Friday, 27 September 2019

The death of a whole generation? #ClimateStrike

Climate strike leader Luke Wijohn attracts a crowd
School children will be out across the country this lunchtime blocking city streets. Why? "We're basically looking at the death of our generation," says Year 12 student Luke Wijohn, the co-organiser of what they're calling a "strike." That's what we're fighting for, it's our own lives now."

The death of a whole generation? No wonder they're going crazy. No wonder a small scared Scandinavian has become so influential. 

Where on earth did they learn all this?

That "we're going to hit 3 degrees of warming by 2050."

That "this will result in billions of people being killed, or displaced from their homes."

That "we're told at school," says Wijohn, "that we're basically going to be killed by 2050!" [Audio, 3:56] 

This is what he told Morning Report this morning. Taught at school what to think, but not how. And he thinks we are the crazy ones for not joining them out there!

"Why do people not panic [like we do] when they hear that billions of people are going to die!?"

But where do we hear that?

More importantly, since it's just not true, where are they hearing it? 

Because, let's acknowledge that it's heartbreaking to hear this. How must these young people feel. At the time they should be bursting with excitement for their own future, being told instead that they have no future. That they are a generation fated to die! Imagine if the young people immediately before the First World War had been told their own fate in advance: that tens of millions of them would be killed in Flanders by bombs and bullets, and more tens of millions immediately afterwards by influenza. What would that have done to them? How would that have damaged their psychology? yet this generation is apparently being told that they are fated to die in their billions. No wonder they want to leave school, wave placards and block roads.

Anger is an energy!

Young Mr Wijohn is right, the situation is outrageous. But his anger and the anger of those blocking the streets today is pointed in entirely the wrong direction. Their outrage, their anger, should be directed at those telling them this vicious untruth: at their schools, at their teachers, at those who should know better who are telling that their generation is going to be extinguished. Wiped out. Annihilated. At arseholes like this who say of "the many millions of people directly threatened, living in low-lying nations": "They will die."

The best students believe their teachers. They believe the experts. They become filled with passion and intensity. But what they're being told is patent lies.

Because, bad as they are, not even the worst of the serious climate stories is saying what they are saying. 

Even the alarmists are only saying that 187 million people will be displaced by rising tides. Not killed, not flooded, just displaced. And the very paper that contains that figure suggests that around 0.02% of GDP would be sufficient to buy protection against flooding. The sort of protection the Netherlands bought. At the sort of price that a much richer generation could much more easily afford.

A more sober Scandinavian, environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg, points out that even this is unlikely. These 187 million would only be seriously disturbed "in the unlikely event that, in the next 80 years, no one does anything to adapt to dramatic rises in sea level." The truth is that, even in the very worst case, if sea-level rise were to become dramatic over 80 years -- a grand claim, since its rise has been a steady and constant story of non-acceleration since well before modern industrialisation -- then these people will not die. They will move.
In real life ... humans “adapt proactively,” and “such adaptation can greatly reduce the possible impacts.” That means “the problem of environmental refugees almost disappears.” Realistic assumptions reduce the number to between 41,000 and 305,000—at most, less than 1/600th of the figure in those headlines.
And many many parts per million less than Mr Wijohn's billions.

If his teachers have been telling them that, they should be skinned alive. (Mr Wijohn could begin pushing back by asking them how many of Al Gore's predicted millions of climate refugees are now flooding into New Zealand. And his teachers could begin their necessary mea culpa by pointing out that it is not climate change that threatens poor countries most directly, but energy poverty.)

It's true that blowhards and environmental scientists have been inflating their claims for years. Climate scientist Stephen Schneider once counselled colleagues: "we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have." So no wonder so many are so wrong:
In 1989, exactly thirty years ago, Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) said that by the year 2000, global warming would melt enough polar ice to put Maldives and other flat islands underwater, that “Ecological refugees will become a major concern,” and that governments had only a ten-year window to solve the greenhouse effect before the damage would be irreversible. In 2007, Professor Wieslaw Maslowski of the U.S. Navy’s Department of Oceanography predicted that by 2013, the Arctic Ocean would begin to experience ice-free summers. That same year, the IPCC predicted that by 2020, global drought will reduce agricultural yields by 50 percent—a prediction it has already retracted. In 2012, University of Cambridge physicist Peter Wadhams predicted that by 2016, the Arctic ice sheet would collapse. Some climate scientists have also predicted, among other things, that human activities would cause an ice age, an increase and decrease in snowfall, a decline in polar bear populations, more tropical storms, and global food shortages.

    These scientists have all been wrong—not just within a normal tolerance for what admittedly are extremely difficult predictions—but way wrong. Their threats of catastrophe have been, in essence, mere empty words—at least for adults who have heard enough such claims not to fly off the handle in a visceral panic at each new one.
Not so for the young.
Their childhoods are being stolen from them, says young Mr Wijohn. "It's outrageous to steal the lives from these kids ... " And it is. And they should certainly be angry. Instead od being told abouth human flourishing, "They’ve been misled by the hysterics of doomsayers to spend their formative years trembling with dread."

You think they're angry now? Just wait until they realise they've been cheated.


  1. "Observe that today’s resurgence of tribalism is not a product of the lower classes—of the poor, the helpless, the ignorant—but of the intellectuals, the college-educated “elitists” (which is a purely tribalistic term). Observe the proliferation of grotesque herds or gangs—hippies, yippies, beatniks, peaceniks, Women’s Libs, Gay Libs, Jesus Freaks, Earth Children—which are not tribes, but shifting aggregates of people desperately seeking tribal “protection.”

    The common denominator of all such gangs is the belief in motion (mass demonstrations), not action—in chanting, not arguing—in demanding, not achieving—in feeling, not thinking—in denouncing “outsiders,” not in pursuing values—in focusing only on the “now,” the “today” without a “tomorrow”—in seeking to return to “nature,” to “the earth,” to the mud, to physical labor, i.e., to all the things which a perceptual mentality is able to handle. You don’t see advocates of reason and science clogging a street in the belief that using their bodies to stop traffic, will solve any problem.

    Ayn Rand, The Missing Link, Philosophy: Who Needs It, p. 43

  2. Carbon Dioxide >> Its incredible value to earth in increased amounts. Better at over 400ppm,and when flowering plants evolved we had 3500 ppm. When you hear children screaming about Climate just beat the fuck out of them.

  3. Rock Spider Hunter29 Sep 2019, 10:58:00

    When you hear children screaming about Climate just the fuck them.

    There Paul, this is what you meant to say, didn't you?

    1. Most zombies fucking spiders under rocks never get over to PC.


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