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Ethical Adaptation To Climate Change

Politics / Climate Change Jul 15, 2012 - 05:42 PM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop


What is sometimes called the "Nazi theory of global warming" is relatively well known. One of the
pioneering theorists of apocalyptic global warming is Guenther Schwab (1902-2006), an Austrian Nazi.
In 1958, following his action as a propagandist during the 1939-45 war, Schwab wrote a fictional novel built on Goethe's Faustian religious play entitled "Dance with the Devil." While a few scientists or Natural Philosophers as they were called at the time (literally "philosophers of nature") had contemplated the possibility of global warming or climate change arising from coal burning as far back as the late 18th century, Schwab used Goethe's dramatic approach to convert the theory into an apocalyptic crisis, due to industrial pollution.

Certainly since 1958, things have not changed very much. The moralising, which Nazis and the Soviet Politburo and NKVD applied with what are called "muscular means", is of course applied with Madison Avenue advertising conventions, for the moment, in the societies most exposed to the extreme elite fear-and-doom propaganda theme of Global Warming. At one point in his novel which was translated into several languages and sold more than 1 million copies, Schwab aired the idea of a fragile relationship between oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, threatened by Man and his greed for industrial products.

He then made an interesting leap of imagination, to assume the planet had only about 100 years remaining before the build up of CO2 would "absorb and hold fast the warmth given out by the earth. This will cause the climate to become milder and the Polar ice will begin to thaw. As a result, there will be a rise in the level of the ocean and whole continents will be flooded." The British scientific author James Lovelock, in 2006, said exactly the same thing in interview with the UK Independent newspaper, claiming that "Billions will die from global warming before the end of the century".

What is the difference between the Nazi propaganda and Lovelock-for-profit propaganda?

What can be called the "real fathers of global warming", 18th century thinkers including the British natural philosophers Joseph Priestley and James Hutton, about 1775-1795, invented the so-called
Phlogiston Theory. This theory held that combustible products - especially coal whose
consumption was rising rapidly in late 18th century England - release a substance they called
"phlogiston", basically CO2, which in too large quantities destroys life. Conversely, their theory also
held, when "phlogiston" levels were normal and correct it helps create and maintain life.

Hutton extended this theory by arguing that climate change occurs over geologically-long cycles and is never "catastrophic" because various Divine mechanisms, which he did not identify, will correct the variations in climate which occur. For religious and philosophical reasons, he rejected the already emerging theory of "catastrophic geological change". His theory of cyclic geological change explicitly included a concept of harmonic change correcting previous extreme changes although as noted above, he did not offer any possible mechanisms, other than Divine intervention, by which the Earth may protect itself from catastrophic change - because, basically, he rejected catastrophic change on anything but geological periods of time.
Both Priestley and Hutton were forced by simple scientific evidence to accept that "phlogiston" did not
exist, and was a mixture of oxides such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur oxides and
nitrogen oxides: Priestley, quite ironically, was the first scientist (or natural philosopher) to fully
identify oxygen, as well as many other gases, but clung to his phlogiston theory, like Hutton, until the
end of his life.

Their fear remained high that the Earth's atmosphere could become "overloaded" with phlogiston on a short-term basis, especially due to coal burning, and this might "tip God's hand" - - while they also continued to believe in the almost magical capacity of phlogiston to enable or create natural living things such as forests - which in late 18th century Britain were being rapidly cut down.

Priestley's attachment to the phlogiston theory had more than simply damaging effects for his scientific
credibility and standing: his belief that 18th century England was consuming too much coal, and
destroying too many forests made him highly sympathetic towards England's breakaway colonists in
the then American colony of Great Britain. He supported their calls for Independence believing this
would make it easier for English to emigrate to this apparently vast, and underpopulated
nearcontinent. As a result he was repeatedly accused of treason and sedition, and subjected to mob attacks and violence. His house was on one occasion razed to the ground, and he escaped to America, in 1794, where he died in 1804, under a cloud of public hostility in England.

By the late 18th century, geologists including James Hutton found evidence that previous geological ages were marked by changes in climate.  Previous colder periods, of glaciation, had been quite rapidly identified and described by geologists, by as early as 1815. In 1824 the French scientist Joseph Fourier found that the Earth's atmosphere keeps the planet warmer than would be the case in a vacuum, and made the first calculations of the warming or "greenhouse" effect.

His theory as first stated in the 1820s is little different from today's "classic global warming" theory: Fourier recognized that the atmosphere allows visible light waves to reach the earth's surface. This light is absorbed by the Earth, and emits infrared radiation in response, but the atmosphere is more opaque to and does not transmit infrared energy so efficiently, which increases surface temperatures. As we know, the thin Martian atmosphere has a very weak greenhouse effect, with the direct result that Mars has an average temperature of about -55 degrees celsius.

Even at the time when he first stated his theory, in the 1820s, Fourier suspected human activities could influence climate. In Fourier's case however, he thought the primary anthropogenic climate changing factor was land use change, which he believed affected wind patterns and the distribution of water vapour in the atmosphere, affecting climate.

A close associate of Fourier, Louis Agassiz is called the father of "Ice Age theory" — and in 1837 he proposed that glaciers covered Europe, Northern Asia and much of North America in at least one past ice age. In the UK however, attempts to argue the same "catastrophic change" concept, for example by geologist William Buckland ran up against entrenched opposition to the geological theory of "catastrophism", or "non-linear change", which James Hutton had almost violently opposed from as early as 1795. The basic reasons for this support and opposition -  both philosophical and religious - to the Ice Age theory helps explain why 100 years later the Nazi power system was more than slightly interested in the "opinion mobilizing potential" of climate change fear, and why the Western political and corporate elites of the period since 1990, until about 2010, have so massively supported Global Warming hysteria.

The role of CO2 in the "greenhouse effect", despite the vastly more important role of water vapour, was openly posited by at latest the 1890s. Swedish scientists Arvid Högbom and Svante Arrhenius, by that time had pushed forward their research and theory building concerning what is now called "the carbon cycle" and had approximately quantified natural sources of CO2 emissions. Högbom decided to compare the amounts produced by natural sources with estimated production from industrial sources in the 1890s, and by 1896 Arrhenius argued that, using Hogborn's calculations, anthropogenic emissions of CO2 would eventually lead to a doubling of the gas's volume in the atmosphere. According to his method of calculation this would cause a warming of 5 or 6 degrees celsius relative to "pre-industrial levels of CO2". Because of the relatively low rates of CO2 production in 1896, however, Arrhenius thought this warming would take thousands of years, and might even be beneficial to humanity, due to the geologically realistic prospect of a coming Ice Age.

For the Austrian Nazi Schwab, the theories of Hogborn, Arrhenius and others such as the American
astronomer Pierpoint Langley tying CO2 emissions to climate change due to global warming, were
already very well established if never proven. All that was needed was to present the imputed warming
effect due to CO2 emissions as utterly harmful and of course catastrophic.

The role of fear therefore replaced hope that possible warming, due to human CO2 emissions, could or might attenuate the catastrophic effects of a coming Ice Age.

As we noted previously, the concept of "catastrophic change", of geological conditions over geological
time periods, had already led to heavily politicised and heated debate among geologists and other
"natural philosophers" from as early as the first decades of the 19th century. Basically the conflict
pitched "uniformists" such as Hutton against "catastrophists", like the later scientists Fourier and
Buckland, who argued for the existence of geologically sudden Ice Ages, who with time effectively "won the debate".

The establishment of "sudden and catastrophic change" over geological periods of time - which may be
as short as 500 years, but may be much longer - was an important enabler for the CO2 Global Warming

 At least as important was the need to create and intensify fear and guilt, in order to better and
more deeply manipulate opinion, for political power and corporate profitmaking. In is therefore no
surprise that political and media manipulation of the CO2 Global Warming theory was extremely intense in the period of nearly a full decade from about 2000 to 2010. The sudden fall-off of
this media and political campaign, and disarray among the well-paid scientific "expert community"
who have profited from this elite fear crusade are major signs of culture change: public opinion
has simply "grown up and evolved".

In the case of this particular fake crisis, we are now certainly approaching a "denouement", when the fear campaign collapses, with an accelerated period of change in the choice and range and type of elite fear themes selected and used for the manipulation of mass opinion in the so-called "mature democracies".

By Andrew McKillop


Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights

Co-author 'The Doomsday Machine', Palgrave Macmillan USA, 2012

Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.

© 2012 Copyright Andrew McKillop - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

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