Saturday, September 27, 2014

"No no no" don't adapt - shout the alarmed at WUWT

Sou | 3:08 PM Go to the first of 3 comments. Add a comment

I know you were probably under the impression that science deniers want to adapt to and not mitigate global warming. Well, it turns out that many of them don't want to adapt either. They seem to be opposed to building a resilient society. Or maybe they just don't want the government to play a role in helping communities build resilience against natural disasters.

Today Anthony Watts copied and pasted a press release from Reuters about how the US Department of Homeland Security is looking at ways to build resilience in the context of climate change and natural disasters (archived here). This includes "regional efforts to assess resilience of infrastruction and judge where gaps in adaptation and preparedness may be".

As you probably know, climate change has long been recognised by the Pentagon as a national security issue. A recent report from a military research organisation found that it poses a severe risk to national security. (Same goes for Australia, despite the stance of the current government.)

Guess how the readers at WUWT reacted to the notion of a resilient USA? Yep. Lots of people are dead against adaptation and preparedness.  Not only do they not want to minimise the risks associated with climate change, they are against towns and cities and rural areas preparing for and adapting to what it is bringing. Read on for a sample:

Caleb is paranoid that the Homeland Security is going to storm his home and control his thermostat:
September 26, 2014 at 8:11 pm
One target may be thermostats. In the name of Carbon, the government may claim it is for the sake of humanity that they control the heat of your home.
I fear it is all about control, for certain people, and they are simply seeing how much they can get away with taking, before people howl.
The deep thinkers at WUWT enunciate their persuasive arguments against forging a resilient society:

Good Lord. I pray we are delivered in the next election from these idiots. Which I, to my ever-living regret, helped put into office in the first place.
Sorry, but these people are idiots. Can’t think of anything positive or profound to say about the Dept. of Homeland Security.

TRBixler thinks that a strong, prepared, resilient society spells the end of freedom:
September 26, 2014 at 7:27 pm
I feel the battle has been lost. Our freedom will be usurped under the green flag of climate change.

Dave thinks it's prudent to prepare for changing climate as long as you don't acknowledge or take responsibility for the fact that we're causing it:
September 26, 2014 at 7:38 pm
Sure, be prepared for changing climate and extreme weather, that’s prudent.
Conjure human blame for climate change, that’s manipulative.

LogosWrench thinks a resilient society is a stupid society:
September 26, 2014 at 8:31 pm
Good god. WTF? Truly we have no leaders. Just a bunch of demagogues thursting for more power no matter the consequences. John Kerry and Hilary Clinton calling climate change a larger and more immediate than ISIS. Words fail. Really. The incompetence, the stupidity is truly unbelievable. This asshat said he wanted to transform America. Can’t say he didn’t keep his promise. Transformed into a fledgling third world nation.

john thinks that the government should think about resilience. But he doesn't see it as a Homeland Security issue. Which is fair enough. He's entitled to his opinion on that score. Others will recognise the security implications of allowing the USA to be vulnerable to climate change.
September 26, 2014 at 7:30 pm
It isn’t that governments at all levels shouldn’t think about resiliency. After all, Sandy did happen, and a whole bunch of things went wrong that in retrospect didn’t have to. If backup generators were 25 feet higher in buildings, for example. Hurricanes happen, it isn’t a sin to plan for how to weather big ones better, it’s a good thing, even if CO2 emissions had never changed, or even if the warming impact of CO2 emissions is small, as it very well might be.
But why Homeland Security? Isn’t their mission vastly different?
It smacks of the current Administration using Homeland Security for political purposes, to align in peoples’ minds the two different notions of horrible man made climate change and homeland security.
Perhaps even worse, maybe they REALLY THINK that human emissions are so horrific that it becomes a homeland security issue. Any White House can get insular, perhaps this one is more so than most. I actually would prefer the cynical political reason, as opposed to the OH MY GOD reason.

Just in case WUWT readers confuse john with a member of the lefty-communist-socialist-progressive cult, he explains what in his opinion the role of government is in regard to natural disasters:
September 26, 2014 at 7:49 pm (extract)
I realize that the way I wrote my comment at 7:30, that I might come across as a supporter of big government. So I need to, ah….clarify.


  1. John forgets that FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is a part of the Department of Homeland Security. This is right in FEMA's bailiwick

  2. ==> "I know you were probably under the impression that science deniers want to adapt to and not mitigate global warming."

    I'm not under that impression at all. Many "skeptics" claim that they're all in favor of "adaptation," but when you look at the larger context for a sense of their political ideology, many of those same "skeptics" are strongly opposed to "centralized" approaches to anything, and opposed to the kinds of "government funding" that would be necessary for serious-scale adaptation.

    Of course, this is also probably very similar to "Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare"-type thinking, where the concern about centralization and government funding is highly selective, but my sense is that most of the argument in favor of "adaptation" is simplistic leveraging of rhetoric in order to voice objection to the notion of "mitigation" based on a fallacious view that the two are necessarily in opposition or mutually exclusive.

    The idealized notion of nuclear as a panacea that I often see in the "skept-o-sphere" fits into the same pattern - where nuclear is a panacea as long as it can be a lever to attack other non-fossil fuel energy sources. Conveniently, many of the "skeptics" who just love them some nuclear look past the "socialist" policies of those countries that have relied substantially on nuclear power.

  3. It costs money to adapt to higher sea levels, or to improve the sewers to handle bigger rainfall events, and so on.

    Deniers may deny denying that it's warming and the seas are rising, but when it comes to whether any money should be spent on adapting to the warming climate, the answer always seems to be of course not, on account that it isn't warming and the seas aren't rising. And then there's a Sandy or Katrina event where the same folks come out and claim that the damage is due to a failure to spend money on the things that we would be spending money on to adapt to climate change, so of course it isn't that the climate is changing, it's just that governments are incompetent at planning. And that's why we need to put people in charge who will resolutely refuse to spend money on flood defenses and emergency preparedness, because if we would just stop doing the little that we do, ... ... I have to stop, the gyrations are making my head spin.


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