A New Global Warming Manifesto

2 Oct

By Mike McGee

This is the Global Warming statement of Mike McGee, a believer in some aspects of global warming, presented in concert with the Paris 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in December. We urgently need some new thinking on climate change. Here is my contribution, in three parts. The first two parts are practical, while Part Three is more philosophical.

I demand that those currently assumed to be responsible for climate change, such as industry and commerce and government, be let off the hook for the most part for implementing draconian solutions beyond what they are already doing. Global Warming solutions are not for amateurs such as businessmen and politicians and bureaucrats. Global warming and population pressure can only be ameliorated by the most highly skilled scientific minds of our day.

I demand that the great theoretical scientists of the globe, whom I will describe, must for the next 25 years be subject to a moratorium on their current work, receive no Nobel Prizes or other awards other than for already complete work, and be given the responsibility and the resources (and awards) for doing at least these two things:

  • Using the scientific method to prove conclusively whether or not global warming and climate change are real or not real; and if they are real, to establish the smaller or the larger specific parameters of the current damage, and project the smaller or larger extent of any of future damage;
  • and,
  • Using the huge amounts of repurposed scientific funding and talent, which I will describe, in order to bring the scientific method to bear on global warming, to find real-world solutions and adaptations we don’t now know exist or how to use.

For the next 25 years we must be dedicated to solving the problems of the earth today, rather than funding speculations on the nature of the Universe. The best and the brightest among us must rise to the new challenges created by a world with a huge and growing population; with the understanding that population challenges are already among us, regardless of whether they are labeled as global warming or not.

I personally believe that global warming and climate change exist; yet not in a fanatical way. I respect the purposes and intentions of those who do not believe in global warming, so I want to proceed in a somewhat balanced way. “Population pressures” is possibly something those who don’t believe in global warming can warm up to. If they don’t, that’s fine.

Part One: The Background

People stir up emotions by using words without meaning to promote their causes. It is said that “humans do (or do not) cause global warming.” This language implies that each human and each human enterprise is at fault – yet is any of us at fault for being born into a larger population? It’s more accurate to say that the larger number of humans on the planet is creating challenges to the planet that have never in the history of the world existed.

Many go much further and assert that our planet is “broken” and life as we know it will soon be destroyed due to damage in the environment. This doomsday position is totally contrary to the beliefs of some good men who say that our planet is the same as it’s always been and will continue uninterrupted as it is and always has been.

Another way to look at it is that our planet is evolving rapidly due to unprecedented population growth into a new state of being which includes among other things higher temperatures and greater carbon emissions, changing society in ways comparable to the ancient discovery of the uses of fire.

We are never, not ever, going to roll back the population of the world, even though the current crop of fantasy-catastrophe movies and books implies that this is possible. It is imperative for us to adopt new and vibrant philosophies and practices showing the way forward to a brighter future which includes more and more people every year. And we must put the right people- our best scientists- to the task of making it so.

We must not, as we do now, put the burden for solving global warming and emissions issues on industry and commerce. Manufacturers and end users are not scientists, and they are not particularly suited to solve problems which are purely scientific in nature. Attacking industry and end users gives us a comfortable scapegoat, and doing so rewards the crusaders with a sense of righteousness. Doing so, though, is ultimately destructive and will not solve the underlying problems.

If manufacturers are called on to solve global warming, they will for the most part install a few more filters and raise the prices of their goods and services. Retailers will cut more trees to produce more expensive paper bags to offer instead of plastic bags. Energy producers will ramp up fracking to generate more clean-burning fuel for power plants. All these problem-solvers will use the more common-sense means at their disposal, most of which create myriad unintended consequences. For the most part the vast increases in production and emissions brought on by commerce and industry are simply responses to the much greater demands of a current population of seven billion.

There was no global warming back in 1920 when the population was only two billion. As a concrete example: according to BASF, at the present time, “The construction industry accounts for about half of the world’s consumption of energy and resources.” I don’t know the accuracy of this statement, yet it makes a useful point for us. The primary role for “construction” is to provide housing for the five billion new people added since 1920, and to provide both small and vast facilities to support these new five billion. The construction industry is vitally and essentially responding to the new demands of population growth, even as energy and resources are consumed and waste products and pollution are given off in the process.

Of course we must continue to monitor commerce and industry and hold them responsible for introducing avoidable pollutants, carcinogens and other known poisons into the environment. There is a colossal difference between generic global warming, and the improper handling of dangerous substances.

Part Two: Global warming and climate change issues will for the most part be solved by pure science – including the threshold questions of to what extent such things exist.

My manifesto is radical because I am naming the types of scientists and funding sources which will be most capable of resolving the most pressing population (or global warming) issues. I am demanding that some of our best scientists turn their attention from entirely theoretical science toward finding real-world solutions for population pressure, global warming and climate change.

Who are the men and women we must ask to solve the new challenges to the planet? Theoretical physicists, cosmologists, paleontologists, evolutionary geologists and anthropologists, evolutionary biologists and geneticists, string-theoreticians and cosmic quantum theorists and other scientists who operate wholly in the realm of the theoretical and speculative. These are the most brilliant and creative men and women of our generation, yet they produce nothing which is of tangible value to the earth in our time beyond news stories and faculty tenure.

There are no Black Holes, only very earth-bound mathematical computations which predict their existence. The Big Bang is another wholly theoretical hypothesis which does not exist. There are no known living things outside our solar system. No one can say for sure how old things are on or in the earth beyond about 60,000 years. Deep space and deep time measurements and observations are solely dependent on the design of earth-bound instruments and exist only in the eyes of the beholder. The multiverse and the cosmos are entirely theoretical and do not exist. Star Trek does not exist.

I would not demand that they re-purpose their research and development unless I fully believed that these brilliant scientists were entirely capable of coming up with actual solutions to actual terrestrial global warming and population pressure problems – using the scientific method, engaging in acute observations, and conducting complex experiments. Not to mention their ability to use the highest analytical mathematics and to construct the best ever computer models.

I demand a 25-year moratorium on funding and academic and government support for theoretical and speculative science. There must be no reduction in funding or support, all of which will be re-directed to projects dealing with population pressure and global warming, and theoretical scientists must have priority for receiving grants and for leading research projects.

For 25 years the Nobel Committee must announce and stick to a policy of refusing to grant prizes for wholly theoretical and speculative cosmology and physics, as well as speculative ancient geological theory and ancient genetic theory – except for work completed before the cut-off date. The Committee must establish a new prize or prizes for population and environmental science. If their charter prohibits such a change, there must be a prize of similar standing created, such as happened with the Nobel Peace Prize.

Billions of dollars are now being spent each year for speculative and theoretical science projects. During this 25-year moratorium period government and universities and non-profits and other public and private research funding will redirect such funds to scientific research on global warming and population pressures. Which is more urgent and important, finding a subjective exoplanet in a remote galaxy we can never travel to, or finding scientific solutions to the California water crisis? Or finding scientific solutions to manage world-wide carbon emissions?

I fervently hope that these repurposed billions of dollars will be primarily and preferentially awarded to the same scientists who are now spending their energy on theoretical projects, including both grant funds and project leadership positions. These men and women are without a doubt the best and brightest, and are highly motivated to produce valid results in their studies. If these scientists are taken out of the loop there is a far lesser likelihood that timely results of the highest order will follow from the re-directed projects.

It should be simple for an advanced mathematical physicist to turn his or her abilities toward finding ways to convert carbon emissions at their source into harmless and ideally profitable by-products. There are new non-polluting sources of energy just waiting to be discovered by testing in real-time the most advanced theoretical constructs and computer models. The inexpensive desalination of sea water should be easy for someone who has spent years computing the age of the universe.

Using advanced physics and mathematics, it will be difficult yet not impossible to find ways of breaking down or “reverse-engineering” the chemical bonds of used plastics so that the separated components will be either re-usable or rendered harmless, or perhaps even become valuable market commodities. On a more simple scale, we may find new ways to recycle plastic which will be profitable enough to, among other things, encourage fleet ships to gather the massive debris from the ocean islands of plastic such as the North Pacific Gyre.

Physicists and mathematicians and earth scientists will most definitely be able to study and draw maps and find real-world solutions to any challenges of rising sea levels, or altered biomes, or the worldwide uneven natural distribution of potable water.

With the intense focus of the best minds, it may even take less than 25 years to solve the major challenges of the earth, be they from population pressure or from global warming.

Part Three: A Few Philosophical Musings

Doom and Gloom

The most frightening predictions of those who fear global warming and population pressures are that the planet will no longer be hospitable to human or animal life in the very near future. This is a two-edged fantasy. Not only will you and I die, but also the world’s population will be largely decimated.

Can anyone see the extreme highly conflicted chaos inherent in this proposition? FEAR: that I personally, and you, will soon die a horrible death. HOPE: that things will be better when at least five billion people (not including you or I) die horrible deaths.

Our generation is of course not the first to describe with wishful thinking the destruction of most of mankind. The renowned British scholar Thomas Malthus wrote thusly in 1798, in An Essay on the Principle of Population, Chapter VII, p. 61:

“The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race. The vices of mankind are active and able ministers of depopulation. They are the precursors in the great army of destruction, and often finish the dreadful work themselves. But should they fail in this war of extermination, sickly seasons, epidemics, pestilence, and plague will advance in terrific array, and sweep off their thousands and tens of thousands. Should success be still incomplete, gigantic inevitable famine stalks in the rear, and with one mighty blow levels the population with the food of the world.”

The way he writes, it appears that Malthus was really looking forward to the coming Armageddon of overpopulation, with bloodthirsty excitement! (As long as it was “us” and not “them” who lived through the crisis.) In today’s world he might be a highly respected and renowned yet dogmatically fanatical global warming advocate, rich in words of warning yet seeing none except draconian and worst-case scenarios.

The massive subconscious fantasy desire for planet-wide murder and destruction is combined with the narcissistic bedrock belief that you and I will not be among those who are dead. Unreasoning and catastrophic personal FEAR is behind most of the rhetoric of the extreme environmentalists. Others play off these primordial fears by feeding them and profiting thereby. The environmental movement as it now stands is one of the most fearful and at the same time shamefully narcissistic movements on the planet. And yet it is true: drastic things do need to be done.

Part of the solution is to simply give up thinking and believing that the planet’s resources are limited. Today we can make do with what we have. Accept that new scientific discoveries will soon make it easy for the billions of us to live together with adequate health and resources and without ruining the environment.

Let’s look at an example of how things we didn’t know about at all in the year 1920 (much less in 1798) have made it easy for our increase to seven billion souls since then to be tolerable. If computer systems and world-wide communications systems had not been invented from nothing, it’s hard to imagine the rampant bedlam among us during the mass population growth and global climate changes of the last hundred years. Yet the new and at the time unknown challenges of the twentieth century have been met and exceeded, in a seemingly effortless manner. It was problem-solving by the brightest scientific and technical minds of the twentieth century that made it so.

So I insist that there is drastically more evidence to support the improved continuation of humanity and the planet, than there is for global Armageddon. (Current disaster movies and science fiction books do not count as “evidence” of the actual destruction of humanity.)

Darwin’s Puzzle

Environmental thinking today, even among environmental activists, resembles the pre-Darwinian dogma which held that species including man are exactly the way they were made, and any changes in a species represented error.

No single naturalist of the 1800s epitomizes the revolutionary changes that the Enlightenment brought to the study of nature more than Charles Darwin. Well into the nineteenth century most naturalists believed the world was a few thousand years old and that species were created separately and organized into an unchanging hierarchy, with humans positioned just below the angels.

“In pre-Darwinian biology… scholars believed that each species had an underlying essence or physical type, and variation was considered error. Darwin challenged this essentialist view, observing that a species … contain[s] a population of varied individuals, not erroneous variations on one ideal individual.” Lisa Barrett, Northeastern University, In This Idea Must Die, New York: HarperCollins e-books, 2015; P. 499, Kindle Edition.

Most environmentalist thinkers, and most political and intellectual leaders in the debate on global warming and climate change, make some very old and discredited assumptions which would have shocked and puzzled Charles Darwin. One such assumption is that the climate and its correlates “should” proceed forever in the same essential ways as they were created, and based on ideal types. Current carbon emissions and global warming “problems,” it is said, consist of erroneous and damaging variations of these essentialist “ideal types.”

Yet what if humanity has the natural evolutionary capacity to adjust to almost every climactic condition, in many and varied ways? Further, what if the world’s climactic systems are in the natural process of evolutionarily adjusting to changing conditions on the ground? By focusing solely on the essentialist “ideal types” of climate we are totally blinded to the many natural variations which are within humanity’s and the Earth’s capacity to adapt.

Only the very best scientists are up to the task of discerning the new and variable types of climate events which are emerging and how mankind can adapt to survive by natural selection. With their help we will forget our fear of Armageddon and turn our eyes with joy to the renewed and ongoing life of the planet and its people and its other inhabitants. (Don’t worry about getting way too happy. We’ll still have all of mankind’s other non-scientific failings among us.)

Mike McGee’s 9.5 theses:

Even though billions of dollars have been spent each year for many years, and a hundred-year effort has been made in the areas of theoretical physics and cosmology, we are left with these results. Any descriptions beyond these results are due to good press and citizen belief in myth.

  1. There are no Black Holes. There are only armchair mathematical computations which have been interpreted as showing the possibility of black holes.
  2. There is no Big Bang; for the same reason as 1.
  3. There are no known sentient beings outside the solar system, and if we find any, the telephone bill will be astronomical.
  4. General Relativity and quantum mechanics explain nothing outside our own solar system.
  5. Beyond about 60,000 years, no one can be sure of the age of things on and in the Earth or in any other actual or theoretical space (except for my own age, which on some days feels like it goes beyond the Big Bang).
  6. The “Universe” and the “Multiverse” do not exist except as mathematical calculations. We can reliably describe them as no more than a primordial soup, the uncalculatable Environment in which the solar system is sustained.
  7. So-called deep space measurements and observations are solely dependent on the design of the earth-bound instruments being used, and on the interpretations of the observers. They have very little objective reality.
  8. What is seen in a telescope or a linked array, whether it captures light or radiations, is entirely in the eyes of the beholder. The beholder may be an individual or a computer program.
  9. The “Cosmos” is entirely an imaginative product of speculation. It has no objective reality.

9.5. Star Trek is not a reality show. Some people need to be reminded of this fact.

By Michael H. McGee. From www.mcgeepost.com, October 2, 2015. Copyright waived for this article. Re-publication or re-use is encouraged.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: