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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Saturday October 10 2009

Just done a piece for Samizdata in connection with a piece by BBC climate correspondent Paul Hudson, who has just asked What happened to global warming? It was one of those pieces which I started writing for here, and then realised would be better there, not least because I was basically asking a question. I was asking: this is big, yes?  Not big as in the fundamental facts of the argument having changed, but big as in: the hitherto deep frozen BBC position (global warming is happening and will kill us all unless you stop all that at once) appears to be melting, so to speak.

I have been casually following the whole we-are-boiling-ourselves-to-death argument, and have become an only casually informed Anthropogenic Global Warming skeptic.  Which is to say that were I asked to place a bet now concerning what would be the general opinion about Anthropogenic Global Warming in a few decades time, I’d bet that it would then be held in amused contempt, subject only to the fact that whoever was promoting the updated version of the capitalism-is-evil claim would be wanting everyone to forget about the earlier, now discredited version, just as warmists now want us to forget that thirty or more years ago they or their equivalents were all then freezists.  My prejudice against the warmists is getting ever more solid, but is based more on politics than on science.  I know what drivel was talked by all these people about economics, and why, and how, in the days when they used to talk drivel about economics.  But ever since communism collapsed with ignominy, they have switched to talking what sounds to me like the same kind of drivel about climate science, using all the same tricks, to justify all the same stupid political positions they can’t bear to abandon.  I now read pieces by people who know more about climate science than I do, such as Bishop Hill.  But in the end, my sense of how the argument is going is based on the general feel of the thing rather than on detailed arguments.  I am behaving, that is to say, more like a member of a jury than any sort of expert witness.  Or, like a voter, you might say.

And, like I say, I vote that it’s all hooey.  The best way for humanity to prepare for environmental turmoil is for it to get rich, so that it can afford to jack its houses up on stilts, move, whatever.  That, and if the earth ever does become hard to live in, we need to be as ready as we can be with technical fixes.  The atmosphere definitely, no bullshit, spoiling things for us?  So, change it.  The question then becomes: if trouble ever does strike, how ready will we be?  How smart will be?  How far will science and technology have progressed by then?  Or to put it another way, how much will the AGW-ists have succeeded in bringing science and technology to a grinding halt?

This, by the way, was the opinion of the late Chris R. Tame, who was the Director of the Libertarian Alliance when I did the pamphlets for the Libertarian Alliance.  He said that global warming (they hadn’t yet retreated to mere “climate change” or the despicable “climate change denial") was all evil lies, a quarter of a century ago.  They just hate industrial progress and want it stopped, like the Ayn Rand villains that they are.  That was his opinion.  I resisted this for a long time.  What if there’s something to it?  Now, I think he was completely right.