Climate Change: Beware of Peer Pressure When Evaluating It.

When I prepare a blog post, I check off the categories and tags on the sidebar. This time, I noticed that I checked off most of the ones that I deal with in my Nae-Née series, which is dystopian science fiction about human overpopulation as an underlying cause of ecosystems collapse.

In that series, at the end of each book, I include a detailed bibliography with categories of many kinds and covering all relevant topics to the story: articles from academics, scientists, journalists, and editorial writers; websites; videos; movies; television episodes; books of both fiction and non-fiction; laws that include statutes, cases, and treaties; even things in nature that we ought to appreciate and enjoy.

I’ve never had any use for peer pressure – not from the cliques or bullies in school, not from groups or crowds as an adult.

It seems that even in professions that require an advanced academic degree and publishing, there are sources of peer pressure.

I do what I can to ignore them while looking up sources that I hear or read of them reading, writing, listening to, watching, or otherwise paying attention to. When I look them up, I do it alone, where no one can natter at me. I shut off apps on my computer that might interrupt my train of thought and thus distract me.

And then I read and watch and listen and think and make up my own mind.

I have a law degree from a top-tier American law school, and I know how to vet a source.

That means looking at who is paying or funding whoever is speaking or writing, what their motivations are, and so on.

What is there in their life experience that makes them care about something or feel how they feel about it? I want to know.

It matters.

I may or may not agree with them even after checking all that.

This evening, I went to a limited screening of a movie entitled Climate Hustle, put together by one Marc Morano:

Don’t expect to see a list of the experts who starred in this movie when you visit that link. It just shows Marc Morano and his colleague, Richard Tol.

Climate change was discussed, respectable and knowledgeable sources such as astronauts, a NASA director, dissenting climatologists, and others shared their views, and the illustrious Al Gore was taken apart for presenting his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, with insufficient sharing of data. One of the climatologists, a woman at Georgia Tech University, complained quite rightly of unreasonableness on the part of data caretakers and gatherers after asking for data about climate science and who actually believes what but could not access it.

The movie criticizes scientists who follow crowds without checking to see who was in a survey, how many people there actually were in one, whether or not said survey was a true representation of the profession, who is paying or funding them, and so on. All good things to look into before swallowing a claim whole. Simply doing so is the same thing as drinking the proverbial Kool-Aid.

Those are important points to make.

What did not impress me was the movie’s glossed-over treatment of real problems that are part of climate change, and are linked inextricably to climate change, and thus cannot be ignored.

I got curious about Marc Morano, so I looked him up.

He has a bachelor’s degree from George Mason University in political science, interned for Ronald Reagan when he was eleven years old (his older brother set that up), and started his career out of college by working for notorious radio loudmouth bully Rush Limbaugh. Oh, yay…

He has a Wikipedia entry, which gives a straightforward run-through of his life and work:

He also has a SourceWatch entry, which provides a more critical treatment of his life and work:

Esquire magazine did an article on him in 2010:

This Man Wants to Convince You Global Warming Is a Hoax

Woe to anyone who fails to show their research in a complete and comprehensive manner when a detractor is around, and rightly so.

It makes me glad to be an Aspie – someone on the autism spectrum who is talkative and who delves deeply into whatever makes me curious – because, even if some self-appointed coach on social interactions tells me that I am being boring and too detailed, that means that I have bothered to gather and to inspect the necessary data to check the claims buried in the loudmouth bullies’ shouts and interruptions of their guests.

I noticed, when the movie ended, that Morano listened very nicely and let other people speak during a panel discussion that was held in Washington, D.C. after its first screening…at the U.S. Capitol on April 14, 2016…just as I noticed that Sarah Palin was one of the members of that panel.

It was when she was asked to address how climate change discussions affect families that I mentally zoned out. I am a steady listener, but my brain just skipped when she went into circular illogic, attempting to speak for all families. She can speak for her own, but not others, because she only lives with her own family. I left the theater at that point.

I was there to see the movie and consider what was in it, not to sit through another hour of rehashing. It was a victory lap and a chat with his choir for Marc Morano, and I didn’t need to watch that to evaluate the presentation. The guy has found a way to make a lot of money, and he is happy.

I hear from scientists that couching grant applications in terms that favor U.N. Agenda 21, complete with green this and eco-friendly that, goes a long way toward getting the grant approved.

Both situations smack of catering to a point of view to acquire money and thus to proceed with a career objective.

Neither side of any issue in any profession ought to be making funding contingent upon pandering, but the reality of life is that they do it.

Revoking a professor’s tenure over a professional difference of opinion because it does not suit the majority is unethical.

Booting someone out of a society that they have happily contributed fascinating, in-depth discussions to for years or even decades over the same is equally asinine, but it happens.

Remember Galileo, excommunicated for saying that the Earth revolved around the sun and vice versa? Just wait…he was right.

Remember Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., the Boston physician who told the others that they ought to wash their hands after autopsies and before touching a patient who had just given birth, because otherwise, she was likely to get puerperal fever and die miserably? They laughed, but then they tried it, and…the patients lived comfortably and healthfully ever after.

Sooner or later, climate change will combine with the limits of Norman Borlaug’s efforts to stretch crop yields by applying Mendelian genetics to wheat and rice to bring about sharply declining food supplies as human overpopulation overshoots those supplies exponentially.

Okay…that’s a gross oversimplification of the problem, but my next book will share my research source material on that.

So: is climate change a human-caused phenomenon?

This is not a yes-no question. It is a complex one that deserves a lawyer’s response: it depends.

It depends on so many things that it cannot be humans or Nature. It is a mix of the two. For details, do your own research.

My assessment is that, regardless of whodunit, climate change is happening. The speed at which it is happening is variable, debatable, and still being revealed. It will not be steady. The data shows that, fluctuations and all. 3 and a half inches of sea level rise in the past few decades is something rather than nothing.

Another thing: Thomas Robert Malthus and Paul Ehrlich, both population authors, one a Cambridge demographics mathematician and the other a Stanford entomologist, have both made their predictions about the future of humans as we face overpopulation and food insecurity. Their predictions have been read with alarm and skepticism, and humans have taken action after considering the warnings that they put forth. As a result of that more than anything else, the timing of said predictions has been pushed farther into the future.

What writer has a crystal ball anyway? H.G. Wells certainly didn’t, yet, in The Shape of Things to Come, a book he wrote in 1933, he gave it a try.

And why not? That’s part of the fun and effort of the question. Wells had humans going around the moon, not landing on it, in 2036. Oops! But so what? He got the general pattern of human progress into a book, and inspired thought and discussion.

I have built a detailed story that uses my own research, and I am building a third and final installment in it.

How much can we humans really do about climate change?

Not enough to stop it, that’s how much.

But we can try not to make it worse, and we can do some things to cope with it.

Coping is the most realistic thing we can expect to do.

I live in an area that is not a flood zone, not a hurricane zone, not a tornado alley, on high enough ground that I don’t particularly fear a tsunami, I have a career as an author and editor that keeps me from constantly driving my car and thus emitting fossil fuels, and I grow a garden each year because I love irises, peonies, nasturtiums, and heirloom tomatoes. I like having fresh food from my own tiny garden. I like not being stuck in the human highway parking lot of daily traffic while still enjoy the independence of my own car, with a CD of a movie soundtrack playing in it.

Avril, the narrator of the Nae-Née series, is a lot like me, yet with enough differences to be a fictional character. I’m having a wonderful time creating this story, learning a great deal, and I hope to find that other people can learn about and consider all of the issues involved in climate change, human overpopulation, pollution from plastics and other fossil fuels, and the social, economic, and political impacts they have on the world.

Final Nae-Nee Cover Art - Katelyn M. Gagnon - Lulu Publishing Format Vaccine - The Cull - Final Cover Illustration by Steve Palmerton


1 comment to Climate Change: Beware of Peer Pressure When Evaluating It.

  • David D. Haines

    Hi Stephanie:

    Congratulations on your brilliant analysis of “Climate Hustle”, a film that has contributed to enormous and most welcome criticism of assertions by certain members of the world’s power elite, that we dastardly humans are heating ourselves into oblivion – and must sacrifice prosperity and privacy to abate it. Your post was very well stated and as we have discussed, I will assign it to my students for our next Science and Society seminar and use it as the basis of a formal debate. Thanks!

    My own in-class critique of your blog will include the points below. Here I will qualify my own bias by asserting, based on my experience as a biomedical scientist and fixed-wing pilot (with some understanding of both climate and weather) – AND your loyal husband and debating partner of many years. I am convinced that the essential premise of human-caused, catastrophic climate change is the most dangerous and intrinsically obscene dogmatization of science ever to be foisted on human societies by their rulers.

    It has served as the vehicle for policies that hasten the imposition of a panopticonic control grid, seamlessly administered to inventory, monitor and micromanage every aspect of the human condition. Indeed, if CO2 output is used as a primary metric for affecting “climate mitigation”, development of such a nightmarish regime is absolutely necessary to achieve the core policy objectives. Most frighteningly, off-the-shelf technology now makes this possible. Enforcement of climate mitigation policies will take us far beyond anything Orwell envisioned. Do you really want to live like that?

    Anyway, that’s my bias. Below, I will critique yours:

    You have very cleverly spliced two fundamental assumptions into your argument: First, you are shooting the messenger by confusing Marc Morano’s career with the film’s narrative. Clearly Mr. Morano is biased against the anti-human and anti-individualistic tone that climate cultism has taken on. He does not pretend to be otherwise. Nevertheless by highlighting his past involvement in Republican politics along with his inclusion of Sarah Palin’s spiel, you are implying that the message of the film should be discredited, or at least suspect, based on the political quadrant from which he comes.

    There is some justification in pointing out the personal brand of the messenger, but the intrinsic value of the messenger himself is not relevant to data presented. This is a basic principle of good science and something that you yourself allude to.

    Secondly, you imply that human populations are following the discredited Malthusian model and straining the planet’s resources to dangerous levels. To your credit, you mention that such an analysis is an oversimplification. Nevertheless you state as fact, that overpopulation is indeed causing potentially catastrophic changes in our environment that demand action.

    No. This is not fact and the implied solutions are a recipe for technocratic tyranny. In her book “Behind The Green Mask” Rosa Koire described very clearly how mitigation policies based on climate cultism have already pushed humanity a substantial distance down the path to communitarian darkness. You’ve used this as the basis for your own terrifying book “Vaccine, The Cull”. In your blog, you shoot down your own arguments!

    Your blog is likely to ignite a lot of spirited discussion. I predict that the major topic of debate in response to your post will probably focus on 3 main issues:

    1. There is no conclusive proof that CO2 released by human activity is damaging the climate.

    2. There is no proof that any of the “remedies” offered by climate change cultists to modify climate will have any significant effect.

    3. The legal regime that would be needed to enforce CO2 output production (such as short showers, reduced electricity use, no pets, etc) would require imposition of near total surveillance.

    Additionally, I think data validity is going to emerge as primary determinant of the debate. Particularly significant in this context is a finding to be published later this year, that very clearly details fundamental misrepresentation of climate data by various official supporters of human-caused catastrophic climate change – with particular attention given to total failure of these supporters to accurately analyze planetary temperature feedback effects. The upcoming publication points out that the equation used to project future amplification of temperatures due to CO2 release is the wrong statistical tool – suggesting that IPCC and others have based their predictions on bad math. The consequences of widespread use of this equation is that estimates of global warming to come are falsely inflated by a factor of approximately three.

    The principal researcher who conducted the study on which the above-mentioned report was based, is Prof. J. Ray Bates, Director, Meteorology and Climate Centre, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University College Dublin, Ireland ( LINK: ). This guy had been a major proponent of human-caused global warming in the early phases of the fraud. Nevertheless, over time, like most competent(!) scientists who were willint to consider the issue critically, Prof. Bates understood that this was a concept rooted in fakery and was being used as a tool for imposition of “sustainable” governance. Unlike Saint Al of the Gore and other odiius advocates of technocratic tyranny based on lies – Bates is a recognized world authority on temperature feedbacks, the amplifying mechanisms that climate alarmists often use as the basis of their computer models and prognostications of future calamity.

    For your own curiosity, enter the terms “climate change” “data” and “fraud” in Google and you’ll get several pages of sites. Some are disinformation – deliberately fallacious arguments purporting to debunk human caused climate change, but transparently false so as to discredit us skeptics. AND if you follow the links to original papers by highly respected climatologists (including John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel and a major advocate of human caused global warming until he analyzed it as a fraud), you’ll see that there has been massive distortion of basic data and outright fabrication.

    The most famous of these is the egregious fraud at University of East Anglia.. There are many others. Also, there is appalling sampling error. In my own experience as a pilot, I routinely noticed temperature monitoring equipment ar airports I flew in and out of – often surrounded by tarmac and other potential heat sources. These stations and others positioned to give the impression of progressive warming, produce data that is close to worthless and extremely misleading. These are just a few of the mechanisms by which climate cultists promote their fakery. There are many others.

    Interestingly, although the “Left” has typically drunk the KoolAid, there are some very ardent debunkers on that end of the political spectrum. You heard some of them in the film yesterday.

    Another, who I have a great deal of respect for, is Alexander Cockburn, an investigative journalist who did not go so far as to categorically call climate cultists for the liars they are, nevertheless has written some very good analytical pieces on the subject that indicate he is not a climate Kool Aid drinker. Whether human-caused climate change is ultimately proven valid or (more likely) not, the evidence of massive and sustained data fakery is impossible to deny.

    The existence of such fabrication effectively destroys the validity of the climate cultists. If their argument were valid, why lie? Let the evidence stand for itself. The arguments of the climate cultists are just as baseless as those who pretend that all vaccines are “safe and effective” – and who screech that we who see the true picture are “antiscientific” and generally nutcases. They also are pushing for compulsory vaccination of most of the population – almost certainly as a depopulation mechanism, as you described in your book “Vaccine The Cull”

    As a widely published member of the scientific community and designer of a vaccine, I’m definitely in the skeptic’s camp. Advocates of imposition of a surveillance grid to enforce “global governance” with climate change as a scare mechanism are no different form the vaxxer fascists. Anyway, thanks for doing a film critique on your blog post. This will be great grist for my students – and hopefully will ignite some ardent vitriol and perhaps an in-class fistfight or two. Great Job!

    Cheers! Comrade Dave

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