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The inestimable Thomas Friedman of the New York Times is in Israel right now and he spoke in Jerusalem on Thursday last week. A sell out crowd packed the Konrad Adenauer hall under the auspices of the Jerusalem Press Club.
His talk “There Goes the Neighbourhood” was a rambling (though mostly entertaining) account of his career and then a discussion on his latest TV project which seem to be trying to pin at least some of the blame for the collapse of basic normality in the Arab world er, sorry, the Arab Spring, on Man Made Global Warming.
My thoughts on man made global warming: it’s a scam. In short, whether or not man did change the climate, I don’t believe anyone is smart enough to tell us. I say this from the lofty heights of a PhD in theoretical physics and specifically computer modelling. So I just don’t believe anyone has a credible climate model that’s useful for working out what man’s effect has been on climate and will be going forward.
I’ll grant that man definitely has increased the amount of CO₂ in the atmosphere by burning stuff. But even having done that, I would regard efforts to slow down the rate of that increase (not even to reverse it) as akin to thinking you can un-stir the milk from your tea (or cream from coffee for you americans). And even if you think you can do it, I don’t believe any of the computer models on what effect it might have.
So we might as well just suck up the consequences and spend our resources on being creative and dealing with whatever comes our way. We’re good at that.
What doesn’t make sense is inventing “carbon credits” or trading platforms that just line the pockets of “environmental consultants” and friends of Al Gore. Or lining the pockets of tame, sell out, journalists and climate “scientists” who know the only way to get fat grants is to toe the party line.
So back to Friedman and his amazing thesis that hoards of formerly happy subjects of the Syrian Dictator are all up in arms because of 4 or 5 years of bad drought and their government’s seeming inability (or worse) to help them. So they all rush off to start an armed rebellion.
Nothing to do with years of repression, torture, the destruction of towns like Hama, seething tribal and sectarian hatred, and the fact that Syria always has been a vicious dictatorship. Oh no, better to blame it on the weather.
So by some miracle I got to ask the first question.
I started by saying there was a very old book I remembered reading and it spoke of droughts, many, many years ago in this region including at least one that lasted more than 7 years! In light of this isn’t it just possible that we can’t really be sure that the latest 4 year drought is really man made.
Friedman launched off into a pretty standard defence of the widely discredited man made global warming theory throwing in the usual gems like “I’m not a scientists but I’ll believe the 99% of scientists”. He even mentioned floods, at which point I shouted back that the really old book also had a section on a big flood that hit the region long before man invented the internal combustion engine.
All in all there’s not much to be done for a lost soul like Friedman. He’s bought the lies, the issue is who’s going to look stupider in a few years when the whole global warming/climate change scam is seen for what it is.
And in the meantime, what kind of a mess of our world will these people have made. And finally if his judgment is so screwed up on this, are we supposed to take his views on where Jews should and shouldn’t live in Israel very seriously too?