Here’s why: there are a number of people applying a host of wrong techniques to attack.
Take an example: Say your cousin Vinny developed an abscess (ouch). Nothing too big and it’s just starting off. But what if – instead of going to a doctor who would probably lance the boil – you both decide to treat it with antibiotics?
Now, instead of the fleeting pain and subsequent cure, Vinny’s abscess shrinks a bit but walls off. There’s no way to get it out, and it takes forever to resolve.
Take for example, this article on the Paris accord that appeared a while ago in the American Interest.
It has a very promising and intriguing title: “Twilight of the Climate Change Movement”
Wow – you think. Everyone’s celebrating ‘Paris’ in the climate world and here’s someone who thinks it might actually be a disaster for the movement? How interesting.
Drawn in by the premise, you read on, and the author declares:
The climate change movement faces big trouble ahead. Its principal propositions contain two major fallacies that can only become more glaring with time
What are these two fallacies?
…in stark contrast to popular belief … the science on which the dire predictions of manmade climate change is based is nowhere near the level of understanding or certainty that popular discourse commonly ascribes to it.
We know that. Anyone with half a working brain knows that, so good.
… the movement’s embrace of an absolute form of the precautionary principle distorts rational cost-benefit analysis, or throws it out the window altogether.
Here lies the problem.
What makes the author Mario Loyola think the climate movement has anything to do with ‘rational cost-benefit analysis’?
If it were, you could say ‘Yes, these people are hamming it up. they’re not doing a good job’. The issue of a bad cost-benefit analysis comes up only if the thing was a question of cost-benefit analysis.
Has the author never in his studies encountered power-seeking, profiteering, political and personal ambition wrapped up as ‘environmentalism’? Calculating finances to pay for Catholic indulgences might have taken some hard math too, but it takes special talent to get cracking with the calculations but be blind to the charade.
The climate movement is not in trouble because the ‘rationality’ of their cost-benefit analysis is ‘distorted’ by the precautionary principle. The climate movement is a distortion that uses the appearance of cost-benefit analysis to pass itself off as rational.
Loyola recognizes that the climate movement’s agenda is essentially “anti-industrial”.
If one knows this, the way is simply clear: stop taking the impact of estimates of ‘equillibrium climate sensitivity’ on the anti-industrial agenda seriously. The ECS analyses of Nic Lewis’ are interesting but why pretend they have any bearing at all on Bill McKibben’s next move?
There are lots of people in the climate debate who take the quantitative questions thrown up by the voodoo premises of the climate movement quite seriously and analyze them with great effort. The lukewarmers certainly belong in this class.
They have definitely contributed to prolonging humanity’s climate pain.