Monday, November 9, 2015

Maybe Paris 2015 Really IS Our Last Chance

Even though I've been following the story since before either of them were born, my kids know more about global warming/climate change than I do. Maybe they are just more science-y than I am. Or maybe they are just less skeptical. When I read any article in Salon or The Nation about it, my mind becomes a garbled mess of charts, statistics and dire predictions of planetary chaos that make me want to go slit my wrists. On the other hand, when I read articles from National Review or Reason, I hear about murky science, Manchurian maneuvers by internationalists and statist planners whose goal it is to empower themselves, with global warming providing the vehicle with which to finally rid the world of capitalism. 

My own position is that the earth is warming, a little, and mankind probably has something to do with it. Beyond that, I'm not convinced that the various cures that have been proposed to fix the problem will A. Fix it, or B. Produce a mountain of unintended consequences that will be worse than the disease, not the least of which will be the end of national sovereignty and representative democracy. But I will admit that when you are a person who doesn't trust Big Government, that conclusion might be a bit overwrought. 

So, anyway, I bring this up because in a couple of weeks the United Nations Climate Conference will begin in Paris and it will be all over the news. Already, I've read three different stories with breathtaking headlines describing the Paris confab as humanity's last chance to do anything about global climate change before a tipping point will have been reached beyond which mankind will be doomed. In this, Paris will be in good company, since I have been told the exact same thing about several other United Nations Climate Conferences. A simple google search will produce a treasure trove of doomsday predictions in the weeks leading up to each of the previous meetings listed below. 

Bonn 2001
Montreal 2005
Bali 2007
Poznan 2008
Copenhagen 2009
Cancun 2010
Durban 2011
Doha 2012
Warsaw 2013
Lima 2014

And now, Paris 2015. Anyone who watches the Weather Channel knows how difficult it is to reliably predict changes in weather. So, predicting something as complicated and multifaceted as planetary climate has got to be infinitely more challenging. Consequently, maybe the alarmist rhetoric should be given a pass. If you truly believe that the earth is about to be plunged into a irreversible death spiral because of man made global warming, then you're going to have a tendency towards overheated language. But for those of us who aren't as convinced, hearing every single climate meeting over the past 20 years pitched as humanity's last chance does raise a few eyebrows. After all, if all the experts who said that Bali 2001 was our last chance were right, then Paris 2015 would be a exercise in futility, right? Thank God they were wrong, I guess.