Is global warming just another 'End-of-the-World' delusion?

UPDATE: less than 24 hours after posting this, we already have an end of the world prediction naming global warming, see below.

New end of the world book treats climate change just like many other end of times worries that have not come to pass.

Weston, FL — (SBWIRE) — 07/16/2012 — The end of the world is not going to happen within our lifetimes. That’s the word from Justin Deering, author of The End of the World Delusion: How Doomsayers Endanger Society.

 

“We’re bombarded with end-of-the-world scares practically everywhere you look,” Deering explains. “You hear about it in church, on the news, in the movies. These doomsday scenarios have actually bankrupted people and destroyed their lives. A few people have gotten rich at the expense of the more gullible.”

Last year was a big year for end of the world talks, as Family Radio’s well-publicized prediction of May 21, 2011 as the day of the Rapture and subsequent day of wrath on October 21 came and went without incident. This year will be even bigger as the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012, which many think will lead to something big happening.

Many are spending their life savings getting ready for the end. Doomsday Preppers and Doomsday Bunkers are two shows that have come out this year, showing people spending their hard-earned cash on survival kits and underground bunkers. They’re ready to weather out the Apocalypse.

As for Deering? He’s not worried at all. “The world’s not going anywhere,” he says. “There are always people who fall for this stuff. This survivalist mentality we’re seeing is Y2K all over again.”

“The Maya themselves didn’t think 2012 was going to be a disaster, either,” Deering added.

People have been worried about the End Times for thousands of years, and with the benefit of hindsight, it is obvious that there was nothing to worry about. The author of the End-of-the-World Delusion contends that there is still nothing to worry about.

“All that happens when one of these predictions is proven wrong is the doomsayers go and pick another date. They haven’t called it right yet.”

Deering doesn’t care whether the claims arise from religious beliefs or scientific concerns. “It doesn’t matter to me whether they’re a preacher or a scientist, a shaman mystic or an expert researcher. If they’re saying the end is near, they’re wrong.”

The End-of-the-World Delusion is available now at Amazon at Barnes and Noble. The eBook is priced at $9.99, the hardcover at $24.95, and the paperback at an appropriate $20.12.

A Kindle version is also available.

About Justin Deering

Justin Deering graduated from Lynn University with a degree in business, and is a member of the honor society, Sigma Beta Delta. He worked his way through college as a tutor and has experience in conducting research and presenting it in a logical manner. Deering and his wife, Megan, live in Florida.

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Full disclosure: I have not read this book, but I find the press release interesting. To get a feel for the author, here’s another article by Deering below. – Anthony

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Global Warming: Changing Hearts, Changing Minds

By Justin Deering

A few months back, noted climate skeptic Richard Muller reversed his position, saying that temperatures on the earth are indeed rising. After conducting a study partially funded by the Charles Koch Foundation, noted for funding global warming skeptics and tea party, Muller declared that while it made sense to be a skeptic two years ago, there was no longer any reason to do so.1

More recently, noted environmental leader James Lovelock, formulator of the Gaia Hypothesis, reversed his position as well. While once he claimed that man-made global warming would lead to the deaths of billions and billions of people by the end of this century, he has since noted the lack of warming and had this to say:2

I was “alarmist” about climate change and so was Gore! The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books—mine included—because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened. The climate is doing its usual tricks. There’s nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now. The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium.

If these were just politicians flip-flopping on an issue, well, that’s to be expected. But take notice, because these are prominent individuals in the field who have made a living based on their previous assertions; changing their stances threatens their very livelihood. These two examples should cause everyone to question and reassess their own beliefs when it comes to issues such as climate change.

It’s easy to get the idea that global warming skeptics aren’t familiar with the science, that if they were more educated they would accept the idea catastrophe is right around the corner. A new study dispels this myth, in fact demonstrating the opposite—an increase in scientific literacy actually leads people to challenge the prevailing scientific wisdom concerning climate change.3,4

To illustrate this fact, consider that recently, a group of 49 former NASA employees, including astronauts and engineers, have written to the agency and asked them to discontinue making “unproven and unsubstantiated remarks” regarding manmade global warming. They feel that the science is not settled, and that taking a position that agrees with carbon dioxide emissions as the cause of climate change would reflect poorly on the agency in the future.5 Would anyone be willing to say that these NASA scientists were ignorant or anti-science?

NASA’s response:6

NASA sponsors research into many areas of cutting-edge scientific inquiry, including the relationship between carbon dioxide and climate. As an agency, NASA does not draw conclusions and issue “claims” about research findings. We support open scientific inquiry and discussion.

Even so, James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, continues to write things like “Global warming isn’t a prediction. It is happening.”7 Hansen continues to be a source of embarrassment for the agency, with his multiple arrests, the most recent one being to protest the development of the Canadian oil pipline.8,9

References

  1. Borenstein, S. (2011, October 31). Skeptic finds he now agrees global warming is real. Yahoo! News. Retrieved from http://news.yahoo.com/skeptic-finds-now-agrees-global-warming-real-142616605.html
  2. Morano, M. (2012, April 23). Alert: Gaia scientist James Lovelock reverses himself. Climate Depot. Retrieved from http://climatedepot.com/a/15621/Alert-Gaia-scientist-James-Lovelock-reverses-himself-I-was-alarmist-about-climate-change–so-was-Gore-The-problem-is-we-dont-know-what-the-climate-is-doing-We-thought-we-knew-20-years-ago
  3. Raloff, J. (2012, May 29). Climate skepticism not rooted in science illiteracy. Science News. Retrieved from http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/341034/title/Climate_skepticism_not_rooted_in_science_illiteracy
  4. Lott, M. (2012, May 28). Global warming skeptics as knowledgeable about science as climate change believers, study says. Fox News. Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/05/28/global-warming-skeptics-know-more-about-science-new-study-claims/
  5. Parry, W. (2012, April 12). Former astronauts & NASA employees’ letter on global warming. LiveScience. Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/19643-nasa-astronauts-letter-global-warming.html
  6. Bedard, P. (2012, April 11). NASA rejects claim it endorses global warming. Washington Examiner. Retrieved from http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/washington-secrets/2012/04/nasa-rejects-claim-it-endorses-global-warming/474416
  7. Hansen, J. (2012, May 9). Game over for the climate. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/opinion/game-over-for-the-climate.html
  8. Drajam, M. (2011, August 29). NASA’s Hansen arrested outside White House at pipeline protest. Bloomberg. Retrieved from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-29/nasa-s-hansen-arrested-outside-white-house-at-pipeline-protest.html
  9. Watts, A. (2011, August 29). NASA’s James Hansen arrested yet again. Watts Up With That. Retrieved from http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/29/nasas-james-hansen-arrested-yet-again/

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UPDATE: Well, that didn’t take long. From the Huffington Post

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Gordon Richmond

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought it was pretty well accepted here that Richard Muller was never really a rabid skeptic of AGW, but more a Warmist, but less close-minded than most of that ilk?

LKMiller

For those of us who live within a days drive of the Yellowstone Caldera, if it blows (overdue at present) it might not be the end of the world, but it will probably seem like it.

Nerd

Heh. It reminds me of this website – http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/esp_2012_43.htm – when I was doing a little research on Anthony L. Peratt’s work on z-pinch (plasma). One thing that caught my eye… the date of 12-21-2012 for “the ecliptic of our solar system will intersect with the Galactic plane, called the “Galactic Equator” of the Milky Way”.
I was only trying to find more about what happened to the ancient civilization at the end of Ice Age. Just can’t get away from what happened at that time.

David Larsen

Most of this started when Al Gore’s world of the White House ended. He lost in Florida and had to find a new job. The end of the world was for Al Gore, and still should be. Not the rest of us.

“It doesn’t matter to me whether they’re a preacher or a scientist, a shaman mystic or an expert researcher. If they’re saying the end is near, they’re wrong.” Global Warming is Politically-Correct Voodoo

Ally E.

Sounds an excellent book. Love the title, too. 🙂

Dr K.A. Rodgers

Can I recommned Charles Mackey’s: “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”. First published in 1841 it is still relevant. The crowds have not become any less mad. A kindle version is available for $0.99 on Amazon.

charles nelson

The only form of sadism I practice is getting people of this ‘apocalyptic’ persuasion to contradict themselves, which results in classic eye swivelling rage.
Simple one to try, ask a Greenie if they believe that fossil fuels are a finite resource and that they are about to run out real soon?…when they answer yes – ask them why they’re still worried about CO2 global warming?
This one always gets the Malthusian Greens. Ask them if they believe there are too many people on the planet using up its finite resources? (see above)…when they answer yes – ask them if they’re opposed to Western style technological development in ‘third world countries’…when they answer yes – ask them why birth rates are low and falling in developed countries and high and rising in under developed countries?
There are endless examples of the muddled thinking and scientific illiteracy that Warmists prey upon and endless amounts of fun to be had tormenting Believers.
I always keep a few ‘killer’ quips on hand they come in handy for the real stubborn and stupid types who stick to their guns.
1.Why don’t you turn off your Central Heating/Air-conditioning?
2.Thanks for explaining the intricacies of planetary C02 climate change to me…by the way do you know how your fridge works?
Ah…I get a warm glow just thinking about it.

commieBob

This is one of quite a few books, papers and articles in recent years that show, one way or another, that our thinking is much less logical and reasonable than we like to think it is.
The problem is well delineated: People, especially those with well developed thinking skills, are prone to many logical errors. People don’t assess risk well. Experts are worse at predicting things than are dart-throwing monkeys. etc. etc.
We understand why: The best description of why we think the way we do is the book: The Master and his Emissary by Iain McGilchrist.
Now, all we have to do is come up with a way to deal with the problem.
Justin Deering is the latest of many authors to bring us a much needed message. Eventually, the message will permiate the minds of enough of the population that we will reach a tipping point. What I hope will happen then will be the return of something our grandparents used to call ‘wisdom’.

David Ball

I asked my eight year old son if any doomsday predictions have come true. He thought for a moment and began to smile, …..

Some things humans can cause. The Left is predicting the end of capitalism and they are bringing that about… in the Western world. However, Asia is on fire with opportunities. China’s middle class is growing. Most of the people on the globe, living in places like Brazil, Russia, India and China are getting a good chuckle at the baseless global warming fearmongering that comes out of Western academia.

P Wilson

It is an exercise in perverted vanity. The AGW fable is almost biblical in its impending apocalypse. However, since we’re in the anthropogenic age, it isn’t god who causes hurricanes and earthquakes to punish his creations, but coal trains

timg56

I can honestly say I am not that concerned about people who spend their lifesavings, or any portion of their wealth, as a result of believing in some doomsday.
What I am greatly concerned about is other people spending my wealth due to their belief in a doomsday scenario. I have seen little evidence to show “climate change” is anything but this second situation.

Ian W

Nerd says:
July 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm
Heh. It reminds me of this website – http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/esp_2012_43.htm – when I was doing a little research on Anthony L. Peratt’s work on z-pinch (plasma). One thing that caught my eye… the date of 12-21-2012 for “the ecliptic of our solar system will intersect with the Galactic plane, called the “Galactic Equator” of the Milky Way”.
I was only trying to find more about what happened to the ancient civilization at the end of Ice Age. Just can’t get away from what happened at that time.

The Mayan long count calendar is set up to start each new age on the crossing of the galactic equator on a conjunction of Earth Sun Galactic Equator at the Winter Solstice. As described here:
“Of the basic configuration as detailed, with reference to the crossing point of the earth ecliptic line and the galactic equator, one may note then that visually, there will be an alignment of the earth, the sun, and the galactic equator twice every year. In one instance, the earth will be between the sun and the galactic equator, and in another (exactly 6 months later) the sun will be between the earth and the galactic equator. The 2012 AD alignment as is said to be associated with the Long Count calendar is of exactly this type, being of the latter stated order: Earth > Sun > Galactic Equator, but critically, with one very important additional factor, which indeed makes the entire arrangement far more complex and infrequent: The 2012 AD conjunction is one that involves the earth, sun, and the galactic equator, specifically at a time when the earth is at the winter solstice (northern hemisphere) point of its orbit, at a seasonal extreme. Now, an event of this sort certainly does not occur every year, but rather once only every 25800 years. And this is due to a very subtle celestial motion: precession.”
see
http://www.ancient-world-mysteries.com/2012.html
I read somewhere (but cannot now find the reference) that the Maya started at 12 12 2012 and worked back.

Harold Pierce Jr

The earth shifted into a cool phase in 2000 as it did in 1940. After a 10 year lag, the 1950-70’s got really cold.
Hopefully this coming winter is also going to be really cold. I can’t wait to see how the warmista explain the coming cold winters away.

Gary Hladik

Wagathon says (July 18, 2012 at 5:08 pm): “However, Asia is on fire with opportunities. China’s middle class is growing. Most of the people on the globe, living in places like Brazil, Russia, India and China are getting a good chuckle at the baseless global warming fearmongering that comes out of Western academia.”
Thanks to these folks the CAGW dogma will be put to the test and proved baseless. No matter what the West does about its own CO2 emissions, worldwide emissions will continue to increase, but–surprise!–the world won’t end. Again.
Of course by then we’ll have another doomsday scenario, and Asia may be affluent enough to buy into it. *sigh*

The title was a trick question, right?

Jim

While I think it’s warming some, I don’t think it will be a disaster like some of the CAGW faithful. The scientific evidence shows that a modest warming of 2C would be, on the whole, a net benefit to society. These warmists seem to neglect that fact. It’s when the climate cools that we have more problems, such as during the LIA, with failed harvests and such. There’s nothing special about the present climate, and no reason to think that it’s superior. While there might be some negatives to a slightly warmer climate, such as higher sea levels, the changes will be gradual and easy to adapt to. No reason to start imposing more taxes and send society back to the dark ages.

RoyFOMR

Everyone is brilliant at something. Me, I’m totally excellent at being myself!
I’m pretty poor at believing that I’m special, :(, unlike those poor devils who think that they’re so special that the world will discontinue its existence without them.
Catastrophists DNA, it appears, share a common genome, MeMeMeAndBTWMe2.
To be fair, however, much of this regressive combination can be traced back to an unhappy childhood, overly-influenced by neurotic self-loathing, role-models masquerading as relatives , or simply propped-up by a malignant environment.
It can be cured, however, in most cases by taking a step back, a deep breath and re-evaluating.
I’m no paragon, in general, at taking this advice. Some incorrect prejudices I will happily take to the grave but some are trickier to avoid re-consideration. I’ll give just one example of the latter.
Climate models tell us that, in general, winters will be warmer and wetter while summers will be hotter and drier due to increasing levels of CO2 and CH4 etc. Observational data indicates that this is true sometimes and somewhere and false elsewhere and elsetimes.
Weather forecasts, in the UK at least, are now pushing the Jet stream moving as to why empirical and observational experiences contradict the CO2 as a major driver but still the CAGW meme persists! In the US, JS is given no more than a passing mention; in western Europe it’s the excuse de jour or, possibly, a good physical explanation.
Forget scepticism or denialism or contarianism or whatever. Take on cynicism, follow the money, think about the motives, the promise of power but, most of all, the opportunism.
One hundred and fifty years ago we were in a cold time; it’s now warmed up from then and it’s all our fault!!!
I’m brilliant at being me and so I’m happy with that last point. Are you not happy too?

A few months back, noted climate skeptic Richard Muller reversed his position, saying that temperatures on the earth are indeed rising.
Here is a quote from Muller from 2004. Sourced from wikipedia.
“If you are concerned about global warming (as I am) and think that human-created carbon dioxide may contribute (as I do)”
What is it with AGW proponents that they constantly invent stuff that isn’t true.

Gail Combs

charles nelson says:
July 18, 2012 at 5:04 pm
The only form of sadism I practice is getting people of this ‘apocalyptic’ persuasion to contradict themselves, which results in classic eye swivelling rage…..
___________________
My preferred shut-up line for the stubborn types is “…Then how about living what you preach and hand me your car keys and house keys, and Oh, by the way are your clothes made of all cotton, wool and linen? NO? Then you better hand over those too as well as those nice PLASTIC running shoes…” The crowd gathered around to watch their spokesman tromp me start laughing as their spokesman stomps off in a rage.
Spokemen are often bullies and their crowd of followers will often turn on them if they show they are not top dog.

Torgeir Hansson

charles nelson says:
July 18, 2012 at 5:04 pm
“ask them why birth rates are low and falling in developed countries and high and rising in under developed countries?”
If my memory serves this is not correct. I believe fertility rates are falling towards maintenance levels (2.41 I think) in developing countries as well. It seems to be happening all over the world.

Gail Combs

Harold Pierce Jr says:
July 18, 2012 at 5:30 pm
The earth shifted into a cool phase in 2000 as it did in 1940. After a 10 year lag, the 1950-70′s got really cold.
Hopefully this coming winter is also going to be really cold. I can’t wait to see how the warmista explain the coming cold winters away.
_________________________________
Don’t worry the propaganda machine… ERrr MSM will figure something out. After all the masses have an attention span of about 10 minutes and a sixth grade reading level or so the politicians and their handlers seem to think.

Owen

Hansen is a deluded fool. He’s convinced himself that the world is ending, and because he has a Phd behind his name, he’s convinced others as well. Sadly, cranks like Hansen are a dime a dozen and the global warming cult won’t end until the earth cools down so much, even the most rabid believers will have to face the cold hard truth. It’s a HOAX !

highflight56433

Either way…eat drink and be merry! 🙂
Be the ant, not the grasshopper.

leftinbrooklyn

“A few people have gotten rich at the expense of the more gullible.”
Bingo. It’s always been about selling snake oil. Selling fear has made religion profitable for centuries. Never ending gullibility leads to never-ending profit-margins. Why would they stop?

It’s possible to go too far in each direction: too far in the alarmist direction and too far in the complacent direction. I remember someone writing pre-Katrina about the disaster facing New Orleans should a bit hurricane strike. Well, it happened.

jules

We’re currently doing battle with our own deceitful government and it’s warmist agenda. A plea for all who would help send them a message. Voting ends in 5 hours Please hurry – everyone gets 8 votes
http://oursay.org/s/1p1

Howard Richman,
I don’t think anyone is complacent. It’s just that there is no scientific evidence supporting the CO2=CAGW conjecture.

highflight56433

How about the greeners who turn down the paper bag with glowing “save a tree.” But their basket of goods to purchase is full of paper products, they live in a wood frame home, own wood furniture, walk on wood floors,…etc… all while saving the planet from catastrophic everything.

Gail Combs

charles nelson says: @ July 18, 2012 at 5:04 pm
“ask them why birth rates are low and falling in developed countries and high and rising in under developed countries?”
____________________________
Torgeir Hansson says: @ July 18, 2012 at 6:06 pm
If my memory serves this is not correct. I believe fertility rates are falling towards maintenance levels (2.41 I think) in developing countries as well. It seems to be happening all over the world.
_________________________
You are pretty much correct. First world countries are at or below replacement rate (2.1). The EU is especially below the replacement rate. China, Russia and much of S. America are also around 2 to 2.5ish Only Africa and some (but not all) Muslim countries are well above 3. Several of the African countries are around 5 or more but have high infant mortality and death from starvation related diseases for those under five. The CIA web page has the actual figures.

pkatt

The most insightful line of this post is :”an increase in scientific literacy actually leads people to challenge the prevailing scientific wisdom…” I think that includes any “scientific wisdom” not just global warming.

Tom J

“The Maya themselves didn’t think 2012 was going to be a disaster, either,” Deering added
No, no, no. Justin Deering is quite wrong. Those clairvoyant Mayans definitely knew that 2012 was going to be a disaster of epic proportions. It’s just that we translated their supposed date of December 21, 2012 wrong. The correct date is November 2, 2012. Get the picture now? But there may still be time to avert subjecting the world to the most narcissistic, egotistical, self absorbed, deceitful, opinionated and, most of all, inexperienced and unqualified incompetent potus the world has yet to know. You know what to do at the ballot boxes. Save the world!
sarc

David Ross

Torgeir Hansson wrote:
“If my memory serves this is not correct. I believe fertility rates are falling towards maintenance levels (2.41 I think) in developing countries as well. It seems to be happening all over the world.”
You are correct Torgeir, the world is changing for the better. Unfortunately many of the warmists are stuck with a 1960’s mindset when the outlook for population growth looked grim.
I strongly recommend Hans Rosling’s videos. He succeeds in making statistics interesting.
He is a climate warmist but he has commentary on modern environmentalism that every environmentalist should hear.
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/hans_rosling_and_the_magic_washing_machine.html
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/hans_rosling_at_state.html
http://www.ted.com/search?q=rosling

jorgekafkazar

“Global warming. There is a consensus that global warming is real. There has not been much so far, but it’s going to get much, much worse. The thing I would tell the president is that the global warming, according to the global consensus — that’s the IPCC scientists, who won the Nobel Prize — the global warming of the future is going to come from the developing world….” –Richard Muller
Muller was never a skeptic. He made a few doubting noises just long enough to pretend he was, then recanted. Try to find a single skeptical statement of Muller made prior to 2009.
http://physicsandphysicists.blogspot.com/2008/11/q-with-richard-muller.html

jadan

If we’re going to be objective about this and think empirically, then, Mr. Smarty Pants Deering, is missing the bus. People feel this way and they act this way. It is well documented as a fact of human behavior that there has been throughout history a deep and abiding fear that the world is coming to an end. It seems to be a deeply rooted human concern, not unique to our time. “You fools are so deluded and I know the truth!” Brilliant, Smarty Pants, really profound!

charles nelson says:
July 18, 2012 at 5:04 pm
The only form of sadism I practice ……….
===============================================
It is one of the only things which make this insipid climate discussion bearable!

Gail Combs

highflight56433 says:
July 18, 2012 at 6:36 pm
How about the greeners who turn down the paper bag with glowing “save a tree.” But their basket of goods to purchase is full of paper products, they live in a wood frame home, own wood furniture, walk on wood floors,…etc… all while saving the planet from catastrophic everything.
_______________________________
Don’t forget all the petrol based PLASTICS in that house. The wiring insulation, light switch covers, the carpet, flooring, plumbing… and then there is all the metal from the nasty earth shredding mining….
That is why I ask for car keys, house keys, clothes and shoes. If you are a Greenie and not bare arsed living in the woods you are a hypocrite because even agriculture leaves a foot print on Mommy Gaia.
The biggest hypocrite of all: Al and Tipper Gore have picked up a $8.875M luxury getaway in Montecito, CA…
I guess Al is putting what he learned to work in his CAGW propagandizing …after enrolling in Vanderbilt’s prestigious divinity school, over the course of three semesters, he failed five of his eight classes. That same article contained this surprise too. “Lasting longer than the vast majority of divinity school dropouts, noted mass murderer Joseph Stalin studied at a Georgian Orthodox seminary in Tiflis (now Tbilisi) for five years, between 1894 and 1899.”

AJB

@Torgeir Hansson says, July 18, 2012 at 6:06 pm
http://www.ebmcdn.net/prb/html/prb-2009datasheet/index.html

We are all going to die. The apocalyptics are correct about that. It’s about to worry me to death trying to sort out which apocalypse is going to get all of us and when.

Gunga Din

Is “Hansen” a Mayan name?

Ally E.

charles nelson says:
July 18, 2012 at 5:04 pm
“The only form of sadism I practice…”
Charles Nelson, you are EVIL. But I like you! Thanks for some GREAT IDEAS. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Rick

Global Warming, yes there is! Man – made global warming? Yes, there is! Aswad Dam. Go figure. Then there is the Colorado River, etc. These rivers have been blocked with dams. No one has measured the cost of having a major river damned.
On the other hand, no one looks at sunspots.
We get drought, colder winters, fire storms, fewer hurricanes and such; all blamed on man-made global warming. Stupid as supid duses.

Gail Combs

jadan says:
July 18, 2012 at 7:20 pm
If we’re going to be objective about this and think empirically, then, Mr. Smarty Pants Deering, is missing the bus. People feel this way and they act this way…..
_______________________________
Of course they do. It is just part of being a naturally defenseless naked ape who can think about the future. Those with leadership ability and no real morals have exploited that fear since tribes of naked apes climbed down out of the trees. Shamen and religions have been with us since before recorded history.
Some think it was a religious crisis in addition to the drought that caused the migration of the the Anasazi. For them a 24 year drought, the Little Ice Age and worn out farm fields were the ‘End-of-the-World’ as they knew it.
The Dust Bowl and The Great Depression must have seemed the same to American farmers in the 1930’s. I know it left a lasting mindset in my parents.

AJB

A Brief History of the Apocalypse …
http://www.abhota.info/end1.htm

Ben D.

The sage understands that the mortal mind’s conceptual reality is maya, how fitting is it that the end of the Maya Calendar is capturing the minds of the world’s deluded.

Torgeir Hansson

The interesting aspect of the CAGW issue for me is the nature of the belief.
If you look at actual data (my favorite is temperature anomalies and sea level rises during the entire Holocene (which still barely passes muster with someone like Bob Carter for a sufficiently long period to study). Take that with some GISP2 data (which shows 1872 as the coldest year in Greenland since the last Ice Age), and it becomes clear that there isn’t much going on with the climate that hasn’t happened before. Further, if you look at an El Nino year like 1998, and what happened afterwards, a tipping point becomes a rather far-fetched notion for the climate system.
Yet, people believe, because people will believe the darndest things. A friend of mine talked to me the other day about Steven (sp?) Greer and the Disclosure Project, and swore that there really was something to it. (It’s about communicating with aliens). I took one look at a video of Mr. Greer (I know, you don’t have to say it), and it became painfully obvious that the man is a charlatan of the first order. Yet my friend, whom I normally consider intelligent, believes. It boggles the mind.
Many on this site have a tendency to call CAGW a hoax, whereas I am more inclined towards looking at it like a craze—a form of hysteria akin to general predictions of doom, but also phenomena like our recent financial bubbles (tulip, tech, and housing come to mind).
I’m reading “Crowds And Power” by Elias Canetti right now, and he has some things to say about crowd behavior that seem to illuminate the phenomenon. When you combine crowd behavior with digital media and a general tendency to believe that “something really bad is going to happen because we have all been oh so bad,” powerful forces are set in motion. And irresistible opportunities. For scientists, the drumbeat to focus on the phenomenon, which is real enough (climate change), becomes compelling. The temptation to come up with results that go with the prevailing flow equally so, because there is real discomfort in speaking against it. For politicians, always looking for a wave to ride, the same thing happens. Soon enough you have your self-reinforcing feedback loop. Soon the hue and cry drowns out the contrary voices, the myth becomes gospel, and the doubters and the contrarians become heretics.
Whereas economic crazes (bubbles) burn out when participants lose their money, there is no such luck with the climate. It will continue to change, and could conceivably continue to warm for a good while longer. We are after all only 0.4 °C above the baseline, there are plenty of cat 5 hurricanes in our futures, and more droughts, floods, and locust swarms. How do you counter this kind of bubble? My first hunch is to say that the only bulwark against it is science, appeal to science, and adherence to fundamental scientific principles, and to keep politics as far out of it as humanly possible. Then again, I could be wrong.
Yet the way out is to give believers a way out. How does one do that, effectively and elegantly?

Torgeir Hansson

@David Ross:
Hans Rosling is brilliant. Everyone should check him out. I especially love his TED speech on the washing machine.

Jeremy

Since the book does not come out with any dire predictions what are the chances that anyone will buy it?

This poster, published by the Queensland Government shows a picture of droughts and rains, endlessly repeating the cycle from 1890 through 2011.
http://mountmorrisstation.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/australiasvariablerainfall.pdf