Climate Change Cult Disconnect
By: Shawn Alli
Posted: March 27, 2015
*All individuals and organizations receive 3 full days of pre-publication notice.
*Disclosure: I am a climate denier, albeit a more rational one. Please see: The Stigma of Being a Climate Denier.
*Disclosure: I am NOT funded by any oil, natural gas or coal corporations. I am NOT funded by any private interest groups (NGOs, foundations or political entities).
There are days that I feel I'm too harsh on the man-made CO2 climate change movement (CO2 cult) by stigmatizing it and calling it a cult. I defend such claims in my CO2 Cult Climate Change Series by showing the numerous examples of such individuals acting like close-minded know-it-alls defending their ideological beliefs.
And this ideological science pervades even the peer-reviewed process, where you'll find journals solely dedicated to climate change. While such is the norm for any discipline, the problem is that no dissenting view/study would ever be published in such a journal. Such an action represents the epitome of ideological science.
There's even a peer-reviewed article that claims man-made CO2 climate change "causes" rape.  How is this objective impartial science? Why isn't the CO2 cult speaking out against this peer-reviewed article? Because they don't want to do anything that takes away from their "righteous battle."
I normally ask for feedback about my articles from environmental journalists. I usually don't get any response. But from time to time I get messages ridiculing me. In one email a scientist says:
Sorry, I dipped into this and scanned along as much as I could stomach. It is a relentless rant.
From an environmental journalist:
What you have sent me appears to be regurgitated gibberish.
Not bothering to take the time to read an article or give it an honest appraisal is disingenuous. I take the time to read all of the articles from environmental organizations and journalists. Why can't they do the same? But that's the way ideological actions work. They choose to read only what justifies and supports their beliefs, hence their cult-like status.
And the recent claim of 2014 being the warmest year on record,  is no different. Aside from the planet not claiming that it has an average global temperature (different regions have different temperatures), or that an average temperature has any meaning to it, let's say that the claim is 100% factual. Is there anything ideological about that claim by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Aeronautic Space Administration (NASA) scientists? No. I have no problem with this claim. The problem comes in the attribution claim. Gavin Schmidt, a NASA scientist says:
While the ranking of individual years can be affected by chaotic weather patterns, the long-term trends are attributable to drivers of climate change that right now are dominated by human emissions of greenhouse gases. 
And the implications:
By Professor Bob Ward of the London School of Economics:
The new global temperature record announced today completely exposes the myth that global warming has stopped.
Climate change is happening, and as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, national scientific academies and scientific organisations across the world have all concluded (that) human activities, particularly burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, are primarily responsible. 
And by Emma Pinchbeck of WWF-UK:
There is still time to cut emissions and keep the rise in global temperature under 2C (3.6F). 
Ah...the fabled 2C tipping point. If human societies go beyond this "tipping point" will the Earth end in a fireball of destruction?
Will it mean that every natural disaster can and will be blamed on man-made CO2 climate change?
Will it mean that everyone on the planet has to stop using petroleum-based cars, trucks, construction vehicles, airplanes and transit vehicles?
It depends. If ideological environmental science wins the day, then yes. And that's the problem. The general public asks mainstream scientists and science organizations for their "expert scientific opinion," but what they're getting is an ideological answer.
In response to 2014 being the warmest year on record the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists push the doomsday clock to three minutes to midnight (apocalypse).  Again, this isn't impartial objective science; it's just ideologies sucking up the global general public's time, energy and focus.
Whereas, it should be going to: ending poverty and creating crop and food infrastructure in developing nations; finding ways to end brutal dictatorships; and enabling students to get a real education instead of brainwashing by incompetent (but good intentioned) teachers.
But staying with the claim of 2014 being the warmest year on record...so what? The world's not coming to an end because of this or the fabled apocalypse due to passing the 2C temperature increase. But the disconnect between the CO2 cult and the Western-European public usually occurs in winter.
In New York City a homeless artist freezes to death in 2011. 
In Toronto two homeless individuals freeze to death in 2015. 
In Niagara Falls, NY a woman freezes to death in 2015. 
In Toronto a paralympian freezes to death in 2015. 
In Lakewood, NJ a woman freezes death in 2015. 
In New York City a homeless man freezes to death in 2015. 
In Tennessee five individuals freeze to death in 2015. 
When individuals are freezing to death, the claim that "the Earth is warming," or that "it's because the Earth is warming," means nothing. There is no causal mechanism that proves it and most associations/correlations are due to ideological environmental science.
And to claim that man-made CO2 climate change is causing the extreme cold weather is disingenuous ideological environmental science. It's almost like outright classical conditioning propaganda.
Another disconnect is the fact that the 2014 warmest record claim is only 38% accurate.  While climate deniers will lampoon the CO2 cult, this isn't the real issue. The real problem is the fact that NASA and NOAA scientists neglect to put it into the press release.  This shows an intentional desire (not malevolent), to hide information/analysis that goes against the ideology of man-made CO2 climate change. They're basically giving fuel to the climate deniers through their actions and don't realize it.
But that's the problem with ideological science. Ideology usually trumps transparency, honesty, openness and accountability.
Another disingenuous claim from the CO2 cult is the recent 2015 CBC Nature of Things documentary, The Great Human Odyssey by Canadian anthropologist Niobe Thompson. The reason why it's disingenuous is because of emotional and word manipulation.
Thompson claims that climate change causes the transformative evolution of the brain, more so, a new level of conscious awareness.  An interesting claim, but the evidence is sketchy, especially since I'm a philosopher who claims that the mind (non-physical) produces conscious awareness (non-physical). The brain is merely a necessary physical organ like the heart or lungs. It doesn't magically produce conscious awareness. As my university professor says in a past lecture, "If I crack open your head will I find the thought of Pegasus in your brain?"
But putting aside the mind/brain debate, in regards to climate change, the documentary is disingenuous because Dr. David Suzuki and Thompson don't preface the term "climate change" with the terms "natural" or "man-made/anthropogenic." There is no record or any evidence of humans emitting significant amounts of CO2 prior to the industrial revolution, let alone hundreds of thousands or millions of years ago.
Yet, the terminology in the documentary doesn't differentiate between natural and man-made CO2 climate change.
In the introduction Suzuki sets the fear-mongering stage in Part 1:
We believed that their world [Homosapians] was a stable one. Now we're learning that these early homelands were continuously devastated by climate change. It almost wiped us out. 
Thomspon continues the fear-mongering:
On planet Earth a new ice age had begun. The effect on our African home was dramatic. A mega drought gripped the continent. In places it would last 30,000 years. Our ancestors had survived climate change before. But this was different. A kind of perfect storm on a planetary scale. This turn for the worst would carve its mark in our very DNA. 
Thompson is referring to an "evolutionary bottleneck" where climate change causes a drastic decrease in the human population, as low as 600.  600 humans on the planet? How does this unfalsifiable claim count as objective impartial science?
In an email request for comment I ask Thompson:
1. Why there is no differentiation between "natural" and "man-made" CO2 climate change in the documentary?
2. Do you believe that not prefacing the term "climate change" with the term "natural" or "man-made" is disingenuous?
3. By not prefacing the term in the documentary, is it your intention to push the Canadian public to take action against man-made CO2 climate change?
"Our documentary series The Great Human Odyssey does not directly address the issue of anthropogenic climate change. However, having had the opportunity to read the accumulation of scientific evidence that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to global warming, I find your contentions quite surprising. There is no such thing as a "man-made CO2 climate change movement". Instead, there is an almost universal scientific consensus that human activities are contributing to climate change, and a broad public understanding that the evidence is conclusive. A "movement" suggests a subjective opinion; anthropogenic climate change is an observable fact.
I encourage you to take a breath, devote yourself to reading peer-reviewed literature on the issue, and then consider very carefully whether you want to continue going down on record as a university educated critic of established climate change science. Doing so doesn't help your credibility."
Is Thompson saying that university educated individuals who criticize the CO2 cult have no credibility? If so, Thompson is swimming in dangerous ideological waters.
But Thompson is correct in stating that there is no such thing as the "man-made CO2 climate change movement." This is a term that climate skeptics and deniers use to differentiate natural and man-made climate change.
If I take out the "man-made" part and just leave it as "climate change," then Thompson is intentionally manipulating the global public due to Suzuki's comments in the introduction and his own comments of "climate change causing..." In reality, distinguishing the two is essential for accuracy and attaining genuine knowledge. As a philosopher I do know something about genuine and disingenuous knowledge, as well as subjective and objective knowledge.
In regards to "devoting myself to peer-reviewed literature," does that also apply to racism and eugenics in the past? All of this is part of the peer-reviewed process.
How about Drapetomania? The fabled mental disorder that causes black slaves to run away from their owners?
Or the peer-reviewed claim (prior to 2000), that neurons don't regenerate?
Or the peer-reviewed claim that high cholesterol foods cause an increase in heart disease?
The one thing that I do "know" from reading hundreds of peer-reviewed articles, with thousands more to read, is that the peer-reviewed process is broken. It's not that there are problems with it (as many journalists and scientists point out). It's 100% completely broken. And this is something that only philosophers can bring to light because we specialize in understanding the concept of "knowledge."
But the third email question is quite important:
3. By not prefacing the term in the documentary, is it your intention to push the Canadian public to take action against man-made CO2 climate change?
The CBC News' headline about the documentary says, "How climate change made humans who we are."  Again there's no prefacing of the term climate change with the term natural or man-made. This is disingenuous, with the omission being intentional in order for the CBC News to push the Canadian public to take action against man-made CO2 climate change.
In an email request for comment I ask Emily Chung, the author of the CBC News article, and the CBC News:
1. Do you believe that not prefacing the term "climate change" with the term "natural" or "man-made" is disingenuous?
2. By not prefacing the term in the article, is it your intention to push the Canadian public to take action against man-made CO2 climate change?
Neither of them responds.
One of my largest problem's with the CO2 cult is that climatologists, environmental organizations and environmental journalists are pushing this ideological environmental science in the general public's faces; and if you don't agree, you're a denier that should be stigmatized and shamed.
As annoying as this is, criticizing without presenting solutions doesn't help anyone. So, in my effort to be fair to both sides I'm presenting another framework of solutions, adding to a previous set in a past article (Solutions).
I call it the DELAT Approach. The purpose is to focus on 3 areas that significantly contribute to man-made CO2 climate change: Dietary, Exploration Licenses and Air Travel (DELAT).
The meat/dairy industry contributes massive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (CO2, methane and nitrous oxide) to the planet, with no end in sight. They account for 14.5%-20% of global GHG emissions.   
Instead of going after the meat/dairy industry, some climatologists, environmental organizations and environmental journalists are pressuring the global public to take it upon themselves to "reduce" their meat and dairy proportions to do their part for climate change.
This is analogous to parents telling children to eat every morsel of food on their plate so they can feel better about not wasting food and starving children in developing nations. Good intentions, but the action is insignificant to what it's trying to prevent.
In regards to food, the main reason why man-made CO2 climate change doesn't enter into the equation for most of the Western-European public is due to conditioned tastes. They enjoy eating whatever they want. The idea that the CO2 cult is going to tell them otherwise is nonsensical.
The inability to organize is one of the greatest faults of the CO2 cult. They may think that marching on the streets for a day or two shows solidarity and a united movement; but in reality, it's merely a false delusion. More than 90% of those individuals go back to their carbon intensive lifestyle after the march.
Personally, I believe that many individuals participate in these marches to feel better about their efforts to reduce CO2 emissions; when in reality, their actions are insignificant in reducing it. The action plan for the dietary issue has to strongly advocate choosing a vegetarian lifestyle (not vegan) for the sake of climate change. There are no ifs or buts.
Some climatologists, environmental organizations and environmental journalists suggest that the global public eat less meat, while quickly back-peddling and claiming that they're not a hardcore vegetarian nor do they advocate it. If you accept the man-made CO2 climate change theory then you don't have a choice. You have to be a vegetarian or vegan.
The reason why the CO2 cult can't tiptoe around this issue, or merely push the meat/dairy industry to be "more efficient" is because the GHG emissions are constant and growing. They'll never stop. There's no way to prevent the 2C temperature increase unless a large amount of the global public are vegetarians.
Currently, the CO2 cult is quite fearful in addressing this issue because they fear losing supporters (even though they know that they can't win the battle against GHG emissions without addressing the dietary issue).
If necessary, they can argue the health angle. Personally, I don't know of any obese vegetarians. But I'm sure many are praying (to their atheist random chance universe god), that US President Barak Obama will publicly announce his conversion to a vegetarian diet for the sake of climate change. If he does, his action is capable of breathing new life into the CO2 cult and mobilizing it into further action.
In the US the oil and gas industry accounts for 90% of GHG emissions (including transportation and electricity).  While the dietary issue is touchy for individuals, the exploration oil and gas licenses are touchy for global governments.
Energy, rightly so, is a national security issue. And any disruption or "potential disruption" is problematic for domestic security. Another reason why the CO2 cult doesn't want to address this issue is because jobs are on the line. In the UK the oil and gas sector accounts for 350,000 jobs.  And if a large amount of workers are fired due to man-made CO2 climate change, I would recommend that CO2 cult believers lock all of their doors.
But if the UK government (or any world government) is interested in preventing the 2C temperature increase, it can't be giving out more exploration oil and gas licenses for future development. And this is the crux of the matter.
On the surface, many Western-European governments claim that they're fighting the righteous uphill battle of man-made CO2 climate change; but behind the scenes, it's business as usual for the oil and gas industry.
In 2014 the UK government opens up the North Sea for new oil and gas licenses. 
As of 2014, oil and natural gas licenses on Canada's East Coast are booming, with no end in sight. 
In 2015 the Norwegian government announces new oil and gas licenses for 2016. 
In 2015 the Croatian government (now part of the European Union), awards oil and gas licenses along the Adriatic Coast to large oil corporations. 
The CO2 cult is very much aware of all of this, but is hesitant to press the issue. They usually try to implement lukewarm approaches, such as fossil fuel divestment campaigns. Online petitions are the lowest form of "taking action," on a particular issue. Though it's not a bad symbolic action, someone else will merely buy the investments and get rich.
Of course, with the price of oil currently trading around $50.00 USD/barrel, any government, pension plan, charity, NGO, or individual holding oil assets is currently losing thousands to billions of dollars. But most are knowledgeable enough to know that the markets are fickle and that the winds can easily shift directions.
But getting back to the issue of the oil and gas exploration licenses, the CO2 cult has no choice. You can't stop "runaway" man-made CO2 climate change without putting an end to all future oil and gas licenses.
The obvious question from a Western-European government is: So where do you want us to get 24hrs/365 days energy from, including transportation energy? And that's the problem. There's no answer. Despite current solar, wind and hydro energy sources, none are capable of providing 24hrs/365 days of energy for a country, nor are they capable of replacing petroleum vehicles.
And despite many municipal governments claiming that their buses are hybrids and use "clean energy," you only need to look at the black smoke coming from the tailpipe to see that it's a false claim.
The action plan for oil and gas exploration licenses has to strongly advocate for Western-European governments to move away from granting any new licenses. In the meantime, I recommend that the CO2 cult stop waiting for Google, Bill Gates or Tesla Motors to create a new environmentally friendly vehicle and come up with one on their own.
If it helps, I'll mention it again. In order for the market/global public to accept a new innovation it must be able to surpass or be equal in ability to that which it's replacing. This is why the current innovation of electric vehicles is a failure.
The global air travel industry accounts for over 800 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually,  or 1.5%-2% of global GHG emissions.  While that may sound like a small number the problem is quality vs. quantity. Releasing CO2, nitrous oxide, water vapor and soot in a high-altitude atmosphere has a drastic effect on the Earth's climate. 
The air travel industry's token solution is to suggest that air travelers purchase carbon offsets to negate the negative effects of air travel.     The CO2 cult is very much aware that such actions are a hollow attempt to re-brand air travel as supporting climate change efforts or "going green."
So the question remains, what's the solution? The EU is the bravest of governments to attempt to introduce an emission carbon tax for global airlines in 2012.  Aside from the Chinese and Indian government decrying the tax,  in 2012 the Obama administration signs a bill into law exempting US airlines from the EU's Emission Trading Scheme.  The EU backs down, and instead applies the scheme to their own airlines flying in the European Economic Area from 2013-2016, with the hope of new emission agreements in the future. 
These are the moments that I feel bad in criticizing the CO2 cult. One government creates a solution while other governments aren't interested. Hence, the CO2 cult has no choice but to pass the burden onto the Western-European public. It's unfair asking them to boycott flying (with minimal exceptions), but that's exactly what the CO2 cult has to do if it wants to prevent the 2C temperature increase.
The action plan for air travel has to advocate for a complete Western-European public boycott of work and leisure air travel (with minimal exceptions: health emergencies, isolated communities). Individuals that currently work in a job that requires constant short term travel have to be pushed to quit if they really want to support climate change. Just like the dietary campaign, this is an issue that the CO2 cult doesn't want to address, but has to, for the sake of climate change.
In an email request for comment I ask numerous climatologists, environmental organizations and environmental journalists:
1. Is the DELAT approach a good idea?
2. What internal problems will this create in the climate change movement, if any?
3. Is the climate change movement strong enough to resist interference from external stake-holders, such as the meat/dairy, oil and gas, and air travel industry?
As expected, most don't respond. I doubt that I'm in the CO2 cult's good books. But for those that do respond I'm grateful for their courteous and quick response.
The responses are quite surprising. I should note that I only give them one sentence describing each of the 3 parts of the DELAT approach, instead of whole paragraphs. So it's possible that this can lead to inaccurate statements.
Dr. John Abraham (University of St. Thomas):
"To deal with climate change, we need a comprehensive solution to reduce CO2 emissions and to use energy more wisely. I believe that conservation and renewable energy can achieve this goal. That said, focusing on diet, transportation and reduction of fossil fuel emissions are critical parts to this. I don't think these ideas are in any way against what most climate concerned people would advocate. With respect to outside influences, the biggest issue is influences from vested interests who wish to maintain a status quo in our rapid extraction and combustion of fossil fuels."
Dr. Abraham's response is the only one that gives the DELAT Approach a light thumbs up.
Professor Ken Caldiera (Carnegie Institution):
"It is very easy to make proclamations about what people should or should not do.
It is another thing entirely to work to change the incentives and systems in place in modern society so that induce people to behave in more sustainable ways.
Do we focus on changing the behavior of individual people or focus on changing the system in which people are embedded?
Obviously, this is not an either/or question but rather a question of how we allocate limited resources.
My view is that if people want toast, rather than focus on convincing them not to eat toast, it would be a better use of time to work towards deploying electricity generation systems that do not use the sky as a waste dump so that when people plug in their toasters it will not cause irreversible climate change."
Personally, I believe that focusing on changing the infrastructure will only result in lukewarm "energy efficient" or "going green" solutions.
Dr. James Hansen (Columbia University):
"Impact on global emissions will be little. We have to make the price of fossil fuels honest, by adding a rising fee collected from fossil fuel companies."
I don't understand why the DELAT Approach's impact would be insignificant to global emissions. In regards to a rising fee, I doubt that will ever happen. And the reason is quite logical. Oil is the life-blood of the global infrastructure. Keeping the price low or subsidizing it is only logical because everything runs on it. If there is something else that can take its place with equal or more benefits, I'm all ears.
Dr. Chris Keating (formerly University of South Dakota):
"Your approach is an interesting one. I think, though, that it would have limited success at best. In order to make it work you would need to provide some kind of compensation in order to get the public to buy into it. Reducing the amount of meat consumed would be good, but why should someone give up their steaks? If people aren't going to be able to fly, what alternative will be offered? Taking away without giving something in return will have an uphill fight.
One thing that has interested me lately is the idea of using 3-D printers to print food. If a meat substitute could be printed in the form of meat it would be much easier to get people to give up meat."
In regards to flying, the whole point of an air travel boycott is that there currently is no other option, hence, you don't fly. The purpose of a boycott is to paralyze the particular industry/corporation by not using their product/service. If millions of individuals publically pledge to boycott air travel (with minimal exceptions), the sphincter muscles of the airline industry will tighten considerably.
Hopefully, new innovations for travel are on the horizon, such as Star Trek like transportation devices. I refuse to believe that out of 7 billion individuals on the planet (including all the savant geniuses), there isn't one individual capable of creating the physics for Star Trek like transportation devices.
And as history reminds us, it only takes one individual to affect all of humanity.
In regards to Dr. Keating's comments about 3D bio-printing food, he's right on the money. While I advocate for a natural lifestyle, I still look forward to seeing/experiencing Star Trek like transportation and replicator devices. 3D bio-printing is a crude form of such technology, and I look forward to seeing it on a commercial level in every household. 3D printing is an incredibly empowering technology capable of manifesting one's imagination quickly and efficiently.
Professor Richard C.J. Somerville (Scripps Institution of Oceanography):
"I think all 3 of your prongs would be far less effective than a revenue-neutral carbon tax (or fee and rebate). People resist mandatory lifestyle changes, especially those imposed by governments. But they are used to and often will accept the idea that we tax things, or make them expensive) to discourage them (cigarettes, alcohol, driving too fast) and subsidize things to encourage them (home ownership, savings for education and retirement). So I favor the tax incentive route to encourage a transition to non-carbon energy sources, especially sun, wind and water. But that's just my opinion."
A boycott of the air travel industry or advocating a vegetarian lifestyle is about leading by example. It's not about forceful mandatory actions. Taxing cigarettes or alcohol is an epic failure in preventing individuals from choosing such actions.
Dr. Kevin Trenberth (National Center for Atmospheric Research):
"I don't think this would do the trick even if it worked and it is unlikely to work. This does nothing about the subsidies for fossil fuels that exists and it does little or nothing for renewable energy. On air travel: how do people go places if not by air? I have supported development of much improved teleconferencing and it is becoming more viable but still has a ways to go to really eliminate quite a lot of meetings. Some meetings are getting bigger each year (like AGU).
I doubt going vegetarian goes very far. I don't know that this creates problems for whatever climate change movement there is? No such thing really."
As I mention above, the subsidies for the oil and gas industry are logical and not likely to stop. In regards to air travel, again, the purpose is to show the air travel industry that you "want" to use their services, but are "choosing" not to for the sake of climate change.
And going vegetarian doesn't go far? But it accounts for up to 20% of global GHG emissions. Why is 20% insignificant?
The support for lukewarm solutions instead of my hardcore ones is quite surprising. Climatologists should be aware that a carbon tax won't prevent the 2C temperature increase. The same applies to the fossil fuel divestment campaign, the climate change marches, or the air travel carbon offsets. None of these solutions will prevent the 2C temperature increase.
The fact that many climatologists decry the lack of urgency about man-made CO2 climate change from the world community, while at the same time advocating lukewarm solutions...is a huge disconnect.
I very much doubt that the CO2 cult will implement the DELAT Approach. But one thing that I do know is that any climate change activism that does happen won't be from Torontonian Maple Leaf fans.
The Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team is seemingly incapable of making it to the second round playoffs, let alone winning the Stanley Cup in over four decades. Yet, according to a marketing report, the Leafs have the most expensive ticket price,  with home games always being sold out. 
If the CO2 cult prides itself on reason, logic and objective impartial truth, then they won't find support from most Leaf fans. Spending large amounts of money to see a home game for a team that hasn't made it to the finals in over four decades represents the pinnacle of ideological actions.
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