The Botox generation explanation for climate change fear

Guest essay by Charles Battig

“The only thing we have to fear is change itself”

Climate change is heralded as a most pressing challenge and potential danger to mankind. Many politicians have responded to an outpouring of writings by scientists eager to supply evidence for such claims. Such scientists are coincidentally eager to maintain governmental funding, and their jobs. Our Federal government imposes arbitrary environmental regulations, based on selective interpretations of tortured data. As a result, the public now suffers from politicized climate change angst. 

Command-and-control politicians seized climate change as a new opportunity to be seen responding favorably to the concerns of their constituents. In implementing governmental policies claiming to alleviate the claimed climate change, they affirm H. L. Menken’s oft cited dictum that: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

This surely is an age-old example of a feedback loop, albeit this time in the political, sociological realm. Forget the nuances of climate sensitivity, the mathematical sign, + or -, of cloud feedbacks, solar influences, and geological and astronomical cycles. For the public at large, a worrisome scare story will oft outdo the best efforts at logical refutation. Consider how much greater is the effort to calm a panicked theater audience once someone has falsely cried out “fire,” as the frightened mob rushes for the doors. Logical argument is trampled underfoot.

Amongst the imaginative list of climate induced impacts claimed are those detrimental to both our physical and mental health. In the spirit of post-normal science, also known as “abby-normal” science, I offer an explanation for the public’s fear of climate change…one based on our current cultural mores.

The Hollywood self-adulation and eternal youth culture is supported by a plastic surgery industry, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals…both traditional and herbal. Life-prolonged mental clarity and youthful dexterity are goals of Zen yoga. The public has become mesmerized by images of (nearly) non-aging stars, and wants the same for itself. They might be termed the “Botox® generation.” No wrinkles,

 

no sags with the passage of time, no physical changes as one chronologically ages. Aging shall be free from the threat of senility. Public expectation is that one is able to “non-age” in the fulfillment of philosopher/mathematician Leibnitz’s proposition that “we live in the best of all possible worlds.” This best is now; no change needed; change is bad; change is “abby-normal.”

Juxtaposition of the two only moderately worrisome words “climate” and “change” has produced the killer app “climate change.” Of the two, change is the more emotionally charged word. The current cultural notion that traditional biological change can be altered at will is at the heart of the receptiveness of the public to concern over manmade climate change. Undesired change is experienced as bad for us as individuals, and bad for all species. If biological non-aging can be human goal, why should the physical world not be changeless? Why must we endure climate change?

Thousands of years of climate adaptation by untold numbers of biological species is now viewed by climate alarmists as an obsolete process, as they assume that the global climate environment has reached its ultimate optimum state of “now.” Changes to this optimized “now” environment are viewed as insurmountable challenges of survival rather than part of the fabric of biological adaptation. No matter where on earth one is living, that environment is now held to the new standard of “no change.” Species extinction has become viewed as a manmade crime against mother Gaia. Weather patterns are now to remain confined to a stable narrow range of not too hot, not too cold. Not too many nor too unusual tornadoes, hurricanes, or sea level rise lest there be a hint of change.

For the “Botoxed generation,” the thing they fear is change itself. Try to change that.

Charles Battig, MD , Piedmont Chapter president, VA-Scientists and Engineers for Energy and Environment (VA-SEEE). His website is www.climateis.com

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32 Responses to The Botox generation explanation for climate change fear

  1. Zeke says:

    Silicon is perfectly safe ya know. (;

  2. cnxtim says:

    Thanks CB a clear, concise explanation that (hopefully) even the currently deluded can follow.

  3. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    100 is the new 15.

  4. Eric Worrall says:

    I have no end of fun pointing out how cr@p most people’s regional climate is.

    Here in Hervey Bay, Australia, in winter, the weather is sunny, I’m wearing short sleeves, it’s almost warm enough to go swimming. In Summer, almost every day is above 90F, and the water of the Coral Sea is like a warm bath.

    So suggestions that say Toronto will suffer if the world warms a little – I mean , seriously folks.

  5. Rod Leman says:

    If CB is wrong, we are screwed. There is no adapting to a 4+ deg C world for most species. We die.

    If CB is right, but we take drastic action to mitigate CO2, we spend maybe 5% of our GDP to have an ocean far less polluted with mercury, a less toxic ocean PH level, 100′s of thousands of lives saved from respiratory disease, 5 times as many energy jobs that stay at home with money spent at home, etc.

  6. latecommer2014 says:

    If a 4 degree change is spread over a century, never doubt we would prosper! The best quality of the human race is adaptability.. We have survived worse.

  7. latecommer2014 says:

    Rod. You worry too much about extremely remote possibilities!!

  8. Eric Worrall says:

    Rod Leman
    There is no adapting to 4+ deg world…

    What utter nonsense. Most species adapt every time the season changes to much larger swings in temperature.

    With an average annual temperature of around 25c, I’m already living in a much warmer climate than you likely experience. Life is good.

  9. dbstealey says:

    Rod Leman says:

    There is no adapting to a 4+ deg C world for most species. We die.

    That is a classic example of a baseless assertion.

    Next, Leman says:

    If CB is right, but we take drastic action to mitigate CO2, we spend maybe 5% of our GDP to have an ocean far less polluted with mercury, a less toxic ocean PH level, 100′s of thousands of lives saved from respiratory disease, 5 times as many energy jobs that stay at home with money spent at home, etc.

    1. Where did you get your “5% of our GDP” number? Links, please.

    2. What does mercury have to do with the “carbon” scare?

    3. Oceans are not “acidifying”, which is another baseless assertion.

    4. “Respiratory diseases” is another assertion.

    5. “5 times as many energy jobs” is yet another assertion.

    Where do you pull these wild-eyed scares from? Your fundament? This is a science site. Try to provide a basis for your True Beliefs.

    BTW: there is no way the planet is going to warm by 4ºC in our lifetimes, or our childrens’ lifetimes, or our great, great grandchildrens’ lifetimes. The real concern is global cooling, which would cause much more loss of life than anything you can imagine. A 4ºC decline would be a planetary disaster.

  10. Eric Worrall says:

    About species adaption – in the South of Australia, you see seagulls everywhere, eating scraps, pecking for bugs, surviving, thriving.

    Up here in the warmer North, you see hardly any seagulls – instead you sea Ibises everywhere, eating scraps, pecking for bugs, surviving, thriving.

    Even further North, closer to the Equator, Ibises give way to birds of paradise.

    Does it really make a pink fig of difference to my life, what kind of bird pecks at the bugs on my lawn?

  11. Tom J says:

    The skeletal, sunken eyed, hunter gatherers, unwashed, barely clothed with dead animal skins, stumbled upon an artifact of seeming importance. With calloused, filthy hands, they scraped and wiped away several decades worth an accumulation of dust and detritus to expose the following three [phrases] chiseled into the stone artifact, and with this discovery of these three words they immediately understood from where they came:

    Climate change.
    Secretary of State John Kerry.
    Botox.

  12. Chuck Nolan says:

    Rod, are you serial?
    cn

  13. José Tomás says:

    Rod, where is there more life and biodiversity?

    In the Amazon Forest or in Siberia?

    At Galapagos or the Weddell Sea?

    Where do American wealthy people move to when they retire? Alaska or Florida?

  14. Mark says:

    Eric Worrall says:
    June 11, 2014 at 7:25 pm
    Does it really make a pink fig of difference to my life, what kind of bird pecks at the bugs on my lawn?
    ——————————————————————
    I like the taste of a properly prepared bird harvested from my back yard. We call them turkeys.
    Just not sure what a parrot might taste like. So, with me, adaptation could be an issue. I might need more data.

  15. Jimbo says:

    Rod Leman says:
    June 11, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    If CB is wrong, we are screwed. There is no adapting to a 4+ deg C world for most species. We die…….

    Who said it would be 4C+?

    You say there is “no adapting to a 4+ deg C world for most species.” Humans live from the Arctic to the equator. Some hominids evolved in one of the hottest, geologically active locations on the planet, which is still inhabited today (Afar Depression, Awash Valley).

    Let’s go back into time and see what happened when the world was warmer than 4C.

    Abstract
    Systematics and Biodiversity – Volume 8, Issue 1, 2010
    Kathy J. Willis et al
    4 °C and beyond: what did this mean for biodiversity in the past?
    How do the predicted climatic changes (IPCC, 2007) for the next century compare in magnitude and rate to those that Earth has previously encountered? Are there comparable intervals of rapid rates of temperature change, sea-level rise and levels of atmospheric CO2 that can be used as analogues to assess possible biotic responses to future change? Or are we stepping into the great unknown? This perspective article focuses on intervals in time in the fossil record when atmospheric CO2 concentrations increased up to 1200 ppmv, temperatures in mid- to high-latitudes increased by greater than 4 °C within 60 years, and sea levels rose by up to 3 m higher than present. For these intervals in time, case studies of past biotic responses are presented to demonstrate the scale and impact of the magnitude and rate of such climate changes on biodiversity. We argue that although the underlying mechanisms responsible for these past changes in climate were very different (i.e. natural processes rather than anthropogenic), the rates and magnitude of climate change are similar to those predicted for the future and therefore potentially relevant to understanding future biotic response. What emerges from these past records is evidence for rapid community turnover, migrations, development of novel ecosystems and thresholds from one stable ecosystem state to another, but there is very little evidence for broad-scale extinctions due to a warming world. Based on this evidence from the fossil record, we make four recommendations for future climate-change integrated conservation strategies.
    DOI: 10.1080/14772000903495833
    —————-

    Abstract
    Carlos Jaramillo et. al – Science – 12 November 2010
    Effects of Rapid Global Warming at the Paleocene-Eocene Boundary on Neotropical Vegetation
    Temperatures in tropical regions are estimated to have increased by 3° to 5°C, compared with Late Paleocene values, during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, 56.3 million years ago) event. We investigated the tropical forest response to this rapid warming by evaluating the palynological record of three stratigraphic sections in eastern Colombia and western Venezuela. We observed a rapid and distinct increase in plant diversity and origination rates, with a set of new taxa, mostly angiosperms, added to the existing stock of low-diversity Paleocene flora. There is no evidence for enhanced aridity in the northern Neotropics. The tropical rainforest was able to persist under elevated temperatures and high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, in contrast to speculations that tropical ecosystems were severely compromised by heat stress.
    doi: 10.1126/science.1193833
    —————-

    Abstract
    Carlos Jaramillo & Andrés Cárdenas – Annual Reviews – May 2013
    Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
    Global Warming and Neotropical Rainforests: A Historical Perspective

    There is concern over the future of the tropical rainforest (TRF) in the face of global warming. Will TRFs collapse? The fossil record can inform us about that. Our compilation of 5,998 empirical estimates of temperature over the past 120 Ma indicates that tropics have warmed as much as 7°C during both the mid-Cretaceous and the Paleogene. We analyzed the paleobotanical record of South America during the Paleogene and found that the TRF did not expand toward temperate latitudes during global warm events, even though temperatures were appropriate for doing so, suggesting that solar insolation can be a constraint on the distribution of the tropical biome. Rather, a novel biome, adapted to temperate latitudes with warm winters, developed south of the tropical zone. The TRF did not collapse during past warmings; on the contrary, its diversity increased. The increase in temperature seems to be a major driver in promoting diversity.
    doi: 10.1146/annurev-earth-042711-105403
    —————-

    Abstract
    PNAS – David R. Vieites – 2007
    Rapid diversification and dispersal during periods of global warming by plethodontid salamanders
    …Salamanders underwent rapid episodes of diversification and dispersal that coincided with major global warming events during the late Cretaceous and again during the Paleocene–Eocene thermal optimum. The major clades of plethodontids were established during these episodes, contemporaneously with similar phenomena in angiosperms, arthropods, birds, and mammals. Periods of global warming may have promoted diversification and both inter- and transcontinental dispersal in northern hemisphere salamanders…
    —————-

    Abstract
    ZHAO Yu-long et al – Advances in Earth Science – 2007
    The impacts of the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM)event on earth surface cycles and its trigger mechanism
    The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) event is an abrupt climate change event that occurred at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary. The event led to a sudden reversal in ocean overturning along with an abrupt rise in sea surface salinity (SSSs) and atmospheric humidity. An unusual proliferation of biodiversity and productivity during the PETM is indicative of massive fertility increasing in both oceanic and terrestrial ecosystems. Global warming enabled the dispersal of low-latitude populations into mid-and high-latitude. Biological evolution also exhibited a dramatic pulse of change, including the first appearance of many important groups of ” modern” mammals (such as primates, artiodactyls, and perissodactyls) and the mass extinction of benlhic foraminifera…..
    22(4) 341-349 DOI: ISSN: 1001-8166 CN: 62-1091/P

  16. Jimbo says:

    The links for all the abstracts I quoted can be found below.

    Kathy J. Willis et al – Systematics and Biodiversity – Volume 8, Issue 1, 2010
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14772000903495833#.U5lNh5zmcmE

    ZHAO Yu-long et al – Advances in Earth Science – 2007
    http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-DXJZ200704001.htm

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/04/claim-modern-ocean-acidification-is-outpacing-ancient-upheaval-study-suggests/#comment-1655057

  17. Jimbo says:

    Rod Leman says:
    June 11, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    If CB is wrong, we are screwed. There is no adapting to a 4+ deg C world for most species. We die….

    Furthermore Rod, AGW says that MOST of the warming will be felt most in the higher latitudes in winter! How does this lead to us dying? How does it lead to widespread species extinction? Treelines were higher in the past, why? Would longer growing seasons in Canada, northern Europe, Russia, northern China be a bad thing? What do you think happens to vegetation in those countries as their climate generally get warmer? Life generally prefers the warmth.

    LOOK AT THE PAST.

  18. Jimbo says:

    Rapid climate change? The Botox Generation will like this.

    IPCC – TAR – 2001

    The warming phase, that took place about 11,500 years ago, at the end of the Younger Dryas was also very abrupt and central Greenland temperatures increased by 7°C or more in a few decades (Johnsen et al., 1992; Grootes et al., 1993; Severinghaus et al., 1998).
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/074.htm
    —————–

    Abstract
    Systematics and Biodiversity – Volume 8, Issue 1, 2010
    Kathy J. Willis et al
    4 °C and beyond: what did this mean for biodiversity in the past?
    …….temperatures in mid- to high-latitudes increased by greater than 4 °C within 60 years, and sea levels rose by up to 3 m higher than present. For these intervals in time, case studies of past biotic responses…….
    DOI: 10.1080/14772000903495833
    —————–

    Abstract
    Richard B. Alley
    Ice-core evidence of abrupt climate changes

    …..As the world slid into and out of the last ice age, the general cooling and warming trends were punctuated by abrupt changes. Climate shifts up to half as large as the entire difference between ice age and modern conditions occurred over hemispheric or broader regions in mere years to decades…….
    http://www.pnas.org/content/97/4/1331.full
    —————–

    Abstract
    Pierre Deschamps et al
    …Controversy about the amplitude and timing of this meltwater pulse (MWP-1A) has, however, led to uncertainty about the source of the melt water and its temporal and causal relationships with the abrupt climate changes of the deglaciation. ……This implies that the rate of eustatic sea-level rise exceeded 40 millimetres per year during MWP-1A.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v483/n7391/full/nature10902.html
    —————–

    Abstract
    Reef drowning during the last deglaciation: Evidence for catastrophic sea-level rise and ice-sheet collapse
    Elevations and ages of drowned Acropora palmata reefs from the Caribbean-Atlanticregion document three catastrophic, metre-scale sea-level-rise events during the last deglaciation…..

    [paper]
    …. Such drowning eventsmust have been truly catastrophic, involv-ing—to our knowledge—the fastest rates of glacio-eustatic sea-level rise yet reported…..The exact duration of the CREs is unknown but, given that the mini-mum rate of sea-level rise was >45 mm/yr,the duration of the 14.2 ka event must have been…..
    http://www.academia.edu/200254/Reef_drowning_during_the_last_deglaciation_Evidence_for_catastrophic_sea-level_rise_and_ice-sheet_collapse

    LIFE PROCEEDED TO THRIVE after the rapid temperature rise and ‘catastrophic’ changes. Life, in general, is well adapted for rapid climate change – it simply changes and adapts.

  19. Frank Kotler says:

    Rod Leman says:
    June 11, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    If CB is wrong, we are screwed. There is no adapting to a 4+ deg C world for most species. We die.

    Who told you this, Rod? That’s a serious question, I reaay want to know. Who told you this?

  20. Akatsukami says:

    Rod is evidently a devoted follower of xkcd/i>.

  21. Tom Moran says:

    I propose that CB being right or wrong has nothing to do with us being screwed. The screwing comes from the existence of Rod Leman’s baseless, articulated thoughts becoming policy.

  22. Tom Moran says:

    And I’m serial!

  23. ferdberple says:

    Who told you this, Rod?
    ===========
    The voice of authority. Don’t ask questions, do as you are told. Growing up, how may times were you taught this lesson? Until as an adult it is automatic.

  24. Frank K. says:

    I can forgive Rod’s alarmism if he is a teenager or young adult (sounds like he is). After all, he’s been brainwashed by the climate industry and their academic/corporate/Hollywood partners his entire life. The good news is that he is here, and can perhaps start the path towards a normal life by learning the truth about climate at WUWT.

  25. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Rod Leman on June 11, 2014 at 6:49 pm:

    If CB is right, but we take drastic action to mitigate CO2, we spend maybe 5% of our GDP to have an ocean far less polluted with mercury…

    http://blueocean.org/documents/2012/07/boi-mercury-report.pdf
    PDF page 9:

    Emissions estimates vary, but Hans Friedli, a chemist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and an international consortium estimated in 2010 that yearly emissions from natural sources average 5,207 metric tons (about 11,500,00 pounds) or 69 percent of total emissions. Human inputs added an additional 2,320 metric tons (about 5,114,700 pounds), for a total of 7,527 (about 6,594,200 pounds).

    Mercury in the ocean comes from both natural and human-produced sources. University of Connecticut mercury expert Robert Mason estimates total mercury in the ocean to be 350,000 metric tons (772,000,000 lbs.).

    2320 / 350000 * 100% =
    0.66% total yearly human contribution to global ocean mercury.

    Since all of human activities produce less than half of the emissions that Nature itself gives to the oceans, and the “drastic action to mitigate CO2″ is freely interpreted at meaning closing the coal-fired energy plants or perhaps stopping all fossil fuel use thus is only a fraction of human emissions, how long until we get “an ocean far less polluted with mercury”?

    Which by itself labels mercury a pollutant, even though it is overwhelmingly there from natural sources thus not a pollutant. Much like carbon dioxide is a pollutant that’s naturally not a pollutant.

    PDF page 12:

    The main human sources of mercury come from burning coal to generate electricity, mining activities, waste incineration and industrial processes used in smelting or cement production. UNEP estimates that 45 percent of human-generated mercury worldwide comes from burning fossil fuels, with coal-fired power plants being the largest single source. In the U.S., 40 percent of mercury emissions come from coal-fired power plants. Small-scale gold mining contributes about 18 percent, with industrial gold production adding an additional 6 to 7 percent. Mining, smelting, and producing metals other than gold or mercury account for some 10% of all anthropogenic emissions.

    PDF page 13:

    According to 2002 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates, metal production, typically smelters, contributed 6.8 percent of global mercury emissions and 6.4 percent came from cement production. Another 3 percent comes from waste disposal, including municipal and hazardous waste, crematoria and sewage sludge incineration; however, with limited data, this may be underestimated by somewhere between a factor of two to five. Three percent comes from chlor-alkali production; 1.4 percent from production of pig iron and steel and 1.1 percent from mercury production, mainly for batteries.

    So first we stop burning the solid and liquid fossil fuels that naturally contain mercury. Then we stop producing metals, as the ores naturally contain mercury.

    No cheap fossil energy, no new metals as we recycle what we have, which will naturally decrease from oxidation and wear on objects until our remaining metal will be from natural sources like copper nodules we might be able to pound into something useful, between rocks.

    We also need to stop cement production due to both CO2 and Hg emissions. We do not need concrete and cement as building materials, Nature supplies trees for lumber and clay for bricks.

    We also must stop burning waste, including discarded flesh. We will need to designate dumping grounds, which will be within walking distance as there’s no metal for vehicles with engines. Everyone gets to live near their very own New Jersey.

    Drastic action, indeed.

  26. bwanajohn says:

    Poor Rod, he must live in a climatically controlled environment and never, ever go outside. Rod, here’s a clue – most species experience >delta 4C every day. What makes you think they can’t adapt over 100+ years?

  27. Pamela Gray says:

    Rod, you must have forgotten the most important practice modern humans MUST have at their finger tips in this governed world we live in. The guts and methods to never trust and always verify. Lest you find yourself in a dictatorial lifestyle where others tell you whether or not you can be born, who you are, what you eat, where you live, what you do, who you love, what you own (if anything at all), how many can be of your loins, and when you die.

  28. Gunga Din says:

    dbstealey says:
    June 11, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Rod Leman says:

    There is no adapting to a 4+ deg C world for most species. We die.

    That is a classic example of a baseless assertion.

    Next, Leman says:

    If CB is right, but we take drastic action to mitigate CO2, we spend maybe 5% of our GDP to have an ocean far less polluted with mercury, a less toxic ocean PH level, 100′s of thousands of lives saved from respiratory disease, 5 times as many energy jobs that stay at home with money spent at home, etc.

    1. Where did you get your “5% of our GDP” number? Links, please.

    2. What does mercury have to do with the “carbon” scare?

    ====================================================================
    CFLs. In their quest to eliminate “carbon pollution” from our world they have increased “mercury pollution”.
    Tuna fish sandwich anyone?
    (Hmmm….who makes CFLs? Who makes the equipment to recycle CFLs? Who owned the network that was at the forefront of promoting CAGW? Who owns The Weather Channel?)

  29. Eric Sincere says:

    So in summary, Rod Leman is either a troll or incapable of independent thought. The +4C (I actually thought it was +6C) and the 5% WGDP are mainstays. Give us your money and die is the objective.

    Seriously though, at what point would “We die.” +20-30C, no. +40-50C not sure. +100C, probably, though Antarctica would start looking pretty nice. It would still snow there and I’m sure we could grow crops on most of the continent.

    Food for thought…

  30. Eamon Butler says:

    I’m assuming Rod is a minor, but I hope he has learned a valuable lesson here. You can rest assured, young man, there is no scary climate monster hiding under your bed. Tell your friends about how you learned some real science here on WUWT.

    Eamon.

  31. Abuzuzu says:

    ” 5 times as many energy jobs that stay at home with money spent at home,”
    Ok let’s take this at face value. Assume energy production stays about the same to support the present population in the style to which they have become accustom. This means the amount of labor needed to produce one unit of energy goes up by a factor of five and unless these additional energy jobs pay starvation wages, the cost of energy must also go up by a factor comparable to five.
    Still taking the original premise at face value, employment takes a big hit because of the increase in energy prices.
    The alarmist side of this argument would be easier to take if they thought through the consequences of the policies they insist are mandatory.

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