Who is right about climate; a guide for non climate scientists

This was published a year ago, but went back to draft for some reason, so here we go again.

The red neck remains not entirely convinced that one side or the other was right about climate.
What swings me to the agnostic side are things like the University of Alberta's apparent firing (officially she resigned) of their Vice President of Community Relations for daring to suggest that global warming might not be all bad.  To put this into context, the University of Alberta is located in Edmonton.  Edmonton has the dubious distinction of being the farthest north city of more or less one million population in the western hemisphere.  Winters here are long and cold, anyone who can flees south for winter, including many of our birds.  Despite all this, Edmontonians in the public eye are supposed to profess that even here warming will be catastrophic or risk their career and reputation.

Alberta also has oil and gas, lots of it, including the infamous tar sands.  Alberta has long been a target of environmentalists critical of the oil gas industry and the use of fossil fuels in general.  Criticizing Alberta and Canada is safe, because we have promoted ourselves as nice, polite and always politically correct, so you can say whatever you want about us without having to worry about death squads kidnapping your citizens and beheading them on the internet.

The other thing that made me wonder if the Anthropogenic Climate Changers were running low on factual ammunition was the acclamation, (or was it a coup?) of a 16 year old girl as global spokesperson/mascot for the climate activism movement.  Before Greta Thunberg sailed the ocean blue on 'her' wind and solar power yacht, climate activism's best known advocate was the now obsolete white male who won the US presidential election in 2000 but stood aside and let George W. Bush take it away from him.

One thing that Greta Thunberg and Al Gore have in common besides their climate activism is that neither has climate science credentials in their resumes, as in having spent years devoted to researching and publishing peer reviewed findings in the sciences related to meteorology, ecology, physics, math, computer science, etc. etc.. 

Why does this matter?  It matters because the basis of the Anthropogenic Climate change argument is the correlation between  CO2 in the atmosphere and an observed increase in global temperatures plus various computer models that predict if  warming persists it will be catastrophic, and that the only way to stop it is to stop using fossil fuels.  Climate activism's spokes-people for the most part did not do the science,  the red neck guesses they don't even understand the science, and thinks that maybe striking school is not the most effective strategy for learning science.

It also matters if you are truly concerned about climate change you shouldn't believe journalists, bloggers, web sites, social media posts, unless what they say can be backed up by people who have spent  the time learning,  researching and publishing peer reviewed findings in the sciences related to meteorology, ecology, physics, math, computer science, etc. etc.. Simple no? Actually no.

It turns out that some with the right kind of science credentials say yes and some say no, the debate being enlivened by each accusing the other of lying, falsifying data, obfuscation, and generally being wrong.  There is a web site, ProCon.org that compares the nays and the ayes without inserting their own opinions. They can't both be right, so what gives?  You are of course free to wade through the actual published peer reviewed studies, which may also require brushing up on your calculus, quantum physics, statistics, chaos theory, computer science etc., or you can examine the root of what everyone is really saying and season it with a bit of common sense.

Ask yourself without turning to the weather channel, have you noticed a significant change in the weather where you live?  Be rigorous and confine it to what you have noticed yourself, are winters colder or warmer, are springs and falls as in snow melting and leaves falling early or late where you live?  Are you noticing more or fewer extreme weather events in your town, home, farm etc., as indicated by hail, wind, snow or flood damage and weather related crop failure?  Even though we are talking about global climate change, where you are should be included, if change is happening, you should have noticed something.  For example, it does seem to the red neck that the last ten years or so my winters have been a bit warmer, but not significantly so, in that maybe it will take some minutes longer to freeze to death in January than in years past, but it is still highly likely that one will still freeze to death in January without shelter.  On the other hand, my summers do not seem to have gotten any warmer, maybe even less so, but probably about the same.  YMMV

Re the weather channel et al, bear in mind that once upon a time the most boring part of the daily newscast  was the weather, delivered in monotone by a glasses wearing crew cut monotone man.  TV addressed that by spicing up weather forecasting by giving us weather 'personalities' performing various antics in front of blue screens in colorful outfits, progressing to dedicated cable weather channels with 24 hour depictions of weather disasters occurring somewhere and sometime else.

So maybe you have determined that  weather where you are is changing a little or a lot, or not at all, either way you still want to know who is wrong and who is right about all the stuff that is happening elsewhere that is supposed to indicate CO2 driven climate change.  Although you have crossed non climate scientists off your credibility list regardless of their viewpoint, it is still useful to look at who is saying what.

Anyone who is openly skeptical about climate change or publishes material, peer reviewed or not is accused of shilling for the fossil fuel industry or even the entire western military industrial complex.  On the other hand, the advocates for reducing fossil fuel CO2 emissions are accused being unwitting dupes for a shady conspiracy of global elites who want to control all of the earth's resources for their exclusive use, condemning the rest of us to our proper role of powerless subservient peasants.

The red neck will remain skeptical on the reality of either of these conspiracies despite living in a province that gets much of its wealth from oil and gas (no provincial sales tax haha), and that Greta Thunberg's voyage on the zero emissions sail boat, was aboard a 60 foot luxury yacht owned and sailed by a prince of Monaco.  There is, however, room for the conclusion that both sides are suborning a bit of perjury.


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