Friday, February 29, 2008

Still Believe The CO2/Global Warming Drivel?

When you've lived through as many apocalypses (apocalypsi?) as I have--the population bomb, global cooling, peak oil, nuclear winter, SARS, bird flu, and probably several others if I spent a few more minutes either remembering or searching the archives here on my blog--you probably won't panic every time someone presents another doomsday scenario, either. Well, you won't unless they also want to destroy our capitalist system and have us all return to an agrarian lifestyle, in which case a little panic and a lot of mockery would be merited on your part.

From this old post we get a list of why we shouldn't take those fanatics seriously:

What do they all (the apocalypses) have in common? Several things.

1. They all required immense, immediate governmental action,
2. action favored by leftists,
3. action that would have a seriously adverse effect on the global economy and prosperity,
4. to forestall apocalyptic consequences.
5. None of them happened.

Here's some more information to consider, go take a read.


russelllindsey said...

This is a great piece, and I couldn't agree with you more. I just recently came across your blog, and I will be visiting often. My Mom has been a public school teacher in Michigan for nearly 30 years, so I'm pretty familiar with many of the issues that you raise. I profiled your blog on my own blog -

An avid reader,


Darren said...

I always enjoy it when a reader introduces him/herself. Thank you!

KauaiMark said...

You forgot the millennium panic of Y2K

Darren said...


One interesting thing about Y2K was that despite the apocalyptic scenarios, no major government intervention or program was pushed. You know why? Because we'd know if the apocalypse was occurring a couple seconds after midnight. Those who were wrong could be held to account. We don't know *when* the global warming doomsday scenario will play out--and when it doesn't, there won't be a way to hold anyone to account. If we've already thrown our economy and our way of life down the gutter in the interim, well, maybe we *prevented* a tragedy.

The nutjobs don't like something that's specific.

Step Back said...

This is not a supportive comment.
I'm a "peakist" when it comes to crude oil.

I've got nothing against people being "conservative" (which of course has nothing to do with conserving the status quo of Earth's atmosphere, rain forests, etc.).

What surprises me though is that as a "math" teacher you engage in so much illogical rhetoric:

1. Lumping all apocalyptic theories together (population bomb, global cooling, peak oil, nuclear winter, SARS, bird flu, Y2K).
2. Engaging in ad hominem mock attack (all apocalyptic theories are supported by the "leftists")
3. Not having the facts straight ("5. None of them happened.)

As for #3, Peak Oil did happen.
Production in the USA lower 48 did peak around 1972 and has been on a steady decline since despite all advances in "technology". Production of North Sea oil peaked. Production of Mexican oil peaked recently.

The current debate is about "when" rather than "if" global production has or will peak. And in that we are talking about conventional crude oil as opposed to unconventional liquid fuels.

The need to laugh off all apocalyptic predictions is understandable. But it is irrational and illogical. The dinosaurs were rendered extinct by some apocalyptic event. Apocalypses do happen. The fact that none has yet happened to "you" is self evident by the fact that you are still here to laugh about it. But from a logic point of view that proves nothing.

Darren said...

Yes, I'm a "math" teacher--why we need the scare quotes eludes me, but I'm sure they have some cosmic significance to you.

Calling a leftie a leftie isn't an ad hominem attack. If I called them something bad and dismissed their arguments on that, as opposed to on the merits, *that* would be an ad hominem attack.

Peak oil was a biggie back in the 70s. The planet has more *known* oil reserves today than it did back in the 70s--and we aren't even sure what's under ANWR because some lefties don't want to drill there. There's no *logic* to that--the same so-called logic was applied to Prudhoe Bay--so I question either the motives or the intelligence of such people, perhaps both.

The fact that none of the mentioned apocalypses happened seems like fairly good evidence, at least to me, that people like to dream them up for some political advantage. Call it Chicken Little or Crying Wolf, eventually people won't believe you--even if, just once, you finally get it right.

Credibility is an important quality.

Step Back said...

Well as a math teacher, you should be big on definitions (e.g. what is a line?, what is a point?, etc.).

Peak Oil is the point where per annum rate of production hits a maximum followed by a permanent decline.

The lower 48 USA did peak in 1972. Luckily we had a safety net to jump down to, namely the rest of the world. This is why USA net imports of crude oil have steadily increased to the current level where we import more than 60% of our consumed oil.

When planetary production "rate" (not to be confused with proved reserves) peaks, there will be no further safety net to jump down to. This is the only planet we have.

Emotional crying about wolves has nothing to do with this problem. Hubbert's curve is credible and proven in every free market economy where there is a no holds barred ability by commercial enterprises to go for the gold as they did in Texas. ANWR will just be small blip on the radar screen as was Purdhoe Bay.

Darren said...

I always considered the "peak oil" scare to be about known reserves, so take my comments about peak oil in light of that fact.

What percent of US production of oil comes from Prudhoe Bay? More than a blip.

We don't drill off the coast of California or Florida, either, and we don't put wind farms off Cape Cod. NIMBYism at its worst--to our nation's detriment.

Step Back said...

"I always considered the "peak oil" scare to be about known reserves"

Well in that case you unfairly mischaracterize "the enemy" both to yourself and to your readers. :-)

"What percent of US production of oil comes from Prudhoe Bay?"

Congessman Roscoe Bartlett's recent speech on the House floor includes 2 graphs that answer your question. See pages 4 and 5 of this PDF file. There was slight delay shift on the decline side of the curve.

Transcripts and videos of Bartlett's speech may be found under this Google search.

(Like you, I very much wish that Peak Oil was one big hoax and just a scare tactic. But after studying this thing over the coarse of years --and always with a critical, skeptical eye-- I come to the conclusion that it is real and will be soon upon us if not already here now. I would love to see "logical" explanations for why this conclusion is wrong because I do not welcome with relish the consequences of PO. Peakists are no t crazed fanatics. Many of us are thinking engineers and scientists who reevaluate this thing over and again hoping to find a viable escape route.)