I don’t have a qualification in Climatology, and am therefore not an expert on the subject. I do, however, have a couple of Psychology degrees, and so have a claim to expertise there. When it comes to understanding issues like climate change, I can’t use Climatology knowledge; I have to use Psychology knowledge. This is how I do it.
Like anyone else who understands general science, I can try to understand the basics of climate change. I can go to Google Scholar, type in “climate change predictions” and then limit the search to papers from 2019 onwards, as I did here. This would give me a general overview of the current state of the science. There’s one minor problem – such a search query returns over 20,000 hits.
Realistically, becoming an expert on climate change would require reading at least a hundred of these papers, as well as at least a hundred published before 2019. This would total several years of study – a time investment that I’m neither able nor willing to make. Therefore, like any other layman, I’m reduced to making a judgment based on whether I believe the people taking about climate change are credible.
If the people talking about it seem trustworthy, then I will be inclined to believe what they say. If they seem untrustworthy, then I will be disinclined to believe what they say. This is how it works with every other political issue, from cannabis law reform to immigration to abortion to euthanasia to taxes. Once the subject of discussion moves out of Psychology, I’m operating on trust and not my own expertise.
As it turns out, the people pushing climate change strike me as grossly untrustworthy, for three major reasons: they seem insincere, irrational and dishonest.
If the politicians pushing climate change alarmism were sincere, they would not also be buying beachfront properties. Yet Barack Obama, one of the world’s foremost harbingers of climate doom, recently bought 29 acres of it. Why would Obama, privy to the world’s most advanced scientific research when American President, buy beachfront property, unless he expects the sea level to remain the same?
The market shows that seaside property is still highly valued. Waterfront property in Sydney, extremely vulnerable to rising oceans, still sells for eight-figure sums. How could a property doomed to be wiped out by rising sea levels sell for over ten million dollars? The only answer is that no-one cares about rising sea levels. The claims of those like Obama cannot be sincere.
On top of this, the people pushing climate alarmism seem irrational. On the one hand, they claim that CO2 emissions are making a major contribution to global warming, such that every one of us has the moral imperative to minimise our CO2 emissions insofar as we are able. But then these same people turn around and argue for an increase in the refugee quota, in some cases tripling it or even more.
New Zealanders consume resources at many times the rate of the average Third World resident. Where is the sense in taking 5,000 people every year (as the Greens propose) from low-emissions parts of the world, and flying them at great expense to a high-emissions part of the world, where they and their numerous descendants will consume future resources at many times the rate they would have done otherwise?
The only logical explanation for the Greens’ refugee policy is that the entire concept of CO2 emissions being bad is horseshit. Either the Greens are lying about the imperative to minimise CO2 emissions, or they don’t understand the relevant science (a closer look shows that not a single one of New Zealand’s current Green MPs has a tertiary science qualification – the closest is James Shaw with an M.Sc from a business school).
If the Greens would say that CO2 emissions were bad and, therefore, we will close the borders to immigration from low-emission areas, then the threat of climate change would appear to make rational sense. But they do the exact opposite of that. Therefore, I can conclude that those promoting climate change are irrational, and so the truth value of their pronouncements can be discounted.
The real showstopper for me though, as a psychologist, is that one of the people fronting the climate charge alarmist movement in New Zealand is a convicted fraudster. This is no less a dignitary than the Maori Climate Commissioner herself, Donna Awatere Huata.
In 2005, Huata was found guilty of fraud and of attempting to pervert the course of justice. The money that she defrauded from a foundation set up to help underprivileged kids learn to read was used on a stomach stapling operation. What sort of malignant narcissist would steal money from children to fund cosmetic surgery for herself? A Climate Commissioner, that’s who.
In the same way that I wouldn’t buy a used car off convicted ponzi schemer David Ross, I wouldn’t buy one off Donna Awatere Huata either. So why on Earth would I listen to her pronouncements about climate change? The smart thing to do would be to believe the exact opposite of whatever Huata says.
In summary, I don’t believe in climate change alarmism because the people pushing it are crooked, insane and unqualified to make scientific pronouncements. These people seem every bit the shameless grifters that have pushed every other kind of alarmism to make a quick buck out of the ensuing hysteria.
I’m willing to be corrected, but do note that you will have to have a qualification in a relevant science from a proper university, and you will have to cite peer-reviewed journal articles in relevant disciplines, for me to take you seriously on this matter.
If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2019 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 and the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 are also available.