Wild Bill McKibben: “Outlaws of physics”Richard Treadgold | June 14, 2013
Claims big oil a “rogue industry”
This web site’s masthead proclaims: “For the first time in history, people shouting ‘the end is nigh’ are somehow the sane ones, while those of us who say it is not are now the lunatics.”
That’s how it used to be, but climate change is changing. The true lunatics are clearly seen. They were always alarmist, long before global warming, shrieking our environmental sins, Luddites razing the factories, breaking the machines, clamouring for havoc to save us all from ruin.
But as their case for dangerous climate change becomes daily more flimsy their masks have slipped. Their true madness is carved unmistakably on their gaunt, perspiring faces. They are desperate, look desperate and use the tactics of desperation. Nobody likes to lose and there’s no way they can win. Watch their claws, mind their teeth.
Hot Topic’s Gareth Renowden interviewed the American climate nutcase Bill McKibben yesterday. McKibben is on his “Do the Maths” tour of New Zealand. He wasn’t fed the sharpest questions but Renowden did the job he was there for: play the sycophant and humour a madman.
This was my first look at Bill, a well-known climate alarmist. He tells us that fossil fuel companies are no longer considered normal industries. “They’re a rogue industry, outlaws against the laws of physics.” I guess it’s just supposed to sound bad — it doesn’t have to mean anything!
His voice is engaging, almost reasonable, but his wild eyes cannot help but flash his burning lunacy at the camera — this is Wild Bill’s element, pounding the pulpit, crushing the enemies of God, challenging the faithless to change their lives and save the world or be damned in the fire and brimstone of Hell. A natural-born preacher-man.
But hardly a scientist.
Wild Bill says “we” and “our governments” have “all agreed” to keep the temperature from rising more than two degrees. I personally wasn’t consulted, I believe my government didn’t agree to it, I believe Bill’s government didn’t agree to it and I know that China’s government didn’t agree to it, so the project will fail.
To keep the global temperature from rising we must limit our emissions of “carbon” to roughly another 500 GT. I didn’t get the detail here, whether that means 500 GT of elemental carbon or carbon dioxide (and I didn’t hear how the amount was calculated), but never mind, because here comes the crunch.
He claims that the financial guys have added up all the official reserves of oil, gas and coal and already the fossil fuel companies have access to a total of 2800 GT. They know it’s there and they know where to find it, but it’s five times more than (he says) we can safely burn. Ooh! Prob-lem-o!
He says it should stay in the ground, and he’s running campaigns to persuade investors of all stripes to divest themselves of fossil fuel company shares so they will get the message and stop prospecting.
Apparently he hopes they’ll all go make windmills or something instead. But without oil how will the ships make it across the Pacific with our new windmills? Maybe they’ll be driven by sails again?
I have a question or two for McKibben:
You say New Zealand should stay away from coal and stop prospecting for oil. Considering New Zealand contributes about 0.2% to mankind’s total emissions of CO2, and considering that mankind in total is held by the IPCC to have contributed about 0.3°C to the global temperature over the last hundred years, why should we spend anything on reducing our emissions? Our sacrifice of prosperity and convenience would have no detectable effect on the climate. Even China could make only a tiny difference. Why should we do anything?
In 2009, mankind produced and apparently used some 13.2 GT of hydrocarbons. At that rate, the amount of 2800 GT you mention would represent over 200 years of consumption and it will take us nearly 40 years to consume the 500 GT that you would permit. What fuel will we use in our cars and power stations instead?
Since the IPCC doesn’t know the climate sensitivity to increases in carbon dioxide, how have you been able to calculate the warming to expect from 500 GT of the stuff? Because frankly I don’t believe you.
To see more of this dangerous yet boring man go to YouTube and search for “bill mckibben renowden”.