Category Archives: Climate Unfrocked

Bullsh-t Detector at Work

The Extinction of Honest Science

July 25th 2018

Warmists’ predictions of climate doom haven’t come to pass or anything like it, but give them credit for agility and perseverance in always concocting a fresh scare. The latest meme to keep grants flowing and careers on track: the purported mass die-off of species large and small

planet down drainWith no significant warming for 20 years, the climate alarmists need better scares.  The temperature rise of about 0.8 degC in more than 100 years is not only non-scary, it’s been immensely beneficial for feeding the globe’s burgeoning population. Now  the “extreme weather” furphy  is at work, with any storm or flood attributed  by Al Gore and the Climate Council to fossil fuel emissions. There’s the purported “ocean acidification”  but I’m yet to see evidence that it has hurt a solitary crab, let alone a species.

As for sea-level rises, well, check my birthplace, Fremantle, butting the Indian Ocean: its tide gauge shows 12 cms rise in the past 120 years – compare that with 20cm for the length of my hand. To cap it off, the warmists, including the green-colonised CSIRO, have had to recognize that extra CO2  in the 30 years to 2010  has greened the earth to the extent of two and a half Australias in area.[1]

There are two handy scares still slithering around: “The Anthropocene” and “The Sixth Mass Extinction”. Both are fakes. Both are foisted on kids by green/Left educators. Both require as supposed remedies a supra-national enforcement agency run by the Left/liberal crowd, along with a roll-back of capitalist progress.

Here’s an example. I was in Chicago in 2013 and visited its great natural history centre the Field Museum (named after a 19th century $US9m donor Marshall Field). In the “Evolving Planet” gallery for kids, there was a   chart, “The Geologic Time Scale” showing the classic geologic ages (Silurian, Devonian etc) with markers for the first five extinctions. At the top it read “Today” with a picture of a metropolis, and an arrow labeled “Sixth Mass Extinction”. A red-neon “Extinction Clock” ticked over each time another species supposedly becomes extinct. In the hour or two since the gallery opened, the counter had added another 22 supposed extinctions. The count was based not on reality but fanciful modeling 30 years ago by Harvard professor and environmental activist Dr E.O Wilson, who claimed that 30,000 species were going extinct per year. The true number of known extinctions per year among the planet’s reputed 10 million-or-so species and  averaged over the past 500 years is about two, according to the Red List of the International  Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Yet climate activists want to compare this alleged“Sixth Extinction” with the  end-Permian “great dying” (250 million years ago) and end-Cretaceous dinosaur die-off (66 million years ago).

As for  the“Anthropocene”, it refers to the present geological era in which humans supposedly dominate the planetary processes and destroy other life forms. The label was first seriously proposed in 2001 by  co-Nobelist Paul Crutzen, of ozone-hole fame. It supposedly succeeds our 11,500 year old Holocene, the brief warm spell that has fostered our agriculture and civilisation. No such era and label as “Anthropocene” has been endorsed by the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS),  the global naming authority. An ICS working group (AWG) endorsed the concept in 2016, positing a start date of 1950. Most geologic eras last about three million years, so the ICS is in no hurry to make a ruling.

The AWG argument goes that thousands of years from now, geologists will uncover a fine dividing layer of “techno-fossils”from the late 20th Century, comprised of ball-point pens, CD platters and mobile phone carcasses.[2] My lost car keys may also turn up. If the ICS is unpersuaded, the “Anthropocene” claimants argue that old labeling conventions can be thrown out since we so urgently need to save the planet.

In this debasement of science, thousands of peer-reviewed papers blather about the “Anthropocene”. Publisher Elsevier has even created a learned journal, “The Anthropocene Review” where academics can flaunt their cringe-worthy research. As Canadian fact-checker Donna Laframboise puts it, “Declaring something to be the case before it has actually happened is unethical. A more scandalous example of fake news is difficult to imagine.”[3]

Contrarian papers on the topics are often binned, as biologists Peter Kareiva and Michelle Marvier have found, because reviewers worry “as much about political fallout and potential misinterpretation by the public as they do about the validity and rigor of the science.”[4]

Meanwhile  “Anthropocene” fans argue that we humans are now more powerful than traditional geologic forces like volcanos, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis and shifting planetary orbits. At 11am on October 14, 1968, I was home at Gooseberry Hill in Perth’s Darling Ranges when my house began to shake. I’ll never forget it. The cause was a 6.9 force earthquake centred at Meckering, 100 kilometres further east. I don’t think humans can compete  with such forces, now or ever. You may disagree.

Most of the media’s environment writers have mindlessly propagated the Anthropocene concept.  New Yorker staffer Elizabeth Colbert morphed the story into a book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, and won a Pulitzer for it.[5] As a sample, she tells New Yorker readers about finding some bat corpses: “It struck me, as I stood there holding a bag filled with several dozen stiff, almost weightless bats, that I was watching mass extinction in action.”

Full credit, however, to Ruth Graham of the Boston Globe for her clear-eyed piece in 2014 exposing the naked activism of the “Sixth Extinction” crowd. UCAL ecologist Stephen Hubbell was surprised by the vehement reactions to his critical paper in Nature (2011) about extinction rates, she wrote. Hubbell said that some conservationists effectively told him, “Damn the data, we have an agenda …” Hubbell continued,The only thing science has going for it is truth and the search for truth. If it loses that, it’s really lost its way.”

Most scientists in this field are also strong conservationists, Graham wrote, and many worry that airing dirty laundry about estimates (such as “40,000 species disappearing each year”) could hurt the cause. A Brazil-based extinction specialist, Richard Ladle, spoke to her of “some enormous exaggerations”. A much-publicized 2004 paper, for instance, warned that climate change could put a million species at risk by 2050. Ladle said, “If you keep on talking about very, very large figures and nothing appears to be happening, eventually that’s going to erode public confidence in conservation science.”

Reporter Graham quoted Nigel Stork, a conservation biologist at Griffith University, Qld., who argued in Science in 2013 that the extinction rate was over-stated: “If you express a view that’s different to some people, they say you’re anti-conservation, and that’s not true. Conservation is working. There have been fewer extinctions because we’ve been conserving a key part of the world.” Graham concluded:  “The swirling controversies demonstrate how even ‘science-driven’ policy can sit uneasily with the workings of science itself. Galvanizing public opinion sometimes demands single dramatic certainties, while science proceeds by estimate, correction, and argument.”

The “Anthropocene” and the “Sixth Extinction” are eviscerated in a 8000-word essay“Welcome to the Narcisscene” by Mark Sagoff in the Oakland, Ca.-based Breakthrough Journal.[6] Enough time has elapsed to run a check on scientists’ gruesome predictions of extinctions, Sagoff says. The predictions of decades ago, treated with credulity at the time, have proved ridiculous. Here’s a few of them, tabulated by Griffith’s Nigel Stork. “If some of these higher estimates were true, then we should have already witnessed the extinction of up to 50 percent of all species on Earth in the last 30 years,” Stork wrote. Samples via Sagoff:

  • Myers (1979): 1 million species from 1975-2000.
  • Lovejoy (1980): 15-20% of species between 1980-2000.
  • Paul Ehrlich (1981): 50% species loss by 2000, 100% by 2010-25. [How does this catastrophist retain any credibility?] [7]
  • Lugo (1988): 9% species loss by 2000
  • Raven (1987-88): 2000 tropical plants per year, 25% plant species loss by 2015.
  • Hubbell (2008): 37-50% loss rate for 5308 Amazonian plants by 2020.

Other predictions (not in Stork’s table):

  • Wilson (1988): 17,500 species  being lost per year (more than 500,000 by now).
  • Leakey (1995): 17,000 to 100,000 species being lost per year.
  • Raven (1990): a quarter of plant species to be lost in next several decades.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature tracks species that have gone extinct. Last year’s Red List database looked at 24,230 plant species, and found only 118 had disappeared since 1500, while another 35 are extinct in the wild but survive in cultivation. To meet the criteria of a ‘mass extinction’, we’d need to lose about 18,000. At the current rate, it would take 70,000 more years.

It’s the same with insects. Take the well-studied butterflies, tiger beetles, dragonflies and damsel flies. Only three of 25,000 types have gone extinct in the past 500 years. A “mass extinction” would take 3 million years.

The IUCN manages data on 67,000 animal types. About 800 have gone extinct in the past 500 years. At this rate, it would take 25,000 years for a “mass extinction”.

All up, of 100,000 plants and animals, about two are lost per year. It would take another 34,000 years for a “mass extinction”.

Sagoff demolishes a subsidiary warmist argument: that current extinction rates are 100 to 1000 times (or even 10,000 times) the “normal” rates in the earth’s history. This seems extra scary, as it is intended to be. But a mass extinction would still take 34,000 years at the present rate, assuming no new species evolve. The argument about “1000 times ‘normal’” means that, normally, the same loss would take 34,000,000 years. It’s a  true-life version of this little joke:

An astronomer in a lecture predicts the earth will be swallowed by the sun in 8 billion years. He asks a distressed lady in the audience: “Why are you upset about something 8 billion years away?”

“Eight billion years? Oh, I thought you said 8 MILLION!”

Australian climate warriors have been influential in the debate. Sagoff’s article cites studies by Will Steffen (ANU and Climate Council) and Clive Hamilton, but wrongly describes the latter, an ethicist and one-time Greens candidate, as an ‘earth system scientist’. Hamilton  argues that  “on the side of responsibility are gathered the armies of scientific insight into Earth’s physical limits.” Against these are “mobilized the armies of avarice intrinsic to an economic structure driven by the profit motive.”[8] Well that’s telling us capitalists.

Steffen, whose research inspired the  2011 carbon tax, was lead author with Nobelist Crutzen in a discussion paper on the “Anthropocene” for the Royal Society the same year.[9] Steffen asserted that we are already at “Stage 3” of the “Anthropocene” era. Conceding that the term is only “informal”, Steffen accused humanity of not just being responsible for global warming but also of meddling with vital nitrogen, phosphorous and sulphur cycles, along with fresh water despoliation and “likely driving the sixth major extinction event in Earth history … the first caused by a biological species.”

Steffen digressed into warning of “peak oil”, citing that oil production would need to rise 26% by 2030 to meet demand. “The prospects of achieving this level of increased production in just two decades at prices that are affordable in the developing world seem highly unlikely,” he wrote, suggesting a “significant risk of a peak before 2020.” Oil was then about $US100 a barrel, today $US70 thanks to the abundance of fracked petroleum.

Steffen also warned that we are close to “peak phosphorous”, suggesting some sort of “equitable” rationing to help the third world’s food security. Rock phosphate was then about $US200 a ton, today about $US100. By the way, never take stock tips from climate scientists who claim expertise in discerning the future up to 2100.

Needless to say, Steffen saw the crises’ solution in “effective global governance” run by his like-minded colleagues at the UN or via enforceable treaties. But since the 2009 Copenhagen conference was a flop in terms of “very deep and rapid cuts to emissions” (he was writing before the 2015 Paris flop), he shifts to earnest discussion about geo-engineering to cool the earth. “Only recently a taboo topic, geo-engineering has rapidly become a serious research topic and in situ tests may subsequently be undertaken if the research shows promising approaches,” he wrote.[10] He instances pumping sulphate particles into the stratosphere as cooling agents, but concludes rather sensibly that “ultimately, the near inevitability of unforeseen consequences should give humanity pause for serious reflection before embarking on any geo-engineering approaches.”

His argument surfaces some curious ideas. Sulphur particles in the air cause more than 500,000 premature deaths per year and damage the environment, he notes. “This creates a dilemma for environmental policymakers, because emission reductions of SO2 … for health and ecological considerations, add to global warming and associated negative consequences, such as sea level rise…[C]omplete improvement in air quality could lead to a global average surface air temperature increase by 0.8◦C on most continents and 4◦C in the Arctic.” Not many people would see any “dilemma” in saving lives by cleaning up air pollution.

Steffen then launches a pre-emptive strike against “Anthropocene” and “Mass Extinction” deniers. Like sceptics of the warming doctrine, he asserts they are driven not by “evidence and explanation” but “by beliefs and values and occasionally by cynical self-interest.” Sceptics have cognitive dissonance such that the more challenged they are by facts, the more they cling to their beliefs, he claims:

“This response may become even more pronounced for the Anthropocene, when the notion of human ‘progress’ or the place of humanity in the natural world is directly challenged. In fact, the belief systems and assumptions that underpin neo-classical economic thinking, which in turn has been a major driver of the Great Acceleration [since 1950] are directly challenged by the concept of the Anthropocene.”

What economic system Steffen prefers, he doesn’t say. He finishes with,

“The ultimate drivers of the Anthropocene if they continue unabated through this century, may well threaten the viability of contemporary civilization and perhaps even the future existence of Homo sapiens.”

Others, like University of Wollongong geographer Noel Castree, are even more critical of economic progress.  He writes,

“Even more than the concept of global warming, the Anthropocene is provocative because it implies that our current way of life, especially in wealthy parts of the world, is utterly unsustainable. Large companies who make profits from environmental despoliation – oil multinationals, chemical companies, car makers and countless others – have much to lose if the concept becomes linked with political agendas devoted to things like degrowth and decarbonisation.

… We don’t need the ICS’s imprimatur to appreciate that we are indeed waving goodbye to Earth as we have known it throughout human civilisation.”

I assume Professor Castree doesn’t use a car.

Sceptics have their own version of the current “Anthropocene” such as the “Narcissiscene” and “Greenoscene”. My favorite is the “Adjustoscene” where data has been altered to fit the climate models. Ruder people talk of the “Idioscene” or the “Obscene”. Keep it civil, folks.

Tony Thomas’ book of essays, “That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print” is available here


[1] “We are indeed in a new age, the Anthropocene,” CSIRO author Pep Canadell writes.

[2] The chairman of the AWG, Jan Zalasiewicz  noted that “technofossils such as ball-point pens, CDs, or mobile phones” had “spread rapidly around the world from the time of their first use” and provided “stratigraphic criteria that can be used to identify deposits that post-date the mid-20th century, and this, on current evidence, we consider to be the optimal position for an Anthropocene boundary.”

[3] Laframboise busted the claim of then IPCC-chair and now sex-charge defendant Rajendra Pachauri that the 2007 IPCC report comprised only peer-reviewed work. She counted that 5,587 of 18,531 citations were non-peer reviewed.

[4] Peter Kareiva and Michelle Marvier, “Uncomfortable Questions and Inconvenient Data in Conservation Science,” in Peter Kareiva, Michelle Marvier, and Brian Silliman, eds., Effective Conservation Science: Data Not Dogma (Oxford University Press, 2017), 4.

[5] The book blurbed, “Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.”

[6] Mark Sagoff is a senior fellow at George Mason University’s Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy and author of The Economy of the Earth.

[7]   The Population Bomb, a best seller Paul Ehrlich published in 1968, began, “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines — hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate.” Only last year Ehrlich described the situation as “biological annihilation”.

[8] Hamilton, C., Defiant Earth: The Fate of Humans in the Anthropocene (John Wiley & Sons, 2017), 134.

[9] Will Steffen, et al., “The Anthropocene: Conceptual and Historical Perspectives,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 369, no. 1938 (2011): 842–867.

[10] Steffen seems unaware that during the “global cooling” scare of the 1970s, fanciful geo-engineering projects were bruited to make the planet warmer. These included, for example, manipulating warm currents by damming the Bering Strait or a dam from Florida to Cuba.

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Warmism Gets a Courtroom Thrashing

While professed journalists were taking dutiful dictation from local alarmists keen to blame bushfires on global warming, a telling court case has been unfolding in California, where catastropharians set out to sue Big Oil for wrecking the planet. It hasn’t gone as planned

gavel globeThe current tactic of global-warming catastrophists is to sue major oil companies for wrecking the planet — never mind that fossil-fuel energy has lifted billions from squalor and back-breaking toil during the past 150 years and continues to do so. The most advanced of these cases is now playing out in a US federal court in San Francisco before Judge William Alsup. Because he’s insisting on evidence about human causation of warming, the case has tested the soundness of orthodox climate science and so far found it wanting.

Leading sceptic scientists have also submitted briefs, opening up a climate debate warmists have been desperate to avoid for the past decade. This article will look at the court case and then at the history of climate debates.

In the US there’s a rash of lawsuits by green/liberal plaintiffs against the federal government and oil majors, with one echoing the ‘children’s crusade’ of 1212. The plaintiffs, 21 kids the youngest no more than ten, have been marshalled to sue the US government for allegedly fostering climate warmth  and degrading the kids’ “rights to life, liberty and property”.[1] One plaintiff, 19-year-old Sophie Kivlehan, is the granddaughter of James Hansen, godfather of the global anti-CO2 jihad and a man who has obscenely compared coal trains with those that transported Jews to Nazi extermination camps.[2] [3]

But the big excitement last week was the so-called “Exxon knew” lawsuit brought by the cities of San Francisco and neighbouring Oakland against  five  oil majors.[4] The two plaintiffs claim the oil producers conspired Big Tobacco-style to conceal the climate harm of their products. The majors are supposedly responsible for the local sea level rise and should therefore pay billions of dollars for sea walls, dykes, whatever.

Well, yes, it’s all ridiculous. The San Francisco tide gauge (1854-2016) shows an upward trend complicated by some sinking of the land — the city is, after all, in an earthquake zone, and has been rocked repeatedly — but the “rise” is still a mere eight inches over the past 100 years. The plaintiffs’ lawyers are nevertheless making their song and dance about the rise, savouring a reported 23% of any damages to be paid by Big Oil. Their case relies by necessity on future sea-damage forecasts by the shaky CMIP5 suite of climate computer-models, and then they need to demonstrate that the oil majors are responsible, as distinct from, say, car and truck drivers who actually pump out the emissions. Another six Californian counties and cities are trying to run similar cases and in New York, the city wants $US20 billion restitution from the oil majors (less, of course, a hefty cut for the lawyers).

Keep in mind that the San Francisco establishment is a cat’s cradle of loopiness. Power prices have risen at five times the rate in the rest of the US while California leads the US (like SA here) in generation from renewables. Ex-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose beefiness apparently extends to his brain, is preparing his own lawsuit suing the oil majors for first degree murders of the populace.  While posturing about Big Carbon’s lethal climate vandalism Schwarzenegger continues commuting in his king-sized Hummer and helicopter.[5]

In the San Francisco-Oakland case, the two cities were immediately wedged by Big Oil’s lawyers, who noticed that they had issued billions of dollars worth of civic bonds with no alerts to investors about the watery peril they now claim to be facing. Ergo, these bond issuers either deceived investors or their current protestations about the peril of rising seas is intended to deceive the judge. That has been far from the only embarrassment. One example: Professor Gary Griggs, of University of California Santa Cruz, warned the court of  San Francisco being engulfed by ten feet of water. This was countered by Chevron’s lawyer, who noted that in a recent state government document the very same Professor Griggs put the chance of California seeing a ten-foot sea level rise at just 0.1%.

What’s more exciting is that the case has become a trial of the warmist orthodoxy which insists most of the global warming of the past 50 years is anthropogenic. In the recent past warmist zealots have argued for  punitive fines, jail and even the death penalty for those disputing their catastrophism.

Judge Alsup is a Bill Clinton appointee, which might at a glance suggest a likely affinity with the plaintiffs’ cause. But he is also a former engineer and, before that, a B.Sc. in mathematics. Moreover, he has a reputation for personally probing complex non-legal issues, rather than relying on rival expert witnesses’ to-and-fro. While presiding in Uber v. Waymo, for example, he asked for a tutorial on self-driving car technology. In Oracle v. Google, he taught himself some Java programming language, to help understand the case. This time Alsup asked the climate-case parties to each give him tutorials on the science of global warming. Of the majors, only Chevron did so. Leading sceptics also presented their own case as amicus curiae or “friends of the court”.

The warmists’ top academic presenter was  Oxford physicist Myles Allen. He has long been itching to see oil majors sued, telling the BBC in 2003,

“The vast numbers affected by the effects of climate change, such as flooding, drought and forest fires, mean that potentially people, organisations and even countries could be seeking compensation for the damage caused…

 “Some of it might be down to things you’d have trouble suing – like the Sun – so you obviously need to work how particularly human influence has contributed to the overall change in risk.

“But once you’ve done that, then we as scientists can essentially hand the problem over to the lawyers, for them to assess whether the change in risk is enough for the courts to decide that a settlement could be made.”

Judge Alsup handed down a list of nine questions, some sagacious (What are the main sources of heat that account for the incremental rise in temperature on Earth?) and some naive (Given the increase in human population on Earth [four billion], is human respiration a contributing factor to the buildup of CO2?). When the five-hour tutorial unfolded in court last Wednesday he had done such massive homework that he could correct the experts.  At one point a discomfited Myles Allen confessed, “You may know more of this history than I do.”

The judge had a good  grasp of climate issues: “Nuclear would not put out any CO2, right? We might get some radiation as we drive by, but maybe, in retrospect, we should have taken a hard look at nuclear?” Alsup asked plaintiffs. “No doubt solar is good where you can use it, but do you really think it could be a substitute for supplying the amount of power America used in the last 30 years?” Alsup also created a flurry by commenting from the bench that the “conspiracy” of oil companies (to disguise the climate harm of their products) looked far-fetched: “From what I’ve seen, and feel free to send me other documentation, but all I’ve seen so far is that someone [from an oil major] went to the IPCC conference and took notes. That’s not a conspiracy.” He hasn’t dismissed the lawsuit (as often misreported) but the plaintiffs now have an uphill battle.

Reporter Phelim McAleer reports that Alsup also mocked the numerous times IPCC predictive models got the current climate trends wrong, the judge saying to Chevron’s lawyer: “So your point is that [IPCC] models overstate the problem. Instead of doom and gloom, it’s just gloom”.

Chevron endorsed the IPCC orthodoxy but enjoyed citing the many caveats in the body of the 2013 report that were glossed over in the Summary for Policymakers.[6] One example: climate models run hot compared with actual temperatures. This has forced the warmist plaintiffs into “denying” the IPCC itself. Katherine Heyhoe, a Texas Tech University climate scientist, now argues the 2013 IPCC report has been made obsolete by newer climate models. Predictably she now says everything is all much worse than we were formerly told to believe.

The sceptic case was presented in briefs by one team – Christopher Monckton, Willie Soon, David Legates, and William Briggs — and another from William Happer, Steven Koonin and Richard Lindzen. Another sceptic-like brief was from the Concerned Household Electricity Consumers Council. The Happer team’s summary is

  1. The climate is always changing; changes like those of the past half-century are common in the geologic record, driven by powerful natural phenomena
  2. Human influences on the climate are a small (1%) perturbation to natural energy flows
  3. It is not possible to tell how much of the modest recent warming can be ascribed to human influences
  4. There have been no detrimental changes observed in the most salient climate variables and today’s projections of future changes are highly uncertain

The Monckton team case is here, with summary:

There is no “consensus” among scientists that recent global warming was chiefly anthropogenic, still less that unmitigated anthropogenic warming has been or will be dangerous or catastrophic …

Even if it be assumed [for the sake of argument] that all of the 0.8 degC global warming since anthropogenic influence first became potentially significant in 1950 was attributable to us, in the present century little more than 1.2 degC of global warming is to be expected, not the 3.3 degC that the   IPCC had predicted.

Put side by side, the pro and anti IPCC cases create a high-level “climate debate” which warmists have long fought to prevent. “Do not debate!” has been warmist policy  ever since their talent was trounced by the sceptic team in a two-hour New York public debate at Radio City Hall in 2007.[7]The audience initially polled 57.3% to 29.9% for a “Global Warming Crisis”, but after the debate that flipped 46.2% to 42.2% in favour of the sceptics.

US warmist “experts” subsequently refused even to share platforms with sceptic rivals if informed critics of their shtick are given equal standing. In March, 2013, Gavin Schmidt, director of the NASA/GISS climate group, fled the TV interview room (from 6.20 mins) when he learned Roy Spencer, an expert on earth temperature readings from satellite, was arriving and would subject him to questions. A year later Dan Weiss, the director of climate strategy at the liberal Center for American Progress, did an equivalent runner rather than face sceptic Marc Morano in debate, as did Hollywood icon and “Titanic” director James Cameron in 2010.

In a recent exception, warmist Jon Christensen (UCal LA) and sceptic Willie Soon (Harvard) went head to head at a Comedy Club in Los Angeles in January. The result was not scored but the audience jeered whenever Christensen denied California’s soaring power prices were hurting low-income families. The debate can be viewed below.

Several debates have been run in the UK, although BBC Scotland in 2014 banned broadcasting thembecause they would “be in breach of the editorial guidelines on impartiality”.[8] The BBC, notoriously, lied for years and fought FOIs in the courts to maintain that its policy to muzzle sceptic views on climate had been recommended in 2005 by a panel of top science experts. It was finally revealed that 25 of the 28  panel members were green activists and journalists. Only three were current scientists (all alarmists).

The ABC’s Robyn Williams on the Science Show last June 24 purported to run the sceptics’ caseunder the teaser header “Has ‘Denying’ Won?” but in multiple ways stacked the deck to ensure warmist Andy Pitman had the last word on all sceptic propositions.  Those points, in any event had beenpicked and snipped by Williams.

Gillian Triggs, former head of the Human Rights Commission, last Friday backed the ABC’s one-sided handling of the climate debate, saying,

“Should we give equal time and weight for ignorance? Interviewers often employ the technique to put an opposing view and asking the interviewee to comment. The consequence of repeating the ill-informed view as a provocative question has quite the opposite effect in giving air time, oxygen and apparent credibility to a false view.” [9]

It is remarkable that, despite all the warmist establishment’s efforts to suppress criticism of the tattered Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming narrative, most of the Australian public (54%) has seen through it or aren’t convinced. Don’t believe me? Believe this CSIRO survey.

Judge Alsup will throw out the San Francisco City’s lawsuit, for sure. But, meanwhile, the case is shedding delightful light on the wobbly warmist case, and putting sceptic science on to the world stage.

Tony Thomas’ book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here

___________________________________________________________________

[1] The kids or their mentors demand that CO2 be brought down from 400ppm now to 350ppm in 2100.

[2]Extreme weather events, including Hurricane Sandy, have caused Sophie to miss school on many occasions; hailstorms have damaged her house; floodwaters often inundate roads to her house; and Sophie has even been forced to prepare for tornado warnings, which are very unusual for the area where she lives.”

[3] This case is rolling along, with an appeal court this month requiring the Trump administration to submit to trial, likely some time this year.

[4] Chevron, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, BP and Royal Dutch Shell

[5] As a Republican and governor, Schwarzenegger signed into law in 2006 an Act for the State to cut emissions by 2050 to 80% below 1990 levels.

[6] Exxon’s official position is: “The risk of climate change is clear and the risk warrants action. Increasing carbon emissions in the atmosphere are having a warming effect. There is a broad scientific and policy consensus that action must be taken to further quantify and assess the risks.”

[7] The warmist team: Gavin Schmidt (NASA),  Richard C.J. Somerville (Scripps), Brenda Ekwurzel (Union of Concerned Scientists). Sceptics: Richard Lindzen (MIT), Philip Stott (U. London), Michael Crichton (physician/novelist).

[8] The BBC refuses any balance between warmists and sceptics because sceptics’ views are  “based on opinion rather than demonstrable scientific validity”.

[9] Integrity/Jim Carlton  Annual Lecture at Melbourne Law School.

Sinking, sinking, not – Tuvalu. 30/1/2012

Tuvalu and the Maldives would like money from the West as victims of the West’s CO2 emissions. However, their purported problems are largely solvable by their own efforts, without the need to lay guilt trips on the developed countries.


Island states and their rising-seas campaigns 


Tuvalu and the Maldives are two tiny low-lying states making a big splash on the global warming scene. Journos love to label them the ‘canaries in the coal mine’ because when (or if) global warming does its thing, these states will be the first to be washed out. Both countries have been poster children for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and their delegates are prized fixtures at any IPCC conference, “as a symbol of all threatened small island environments”, as the fourth IPCC report put it.

Little is as it seems. Take Tuvalu. Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth movie had this to say re ocean rises:

That’s why the citizens of these Pacific nations have all had to evacuate to New Zealand.

He was obviously including Tuvalu. As UK Judge Michael Burton found – stating the bleeding obvious (10/10/07):

There is no evidence of any such evacuation having yet happened.

Next, Tuvalu continually claims rising seas are doing bad things to it. It so happens that someone found 27 aerial photos of Tuvalu and nearby Kiribati from 60 years ago, and these can be compared with modern satellite photos. Big surprise, the Tuvalu island chain has increased in area, with seven islands growing, including one that has grown by 30%. (The most populous Tuvalu island was not included). Overall, 23 of the total 27 islands were stable or growing, and only four, mostly uninhabited, were shrinking. The study’s co-author, Professor Paul Kench of Auckland University, said the physical basis of the island chains looked OK for the next 100 years, because of the way that coral debris piled up on them and grew there.

Segue now to the IPCC’s Copenhagen conference of late 2009. Ian Fry, Tuvalu’s lead negotiator, told delegates:

I woke up this morning crying, and that’s not easy for a grown man to admit, the fate of my country rests in your hands.

As he said this, his eyes again filled with tears, and mortified delegates applauded him wildly. Later, some nark noticed that he was not from Tuvalu at all, in fact he is a lawyer from Queanbeyan, Canberra’s next-door neighbor. He’s an ex-Greenpeace liaison officer and specializes in island nations.

Tuvalu would like money from the West as victim of the West’s CO2 pollution, along with re-settlement rights into prosperous countries, eg NZ and Australia.

However, Tuvalu’s problems are largely solvable by its own efforts, without the need to lay guilt trips on the West.

Concerning atoll erosion, over-fishing of beaked reef fish and mining of sand, gravel and coral for Western-style house construction are primary causes.  Other ‘bads’ are  denuding of beach vegetation for fuel, asphalting of roads, and urban drift to the main island Funafuti. (Funafuti is only two-thirds the size of London’s Hyde Park, but includes a 1500m air-strip). Waste and waste-water disposal are other serious issues. Above all, having lots of children in a seriously limited habitat is bound to create an environmental mess. The fertility rate in Tuvalu is 3.11 children per woman, compared with Australia, 1.78.

One wonders if global warming and inundations are really top of the mind for half of Tuvalu’s population, namely the females.

Tuvalu acceded  in 1999 to CEDAW – The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women – but has not acted on it. There is no law prohibiting discrimination against women, although discrimination on the basis of race, color and origin is banned. In 2007 an official health survey reported that 47% of women surveyed had suffered violence. In such domestic cases, the police avoid prosecuting and instead seek customary forms of reconciliation.

Turning now to the Maldives, they comprise 1200 islands 700km south-west of Sri Lanka. They were governed by a brutal and corrupt dictatorship for nearly 30 years under President Gayoom, who got re-elected six times from 1978 by  banning all other contenders. In a democratic revolution in 2008, Mohammed Nasheed took over, reconciling with his old persecutors despite his personal history of having been gaoled and tortured.

Nasheed is a one-man public relations industry. His big splash (literally) was in the lead-up to the Copenhagen IPCC conference in 2009. He taught his cabinet the rudiments of scuba-diving and ran a ‘cabinet meeting’ around a table six metres undersea. By raising their hands, and using water-proof crayons on a whiteboard, the cabinet passed resolutions for Western curbs on CO2 emissions and other righteous initiatives.

As Nasheed put it:

Well that’s the bottom line isn’t it – under water. That’s where we will end up. In many senses that might be where we will be having our cabinet meetings in the future.

The Maldives even under the villainous President Gayoom was an IPCC darling. In 1997, the IPCC chose Gayoom’s Maldives as venue for its 13th Plenary (involving its 194 member nations). The intent, presumably, was to give delegates a tingle by visiting a doomed-to-drown venue. Today the Maldives’ Mr Amjad Abdulla even has a seat on the 30-member inner IPCC bureau, comprising a mix of nations including Sudan (a vice-chair).

Nasheed has set a goal for the Maldives to become the planet’s first carbon-neutral state by 2020, a symbolic gesture to the world rather in the style of Julia’s carbon tax. Nasheed talks of  solar power and even electric cars, although a stream of  half a million tourists jetting in annually and gadding about by sea-plane, will make his carbon reductions difficult.

He also has plans to buy land to relocate his otherwise-drowning population, with Australia a candidate.

Even under the Mandela-like Nasheed, Maldivian life and mores are not all that excellent. The Maldives, an Islamic theocracy, is particularly notorious for its public floggings of women who have extra-marital sex. An out-of-wedlock birth is sufficient evidence, hence floggings normally involve the new mothers. The fathers are more or less exempt. Flogging appears to be prevalent, judging by a local comment that for 140 women flogged, there would be only a couple of men.

When the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, criticized the practice during a visit last year, outraged men picketed the local UN building with posters including “Flog Pillay”, and she got some Islamist death threats. Although there are suggestions that the floggings are largely symbolic, a floggee may well differ.

Meanwhile female circumcision is in resurgence, according to a January SMH report, despite President Nasheed’s criticisms of extremists. Girls are also being held back from schooling.

Domestic violence against women is on the rise, while a bill against it has been stalled in Parliament for 14 months. A survey in 2007 found a third of women had been sexually or physically abused.

Currently 30,000 people (more than a tenth of the population, or close to a fifth of the adults) are reportedly heroin addicts; in 2009 a UN team estimated 40% of youths were users. The official response has been gaol terms running into decades, but rehabilitation is now getting some more emphasis. Youth unemployment is nearly 25% (males) and 50% (females).

Rising seas? Well, it’s a good earner.

Tony Thomas is a retired business and economics journalist


NOTES:

Tuvalu

Pop 10,500; land area 26squ km; maximum height 5m. Ferility rate: 3.11.

To observe the absence of sea-level acceleration at Tuvalu, see THE SOUTH PACIFIC SEA LEVEL & CLIMATE MONITORING PROJECT, AusAid and Bureau of Meteorology. Graphic, p22. Pdf here…

Maldives

Pop 400,000, land area 300squ km, maximum height 2.4m. Fertility rate, 1.81.

Nils-Axel Mörner, Emeritus Professor of Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics, Stockholm University, was part of an international sea level project team making six expeditions to the Maldives since 2000. He said (15/10/11): “There is no ongoing rise in the sea level at all and since 1970, it fell by about 20 cm and has remained quite stable for the last 30 to 40 years.”

Drowning Truth in a Sea of Luvvie Piffle

Sooner or later the climate scam’s meal ticket will be cancelled. Tuvalu will still be getting bigger when that happens and catastropharian moochers will need another faux crisis to unlock the public purse. Meanwhile, if you fancy watching hysteria in a flooding Perspex tank, read on

opera house drownsIf you scamper along to the Perth Festival of Arts, you can catch body artist Latai Taumoepeau in a video of herself as a Tongan who’s drowning from the devastating seas of global warming. She dances inside a Perspex tank (pictured below), her movements becoming “more challenging and frenetic” as rising water finally submerges her.

Climate-horror has been her shtick since at least 2007 when, as a delegate, she joined the countless thousands of activists to the Bali season of the IPCC.  She recollects: “It really kind of annoyed me how Australia could not  take responsibility for demise of neighboring countries from climate change and global warming.” Her interlocutor is co-director of Performance Space, Bec Dean:

Dean: “There should be a place for anger…act now, do something about it or f–k off.”

Latai: “Our complacency seems to me like performing water torture  on groups of people who have contributed nothing to climate change.”

In that video Latai identifies as both a first-generation and a third-generation Australian. What’s definite is that she grew up in Marrickville, Sydney, as “a person of color” (ancestry Tongan) afflicted by open and covert racism that gave her a “sense of otherisation”.

tank girlHer actor-musician friend Jay Laga-aia says,  “She definitely is a voice that can’t be silenced.” Silenced? She’s had $27,000 direct from the Australia Council, plus indirect Australia Council help through its funding of events in which she stars. She is also an Australia Council peer assessor with a voice in deciding which of her fellow artists get funding and how much, as she explains in this video clip. When not  pursuing or distributing taxpayer grants, she has taken her show to London. I can’t detect a brutal silencing campaign.

She has another climate-horror dance involving fixing herself painfully to a 500kg block of melting ice (the Antarctic isn’t melting, but never mind). She cries and wails, to the distress of pal Bec Dean.

In a third show, called Disaffected, she says she’s in a climate disaster zone: “What it feels like to have your homelands swamped. What it feels like to have to leave your land and culture behind, or to see the bones of your ancestors washed away.”

Another show “Nothing to Lose”, at the Sydney Festival in 2015, wasn’t about climate horrors but a collaboration with six other dancers and “fat activist” Kelli Jean Drinkwater  “exploring the movement and sculptural quality of the larger physical form“. The SMH’s critic noted:

“A delightfully light-hearted sequence where the performers shimmy and shake each and every part of their bodies is contrasted with another during which one performer throws herself repeatedly on the floor – whether in frustration or despair, it is hard to tell.”

Re-done at Melbourne’s Malthouse, the audience was

“encouraged to lift the skin of a belly and to feel its weight as it fell upon release or to trace their hands along the contours of the body until they found a hair. And once at that singular hair to twirl it with their fingertips made for an intimate celebration of ‘the sculptural splendor of the fat dancing body.’”

Well, I have great news for Latai Taumoepeau. Seas are not drowning Pacific islands after all. The most low-lying of them, Tuvalu, continues growing in size, according to a new peer-reviewed paper in Nature Communications by University of Auckland scientists. Using aerial photos and satellite imagery, they found that, from 1971-2014, eight of the nine atolls and nearly three-quarters of the 101 reef islands grew in extent rather than eroded. Tuvalu gained 73 hectares or 2.9%. Of the 101 islands, 73 have grown.

After backside-saving kow-tows to climate orthodoxy, the paper says the Tuvalu islanders should  skip their doomsday caterwauling and hopes for antipodean visas, and instead “start planning for a long-term future”. Co-author Paul Kench  says that since Tuvalu land is expanding, there’s decades for the islanders to work out adaptation plans. “Loss of land is unlikely to be a factor in forcing depopulation of Tuvalu,”  he concludes.

It’s been established for years that  Tuvalu is growing, but this evidence has been ignored both by the Pacific islanders (who have used ‘international compensation’ for global warming as a money machine), and by all the green propaganda groups which use “drowning islands” as persuaders of the ignorant. Indeed my first contribution to Quadrant Online six years ago dealt with an earlier study by the same Auckland Professor Paul Kench, who had used wartime aerial pics to show Tuvalu was growing  and had nothing to worry about for the next 100 years.

That article noted, “Concerning atoll erosion, over-fishing of beaked reef fish and mining of sand, gravel and coral for Western-style house construction are primary causes.  Other ‘bads’ are  denuding of beach vegetation for fuel, asphalting of roads, and urban drift to the main island Funafuti. Waste and waste-water disposal are other serious issues. Above all, having lots of children in a seriously limited habitat is bound to create an environmental mess. The fertility rate in Tuvalu is 3.11 children per woman, compared with Australia, 1.78.”

Tuvalu nonetheless was great for climate activists, a literally tear-jerking issue. At the IPCC’s Copenhagen conference in late 2009, Ian Fry, Tuvalu’s lead negotiator, told delegates, “I woke up this morning crying, and that’s not easy for a grown man to admit, the fate of my country rests in your hands.”

As he said this, his eyes again filled with tears, and mortified delegates applauded him wildly. Later, some nark noticed that he was not from Tuvalu at all, in fact he was a lawyer from Queanbeyan, Canberra’s next-door neighbour. He’s an ex-Greenpeace liaison officer and a specialist in island-nation advocacy.

At the 2015 Paris climate farce, Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga said, “Tuvalu’s future at current warming is already bleak. Any further temperature increase will spell the total demise of Tuvalu.” For the sake of Tuvalu (pop 10,000) he wanted the whole world (pop 7.6 billion) to eschew fossil fuels in the phantasmagoric hope of capping warming at 1.5deg.

Climate huckster Al Gore in his Inconvenient Truth movie fictionalised that “the citizens of these Pacific nations have all had to evacuate to New Zealand.” A UK High Court judge Michael Burton, stating the bleeding obvious, said Gore’s claim was false. Gore has never amended his film, which has since been force-fed to millions of Australian schoolchildren. Undaunted by such strictures from the UK Bench (there were eight other errors judicially noted), Melbourne University chancellor Allen Myers AC QC  last July awarded Gore an honorary doctorate – in Laws, would you believe.

Australian taxpayer aid to Tuvalu  for the three years to 2017-18 is $24 million, not bad for an island population of a mere 10,100. DFAT mentions the island’s economic problems and adds, “Climate change impacts will exacerbate these development challenges.” However this “climate change” aid is  nothing  more than normal development, such as augmenting fresh water, food security and cyclone recovery. Apparently bureaucrats have to keep saying “climate change” to please Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull.

Last May a World Bank paper by Prof Stephen Howes from the   Australian National University urged that the Tuvalu and Kiribati (pop 107,000) get open rights to migrate progressively to Australasia in order to save residents from (non-existent) island shrinkage. “The worsening impacts of climate change have provided a new moral imperative for providing open access,” he wrote . Sea levels, he said inexplicably, “have already begun inundating land and homes across the islands.”

So far the number of climate refugee claims from the Pacific amount to 17. The successful ones: zero. This compares with the UN forecasting 50 million globally by 2010.

The Wikipedia page Climate Change in Tuvalu has already updated to include the Auckland land-growth results in its opening  paragraph. I suspect the warmist vigilantes who censor Wikipedia will find a way to smother and erase that good news shortly.

Sir Porritt’s Island of Climate Criminals

That catastropharians consider themselves so much brighter and more insightful than the knuckle-dragging rest of us is not news, yet the vaulting arrogance of climate cultists can still surprise. Take the deep-green Forum for the Future, which cheerfully anticipates penal colonies for sceptics

fasces IVThe Kerguelen islands are horridly cold and windy specks near the Antarctic, populated by a few score of French scientists and several thousand sheep. But to a leading British green group, Forum for the Future, it has enormous potential as an internationally-run penal colony for global warming sceptics.

The Forum’s founder-director is Jonathon Porritt, 67, Eton- and Oxford-bred Chancellor of Keele University,  adviser to Prince Charles, and Green Party activist. [1] The Forum’s fancy for Kerguelen can be found in its 76-page report “Climate Futures – Responses to Climate Change in 2030”,written in conjunction with Hewlett-Packard, a company which should know better. This scenario, one of five, involves the naughty world  delaying the reduction of emissions, for which we must all suffer. The document even conjures a fictional climate criminal and imagines him being deported to Kerguelen in 2028. He is Jean-Claude Bertillon, leader of the No Climate Change Party in Canada, “convicted of denying the existence of climate change”.

The report actually fantasises three  penal colonies which, from the context, must be for for climate criminals. The other two are Britain’s frosty South Georgia[2]  and the South Island of New Zealand. Written in 2008, the document attempts to show how CO2 emissions will wreck the planet within a couple of decades unless civilisation turns away from the sins of consumerism and economic growth. As we are now almost half-way to the 2030 forecast date it is possible to get a handle on how the Forum’s timeline is working out, and perhaps to gain an inkling of any substance to the report’s assertion that our descendants will look back on us with the same disgust we reserve for the slave-owners of yesteryear.

The   authors — and Porritt himself — long for an eco-catastrophe that would eliminate all public doubts about climate doom.  Their manifesto says,

“Because of a chilling lack of confidence in our leaders … our only hope would be for an isolated, serious pre-taste of climate change to happen soon enough for the political and behavioral response to have a useful impact.”

This is probably wishful thinking, as Porritt, founder director of Forum for the Future and chair of the UK’s Sustainable Development Commission, pointed out:

‘I have occasionally fantasised about a low mortality-count scenario where a Force Six hurricane takes out Miami, but with plenty of warning so the entire  city is evacuated with zero loss of life. The insurance industry in America would collapse because this could be a $50-60 billion climate-related ‘natural’ disaster. The industry wouldn’t be able to cope with that. There would be knock-on pain throughout the global economy, massive, traumatic dislocation. This would act as enough of an injection of physical reality, coupled with financial consequences for leaders to say: ‘Ok, we’ve got it now. This isn’t just about some nasty effects on poor countries: this is devastating for our entire model of progress.’ The response to that would be a negotiated transition towards a very low-carbon global economy that builds increased prosperity for people in more equitable and sustainable ways.’”

The report says its five scenarios are all possible, based on “a review of the current science” and “input from scores of experts.” In all five scenarios global warming and extreme weather are, of course, far worse and more perilous than even the 2007 IPCC report suggested.[3] Here are some of its prescribed green correctives:

Expensive, state-funded information campaigns reinforce the need for changes to lifestyles and aim to keep the mandate for state intervention strong. Inevitably parallels are drawn between this and the authoritarian state propaganda of the twentieth century.

“‘Climate crime’ is a social faux pas everywhere, but in some countries it is a crime to publicly question the existence of anthropogenic climate change or to propose actions that could in some way contribute to climate change.

“It is very rare to come across dissenting voices with any real power, but resistance to overly strong state intervention is occasionally violent. The media in some countries has been permitted to discuss whether the single focus on resolving climate change means that other equally important or inter-linked issues are being ignored.” (Report’s emphasis, not mine)

Meanwhile,

“in some countries a licence is now required to have children and these are awarded according to a points system. Climate-friendly behaviour means points…

 “It is not unusual for governments to monitor household energy consumption in real time, with warnings sent to homes that exceed their quotas. For example, citizens could be told to turn off certain appliances such as washing machines or kettles or even have them switched off remotely.”

In 2014 Harvard luminary Naomi Oreskes forecast the extinction of all Australians amid climate woes. The Future Forum is more moderate,  envisaging merely the abandonment of waterless central Australia, a “collapse of Australian agriculture”,  and a “particularly toxic” combination of drought and recession.[4]

In what the Forum authors call “alarming reading”, Australia’s Friends of the Earth climate experts predict the disappearance of Arctic summer ice by 2013, “almost a century earlier than suggested by the IPCC”. The actual 2013 minimum was about five million square kilometres of sea ice, and it was a bit more than that last year.

The authors let slip some of the green’s secret tradecraft, in terms of their projected advances in fostering ever-creeping state control under the smokescreen of controlling emissions:

“In most cases this has happened gradually, ratcheting up over time, with citizens surrendering control of their lives piecemeal rather than all at once, as trading regimes, international law, lifestyles and business have responded to the growing environmental crisis. And so in 2030, greenhouse gas emissions are beginning to decline, but the cost to individual liberty has been great.”

One is hardly surprised to find such a green-minded document citing Cuba as a beacon of hope for quality of life. But also Nicaragua and Bhutan?

There is the distinct possibility that non-western development paths could gain greater credence. At one extreme, the development strategies adopted today by Cuba, Bhutan, Nicaragua or Thailand could be the pioneers of future diversity. Here, new priorities, particularly around ‘quality of life’, have sidelined many aspects of traditional western development models.

Here are some snippets from the scenarios.

2009-18: Global depression and harrowing malnutrition are caused by high oil and commodity prices. In 2017,  “authorities (are) warned to prepare for a ‘suicide epidemic’ in the US caused by the Depression.” [Reality: Dow Jones index now at record levels and oil prices relatively low.]

2018: Reunification of Korea with Pyongyang as the capital. [Great work, Kim Jong-un!]

2020:  The year of no winter in the northern hemisphere.
 [Right now, the US and Europe are blanketed by extreme cold and snowfalls].

2022: Oil hits US$400 a barrel [current price: US$60],[5]  making world trade and air travel prohibitively expensive. The carbon price makes carbon “one of the most important and expensive commodities in the world today”. [In reality the carbon futures price has collapsed to about US$8 a tonne. Labor’s Rudd-Gillard carbon price was about $A23.]

2026: NATO has defined breaking the 2020 Beijing Climate Change Agreement as an attack on all its members, to be defended by military force.

2029: Planned permanent settlement of the Antarctic Peninsula, taking people from climate-stressed countries. Styled as the first true global community, its population is projected to be 3.5 million by 2040.

2030: Waterless Oklahoma has been abandoned. Texas becomes independent [so much for the Civil War of 1861-65].

2030: “The US president launches a re-election campaign with a populist speech entitled ‘What is the Point of the UN?’ after a debate in New York descends into factional chaos.” [Donald Trump last month beat the forecaste by 13 years].

Some predictions in the document are quite good, albeit easy ones. Try these:

2026: Supercomputer Alf-8 correctly predicts general strike in France. [Well, doh!]

2012-30: China is accused of lying and cheating on its emissions pledges.

The document’s part-hidden agenda is propaganda for the lunatic “simplicity movement” in which everyone returns to an idyll of backyard vegetables and disdain for material things, such as cars and toasters. For example, in 2022 “a general retailer in the UK announces that it has sold more wool for home use than manufactured knitwear for the first time in its history.” In other words, won’t it be wonderful when we all have to knit our own clothes.[6] [7]

The  authors also take for another run the failed Club of Rome’s 1972  “Limits to Growth” diagnosis: Prices for raw materials are very high and getting higher, having major impacts on manufacturing processes and the world economy… Proposals have been tabled for commercial mining ventures on the moon… The world is in a deadly race to develop new processes before resources run out completely.”

In a passage  obviously written by academics, the academics become the heroes of the future: “Communications like the ‘world wide internet’ have fragmented. A small group of academics preserve a global network, their dream to ‘re-unite’ the world.”

The report’s best prediction, undoubtedly, is for an upsurge in rent-a-bikes. I counted four of those yellow oBikes on my dog-walking path just this morning.

Tony Thomas’s book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here

 


[1] One of his predecessors as Keele Chancellor was Princess Margaret (1962-86).

[2] South Georgia’s national day each September 4 is dedicated to the Patagonian toothfish.

[3] “The scenarios are based on wide research and consultation and a rigorous methodology.”

[4] The 2017 reality: Australia’s winter grain harvest last year was down 40% on 2016, which had smashed records by 30%. World crop production hit a record, thanks partly to higher CO2 levels and mild long-term warming. Wheat production, for example, was at a record 750 million metric tonnes.

[5] In 2008, when the report was written, oil was at US$150 a barrel

[6] I tried knitting during train trips to school at age 14 but my outputs were never successful.

[7] A nest of “simplicity” people currently push the same line at Melbourne University’s Sustainable Society Institute. The green-infested Australian Academy of Science hosted a Fenner conference for zero-growthers in 2014, some of them  advocating 90% cuts to Australia living standards.

* the headline on this article was changed several hours after publication for no better reason than this seemed a better one – rf

The ABC’s Agenda-Bending ‘Nobelist’

Penny Whetton was once Peter and a nob catastropharian at the error-prone IPCC, where his shtick was global calamity. Now that she is on the gay-marriage bandwagon, the national broadcaster came calling to bolster its pro-SSM coverage with the view of a Stockholm laureate. He wasn’t and she isn’t

penny whettonAbout climate change, the ABC displays  pitiful ignorance. Holding its tax-fed reporters and producers to account is about as productive as chiding toddlers for wet nappies.

Still, someone needs to supply some elementary  instruction and it might as well be me, although I was planning to wash to dog this morning.

Through yesterday (Sunday) the ABC news site was burbling about Melbourne climate scientist Penny Whetton as a “Nobel Prize winner” a la Albert Einstein and our locals such as Macfarlane Burnett, Peter Doherty and Brian Schmidt.[1] [2]

The story was actually focused on Whetton’s legal same-sex marriage to Greens federal senator Janet Rice. When they married 31 years ago, Whetton was the male and the couple now have two  adult sons. Whetton transitioned to female, while  two females continued in what they say is their loving and legal marriage. All well and gender-good, albeit a tad confusing.

On the flagship 7pm TV news last night, reporter Elias Clure (should that be “Clureless”?) intoned, “Senator Rice and Miss Whetton, a Nobel Prize recipient, are one of the few same sex couples in a legally binding marriage…”

The ABC film crew then cut to a certificate on the couple’s wall, with a replica of the official Nobel picture and screed. The clip moved to a close-up to show the text reading, “Presented to PENNY WHETTON for contributing to the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE for 2007 to the IPCC.”[3]

The certificate is signed by the  IPCC’s  then-chair (2002-15), the porn-novel author and alleged (very) dirty old man Rajendra Pachauri. Now 77, he resigned abruptly in February, 2015, when accused by a 29-year-old female subordinate of an 18-month sexual harassment onslaught.[4] The Whetton certificate is counter-signed by the IPCC’s then-secretary, Ms Renate Christ. It’s a rare example of the ABC taking Christ’s words seriously.

The Peace Prize also has been awarded to the corrupt and murderous late  billionaire Yasser Arafat (1994)[5]  and the tottering and terror-traumatised European Union (2012)[6].

The Peace Prize in 2007 went jointly to electricity-guzzling CO2 hypocrite Al Gore[7] and the IPCC itself for pumping out fake climate-catastrophe warnings (the IPCC’s climate models continue to over-forecast actual warming by two to three times).

IPCC Chair Pachauri wrote on October 16, 2007, to the hundreds of lead authors of the IPCC’s 2007 report saying that they could all now call themselves Nobel laureates:

“I have been stunned in a pleasant way with the news of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for the IPCC. This makes each of you Nobel Laureates and it is my privilege to acknowledge this honour on your behalf.”

Among the patsies who fell for Pachauri’s hype were our own CSIRO and Monash University, neither of which thought to check Pachauri’s claim with the Nobel secretariat in Oslo. Deakin Univerisity’s vice-chancellor, Jane den Hollander, awarded Nobel Prize status to Pachauri himself. Penny Whetton, then leading the CSIRO’s Climate Change Impact and Risks group, joined the 2007 self-congratulation at the Nobel for herself and her colleagues.[8]

Pachauri hot-footed to the local Snap-Print and ran off personalized Nobel certificates for posting to thousands of contributors to the IPCC since its foundation in 1988, including reviewers, panelists, technical geeks and bureaucrats. For what it’s worth, a Jewish historical society has estimated Australia’s 2007 “Nobellists” alone at 100 to 200 climate careerists.

These certificates have the unimpeachable authenticity of a Zimbabwean 100 billion dollar note, or of the incessant forecasts since 1988 of an ice-free Arctic (current sea ice extent: about 8 million square kilometres).

The epitome of such pomposity is world-leading climate alarmist Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann, who in an affidavit   accused his detractors of the brand-new crime of “personal defamation of a  Nobel Prize recipient.”[9]

Certificate recipients include those, I suppose, who fantasised in the Fourth Report (2007) that the Himalayan glaciers would melt in 2035 and leave billions on the Subcontinent bereft of fresh water.[10] A top member of the IPCC cabal, Kevin Trenberth, emailed his pals that Christmas:  “Season’s greetings to all my fellow Nobel Laureates, even if we did not get to go to Oslo.”[11]

This   posturing about “Nobels” got so all-pervasive that someone (I assume the Nobel’s secretariat in Oslo) read the riot act to the IPCC. This forced the IPCC in October 2012 to tell its Nobel-winning myriads  to back-off:

The prize was awarded to the IPCC as an organization, and not to any individual associated with the IPCC. Thus it is incorrect to refer to any IPCC official, or scientist who worked on IPCC reports, as a Nobel laureate or Nobel Prize winner.” (My emphasis).

Understandably, this IPCC missive was not signed by Pachauri, who had falsely lent his authority to the original fake-Nobel proliferation. The IPCC has also warned,

“No individual, no matter what their involvement with the IPCC, can pass themselves off an a Nobel Laureate. Not even Dr Rajendra Pachauri  is an individual laureate.”[12]

No wonder Oslo was worried. If pseudo-scientists on the IPCC could claim Nobel Laureate status because the IPCC got the Peace Prize, then every one of the 500 million citizens of the European Union is also a Nobel laureates (via the EU’s 2012 Peace Prize).

I have previously urged the IPCC to issue a recall notice for its Nobel  certificates, as these bits of paper continue to befuddle the media innocents at the ABC and elsewhere. Penny Whetton could replace the blank spot on her wall with an equivalent poster, say, of mermaids frolicking with dolphins in a coral wonderland.

Tony Thomas won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his book of Quadrant essays last year, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print. Purchase it here.


[1] Through a stealth edit, the news item today now calls Whetton “a renowned climatologist”.

[2] SBS also treats Whetton as a Nobel laureate

[3] IPCC = Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

[4] New Delhi police ever since have been trying to get him into court to answer their charges of molestation, stalking, sexual harassment and criminal intimidation. If convicted, he could spend seven years in jail.

[5] Arafat’s Nobel Peace Prize parchment is now held by Hamas gunmen, who grabbed it when looting his house a decade ago.

[6] The EU’s prize was “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”. Europe is such a peaceful place these days, just ask any culturally enriched London train passenger. In the case of Australia, the measures mentioned are inducing world-topping electricity prices and the odd blackout.

[7] The swimming pool at one of Gore’ mansions consumes as much electricity for heating as six normal houses in total.

[8] The eight “Nobellists” celebrated by the CSIRO on October 16, 2007 were Penny Whetton, Kevin Hennessy, Roger Jones, Ian Watterson, Barrie Pittock, Bryson Bates, Nathan Bindoff, and Mark Howden.

[9] Mann’s “Hockey Stick” paleoclimate study of 1999 was adopted by the IPCC in 2001 as its landmark justification that current warming is unprecedented in 1000 years, but thereafter became one of the most debunked studies in climate history. Two decades later Mann is still fighting court orders to disclose his underlying data.

[10] This furphy, based purely on a magazine’s scuttle-butt, passed through all IPCC review processes and later led to nine “erratas”, even conceding dud arithmetic.

[11] Trenberth wrote the all-time classic Climategate email:

The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.”

[12] The Punch (5 February, 2010)

 

COMMENTS [9]

  1. ianl

    Yet again the propensity of the MSM, in particular the ABC, to control and censor the public “information” flow to suit a propagandising agenda.

    Now a brief recount of an egregious example of this from last night’s 8pm Sky News (Tuesday Sept 19th 2017) that even Cassandra (my alter ego) had never thought to see (just lacked the imagination, you see). To understand the perniciousness of this incident, one need only know that Foxtel has an “R” rating application it uses for (mostly) films on its’ World Movies channel it has deemed as requiring R-certificate censorship. A screen suddenly fronts that requires a 4-digit code to be fed in before any broadcast is allowed to continue – the TV screen is black-blocked, sound off, with only this code requirement showing until you dutifully obey or change channels to something apparently less deemable.

    So, most unusually, I tuned into Jones & Credlin (Channel 601) a few minutes prior to 8pm because the promos had said something like Credlin and guest Abbott would be robustly discussing the energy mess we have. Although Credlin is not much on hard policy detail (at least the few times I’ve seen her), she does have access to the public megaphone for cross-examination of the slimy ones.

    Suddenly, just before the Jones/Credlin segment was due to start, the sound from the TV stopped. I turned around to see what had gone wrong (not paying attention till then), and there was the deemable R-certificate censorship screen, demanding I feed in the release code so I could watch a segment of political commentary (not some soft-porn film).

    For me, a minor inconvenience and a large belly laugh at the juveniles running Sky. But it seems likely that the more casual of the audience may have concluded that violence/sex unacceptable to family life was about to be screened and so changed channels, or even not noticed for some time that the broadcast was stopped.

    Foxtel and Sky News deemed a political commentary segment to be of R-certificate content, in the same category as pornography or highly graphic portrayals of violence. As I’ve noted, this censorship possibility had never occurred to me – obviously, I just lacked the imagination. And no, this wasn’t a “mistake” or a programme “glitch”. It was meant by Sky as a pathetically jejune attempt to censor its’ own broadcast segment. This is the abysmal bottom level we have reached on the road to Disenlightenment. The MSM is toxic, repulsive.

  2. StephenD

    The ABC should be privatised or better still just closed down. There is no justification for a government-funded media outlet in this day and age. The ABC was established to ensure there was a media outlet free of commercial influence. However that is the least of our worries now. What we have got instead is taxpayer-funded Green-Left media dinosaur. Like the AHRC, which is also blatantly biased in the same direction, the ABC is tireless in promoting an outdated ideology not shared by at least half of the people who are being forced to pay for it. This is an abuse of government funds.
    I pay for Quadrant, without government assistant. Let people stupid enough to like the ABC pay for the rotten thing themselves. It worked well for the Climate Council, which continues to offer indispensable advice to its adoring public, such as that they should eat their leftovers to help save the planet. The ABC operates at a similar intellectual level, and no doubt has many supporters among the intelligentsia of Australia who will prove more than happy to pay for its indispensable services.

    • Doc S

      What an excellent idea. They could transition to a public subscription service like the US’ PBS (the American ABC equivalent) To quote the Wikipedia entry: “PBS is an independently operated non-profit organization and is the most prominent provider of government-funded educational television programming to public television stations in the United States… PBS is funded by member station dues, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, government agencies, corporations, foundations and individual citizens.” So not entirely off the taxpayer’s teat as it were, but near as dammit AND a perfectly good model for dare I say it, ‘our’ ABC! Just think of the money the government would save – a $billion or two a year – certainly help pay our half-a-trillion deficit nes pa? Get Cory or Pauline to put a private member’s bill up (or one of the more spine-possessing Coalition MPs). Now wouldn’t that be a thing to see?

  3. Jody

    These gender benders only get a glimpse because we live in the ‘Age of the Abnormal’ (my GPs words).

  4. padraic

    The ABC types just make it up as they go along and they do not appear to do any background research. Their pronunciation of rural Australian place names is appalling. That could be because most of their staff are from the northern hemisphere and or possibly because they have never got beyond Newtown railway station.

  5. Patrick McCauley

    Hahahahahahahahaha. Lovely TT … what a lovely mind you have … such a light touch on such heavy things is rare indeed. Thank you. Made my day.

  6. colman moloney

    TT, I bought your book and thought it was sensational. If you keep writing this stuff, you might have to whip out another.

  7. Doubting Thomas

    If he does, I’ll buy it.

Inconvenient Truths for a Gore Groupie

Inconvenient Truths for a Gore Groupie

The literary editor of The Australian’s weekend Review section is a gifted journalist, but it seems he couldn’t grasp a single key element about Al Gore and climate profiteers if a polar bear fell on him. In an effort to foil an otherwise decent newspaper’s promotion of piffle, here’s a remedial primer

typing underwater IIWollongong University senior lecturer in journalism Dr David Blackall lamented in a recent journal article  about the ignorance and bias of  journalists reporting on the global warming scare. The Australian is the country’s most rigorous newspaper by far when it comes to climate reporting, its environment reporter, Graham Lloyd, doing a masterful job in covering even-handedly  the controversies.

So how and why does The Australian elsewhere make itself a laughing stock as an advocate of climate ignorance? There’s more than enough climate drivel  being daily pumped out by the Fairfax press and ABC.[1] So why does The Australian allow itself to sink to the level of addled and withering former broadsheets and the national broadcaster’s taxpayer-funded alarmist collective?

The media’s handling of climate stories is hardly a trivial issue. Britain’s leading alarmist, Lord Stern, is calling for $US90 trillion spending to cut CO2 emissions. In the Third World, the lives of countless millions of peasants will remain nasty, unhealthy and short as we deny them the life-giving benefits of cheap, coal-fired power. In Australia, as Liberal MHR Craig Kelly correctly points out, some among the elderly poor will die from the cold because they can’t afford to pay their power bills.

Turn now to the most recent Weekend Australian and its arty insert Review section.

Suppose a section editor at the News Corp publication wrote that Hitler invaded Poland in 1959, D-Day took place in June, 1964, and Hitler hanged himself in his bunker in 1965. Surely someone, whether a junior sub or a top-level manager, would notice at proof stage and prevent such gross ignorance being published? No such supervision occurred last Saturday, when an equivalent howler on climate made it into print.

The matter was  under the by-line of Stephen Romei, literary editor, who only a fortnight earlier was encouraging his book reviewer Claire Corbett to froth that

“for the average person in the affluent West, soft drinks pose a far deadlier threat than terrorists.”

This time it was Romei himself who bent a shoulder to the wheel of ignorance in his review of Al Gore’s latest scare film, An Inconvenient Sequel, writes in his second paragraph, “Perhaps this film will, like its 1986 predecessor, An Inconvenient Truth, be a slow-burner. Made for $US15 million, that film made $US50m, won an Oscar and delivered Gore the Nobel Peace Prize…”

As anyone even slightly acquainted with the climate debate would know, Gore’s first film was not released in 1986 but 20 years later, in 2006.  A typo on the date would be forgivable, but date typos don’t involve three wrong digits out of four. Note also that, within a single  sentence, he peddles a second error. No-one “delivered” to Gore “the Nobel Peace Prize”. That 2007 award was shared 50:50 between Gore and the IPCC as an institution.

That mistake is not a hanging offence – shared winners of (genuine) Nobel Prizes typically ignore the “shared” element.[2] But in context, Romei is writing like a Gore fan-boy who can’t be bothered googling the facts.

Romei is actually proud of his ignorance of the climate debate. “I’m not going to pretend to know how right or wrong Gore is about climate change,” he writes. So why is he  reviewing the film rather than giving the  job, ideally, to a pair of expert reviewers with opposing viewpoints? Immediately, in self-contradiction, Romei then announces that Gore’s new film is “not a polemic, not a rant, not dominated by political dogma or personal anger.”

A conscientious reviewer would at least have revisited Gore’s 2006 Inconvenient Truth, which was indeed a polemic, a rant, and dominated by political dogma, not to mention its progenitor’s commercial interests and profit making imperatives.  Look up the judgement of Burton J. in the UK High Court. His Worship noted nine significant errors, including Gore’s utter nonsense that Pacific Island populations had been evacuated to NZ to escape their drowning isles. Because UK school education must eschew political propaganda (our Australian school system offers no such safeguards), the judge ordered the film not be shown to UK children without the teacher first alerting them to the film’s mistakes and its “partisan political views” of a “one-sided” nature.

Gore’s snake-oil ethics were such that he never re-edited to correct the film’s errors or issued his own errata. Australian teachers have continued to screen its error-laden propaganda to their captive audiences of millions of Australian children.

Romei ignores Gore’s  hypocrisy in telling the hoi polloi to cut their emissions while the failed presidential contender’s Nashville mansion – one of three –  uses as much electricity to heat its pool, as six normal houses in total. This palace in total consumes 21 times the energy of a normal US home. Solar panels account for only 6% of the power used. Gore has also made hundreds of millions with his   Big Green energy trading and through the 2013 sale of his “Current TV” channel to the Qataris’ Al Jazeera, who paid for it with their carbon-steeped oil revenues.

As for whether An Inconvenient Sequel is a rant, I haven’t seen it but I have watched the trailer (“This is climate  change,” Gore lies about random storms).  I also sat through and recorded his 75-minute Melbourne lecture last July 13, publishing a 6000-word transcript to alert the global community to Gore’s fake claims and phony science. To Gore, any and all wild weather is “climate change” happening before our very  eyes,  notwithstanding that the IPCC itself, and numerous recent studies, have found that extreme weather damage is on a falling trend.[3]  Gore is ignorant, a liar or both.

But Romei lacks the energy or smarts to run a check on the readily available studies that refute Gore’s claims. Romei writes:

It’s at ground – and sea and sky – level that a disturbing thriller movie unfolds. We see devastating  natural disasters, including Typhoon Haiyan in The Philippines in 2013, which killed more than 6000 people, and unusual weather events such as ‘rain bombs’ and flooding  in US states such as Florida. Australia wades in, too, with widespread flooding in Victoria[4]…Gore believes such wild weather is due to, or exacerbated by, climate change.

Gore  also suckers Romei in to the fairytale about Georgetown, Texas, as poster-city for supposedly 100% renewable energy.  Georgetown draws its electricity from the Texas grid  powered by 44% natural gas, 29% coal, 12% nuclear and a mere 16% renewables.

By now the public – Romei excepted – is cynical about Gore’s perpetual wolf-crying. Romei is perplexed that the cinema he attended  was “near-empty”. Again, if he’d done any homework, he’d know that the film bombed in its US opening, ranking  15th on its first US week,  or a mere $US5000 per screen.

Getting back to Romei’s initial howler about Gore’s “1986” first film, one has to wonder what Romei believes went on in climate between 1986 and Gore’s 2007 award of half a Nobel Peace Prize. Maybe, like Einstein and Stephen Hawking,  Romei has found mathematical warps in space-time. But let me do him a favour with the actual climate time-line for the modern period. Romei and his fellow climate-media kids  can pin the timeline to their office cubicle partitions as a handy reference.

January 1975: Because the scientific consensus of that era feared a  global cooling phase, PM Gough Whitlam demanded a report from the Australian Academy of Science on the potential cooling threat to Australian agricultural output.  The Academy – which at that time, but not now, avoided political activism – reported in 1976 that climate changed so slowly (over many centuries) that there was really nothing to worry about.[5]

June 23, 1988: the global warming scare was launched in testimony to a US Senate committee by James Hansen of NASA.[6] To make the congressional session more  dramatic, Hansen’s Democrat ally, Senator Tim Wirth, scheduled the hearing on a day forecast to be the hottest in Washington that summer. In addition, Wirth sabotaged the air-conditioning the previous night to ensure the TV cameras could show everyone sweating in the heat.

1988: Maurice Strong, executive director of the UN Environmental Program, helped get the IPCC set up as a combination of UNEP and the World Meteorological Organisation. Strong also organised the Rio Earth Summit of 1992, which woke up the West’s politicians to a new, feel-virtuous campaign involving vast potential tax inflows.[7] In 2007, while investigating corruption in the Iraq Food for Oil program, the FBI came across a cheque to Strong for $US998,000 by a corrupt  South Korean business man via a Jordanian bank. Strong hastened to the first plane for Beijing, China having no extradition formalities with the US, and lived there until his death in 2015 at 86, the cheque still unexplained.

1999: To make its warming story stick, the IPCC needed to show that 20th-century warming was ‘unprecedented’, but the Medieval Warming Period (when Greenland grew grapes) was a fly in the IPCC ointment. A then-youthful scientist, Michael Mann, constructed a 1000-year temperature record using proxies such as tree rings. This graph, the infamously inaccurate ‘hockey stick’, erased both the Medieval Warming and the Little Ice Age (1550-1850) that followed.

The IPCC featured the Mann chart seven times in its 2001 report, the graph becoming for a while the virtual logo and icon of the organisation. But Mann refused all requests to make his data and algorithms public for verification. In the IPCC’s 2007 report, the hitherto famous ‘hockey stick’ was downgraded to one mention of its controversial nature. In 2017 Mann was still hiding his data, even in defiance of a Canadian court ruling last July that it be provided to defendants in a libel suit Mann himself had  initiated. In Washington, where another libel suit against columnist Mark Steyn has been bogged down down for years, he has been no less coy about revealing the secrets of his climate modelling.

2004: In response to requests for his original data, Professor Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia, co-creator and custodian of the HADCRUT global surface temperature record replied with the classic line, “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?” After also advising colleagues to unlawfully delete official emails subject to Freedom of Information requests, Jones later confessed that his raw data no longer existed because he hadn’t stored and backed up the originals.[8]

2007: The IPCC Fourth Report was published claiming warming would melt the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 and deprive billions on the sub-continent of fresh water. The claim was based on a chat between a supposed glacier expert, Syen Hasnain, and a magazine reporter. The relevant page of the IPCC report now contains no less than nine “erratas”, even conceding dud arithmetic. When a genuine glacier scientist, Vijay Raina, challenged the 2035 claim, notiong that melting would actually take many centuries, IPCC chair and dirty old man Rajendra Pachauri derided him for ‘voodoo science’. Pachauri then appointed Syed Hasnain, the original source of the eroneous 2035 claim, to his think-tank and secured millions of dollars in grants to study the faked melting-glacier crisis.

2009: The release of the Climategate emails showed top members of the climate-alarm industry conspiring to keep dissenting science out of the peer-reviewed literature, even boasting of getting a journal editor sacked for publishing such papers. While they publicly denied significant flaws in their warming narrative, they admitted in private that the flaws were real. They boasted of their shoddy practices, such as “using Mike’s (Mann’s) Nature trick… to hide the decline” (i.e. concealing inconvenient results generated by their tree-ring  temperature proxy series).

2010: Unwilling to further endorse the IPCC’s credibility, the InterAcademy Council (the executive composed of 11 national science bodies) ordered an audit of the IPCC.  It urged Pachauri to quit but he refused. The audit found “significant shortcomings in each [i.e. every] major step of IPCC’s assessment process”.

The audit results were swept under the rug by the Australian Academy of Science, notwithstanding that its then-president Kurt Lambeck, was a prominent member of the international audit.[9]

November 14, 2010: Ottmar Edenhofer, then a top-level co-chair of IPCC Working Group 111, is quoted by the Zuricher Zeitung:

Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.”

February 3, 2015: Christiana Figueres, then executive secretary of the UN body governing the IPCC, announces,

This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution.

Presumably, Figueres has some sort of socialist or world-government model in mind.

February 24, 2015: IPCC chair (2002-2015) Pachauri, 74, quits abruptly on being charged by New Delhi police with multiple counts of sexual stalking and harassment involving a 29-year-old female employee. Pachauri denies guilt, initially claiming that hundreds of smutty texts to the fixation of his frustrated affections were written by a hacker who somehow took over his emails, text-messaging  and WhatsApp accounts. The case has been winding its way through Indian court  procedures ever since. He had claimed in 2010 that his IPCC chair work was honorary and that all his incidental TERI think-tank earnings went to TERI, not to his own pocket. But he told a court  hearing this month that the charges had destroyed his personal earning capacity as a climate guru, which had previously run at $US376,000  a year.

1998-early 2017: The establishment fought to deny any “hiatus” or pause in global  temperatures was occurring, and retrospectively “adjusted” various past temperature series to create the look and feel, if not the substance, of ongoing warming. They also adduced more than 60 explanations for the failure of their models to replicate actual temperatures. Their rearguard action collapsed a month ago with the publication of a paper by Ben Santer, Michael Mann and other leaders of the orthodoxy,  “Causes of differences in model and satellite tropospheric warming rate”.[10]

2017: Because the narrative of sharply rising global temperatures has failed, alarmists scientists have switched their narrative to “extreme weather” and its alleged hazards. This new story flies in the face of the IPCC’s own SREX special report of 2012 on extreme weather, which conceded that warming could well reduce extremes, rather than increase them. Further, it would be 20-30 years before any climate effects on extreme weather would even be detectable against natural climate variability.[11] The 2013 IPCC report broadly endorsed those findings.

Alarmist scientist Dr Andy Pitman is now claiming that post-2011 research has made the 2013 IPCC findings obsolete.[12] The definitive work on extreme-weather insurance losses is by Dr Roger Pielke Jr., showing a halving of disaster costs as a percent of GDP in the past 27 years. If Pitman wants to claim that Pielke’s work has been rebutted, he should put up or shut up.

If I may conclude with some advice for The Australian:

1/ Ensure your reporters covering climate have some background and expertise in the subject, and a willingness to fact-check purportedly scientific claims

2/ Ensure the climate copy of  loose cannons like Stephen Romei is vetted against howlers such as last week’s issue, and

3/ When the likes of Romei write that they have no idea about distinguishing climate facts from fictions, believe them.

Tony Thomas’ book of essays, That’s Debatable – 60 Years in Print, is available here

 


[1] The ABC Science Show on June 24, to be fair, ran a reasonable debate between warmist and sceptic scientists, after years of suppressing  sceptic views

[2] Our Nobel-winning astronomer Brian Schmidt, for example, shared the 2011 Nobel for Physics with two other scientists.

[3] After normalization to account for more sizeable assets at risk in coastal zones, for example.

[4] Romei seems to believe Victoria never had floods before 1940

[5]We conclude that there is no evidence that the world is now on the brink of a major climatic change. There is ample evidence that the world’s climate has changed widely during the geological past, and while there is every expectation that it will continue to change in the future, the time scale of these changes is in the range of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years rather than decades or centuries.”

It cannot be too strongly emphasised that year-to-year variability is an inherent feature of global and regional climates and that…large fluctuations leading to severe droughts and floods are bound to occur from time to time.” (My emphasis)

[6] Hansen later compared coal freight trains to trains carrying victims to  extermination camps.

[7] As Strong said at Rio, “It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class— involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work place air-conditioning, and suburbanhousing — are not sustainable.”

[8] Only Jones’ ‘adjusted’ data remained

[9] The Academy gave the damning audit results no publicity at the time but made a glib mention of them in its annual report seven months later,  “The report released on 30 August 2010 concluded that the process employed by the IPCC had been successful overall but recommended a range of reforms particularly in relation to management structures to strengthen procedures.”

[10] “We conclude that model overestimation of tropospheric warming in the early twenty-first century is partly due to systematic deficiencies in some of the post-2000 external forcings used in the model simulations.”

  1. From the SREX: For the next twenty to thirty years, man-made warming effects on climate extremes will be swamped by natural climate variability;
  2. the man-made warming may even be beneficial by reducing the number of extreme events; and
  3. neither IPCC models nor emissions forecasting are good enough to forecast extreme weather events up to the end of the 21st century.

[12] Pitman :  “…a lot of that work that has come out since 2013 has clearly established that heatwaves are getting longer, more intense and more frequent. Rainfall is becoming more extreme, and there is ongoing research looking at whether tropical cyclones, for example, are intensifying.”