Starbucks & Climate Change, Ctd.
“God I hate climate change deniers”. To me, that quote says it all which could be reworded as: “If you don’t believe what I, or the majority believe, then I hate you.”
Just as a side note, the problem with this post is this: “What we are really seeing as a company as we look 10, 20, 30 years down the road – if conditions continue as they are – is a potentially significant risk to our supply chain, which is the Arabica coffee bean,”
This is where it takes a wrong turn. Do you know how difficult it is to predict the weather tomorrow? Try adding 3,650 days (which is 10 years) to that guess! And do you know how meteorologists come to these conclusions? They use inaccurate, small scale modeling. There are many scientists that I have found, thousands more that I’ve heard about, that deny the harsh speculation around climate change. I have read many scholarly, peer-reviewed articles debunking climate change science. There appears to be a significant disagreement. And the last time I checked, a majority agreement was not a requisite of truth.
I’m not a scientist and I can’t actually test these theories myself. But I do know one thing: As Mark Twain once said, “If you ever find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect”. I also know, with good reason, that a large portion of the “green movement”, which encompasses organics, PETA, and other radical movements, is globalist, power grabbing propaganda that has done nothing but chase industry away from my country, into the protective boundaries of other countries who are more nonchalant about these supposed issues.
I remember in the 80’s when the scare was the complete opposite. It wasn’t “global warming”. It was “global cooling”. The “science” that was spread around, and the the common folk (people like you and I) who don’t really know diddly shit about climate science were hysterical over this fanatical idea that the next ice age was right around the corner. The only thing right around the corner was the flip-flop of the scientific consensus. Color me so surprised.
I can’t say I’m a climate change denier because I expect the Earth’s climate to change naturally on its own. But this time around, I have learned my lesson. I am just going to accept the fact that I don’t know shit about the science and I’ll be damned if I’m going to hop on some social movement bandwagon like a bunch of silly fuckin’ liberals.
Your response was a reasonable counter-point until we got to this:
I’ll be damned if I’m going to hop on some social movement bandwagon like a bunch of silly fuckin’ liberals.
In this one sentence, you demonstrated the very derision that you began your post by castigating. So we’ll call that one a wash and get to the core of the issue.
I’m not a scientist either. Which is why I trust their conclusions when consistent majorities of them tell me that something is true. Twain’s wisdom about finding one’s self in the majority does not preclude one from coming to the conclusion that the majority is in fact correct.
What we are talking about here is scientific consensus. Of course there’s disagreement in the scientific community about climate change. There’s disagreement in the scientific community over virtually every single topic known to man. The question is: do we have anything resembling consensus on the issue? And do the readily observable facts on the ground support an inference by the average individual that they aren’t just blowing smoke up our collective asses? The answer to both those questions is yes.
First, let’s start with a 5000+ capture of climate-change articles:
That’s pretty lop-sided. Out of 5000+ papers published on the topic, only 189 affirmatively assert that man-made climate change either does not exist or has not been demonstrated. that’s less than 0.1%. We do have a fleshy “neutral” category, whichsuggests that there might be room for debate. But put it in context: if the evidence is so granular and unclear, as the signatories of the U.N. letter you posted suggest, then why is the distribution so lop-sided? The fact that it is that lop-sided ought to say something about where the evidence is pointing us. And that’s the direction that Climate Science is headed. Don’t take my word for it either. Ask the scientists themselves.
A 2008 poll of American Climate Scientists showed that 8 out of 10 believed climate change is real and humans are contributing to it. The specific numbers are staggering:
Eighty-four percent say they personally believe human-induced warming is occurring, and 74% agree that “currently available scientific evidence” substantiates its occurrence. Only 5% believe that that human activity does not contribute to greenhouse warming; the rest are unsure.
i.e. we’re not just talking about simple majorities. We have large, consistent super-majorities of the folks who study this stuff for a living are coming to the same conclusion. You could reasonably reject the 5000+ article survey above as demonstrating consensus. You can’t reasonably reject 80+% agreement on an issue as consensus.
Why are the numbers so high? Because the evidence is there. And as time has gone on, more and more scientists who used to be “on the fence” change to the majority position:
In 1991 the Gallup organization conducted a telephone survey on global climate change among 400 scientists drawn from membership lists of the American Meteorological Association and the American Geophysical Union.
We repeated several of their questions verbatim, in order to measure changes in scientific opinion over time. On a variety of questions, opinion has consistently shifted toward increased belief in and concern about global warming. Among the changes:
In 1991 only 60% of climate scientists believed that average global temperatures were up, compared to 97% today.
In 1991 only a minority (41%) of climate scientists agreed that then-current scientific evidence “substantiates the occurrence of human-induced warming,” compared to three out of four (74%) today.
The proportion of those who see at least a 50-50 chance that global temperatures will rise two degrees Celsius has increased from 47% to 56% since 1991.
The proportion of scientists who have a great deal of confidence in our understanding of the human-induced sources of global climate change rose from 22% in 1991 to 29% in 2007. Similarly, the proportion voicing confidence in our understanding of the archeological climate evidence rose from 20% to 32%.
Despite these expressions of uncertainty, however, the proportion which rating the chances at 50-50 or better that the role of human behavior will be settled in the near future rose from 47% in 1991 to 69% in 2007.
The letter you posted represents a determined minority of the scientific community. Poll after poll after poll after poll after poll of the scientific community shows supermajorities of the scientific community affirming anthropomorphic climate change, and the highest level of consensus is among actively-publishing climate scientists:
I posit that it is unreasonable to suggest that a poll which delivers 97% consensus on any allegedly unresolved academic issue, much less anthropomorphic climate change, is even possible in the absence of consensus among the academic community being polled.
Lastly: why did I write that I hate climate-change deniers? I didn’t write that sentence because I hate anyone who disagrees with me. Anyone who’s been reading my blog for any amount of time knows that I enjoy a rather cordial relationship with quite a few of my ideological rivals on any number of subjects.
I wrote that sentence because, 1) I believe that skepticism on this front is unreasonable given the weight of scientific authority behind it, but more importantly, 2) agnosticism in this arena is literally putting us all in danger. Their “prudent skepticism” is delaying a response. The entire global community has a role to play on this issue; and there may have been a time when the climate-change question was genuinely debatable. I think that time has passed. FFS man, our polar ice caps are disappearing:
These numbers aren’t trivial. Polar Bears, who have gotten along great for millenia, are now seeing their natural habitat disappear:
Those searching for unmistakable evidence of the global climate crisis should pay a visit to the Arctic. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. The average annual temperature in Barrow, at the northern-most tip of Alaska, has increased 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the last 50 years. Almost every week Alaskans see a news story about the impacts this rapid warming is having right here at home: coastal villages being forced to relocate because of accelerated erosion caused by climate change; Arctic ice cellars in the permafrost melting and causing the loss of stored food; violent fall storms threatening people and animals; walrus and polar bears coming ashore in greater and greater numbers because their sea-ice habitat is melting beneath them.
And while animals are seeing their natural habitats destroyed, natives are seeing ancestral homelands become unlivable. This thing is going to blow up wide soon unless we collectively commit to doing something about it.
I generally respect the position of skepticism as a rule of thumb. Regardless of context, everyone should always approach a new subject with a desire to be inundated with evidence before making a decision. But this isn’t a new subject. And we have been inundated with evidence. The trends are clear. The consensus is there. And every time some “smoking gun” about climate science surfaces, we always inevitably find out that it was anything but. At a certain point, intractable skepticism needs to give way to acceptance of what’s in front of one’s nose. I’m not asking you to abdicate your capacity your free thought; nor am I trying to force a social agenda on you. I’m asking you to acknowledge the work that’s out there and weigh it properly from an evidence-based standpoint. Retaining skepticism in the face of the degree of consensus which currently exists among the scientific community on anthropomorphic climate change seems more like intransigence disguised as prudence.