used by Chinese laborers to treat joint pain. The preparation was promoted in North America by travelling salesmen who often used accomplices in the audience to proclaim the benefits of the preparation.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake_oil

The Deliberate Corrupt... Ball, Tim Best Price: null Buy New $9.95 (as of 12:25 EST - Details) On May 6th 2014 the U.S. Global Change Research Program released the Third National Climate Assessment.  One significant “finding” of the assessment is:

The global warming of the past 50 years is primarily due to human activities. Global climate is projected to continue to change over this century and beyond. The magnitude of climate change beyond the next few decades depends primarily on the amount of heat-trapping gases emitted globally, and how sensitive the Earth’s climate is to those emissions.

The reader is welcome to wade through the entire report and draw his own conclusions. I will here outline why this report is 21st Century Snake Oil and why the government is our 21st Century Snake Oil Salesman!

First, does it strike you that scientists who have a hard time forecasting the weather for a few days ahead, are trying to tell us what the climate will be several years ahead?    Computer modeling to forecast future happenings The Little Green Book ... James Delingpole Best Price: $5.70 Buy New $19.99 (as of 06:30 EST - Details) does not appear to work well when applied to weather and climate.  Yet where does the “science” of global warming and climate change come from?  Yes, it is computer models!

More importantly, the Earth has been around for a long time:

The age of the Earth is 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years (4.54 × 109 years ± 1%).[1][2][3] This age is based on evidence from radiometric age dating of meteorite material and is consistent with the ages of the oldest-known terrestrial and lunar samples. Following the scientific revolution and the development of radiometric age dating, measurements of lead in uranium-rich minerals showed that some were in excess of a billion years old. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_the_Earth

Unstoppable Global War... Dennis T. Avery Best Price: $1.25 Buy New $1.99 (as of 04:35 EST - Details) During this period the earth has gone through some very significant “climate change” dwarfing any that has happened since the advent of anatomically modern man about 200,000 years ago.  These “climate changes” include the changing of continents, movement of sea areas, heating far beyond anything ever seen by man and cooling to the point where major portions of the earth were covered with ice.  Climate change has accounted for development and extinction of whole species like the dinosaurs, wooly mammoth and countless others.  In short, the earth has sustained major upheaval and changes in climate far greater than any observed since records have been kept by man.  Yet man was not there to emit any “heat trapping gases” or otherwise influence this climate change.  So why do the authors of the Third National Climate Assessment have the temerity to tell us that man is responsible, in any part, for the minor warming observed in the past fifty years?  Are you seeing any snake oil here?

Of course, since the warming trend of the past fifty years has apparently stopped for about 17 years, the snake oil salesmen are now claiming that the problem is still climate change and man is contributing to that via emissions of “heat trapping gasses.”  The changes will cause melting of the ice caps, higher sea levels causing coast line erosion and flooding in some coastal cities.  If we do not act and act soon, all of these calamities will overtake us. The Chilling Stars: A ... Henrik Svensmark Best Price: $2.01 Buy New $1.99 (as of 07:25 EST - Details)

Not necessarily so.  Coast lines have been eroding for thousands or millions of years, some cities built close to the sea (and sometimes below sea level like parts of New Orleans) have exhibited flooding on and off for as long as they have existed.  Ice near the poles moves around, changes shape, accedes and recedes some times opens navigation passages and sometimes chokes those passages with ice.   Man has learned to deal with those things in the past and can deal with them in the future.

Moreover, The National Center for Policy Analysis published a study in March of this year showing that the modest warming of the past 50 years may be helping the economics and standard of living of people around the Don’t Sell Your ... Harold Ambler Best Price: $2.00 Buy New $2.99 (as of 02:25 EST - Details) world.  http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba796

The snake oil salesmen want us to believe that our carbon dioxide output is contributing to warming (or other climate change) and that this is bad.  If we swallow this, then we could subscribe to some of their “cures” like subsidizing alternative energy (does Solyndra come to mind?), killing our coal industry, slowing down the development of our oil industry and generally abandoning activities producing wealth and contributing to GDP in favor of slower growth, more expensive energy, fewer jobs, subsidies for alternative energy projects, additional taxes and/or cap and trade and a generally weaker America.

There may in fact be climate change.  However, man did not cause it and probably can do nothing about it.  If there is climate change, we must learn to cope with it or benefit from it while we continue to develop our economically viable resources and do other things to increase our GDP.  We have to be smart enough to distinguish between the claims of the snake oil salesmen and common sense.  Most of all we must not give up any more growth to mitigate a problem that we did not cause and might not even have!