NYT sets new record for nutty climate alarmism

A while back I did a CFACT piece on the problem that teachers who know nothing about science are actively teaching climate alarmism. The piece was based on an ever-alarmist New York Times article praising this problem as a good thing, when it is just the opposite.

Now the NYT has outdone itself, with what has got to be the nuttiest alarmist opinion piece that I have ever seen. The title sort of says it all — “The Climate Crisis? It’s Capitalism, Stupid.”

There is no climate crisis and capitalism is vastly superior to its alternatives, so there you go; no need to read further. But it is worth looking at how these wild alarmist tales are spun and who spins them, because a lot of people read this junk. And in this case the tale spinner is a teacher, at a prominent American state university school no less: The Arizona State honors college.

The author is Benjamin Fong and his field is best described as psychoanalytic anti-capitalism. I am not making this up. His ASU bio says this: “Benjamin Y. Fong received his PhD in Religion from Columbia University, where he was also an Affiliate Scholar at the Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research.”

To get a feel for his psycho-thinking, read this Fong essay and try not to laugh. His claim is that pleasure is a form of subjection that is imposed upon us.

So how does Dr. Fong explain the climate crisis? In the usual way really, with a combination of bad science combined with false confidence in baseless conjectures, artful omissions and left-wing politics. Thankfully he is brief.

He begins with a sciency statement, which is a common opening move in the game of climate alarmism. The statement is that human CO2 emissions today are 10 times greater that they were at the time of one of the great mass extinctions, called the End-Permian. This cataclysmic event occurred a whopping 250 million years ago, for reasons that we do not understand.

How this is relevant is never explained, because the point is to make a vague scary suggestion. He simply slides into the idea that we are now facing a similar fate (for which there is no scientific basis).

Even worse, the statement is absurd. What is not mentioned is that natural CO2 emissions today are something like 20 times greater than our emissions. So if our tiny emissions are a problem then nature’s vast emissions are a far bigger problem, but thankfully neither is true.

The reality is that this vast flow of CO2 is the mainstream of what is called the carbon cycle, which makes life on Earth possible. Atmospheric CO2 is the global food supply. In fact today’s levels of CO2 are very low compared to some past geologic eras, when life did very well. That CO2 levels are rising along with human population is good news, as it helps to feed us. But alarmists like Fong routinely write as though our CO2 emissions were some sort of unique pollution. The very opposite is true.

So this End-Permian stuff is just carefully chosen scary hogwash. Fong then goes on to invoke the conjecture of a precise 7.2 degree warming by 2100. This is just computer model stuff, which is all there is to climate alarmism.

He then switches gears, telling us that the real problem is capitalism, especially the profit motive. There is no science here, just what is called the fallacy of argument by assertion. Anti-capitalists seem not to notice that communist countries try to do the same basic things as capitalist countries, they just don’t do it as well because of the lack of individual freedoms.

For that matter, one would think that someone named Fong would know that Communist China is by far the world’s leader in CO2 emissions, because it is burning vast amounts of coal. But then it is digging its way out of poverty by becoming more capitalist and joining the global economy.

The real reason that the world is not rushing to decarbonize is that it is a stupid idea. Capitalism has nothing to do with it. Happily democracy does. The last things we need are dictatorships out to save the world from a fantasy.

When students are taught junk like this by professors they admire you cannot be surprised that they then become alarmist activists. But there is a formula to this stuff which, once mastered, makes refutation relatively easy.

How to do this refutation is what students should be learning. CFACT’s Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow has an important role to play here. They deserve our support.

Teaching climate alarmism in non-science classes is indoctrination, not education.

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About the Author: David Wojick, Ph.D.

David Wojick is a journalist and policy analyst. He holds a doctorate in epistemology, specializing in the field of Mathematical Logic and Conceptual Analysis.

  • pkwz

    Talk about voodoo science, anything with “Psychoanalytic” in its title is the definition of Cargo Cult Science. As my dad used to say, “It will all come out in the wash.” Or in this case, give these AGW cultist enough rope to hang themselves. I’m more concerned that the end of Europe is already occurring with the vast influx of Muslims.

    This GloBULL warming stuff will be forgotten in 40 years for India, China and the rest of the developing world isn’t going to let a bunch of affluent rich white people from the west deny them their refrigerators and TV sets.

  • Immortal600

    I wonder if the kook known as cshorey will comment on this article?

    • pkwz

      I don’t think so since he is beginning to realize that no one is listening to him as he shouts from the top of his soapbox.

      • Immortal600

        He is still responding to me on the other article. He is a real hoot, so full of himself.

        • cshorey

          I haven’t finished responding to you on the other article coward. I’m here in your face now. I will take more time to rip the only three sources you’ve ever sent me in retort. Have you figured out how blankets and heated cars work yet? Is your brilliant overview of thermodynamics up to it yet?

      • cshorey

        Don’t listen to me, but talk about me on other threads like a school girl talking behind other’s backs. How noble you guys are. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumber, you two in an eggshell.

    • cshorey

      I wonder if Immortal will become obsessed with me. How cute.

  • NielsZoo

    Important safety tip. Do NOT go read Fong’s essay. I made that mistake and by the 2nd paragraph I found I had to quickly close my browser and purge my computer’s web cache lest I purge my morning Wheaties and coffee. It just brought back the nightmares I endured in all those required social “science” classes at the various colleges I’ve attended. The people who teach philosophy, psychology and the rest of that drivel should be barred from access to Roget’s Thesaurus and be editorially limited to necessary adjective use only.

    … now I’ve got a headache…

  • Elissa Feit

    How much are you being paid to be a shill for the energy companies? Not even BP nor Exxon/Mobile are climate change deniers – only folks still on the Koch wagon.

    Give it up. The ruse is over. Your guys lost and it’s time to clean up the mess while we still have some time.

    And, MAN, you guys owe the world an enormous apology.

    By the way, if you actually DO believe the nonsense you’re spouting, you’re insane. Note above: how the major companies ADMIT they were trying to delude the world. For profits. They made a good buck.

    • pkwz

      Wow. 1 comment and 1 up vote. Hmm, I wonder who is the paid shill?

      • cshorey

        Certainly not you! Who would pay for drivel?

    • David Wojick

      Alas, Elissa. I get nothing from the energy companies. About 20 years ago I did some analytical work for coal-burning rural electric cooperatives, who wisely saw that climate alarmism was nuts. Does that count?

      Actually we are doing pretty well, keeping the crazies at bay. There is a lot of green noise but very little action, less all the time these days.

      • cshorey

        Alas, David, you have your head in the sand. From today’s news feed: “Members of the the American Legislative Exchange Council pulled a draft resolution that would have urged Scott Pruitt to challenge the EPA’s bedrock finding that greenhouse gases endanger human health, multiple journalists reported Wednesday evening. The resolution met public pushback this week from several prominent business members of ALEC, including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Honeywell, UPS and the Edison Electric Institute. UPS’s opposition came on the heels of a Tuesday Washington Post op-ed from Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) calling out the delivery company for supporting ALEC’s climate denial. ALEC’s approach to climate is increasingly driving a wedge between a hard-line denier faction in the organization and its more mainstream corporate members, E&E reported last month.” And that’s the tip of the iceberg. Tell us all about the meeting of U.S. Mayors and Governors pledging to continue commitment to and beyond the Paris agreement. Tell us how this is all noise but very little action. I need a good laugh.

        • David Wojick

          As it happens I have at least one CFACT piece on the trivial Chicago Climate Charter coming out, probably two. But that is all mayors, not governors. There is nothing that mayors can do to significantly reduce US CO2 emissions. It is just a political stunt, in other words green noise.

          I have always liked ALEC. Too bad the big corporations have lost their nerve, but it really does not matter. Skeptic are legion. Nor does Pruitt need ALEC support to pull the endangerment finding. There are already several official steps in progress to do just that, although Pruitt correctly prefers that Congress do it. CO2 is completely out of scope for the Clean Air Act, as there is no way for America to control the atmospheric concentration.

          • cshorey

            Do you ever write for a reputable source? I’m finding all kinds of bias and problems with CFACT. So no comment on all those businesses going against ALEC? Guess that doesn’t fit into your alternate reality where suddenly a green movement is getting shut down. Meanwhile:

            Sea level pressure changes consistent with prediction (Gillett et al., 2003)

            Precipitation changes consistent with prediction (Zhang et al., 2007)

            Increasing downward longwave radiation (Philipona et al., 2004; Evans et al., 2006)

            Decreasing upward longwave radiation (Harries, 2001; Griggs, 2004; and Chen, 2007.

            Top of atmosphere energy imbalance (Trenberth, 2009)

            Melting of northern sea ice consistent with prediction (National Ice and Data Center)

            • David Wojick

              I am happy with CFACT. They are far more reputable than the NYT or WashPo, to name a few top green rags. I especially like being able to say what I think.

              Your few unexplained citations going back 15 years are worthless. Over 100,000 papers on climate science have been published in this period, many contradictory.

              But I have paying work to do so my bills call me away. Perhaps if you published something I could comment on it. Please let me know. You are a pretty good foil, as foils go.

              • cshorey

                This is added info for you, but you still haven’t managed a response to my points I had to recopy for you. “Melting of northern sea ice consistent with prediction” in David’s world is “unexplained”. Funny that. I’ve learned enough about David in the last week to see what he is made of. He has actually tried threatening people because he can’t put the words up to the debate. What exactly about the references makes them worthless? How did you come to that conclusion? I see you are trying to give up and claim some kind of victory by not having a response, but that’s not how it works in science. They guy who crawls under the rock and hides is not the victor.

          • cshorey

            I love how your witty responses stop cold when you are presented with actual science. I’ve seen Tree Hugger stop you cold too. Come on Dave, you must have some integrity in there you can pull up. Either admit that the science directly goes against your typical narrative, or give a good reason to doubt the science and then go get it published in a more reputable place than CFACT.

            • David Wojick

              I see that you have stopped debating, so I will to.

              • cshorey

                Just had to repost my last actual debate response to you because it is you who are not responding. We can also debate how to spell “too”.

    • cshorey

      I just learned about David. He thinks he’s proven that we can’t measure average global temperature, and then ignores when everyone tells him we measure anomalies at stations. This is a guy espousing expertise in an Earth Science field with no background in Earth Science: https://www.desmogblog.com/david-wojick

  • ScienceABC123

    Fact: Models are not science, they are not data, they are not predictors, at best they are opinion written in computer code.

    • cshorey

      A map is a model of the terrain. There is a saying: all models are wrong, but some models are useful. Are you naive enough to think no empirical studies go into the models?

      • ScienceABC123

        No, but I would trust a map.

        • cshorey

          You’re half way there then.