Thursday, January 15, 2015

'They're Back...': Hysterical Limits to Growth Nutjobs Revamp with New End-of-Times Earth's Boundary Forecast

We've seen this movie before.

Back in the 1970s, the radical left's "limits to growth" nutjobs began their apocalyptic warnings about the global environment's finite resources and the inevitable risk to the human race from the exponential growth of the world's population. Virtually every single warning offered then has been proved wrong, debunked, and mocked in righteous waves of pro-growth repudiation. (See Bjorn Lomborg, for example, "Environmental Alarmism, Then and Now: The Club of Rome’s Problem -- and Ours.")

But, obviously to the surprise of no one, they're back.

Here's the OMG SCARY headline at the New York Times, "Unprecedented Level of Human Harm to Sea Life Is Forecast." And not to be outdone, here's the Washington Post, "Scientists: Human activity has pushed Earth beyond four of nine ‘planetary boundaries’":

At the rate things are going, the Earth in the coming decades could cease to be a “safe operating space” for human beings. That is the conclusion of a new paper published Thursday in the journal Science by 18 researchers trying to gauge the breaking points in the natural world.

The paper contends that we have already crossed four “planetary boundaries.” They include the extinction rate; deforestation; the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; and the flow of nitrogen and phosphorous (used on land as fertilizer) into the ocean.

“What the science has shown is that human activities — economic growth, technology, consumption – are destabilizing the global environment,” said Will Steffen, who holds appointments at the Australian National University and the Stockholm Resilience Center and is the lead author of the paper.

These are not future problems, but rather urgent matters, according to Steffen, who said that the economic boom since 1950 and the globalized economy have accelerated the transgression of the boundaries. No one knows exactly when push will come to shove, but he said the possible destabilization of the “Earth System” as a whole could occur in a time frame of “decades out to a century.”

The researchers focused on nine separate planetary boundaries first identified by scientists in a 2009 paper. These boundaries set theoretical limits on changes to the environment, and include ozone depletion, freshwater use, ocean acidification, atmospheric aerosol pollution and the introduction of exotic chemicals and modified organisms.

Beyond each planetary boundary is a “zone of uncertainty.” This zone is meant to acknowledge the inherent uncertainties in the calculations, and to offer decision-makers a bit of a buffer, so that they can potentially take action before it’s too late to make a difference. Beyond that zone of uncertainty is the unknown — planetary conditions unfamiliar to us.

“The boundary is not like the edge of the cliff,” said Ray Pierrehumbert, an expert on Earth systems at the University of Chicago. “They’re a little bit more like danger warnings, like high-temperature gauges on your car.”
In other words, these enviro-freakazoids have no idea when the global system will reach its "finite" breaking point. We're overheating, and the remedy's not just a cooling system flush, but the total abandonment of carbon-propelled automobiles, and then some.

The problem of course is that these hysterically bogus "environmental" theories tend to work their way into to public policy, to disastrous effect. We're at the point, for example, according to Forbes, where the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is recommending new federally-mandated "sustainable" food guidelines arguing:
“A diet higher in plant-based foods . . . and lower in animal-based foods, is more health promoting and is associated with less environmental impact than is the current U.S. diet.”
Oh brother.

As always, push back against these crazed leftist anti-human eugenicists with raw facts and data. We've fought this battle before and won. The left's global warming, er, climate change, shucksters will simply transmogrify their agenda into some new hysterical end-of-times doom scenario.