Kevin Smith: The perils of blindly pursuing a remedy to climate change

By Signal Contributor

Last update: Monday, November 7th, 2016

In reference to “Tackling climate change with a plan,” published Oct. 26 in The Signal: I am sorry, Ms. Gilmore, but I disagree.

I’ll bet that neither of us has the expertise to independently assess the scientific data of climate change. Therefore, we must rely on the opinions of others whom we must trust to come to our conclusions.

This is good, since we know that there are basically two types of individuals: those who would harm us for their own gain and those who would seek to benefit others. Both types support both sides of this issue.

In the several years that I have been carefully following the arguments of climate change, I have found that there seem to be more questionable characters pressing for drastic action to stop “global warming” than those on the other side.

Indeed, most of those who oppose acting feel that the evidence of human contribution to a natural cyclical phenomenon has not been proven, that the climate models are flawed and need better correlation with the actual, observable facts before action is taken, rather than not taking any action.

In the past, well-known proponents of human climate effects have disgraced their position by falsifying their data to better match observables.

In addition, some proponents have been extremely diligent in only allowing those data supporting their theories to be published, going to great lengths to ignore historic data collected by weather balloons for over 50 years and satellite data from 25 years (“Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years,” 2008 edition).

I believe that all available data should be evaluated for the best conclusion. I am suspicious when “scientists” are unwilling to use all the information available.

Look at what is at stake: If humans contribute to “global warming,” we must know how and how much and can we do anything about it.

To date, mankind has not been very successful in stopping other ravages of nature. We need to ask how much of an impact will doing nothing make, and what is the cost of acting?

Right now, I fear that we are on a path of drastic action without first determining if there is a big problem and understanding what we can do about it.

I think that the path our government has taken and seems to be pursuing will be drastic. As an electrical engineer for over 50 years, I know that the energy currently being developed by wind and solar is but a drop in the bucket compared to our total needs.

In addition, I am convinced that, should these methods ever provide enough energy for large nations, the costs will be overwhelming.

These costs will not just be to the USA The poorer nations of the world will “pay” because they will not have the terribly costly energy needed to develop modern industry that will lift their poor out of poverty. They will be doomed to exist at a sub-standard level for decades, if not centuries.

The “central planners” of the world realize this fact and are busy right now developing plans that follow your plan, Ms. Gilmore, but would regulate the lives of us all so that this economic disparity will never happen.

You may think that is good, but I don’t — far from it. Take my word, if we pursue the current path, we will all live to see a move to regulate “global warming” by the United Nations, which will be the first step to handing over the sovereignty of the United States to a global organization.

I strongly agree that there are some matters that need world agreement. I have even participated in implementing the results of such agreements in the past.

After World War II, the UN formed the International Civil Aviation Organization to coordinate matters pertaining to aviation for the entire world. I worked to help implement their policies and procedures into the civil and military aviation of the USA.

Certainly great strides have been made in the U.S. and other countries by cleaning up our water and air. However, we must always remember that we currently are a free nation and it is beneficial to ourselves and the world that we remain so.

Only those who believe that the United States is not an exceptional nation would wish to make us subservient to the UN.

In times, past, it was thought that the United States had a “Manifest Destiny” to expand and be great. Such thinking today is frowned upon. But I believe that if there is such a thing as Manifest Destiny for the USA, it is to remain strong, with good leadership and faithful citizens who will take a worldly view and help others enjoy the life of freedom that we have known.

To do this, we must not be subservient to any global organization. We must never surrender to the idea of adapting ourselves to the lowest common denominator.

Kevin Smith is a Canyon Country resident.

Click here to post a comment

Kevin Smith: The perils of blindly pursuing a remedy to climate change

iStock photo

In reference to “Tackling climate change with a plan,” published Oct. 26 in The Signal: I am sorry, Ms. Gilmore, but I disagree.

I’ll bet that neither of us has the expertise to independently assess the scientific data of climate change. Therefore, we must rely on the opinions of others whom we must trust to come to our conclusions.

This is good, since we know that there are basically two types of individuals: those who would harm us for their own gain and those who would seek to benefit others. Both types support both sides of this issue.

In the several years that I have been carefully following the arguments of climate change, I have found that there seem to be more questionable characters pressing for drastic action to stop “global warming” than those on the other side.

Indeed, most of those who oppose acting feel that the evidence of human contribution to a natural cyclical phenomenon has not been proven, that the climate models are flawed and need better correlation with the actual, observable facts before action is taken, rather than not taking any action.

In the past, well-known proponents of human climate effects have disgraced their position by falsifying their data to better match observables.

In addition, some proponents have been extremely diligent in only allowing those data supporting their theories to be published, going to great lengths to ignore historic data collected by weather balloons for over 50 years and satellite data from 25 years (“Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years,” 2008 edition).

I believe that all available data should be evaluated for the best conclusion. I am suspicious when “scientists” are unwilling to use all the information available.

Look at what is at stake: If humans contribute to “global warming,” we must know how and how much and can we do anything about it.

To date, mankind has not been very successful in stopping other ravages of nature. We need to ask how much of an impact will doing nothing make, and what is the cost of acting?

Right now, I fear that we are on a path of drastic action without first determining if there is a big problem and understanding what we can do about it.

I think that the path our government has taken and seems to be pursuing will be drastic. As an electrical engineer for over 50 years, I know that the energy currently being developed by wind and solar is but a drop in the bucket compared to our total needs.

In addition, I am convinced that, should these methods ever provide enough energy for large nations, the costs will be overwhelming.

These costs will not just be to the USA The poorer nations of the world will “pay” because they will not have the terribly costly energy needed to develop modern industry that will lift their poor out of poverty. They will be doomed to exist at a sub-standard level for decades, if not centuries.

The “central planners” of the world realize this fact and are busy right now developing plans that follow your plan, Ms. Gilmore, but would regulate the lives of us all so that this economic disparity will never happen.

You may think that is good, but I don’t — far from it. Take my word, if we pursue the current path, we will all live to see a move to regulate “global warming” by the United Nations, which will be the first step to handing over the sovereignty of the United States to a global organization.

I strongly agree that there are some matters that need world agreement. I have even participated in implementing the results of such agreements in the past.

After World War II, the UN formed the International Civil Aviation Organization to coordinate matters pertaining to aviation for the entire world. I worked to help implement their policies and procedures into the civil and military aviation of the USA.

Certainly great strides have been made in the U.S. and other countries by cleaning up our water and air. However, we must always remember that we currently are a free nation and it is beneficial to ourselves and the world that we remain so.

Only those who believe that the United States is not an exceptional nation would wish to make us subservient to the UN.

In times, past, it was thought that the United States had a “Manifest Destiny” to expand and be great. Such thinking today is frowned upon. But I believe that if there is such a thing as Manifest Destiny for the USA, it is to remain strong, with good leadership and faithful citizens who will take a worldly view and help others enjoy the life of freedom that we have known.

To do this, we must not be subservient to any global organization. We must never surrender to the idea of adapting ourselves to the lowest common denominator.

Kevin Smith is a Canyon Country resident.

About the author

Signal Contributor

Signal Contributor

  • indy

    I would suggest the Op-Ed writer look at the actual science versus giving us an anti-UN anti-regulation recital.

    The evidence for manmade climate change is no longer in doubt. The only folks that reject same are basically doing so on ideology grounds.

    I would suggest this book:
    Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity Dec 21, 2010 by James Hansen

    It gives an excellent review of the climate change ‘forcing factors’ to which CO2, a greenhouse gas is predominating. This is from the massive burning of fossil fuels.

    At the end of the day, we need to be exploring ‘sustainability’ between population and resources including the limits of fossil fuels.

    The US only has about 3% of the global proven reserves . . . and while the global population expands by some 75 million net per year, the US still has much of its international family planning aid blocked by GOP politicians that would ease the burning of fossil fuels.

    I’ll post up my ‘basics’ about climate change for reference.

    • indy

      What I find fascinating is that some Americans believe climate change is simply based on one’s ‘beliefs’ and not science.

      We all know about earth’s history including the ‘fact’ that CO2 is a greenhouse gas that does trap solar radiation that keeps this planet warm. Without this, we’d be living on a ice ball in space . . .

      The problem is that we’re increasing the CO2 very very quickly.

      But first, the simple chemistry:

      C + O2 = CO2

      When we burn fossil fuels, we are taking carbon from the carbon chains in the fuel, combusting it with oxygen in the air, using the heat and exhausting the combustion products that include CO2.

      How much of the CO2 is being emitted to the atmosphere?

      Consider the following just for the USA:

      – we burn about 1.1 BILLION tons of coal each year (about 3 tons per American)

      – we burn about 7 BILLION barrels of oil each year (about 22 barrels per American)

      – we burn about 26 TRILLION cubic feet of natural gas (80,000 cubic feet per American)

      All of this carbon is being ‘dug out of the ground’ and reintroduced to the atmosphere. This is causing the concentration of CO2 to raise from preindustrial levels of about 280 ppm (parts per million) to now going into the 400+ ppm range.

      This has caused the mean thermal temperature of the earth to raise about 1.5 degree Fahrenheit (read global warming).

      So the science is well understood and we can see that ‘humans’ are burning more and more carbon raising the concentration.

      The question is what will all of this mean?

      Well, more energy on the planet will create changing weather patterns (aka ‘climate change’) as the heat absorbed raises both the air and water temperature.

      Higher air temperature causes the air to hold more water and thus rain output will increase the magnitude of rainfall in some areas.

      Higher ocean temperatures will cause storms of greater magnitude.

      What these will be and their aftereffects we’re just starting to understand. But these changes are happening . . . and their consequences could be significant.

      So there’s little doubt that the burning of fossil fuels is having an ‘effect’ and we’re going to have to try to understand what that means long term.

      For links to the rising temperature due to climate change introduction of more CO2:
      But we can see the rising global mean temperatures: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/

      And we can also see the rising concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere as we burn more and more fossil fuels:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mauna_Loa_Carbon_Dioxide-en.svg

      Here’s a good link that clearly explains in the burning chemistry equations of coal and natural gas:

      http://telstar.ote.cmu.edu/environ/m3/s3/09fossil.shtml

      This is something you can again ‘see’ for yourself.

      Interestingly, they start off using my basic equation . . . .

  • Brian Baker

    Well said, Kevin.

    The reality is that the climate’s been “changing” for about 4 billion years, and there’s not one damned thing mankind can do to make it stop doing so.

    In fact, we shouldn’t even if we could. That change is the mechanism that leads to evolution and renewal. Without it, the entire planet would stagnate and die.

  • noonan

    What I find interesting about you Indy is, well, actually nothing! You should have your own beer commercial titled the Least Interesting Man in the World.

  • nohatejustdebate

    There are reports of growth of dark spots on Pluto, auroras on Saturn, polar shifts in Uranus and changes in light intensity on Neptune. Where are all these CO2 emissions coming from? Who can we blame for climate change on Mars?

  • robert stauffer

    The ability to stop the climate from changing is un-provable.

    To me, people who think we can stop the climate from naturally changing are akin to a Priest or Prophet blaming sin for recent Earthquakes or natural calamities.

    It’s possibly the cause….but un-provable….

  • robert stauffer

    I think it really looks ugly when you realize the ‘gubmint’ will not allow a private business to sell a product with an un-provable claim, but they force us to comply with un-provable, costly crony creating climate change legislation all the time.

    Does ‘Past results do not guarantee future return’ sound familiar?

  • robert stauffer

    If Jerry Brown had to slip that caveat into his speeches – maybe voters would be hearing the truth – and vote differently….

  • robert stauffer

    Totally unfair that he is not forced to disclose that …

  • robert stauffer

    like an evil ‘private business’ has to

  • “there seem to be more questionable characters pressing for drastic action to stop “global warming” ”

    Low information people really should not be expressing an opinion about climate science and global warming based on their opinions about “characters” or political ideology. They should learn a little science. Science means something. Scientific consensus means something. Yes, it’s those damned four-eyed scientists again, but they know what they are talking about.

    • Brian Baker

      In other words, any “scientist” can say anything, and you’ll blindly follow along like a bobble-head doll, is that right?

      Talk about “low information voters”…

      • “any “scientist” can say anything”

        No. There is a consilience of evidence and an overwhelming scientific consensus about AGW. Learning to read science helps. Barring that, it helps to trust scientists when the consensus is clear. I am talking about every science society in the world. 195 countries. Not to mention 7 peer reviewed papers confirming the consensus.

        Consensus
        Consensus on consensus: a synthesis of consensus estimates on human-caused global warming
        http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/11/4/048002

        Evidence (one of many summaries)
        https://royalsociety.org/~/media/Royal_Society_Content/policy/projects/climate-evidence-causes/climate-change-evidence-causes.pdf

        Comments like yours demonstrate that you know nothing about it.

        • Brian Baker

          Comments like yours demonstrate what a doofus you are.

          The “consensus of science” was once that the entire universe revolved around the earth. Looks like that one was wrong. More recently, eggs were bad; now they’re good. Same with sugar. Same with bacon. If those much-vaunted “scientists” can’t even figure out food, why would anyone have any confidence in their predictions about something infinitely more complex, like climate?

          I notice you didn’t try to reply to my earlier comment, so I’ll paste it in here:

          “The reality is that the climate’s been ‘changing’ for about 4 billion years, and there’s not one damned thing mankind can do to make it stop doing so.

          “In fact, we shouldn’t even if we could. That change is the mechanism that leads to evolution and renewal. Without it, the entire planet would stagnate and die.”

          Want to take a crack at it, doof?

          • “The reality is that the climate’s been ‘changing’ for about 4 billion years”

            Derp. Learn some science.

          • Brian Baker

            You’re saying it HASN’T?

            Now THAT is what I call being a “denier”. Absolutely super-glued on stupid.

          • “They should learn a little science. Science means something. Scientific consensus means something.”

            That’s about the stupidest thing I’ve heard. Consensus has zero to do with science. Consensus is used by politicians to convince low information voters that they have science on their side.

            Nothing could be further from the truth.

            The “consensus” you refer to has been repeatedly and thoroughly debunked, you should look it up, you may learn something.

    • noonan

      Coming from someone who thinks the climate should be something static Brian. What do you expect? So tell us “high information person”, what is the globes optimal temperature and when did we achieve that and how long did it last?

      • phil ellis

        I don’t think that Brian is the one espousing no change in the climate. Isn’t it those who are complaining about the change? You do ask a reasonable (but unanswerable) question as to what is the optimal temperature. Obviously, you have never worked in an office building with both men and woman.

        • noonan

          Good point Phil. I have yet to ever achieve the optimal temperature in my house, so how do these knuckleheads think it can be done on a planetary level?

      • There is no “optimal temperature” as far as climate is concerned. That is an absurd idea. You clearly do not understand the problem. It is not temperature per se that is the problem. It is the side effects such as melting ice, sea level rise, floods, desertification, greatly degraded agricultural yield, species die off, ocean acidification, etc.

        Read the book Six Degrees by Mark Lynas. Here is a brief summary.

        Mark Lynas on how global warming will affect the Earth
        http://www.theguardian.com/books/2007/apr/23/scienceandnature.climatechange

        The optimal CO2 level is probably 280 ppm, before the warming took off. Even if we stopped CO2 emissions now, we would will exceed 1.5 C anomaly, which is what the COP21 signatories. 2C is where we may start to see dangerous feedbacks, such as sudden collapse of the antarctic ice sheet.

      • Brian Baker

        I’ll stick this in here again in case the little local bobble-head wants to take a crack at it:

        “The reality is that the climate’s been ‘changing’ for about 4 billion years, and there’s not one damned thing mankind can do to make it stop doing so.

        “In fact, we shouldn’t even if we could. That change is the mechanism that leads to evolution and renewal. Without it, the entire planet would stagnate and die.”

        Well?

  • James de Bree

    Kevin, congratulations on a well thought through column.

  • noonan

    The funny thing is that they can never answer such a simple question.

  • noonan

    I hate to burst your bubble Peter, but a warming globe will be good for some and not for others, pretty much how’s it’s been since we crawled out of the primordial slime.

    Look at the bright side. If it gets really hot, then maybe our parasitic species will go extinct. Then you can have your optimal Co2 level unless of course we have a volcano or something.

  • noonan

    “The US only has about 3% of the global proven reserves .”

    You know Indy, no matter how many times your write this, it is still demonstrably false.

    • tech

      What will Indy say when rational energy policy is again applied to our *publicly owned” (Federal) land? In fact, a large portion of the Western USA should be returned to the control of their respective states.

      #winning

  • robert stauffer

    Science questions….

    Is the Sun a ‘Constant’? – No, it has ‘phases’, will collapse in on itself someday, but overall is unpredictable, as analysis of its surface and activity shows.

    Can climactic changes be explained by solar changes whereas atmospheric composition is essentially a non-factor? hmmmm……

  • Steve Lunetta

    Peter- it seems like an engineer like Mr. Smith may be able to make some reasonable comments on climate change. As I recall, planetary science was “settled” in Copernicus’ time yet we all know how that turned out.

    Anyone who has been around science for any length of time knows there are trends and fads. Just because you have a PhD does not mean you are impervious to the whims of herd mentality.

    And Mr. Baker, although strong-opinioned, makes an excellent point. If you look at global temperature data for the last 10-15K years, global temperatures have been increasing. Sometimes fast and sometimes slower but always increasing. Man and his penchant for burning fossil fuels has been a relatively new innovation. To blindly accept human causation of global warming is simply not wise.

    Also, because the same adherents to this philosophy write impressive sounding books that simply say “because there is so much correlative data, my theory must be true” but are still unable to conduct a single experiment to prove the theory, we must not accept human-caused climate change as fact.

Signal Contributor

Signal Contributor