Sunday , July 14 2024

The children’s crusade

There are two ideas that the children going on strike about climate change should be aware of. Science progresses or ought to progress by means of scientists testing their theories to destruction. This is the day to day stuff. Science progresses or ought to progress by means of scientific revolutions. This is the long-term stuff.

The problem with science is that scientists want to be proved right. Which scientist wants to see his theory falsified? For this reason, in the history of science certain false theories have been almost universally accepted. This is because scientists only seek to confirm their theories, they only look for evidence that fits in with what they believe and discount everything that might undermine their faith. Those who disagree with the consensus are frequently denounced as charlatans or heretics. But science progresses in the long run not by means of the herd mentality, but by means of the revolutionary genius.

Truth is not democratic. It didn’t matter that the whole scientific consensus thought Pasteur was deluded. It didn’t matter that everyone believed Newton was right about everything, everyone that is except Einstein. Peer reviewing is the scientific consensus whereby each scientist grooms the other by metaphorically picking nits from the chest of the other chimpanzee. You pick my nit and I’ll pick yours.

The overwhelming scientific consensus is frequently wrong because in order to be accepted into the scientific community you have to agree, you have to confirm what everyone else “knows” to be true and above all else you must not be sceptical about the group thought, you must not try to falsify it.

Fortunately, while science is governed by group think psychology, most scientists historically have been open to scientific revolution. If this had not been the case, we would still think that Malaria [mala aria] was caused by bad air. Ordinary group think scientists may spend their lives confirming rather than falsifying their theories, but they usually have recognised when the revolutionary scientist shows them that mosquitoes cause their fever. This is because most science is not political.

When science becomes politicalised nonsense frequently results. In the Soviet Union science as well as history often had to fit in with Marxism-Leninism. The result was that a whole generation followed the pseudo-science of Trofim Lysenko and rejected modern genetics and science-based agriculture.  The writings of generations of Soviet scientists and historians are worthless, because everything they wrote had to fit in with Soviet politics and was rejected if it did not. The pity is universities here are now following exactly this Soviet model.

Most university academics are left-wing. Certain subjects have been completely politicised, so that it is very difficult to get published if you disagree with the consensus. This doesn’t much matter if you are writing about literature or history. It makes these subjects dull and pointless when everyone conforms to the same left-wing model, but little harm is done. No one much reads this stuff anyway. But scientific theories do matter, when they have real world consequences. Before spending trillions of pounds trying to stop climate change, we should make sure that climate science isn’t biased by left-wing politics.

The Left was destroyed by the fall of the Berlin Wall. People voted with their feet when given the choice between socialism and the free market. No further argument was needed. But left-wing thinking didn’t go away it just redirected itself into Green politics and identity politics. The Left had decisively lost the argument but found a new way of winning.

Climate science used to be just another niche like particle physics or organic chemistry. It had nothing whatsoever to do with politics. I remember years ago being told that the world was soon going to have another ice age.  There were stories about skating on the Thames again. The world’s climate has always gone through cycles. Sometimes in history it has been much hotter than now, sometimes much colder. At some point however the climate science consensus went through a revolution. Cold became the new hot.   But this revolution was different. The possibility of a new ice age had been studied just like chemistry or physics. But the idea that the world was going to get hotter instead of being merely a hypothesis to be studied, became a political dogma to be believed.

Climate science should have no more to do with politics than geology, but Green political parties formed and used the apocalyptic theories associated with global warming to put forward the extreme left-wing solutions which people had rejected when the Wall came down. The soft-left (Al Gore et al) and the hard-left used global warming as a means to achieve a political agenda that otherwise would have been ignored.

The politicisation of climate science meant that only voices from the left were heard. Instead of the whole of humanity being involved in an issue that affects all of us, only left-wing solutions were presented to solve a left-wing problem. Anyone concerned about the future of our planet, must regret this.

Is global warming happening? Probably. It’s a theory. Let’s test it to destruction by trying to falsify it. If we do so, it just might be that we have another scientific revolution that overthrows the present consensus.

Let’s stop the scare stories. I have lost count of the number of times over the past decades where I have been warned if we don’t do something in the next year or so something dreadful will happen. The end of the world is nigh stuff led by children is something we did in medieval times. Soon they will go on a children’s crusade led by Greta d’Arc in shining armour on a quest for sainthood.

Can human beings change the climate? Probably not. It may well be that a caveman living during the Ice Age thought that if only he prayed to whatever God he believed in, then he could make the world warmer. But he had to wait centuries, just as we do.

There are fossils of tropical fish in Scotland, while we also were once covered by glaciers. Human beings couldn’t do much to stop climate change in the past. To suppose we can now is the equivalent of doing a rain dance or indeed sacrificing small children to make the sun rise.

When king Canute pretended to stop the tide coming in his point was to demonstrate the limit of human power. Well if the world today was heading towards an ice age, we wouldn’t be able to stop it by driving more cars. The reverse is also true.

 Is it possible to limit the affects of climate change? Possibly. But it’s not going to be done by recycling, or by not using paper cups for our coffee. What we need is a scientific revolution that provides us with cheap, clean, abundant energy.

There is no point lecturing people to stop using fossil fuels. What we need is a viable alternative. People the whole world over want economic development. This requires that they use more energy. We can no more stop this, than we can stop the tide.

Green energy is not going to solve the problem. Wind power, wave power and solar power are not going to be able to replace the use of fossil fuels. They just don’t generate enough and the amount they do generate isn’t cost effective.  If the world today ceased to use fossil fuels and relied exclusively on Green energy, our economies would crash and none of us would be able to do the routine tasks that we do every day. We would in effect go back to Victorian times.

Every improvement in human life and every solution to every problem has come about because of the free market. Let us therefore objectively investigate our climate. Get rid of all of the bias and all of the dogma. Let everyone speak freely with no charges of heresy. Climate change “denial” might just bring about the next scientific revolution, just as Newtonian Physics “denial” gave us Einstein.

It is better anyway for us not to rely on fossil fuels. They are dirty. They are limited and we have to buy them from places that are frequently dangerous and despotic. But the only way to completely replace fossil fuels is by either splitting the atom or even better by fusing it.

If all of the scientific work that has been wasted on Green energy had instead been used to discover clean nuclear power (e.g. Thorium reactors) or even better fusion reactors, we could by now be abolishing the use of fossil fuels. But we are only going to be able to adapt to whatever changes our climate brings us if we continue to have the wealth that only free markets can give us. Therefore, we are only going to have a world without pollution and without burning hydrocarbons if we reject the Greens and their Marxist economics. If there is a solution to the problem of climate change, it will only be found by objective research and the economics of supply and demand.

We may not be able to change our climate, but with sufficient energy and sufficient wealth we can adapt both to extremes of cold and extremes of heat. Right now people can live in places that reach minus fifty or plus fifty centigrade. Humans have lived through ice ages and we have lived through periods when the world got warmer. We have done so by adapting, thinking freely and rejecting the dogma of children indoctrinated from infancy that their snowflakes are melting.

This post was originally published by the author on her personal blog:

About Effie Deans

Effie Deans is a pro UK blogger. She spent many years living in Russia and the Soviet Union, but came home to Scotland so as to enjoy living in a multi-party democracy! When not occupied with Scottish politics she writes fiction and thinks about theology, philosophy and Russian literature.

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One comment

  1. The deep seated problem is population growth. Even if it were the case that human activity is not precipitating a warm period too many people occupy too much space. I live in an area of outstanding natural beauty and all the local towns have been given instructions to add 50 or a hundred new houses to accommodate UK population growth. UK population growth is almost entirely due to migration and the children of migrants.

    We could cure the population problem in the UK tomorrow and fix it globally in a generation. A steady or declining global population would use fewer resources and test the Global Warming thesis.