Extinction Rebellion: When Prophesy Fails

[quote from Factfulness by Hans Rosling page 229]

"We need to create Fear!" That's what Al Gore said to me [Hans Rosling] at the start of our first conversation about how to teach climate change.


Hans Rosling declined Al Gore's invitation.

(By the way if you want a really excellent view on what is really happening to the world read Factfulness by Hans Rosling it is HERE)

But not everyone has the same scruples as Hans Rosling.

Unable to galvanise people to their cause by rational discourse many politicised proponents of "doing something" about Global warming/Climate Change/Climate Emergency have done exactly what Al Gore suggested to Hans Rosling.

They have deliberately gone out of their way to create a climate of fear. As an example today in the UK every out-of-the-ordinary weather event is somehow blamed on Global Warming.

Even when a reservoir Dam gets badly damaged by a ten year event (see here) it is somehow blamed on Global Warming rather than substandard maintenance.

I have to ask: SHOULDN'T a dam withstand a ten year event intact? Global warming or no global warming?

But all this fear mongering gathers like puss in a sceptic wound and now we have the inevitable result: Extinction Rebellion.

Extinction Rebellion is one of the more alarming cults to emerge in recent years.

The invisible controllers behind the organisation appear to target children. These children are then used in much the same way as African War lords use child soldiers or Drug dealers use child runners. To ensure loyalty to the cause they feed them panicky end-of-days predictions along with a sense of grievance about a "lost" future "stolen" by selfish seniors.

Let us look at the central prophesy promoted by Extinction Rebellion and their camp followers.

So, do we have only 18 months to "Save the Planet"?

The statement appears to have coalesced in this BBC article .

To be fair this 18 months is not actually a hard deadline where we all drop dead at the end of it. It is a deadline where "something has to be done".

That something appears to involve a lot of rich and powerful folk descending in Lear Jets on a few resorts and making some fatuous political statements.

So it is perhaps one of the easier prophesies to achieve. It is also one that can be successfully used to draw away from the failed climate prophesies of the last twenty years.

Take this statement from the above BBC article:

But today, observers recognise that the decisive, political steps to enable the cuts in carbon to take place will have to happen before the end of next year. 

So, who are these "observers"?
What are these "political steps"?
Who finally makes the call in 18 months time as to whether the planet is saved?

This all seems somewhat less clear.

What is clear is that (short of a Global recession) Carbon emissions are not going to stop rising in the  next 18 months, let alone decrease.

China and India who together make up the bulk of coal users in the world are not going to stop improving the lives of their peoples. Nor should they.

So should the West then do the "decent" thing and abandon their peoples to poverty?
Should we revert to some pre-industrial idyll? (that never existed) and do all this to prevent (so the theory states) a rise of more than 1.5 degC over the next century?

Personally I don't do poverty.

Even the IPCC doesn't do poverty. Their more sober predictions amount to a reduction in the rate of increase of the world's prosperity NOT a decline.

Really we need to put the risk from Global warming into perspective. According to the IPCC it may impact the rate of improvement in the world economy but it will not stop that improvement. Let alone reverse it.

Carbon emission reductions or not, the world is not going to collapse into some form of dystopian ecological catastrophe. Whatever the likes of Extinction Rebellion get their child soldiers to say.

The only way it may collapse into a nightmare of increasing poverty, reduced opportunity and blighted futures is if we allow the True believers and their disciples to call the tune.

So what should we do about Global Warming??

All the progress that has been made over the last two centuries has hinged around cheap effective energy. What has been shown time and time again is that if energy supply is not long-term cheap and 24/7 effective, it is not worthwhile.

While the effects of Global Warming may be bad, they would pale into insignificance if we allowed the billions recently lifted out of dollar-a-day poverty by cheap and plentiful energy to slide back down into it again.

Yet there are viable alternatives to coal and oil (aka: gas and nuclear) that will (and do) reduce emissions without pushing people into poverty. But sadly they are not fashionable or extreme enough for the likes of Extinction Rebellion.

Whatever we do, we must not throw two centuries of progress down the toilet simply to appease a cult.

Today I read that some elements with Extinction Rebellion are going on what they laughably call a baby strike. In other words they will not be having any children.

That is of course their choice. Personally I would consider their choice a wise one bearing in mind their lack of stability.

But worryingly this nihilism is only one step away from the next cult fantasy: The ultimate sacrifice.

Like all cults, the the young and gullible are the foot soldiers. Frightened little girls and boys swept up into an apocalyptic cult by the "fear" as prescribed by Al Gore.

If we keep appeasing the zealots running this cult then one day we will find we have another Jonestown or Heavens Gate to deal with. An avoidable tragedy where the victims will be kids. Kids who will have been in a perverse way, scared to death.

For them there really will be no future.


Buster bloodvessel said...

Great to see your blog back online, billo.

Unknown said...

Not sure what propaganda machine this is but you are speaking utter nonsense. You are misquoting the FACTS from the IPCC report.

BilloTheWisp said...

Thanks Buster. I'll try and keep it coming.

BilloTheWisp said...

As to "Unknown"

So I'm a "propaganda machine"!!


WoW! I suppose I should be flattered.

I have absolutely no issues with your contrary views but it would be nice if you would actually back them up with something other than bluster.

You seem to like FACTS (after all - you used capitals) but you just don't mention any.

I like FACTS too. I even like facts (lower case). Just as long as they really are facts and not just over-excited dramatic props.

But I don't do scare-mongering or witch-finding.

It's soooo 17th Century.

Realist said...

Climate change is complicated and it's no wonder that lots of people are confused.
The IPCC said that if CO2 emissions are reduced to half current level by 2030 there is a 1in2 to 2in3 chance of keeping warming to 1.5 degrees Centigrade or less. The 1.5 degree centigrade level is quoted because this is agreed that beyond this there is a much greater chance of feedback events causing further global warming no matter what is done.
Global warming is 1.2 C now so we're close to the tipping point already. There are repercussions of this already, record temperatures, thinning of ice on both poles and death of coral reefs but worse may be to come.
I don't know of people who say that the end of the world will happen in 2020 or 2030 just that effects of climate change will get progressively worse and there is a point beyond which we might be powerless to do anything about it.

BilloTheWisp said...

Thanks to Realist for the comment. I will reply properly in a few days but I'm away with the kids and your comment deserves more than a quick scribbled reply.

BilloTheWisp said...

Thanks to Realist for the comment.
First my apologies for the delay in replying but I've been away for a few days (internet free - really!)

I appreciate your comment but there are a few items I must take issue with. But they are by-and-large minor compared to the prediction fantasys of (example) Extinction Rebellion.

I'll include a video of an interview with one of the leaders of Climate Rebellion at the end of this and you can judge if my alarm that people like this are being taken seriously is fair or not.

First of all, Yes. The climate is complicated. In fact so complicated that really we can only ever hope to approximate to it. All models are for guidance to the wise not for the obedience of fools.

The IPCC do give probablities of events/outcomes for given scenario (i.e. 1.5deg or 2.0 deg and some at 4.0 deg).
It should be noted that the primary analysis (until the last report) has always been 2.0 deg NOT 1.5 deg. The decision to promote the 1.5deg maximum was essentially a political decision driven by the French delegation to the 2015 Paris talks.
Of course targetting 1.5deg instead of 2.0 dramatically reduces timescales for effective action.
I have my worries that this political decision was made solely to inject a little "drama" into what otherwise would have roughly been a re-iteration of past statements.

The concept (as I understand it) it not to do with water vapour feedback mitigation but more to limit the outlier effects of temperature variation and sea level rise (10cms higher at 2.0 degrees). In neither scenario do the IPCC fear a run-away.

By 2100 the worlds population will be around 4 billion more and will have levelled off. The worlds GDP will have (more of less) doubled. The predicted outcomes of the two models is a reducion in that increase of respectively 7% and 13%. Over a period of 80 years this is trivial hit to an improving world.

Now compare that to what this guy says in the video (to the BBC https://youtu.be/9HyaxctatdA ) where he predicts (or rather according to him - the "science" predicts) a reduction in the worlds population through starvation to one billion.

I don't know, you may find people like this compelling. I hope not. I find them frightening. Not because of the pseudo-science they spout but becuase of the influence they have on the young and impressionable.

The world is becoming a better place. We are down to the last 800 million living in dollar a day poverty. By 2100 that figure should be nil.
Whether the world warms by 1.5, 2.0 or even 4.0 degrees we cannot afford to junk 200 years of progress and return billions to poverty simply to
fulfil a climate target.
By all means let us aim for a reasonable climate target. But Never Ever let any cult fanatic like this guy in the video near the decision process. Or we really will be in trouble.

Hal said...

Amen brother. Looking forward to more from you.