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Climate Crisis Denial, a New Twist

In a recent interview with Steve Inskeep of NPR, Michale Griffen (NASA Administrator) is quoted as saying;

I have no doubt that global — that a trend of global warming exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with. To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of earth’s climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn’t change. First of all, I don’t think it’s within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown, and second of all, I guess I would ask which human beings – where and when – are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that’s a rather arrogant position for people to take.

When I heard about this yesterday it really pissed me off. After dropping the bombshell “I’m not sure it’s fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with” he tries to back up his opinion with an attack on the notion of our right to make a judgment and take action as if we lack authority to do so. The best climate for any living creature is the one to which they are adapted to survive in. The main issue with our acceleration of climate change is that we are forcing change farther and faster than would normally be the case which will stress the ability of all the living stuff to adapt. He frames the issue by shifting the focus to an absurd question “what’s the best climate” and says it is arrogant of us to make a judgment about that as if that is what people advocating intervention are saying “hey folks lets make the best climate we can, we could make this thing a lot nicer”. “I don’t think it is within the power of human beings to assure that the climate doesn’t change” I have heard no one who is in favor of intervening set a goal of preventing climate change. He is painting a picture of the pro intervention community as wanting to freeze climate change where it is and have a steady state climate, which is indeed an unattainable goal. What interventionists want is to remove the forcing effect that humans are creating so that climate change will not proceed to rapidly and swing so far that all living creatures currently adapted to our climate will suffer (die off) from failure to adapt to the change. Then he questions who and when has the right to decide climate. This one really pisses me off. He is claiming that some special right to effect climate must exist for us to take action. All that interventionists are proposing is that we take responsibility for the effects of our own actions now that we know what what actions have which effects. To question our authority to adjust our behavior as we see the results of our behavior essentially means that human beings have no authority to learn and change which is rediculous on its face. With this guys arguments centering on the issue of authority and essentially claiming that human beings have no authority to learn and adapt their behavior in light of their accumulation of knowledge through experience he must believe that the authority lies elsewhere. I sense a hidden theistic underpinning to his authority argument, if the authority does not reside in mankind then where does it lie.

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