Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What to do about global warming. Nothing!

Indur M. Goklany, PhD has a guest essay at WUWT refuting the hyperbolic claim that climate change is the most important challenge we face:
Some scientists, media, and, more importantly, eminent policy makers claim that climate change is this century’s most important global environmental problem. ... U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has declared that climate change is "the defining challenge of our age" .... Such pronouncements fuel the quest for rapid and drastic reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and concentrations.
Following a very comprehensive analysis of competing factors where "climate change" ranks 13th (at .3% of annual deaths world-wide) he concludes:

... the argument that we should shift resources from dealing with the real and urgent problems confronting present generations to solving potential problems of tomorrow’s wealthier and better positioned generations is unpersuasive at best and verging on immoral at worst.

... If one believes that developed countries have a moral and ethical obligation to deal with climate change, this obligation cannot, and should not, be met through aggressive emission reductions at this time—"cannot" because the planet is already committed to some climate change—and "should not" because the threats that climate change would exacerbate can be reduced more effectively and economically through focused efforts to reduce vulnerability or through broader efforts to advance economic development.

Dr. Goklany’s analysis accepts as given WHO mortality estimates associated with climate change. Since WHO’s assumptions and conclusions are highly dubious and alarmist to begin with, the true ranking of "climate change" on mortality is no doubt much lower than Goklany gives it credit for.

Someone should do an estimate of the effects of global cooling on mortality. Such an analysis would prove that global warming actually saves lives.

Interesting note: Dr. Goklany has the distinction of having had a letter on this subject rejected by Nature magazine which prompted this comment from Benny Peiser:
"One day, someone will have to publish a whole book of all the countless letters rejected by Nature and Science on the global warming debates."


David said...

The impact of climate change is expected to be in the future. The good doctor is comparing present mortality rates, giving us a very good comparison of apples v. oranges.

Is it as important as heart disease *right now*? No. Might it become critically important in the future? Some argue that it would; however, comparing mortality today for heart disease and climate change is a pretty cheap-ass way of assessing the risk.

But thanks for the info in any case. Perhaps you could put some of your own critical thought into it next time.

David said...

Now I see why his letters have been rejected, based on the above. No journal would publish nonsense like that.

Furthermore, just WHAT is his doctorate in, anyway? I can't find it with a quick search, which leads me to believe that it's NOT anything scientific or technical.

Finally, he's a shill for the CEI and the Cato Institute:

"Dr. Indur M. Goklany, has 30-plus years in federal and state governments and the private sector, during which he has written more than one hundred monographs, book chapters, and papers on topics ranging from climate change, human well-being, economic development, technological change and biotechnology to sustainable development. He has been a visiting fellow with the American Enterprise Institute and was the first Julian Simon Fellow at the Political Economy Research Center in Bozeman, Montana. Working for the U.S. Department of the Interior, he has represented the United States at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and in the negotiations leading to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change."

David said...

Sorry CEI = AEI

JR said...

Yes he is using current WHO mortalities. However he's also saying that even assuming that UN IPCC and WHO 'predictions' of future climate change and related ill effects are correct (and this seems less and less likely) the world will be much better off if hazards we know about are addressed and their mitigation is not compromised by wasting valuable resources (ruining economies) frantically trying to curb greenhouse gases now. A healthier and wealthier future global citizenry will be much better positioned (scientifically, technologically and financially) to solve any man-induced "climate" issues should they eventually be proven to exist. Bjorn Lomborg makes similar arguments.

You say he's a "shill" for organizations that haven't bought into, lock stock and barrel, global warming hysteria. In other words he lacks credibility with you because he's NOT a shill for organizations that actively promote hysteria - the IPCC executive, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, WWF, ELF, etc, etc.?

"Perhaps you could put some of your own critical thought into it next time.":)

climatecriminal said...

"Perhaps you could put some of your own critical thought into it next time."

are you kidding me? climate change acolytes don't know what the phrase means; if one used critical thinking then one wouldn't be swayed by man made climate changes' front man, a fat fraud, energy hog, known liar, and scam artist;
however our Al Gore groupie is right about one thing, the impact of climate change is expected to be in the future the trouble is the climate change shills really have no clue how that future will actually be

JR said...

Actually, that was intended as a bit of 'back-at-cha' snark but you're quite right about the absence of critical thinking among AGW true believers.

Their 'thinking' is actually the opposite of the critical variety. They adhere fervently to their AGW dogma, treating any counter facts, science or opinion as heresy to be ruthlessly purged.