Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Just what are falling temperatures evidence of?

Following up on the earlier post concerning confusion, here is an excellent discussion from William Briggs of why it is possible for alarmists to assert that global cooling is not conclusive evidence that invalidates AGW theory.

Warming is evidence of global warming. Cooling does not mean that global warming is not happening, just that it hasn't yet...but it might, still..and then the theory will be right again...except if its not, and then it will be because something has temporarily interfered with the theory working, like cooling, but that doesn't mean the cooling has replaced the warming -- its just hiding it, for now. We know this because the models tell us. Can't be anything else happening like the sun, the oceans or any of that stuff. Why? Well, because that's why. Isn't science awesome?

And some people thought it was only used car salesmen who played fast and loose with words....

Contemporary environmentalism is rampant with concepts and constructs that invoke an impassioned response from people: the more impressionable the audience, the more impassioned but simplistic the outrage -- for some there is no compensating for plane stupidity.

The phrase pernicious moralism is often used to describe such selfishness: the activities of a privileged few, wishing to impose their vision of the world, corrected and ordered and imposed upon humanity. Saving us because we lack the intellect to both see and act "correctly".

Just this past week, a local elementary school received a lot of attention in the media for its green activities, particularly its aggressive recycling efforts. Enlisting the school children with Orwellian zeal, the school managed to remove all vestiges of waste, reducing all its garbage into recyclable materials and compost. So what could be the problem?

What happened to the recyclable materials and the compost from the school? Especially at a time when commodity markets have slumped, prices for recyclables have plummeted and garbage (supply) far exceeds our capacity to produce (and the costs of) lower quality products (demand)? Answer, a
local farmer, with kids at the school and active recruits in the program, volunteered to remove and dispose of the materials as "a community service".

So now we have another generation of impassioned youth, fully invested in green dogma without any realization nor recognition of the role of economics.

Simply put, in a free market, supply expands to meet demand. Where there is no demand, there is no resource, no need for a supply. Similarly, an excess of supply causes demand to soften and prices to fall. With garbage there is always an excess of supply and insufficient demand: if there was demand for garbage, it would no longer be garbage, which is defined as stuff no longer of value to people. The flaw in green reasoning on recycling is you can not invent nor impose a market for products when the supply exceeds demand to reduce the productive value below the cost of production and the quality below that of existing alternatives. You can make toilet paper with a textured, wood chip recycled feel: you just can't sell it when it costs more to produce than triple-sheet soft toilet paper with dimple softness.

And when they grow into adulthood, what will be the eco-kids concept of economics and understanding of prices and profits? And the mechanism of how society must pay to dispose of waste, even as a community service?

Perhaps they will be like this gentleman and think they can, or at least talk about it anyways.

At least now you can understand the generation of eco-protestors and what green "education" they have received.

Remember, you only watched the Gore movie once: many kids get it three and four times by the time they finish high school.

Perhaps one of the Stansted protestors filmed their shindig: this time next year, the Oscars, the Nobel prize...or a job with the UN flying around the globe saving humanity from the thoughtless, witless and wasteful flights of people on vacations, doing business, living but not serving humanity in really big, important ways, with taxpayers money, like, y'now, us.