Headless Chicken Brigade

As I mentioned here in a previous post, I put my Transition Talk on climate change up here, where you can stream it. If you like it, share it with your friends.

I got it up just in time for Prince Charles to label people like me “a headless chicken brigade” because we have a contrary opinion from the generally promoted notion of global warming that has been advanced by the UN’s IPCC.

I thought it was kind of him, though, to watch my video first before he came to his chicken opinion.

The good prince is not the only one who has taken issue with those of us who have done our own homework and decided that the conventional wisdom is lacking. A number of friends have contacted me, kindly questioning my good judgement, which led me to generate this response:

On the subject of climate change I’m with a different prince, one Prince Siddharta:

So let me ask you some questions:

  1. How much time have you personally spent systematically and objectively researching all sides of the climate change debate so that you can make an intelligent decision about what you believe?  20 hours?  40 hours?  80 hours?  In my case it is at least 120 or more hours.  I’ve looked at this from a lot of different perspectives for a considerable period of time.
  2. Fact: Over the past 410,000 years the temperature on this planet has increased and decreased on a very predictable, cyclical basis and the current average temperature of this interglacial period is cooler than those in the past.  If the present temperature is cooler than the other similar periods in history, why do you think that the present temperature and trends are unusual?
  3. Fact:  During this interglacial period in which we are currently living, the present planetary temperature is cooler than any previous time in this period and 8,000 years ago it was MUCH warmer than it is now.  Why would you therefore think that the earth’s present temperature was some kind of an anomaly caused by humans?   
  4. Fact: Over the past 410,000 years the earth’s temperature change has always LED the terrestrial increase (or decrease) in CO2 by 300 to 800 years.  If that is so, it is impossible that CO2 has historically driven temperature change.  Why do you think that, just because humans for the first time are putting significant amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, CO2 is now driving temperature – for the first time in all of known history?
  5. Fact:  All of the models upon which the IPCC predictions are based have been dramatically wrong in terms of the actual, observed temperature for the last 17 years.  Why would you therefore not question the validity of those models?
  6. Fact:  The earth’s temperature has not increased AT ALL in the last 17 years (when the models said that it would).  Why do you think that global warming is real?
  7. Fact:  There are about as many cold temperatures records being set around the world as warm temperature records.  Why would you characterize that as global warming rather than an erratic global climate that is certainly changing?
  8. Fact:  The Terms of Reference that established the IPCC expressly EXCLUDED them from considering anything but anthropogenic sources affecting global warming.  If there is a clear history of regular, naturally induced cycles in our climate, why would you think that a study that was prohibited from considering those natural inputs would be either objective or accurate?
  9. Fact:  U.S. government agencies like NOAA have ordered their scientists not to consider any potential natural influences on climate change, only human.  Why do you think that their analysis complete, objective and accurate?
  10. Fact:  There is a direct historical correlation to energy changes on the sun and symmetrical changes of our climate going back over 100,000 years.  Why wouldn’t you think that that relationship might be continuing now?
  11. Why do you think that the efforts of humans have more impact on this planet’s climate than the sun?  What is your sense of the relative differences in size and energy expended between human activities and those of the sun?  Are you aware of the billions and billions of times difference between us and the sun?
  12. Fact: If history is an accurate indicator, we are at the end of this period of interglacial warming; new science coming out of Russia and other places strongly suggests that it could well turn quite cold rather rapidly.  If the historical pattern suggests that we are likely near a mini-ice age, why shouldn’t we be thinking about how we, as a species, will adapt to this kind of potential climate change?
  13. Fact:  Every significant sector of human activity (education, politics, healthcare, energy, agriculture, geopolitics, religion, finance, military, you name it) is laced with serious ethical, moral, credibility and leadership problems these days.  Why do you think that science is different from every other activity?  What is it, do you think, that makes any particular part of science (like the IPCC) immune from the general characteristics across all of the rest of the species?  Why would one not, from the beginning, question the motives of anyone, on any side of this debate, knowing what we know about the nature of humans in leadership positions these days?
  14. Are you able to consider the underlying arguments here without your perspective being influenced by the fact that the Koch brothers and big industries are questioning the credibility of the IPCC as well . . . or do you presume that because they are on the “wrong” side of so many other things, they must necessarily be on the wrong side of this as well? 
  15. Do you think that what you hear on the news (regardless of the source) is always accurate?  Isn’t everything we know except what is going on in our immediate vicinity, mediated through these “news” sources? Is there anything you know for sure – particularly in regard to climate change?  Do you think that very large amounts of money are not spent – in every area of life – to influence your opinion? 
  16. Are there any other good reasons – apart from climate change – why we should be cleaning up where we live?  If so, why shouldn’t we embrace something that is obvious, at face value, (like the fact that you can make and save a lot of money doing it and dramatically increase the quality of life), as the reason why we should clean up the planet?
  17. Why do we need to introduce more fear and anger within humanity in order to get behavior change?  Might there be a better way?

I’ve asked all of these questions (and many, many more), and come to the conclusion that I’ve articulated in the video.  The climate is changing for sure, but it is likely that it will get cold and it’s being driven by extraordinary solar behavior that hasn’t been seen for almost 200 years.  We should be getting ready for that potentiality.

Subscribe to the FUTUREdition eNewsletter to receive articles like this in your Inbox twice a month. –JLP

One thought on “Headless Chicken Brigade

  1. Thanks, John, for your courage in posting your well-reasoned video and article, however, I’d really appreciate some global, or at least Iowa warming, tonight. It’s -10F and we’ve been below melting for weeks, it seems. Warm regards, B.

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