The Arrogance of Our Own Conviction

“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.”

— Leonardo Davinci

Addison WigginDear Reader,

“I am stunned and shocked you would be talking to John Englander,” says a reader Edward, “but happy, he is the real deal, I hope his work penetrates your audience.”

As you know, this week we’re dipping our big toe into the ocean that is the climate change debate. At the outset, we’re getting exactly what we expected. A flood of reader mails. Here are a few:

“The not so amusing fact,” begins Denis, “there is no evidence that CO2 has any impact on the global temperature, hence no impact on ‘climate change’. Even worse, recently researchers in Oslo demonstrated via experiment that CO2 – at any level between ..04% and 100% has no impact on temperature. If that experiment stands, there can be no evidence demonstrating that CO2 has an impact on climate change.”

“Just watched the climate change alarmist who claims not to be an alarmist,” says Ron. We assume he’s referring to our guest John Englander. “Very disappointing,” Ron continues, “nothing he says is backed by scientific data and in fact refuted by much. CO2, which makes up only 0.04% of the atmosphere and is 94% naturally occurring, is not ‘layered’ but is intermixed, the idea that this super thin layer is “trapping” heat and reflecting it back down to earth has been disproven by several brilliant physicists, most notably Henrick Svensmark.”

So there’s one side of the debate. Here’s another:

“I can’t go surfing anymore with any small cuts,” Samuel writes, “because the ocean is so polluted. I haven’t worn my chaps and heavy leathers riding my motorcycle in the last five years because I haven’t needed them with the high temperatures in Florida’s winters. I haven’t had a hard freeze in ten years here in Central Florida. All of this is due to pollution, burning fossil fuels (per F.F. scientists themselves since the 1970’s), and letting a few rich folks spew lies to get richer. This is happening right before my eyes RE: 1984 by George Orwell.“

Here’s the money ending from Samuel: “There are not enough breath mints in the world to stop the B.S. stench you are spewing.”

So… the first two comments say Mr. Englander is going too far to address sea level rise. Samuel thinks we’re spewing B.S. to get rich.

Charles, our next reader, seems like a hardened skeptic. “It would be helpful if you can be more specific in your post. Vague messaging wastes the reader’s time. I still do not know what you stand for in regards to Climate Change. Or the meaning of some of the points you were trying to make.”

I thought I had been very clear. I have no “stand” on Climate Change. How could I? I will say while I’m writing this I’m Destin, Florida. It’s 86 degrees and very humid. It’s also mid-summer, so what should I expect?

My only opinion, at this point, is that climate change is what political strategists call a “wedge issue”. The subject gets people fired up. Political operatives want to get you fired up on one side or the other so you vote for their guy.

I don’t vote so I don’t really care about the wedge issue.

I’m curious about the science. And since I’m not a scientist myself on going on this trip with John to Greenland to learn with my own eyes, my own ears, take a risk about talking about it… and ask a lot of questions.

“It is challenging to accept the fact that much of what we believe right now,” “will, in 20, 100, 500, or 1,000 years, seem as absurd as some of the ideas above. But it would take a great deal of arrogance to believe anything else.” Saul continues:

And yet, that arrogance persists. In fact, it is one of the most important elements of a greater struggle we are facing in the modern world: how to fight the plethora of “misinformation” now available to the public. Arrogance in what we believe now is precisely what creates confidence that we can accurately and productively root out misinformation.

And, I would add, create policy to avoid a massive undertaking like climate change or sea level rise.

I’ll say it again, I don’t know enough about the “problem” to take a stand. I’ll apologize if that is not sufficient for you. But I’m not a scientist, my beat has been money, debt and the economy for nearly 30 years.

I’m interested in the climate change “wedge” because it is massively influencing global monetary policy, financial markets… the entire global economy. Most notably our ability to produce cheap energy and food – the very things that have helped us build the most prosperous society in human history.

And now the numbnuts who make monetary, energy, agriculture, environmental policy, have all been swooned by climate change because it gives them the authority they need to make change… whether we need it or not. I thought it might be learning a bit or two more about the subject.

Sri Lanka collapsed this week because the president prohibited the use of fertilizer. As Sean Ring points out in the Rude Awakening, Dutch farmers are getting shot at by their own police for protesting green policies. A few months ago, we covered the mess the PM in Canada, Trudeau (Klaus Scwab’s golden boy) made with the trucker’s protest.

And if you’ve noticed President Biden has gone, hat in hand, back to the Saudi’s to ask for an increase in oil production… which they won’t do because they have a deal with the Russians.

It’s a mess.

As Jim Rickards says in one of our Wiggin Sessions: “Climate Change is the perfect problem for globalists, because it requires a global solution.” Unfortunately, their “solutions” are making everything worse.

So it goes…

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin
Founder, The Wiggin Sessions

P.S. “I admire skeptics in science,” John Englander says, “that’s good. But when I relate it to the ice ages and how those two miles of ice that everybody knows covered North America and left things like Long Island and Cape Code as remnant relics of the retreating glaciers. We don’t doubt that the ice ages happen. But when I explain it in real context and say the ice ages, the glaciers created the Great Lakes 11,000 years ago, we tend to think they’re permanent. The Earth’s landforms are not permanent. They’re just durable.”

That makes sense to people. But now we’re in a super warming era. We’re already two degrees Fahrenheit, one degree Celsius, round figures warmer than we were before the industrial era. That extra heat is melting more ice. As ice melts more sea levels are going to rise. Now it could rise 10 feet, 20 feet, 30 feet. It depends on how warm we get and how quickly we warm. 

I try to be nonpolitical about, or certainly nonpartisan about it, and invite people to look at it through an environmental lens, through an economic lens, through a national security lens, through architecture, engineering. There’s lots of ways to get people’s interest to their own house.

You can consider John’s actual point of view in our Session, right here.

Tomorrow, we’ll be taking up the financial trend known as ESG… environmental, social, governance… in the financial markets.

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin is founder and executive publisher of Agora Financial LLC, an independent economic forecasting and financial research firm. He and Bill Bonner began writing the firm’s flagship Daily Reckoning in the midst of the tech boom and bust. It was one of the first widely distributed email newsletters on the Internet. The publication’s critical eye on finance and economics continues today. He’s also creator and editorial director of Agora Financial’s daily missive The 5 Min. Forecast.

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