Climate is what you expect; weather is what you get.
Climate change (CC) is not exactly a new phenomenon: the climate has been “changing” for four and a half billion years, “change” being what climate does. However it was officially discovered as an imminent threat to the planet and humanity on 3 February 2005 at a conference in Exeter (UK) coordinated by the Meteorological Office’s Hadley Centre. “The Exeter meeting had two main aims”, writes the palaeoclimatologist Professor Robert Carter: “First, replacing the term global warming (which was no longer happening) with climate change (which always would be); and, second, adopting, for entirely political reasons, a fanciful 2°C target as the ‘dangerous’ amount of warming that politicians should be advised that they were to prevent.” Actually “climate change” had already crept into the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change (1994) where it was defined as the purely man-made (anthropogenic) part of it, thus skilfully leaving out the majority of climate change that has natural causes.(1)
Nevertheless many climate change protagonists are convinced that man-made climate change is the villain of the piece because it will lead to a tipping point (“tipping points” are very fashionable amongst futurologists, even if they can only really be worked out in retrospect). The culprits must not only be fingered, but also made to pay for their crimes against the planet. Possibly we have been here before: “The most active period of the witchcraft trials”, wrote Dr Emily Oster in The Journal of Economic Perspectives in 2004, “coincides with a period of lower than average temperature known to climatologists as the ‘little ice age’… In a time period when the reasons for changes in weather were largely a mystery, people would have searched for a scapegoat in the face of deadly changes in weather patterns. ‘Witches’ became targets for blame because there was an existing cultural framework that both allowed their persecution and suggested that they could control the weather.”
CC alarmists are extremely hostile to the idea that man might adapt to climate change, rather than trying to predict what can not be accurately predicted and prevent what, to a large degree, cannot be prevented. Adaptation is, after all, what mankind has practised since it first appeared on earth and is the reason for its survival. As Nigel Lawson(2) has observed, two of the most successful economies in the world, Finland and Singapore, have annual average temperatures that differ by more than 22 degrees centigrade. As to global warming, (q.v. under “G”: Global Warming) alarmists are notably unkeen to mention any of the benefits it might engender, preferring the disaster scenarios that bring them fame and research funding. However, as Björn Lomborg pointed out in 2009, “winter regularly takes many more lives than any heat wave: 25,000 to 50,000 each year die in Britain from excess cold. Across Europe, there are six times more cold-related deaths than heat-related deaths… By 2050… warmer temperatures will save 1.4 million lives each year.”(3) Observations of this kind got him into a lot of hot water.
You certainly wouldn’t think that the alarming projections of climate change models were not predictions from the way the press reports them; nor would you be aware that, if you tweak a model just a little, a future catastrophe becomes a benign scenario – or vice versa. As has frequently been pointed out, the modellers themselves do not say they “predict” the future climate: they make models of possible socio-economic scenarios from their outputs, which of course are substantially dependent on the assumptions behind their inputs. In any case, for many parts of the climate system (for example the processes that occur within clouds), the scientists’ incomplete knowledge of the relevant physics requires “parameterisation” in the models – for which, says Robert Carter, read “educated guesses”.(4)
Like all religions, climate change also has its own eschatology, a sort of inverted millenarianism in which an ecological “tipping point” will shortly be reached, or has been reached, beyond which our planet is doomed. Anyone who questions this assertion, or the “science” adduced to support it, is clearly aligned with the devil. Hence the character assassination, abuse and accusations of bad faith that characterise the debate between true believers (who claim to have all “serious” scientists on their side) and sceptics who refuse to conform, unmoved by threats and ridicule. As C. S. Lewis remarked, “of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive… those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience”. Isaiah Berlin put the same idea in a historical context when he wrote: “Disregard for the preferences and interests of individuals alive today in order to pursue some distant social goal that their rulers have claimed is their duty to promote has been a common cause of misery for people throughout the ages.”(5)
Like all true believers, the warmists and alarmists know that they are in possession of “the truth”, which means of course that they are morally superior to the sceptics. The latter, they say, are simply stooges financed by the fossil fuel industry. The fact that virtually all research grants and state sponsorship go to those who are clearly working with the underlying assumptions of climate change orthodoxy, and that such people are therefore much better financed than their opponents, obviously doesn’t count. Currently, writes Professor Carter in 2010, “global warming alarmism is fuelled by an estimated worldwide expenditure on related research and greenhouse bureaucracy of more than US$10 billion annually”. Diplomatically he adds that the “power of such sums of money to corrupt, not only the politics of greenhouse but even the scientific process itself, should not be underestimated”.(6) As Matthew Sinclair(7) has pointed out, the cumulative funding of environmental lobbies hugely exceeds the funds raised by those questioning aspects of their work (and are all the donors to such lobbies aware of the extent to which their money is being applied to CC propaganda?). Characteristically the EU even funds environmental bodies (with our money) to lobby itself on this issue!
AGW (anthropogenic global warming) and CC propaganda justifies runaway expenditure and counterproductive policies (e.g. biofuel subsidy that inter alia reduces world food supplies for the poorest) in order to forestall an unproven future scenario by applying the so-called “precautionary principle”. This is predicated on the idea that something might happen, and would be so disastrous if it did that we must spend trillions of dollars on prophylactic measures, regardless of potentially devastating effects on our economies. Just as the possible benign effects of GW are seldom mentioned, so also is it taboo to point out that the costs of the measures currently proposed (and to some extent already being implemented) may far exceed the relative costs of dealing with anticipated damage when and if it occurs. To the true green fundamentalist cost–benefit analysis is just another part of capitalism’s “false consciousness”. The huge sums to be spent on the putative prevention of warming through emission reduction schemes, subsidies to uneconomic green energy such as wind turbines, job losses, green taxes and all the rest of it will not dismay someone who is engaged on the important business of saving the planet. The respected climatologist John Christy, testifying before the US Congress Ways and Means Committee on this topic in 2009, said that he had used the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)(8) climate models in his calculations. He found that if the mooted (and costly) carbon dioxide cap-and-trade system were to be adopted by the USA, the net global impact would at most be [a warming reduction] of one hundredth of a degree by 2100; and if the whole world adopted the same measure, the effect would be less than four hundredths of a degree by 2100, both amounts too small to be instrumentally measured anyway.(9)
Since the IPCC itself assumes that people alive in 2100 will, on average, be between four and eighteen times as wealthy as people are today due to economic growth, it seems odd to recommend throttling our own generation’s prosperity on their behalf. As Matt Ridley puts it in The Rational Optimist, such a view implies “that your impoverished great great great grandfather, whose standard of living was roughly that of a modern Zambian, should have put aside most of his income to pay your bills today”.(10) Conversely the 4°C, let alone the implausible 6°C, of future warming conjured by the Stern Report can only actually occur (assuming we accept the AGW argument) if it is accompanied by exponential increases in human prosperity brought about by the very growth which (it is claimed) will have caused the climate change in the first place. So either countries in the future will easily be rich enough to cope with the possible fallout from possible global warming (the IPCC’s own assessments suggest that they should be), or they will fail to grow economically, in which case their carbon dioxide emissions will be insufficient to cause the rapid global warming that the IPCC asserts is man-made. The sages of the IPCC can hardly have it both ways. Besides which, Stern only gets to his dramatic spending requirements by using a very low discount rate, which is “the cost of doing something now versus the benefit accrued in the future”. Economists typically use a discount rate of 6% in analogous calculations, but Stern arbitrarily uses 2.1% for the twenty-first century, 1.9% for the twenty-second and 1.4% for subsequent centuries in order to get projections that even “warmists” like the economist William Nordhaus say are nonsense.(11)
And all this is before one even gets into the question of wind-farms that frequently operate at around 30% of capacity and require fossil fuel power stations to back them up when the wind doesn’t blow, not to mention dozens of other costly “green energy” commitments. Consumers and taxpayers have begun to realise what “green energy” solutions actually mean for them – much higher energy prices for a start, as well as subsidies to rich landowners, corporate welfare for big companies and sundry other dysfunctional consequences. Even the warmist Financial Times points out that Germany’s energy policy is “an unholy mess”, partly as a consequence of the panicked and ill-considered decision to decommission all the country’s nuclear power plants, and partly because of a “renewables” policy designed to appease Green fundamentalists. The consequence is that German electricityis 40% more costly for consumers and 20% more expensive for industrial users than the European Union average. German companies must pay almost three times as much as their US competitors for electricity. Meanwhile its carbon emissions are rising because the US shale gas boom means more cheap coal is being exported from the USA to Germany (and Europe) – mostly to keep going all those coal- fired stations that are required to step in when the wind doesn’t turn the wind turbines.(12) It’s a story out of Angela im Wunderland.
But surely if all these distinguished and saintly experts from Barack Obama to Cate Blanchett have embraced the cause of “Climate Change”, there must be something in it? Surely, if Dame Vivienne Westwood tells us that our “rotten economic system” (of which her multimillion dollar fashion business is not, of course, a part) is “destroying the planet”, or George Monbiot is applauded by Guardian readers for his demand that “every time someone dies as a result of floods in Bangladesh, an airline executive should be dragged out of his office and drowned”,(13) we should drop what we’re doing and rush to the nearest Climate Change protest venue? Mike Hulme, a Professor of Climate Change at the University of East Anglia, has written a candid book in which he is quite open about the ideological (as opposed to purely scientific) basis of the movement he supports: “I came to view global climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions as a manifestation of a free-market, consumption driven, capitalist economy – an ideology to which I was opposed… I began to see climate change increasingly as an issue of public policy and strategic decision making and less as an object of detached quantitative scientific analysis” (italics added).(14)
Once the belief that the matter is too urgent to be left to scientific analysis has been embraced, any means used to persuade people of the purported problem and to advance the proposed solution become legitimate (see also under “A” – Advocacy Science). For example, a secret meeting in 2006 between a group of green activists and the BBC hierarchy resulted in the latter agreeing to refuse airtime for the views of those who (however well qualified) were sceptical of the approved line on climate change and global warming. The BBC spent years in legal manoeuvres trying to conceal the names of the participants at this meeting, not surprisingly since the agreement that was reached directly contradicts the mission to inform embodied in the Corporation’s Charter.(15)
The battle for hearts and minds, as with all religions, has taken on a more sinister aspect with attempts to pre-empt the climate change discussion in schools, including the use of An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore’s apocalyptic cod science film. After protests, the High Court intervened and ordered that it should not be shown without “corrective” guidance from teachers, since it contained nine fundamental scientific errors. Given the hysteria on climate change generated in the media and by government or academe, one has reasonable grounds for scepticism in regard to the zeal with which teachers supply such guidance… Later, an “infotainment” video,(16) filmed at Camden School for Girls in 2010 and intended for use as global warming propaganda in cinemas and on TV, proved to be a spectacular own goal. Inter alia it featured a chirpy teacher asking her class if they were going to support the 10.10 campaign to reduce their carbon footprints. When two pupils seem insufficiently enthusiastic, the teacher presses a detonator to blow up the refuseniks, whose blood and guts explode all over their fellow pupils. This was too much for the mainstream tree-hugging fraternity, which was evidently unimpressed by the film’s Monty Python-style insouciance in regard to violence and the film was withdrawn. Its co-producer Fran Armstrong said: “Clearly we didn’t really think [people] should be blown up. That’s just a joke for the mini-movie; but maybe a little amputation would be a good place to start.”
The AGW sceptics gleefully seized on what became known as “splattergate,” ridiculously suggesting that the film represented an endorsement of homicidal blood lust (a sense of humour is always in short supply when it comes to matters of religion). Its problem was not blood lust, but dishonesty.
Although climate change fanatics are usually among the keenest to protect children in every possible way, evidently subjecting them to propaganda on this subject at an early age is considered acceptable and the Curtis film was not alone. The website of Australia’s public broadcaster (ABC) was a case in point. It provided a “greenhouse gas calculator”, by means of which “primary school children were encouraged to work out the amount of carbon dioxide that their activities produce”, and thereby – and I am not making this up – “to find out what age you should die at, so you don’t use more than your fair share of the earth’s resources”.(17) Professor Richard Dawkins has suggested that bringing up children to believe in God constitutes “child abuse”. This website would seem to fall into the same category.
1988 was the year when “climate change” took off and so did the language used to describe it. A study in 2006/7 explained how “the alarmist repertoire adopts an inflated language with terms such as ‘catastrophe’, ‘chaos’ and ‘havoc’… It employs a quasi-religious register of doom, death, judgement, heaven and hell. It also uses the language of acceleration, increase, intractability, irreversibility and momentum.”(18)
This makes good press headlines, good publicity for opportunist politicians – and good money for research scientists in the field. It also assists the hijacking of the issue by apocalyptic ideologists. A former Environment Minister in Canada let the cat out of the bag when she said: “No matter if the science of global warming is all phoney… climate change [provides] the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”(19) In other words, “the aim of rhetorical apocalyptic warnings is not to predict the future, but to change it”.(20) A similar desire to scare people into behaving as authority desires (one of the oldest psychological tactics of religion) has been evident in a string of apocalyptic narratives from Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962) through Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb (1968) and the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth (1972). It matters not that Ehrlich’s apocalyptic population scenario wholly failed to tally with subsequent developments in the real world, or that the Club of Rome’s assertion that “fossil fuel” would have run out (not “might” or “could have” run out) by the turn of the millennium was simply false. In 2011 (!), the renowned energy expert Dr Dieter Helm wrote in The Guardian that “the real problem is that there may be too much fossil fuel, not too little”. The accuracy or otherwise of previous predictions are, it seems, not the point.
What then is the point? Reading the propaganda carefully and looking between the lines, you will discover that “the point” is that capitalism is the evil mechanism destroying the planet through exploitative growth. Growth is the great Satan that has to be checked by “transnational” solutions customarily supplied by universalist utopian ideologies, which in turn segue into totalitarian forms of government. Eric Hobsbawm, the Marxist historian and a long-standing Communist, helpfully let another cat out of the bag when he blandly observed that “democracy, however desirable, is not an effective device for solving global or transnational problems”(21) (“however desirable” is nice).
The propaganda battle between believers and sceptics was long an uneven one, since people had little way of knowing the extent to which they were being manipulated. Recently, to the dismay of zealots, it has seemed that the sceptics are making headway. Nevertheless claims are constantly made that the “science is settled”, although if that were true, it would not be science, and anyway this was the view espoused by Galileo’s persecutors in the Inquisition. “I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked”, said the late Michael Crichton, the author of Jurassic Park: “Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.” Speaking in 2003 he said: “Historically the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled… consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world… The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus… If it’s consensus it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”(22)
Actually, even the oft claimed “consensus” is misrepresented in its own terms. In 2013, headlines in the press trumpeted that 97% of scientists who had looked into the matter believed global warming was man-made. As so often with press misrepresentation, it was probably assumed no one would look more closely at the source of this information. Anyone who did would find that the relevant report actually said the following: “We analyse the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11,944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”(23) (Italics added.) Even those with weak mathematical skills can probably work out that 66% expressing no opinion is rather more than 32% expressing a specific one, even if that 32% almost all blamed humans for GW.
Then again rhetorical attempts are constantly made to imply that sceptics of current claims by APW and CC protagonists may be likened to those who deny the holocaust. Clearly such persons must not only be refuted but also punished (as are holocaust deniers under German and Austrian law). A writer in the Christian Science Monitor in 2009 “wonders what sentences judges might hand down at future international criminal tribunals on those who will be partially but directly responsible for millions of deaths from starvation, famine and disease in the decades ahead”. Politicians and activists constantly invoke comparisons of climate change catastrophe with terrorism, war, even in one case with the asteroid that is said to have wiped out the dinosaurs. “Climate change is a result of the greatest market failure the world has seen… We risk damages on a scale larger than the two world wars of the last century”, writes Sir Nicholas Stern in The Guardian (2007). Stern is the British Al Gore; his headline-grabbing report made for the British government was comprehensively rubbished by Richard Tol, the Dutch Professor of the Economics of Climate Change, who opined that it was alarmist, incompetent and preposterous,(24) and that “its academic value was zero”. As previously stated, Stern’s most dramatic scenarios depended on his manipulation of the “discount rate” customarily applied in economic project planning. Tol said the Stern report contained “errors that were systematic and suggestive of ideological bias”. Needless to say that has not stopped it being constantly cited as authoritative.
Bias of another kind surfaced in the amusing “climategate” scandal, where emails intercepted between AGW/CC protagonists at the University of East Anglia and colleagues elsewhere seemed to show attempts to manipulate scientific evidence in order to arrive at a pre-determined outcome. “I received an astonishing email from a major researcher in the area of climate change”, testified Dr David Deming(25) before a Senate Committee in 2006. “He said, ‘We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period!’… In 1999, Michael Mann and his colleagues published a reconstruction of past temperatures in which the MWP simply vanished….” (The MWP is sensitive because there were infinitesimal carbon emissions caused by human activity in the Middle Ages compared to the period since the industrial revolution, yet the planet warmed.)
All this is irrelevant to fundamentalists of course: “The Earth has cancer and the cancer is man”, proclaimed the second report of the Club of Rome, 1974. “The existence of the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period were an embarrassment to the global-warming establishment, because they showed that the current warming is almost indistinguishable from previous warmings and coolings that had nothing to do with burning fossil fuel”, wrote the physicist Dr William Happer in 2011. “The organisation charged with producing scientific support for the climate change crusade, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), finally found a solution. They rewrote the climate history of the past 1000 years with the celebrated ‘hockey stick’ temperature record” (for “hockey stick” see below).
The IPCC and Dr Michael Mann are indeed the pantomime villains of the piece. The dubious practices of the IPCC (exclusion of papers that don’t follow the required line, abuse of the peer review process, cherry-picking data) have been repeatedly highlighted by opponents whom the “warmists” try to depict as a tiny handful of disgruntled pseudo-scientists in the pay of “fossil fuel”. “In my more than 60 years as a member of the American scientific community, including service as president of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society, I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer- review process than the events that led to this IPCC report”, wrote the physicist Dr Fredrick Seitz in The Wall Street Journal in 1996, commenting on the IPCC Second Assessment Report; similar views have been voiced by others who found their papers had been included but tampered with. Dr Seitz is a controversial figure on the sceptics’ side, but his controversiality pales beside that of the Dr Michael Mann on the other side who invented the “hockey stick graph” purporting to show a sudden and dramatic upward surge in global warming in the twentieth century. This remarkable discovery conveniently underpinned the main ideological thrust of the IPCC, which gave it prominence in its third report in 2001. After some devastating analyses of its methodology (it took time, because Dr Mann long refused to divulge his raw material) the hockey stick’s blade began to show distinct signs of brewer’s droop and the IPCC thought it prudent to drop it in the next report.
It is somewhat refreshing to read by contrast the following contribution from a scientifically-minded lady blogger, which is perhaps just as likely to be right as the alarmists’ prophecies of doom – especially in view of the fact that there has been no “global warming” since 1998: “The true situation”, she wrote, “is probably just what most informed people thought before the IPCC and Mann invented the hockey stick. To wit: the Earth has been typically warm (and pleasant) for more than a half billion years. There have been four relatively short ice ages for reasons not perfectly understood. We have been in an ice age for about two million years. For at least the last million years there has been a cycle of about ninety thousand years of cold (very cold indeed) alternating with about ten thousand warm years. Within our present interglacial there seem to be smaller cycles of warmth and cold of about five hundred years. There was the Roman Warm Period followed by the cold Dark Ages, followed by the Medieval Warm Period, followed by the Little Ice Age. We seem to be about a century into the Modern Warm Period which should last for a couple more centuries if the pattern holds. This is very good news.”
Perhaps the last word on the subject should go to comedian Jay Leno, who said: “According to a new UN report, the global warming outlook is much worse than originally predicted. Which is pretty bad, when they originally predicted it would destroy the planet.”
PS: An alarm call from the respected ecology magazine Nature on 6 March 1975: “A recent flurry of papers has provided further evidence for the belief that the Earth is cooling. There now seems little doubt that changes over the past few years are more than a minor statistical fluctuation.” (Italics added.)
PPS: “Al Gore likes to say that mankind puts 70 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every day. What he probably doesn’t know is that mother nature puts 24,000 times that amount of our main greenhouse gas – water vapour – into the atmosphere every day and removes about the same amount every day. While this does not ‘prove’ that global warming is not man-made, it shows that weather systems have by far the greatest control over the Earth’s greenhouse effect, which is dominated by water vapour and clouds.” This is from climatologist Dr Roy Spencer’s website, “Global Warming and Nature’s Thermostat”, 28 January 2008. (Admittedly Dr Spencer believes in “intelligent design”, rather than evolution, but one can’t have everything.)
1 See: Robert M. Carter: Climate: The Counter Consensus (Stacey International, London, 2010), pp. 34–35. Also pp. 72–75, where he documents that “man’s carbon dioxide contribution is small in the context of the planetary carbon system” (CO°2 emissions are accused of causing “global warming”, alias “climate change” etc. etc.).
2 However ex-Chancellor, ex-Energy Secretary Lawson is the bogeyman of “climate change” and “global warming” fundamentalists since he founded an institute to examine their claims and to question current energy policies. The Observer’s Environment Correspondent dismissed his views on the highly scientific grounds that he (Lawson) is “fat and elderly”.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, the quotations in this section have been taken from a list of 450 compiled by the author Steve Goreham. Although Goreham is sceptical about the claims of climate change protagonists, this extensive list includes statements from all sides of the debate and is helpfully structured under different topics. It may be located at www.climatism.net/quotes-on- climate-change-environment-and-energy/
4 Robert M. Carter: op. cit., Introduction, p. 31.
5 Quoted in I. Byatt: Climate Change Policy: Challenging the Activists, Institute of Economic Affairs, 2008.
6 Carter: op cit., pp. 188–9.
7 Matthew Sinclair: Let Them Eat Carbon: The Price of Failing Climate Change Policies, and How Governments and Big Business Profit from Them, Biteback Publishing, London, 2011, pp. 217 ff. Sinclair adds that “activists who claim that they would prevail if it wasn’t for corporations and well-funded lobby groups are deluded. The world’s largest companies are generally lobbying for more climate change regulation not less” (p. 210). This is not least because of the subsidies available to them for toeing the line on climate change or investing in renewables. With some big industries, such “corporate welfare” has effectively become part of the business model.
8 International Panel on Climate Change is the world body leading CC alarmism, but increasingly discredited through revelations of doctored inputs, misrepresentation of scientists’ views and much else.
9 Carter: op cit., p. 215. http://waysandmeans.house.gov/hearings.asp?formmode=view&id=7847
10 Matt Ridley: The Rational Optimist, Fourth Estate, London, 2011, p. 331.
11 Ridley: op cit., p. 331.
12 See Tony Barber: “Subsidy distortion has generated German energy chaos”, Financial Times, 27 Sept. 2013. Despite such a lucid demonstration of the incoherence in energy policy resulting from “global warming” alarmism, the FT editorial line to date continues faithfully to adhere to “Climate Change” orthodoxy. A lead article by its senior commentator Martin Wolf even complained pathetically that the opponents of this orthodoxy had done their job “too well” and people were beginning to doubt if it was well-founded. Not the FT however. In a separate and unrelated article Wolf draws attention to the dangerous disillusion with democracy consequent on the recent failures of the governing and opinion-forming elites in the western democracies – two disastrous and ill-considered wars, financial meltdown, euro crisis and (what he doesn’t say) climate change zealotry leading to damaging economic policies…
13 The Guardian, 5 Dec 2006. Carbon emissions from airlines are said by CC scientists to account for some 2% of total anthropogenic (man-made) emissions.
14 Mike Hulme: Why We Disagree About Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, 2009, pp. xxx, xxxi, xxxii.
15 The meeting was co-hosted by the Director of Television and the Director of News. “The (untrue) message delivered was that the science supporting global warming was so certain that it was the BBC’s public duty to cease providing airtime to alternative viewpoints.” – Robert Carter: op cit., p. 232.
16 “No Pressure” produced by the Global Warming Mitigation Campaign 10.10 and made by the well-known film director Richard Curtis. If satire (on either side of the argument) has become taboo in dealing with a topic, you know you’re into fundamentalist territory, where threats have replaced arguments. For example an AGW blogger suggests that sceptics should be brought before courts modelled on the Nuremberg trials of the Nazis.
17 Carter: op cit., p. 182.
18 Quoted in Hulme: op cit., p. 67.
19 Christine Stewart, Environment Minister for Canada, 1998. Quoted in Mike Hulme: op cit., p. 354.
20 Hulme: op. cit., p. 247.
21 Eric Hobsbawm in Globalisation, Democracy and Terrorism (Ed. Hobsbawm), Little Brown, London, 2007, p. 118. Quoted in Hulme: op. cit., p. 308. Evidently he didn’t think democracy all that desirable anyway, since he once suggested that Stalin’s mass murdering might have been justifiable if the Communist utopia had actually resulted therefrom.
22 Michael Crichton: “Aliens cause global warming”. Speech at the California Institute of Technology, 17 Jan. 2003 and available at http://www.michaelcrichton.net/speech-alienscauseglobalwarming.html
23 See iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/02402/article
24 Matt Ridley: op. cit., p. 331.
25 Deming, a geologist and geophysicist, has right-wing views that don’t accord with liberal orthodoxy in American academe and has been targeted by his university in a way that, were he a liberal, would result in a nationwide outcry. However most liberals seemed to think it was right to marginalise him, even by unconstitutional means.