About a year ago, almost to the day, in this column, you may recall a bold prediction, fearlessly made. But lest you don’t, which is highly likely, since most of us wouldn’t remember a Higgs bison if we saw one in a game park, here it is again, much as it appeared 12 months ago:
If you’re worried about all the things you have to worry about, cheer up. Here’s one thing you won’t have to worry about any more. Global warming (remember, this was a prediction) will be the Great Disappearing Act of 2011. It will sink like a stone, exit stage left and generally melt away. Whoopee!
Inspired by the sneaky leaking of all those dodgy East Anglian emails – proof positive of scientific fraud, collusion and deceit – the prediction relied on one basic assumption.
Journalists never admit they’re wrong (see phone hacking). They just stop being wrong. When caught with their sceptical pants down and the spotty globes of their credulity exposed, they simply drop the story and move to something else.
Which is precisely what’s happened. Global warming has left the building.
Where once there were hundreds of horror stories, a daily dose of frightening features, a nightly stack of belching chimneys on the telly (mainly belching steam, in truth, but they still looked really scary) we’ve now got, well, (nervous cough, awkward shuffle) ummm, sweet Fanny Adams, to be frank. There has been a trickle of terror but, by and large, the whole calamitous narrative is a goneburger.
The end isn’t nigh (or nowhere near as nigh as it was). Doomsday’s stuck in the waiting room, reading an old copy of National Geographic and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are back in the barracks.
Good news. The talented strategists left the UNFCCC team before COP17 in Durban. The A-graders saw the trainwreck coming and moved on.
Everyone knows it’s a herculean task to get 190-odd countries to sign anything, and with a typical pragmatical approach the UN drafting team have gone for … not just a new “International Court” (crikey!) but rights for Mother Earth (can we be sued by a rock?), and oh boy, the holy grail, the whole kit and caboodle … we demand Peace On Earth, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree, as Part 47a, and starting by morning tea tomorrow.
Monckton reports that the funereal collapsing Durban talks still held the highest of ambitions. Godlike even. The real action behind the posters of parrots and pleas to save pygmy corals, or spotted limpets is the plea to make some unelected bureaucrats the totalitarian Kings of The World.
In part it’s chilling, a New International Court — which could presumably try you for crimes against coastlines, clouds, or (more likely) against endangered windfarms. Those with their hands on the legal wheel want the power to direct money (was that $1.6 Trillion?) from the richest nations to their friends, patrons, or pet causes. If they became the anointed Kings, it would swiftly become a crime to speak doubts of climate models upon which billions of trades depends. The darkest evil always comes cloaked with helpful intentions.
Fortunately, what’s left of the UN strategic team is even lower caliber than B-grade, beyond Z, somewhere into hexadecimal.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the grown-ups in the IPCC-support-team left the party sometime after Copenhagen, and the Z++ team are left to guard the bones. No one can take this wild ambit claim seriously.
On Tuesday, a skydiving team from the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) parachuted down on Toti beach, near the city where the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is taking place.
The skydivers carried two signs, one reading “Climategate 2.0 Science Not Settled”, the other “No New Treaty CFACT”. According to a CFACT press release, the dramatic entrance into Durban, South Africa, was to bring attention again to the Climategate 2.0 emails, which were leaked last month.
“Media covering COP17 are kidding themselves if they think they can ignore and wish away Climategate 2.0,” said CFACT Executive Director Craig Rucker in the press release. “Lord Monckton, the folks from Climate Depot and I will carry our message by parachute if that’s what it takes to wake up this conference and place the Climategate evidence of corrupted science where the world must see it.”
Climate Depot’s Report from Durban, South Africa UN Global Warming Conference – UN Goes Full Climate Astrology
By Marc Morano
DURBAN, South Africa – The South African media and government leaders are borrowing a page from medieval witchcraft when it comes to the science of man-made global warming.
South African President Jacob Zuma literally believes that mankind has caused every storm and that regulatory actions of the UN can prevent bad weather.
“We have experienced unusual and severe flooding in coastal areas in recent times, impacting on people directly as they lose their homes, jobs and livelihoods. Given the urgency, states, parties should strive to find solutions here in Durban,” Zuma said according to an article in the South Africa’s Independent newspaper on December 4.
U.N. prepares for urgent battle to extract $100 billion from U.S.
By Michael F. Haverluck
The U.S. and other developed nations are reconsidering their commitments to fight global warming before the upcoming 17th Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa.
The United Nations wants representatives of world governments and international organizations to advance its agenda to fight climate change at Durban 2011. But despite Barack Obama’s full-fledged support for the green agenda early in his presidency, he has become increasingly hesitant to engage in some of the U.N.’s costly climate programs.
A major topic on the Durban agenda, Nov. 28 through Dec. 9, is the extension of the Kyoto Protocol. The agreement binds 37 developed nations to reduce greenhouse emissions from 1997 to 2012 through implementing regulations.
But doubts about global warming science, as well as the declining world economy, have contributed to many developed countries getting cold feet.
“Of the major players in the Kyoto Protocol, my sense is that the EU is the only one still considering signing up in some fashion to a second commitment period,” said U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern while discussing Durban 2011 at a meeting on global warming in Mexico City. “Japan is clearly not, Russia is not, Canada is not and Australia appears unlikely.”
Ban Dihydrogen Monoxide and Destabilize US Econommy?
Some people will sign anything that includes phrases like,Â â€global effort,â€ â€œinternational community,â€ and â€œplanetary.â€ Such was the case at COP 16, this yearâ€™s United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico.
This year, CFACT students created twoÂ mock-petitions to test U.N. Delegates.Â The first asked participants to help destabilize the United States economy, the second to ban water.
The first project, entitled â€œPetition to Set a Global Standardâ€Â sought to isolate andÂ punishÂ the United States of AmericaÂ forÂ defying the international community, by refusing to bite, hook, lineÂ and sinkerÂ on theÂ bait that is the Kyoto Protocol.Â The petition went so far as toÂ encourage the United Nations to impose tariffs and trade restrictions on theÂ U.S.Â in a scheme to destabilize theÂ nationâ€™s economy. Specifically, the scheme seeks to lowerÂ the U.S.Â GDP by 6% over a ten year period, unless the U.S. signs a U.N. treaty on global warming.
This would be an extremelyÂ radical move by the United Nations. Even so, radical left-wing environmentalists from around the world scrambled eagerly to sign.
The second project was as successful as the first. It wasÂ euphemistically entitled â€œPetition to Ban the Use of Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO)â€ (translation water). ItÂ was designed to show that if official U.N. delegates could be duped by college students into banning water, that they could essentially fall for anything, including pseudo-scientific studies which claim to show that global warming is man-caused.
Global warming is now such a serious threat to mankind that climate change experts are calling for Second World War-style rationing in rich countries to bring down carbon emissions.
By Louise Gray
In a series of papers published by the Royal Society, physicists and chemists from some of worldâ€™s most respected scientific institutions, including Oxford University and the Met Office, agreed that current plans to tackle global warming are not enough.
Unless emissions are reduced dramatically in the next ten years the world is set to see temperatures rise by more than 4C (7.2F) by as early as the 2060s, causing floods, droughts and mass migration.
In one paper Professor Kevin Anderson, Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said the only way to reduce global emissions enough, while allowing the poor nations to continue to grow, is to halt economic growth in the rich world over the next twenty years.
Barack Obama’s setback in the US mid-term elections has killed of any hope of securing a legally binding global climate change deal, John Prescott has said
From the London Telegraph
Negotiators should ditch hopes of enforcable targets on emmissions reductions and push instead for a voluntary framework at the upcoming Cancun summit, the former deputy prime minister said.
After President Barack Obama’s ”shellacking” at the hands of Republican opponents in mid-term elections, there was no prospect of the US Congress approving legal requirements to cut greenhouse gas emissions, said Lord Prescott, who was a key UK negotiator at the Kyoto global warming conference in 1997.
We need a more authoritative world. We’ve become a sort of cheeky, egalitarian world where everyone can have their say. It’s all very well, but there are certain circumstances â€“ a war is a typical example â€“ where you can’t do that. You’ve got to have a few people with authority who you trust who are running it. And they should be very accountable too, of course.
But it can’t happen in a modern democracy. This is one of the problems. What’s the alternative to democracy? There isn’t one. But even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.
By Leo Hickman
When I recently interviewed James Lovelock for the G2 section of the Guardian, we spoke for nearly two hours about the various events of the past few months â€“ a period in which he’d remained silent because he’d been over-wintering with his wife Sandy in her native Missouri. There was a lot to talk about: the stolen emails from the University of East Anglia, the UN climate summit in Copenhagen, the intense scrutiny placed on the IPCC, and the rather nippy winter experienced across much of the Northern Hemisphere. As is inevitable with an interview appearing in the newspaper, space was at a premium so the quotes used were tightly edited. But, just as I did with my interview with Al Gore last year, I have decided to publish a transcript of his key points here online for anyone interested in hearing in much more detail what Lovelock had to say on some of these controversial and much-discussed topics.Â
Lovelock’s reaction to first reading about the stolen CRU emails [he later clarified that he hadn't read the originals, saying: "Oddly, I felt reluctant to pry"]:Â
I was utterly disgusted. My second thought was that it was inevitable. It was bound to happen. Science, not so very long ago, pre-1960s, was largely vocational. Back when I was young, I didn’t want to do anything else other than be a scientist. They’re not like that nowadays. They don’t give a damn. They go to these massive, mass-produced universities and churn them out. They say: “Science is a good career. You can get a job for life doing government work.” That’s no way to do science.
I have seen this happen before, of course. We should have been warned by the CFC/ozone affair because the corruption of science in that was so bad that something like 80% of the measurements being made during that time were either faked, or incompetently done.
Fudging the data in any way whatsoever is quite literally a sin against the holy ghost of science. I’m not religious, but I put it that way because I feel so strongly. It’s the one thing you do not ever do. You’ve got to have standards.
You can make mistakes; they’re helpful. In the old days, it was perfectly OK to make a mistake and say so. You often learned from it. Nowadays if you’re dependent on a grant â€“ and 99% of them are â€“ you can’t make mistakes as you won’t get another one if you do. It’s an awful moral climate and it was all set up for the best of reasons. I think it was felt there was far too much inequality in science and there was an enormous redress. Looking around the country [at the wider society] this was good on the whole, but in some special professions you want the best, the elite. Elitism is important in science. It is vital.
It’s been a heady few months for climate sceptics – or “deniers” as the opposition loves to call us. Starting with “climategate”, through a progression of “gates” with much else in between – including the apparent collapse at Copenhagen – it seemed as if we had the warmists on the run.Certainly, we’ve scored some hits and, aided and abetted by Mother Nature who has been generous in her deliveries of global warming this winter, we have seen a turnaround in public opinion, with a distinct loss of enthusiasm for the surfeit of alarmism on offer.
The successes have led to a certain amount of triumphalism amongst the sceptics, with a feeling in certain quarters that we are winning the game. But any such sentiment is, to say the very least, premature. In fact, a more realistic appraisal might suggest that we have not even dented the underlying agenda.
Herein lies a certain definitional problem, as we have certainly dented the confidence of many so-called climate “scientists”, worried some of the hangers-on and made serious inroads into the intellectual argument, challenging the science.
But as to the “agenda”, this has nothing to do with science or even climate change. The climate change scare is merely a front used to conceal on the one hand and, on the other, to legitimise a far more sinister movement which has at its root politics, power and money. And its agenda might have suffered a few setbacks and some delays, but it is essentially intact.
Climate scientists who play fast and loose with the facts are imperiling not just their profession but the planet
By Fred Guterl
One of the most impressive visuals in Al Gore’s now famous slide show on global warming is a graph known as the “hockey stick.” It shows temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere rising slowly for most of the last thousand years and turning steeply upward in the last half of the 20th century. As evidence of the alarming rate of global warming, it tells a simple and compelling story. That’s one reason the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change included the graph in the summary of its 2001 report. But is it true?
The question occurred to Steven McIntyre when he opened his newspaper one morning in 2002 and there it wasâ€”the hockey stick. It was published with an article on the debate over whether Canada should ratify the Kyoto agreement to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. McIntyre had little knowledge of the intricate science of climate change; he didn’t even have a Ph.D. He did have a passion for numbers, however. He also had some experience in the minerals business, where, he says, people tend to use hockey-stick graphs when they are trying to pull one over on you. “Reality usually isn’t so tidy.”
As every climate scientist must know by now, McIntyre’s skepticism of the hockey stick launched him on a midlife career change: he has become the granddaddy of the global warming “denial” movement. McIntyre asserted that the data of Michael Mann, head of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center, did not support his conclusions, and that a true graph of temperatures would suggest a cyclical cause of recent warming. Following in his footsteps, a cottage industry of amateur climatologists have dug into the climate literature, tried to poke holes in the arguments, and demanded supporting data from scientists, sometimes under the auspices of Freedom of Information Act requests.
The scientists have resisted these efforts just as fiercely. For the past six years the conflict has played out in blogs, in the halls of Congress, and in deliberations of the IPCC. It came to a crescendo with the theft of private e-mails from the University of East Anglia in England in November, which raised questions about the scientific objectivity of several prominent researchers, including Phil Jones, who resigned in December as head of the Climatic Research Unit.
The battle between “alarmists” and “deniers” has taken a huge toll, not just on the reputations of Jones and the other “climategate” scientists. It has also damaged the credibility of climate science itself, and threatened more than a decade of diplomatic efforts to engineer a global reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions. The effort, which has kept a forward momentum since the Kyoto meeting in 1997, came to a cold stop in Copenhagen in December. The conference was originally intended to bring the U.S. and China into a global agreement, but produced nothing of substance. Indeed, the climate project bears a striking resemblance to health-care reform in the United Statesâ€”stalled by a combination of political resistance and hubris.
What went wrong? Part of the blame lies, of course, with those who obstructed the efforts of the IPCC and the individual scientists, including bloggers who tried to sandbag scientists with spurious FOIA requests, and the perpetrators (as yet unknown) of the hack at the Climatic Research Unit. Part of the blame also falls on the climate scientists themselves. Many of themâ€”including perhaps Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC headâ€”may have stepped too far over the line from science to advocacy, undermining their own credibility. Some scientists, as a result, are now calling for a change in tone from antagonism to reconciliation. Climate science, they say, needs to open its books and be more tolerant of scrutiny from the outside. Its institutionsâ€”notably the IPCCâ€”need to go about their business with greater transparency. “The circle-the-wagons mentality has backfired,” says Judith Curry, head of Georgia Tech’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
The first thing to fix is the institution that has borne the brunt of the recent public-relations disaster: the IPCC itself. Recently there have been several minor revelations of sloppiness. A line in the group’s 2007 report stating that glaciers in the Himalayas will melt entirely by 2035 turns out to have come not from the peer-reviewed literature, but from a 1999 article in New Scientist, a popular magazine in the U.K. More damaging, IPCC chairman Pachauri has been acting as a consultant to financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank and Pegasus, an investment firm. Although he says he has donated the proceeds to the nonprofit organization he founded in Delhi to promote charitable programs in sustainability, many people have wondered whether the head of a scientific organization that calls itself “policy neutral” should be consulting with banks. Some have called for his resignation.
The head of the UNâ€™s climate change body is under pressure to resign after one of his strongest allies in the environmental movement said his judgment was flawed and called for a new leader to restore confidence in climatic science.
Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has insisted that he will remain in post for another four years despite having failed to act on a serious error in the bodyâ€™s 2007 report.
John Sauven, director of Greenpeace UK , said that Dr Pachauri should have acted as soon as he had been informed of the error, even though issuing a correction would have embarrassed the IPCC on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit.
A journalist working for Science had told Dr Pachauri several times late last year that glaciologists had refuted the IPCC claim that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035. Dr Pachauri refused to address the problem, saying: â€œI donâ€™t have anything to add on glaciers.â€ He suggested that the error would not be corrected until 2013 or 2014, when the IPCC next reported.
The IPCC issued a correction and apology on January 20, three days after the error had made global headlines. Mr Sauven said: â€œMistakes will always be made but itâ€™s how you handle those mistakes which affects the credibility of the institution. Pachauri should have put his hand up and said â€˜we made a mistakeâ€™. Itâ€™s in these situations that your character and judgment is tested. Do you make the right judgment call? He clearly didnâ€™t.â€
Confidence Melting Away: Doubts Grow in Climate Change Debate
By Gerald Traufetter
The Siachen Glacier is home to the world’s highest crisis region. Here, at 6,000 meters (19,680 feet) above sea level, Indian and Pakistani soldiers face off, ensconced in heavily armed positions.
The ongoing border dispute between the two nuclear powers has already claimed the lives of 4,000 men — most of them having died of exposure to the cold.
Now the Himalayan glacier is also at the center of a scientific dispute. In its current report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that the glacier, which is 71 kilometers (44 miles) long, could disappear by 2035. It also predicts that the other 45,000 glaciers in the world’s highest mountain range will be virtually gone by then, with drastic consequences for billions of people in Asia, whose life depends on water that originates in the Himalayas. The IPCC report led environmental activists to sound the alarm about a drama that could be unfolding at the “world’s third pole.”
“This prognosis is, of course, complete nonsense,” says John Shroder, a geologist and expert on glaciers at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. The results of his research tell a completely different story.
For the past three decades, the US glaciologist has been traversing the majestic mountains of the Himalayan region, particularly the Karakorum Range, with his measuring instruments. The discoveries he has made along the way are not consistent with the assessment long held by the IPCC. “While many glaciers are shrinking, others are stable and some are even growing,” says Shroder.
The gaffe over the Himalayan glaciers has triggered an outcry in the world of climatology. Some are already using the word “Glaciergate” in reference to the scandal over a scientifically untenable claim in the fourth IPCC assessment report, which the UN climate body publishes every five years. The fourth assessment report was originally published in 2007. Last week, the IPCC withdrew the erroneous claim and apologized for the error.
German Environment Minister Norbert RÃ¶ttgen, a member of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), is also upset about the incident. “The error in the IPCC report is serious and should not have happened,” RÃ¶ttgen told SPIEGEL. “Scientific accuracy is a vital condition to support the credibility of the political conclusions we draw as a result.” Although the minister still has confidence in the overall validity of the IPCC report, he wants to see “a thorough investigation into how the error originated and was communicated.”
But why wasn’t this clearly nonsensical claim noticed long ago by at least one of the 3,000 scientists who contributed to the IPCC report? “What’s really amazing is that such a blunder remained uncorrected for so long,” says Shroder.
CBS News Investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkissonreports official filings and our own investigation show at least 106 people from the House and Senate attended – spouses, a doctor, a protocol expert and even a photographer.