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November 27th 2016 print

Tom Quirk

It’s all Greek to a Warmist

Climate catastropharians' effusive confidence in their cause demonstrates yet again that an unexamined belief is not worth holding. Pose a few simple questions, as Socrates might have done, and it won't be long before someone is calling for the hemlock

socrates fingerSocrates sought truth by asking questions.  He might have employed the following line of questioning to explore the subject of global warming. 

Socrates Nice to meet you Mr Smith.  I hear you are very concerned about dangerous global warming.

Smith Yes, we are facing the alarming prospect of a global-warming catastrophe.

Socrates What gives you such concern?

Mr Smith Emissions of CO2 from burning fossil fuels.

Socrates How were these fossil fuels formed?

Mr Smith Plants grew, died and formed fossil fuels during the Carboniferous Period.

Socrates Was there dangerous global warming prior to the Carboniferous Period?

Mr Smith No.  It was a very good time for life on earth.

Socrates So where did the carbon in fossil fuels originate?

Mr Smith Plants absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere prior to the formation of fossil fuels.

Socrates So the CO2 absorbed by plants at that time is now being released from burning fossil fuels.

Mr Smith It must be so.

Socrates You have observed there was no dangerous global warming prior to CO2 being absorbed to form fossil fuels, so how could the same CO2 now being released cause dangerous global warming?

Mr Smith I find the implication of your question provocative and disturbing.  You should know there is a move to bring charges against you for corrupting youth with your philosophical questions.

Socrates I am well aware that people are disturbed by my philosophical enquiries which reveal the truth with compelling logic and facts which refute long held beliefs.  Our conversation has been no exception.

Mr Smith I have to go now.

Tom Quirk is a member of the Climate Study Group. His analysis of the woes ahead for Victoria when the government of Premier Daniel Andrews shuts the brown-coal power station supplying more than 20% of the states electricity can be read at Jo Nova’s blog

Comments [12]

  1. ianl says:

    Thank you, Tom – entertaining and accurate enough. It’s the same result for any line of questioning in this area. Your articles drawn from the AEMO reports on the SA grid meltdown, as well as the Vic Sword of Damocles, are also appreciated.

    One of my alltime belly laughs (so far) comes from an email incontrovertibly written by Kevin Trenberth and exhumed for all of us to read in one of the Climategate archive sequences. Essentially , he says outright that reducing anthropogenic CO2 atmospheric levels, even if possible, can have no effect on climate that we can ever possibly measure … “How can we tell ?” is his unanswered question.

    In the light of that stark admission of futility, he has swerved even further left and now persistently advocates the reversal of the null hypothesis, ie. it is up to others to prove it (CAGW) isn’t true, he doesn’t have to demonstrate that it is. Not even slippery, just farcical. As an example of this emoting, I suggest the following: Michael Jackson was the 2nd coming. Now you prove he wasn’t. Well … ?

    As usual, the chips will tumble where they may. Fulminating, low level sarcasm, word salads made from websites that don’t address the issues, writing at the top of one’s voice, appealing to Cooks Constant (97% of just everyone who matters agrees etc etc), throwing the silly “conspiracy” smear – none of this approaches the damage done by the hysterics.

  2. denandsel@optusnet.com.au says:

    Spot on, well written and a great article. You have put into very few words what I have been unable to do when I put forward to my GREEN acquaintances the proposition that we are doing ALL life on earth by burning fossil fuels. Many of them get very irate when I tell them that every cell in their body contains carbon atoms that were once CO2 in the atmosphere.
    CO2 is simply plant food and a MINOR greenhouse gas. All life on this planet is dependant on CO2. When it drops below 150ppm all plants start to die and soon after [in geological terms] all animals will also die. All the ‘dreaded fossil fuels’ were once living things that originally came from atmospheric CO2. We are doing all life on this planet a favour by burning fossil fuels. Life on earth will cease in about two billion years time unless we return future life [CO2] to the atmosphere.
    Deserts have already started to ‘green up in many parts of the world and food crops have increased production by about 14% from even the modest amounts of CO2 mankind has re-released back into the atmosphere. The worlds temperature has NOT risen beyond natural variation levels since temperature records have been kept, and have not risen at all for the past 19 years despite the extra CO2.
    What has reducing our CO2 ‘pollution’ ever done besides making our electricity much, much more expensive than it should be?

  3. Ian MacDougall says:

    Tom Quirk, author of this inspired Platonic piece, is obviously a card-carrying member of the Ostrich School of Climatology. That’s the mob who first denied that there was any GHG-driven global warming at all, then opened up a new shop vending the line that ah some of it could ah be ah happening, but that it was nothing for anyone to worry about (eg Tony Abbott) and then a new outlet still: it is happening, but it can only be a Good Thing. This, according to my reading, is the Ostrich faction making the most rapid propagandistical progress.
    That global warming is happening is undeniable, as evidenced by the planet’s own infallible thermometer, which is sea-level. ( http://sealevel.colorado.edu/ )

    And as at the same time the atmospheric concentration of the heat-trapping gas CO2 is quite rapidly rising in the context of its pattern over geological time, and the ‘null hypothesis’ that CO2 has nothing to do with it, is in trouble: Serious trouble.
    Now if astronomers were looking at a serious asteroid heading straight for Earth, and creating the possibility of a replay of the event that wiped out the dinosaurs 62 million years ago, I doubt too many opinion-makers would be urging everyone to look for a bright side, whatever that might be. And having found one, to maintain their gaze on it.

    Why could global warming be possibly quite dangerous, and who for?

    For a start, about 2 billion people in South Asia depend on glacial-fed rivers for their supplies of fresh water. As those glaciers melt away, so does their water supply and present lifestyle. Pressure then builds on them to become climate refugees.

    Our species arose within the last 2 million years, around the time that the Isthmus of Panama was forming. That event created a land barrier virtually from pole to pole. This American barrier changed the oceanic circulation, setting in train the climatic events that brought on the glaciations of the Pleistocene, otherwise known as the ‘ice ages’. For the first time in the planet’s history, it had ice at both geographic poles, as well as on the ‘third pole’: the Himalayan Plateau. The geographical distribution of people we have at present largely results from this reality.

    So in the light of that, check out:

    Mr Smith Plants grew, died and formed fossil fuels during the Carboniferous Period.
    Socrates: Was there dangerous global warming prior to the Carboniferous Period?
    Mr Smith No. It was a very good time for life on earth.

    Well, according to http://www.scotese.com/climate.htm the Earth went through a significant cooling in the Carboniferous. This was possibly due to massive sequestration of CO2 in the booming vegetation of the time, the burial of which formed the massive Carboniferous coal deposits. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/carboniferous/carboniferous.php

    But the fictional dialogue between our Socratic ostrich and ‘Mr Smith’ certainly does reveal the primary concern here. Nothing must be allowed to interfere with business-as-usual. Business must proceed as usual, even if it takes business-as-usual right down a climate-change plughole as a result.

  4. Lawrie Ayres says:

    Logic is not a strong point for leftists. They are easily deluded and easily led. I therefore think that this scam is being used to destroy the West and the systems that make it great. There are attacks on science, the family and religion helped by useless politicians and the media. Are all these people mad? Like turkeys voting for Christmas.

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      All waffly generalisation, Lawrie. Try to be a bit more specific. It will help your case enormously.

      • denandsel@optusnet.com.au says:

        Ian, is this specific enough for you, an actual quote from Christine Figueras – [UN Secretary on UNFCC- United Nations Framework on Climate Convention] – “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.” “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history.”
        “The [Paris IPCC fiasco] meeting isn’t ‘about the temperature’ [which she said ‘is just a proxy.’] : It ‘is about the decarbonization of the economy’ — which means ending the use of fossil fuels, such as natural gas, oil, and coal.”

        • Ian MacDougall says:

          denandsel@optusnet.com.au:

          If fossil fuels were all we had for a source of energy, then civilisation and the bulk of humankind would have no future worth speaking of. And if fossil fuels were all we had for as long as it took them to run out, then with severe restrictions on their use we could maybe last 250-300 years.
          The optimistic climate ostriches among us insist that GHGs produced by burning fossil carbon are nothing for us or any future generation to worry about: despite pretty extensive scientific evidence to the contrary. I follow a precautionary principle on the use of all chemicals (and I have used a fair whack of them over the years). Guilty until proven innocent.
          We would have made the transition to 100% solar long ago if only it had been possible for some oligarch or company to buy the Sun.
          As it happens, solar is making rapid progress and inroads into the market the proponents of nuclear and fossil carbon hoped to keep unto themselves. So artificial financial measures have to be invented to keep solar at a competitive and relative disadvantage. If solar was playing on a level playing field with nuclear and fossil carbon, it would be all over bar the shouting by now.

          http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2016/07/the-next-generation-of-solar-panels.html

        • Ian MacDougall says:

          If fossil fuels were all we had for a source of energy, then civilisation and the bulk of humankind would have no future worth speaking of. And if fossil fuels were all we had for as long as it took them to run out, then with severe restrictions on their use we could maybe last 250-300 years.
          The optimistic climate ostriches among us insist that GHGs produced by burning fossil carbon are nothing for us or any future generation to worry about: despite pretty extensive scientific evidence to the contrary. I follow a precautionary principle on the use of all chemicals (and I have used a fair whack of them over the years). Guilty until proven innocent.
          We would have made the transition to 100% solar long ago if only it had been possible for some oligarch or company to buy the Sun.
          As it happens, solar is making rapid progress and inroads into the market the proponents of nuclear and fossil carbon hoped to keep unto themselves. So artificial financial measures have to be invented to keep solar at a competitive and relative disadvantage. If solar was playing on a level playing field with nuclear and fossil carbon, it would be all over bar the shouting by now.

          • MalW says:

            Ian
            “We would have made the transition to 100% solar long ago if only it had been possible for some oligarch or company to buy the Sun” ?
            We would have made the transition to 100% solar long ago if only it worked and was economically competitive. It does not and it is not.
            Bill Gates, the cool dudes who own Google, and a gaggle of like-minded wealthy leftists, have the resources to buy every solar cell manufacturing plant on Earth, and to pump out sufficient cells to go totally solar any time they like. They are not frightened of making a bob, yet they don’t. Why? Because solar does not work at night or on cloudy days, and it cant compete with technologies that work 24/7.

  5. Bill Martin says:

    Brief, snappy, to the point, brilliant.

  6. Wyndham Dix says:

    In support of Tom Quirk, denandsel and Lawrie Ayres:-

    1. Carbon is a critical element to all life. It is one of the six bulk elements and is the second-most common element in the human body. By mass it is the most abundant constituent of all the major molecules that organisms are formed from, including nucleic acids (e.g., DNA), proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. As a result, living organisms are intimately involved in the carbon cycle. . Some carbon compounds such as carbon monoxide (CO) or the cyanide ion CN- pose health and mortality risks to most fauna including humans. http://editors.eol.org/eoearth/wiki/Carbon-containing

    2. A human body of mass 70kg consists, inter alia, of 16kg carbon (22.8%), 43kg oxygen (61.4%) and 7kg hydrogen (10%), the latter two mostly in the form of water. Taken from http://chemistry.about.com/od/lecturenoteslab1/a/Elemental-Composition-Of-The-Human-Body-By-Mass.htm

    3. Element 2 – 23% – Clue: Without this element, you would just be a pile of loose atoms. It gives structure to the molecules that you’re made of, and is the basis for all life on Earth. Incomplete old link to “What elements are you made of?” : http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/dimensions/issue7/science_activity_tran… , National Research Council Canada

    4. For life to exist on earth an abundant supply of carbon is needed. John C Lennox, God’s Undertaker – Has Science Buried God?, p. 70, Lion Hudson plc 2009.

    The furniture of my mind pales into insignificance alongside that of John C Lennox MA PhD DPhil DSc, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College. Some will reject this as an appeal to authority; others will acknowledge that Prof Lennox is but one of many to recognise that carbon is foundational to life on earth.

    And we have politicians and others who want to sequester CO2 underground, preferably to eliminate man-made emissions of CO2 altogether, thereby to create a carbon-free or carbon-neutral society, and generally to saw off the branch on which they and we sit. Lamentable. The IPCC, with its egregious petitio principii, has much to answer for.

  7. Ian MacDougall says:

    MalW:

    Because solar does not work at night or on cloudy days, and it cant compete with technologies that work 24/7.

    It does not have to compete 24/7: only when it works best, which is on hot sunny days, when air conditioners and businesses are flat chat.

    Bring yourself up to speed. Have a look at https://www.edf.org/blog/2013/04/26/oil-and-gas-industry%E2%80%99s-assault-renewable-energy

    “Then there are oil and gas industry association leaders, such as American Petroleum Institute president Jack Gerard, who often talk about wanting a ‘level playing field.’ This implies that policies promoting renewable energy are unfair to fossil fuels.
    Don’t be fooled. Renewable investments pale in comparison to the amount of money poured into fossil fuel companies since 1918 to fatten their bottom lines and crowd out competition. In 2013, fossil fuels received 75 times more subsidies than clean energy did.