New Mexico Tutorial Compares the Local weather Disaster to Gun Violence – Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Dr. Willie Soon; Professor Mark Boslough, University of New Mexico, has compared people ignoring the climate crisis to a criminal trying to judge whether Dirty Harry’s .44 Magnum is out of bullets.

The Climate Has a Gun

Those who dismiss risk of climate change often appeal to uncertainty, but they have it backward.

In “Climate Change Brings a Flood of Hyperbole” (op-ed, Aug. 11), Steven Koonin put himself in the unenviable position of playing down climate change precisely while we are experiencing unprecedented heat waves, storms, fires, droughts, and floods that exceed model-based expectations.

Mr. Koonin claims that regional projections are “meant to scare people.” But the paper he cites for support addresses the “unfolding of what may become catastrophic changes to Earth’s climate” and argues that “being able to anticipate what would otherwise be surprises in extreme weather and climate variations” requires better models. In other words, our current models cannot rule out a catastrophic future.

Model uncertainty is two-edged. If we’d been lucky, we’d be discovering that we overestimated the danger. But all indicators suggest the opposite. Those who dismiss climate risk often appeal to uncertainty, but they have it backward. Climate uncertainty is like not knowing how many shots Dirty Harry fired from his .44-caliber Magnum. Now that it’s pointed at our head, it’s dawning on us that we’ve probably miscalculated. By the time we’re sure, it’s too late. We’ve got to ask ourselves one question: Do we feel lucky? Well, do we?

Adj. Prof. Mark Boslough
University of New Mexico


The problem with this argument is climate action is not zero cost, it is very expensive. Ignoring climate change might kill people. Diverting trillions of dollars towards addressing climate change definitely will kill people.

So what are the relative risks?

So far all climate alarmists can show us as evidence to back their demands for cash is a bunch of in my opinion questionable computer models.

But it is unequivocal that draining trillions of dollars from the productive economy would cause lives to be lost or unnecessarily shortened. Green policies which raise home heating bills are likely already killing people.

Right now we have real problems demanding our attention, like addressing the ongoing low level but potentially catastrophic risk a new and far deadlier Covid strain will emerge, and dealing with the economic dislocation, mental health consequences, and social problems created by Covid lockdowns.

Should we divert money from the Covid effort to fighting climate change? Should we downsize our militaries and abandon our allies, just as an increasingly aggressive and desperate China appears to be rapidly building their military? Should we hamstring our economies with increased tax burdens for ordinary people, or frighten off our job creating entrepreneurs with punitive wealth taxes?

If climate alarmists had tangible evidence, I would support their call. The imminent mass death of billions of people would trump other considerations. But they’ve got nothing tangible, other than a few computer print outs and a big “trust me” plea.

We all deserve better than a pack of in my opinion dubious data abuses and questionable proxy exclusions, from the people who are demanding we make such a sacrifice.


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