Claim: You need philosophy to see climate change

The Thinker by Rodin, original photo by Andrew Horne, modified, public domain source Wikimedia,_Rodin.jpg

The Thinker by Rodin, original photo by Andrew Horne, modified, public domain source Wikimedia,_Rodin.jpg

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Conversation has published a gem of an article, aimed at people suffering climate “guilt”, to help them philosophically come to terms with the fact that they are experiencing emotional distress, about events which haven’t happened

According to The Conversation;

Do you suffer from climate guilt? A dose of philosophy can help

People cannot engage in something they cannot see or feel. We need concrete reasons to care and act. In this way, climate change presents a threefold intangible challenge:

1. we can perceive the weather, but the climate system is something rather abstract, a statistical construct

2. we now know climate change is anthropogenic, or man-made, but how can we understand this? One way is to say: mankind is the reason, but this becomes also very abstract. Who actually is represented with mankind? Another way is to say: China or the US is to blame, as if we are speaking of subjects and not concepts. We cannot grasp how you and I contribute to climate change, not by doing something extraordinary, but with our everyday lives

3. we cannot perceive how we as individuals can contribute to mitigating climate change. Eighteenth-century philosopher George Berkeley stated that “To be is to be perceived.” If we can’t see the change in the climate system, nor the reason why it is actually occurring, does it exist in our daily lives?

Read more:

My favourite takeaway soundbite is the following;

… Furthermore, climate is not here and now. Its only possible way to be perceived is through recognition of patterns, by computer modeling and, most importantly, through representations. …

The author of this article is Luis Fernández Carril, Faculty member at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).


116 thoughts on “Claim: You need philosophy to see climate change

  1. Oh great Gaia, the prophets of doom and the climate modellers. It’s all too touchy but please no feely!!!!!!!

    • Yes it is called;”The Emperors New Clothes”
      The exact same illogic was required for the intellectuals of that fable to see and feel that fine fabric.
      Human Nature Is .

  2. ” we now know climate change is anthropogenic, or man-made, but how can we understand this?”
    Really? We do? How exactly”
    “Jesus loves me this I know, for the bible tells me so”
    Same reasoning……..

    • Same reasoning…..
      Not exactly:
      That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched–this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.
      – 1 John 1:1
      The founders of Christianity claimed solid empirical observations as the basis of their belief.

      • “…which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched…”
        …which is called “hearsay” in courts, not evidence.
        (Not to mention the statute of limitations.)

      • “Not to mention the statute of limitations”
        Shucks, does that mean we can’t send God a bill for the clean-up after that flood He caused in 1600BC?

      • A court of law would have a tough time rendering justice if Jon and Alexander were setting the rules. Jon would require witnesses to do more than just testify to what they saw. They would have to “replicate” the entire experience for the jury. I’m not sure how that works for a murder. And if you succeeded in overcoming Jon’s requirements and got someone a long sentence based on eye-witness testimony, you would still have a high hurdle to overcome. According to Alexander, recorded testimony becomes “hearsay” and is no longer evidence once the witness is dead. So criminals would have to be set free as soon as the star witness died even if it was the very next day. However, I’ve never heard of a convict being freed based on that reasoning. Perhaps defense lawyers just haven’t been aware of that loop hole.

      • Juan Slayton July 30, 2015 at 9:17 pm

        The founders of Christianity claimed solid empirical observations as the basis of their belief.

        They would have to have been very old to do so, since the New Testament was not written until about a hundred years after the events it describes. Nor do we have any idea who wrote the Book of John, although most scholars say it was more than one man. Nobody these days seems to think it was written by John, and the author is nowhere identified by name. … sorry, Juan, but that is not only hearsay, it is a couple of generations worth of hearsay.
        So while the “founders of Christianity” were totally mute on the subject, I have no doubt that some folks a hundred years later or so who were NOT the “founders of Christianity” claimed “solid empirical observations as the basis of their belief” … and?
        I’m sorry, but “I heard it said that a hundred years ago …” is not “solid empirical evidence” on my planet.

      • Louis Hunt:
        Nobody ever has been convicted or recognized (NB: which is radically different from being convinced, any number of fools can be convinced with clever lies, Christian, Muslim, Putin’s or Obama’s) on the basis of a “testimony” (i.e. hysterical balderdash) given by the person or persons unknown more than 2000 years ago in the country (Roman Empire) that ceased to exist and could not possibly be under jurisdiction of any currently existing courts. Your witnesses are as laughable as Jehovah’s…

      • I am getting old. I researched religions of the world for decades. I feel that once, for the record, I should allow myself to express, what exactly I think of the New Testament (let us postpone the discussion of the rest of the bloody history of Christian faith).
        Rich and powerful bishops presiding over the Council of Nicaea more than 300 years after the crucifixion of Jesus from Nazareth by Roman authorities in Jerusalem, the same bishops who finalized canonical texts of the five canonized Apocrypha comprising the so-called “New Testament,” meticulously tried to expunge from these texts anything that could contradict their dogmas, newly re-formulated for the tithe-paying unwashed masses.
        In those tempestuous times of constant wars, persecution of heresies, barbarian pillages and hunger there were very few literate people (many of the bishops themselves couldn’t read or write), and scribes missed a few important things, which cannot be erased now — for who would dare redact the Gospels? There are attempts to re-translate these blunders in a Church-friendly way but… no axe can cut out what a pen has written.
        For example, there is a famous passage in Matthew where Maria comes to Jesus with her other children, his brothers and sisters, to beg for money, and he kicks them out (Matthew 12:48-49, Luke 8:21); the Christian myth of Maria’s virginity has been invented (on the basis of Latin translator’s error) later, to accommodate Mediterranean proclivity toward “Mother Goddess” cult.
        See also Luke 18:19 (“And Jesus said unto him, “Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God.””). If you truly believe the word of the Gospel, you must, first of all and above all, believe in words spoken by Jesus. Jesus himself said, emphatically and unambiguously, the he is not a god. He never pretended to be a god.
        Jesus, a fastidious self-made Jewish Essean martyr who shunned and despised women and swine, insisted that the only permissible prayer was the ancient Egyptian prayer to the Heavenly Father, the life-giving Sun-god Amon (“Amen” — the name of this god remains in the end of the prayer, separated later by Christians separated from the last phrase, as if this name would somehow be a meaningful “ending” for a sentence, whereas it loses any meaning in their interpretation; this Egyptian prayer of Esseans is exactly described in the Judean War by Flavius Josephus), that any intercourse with a woman (even as a thought experiment) is an unforgivable sin, and that only those Jews (other peoples, the goyim, were not to apply; all Christians were Jewish men only before Paul radically distorted Jesus’ teachings — which was, probably, the most successful political turn on a dime in human history) who give away all — that is, literally, all their worldly possessions, to the last coin, to the last piece of trash — would be saved from oblivion and shall inherit the Earth, where the Kingdom of Heaven (an euphemism used by Jesus to define the freedom of Jewish sacred rites from desecration by the Roman power, the divinity of the Emperor being the most offensive idea to any Orthodox Jew) was to be soon established.
        Jesus lived according to his words and died for them. He would never, in his wildest dreams, claim a personal divinity. He was wrong in many of his beliefs. But have some respect. The poor man would have been horrified to death by what has been done in his name. So, if you swear by the Bible, stop calling him a god. Or, if you disagree, and wish to misinterpret or pervert the plain and simple words spoken by Jesus himself, your argument shall be with him, not with me. Good luck.

      • They would have to “replicate” the entire experience for the jury. I’m not sure how that works for a murder.
        Well that’s sort of what they did when I was a juror.
        So criminals would have to be set free as soon as the star witness died even if it was the very next day. However, I’ve never heard of a convict being freed based on that reasoning. Perhaps defense lawyers just haven’t been aware of that loop hole.
        Mob lawyers have.

      • When Constantine converted to Christianity he chose the sect in Rome (not surprisingly) which had no connection with Palastine, nor with Jesus. This sect invented the ‘divinity’of Jesus, virgin birth, 12 male disciples and much else besides.
        I used to wonder how priests, monks, bishops and popes could behave so badly -were they not afraid for their immortal souls?
        Finally, I realized that religion is and always has been a means of controlling the masses.
        There must have been exceptions among the ruling elite but not many.
        CAGW operates the same way and so, too, Communism.
        I am, by the way, a lifelong atheist for whom education, logic and reason are all-important.

      • Willis, sorry, you are working from scholarship that is close to 100 years old. All the scholars agree that John was the last book of the Bible to be written. We have found a scap of the book of John that dates to about 100AD. Which if we were really lucky and had a piece of the first copy of this book to be written, means that the last book of the bible was written only about 70 years after Jesus died. If as is more likely, the scrap we have is a copy of an earlier book, than the writing of the Bible easily occurred during the lifespan of people who would have been eye witnesses. The books of Paul were certainly written within a decade or two of Christ’s death.

      • MarkW July 31, 2015 at 2:49 pm

        Willis, sorry, you are working from scholarship that is close to 100 years old. All the scholars agree that John was the last book of the Bible to be written. We have found a scap of the book of John that dates to about 100AD. Which if we were really lucky and had a piece of the first copy of this book to be written, means that the last book of the bible was written only about 70 years after Jesus died. If as is more likely, the scrap we have is a copy of an earlier book, than the writing of the Bible easily occurred during the lifespan of people who would have been eye witnesses. The books of Paul were certainly written within a decade or two of Christ’s death.

        Mark, if your claim is that modern scholarship has established that the Book of John was written by John, you’ll have to provide a citation for that. I can’t find one.
        In addition you’ll have to find a link to modern scholarship that says that the Book of John was written by one man. I can’t find one.
        Is it possible that the Book was written by John the disciple? Sure, anything is possible. But the odds seem slim at this point.
        Look, what I objected to was Juan’s claim, viz:

        The founders of Christianity claimed solid empirical observations as the basis of their belief.

        Here is some modern thought on the subject (emphasis mine):

        Differences between John and the Synoptic Gospels:
        Matthew, Mark, and Luke are often called the “synoptic” gospels. “Synoptic” is a Greek word meaning “having a common view.”
        1 John differs significantly from the synoptic gospels in theme, content, time duration, order of events, and style. “Only ca. 8% of it is parallel to these other gospels, and even then, no such word-for-word parallelism occurs as we find among the synoptic gospels.”
        2 The Gospel of John reflects a Christian tradition that is different from that of the other gospels. It was rejected as heretical by many individuals and groups within the early Christian movement. It was used extensively by the Gnostic Christians. But it was ultimately accepted into the official canon, over many objections. It is now the favorite gospel of many conservative Christians, and the gospel least referred to by many liberal Christians. SOURCE

        Given the number and size of the many differences between John and the “synoptic gospels”, I fear that if the founders had “solid empirical observations”, they forgot to get together and agree on them beforehand … and John’s “observations” were the most outre of the bunch, so much so that early Xtians rejected them outright as heretical.
        So if all of the gospels are based on “solid observational evidence”, I fear someone forgot to give John the memo …

      • Willis,
        I take it your “SOURCE” is a link, but I can’t seem to get it to work. Possible for you to check?

      • Juan Slayton August 1, 2015 at 7:58 am

        I take it your “SOURCE” is a link, but I can’t seem to get it to work. Possible for you to check?

        Fixed, thanks.

  3. The don’t need deep philosophy (only that always helps) just logic and a questioning mind.

    • … just logic and a questioning mind.

      You need a great deal more than that. Here’s G.K. Chesterton’s take on the subject:

      “If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by things that go with good judgment. He is not hampered by a sense of humour or by clarity, or by the dumb certainties of experience. He is the more logical for losing certain sane affections. Indeed, the common phrase for insanity is in this respect a misleading one. The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.”

      Without “the dumb certainties of experience” logic is just a BS generator. One of the best pieces of engineering advice I ever heard was something like: “Never start to calculate before you’re pretty sure what the answer should be.” Any other approach is an invitation to GIGO (garbage in garbage out). Logic is not nearly enough.

  4. Now you can’t see CO2-Climate Change? I thought everyone was exhorted to look around, and then they could just see it. One woman I know saw some spiders she’d never seen before, and that was it!

  5. Hmm, Climate “guilt” Hmmmm nooo,, I don’t think I am Afflicted with that. Now I’m waiting until my boys to go to sleep so I cam eat the last of the chocolate cake without having to share. I’ll feel guilty later.
    michael aka bad dad

  6. Never ever seen someone, anyone, which as low basic understanding of Philosopy as in that nonsense claim.
    People are allowed to be stupid – they better not show it like that. For correct information regarding Theories of Science which is the theoretical part of Philosophy… just follow link above….

  7. So…
    It cannot be perceived but by the models of the climate scientists.
    In other words, it is invisible.
    Not just invisible, but powerful.
    Awesome power. Perhaps all powerful.
    And we shall pay it heed or it shall vent its rage upon us and smite us.
    Change “scientists” to “priests” and you could have a really good book on your hands.

  8. Philosophy can certainly help us to see the climate change movement/cult “philosophically”.
    The most important area of philosophical inquiry is epistemology, in which we learn that there are known known, known unknowns and unknown unknowns.
    And that in general, most of what humans believe at any particular time tends to turn out to be culturally manufactured donkey poop. Hence the beliefs of the past generally look foolish.
    But, in addition, a cursory glance at the past reveals that “Every age has its peculiar folly: Some scheme, project, or fantasy into which it plunges, spurred on by the love of gain, the necessity of excitement, or the force of imitation.” Charles Mackay 1841,
    I don’t know what, of the many things believed in 2015, is true and what is donkey-poop.
    I strongly suspect that “extreme weather” induced by CO2 will turn out to be mostly a mass delusion which results from a composite of various familiar cognitive biases.
    Meanwhile people are resorting to self-flagellation in order to forestall the apocalypse, or to grant themselves a throne in heaven.
    This all lead me to wonder if anyone on the web had made these tentative connections before.
    It turns out that someone has, in this brilliant article (link below). Highly, highly recommended:

  9. Every time I see words “We know now that…”, I know some especially reprobate lie would follow, be it about climate, cosmology, health care or whatever.

  10. “… Furthermore, climate is not here and now. Its only possible way to be perceived is through recognition of patterns, by computer modeling and, most importantly, through representations. …”
    The Crisis Of Evidence: Why Probability And Statistics Cannot Discover Cause
    William M. Briggs

    Probability models are only useful at explaining the uncertainty of what we do not know, and should never be used to say what we already know. Probability and statistical models are useless at discerning cause. Classical statistical procedures, in both their frequentist and Bayesian implementations are, falsely imply they can speak about cause. No hypothesis test, or Bayes factor, should ever be used again. Even assuming we know the cause or partial cause for some set of observations, reporting via relative risk exagerates the certainty we have in the future, often by a lot. This over-certainty is made much worse when parametetric and not predictive methods are used. Unfortunately, predictive methods are rarely used; and even when they are, cause must still be an assumption, meaning (again) certainty in our scientific pronouncements is too high.

  11. The good Dr needs to chill and join Woolloomooloo University’s Philosophy Department. Just ask Bruce.

  12. It was Climate Ravings of this sort that first stimulated me to look more deeply into the whole business and be convinced that it was just that…a business and not a scientific fact.

  13. “If we can’t see the change in the climate system, nor the reason why it is actually occurring, does it exist in our daily lives? ”
    If a tree falls in a forest, and there’s no one around to hear it, was it the tree Michael Mann spliced into his hockey stick?

  14. “We now know climate change is anthropogenic or man-made”
    We do not know that at all. All that he says derives from this unsupported premise. The man is not a philosopher but a sophist. And an inept one at that.
    The major requirement for getting a university position has been that the applicant be a socialist — therefore our universities have been hiring lots and lots of stupid.
    Eugene WR Gallun

  15. “It can only be perceived by climate change models”. Yes, we are back to the Emperor’s New Clothes. This is how Hans Andersen put it :
    “In the great city where he lived, life was always gay. Every day many strangers came to town, and among them one day came two swindlers. They let it be known they were weavers, and they said they could weave the most magnificent fabrics imaginable. Not only were their colors and patterns uncommonly fine, but clothes made of this cloth had a wonderful way of becoming invisible to anyone who was unfit for his office, or who was unusually stupid.”.
    Now when will we hear a little boy piping up??

  16. “If we can’t see the change in the climate system, nor the reason why it is actually occurring, does it exist in our daily lives? ”
    The 12th century philosopher William of Ockham had something to say about that, I seem to remember.

  17. I’m pleased to sy that my Philosophy degree was of great assistance to me when a friend put cash on the table for anyone who could show him “how this CAGW works”. If there’s one thing a credentialled philosopher enjoys, it’s shredding bad arguments based on falsehoods, so within a very short time another “sceptic” was born – me.
    So yes, “a dose of Philosophy”, as they call it, really did help me deal with any “climate guilt” I might have been tempted into. Accordingly, I can confirm that there is exactly one true claim in their blather.

  18. This topic deserves a little essay. (not sure on text flood rules mod, sorry if I’ve contravened one)
    Excerpt from:
    Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate
    Murry Salby, Page 248
    “/…/ The atmosphere’s optical depth depends on its composition through radiatively active species. As described in Sec. 1.2.4, several have increased steadily during the last two centuries, inclusive of anthropogentic contributions. Presented in Fig. 8.30 is an estimate of the respective increase in greenhouse warming of the Earth’s surface during the last two centuries, inferred from proxy records of composition (Sec. 1.6.2). Carbon dioxide is greatest, increasing downwelling LW radiation by ∼1.5 Wm−2. Methane, nitrous oxide, halocarbons, and ozone are comparatively rare. Yet, together, they introduce almost as much additional warming as CO2. Collectively, these anthropogenic gases represent additional warming of the Earth’s surface of about 3 Wm−2. For reference, the additional warming introduced by a doubling of CO2 is, from Figs. 8.30 and 1.14, seen to be ∼4 Wm−2.
    Offsetting the increased greenhouse warming is increased cooling of the Earth’s surface by contemporaneous changes of aerosol. Entering the energy budget through albedo, those changes have likewise been inferred, somehow, from proxy records. Supported by surface changes, the inferred changes of aerosol represent an offset of about −1.5 Wm−2.
    The residual, +1.5 Wm−2, represents net warming. It is about 0.5% of the 327 Wm−2 of overall downwelling LW radiation that warms the Earth’s surface (Fig. 1.32). The vast majority of that warming is contributed by water vapor. Together with cloud, it accounts for 98% of the greenhouse effect. How water vapor has changed in relation to changes of the comparatively minor anthropogenic species (Fig. 8.30) is not known.
    The additional surface warming introduced by anthropogenic increases in greenhouse gases amounts to about 75% of that which would be introduced by a doubling of CO2. Arrhenius’ estimate of 5–6◦K for the accompanying increase of surface temperature (Sec. 1.2.4) then translates into ∼4◦K. Yet, the observed change of global-mean temperature since the mid nineteenth century is only about 1 ◦K (Sec. 1.6.1). The discrepancy points to changes of the Earth-atmosphere system (notably, involving the major absorbers, water vapor and cloud) that develop in response to imposed perturbations, like anthropogenic emission of CO2.”
    So, accordingly, the total effect (inferred) is given as +1.5 Wm−2 for a total global-mean temperature rise, since the nineteenth century, of only ~1 degree C.
    Even though the total, “… anthropogenic gases represent additional warming of the Earth’s surface of about 3 Wm−2. …”, for 1.5 Wm−2 of that is apparently already being negated by a global dynamic responses, in the form of albedo rise (also inferred) because the rise in surface temperature has been much lower than the overly simplistic physical theory and ensuing papers had predicted.
    So if I understand the implications of the reasoning above;
    In effect Salby is pointing out that the temperature rise effect from the presently increased level of CO2 (anthropogenic sourcing or no, is irrelevant, just the level or rise , so don’t get your knickers in a twist) is approximately equal to the sum of all other anthropogenic GHG inputs. Which means that the total (alleged, sorry, ‘settled’) anthropogenic EFFECT on global mean temperatures, CURRENTLY, would be approximately the same as having doubled the CO2 level, right now, above 280 PPM (read his comment, that’s what it implies).
    i.e. yet only 1 degree C rise in global mean temperature has been the result measured from that EFFECT of effectively doubling long wave radiative ‘reverberation’ (downwardness) in the atmosphere. Or rather, due to risen albedo less of it needed to escape the atmoshpere than theory had expected, because less of it got in, in the first place.
    Which is another way of saying; if all the other GHG components (mentioned above) had remained constant, while the additional CO2 input doubled, above even its present level, we could expect dynamically, and in practice, an increase of global mean temperature to be only about ~1.5 degrees C above 19th century levels.
    So only about +0.5 degree C above the global mean temperature, of 2015. That is what the pattern seems to describe.
    Given this is below or only at most eequaling the warmest periods of global mean temperatures that we know of, during the past 10,000 years of proxy record, I struggle to call that a global environmental, nor human ‘calamity’. Not something to freak out about.
    Well, unless you are a nervous neuortic dope, and your ‘philosophy’ is on the blink. So if your philosopy button isn’t working today, you’ll just have to face some basic facts and the proportions in context, and we’ll see what all the desperate climate ‘worry’ is about?
    Such conditions as +1.5 C would of course continue to green and wet the planet, and aid the expansion of the biota and recovery of all species from prior cold and water stress, given a warmer atmoshere is more humid and a cooling atmoshere quickly becomes drier, due to less lattent heat of evaporation being released, and thus less rain falling (Sorry Cali, it may be about to get colder, so yet, you perhaps should forget philosopy, and actually worry if North America keep breaking cold records, like during the past 2 years).
    And before you ask, yes, I think I can cope with the retreat of glaciers up mountain valleies, or them disappearing completely from some areas, I will not collapse into an emotional swoon, or crying myself to oblivion due to the tragedy of that.
    So if warmers want to prance about pious high-minded smarminess, and cast mouthfuls of venom and dung at actual science publications, ice expansion reportage, and less hyperbolic and doom laden alarmist views of earth, they may wish to reflect on the fact that natural variability already matches or exceeds the in practice +1.5 C planetary eco-doom scenario. No ‘climate’, or rather, weather cycle cataclysm, to date.
    In other words, even if AGW were correct, it simply doesn’t make almost any difference, except that the earth becomes even more habitable, more full of bounty, and more sufficient for virtually all species to thrive.
    In fact, each previous time the planet got a bit warmish, for a bit longish, the Holocene proxy temperature record shows us that the global climate, rather than getting allegedly ‘worse’ (i.e. even warmer) it tended to plunge into a significant counter-balancing cool phase right after. i.e. to at or below the current global mean temperature, immediately after.
    Given the same holocene record shows that for the past ~4,000 years earth has been sliding progressively toward a fall into the next ~125 K year glaciation cycle, it seems (to me) a global mean rise of ~1.5 degrees C would be a very welcome delay to that baked-in inevitable decline (which, as I pointed out, has been already occurring) into a much colder global mean temperature regime to come.
    Or this shows even better ~8,000 years of earth persistently cooling-down, from its interglacial peak temperatures:
    But one other ‘philosophical’ thing that tends to peeve me is this continual implied or else suggested assertion that humans are not natural animals. That we are not doing ‘natural’ things. That our behaviour and technology is not a normal part and aspect of the ‘natural environment’ of this planet. Or that human environmental adaptations, to utilise any available environmental niche (i.e. including urban, suburban and rural development, is not the 100% natural product of Earths entirely naturally developed primate ancestry, doing exactly what it natural evolution and interaction on this very planet, equipped it to naturally do.
    When I look out my windows and insect screens at the urban concrete, power pole transformers, high-rise, lawn sprinklers, trucks, cars, ashpalt, jets and industrial areas of my city I in fact see a 100% natural environment! It is as valid, proper and natural an evolutionary response to this earth, as any other natural response of any other animals.
    Survival of the fittest means some species get displaced by competition and may even go extinct, when one species can adapt far better than the others can. That’s evolution, that’s how we naturally got this way. It is not right or wrong, there are no value judgements, there is just what works best on this earth, and humans worked best on this earth. Hence earth made us this way. Every single thing we do is the natural product of the earth’s environmental pressure to adapt or die, which thus made us into the beings we are, and made us do what we do.
    Via 100% natural technology and natural material properties, and using the entirely natural features of how the cosmos is observed to operate, via utilizing our natural brain tgha evolution provided us, we became super-adaptable, vastly more adaptable than anything else by a very wide margin.
    As a result we were freed to make the environmental neich e we prefer, and it just happens to be cattle feed lots, supermarkets, urban centers, and icecream. A bird makes a nest, a panda claims and bamboo stand, a lion marks a territory. That is their niche. If we intrude, we are on their menu.
    While humans pour concrete and make integrated circuits. Call me old fashioned but I prefer not to be on the menu of some other animal. I vastly prefer to be an educated, sentient, the apex omnivore. I always want the odds to be stacked in my favour, for survival and maintianence of my niche, when it comes to dinner time.
    I do not apologise for it, and I do not feel bad or guilty about it.
    That would be totally neurotic.
    No UN weirdos, I am not going to eat insects out of neurotic enviroguilt, you’re wasting oxygen via respiration which could have been used to oxidise coal to power my stove so I can have a medium steak and caesar salad with chocolate-chip icecream for desert. So enjoy your bowl of crickets, you weirdos, except you won’t, because all of you parasitic phoney’s will be eating lobster and scallops instead. Right?
    Yeah, that’s right.
    But if you’re merely interested in cAGW, or just panicking brainlessly about AGW, due to your misanthropic disposed enviroguilt complex that you were taught, and then you submersed yourself in voluntarily, and you’re a bit psychologically deranged due to that, or to what your school ‘teacher’, or university ‘taught’ you, or else you may consider yourself a well-balanced and wholesome enlightened being, and just want to grow you armpit hairs a bit longer and hanker for living and smelling ala ‘naturale’ in a cave, or in a twig wigwam lean-too, or as nomadic hunter-gatherer, dominating the open grasslands with your awesome woven hand-basket – well, no one’s going to stop you.
    Just don’t try to force your neurosis, developmental immaturity and general inability to face facts or cope with them, on others – enjoy your crickets, more steaks for me!
    However, do first take note that indigenous people everywhere seem to totally love solid-state integrated circuit technologies, flushing toilets, potable water, modern medicine, clothing, automatic front-loading washing machines and soap in a box.
    As much as they love the forest, too, they still immediately tend to alter their immediate surroundings, to produce a natural village and town environmental niche, that’s more conducive to humans, i.e. to their ease, plenty and group security in which to learn, thrive and adapt in order to exploit new opportunities and mobility, or to respond effectively to any competing life forms (micro, or macro).
    This is our home planet.
    The planet created us, it created our capacity to thrive on this planet, and no other, we are at home, and the more we make urban environemnts optimised for humans, the more at home we feel in our niche. Earth is 100% responsible for human urban centers developing, and turning us into a stunning super-adaptive creature, who like all other animals on earth, seeks to change their immediately surrounding to better suit their needs and activites. Bower birds do it, fish do it, corals do it, and humans do it. We are just so much naturally better at it than all the other life forms.
    So the greatest UN-natural act would be to be derailed us from what we are, and what we can do, via a malevolent philosophy or ideology that sough to have us convinced to pretend to be what we’re not. As that would, and certainly does, cause humans great harm and impairment.
    Our super-adaptability is always extended by technology, and that has allowed us to cooperatively extend our niche into every part of earth and to thrive almost everywhere we go.
    The time is approaching when we will travel to and survive in and master, and then thrive within an infinite number of niches beyond or jewel home-planet, so we are going to need and to maximise our super-adaptability capacities, and the opportunities these natural technologies produced from observing and learning to use the natural functions and process of the natural world, and wider cosmos, as our niche.
    If we do not continue to be super-adaptable, and more adaptable than at present, but fall into that pit of philosophical and ideological extremist despair and doom-ism we most certainly will fail to adapt and expand our environmental niche and habitation and thus will over time simply stagnate and also go extinct.
    Yes, that is an option, but I prefer the opportunities that come from using our bvrian rather than become a prisoner or doomish slavish warped ideologies of failure and misanthropy. Any ideology that seeks to demoralise us and encourage us to be something other than what this planet quite naturally made us into, or for us to fail to express full human capacity at all times, in the way evolution made it possible for us to, is inimical to being exactly the success story of this planet that we are. Such an ideology should be ignored and tossed away, with all the other rubbish.
    The only thing human beings need to do in order to succeed indefinitely is to be that stunning super-adaptive animal that evolution has made us, into and to extend upon that, without any hesitation, and zero sense of faisted fake ‘ecoguilt’ mania.
    The entire AGW planetary warming ultra-whinge, and all of the alleged scientific pontificating surrounding it, is just another ideology-driven time wasting speed-bump. It waxes long about effectively nothing at all of any consequence, on a necessary path to being and doing more than we currently can, and dramatically extending our 100% natural environmental niche, to far, far beyond what and where it is, right now.
    I wish I could live long enough to see it, as it’s going to be utterly mind-boggling to see what we’ll be able to do in coming centuries. We have emerged from weathered rock, created by aggregations of atoms, generated in stars. Why it does that, this aggregation has no idea.
    But I like it!
    And I would love to see how far we can get, I would love to see human skeletons become fossilised in the sediments of other planets around other stars, and not just this one. Who knows what we will do, or what we will discover, but we sure won’t find out if we do what the ecoguilt mongering ideologues adn UN IPCC suggest, and just roll-over and stagnate into oblivion, and try to use economics of energy that simply don;t and never will work, just to save a frog, or a skink, or some fish species? As all our opportunities are impaired and frittered away?
    No, screw that, human beings should be exactly what they are and nothing else ever. We evolved to be super-adaptable omnivores that accept no obstacles or false limits to creating human optimised niches in every possible location. That is us, and we need to keep doing it and begin to move off this planet, as well.
    If other animals and plants wish to live in our 100% natural human-optimised environmental niches of suburbia (adn not have us on the menu!), well fine, no problem, they are very welcome. But THEY must adapt to living with US.
    And they have, and they do. The urban environments outside my SiO2 window are loaded with non-human life. Cross harbour ferries were dodging whales in Sydney harbour last week and no one even harpooned it! We no longer need whale oil as an energy supply. Our technology and adaptability has moved past preying on whales and the whales survived it. Hardly the end of the world.
    But they may not have survived it, if we had not continued to adapt and be humans, even as we were harvesting their oil. The very reason why the world is abundantly supplied with top predators today, like sharks and crocodiles, is a result of the fact that the global environment is so amazingly healthy, and food is so abundant. It is abundant because the planet is warmer, it is wetter, it is greener, and higher CO2 is stimulating all plant life that feeds animals.
    Just a few hours ago yet another surfer was attacked by a large shark:
    we have an oversupply of predators, and we are on their menu hwen we go where they are. and if they come where we are, they should be on our menu. Quid Pro Quo. No philosophy involved, just prosaic survival needs.
    Because the temperature and CO2 rose when the Holocene period started, human civilisation and technology finally took hold and we were able to step back from fossil-record oblivion, and created the possibility of moving into a domain of eventual infinite resources (off planet) and growing environmental niche opportunities.
    How any one can then [mis]construe +1.0 C to +1.5 C warming since the mid 19th century plus a biologically extremely favourable CO2 rise and the greening of the earth, as a desperate global ‘problem’ is beyond the realm of the intellect to account for. It is a sad quasi-religious biproduct of a warped misguided misanthropic ideology that pretends the grandiose title of “green environmentalism”. But which, for some extraordinarily bizarre reason, can’t face that obvious fact, the human urban, suburban and rural settings are all 100% natural and are also green environments of earth that were created by the most amazing creature the planet and its evolutionary development ever produced. A shopping mall is as much a part of the natural environment as the coral reef I swim on. Neither is more valid than the other as an environmental niche for life. But as a human, I do prefer the shopping center at dinner time, as I’m less likely to be on the menu (and I like Thai food more than coral polyps).
    Yes, I’m going to the opposing extreme above to demonstrate logical counterpoint to dismal eco-dumb-ism, so that perhaps those infected with it become aware of how they’ve been duped,a nd then duped themselves away from what they really are, and do not have to appologise for. the shark that tried to eat that surfer today is not goign to feel appologetic about it.
    This allegedly “green eco-friendly” ideology and its stunningly ignorant fixation on carbon, as a ‘pollutant’, or rather, as a boggieman, and human global civilisation as a planetary ‘calamity’, painting it as merely a “great extinction”, is the product of wilfully deranged people, who can not see the forest for the trees, and are in denial of what they really are, and how they came to be, and what they need to do from here.
    Hence their ideology is one of dissipation and doomism, it’s what they will not actually ‘save us’ from, but are in fact intent on creating. The only reason why such people can eat and remain alive today is because other humans were true to themselves and decided to act exactly like humans. Unfortunately this also allowed the useless time-wasting whining misanthropic deranged feral greenie riff-raff to survive, and thrive, parasitically, too.
    Banning an ideology is of course not the way, as censorship is always the producer of worse outcomes. But pointing out what green enviroguilt is and how prejudiced, biased and bent its ideology implicitly is, against human beings, should be called-out for the shameless sham and deliberate attempt to impair and damage all future human beings.
    They seek to blacken and denigrate humanity and deny us our natural developmental and mental capacity to exhibit and express what we are and be what we are, just like any other natural animal does. When sharks harm surfers, do they construct a global campaign to reform sharks, or turn them into seaweed eaters? No, it’s the human’s fault for ending up on the menu, and a human should not defend itself or mitigate the hazard via threatening the shark’s range and survivability in return. Whatever.
    Every eco-mistake humans have made, as a global civilisation, has been something we’ve learned from or are still learning from. We do not deserve opprobrium from the high an ideologically smarmy, as our super-adaptability implicitly requires that we will learn from experiences and adapt to all such errors, as a natural matter of course of getting better at super-adapting!
    So where is the need for our ecoguilt?
    A super-adaptable creature can not possibly be ‘guilty’ of anything! It is doing what it must, and simply being what it is! Just as the shark is being what it is, and just looking for a bite. Learning involves errors, and their self-correction. We are all learninf from this. Were is the need or justification for some butthole to try and condemn human beings, per-sec, and create ideologies of misanthropy and doom because, of orrdinary natural error making and self-correction to do things better? The whole thing eco-loons go on with is quite rediculous, and AGW is a complete nonsense.
    The only thing that continually seeks to foist fake guilt on to us for things we have not done wrong, or even done at all, is religion! We’re innocent, we always have be, we can do not ‘wrong’, for there is no wrong in survival, except to become lunch. If we are true to what we are, we can not go ‘wrong’. We don’t need a philosophy, an ideology, a neo-religion of eco-doom saviours and prophets to tell us what to do, nor what we should be, nor to be tutored in ideological ‘rights’, from ideological ‘wrongs’. There is no such thing! We can not do right, or wrong, we can only do what we do, and it is evolutionary life processing that has made exactly what we are, the most correct thing for us to be. Let’s just be us, eh? Super adaptability means getting better and better at adapting, and continually opening up new environmental niche opportunites, for us, and for other animals.
    Any ideology calling itself science, from an ideological bent, by definition most certainly is not science. All eco ideology that seeks to smear and diminish and impair or discourage humans from being what they are is our enemy, it should be seen for what it is, challenged where it pops up and the people peddling it encouraged to grow up, shut up or get lost.
    In December this year in Paris, a congregation of such misanthropic malevolent ‘eco-friend’ parasites, are going to try to take another lunge at the global public purse, to steal more public money, and usurp more political power, and legislative law-making to oppress and dictate, using the totally hysterical false pretences of AGW warming (+1.5 C at the most) backed by make believe ideological pseudo-science within the physical global context of 18 years of flat global mean temperature trends, punctuated by weather cycles, around that mean level. We had 18 years of warmign from 1980 to 1998, the 18 years of almost no warming at all, and massive numbers of new coldest minimum records in north America since 2013. Hardly an AGW calamity. No ‘change’, and no crisis, but they plan to conjure up a thermal catastrophe, and pretend it’s “totally real”, except the data says its a phantom, constructe from the noise of weather cycles.
    I’m not itererested in getting political. I also don’t want to get ideological, or philosophical, nor AGW-religious. I don’t wish to play in their pig-sty of rank propaganda at all.
    Just stick to the known facts and explain how small to almost undetectable the alleged dramatic ‘change’ is. That it is weather cycles, and not ‘climate-change’ that is doing the changing here.
    Then point out the massively beneficial aspects of such almost but not quite undetectable and imperceptible climate-changes over the past 150 years.
    Just the facts – but all of them! No appologies for being what we are! As That approach always wins in the end. The facts and events will win the pubic over, and politicians that do not respond to the public, and to reality, will not survive election. Any policy, agreement, pledge or legislation can be overthrown, and tossed-out. Remember the case of Australia’s carbon tax. It was totally useless, impairing, ideological, counterproductive, so was rejected by the vast majority of people. Almost no one with a working brain wanted it. Their propaganda all failed. And the current Government would have been demolished if they didn’t deliver on carbon tax reversal. Anything politicians ‘agree’ to in december can be quickly reversed, so never accept the illusion of ‘inevitability’ that they are trying to conjure.
    They will fail again.
    If you steal from the public purse to harm our future potential in Paris you will be blamed for it and held responsible, and we will make sure the public understand all the facts and the heist you’ve tried to pull on them.

    • Well written! I totally agree with you, when I first stared reading your post, I thought it was Lord Monckton writing under a pen-name until, I saw the word “knickers” which is not a word I can imagine Christopher using. Having read Eric’s excellent post about this I think there is only one phrase to describe the providers and recipients of this psychobabble; Pathetic and patronising.
      Personally I would deal with it in the same way as I would deal with a child or someone with special needs whom I had just read a Hans Christian Andersen story to, who was terrified; tell them it is just a story!

      • Unmentionable – wow. Just wow. This should be elevated to a full posting (given a little proof-reading) and reblogged far and wide. Respect to you sir/madam.

      • Note that right at the top of Unmentionable’s post it is noted:
        Exerpt from:
        Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate
        Murry Salby, Page 248

        It is some great paragraphs, and undoubtedly why the climateers hate Salby so much.

    • Unmentionable, July 31, 2015 at 1:10 am, wrote in part:

      And I would love to see how far we can get, I would love to see human skeletons become fossilised in the sediments of other planets around other stars, and not just this one.

      I really like that long, long, long view. I think that would be fantastic, too.
      In my opinion, humans have caught up with cockroaches; we cannot go extinct unless the world undergoes something that would also wipe out the cockroaches. There will be a certain percent of homo-handymanus-commonsense-icus that will survive anything short of a 1/16-earthsize asteroid strike. Surviving Climate Change? Pfft! Piffle. Easy peasy.
      But humans can lose (and have lost) technology to the point where it takes many, many generations to regain what was lost and then begin to advance again technologically. I can only hope that we get a few of our kind launched off to other planets before our ‘elite betters’* totally scotch our current levels of technology and civilization.
      There are too many ‘do-gooder elite betters’** out there and we can’t watch all of them all of the time.*** One of them is going to get loose and cut civilization’s blue wire someday – to save the planet,**** of course – and as we all know from watching TV, never cut the blue wire.
      * I’m not dripping disgust and disdain. It’s more of a Niagara Falls of disgust and disdain.
      ** Help me out of a disgust/disdain jam here; what comes after Niagara Falls?
      *** Who is keeping an eye on Ted Turner? My day is Thursday. Who’s covering the other days?
      **** Oh, and maybe generate staggering wealth for them as a small reward for their efforts on behalf of all of us little people, but that’s just an afterthought. Oh! Oh! And absolute power… yes, absolute power.

    • A wave of relief washed over me as I read this! I am not alone! The way humanity is treated like some alien invader sickens me. When did we lose our pride in what we have accomplished and our drive to do better? I lift my glass to you! (A glass full of fine Kentucky Bourbon, by the way, something that MAN made!)

    • “We have emerged from weathered rock, created by aggregations of atoms, generated in stars. Why it does that, this aggregation has no idea.”
      This aggregation says, although HOW it did that is a perfectly valid line of inquiry, the WHY is simply: if it hadn’t , the question would be moot. To paraphrase (from memory) Freud: the moment one begins to further belabour the WHY, one is sick.

  19. Well, I minored n philosophy and I think we have minor climate change. Does that count?

  20. Unmentionable – wow. Just wow. This comment should be raised to a full posting and re-blogged far and wide. Respect to you sir/madam.

  21. “If you believe that elves make the rain, then every time it rains you will see proof of elves.” -Ariex
    If you are taught that man-made CO2 causes catastrophes, then every climate disaster will seem like proof of CAGW.

    • Stegosaurus sat in a swamp, up to his neck in a green goo, and thought.
      It so happened that an earthquake began at that time.
      “I think, therefore Earth quakes!” — concluded stegosaurus.
      Reminds me of Mach’s principle.

  22. “People cannot engage in something they cannot see or feel”
    Wait a minute… We’ve been told for years that the impact of global warming/climate change/global weirding/etc. would be devastating. Simultaneous floods, droughts, infestations, climate refugees and on and on. Obviously these menaces are going to be seen and felt, except they only exist in computer models where, fortunately, real people do not live.

  23. You need Greenie religion to “see” climate change. The Greenie religion also offers salvation for “climate guilt”, particularly for those living in richer countries. You just have to Believe.

  24. Using philosophy as a vehicle to deliver propaganda is an insult to any thinking person.

  25. If you had any doubts
    Then this will now clear them,
    Are these people safe?
    Should we now fear them?
    Do the men in white coats
    Need to take them away?
    Of sheer climate lunacy
    An unequalled display!

  26. According to item #2 someone needs something other than philosophy. How ironic someone would suggest something that actually means Love of Wisdom / Knowledge and use that to cope with fantasy /stupidity.

  27. I guess we might as well try philosophy. All other methods to detect climate change have failed, even when exaggerated. Ya know, maybe, just maybe it isn’t actually there. Surely the burden is on proponents to make it more ‘visible’ than mind games with philosophy. I think psychiatry might be a better angle for those having guilt over something we haven’t been able to detect!

  28. Welcome to the nether world. You cannot see it or touch it, just believe me it’s true. Don’t worry just follow me and everything will be alright. Like an Indonesian Wayang puppet show Such as the puppet show Americans have been watching for the current terms past 6+ years of government.

  29. And we skeptics think we’ve got it rough? Imagine the dedicated Warm*ista, spending his career and all that grant money stoking guilt in the gullible, only to see some philosopher spoil it all by saying something stupid like “accept your guilt”! When working up a good mass hysteria with a hockey stick, the last thing you want is some damn do-gooder calming everybody down.

  30. the climate system is something rather abstract, a statistical construct

    Talk about delusional.
    No the climate system is not a “statistical construct”, climate science is a “statistical construct”.

    we now know climate change is anthropogenic, or man-made…

    Forget about philosophy, lets go straight to the psychology; you have to have a God complex to say something like that. God complex is defined as unshakable beliefs supported only by inflated feelings of personal ability, privilege, arrogance and infallibility.

  31. If only computers can see climate change, then perhaps climate change is only happening inside computers?

  32. It takes common sense to be skeptical of climate change. Whatever it takes to believe in it no mater what the evidence is not the philosophy I know. Whatever it is Im glad I dont have it.

  33. Little correction to Carill’s bloviation:

    2. we now know the meme of climate change is anthropogenic, or man-made, but how can we understand this?

    I’ll be happy to help him with the answer. $150 per hour, minimum 5 hours, bring you own couch.

  34. Sounds like a backdoor, psychobabble way to explain away the public’s lack of interest in CAGW.
    “If you don’t feel guilty about what we claim is a problem that you caused then you have a psychological problem. Let us explain why you don’t feel guilty about but should. ”
    Or maybe I missed something. (Wouldn’t be the first time.)

    • TYPO!
      “Let us explain why you don’t feel guilty about but should. ”
      Should be
      “Let us explain why you don’t feel guilty but should. ”

  35. So I’m supposed to adopt a philosophy that climate change will bring fast warming any time now, right?
    More than that, the menace that lurks out of sight somewhere is all our fault, for having implemented the most logical employment of available resources and technology to bring affluence to mankind.
    How about a philosophy which puts guilt on those who seek to use science, politics and fear to prevent the development of the remaining world (and the eventuality of a reverse in world population), while destroying the industrialized world in the process, all as a ‘precaution which might stop climate change’?

  36. “Climate change” is something you don’t see, but rather feel. The ability to summon tears at a moment’s notice is certainly asset.

  37. The AGW crowd need to feel guilt because they have have given up on “outmoded ” morality in their private lives and without a guilt which they can impute to the actions of others, they cannot retain their feelings of superiority. For matters to do with writing of scriptures consult those who wrote them What about the Orthodox Church who tell you easily . There are many sites in English since there are many Orthodox Christians in N America where I assume most of contributors live. ( hint) Look up Sola Scriptura

  38. I’m too old to change my ways so I’ll just have to keep doing what I’ve always done and that is to stick my head out of the window.

  39. I’m ROFL, because while indeed a bad philosophy can lead you to see what is not there and especially to blame humans, that’s what is behind the climate alarmism they assume as the starting point for their rationalizaiton.
    Certainly it takes conceptual understanding to grasp higher-order abstractions, but one has to start with a solid foundation at the lower level where reality can be recognized relatively easily. John Ridpath points out that those who follow the Platonist approach don’t start with that foundation, so go hopelessly wrong. But after many years of using the wrong approach to knowledge, they don’t know how to do anything else so keep trying – and because their approach is based on feeling (emotions) they get angry when not succeeding.
    “we now know that climate change is anthroprogenic….”
    IOW, they start with a conclusion, thus their entire effort is rationalization, of a type similar to what we’ve seen many times.
    And I’m laughing at the point that city dwellers don’t experience nature – that’s true, it’s why so many are suckers for claims of eco-activists (for example, claims that deer are in cities in BC because all their habitat has been cut down).

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