We enjoyed this pungently-expressed article by Wesley Pruden in the Washington Times ...
Global warming: Been there, done that. Forward-looking folks are adjusting their fretting machinery now to something called Cycle 25. Button up your overcoats. Ice is on the way.
Global warming, which was mostly a scam invented by researchers looking for government grants, is over. The great warming phenomenon, which was supposed to have sent polar bears to vacation in Miami Beach by now, ended in 1997.
Britain's Met Office, which tracks weather and makes forecasts, and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit, the source of much global warming research (some of it faked, some of it not), agree, according to the London Daily Mail, that Planet Earth could even be heading for an icy patch “to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the [frozen-over] Thames in the 17th century.” They call this Cycle 25.
The report of the findings in Old Blighty follows an op-ed essay in the Wall Street Journal, signed by 16 eminent scientists, including both physicists and other climate researchers, that the panic promoted over global warming is not now, and never has been, shared by “large numbers of scientists, many very prominent.”
The number of these “heretics” is growing, and “the reason is a collection of stubborn scientific facts.” The chief among these “stubborn scientific facts” is that the global warming scare was bunk from the beginning, promoted by high priests of the great god Science, not actual scientists in pursuit of secular knowledge (think Al Gore).
“Why is there so much passion about global warming,” these 16 eminent scientists asked, “and why has the issue become so vexing that the American Physical Society … refused the seemingly reasonable request by so many of its members to remove the word ‘incontrovertible’ from its description of a scientific issue? There are several reasons, but a good place to start is the old question of ‘cui bono?’ Or the modern update, ‘follow the money.’ “
The rising temperatures which led some researchers to panic like frightened teenage girls fretting over prom dates, actually began to subside when sunspot activity began to subside. According to this new research, sunspot numbers are less than half of those recorded during the cycle peaks when scientific hysteria was at its wildest at the end of the 20th century. The sun is moving now toward a “grand minimum” of sunspot activity, which would threaten cooler summers, colder winters and shorter growing seasons. It’s all part of the natural cycle of something the rest of us call “nature.”
Sunspots appear to be the villains. Since the sun is beyond the control of scientists, this makes their hair hurt and teeth itch. Scientists at the Met Office, which concedes that global warming has subsided, nevertheless argue still that the impact of the sun on climate is far less than man-made carbon dioxide (or cow-made, since bovine flatulence has been cited as contributing to climate change). “Our findings,” says the Met Office, “suggest [that] a reduction of solar activity to levels not seen in hundreds of years would be insufficient to offset the dominant influence of greenhouse gases.”
This frustrates cooler heads in the Church of Science. Says Henrik Svensmark, director of Denmark’s sun-climate research: “It will take a long battle to convince some climate scientists that the sun is important. It may well be that the sun is going to demonstrate this on its own, without the need for their help.”
The Met Office, like most of the global-warmist strongholds, relies on computer models for emanations of the penumbras of doom. These models did not foresee the pause in global warming, but the Met insists the models are still valid. Judith Curry of Georgia Tech, regarded as one of the most eminent American climate scholars, finds the prediction of a “negligible” impact of sunspot activity on climate difficult to understand.
“The responsible thing to do would be to accept the fact that the models may have severe shortcomings when it comes to the influence of the sun,” she told the Mail. She thinks it more likely that the rising and falling of the temperature of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans have more influence on climate than man-made carbon dioxide.
“If we don’t see convincing evidence of global warming by 2015,” says Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, “it will start to become clear that the models are bunk.” Heavy-breathing humans and flatulent cows will be off the hook, and a lot of scam artists will be pushed away from the public trough and on the street looking for work.
Meanwhile our own James Delingpole, who can't see why the Global Warming crooks should be the only ones to profit from the weather, has just published a new book which sounds interesting. He writes ...
Just imagine a world where you never had to worry about global warming, where the ice caps, the ‘drowning’ Maldives and the polar bears were all doing just fine. Imagine a world where CO2 was our friend, fossil fuels were a miracle we should cherish, and economic growth made the planet cleaner, healthier, happier and with more open spaces.
Actually, there’s no need to imagine: it already exists. So why do so many people still believe otherwise?
How come, against so much evidence, everyone from the BBC to your kids’ teachers to the Coalition government (though that may change somewhat now Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has resigned), to the President of the Royal Society to the Prince of Wales continues to pump out the message that man-made ‘climate change’ is a major threat?
Why, when the records show that there has been no global warming since 1997, are we still squandering billions of pounds trying to avert it? These are some of the questions I set out to answer in my new book — which I can guarantee will not make me popular with environmentalists.
Almost every day, on Twitter or by email, I get violent messages of hate directed not just at me, but even my children. I’ve been criticised by websites such as the Campaign Against Climate Change (Honorary President: the environmental activist and writer George Monbiot). I’ve had a green activist set up a false website in my name to misdirect my internet traffic. I’ve been vilified everywhere from the Guardian to a BBC Horizon documentary as a wicked ‘denier’ who knows nothing about science.
Not that I’m complaining. Margaret Thatcher once famously said: ‘I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.’ That’s just how I feel about my critics’ ad hominem assaults. They’re born not of strength but out of sheer desperation.
The turning point towards some semblance of sanity in the great climate war came in November 2009 with the leak of the notorious Climategate emails from the University of East Anglia. What these showed is that the so-called ‘consensus’ science behind Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) — i.e. the theory that man-made CO2 is causing our planet to heat up in a dangerous, unprecedented fashion — simply cannot be trusted.
The experts had, for years, been twisting the evidence, abusing the scientific process, breaching Freedom of Information requests (by illegally hiding or deleting emails and taxpayer-funded research) and silencing dissent in a way which removes all credibility from the scaremongering reports they write for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (The IPCC is the heavily politicised but supposedly neutral UN advisory body which has been described by President Obama as the ‘gold standard’ of international climate science.)
Since Climategate, the scientific case against AGW theory has hardened still further. Experiments at the CERN laboratory in Geneva have supported the theory of Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark that the sun — not man-made CO2 — is the biggest driver of climate change. The latest data released by the Met Office, based on readings from 30,000 measuring stations, confirms there has been no global warming for 15 years.
Now, with sunspot activity (solar flares caused by magnetic activity) at its lowest since the days of the 17th-century frost fairs on the Thames, it seems increasingly likely we are about to enter a new mini Ice Age. Should we be bothered by this? Of course we should. Not only does it mean that for the rest of our lives we’re likely to be doomed to experience colder winters and duller summers, but it also makes us victims of perhaps the most expensive fraud in history.
Over the past 20 years, across the Western world, billions of pounds, dollars and euros have been squandered by governments on hare-brained schemes to ‘combat climate change’. Taxes have been raised, regulations increased, flights made more expensive, incandescent light bulbs banned, landscapes despoiled by ugly, bird-chomping wind farms, economic growth curtailed — all to deal with what now turns out to have been a non-existent problem: man-made CO2.
But if anthropogenic warming is not the threat environmentalists would have us believe, why do so many people believe it is? And how come so many disparate groups — from the hair-shirt anti-capitalist activists of Greenpeace and Friends Of The Earth to the executives of big corporations, to politicians of every hue from Gordon Brown to David Cameron to scientists at NASA and the UEA — are working together to promote this pernicious myth?
The short answer is ‘follow the money’.
Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit at the UEA which was at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ scandal, for example, was given £13.7 million in grants for his department’s research work; the environmental non-governmental organisations such as Greenpeace came on board because scaremongering helps them raise revenue.
You’re not going to give money to the charity’s Project Thin Ice if you think the polar bear is good for another 10,000 years, but you might if you’re told it’s seriously endangered.
Politicians were attracted because it was a good way of being seen to be addressing an issue of popular concern, and a handy excuse to put up taxes. Big corporations joined in the scam as (a) it enabled them to ‘greenwash’ their image through campaigns like BP’s ‘Beyond Petroleum’ and (b) it meant all that extra environmental regulation would be a handy way of pricing their smaller competitors out of the market place.
But money isn’t the only reason. If you read the private emails of the Climategate scientists, what you discover is that most of them genuinely believe in the climate change peril. That’s why they lied about the evidence and why they tried to destroy the careers of those scientists who disagreed with them: because they wanted to scare politicians into action before time ran out. This was not science, in other words, but political activism.
A similar ‘end justifies the means’ mentality seems to prevail among all those environmental lobby groups. They don’t exaggerate or misrepresent because they’re bad people. They do it, as a former head of Greenpeace once charmingly put it when accused of having overstated the decline in Arctic sea ice, to ‘emotionalise the issue’; because they want to make the rest of the world care about these issues as much as they do.
Powerful feelings, though, are hardly the most sensible basis for global policy. Especially not when, as it turns out, they are based on a misreading of the facts. One of the grimmest ironies of the modern environmental movement is just how much damage it has done to the planet in the name of ‘saving’ it. Green biofuels (crops such as palm oil grown for fuel) have not only led to the destruction of millions of acres of rainforest in Asia, Africa and South America, but are now known to produce four times more CO2 pollution than fossil fuels.
Wind farms, besides blighting views, destroying topsoil and causing massive noise pollution, kill around 400,000 birds a year in the US alone.
Environmentalists, in fact, have a disastrous track record when it comes to predictions and policy recommendations. Rachel Carson’s 1962 bestseller Silent Spring — which promised a cancer epidemic from pesticides — led to a near worldwide ban on the malarial pesticide DDT, thus condemning millions in the Third World to die from malaria.
Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb, meanwhile, rehearsed another of the green movement’s favourite themes: overpopulation. By the Seventies and Eighties, he warned, hundreds of millions of us would be dying like flies because there wouldn’t be enough food.
(We have written many times on this site about Ehrlich's ridiculous predictions, which have included the total death of all sealife by the year 2000 - GOS)
Why did Ehrlich’s prediction never come to pass? Because, like most of the greenies’ doomsday scenarios, it overlooked one vital factor: progress. Because the green movement has for years been ideologically wedded to the notion that mankind is an ecological curse (‘The Earth has a cancer. The cancer is man’, as a global think tank called The Club of Rome, which includes several current and former heads of state, puts it), it fails to understand the role which technology, human ingenuity and adaption play in our species’ survival. Ehrlich’s population disaster was averted thanks to a brilliant American scientist called Norman Borlaug who devised new mutant strains of wheat which managed to treble cereal production on the starving Indian subcontinent.
(Only last night we were watching a comedy programme, “Room 101”, and heard nature-nut Chris Packham explaining that he would like to exterminate the entire human race because they'd made such a mess of things. Badgers, Great White Sharks and termites would have done a much better job, presumably. Besides, how do you define “a mess”, exactly? Drive round nine tenths of the British Isles and I reckon you'd get the impression that it isn't a mess at all, quite the opposite - GOS)
Of course, there is still widespread concern over the use of genetically modified crops, but scientists argue that with proper safeguards in place they can actually be more environmentally friendly than conventional crops, using less water and fewer pesticides.
Similar technological advances in the field of energy make a nonsense of environmentalists’ claims that we are running out of fuel: long before coal ran out came the petroleum revolution; and, though we still have plenty of oil left, we now have the miracle of shale gas which lies in abundance everywhere from Blackpool to the North Sea, and is released using blasts of high-pressure liquid to open pockets of gas in rock. When, many decades hence, that runs out we will start to harvest clathrates (solid methane deposits) buried on the ocean floor. Economic progress is not our enemy but our friend. It is an historical fact that the richer nations are, the more money they have to spare on ensuring a cleaner environment: compare the relatively clean air in London to the choking smog that envelops Beijing and Delhi; look at where the worst ecological disasters happened in the last century — under impoverished Communist regimes, from the Aral Sea to Chernobyl.
But the greens refuse to accept this because, according to their quasi-religious doctrine, industrial civilisation is a curse and economic growth a disease which can only be cured by rationing and self-sacrifice, higher taxes and greater state control.
That’s why I call my new book Watermelons — because it’s about zealots who are green on the outside, but in political terms, red on the inside. If only their views weren’t so influential, in schools, universities, in the media, in the corridors of power, the global economy wouldn’t be nearly in the mess it’s in today.
As someone who loves long walks in unspoilt countryside and who wants a brighter future for his children, I’m sickened by the way environmental activists tar anyone who disagrees with them as a selfish, polluting, anti-science ‘denier’. The real deniers are those ideological greens who refuse to look at hard evidence (not just pie-in-the-sky computer models which are no more accurate than the suspect data fed into them) and won’t accept that their well-intentioned schemes to make our world a better place are in fact making it uglier, poorer and less free.
You can find James Delingpole's book “Watermelons: How Environmentalists Are Killing The Planet, Destroying The Economy And Stealing Your Children’s Future” here.
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