Global Warming - The Morning After

Written by Roger Graves

Unless you have lived a singularly blameless life you will have occasionally experienced the morning after the night before. That's when you wake up to find your mouth tasting like the cat's litter box, someone is pounding on the inside of your skull with a hammer, and the Sandman has apparently sprinkled industrial slag into your eyes.

But worse than this are the sudden memories of the things you said and did the night before. Singing falsetto karaoke with a lampshade on your head, while hilarious at the time, now appears to be one of those things you would like to forget but are worried that nobody else will. The Western world is about to experience the morning after the night before.

For many years the world has been having a party with its global warming beliefs. Now the whole idea appears to be coming apart at the seams, the party is over, and inevitably we shall have a hangover. What will it be like?

Global warming has always been a matter of belief rather than science. Thinking logically about it is not encouraged. Global warming is the modern-age religion, and like all religions it should avoid making verifiable predictions. It's one thing to say you will go to Heaven if you live a good life, because you can't prove or disprove it. However, if your religion says with utter certainty that the world is going to end on Tuesday, and then Wednesday comes along anyway, you have a credibility problem. Nobody wants a religion that says: "this is the eternal and unchanging truth, until we decide to change it."

Global warming is about to find out that it has committed the unforgiveable sin of being a religion with verifiable predictions.

For years we have been told that the globe is warming at an unprecedented rate because we are burning too much fossil fuel. Then the Climategate scandal at the Climate Research Unit in Britain revealed the extent of the data manipulation and outright falsification necessary to maintain this facade. The former head of the CRU has now admitted that there has been no statistically significant warming in the last 15 years. A statement in the last UN IPCC report to the effect that the Himalayan glaciers would all be gone by 2035 has been shown to be based on a off-hand remark by a scientist to a reporter, backed up by no data whatsoever. Many of the dire predictions in the IPCC reports have been traced to propaganda put out by environmental advocacy groups who stand to benefit from global warming scares and the funding that typically flows from them.

The world is about to have a global warming hangover. The world will look back at the night before and cringe when it remembers the foolish things it did. People will realize that they were lied to by their governments, by the media, by those such as teachers and academics who should have known better. And out of that may very well come an overarching distrust of everyone in such positions.

One area where I can see this happening is Ontario's indecent haste to rush into wind power. We have been assured by the government that wind power will help combat global warming and the situation is so urgent that normal planning considerations have been set aside. The Ontario government has given itself powers to site wind turbines anywhere it wants and to sign huge contracts with foreign suppliers without the usual bidding process. Without these powers, we are assured, environmental catastrophe will be upon us.

The trouble with wind power, apart from its visual and aural obtrusiveness, is that it typically costs two to three times as much as conventionally generated power. It’s only justification is that it may reduce CO2 emissions, and thereby help combat global warming. (Actually it doesn't reduce CO2 emissions all that much because of the need for standby power when the wind stops blowing, but that's another story.) But if anthropogenic global warming is non-existent, as seems more and more likely, then the whole reason for wind power disappears, and Ontario will be left with nothing more than a hangover in the form of a lot of long-term contracts for very expensive and unreliable power.

Events like these will likely cause people to lose whatever confidence they once had in their government. It is a truism that democratic governments govern with the consent of the governed, but it is also true that governments can only govern effectively if they have the confidence of the governed. If the government says the sky is blue and the collective response is to squint outside to see what colour it really is, the government has lost its moral authority.

I doubt that too many readers of this piece will implicitly trust everything the government says. But a lot of people do seem to trust them. Just listen for that tell-tale phrase when next the government does something really stupid: "I'm sure they wouldn't do that unless there was a good reason for it". What happens when even these people start to distrust? It will be interesting to see. My guess is that government will have to re-invent itself.

Who knows, we may even get humbler governments that actually listen to people for a change.

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