Article 53

Where Is The Knowledge In Anthropogenic Global Warming?

In my previous articles touching on anthropogenic global warming, I have called attention to the fact that those who believe in it, never recognise our existing knowledge that global sea levels have been rising for geological millennia; and that no-one has yet quantified the magnitude of our anthropogenic contribution to this overall warming, if any. However, without any reference to knowledge or to its absence, Douglas Murray, in a Daily Telegraph article of 24/4/21 entitled “The eco-extremists will never be satisfied” and sub-titled “No policy, no matter how damaging to ordinary life, will ever be enough for the cult of Greta Thunberg”. However, his article doesn’t explain how ordinary life is causing the damage believed in by Greta Thunberg, nor does it explain his right to describe it as a cult. Instead, his article opens by saying that, ‘I don’t know how you chose to celebrate “Earth Day” on Thursday’; but that ‘in London the protesters from Extinction Rebellion (XR) decided to mark it by shattering windows at Canary wharf’; that ‘a group of women specifically targetted the headquarters of HSBC, a bank which HR accuses of being linked to that dread fossil fuel industry that keeps our lights on’. Thus, I conclude that instead of offering a critique of the XR message, Murray is simply offering a critique of the means chosen to express it.

Thus, he goes on to say that ‘there were some fine sights and moments’; that ‘one participant, Susan Reid, a 62-year-old grandmother was quoted as saying “I shouldn’t be having to do this.”’ To which quotation, Murray responds that ‘personally I have always tried to hold it as a general rule of thumb that if you ever find yourself on a week day morning using a hammer and chisel to try to break widows in a public space and catch yourself thinking “I shouldn’t be doing this,” then the likelihood is that you oughtn’t to be doing it’; but that ‘is the problem with the diehards of the climate cult; that ‘for them it is not possible to examine evidence, weigh-up options, and come to reasonable conclusions’; that ‘for them it is not even possible to doubt the efficacy of the cult’s crazier actions even as you are taking part in them’; that ‘for such true believers the whole thing is already clear’; that ‘we are all going to die, very soon’, and that ‘if we aren’t going to die very soon, then our children and grandchildren will, and so we have to do whatever is needed right now to save them from the flames’; that while ‘our ancestors in the middle ages might have been confused by some of the specific language of the climate cult, they would have understood the theology very well’; that ‘the problem with XR and their ilk is that they not only tolerate no compromise or contrary opinion; but that ‘they actually resent the suggestion that there is any such thing’; that ‘as Earth Day came around like some ancient and widely recognised event, governments across the globe used the opportunity to make promises that are almost certainly impossible for them to fulfil’; but that ‘all such were meant to impress the green fundamentalists’; that ‘for example, the US President, Joe Biden, promised he would ramp up his government’s commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions’; that ‘he used Earth Day to announce that the US would aim to cut emissions by 50-52 per cent by 2030’; that ‘President Biden will be 86 by then and, in any event, will be out of any position where he will be held responsible, should the US not manage to make (hit) this target’; but that the happy promise was (would be) left for his successors to clean up’; and that other world leaders made similar promises’. These, I need not individualise here.

Beyond this point, however, Douglas Murray’s article continues by observing that ‘you would have thought that any political movement that had managed to unite Biden, Putin, Trudeau and Bolsonara, might bank its success and (let those thus united) get down to work’; but that ‘climate extremists do not operate like that’; that (instead) ‘they hector and smash, chisel and blockade, when world leaders give (promise) them what they want, they tell them that they are callous vermin’; that ‘the leader of the children’s crusade of our time, Greta Thunberg, demonstrated this nicely on Earth Day’; that ‘as the leaders of the world’s major powers queued up to promise to cripple their economies by an implausibly early date, St Greta released her own statement which blasted all world leaders for “ignoring” what she and her friends call the “climate crisis”’; that ‘had you or I helped to ensure that that President Putin and President Biden were doing our bidding, then we might sit back and consider things as going broadly in the right direction’; but that ‘climate extremists never can do this’; and that ‘this is because they believe that they, and only they, have access to the truth’; and that ‘those who would bow to them ought to keep this in mind’. Thus, ‘anyone who tries to appease the green gods will find the same pattern at work’; that ‘HSBC might divest from a certain proportion of its fossil fuel related holdings, only to be told that it is not enough until the figure is zero’; that ‘the bank will then be criticised for having shares in technology companies and the same dance will go on’; and that ‘so it is with governments – 2050 is not good enough as a target’; that, ‘promise to do the impossible by 2030’ and you will be told that you are not trying hard enough’; that ‘unless you promise to do what the climate alarmists demand of you this very instant and damn the consequences, then you can expect Greta and the rest of them to berate you roundly’; that ‘the more moderate elements will merely demand that you start wrecking your economy immediately’; and that ‘the more extreme will be at your windows ineptly thwacking away with hammers and chisels’.

Thus, Murray concludes his article by observing that ‘the foregoing reaction is a shame, because the future of our planet is a subject worth addressing’; that however, ‘the doomsday cultists are the worst imaginable people to drive the discussion because their idols will not be appeased’. In contrast however, the conclusion which I draw from his article is that he accepts the current belief in anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and in its calamitous consequences; and that he rejects merely the tactics adopted by some of his co-believers in bringing this belief-only calamity to the attention of those believed to be the cause of it, and to those believed to be capable of preventing it. Again, in contrast to Douglas Murray and all his co-believers, I do not accept the current belief in AGW. I consider it to be a very shaky hypothesis in need of reality-validation to positive and thus affirmative knowledge or reality-refutation to negative knowledge and thus rejectable as mere belief, the latter being by far the most likely outcome of reality-evaluation in this particular case.

In the course of this website, I have referred to my newly definitive differentiation of the knowledge/belief dichotomy and with it those of truth/falsehood, wisdom/folly, right/wrong and good/bad, and I have shown on this basis that debate of opinion/counter-opinion is merely the debate of belief/counter-belief respectively supported by partially selected facts/counter-facts, evidence/counter-evidence and news/false-news, no set of which is ever debate-terminating conclusive knowledge; that consequently, debate produces merely a transiently elective belief-consensus pending resumption of the debate and further transiently elective debate resolution; that new knowledge is never produced by debate, however rationally it is conducted; that politics is conducted entirely through debate and elective choice of one or other belief-only policy; that such choice ought to be exercised only over party-specific knowledge-only policies to determine their order of implementation; that thus far, definitive knowledge is available only in craftsmanship, science and engineering, where hypotheses (beliefs) are evaluated by direct, or by experimental observation as to whether or not they are compatible or incompatible with our experienced reality; and that the objective of this website is to gain electorate support for (reality-compatible) knowledge to replace (reality-incompatible) belief in all party-political policy-making.

Again, in a Daily Telegraph article of 4/5/21, entitled “The doctrine of Net Zero makes mugs of us all’, Charles Moore observes that ‘the only clear difference between XR’s dream and our present Government’s policy is that the former wants Net Zero even quicker than the latter’; and that ‘both are trying to force us down the same crazy path’. However, I say that the only way to get off this crazy path is to cease to debate belief/counter-belief by adopting a conclusive knowledge-only approach instead, both here and everywhere else. 4/5/21.

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