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The Very Model of a Global Green Rorter

The Very Model of a Global Green Rorter

That Third World cesspits sent hundreds — nay, thousands — of freeloading delegates to the latest catastrophist gabfest is, sadly, to be expected. But they have something of an excuse: when it comes to living high on the climate dollar, the UN’s Erik Solheim is the gold standard

From top to bottom, things don’t get more disgusting than at the UN Environment Program, which runs the UN’s anti-emissions campaign. Indeed, UNEP under its director Maurice Strong in 1988 co-founded the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In 2005 Strong was caught red-handed at the UN with a $US988,000 cheque from a South Korean business man. Strong fled to the safety of Beijing — China has no extradition treaty with the US — and he lived there, honoured and unprosecuted, until his death in 2015.

Life at the top of UNEP is no longer so spectacular, but its latest director-general, Erik Solheim (above), had to resign last month when an internal audit exposed his rorting of travel and lifestyle costs. While preaching against CO2 emissions, he enjoyed aerial globetrotting for 529 days of 668 days (audited) since getting the job in 2016.

More of Solheim later, but let’s take a look now at the underbelly of UNEP’s COP24 at Katowice, a talkfest for 23,000 designed to save the planet and transfer at least  $US100 billion a year, as of 2020, from the West to African and other Third World basket-cases. Numbers of these countries displayed their integrity by each flying literally hundreds of freeloaders to Poland, their travel and living costs disbursed from UN funds courtesy of UN donors, including Australia.

Resoures-rich Republic of Guinea in general fits the Trump definition of “a shithole country”. It’s 85% Muslim, 96-98% of women suffer genital mutilation, child marriage and illiteracy rates are among the world’s highest, 5% of women can expect death in childbirth, close to 40% of the population suffers malnutrition, and health threats range from HIV/AIDS to malaria and ebola. Only a quarter of the population has electricity, children are trafficked with impunity for sex and slavery, and after nine years, no security forces have been tried for a 2009 pre-election massacre of 156 people and rape of more than 100 women. Need it be said that the government is monstrously corrupt?

But in one respect Guinea is a world champion – the size of its delegations to UN climate change confabs. At COP24 in Katowice this month, freeloaders from Guinea comprised 406 of the 14,000 official delegates, easily outclassing Congo with only 237 and Ivory Coast with 208. Last year at COP23 in Bonn, Guinea sent 355, beaten by Ivory Coast with a stunning 492. At the Paris COP21, Guinea sent 398.

The Guinea total includes politicians, officials, and NGO people. They trooped to a special UN office at Katowice, presented passport and plane tickets, and collected their cash from a nearby bank window. How much allowed? For the minimum stay of 12 days, US2328 or $A3235. Last year in Germany, $A4914.

The mind reels at the delegate numbers: Sudan 172; Senegal 171; Benin 139; Chad 57. Our tiny Pacific neighbors, none of them climate-drowning, weren’t going to miss out: Fiji 60; Tonga 26; Vanuatu 23; Tuvalu 21; Timor Leste 21; PNG 19; Nauru 14. Australia sent 30 – all paid for by the government, not the UN.

Nature guru David Attenborough saw no irony in warning at the opening about “the collapse of civilisations” from too much CO2. Oh, the irony! The Katowice summit was itself estimated to emit an extra 55,000 tonnes of CO2, excluding the formidable emissions from delegates’ junketeering via scheduled flights or celebrity private jet. There was also the cost to Poland  and the atmosphere of building virtually an entire new town for the 30,000 visitors. Those 55,000 tonnes emissions, by the way, equate with the annual emissions of about 8500 homes, 12,000 cars or 728 tanker-truck loads of petrol.

The UN’s face-saver is that it pays for CO2 offsets, in this case for planting 7 million trees in Poland. It also offers free lanyards to visitors who buy CO2 offsets. Good work, UN.

Erik the Rorter pauses between flights to urge reductions in global emissions.

A person might say of Guinea and Benin, “Well, that’s Africa for you.” But the worst cesspit of nation (to use a more genteel turn of phrase than that favoured by Trump) must be Norway, for hypocrisy. Its one-time  (2007-12) environment minister  and Socialist Left/Greens politician Erik Solheim moved in 2016 to run the UN Environment Program (UNEP) with its budget of $US780 million. UNEP operates as the “global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda.”

Solheim quit as executive director last month after being sprung by auditors for massive luxury travel and expense rorting. He totted up $US488,000 ($A 678,000) for 22 months travel, involving 80% of his workdays. There were also 76 days’ worth of unexplained sojourns in Oslo and Paris. On one weekend he flew Washington DC to Paris for a weekend’s relaxation, returning Paris-New York. Who was authorising such trips? One of Solheim’s subordinates – unusual, that.

UNEP headquarters are in Nairobi, but who would want to work there? So Solheim allowed two pet staff unofficial licence to work out of Paris instead, at a cost of $US23,000-plus in extra travel. Other managers told the press that Solheim had been “getting away with murder” with his “haphazard and dictatorial management style”.

A Norwegian company won business from UNEP last April and, shortly after, decided to hire his spouse, Gry Ulverud Solheim. Mr Solheim had to recuse himself from further dealings with the company and, in his official capacity, his missus.

Some US staff considered Solheim had grown far too chummy with China, and they were suspicious of Solheim’s environmental examinations of the Middle Kingdom’s vast Belt and Road project. He also made an unpublicised UNEP $US500,000 donation to the Volvo Ocean Race. At least the public knew where those yachts were going. UN Environment people in general were gadding about a lot, and their destinations and reasons remain something of a mystery. The auditors sought data on 596 staff trips, but 210 trips couldn’t be documented and another 200 had to be hastily documented post-audit. The UN internal preliminary audit was leaked to The Guardian UK. The full report is still not public.

Denmark, Sweden, Japan, Belgium and the Netherlands withheld some $US50 million in UNEP funding when they learnt of Solheim’s habits, threatening UNEP with a financial crisis. One wonders why Australia’s UNEP rep made no  overt contribution to the fightback against top-level rorting.

Solheim initially maintained that he couldn’t be treated like at 7am-4pm factory worker and shouldn’t be asked “stupid questions”  about his work arrangements. When the audit came out, Solheim led his top troops on a three-day soul-searching retreat. They just had time to agree on a “commitment to a set of principles to guide the way we work and interact”, before he bugged out of UNEP the next day.

The auditors said Solheim had “no regard for abiding by the set regulations and rules,” noting this was a “reputation risk” for an organisation dedicated to fighting climate change. Solheim’s behavior, they said, was “contrary to the ethos of carbon emission reduction.”  The auditors drew attention to a 2011 policy UN statement that it would set an example of probity, including on environmental sustainability. These UN statements of good intent are a regular affair, just as are the exposures of UN corruption.

Solheim’s farewell:  “As I have maintained throughout this process, I have been and remain committed to doing what I believe to be in the best interest of UN Environment and the mission we are here to achieve.

“For this reason, after deep reflection and in close consultation with the Secretary-General, I am stepping down.”

One would also think the UN Secretary-General António Guterres would be outraged by Solheim’s jet-about rorting. No, no, no. He waved him on his way with praise for the “transformational change needed to make a real difference in the lives of people and promote the cause of the environment.”

“The secretary general is grateful for Mr. Solheim’s service and recognises that he has been a leading voice in drawing the world’s attention to critical environmental challenges, including plastics pollution and circularity; climate action; the rights of environmental defenders; biodiversity; and environmental security,” the Secretary-General said.

Solheim says he will continue to fight for environmental causes. “I am sad to be leaving, as we have achieved so much together,” he told staff in a tweet. “I will continue to champion the cause of the environment!”

Whether it’s African parasites piling onto the annual climate junk-fests or the top UN climate man rorting the system silly, even the most fervent catastrophists must sometimes wonder at the company they keep.

Tony Thomas’s new book The West: an insider’s tales – a romping reporter in Perth’s innocent ‘6os, is available here.

2 comments
  • Davidovich

    It is doubtful the most fervent catastrophists would waste time being concerned about the company they keep. What is concerning is the apathy and acceptance of our political leaders in tolerating this hypocrisy and rorting.

  • ianl

    @Davidovich

    [forced by the deliberate removal of the reply nesting]

    >” What is concerning is the apathy and acceptance of our political leaders in tolerating this hypocrisy and rorting.”

    This acceptance is because they themselves expect a rort as payoff when their political time here is up.

    As I’ve noted in an earlier thread, the French yellow vests have shown the only practical way to deal with this corruption – and showed it with exceeding clarity.

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Young minds filled with green mush

The original Children’s Crusade, if it actually happened, didn’t end well for the pre-pubescent zealots, who are said to have ended up as slaves. Today’s kids would know as much if their brainwashers, also known as ‘teachers’, focused on fact rather than getting them into the streets to demonstrate against nasty weather

7 comments
  • Lawrie Ayres

    There are three groups of idiots or fools here; the kids, their teachers and their parents. When there is so much ignorance how can sensible policies ever be developed and implemented. The only saving grace is that not every kid went on strike and as one said ” If the strike was held on Saturday no one would have turned up”. So much for sacrifice. These same cretins will drive or be driven to school, demand the air conditioners be turned on and spend their weekends in front of the big flat screen while mum makes their bed and dad mows the lawn. Reality will strike and for some very soon as the lights go off, the A/C shudders to a stop and the jobs become harder to find.

  • en passant

    In a previous comment I pointed out that I was suffering from an endlessly ‘unprecedented’ cold fortnight in Melbourne in November. At home the heater was on as well as my jumper. At the end I quipped: “But not to worry, after the BoM has tortured and homogenised the data they will declare we have just had the warmest November evaaaa and that I should not believe my frostbitten toes …”

    Sure enough
    http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/cdio/weatherData/av?p_nccObsCode=36&p_display_type=dataFile&p_startYear=&p_c=&p_stn_num=086104
    Melbourne just had its warmest November evaaaa. I’ll be out there in my Parka and ski gear at the next Children’s Crusade

  • padraic

    You can see why the Greens want to lower the voting age to 16 and stop seniors voting after a certain age. There is an innate connection behind the Greens and the childlike mindset.

  • whitelaughter

    pdraic is correct; and this absurdity will continue until we return the voting age to 21. *If* children had time to shake off their brainwashing before they could vote, it would destroy the motivation to indoctrinate them, and who knows? School might be left to actually teach real subjects.
    Failing that, businesses are going to have to reward kids for leaving school at 16.

    Still, the climate change skeptics here should take heart. The threat of man made climate change worries me, but there’s no point in me doing anything while irresponsible stunts like this are ongoing – having an intelligent public debate on the subject has been rendered impractical by these tantrums. So you lot are going to win the propaganda war simply by your opponents repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot.

  • Greg Williams

    I sent this letter to the local paper here in WA.

    I see that a miniscule percentage of secondary and primary school students skipped school on Friday and turned out to protest on Friday against a perceived lack of action on climate change. I teach in a secondary school and often, in an attempt to get able students to think about what they are learning in their Science and Humanities classes, present what could be taken as a somewhat heretical point of view on what is happening. While the students argue vigourously with what I have to say, I have yet to come across a student who will argue with facts rather than emotion on this issue. When engaged in healthy debate, I always ask the students what the problem is, and always it gets down to carbon pollution, or, in other words, carbon dioxide pollution. I then ask if they know what the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is, and I have yet to come across a student who does know this. After I have informed them that it’s a little above 400 parts per million, or 0.04% of the atmoshere, I ask if they know what is the minimum amount of this gas to enable life to continue on this planet. Again, I have yet to find a student who knows this, so I let them know that it’s a little under 200 parts per million. Then I ask them that if, as they claim, there is too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, how much is just right, so that we can have a perfect, unchanging climate. Again, there has never been a response to this, as no one on the planet knows how much is just right.

    Then, when I ask these fervent adherents of the belief that carbon dioxide produced by humanity is destroying the planet, what they are actually doing to stop this process, it seems they are doing very little. They all dash out to get their drivers’ licenses; they all continue to use their mobiile phones; none of them wants to sacrifice their holiday trips on fossil fuel burning aircraft; they all want the air-conditioning on on hot days, and the heater on on cold days.

    You can rest assured that all of the students protesting on Friday burned a lot of fossil fuel getting to and from their respective protesting points. They are the perfect example of virtue signalling.

    Mind you, after nearly 50 years of teaching secondary students, many think I may be the fossil that needs to be burned!

Christiana Figueres, the Green Fairy

Ever-polite Stan Grant tried his very best to keep Christiana Figueres drifting off in a cloud of sob-sister vapours to Warmist Land, where only the transfer of vast wealth from the West to Third World kleptocrats can foil global warming. Yes, Stan gave it his best shot, but he never had a chance

christine IILord Tennyson with his “tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean” has been an inspiration to Christiana Figueres (left). She was secretary-general of the top-level UN climate body UNFCCC (2010-16)  and spruiked doom on Stan Grant’s Matter of Fact show on ABC-TV on October 9.

Figueres is billed as the architect of 2015′s Paris Accord which commits China, India, and now the US, to nothing. Meanwhile the West is supposed to transfer  $US100 billion a year to Third World leaders, such as the PNG politicians who’ve just ordered 40 Maseratis and three Bentleys.

The $US100b is actually small change by Figueres’ standards. A year ago she challenged Principles of Responsible Investment signatories, with $US70 trillion under management, to put 1% into renewables by 2020.[1] If I’ve got all the zeroes down pat, she’s talking $US700 billion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7hjhruIiL0

Snuffles and sobs accompany her listing of future climate horrors unless we spend $US38 trillion on renewables during the next 16 years. That’s nearly half of current world GDP. I was disappointed that she stayed dry-eyed during the encounter with the ever-affable Stan Grant while delivering her litany of climate fictions and forecasts. She also accused the commendably sceptical Grant of using “infantile arguments”.

Are any recent graduates of ritzy St Catherine’s in Sydney’s Waverley reading this piece? Girls, remember her addressing your 1000-strong assembly in 2015. She had a box of Kleenex handy, and bare moments into her speech she told you, “I have tissues here because it always pains me … [a pause] to see   [a suppressed sob] … the evidence of what we’ve done.” She explained later to a worshipful SMH reporter, “I always have emotional moments when there are children in front of me…Unfortunately the painful evidence is upon us, there is no country in the world , not one single country, that has not had some extreme weather event that is related to climate change.”

The alarmist Climate Home News has noted, “Her passion for tackling climate change has many times spilled over into tears.” At Cancun in 2010, for example, she dabbed her tissues as she told kids she “had inherited a severely diminished planet [sobs] .. I just can’t look my daughters in the eye and not do what I can [more sobs].” I doubt her two daughters, now aged 30 and 29, will really do it tough. They’re both graduates from top universities (Yale and London School of Economis) and globe-trotting finance/gender/climate consultants.

One  tear-jerking oration involves Figueres in the Costa Rican jungle as a kid to see the golden toad, which from 2004 became the supposed first casualty of climate change. Her two daughters would never see one, she mourned. Nice anecdote except that better research has now attributed the apparent loss of the toads to natural El Nino cycles, not global warming.

Palace-raised Figueres  is from the  ruling  dynasty of Costa Rica (pop. 5m). Her father was president  for three terms and more than 12 years, while her brother, Jose Figueres, was president for four years.[2] Her mother was a parliamentarian and ambassador to Israel and  her half-sister an ambassador to the US. At the UN and later, her politics have been champagne-socialist. She achieved perpetual quotability with this ripper from  February 2015, which I’ve taken from the official UN press release:

“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.” 

She views a halt to growth in the West with equanimity. “Industrialised countries must stop growing — that’s fine. But developing countries must continue to grow their economy in order to bring their people out of poverty … We’re saying: “Okay, you guys, you can continue to grow, you can bring your people out of poverty — but you can’t do it with disgusting fossil fuels that those guys use’.”

After the severe flooding in Somerset and on the Thames in 2014, aggravated by maintenance and dredging failures, Figueres tastelessly found a silver lining: “It’s unfortunate that we have to have these weather events, but there is a silver lining if you wish, that they remind us  solving climate change, addressing climate change in a timely way, is not a partisan issue.”

Her ideology was also on view in 2014 when she praised the  Chinese dictatorship for “doing it right” with its can-do approach to climate “because its political system avoids some of the legislative hurdles seen in countries including the U.S.” Representative democracy, it’s such a pain!

A year ago, Scientific American headlined her profile: “The woman who saved the planet”. Sub-head: “By harnessing ‘female energy’,  Christiana Figueres convinced humanity 
to take on climate change.” We also read that she has “warded off global catastrophe” by opening the Paris talks not just to governments but “to the private sector, the spiritual community, the scientists.” (Curious, who she puts last, isn’t it? She should also have mentioned the Paris hordes of green NGOs). She claims she created “a surround-sound effect” so that no matter where governments turned, they heard “a chorus of yes, yes, yes. Yes, we can go forward with ambition, yes, this makes economic sense, yes, the technologies are there, yes, the science is there, yes, the morality is there.”   But no, Ms Figueres, the $US100 billion a year for the Third World isn’t there and the Green Climate Fund meetings have fallen into  farce.

Figueres must stagger under all her honors and awards. They include the  Shackleton Medal, the Grand Medal of the City of Paris, the Legion of Honor, the German Great Cross of Merit, the Guardian Medal of Honor, the 2015 Hero of El Pais award, the Global Thinker Award, Four Freedoms Award and the Solar Champion Award from the woke folk of California. She was No 7 on Fortune’s 50 Greatest Leaders in 2016, and a Top Five Most Powerful Women in Science last year. Quite a haul for someone who is yet to discover that weather isn’t climate.

Her flagship role today is convenor of the Mission 2020 activist lobby, which in 2017 was claiming humanity had only three years to stop the planet evolving into hothouse earth with “devastating heat extremes and unmanageable sea level rise”.[3] Mission 2020 just wants us to spent $US1 trillion a year by 2020 on renewables and coal phase-outs, thus saving the planet.[4]

Figueres in the run-up to the Queensland election late last year was lobbying against the proposed $1 billion concessional rail loan to Adani for its Carmichael coal project. (Who needs Russians?)  She claimed the loan would trash Australia’s reputation internationally and undermine the Paris Accords, as if China and India aren’t doing a good job of that already.

During the Stan Grant interview, hyperbole was rampant. “We are at the crossroads deciding the future of humanity on this planet,” she said, also posing  three questions, all with false premises:

  • Do you want bushfires raging across the East Coast for six months at a time or do you want a thriving and prosperous agricultural sector?After 1degC of global warming, wildfires are on a falling global trend.[5] Australian wheat exports in 50 years are up from 6.4m tonnes to 16m tonnes, with a record 25m tonnes six years ago.
  •  Do you want to cause geopolitical instability because Pacific nations will not survive (rising seas) and they will have to be simply migrated, or do you want to open up your energy system to be a limitless force from wind and sun and to be a jobs and energy source for the world?Tuvalu’s 101 islands have actually expanded by 3% in area in 40 years. Al Gore falsely claimed in his Inconvenient Truth movie of 2006 — that some island populations had been evacuated, a spurious assertion that has never corrected There are no island refugees from climate change to date. Wind and solar power are unreliable, require subsidies and confer no trade advantage to Australia.  The high cost of renewables has reversed our once-powerful energy competitiveness.
  • Do you want the Great Barrier Reef or do you want the largest aquatic cemetery in the world?The Barrier Reef has survived thousands of years of much hotter climate than today’s or the purported heat  level by 2050. It’s already recovering fast from two years’ bleaching events.

To his credit, Stan Grant kept trying to introduce reality checks such as coal’s status as Australia major energy source and export earner, while Figueres responded with her word salads. “Coal doesn’t have any place in the global energy system anymore … It would be unreasonable to expect Australia would completely demise its coal industry overnight but (it should) smoothly move out of coal energy because you have many other sources of energy and exports…”

She thought replacing coal energy and exports over 10-20 years “should not be that difficult.” Reality check: The anti-coal Coalswarm plant tracker reports that China now has as much new coal-fired capacity under development – 259GW – as the entire US coal-fired power industry – 266GW.

Grant asked why Australia should make sacrifices while China (and India) are unconstrained on emissions.

“That’s a very infantile argument,” she replied, saying that all national commitments were self-determined and voluntary. “It’s a myth that addressing climate change is a huge burden, it’s a huge opportunity. The global economy will grow between 20 and 26 trillion dollars just because we are moving to a new technology creating 65 million new jobs where young people are needing such jobs.”

The supposed “65 million new energy jobs” is a pointer that solar and wind energy is more labor-intensive, hence less productive, than equivalent  coal-fired power stations – even  disregarding renewables’ unreliability. Subsidised jobs are an economic burden, not a benefit.

Last month in another interview she turned the dial up to 11, claiming inter alia that “catastrophic heat waves” have stricken Australia. “After a year of unprecedented wildfires, droughts, floods, and other natural disasters around the worldit is clear that the climate crisis is already upon us,” she claimed. “Without more effective political leadership to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions immediately, the apocalyptic conditions of a warming planet will become the new normal.”

Sorry, no. The new IPCC report once again says that there is little basis for claiming that drought, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes have increased, much less increased due to greenhouse gases.[6]

Figueres’ nickname among sceptics is “Tinkerbell”. If it means she’s divorced from reality, she’s earned it.

Tony Thomas’s new book The West: An insider’s tales – A romping reporter in Perth’s innocent ’60s, can be bought here


[1] Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is UN-linked but claims independence.

[2]  The brother Jose Maria resigned abruptly as CEO of the World Economic Forum in 2004 after confirming that he had pocketed more than $US900,000 consulting fees from Alcatel, contrary to WEF rules. He blamed an oversight.

[3] Among the 60 signatories to the document is Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation and, from 2000-10, president of the ACTU.

[4] Mission 2020  is no relation to the British 10:10 green group which made a film comedy about murdering child sceptics.

[5] “The data available to date do not support a general increase in area burned or in fire severity for many regions of the world. Indeed there is increasing evidence that there is overall less fire in the landscape today than there has been centuries ago, although the magnitude of this reduction still needs to be examined in more detail.”

 

[6] Drought:           “…low confidence in the sign of drought trends since 1950 at global scale… likely to be trends in some regions of the world, including increases in drought in the Mediterranean and W Africa & decreases in droughts in central N America & NW Australia”

Floods: “There is low confidence due to limited evidence, however, that anthropogenic climate change has affected the frequency and the magnitude of floods. ”

 

COMMENTS [5]

  1. Lawrie Ayres

    Despite her outright lies and ignorance of even basic science this woman continues to be treated as a climate guru by left wing media and politicians. She is a charlatan and the media that fawns over her are even worse.

  2. Greg Williams

    What continues to amaze me is the almost total acceptance of carbon dioxide as a major pollutant. I am a teacher of high school students. I teach at a very good school, where the students are highly motivated, work hard, and achieve excellent results on the way to an almost 100% enrolment at university. I was handing out a booklet I had made up for my Year 8 Maths class today, and the students were complaining that I was killing off the forests. I stopped to point out to them that there was lots of CO2 around these days, so the trees were growing out of control, and that we actually needed to cut some down to make way for all the growth ( tongue in cheek of course). I went on to say how good CO2 was for the environment. Well, there was almost uproar over that. They were all convinced that it was poison. While I would have loved to have spent some time pointing out to them that without CO2 at reasonable levels, we would all be dead, the need to continue on with my Maths programme prevailed and discussion was cut off. The point of this is that of the 25 students in the room, it was pretty clear that all of them, at the tender age of about 13, were convinced that CO2 would be the death of us all. While most of the Science and Humanities teachers at my school treat me as the spawn of Satan when it comes to any discussion on CAGW, one Geography teacher actually asked me to take her Year 11 class one day to present an alternative view. That was pretty well received, but it was obvious that I wasn’t going to change too many opinions of the kids in that particular class. The kids just believe unquestioningly that CO2 and fossil fuels are going to be the death of the planet. Having said that, they all get dropped off to school each morning in their fancy SUVs and head off to Europe for the long vacation we have in our winter here in WA.

    • padraic

      The valid point about SUVs and flights to Europe reminds me of a tongue in cheek definition of toxicological “Risk”. The normal rational definition is “Risk = Hazard + Exposure”, but for the greenies it is “Risk = Hazard + Outrage”.

  3. Alice Thermopolis

    Thanks Tony

    There were tears in Cancun (2010) too, together with blood and sweat.

    Figueres, the new UNFCC executive secretary used her opening statement to urge attendees to embrace the wisdom of Ixchel, an ancient Mayan jaguar (and weather) goddess.

    Ixchel? She was a moon goddess, Figueres explained, “the goddess of reason, creativity and weaving. May she inspire you — because today, you are gathered in Cancun to weave together the elements of a solid response to climate change using both reason and creativity.”

    Ixchel, or Ix Chel, was a winning – or disturbing – choice, depending on your carbon politics and religion. The “high-segment” audience fortunately was spared details of the goddess’s darker – and bloodier – side. Could a formidable old woman with a writhing serpent headdress and crossed bones embroidered on her skirt ever be reasonable?

    She was actually a moody and malevolent goddess, motivated more by divine wrath than reason. As for weaving, Ixchel’s only tapestries were destructive floods and storms.

    Perfect, of course, as the unofficial patron saint for pagan climate alarmists and decarbonistas.

    Also tearful were the delegates who so earnestly wanted to put “the CAN in CANCUN!”

    At UN COPs, sacrificial victims are not laid on a stone slab. They are taken into a room and subject to hand-wringing, mind-bending and heart-rending eco-sentiment about saving the planet.

    Source: https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2010/12/blood-sweat-tears-in-cancun/

Change Everything? You Bet. Spectator 14 October 2018

Tony Thomas Oct 13

 

 

Naomi Klein from Canada oversees courses for tens of thousands of Australian high school students.

She’s an anarcho-environmentalist mobilising grass-roots mobs like Occupy to overturn capitalism. She never finished her Bachelor degree but made a hit with her 2014 book “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate”. As a New York Times reviewer hyper-ventilated: “[It’s] a book of such ambition and consequence that it is almost unreviewable.” Klein cites a 2012 author of a paper, “Is the Earth fucked?” who  tells her, “Yeah, pretty much!”

Klein has collaborated with tax-free charity Cool Australia to provide no fewer than ten discrete lessons based on “This Changes Everything” for our Year 9-10 kids. Each lesson certifies, “Produced in partnership with ‘This Changes Everything’”. Other lessons are co-partnered with lobbyists WWF.

Cool Australia has hundreds of free environment lessons  in ready-to-go format. From Cool’s start in 2008, the modules are now used by 89,000 teachers in about 80% of schools. It claims 1.7–1.9 million kids took lessons in 2017, though I dunno, its 2016 figure was only 1m.

Cool is the creation of the Jason and Craig Kimberley family, which sold its Just Jeans chain for $64m in 2001. Independent charity watchdog ChangePath fails Cool on transparency (zero Stars out of three). Who knows where Cool’s $1m revenue in 2016 came from? Donations were only $162,000. It’s got other mega-rich pals like wotif$140m beneficiary Graeme Wood.

Bendigo Bank departed last year as Cool’s big sponsor since 2014. The bank explains guardedly that both parties had moved on and agreed to split. New sponsor is Teachers Health, covering 300,000 educators.

 

 

Jason Kimberley says Cool’s goal is for students to be empowered change agents able to identify and solve world issues. Maybe they should pass their driver’s test before they fix the Middle East.

Teachers require kids, as per Cool lessons, to mobilise to improve society and harangue parents, small businesses, MPs, councillors and the public. With every child in class required to state his/her view, any kid would need outside knowledge and a hero’s courage to buck the teachers.

The climate zealotry in schools – also enforced by teachers unions – contrasts with polls of Australian adults showing 43% sceptical of the human-caused warming doom (Climate Institute, 2017).

Much of Cool’s urgings are harmless, like picking up plastic and conserving tapwater, though it admits to kids’ growing message-fatigue. But Cool’s climate gospel is driven right down to pre-schoolers, or tiny-trots.

“Early Learning Hot and Cold” lesson for pre-schoolers: “Using less electricity and finding alternative and greener sources of electricity – such as wind or solar – is essential to addressing climate change.” The material adds helpfully: New words for children to learn: “Electricity”, “Energy”.

Recommends one teacher: “Great ideas that we can use with the children  on the importance of sustainability at kindy and at home.” At kindy? It’s not as though we out-pollute Nigeria.

Klein is a master (or mistress) of videos brainwashing kids with her messages like,“Our economic model is at war with life on earth.”

One film depicts Greek villagers battling an Eldorado Gold project start-up. They chant, “The birds are welcoming us. Everything is blooming. We are one with this mountain. We won’t survive without it. To victory!”

Interviewer: What is the core problem? Peasant woman– “It is the economic system, capitalism I guess… They will go away and leave a desert behind.”

Narrator: Squeeze the earth, squeeze the people.

Mining equipment was torched (not shown in film), while demonstrators are shown being tear-gassed. Eldorado last year mothballed its billion-dollar mine, citing delays with permits. As if Greece needs such projects.

Another movie finishes with Germans – including a rabbi – literally sobbing for joy over new wind and solar plants.

The material harps on imminent economic collapse, hat tip to Karl Marx.“Thought starter: How do you think climate change would be affected if the global economy collapsed?”

Klein’s nostrums include higher wealth taxes and “basic income for all”, carbon taxes, fracking bans and anti-trade ‘re-localising’. She promotes worker and community ownership and “community-controlled” clean energy (tell that to AGL).

Teacher: “Do students have their own strategies for how to develop a clean and just economy?”

 

Her courses time-travel to the future where all  climate horrors have come true, including Sydneysiders expiring from dengue fever.

A strange graphic includes such Tim Flannery-style Gaia worshipping as “Consider everything alive and animate. Create a personal dialogue with your environment. Talk to it.”

Cool lists the Human Rights Commission among its “guys [that] get our creative juices flowing.
They are our daily go-tos and our funnest (sic) playmates.” Ex-HRC head Gillian Triggs pops up “fighting for freedom, equality, fairness and Justice”, except for persecuted QUT students and those, sadly, still saying what they like around the kitchen table. Other “funnest playmates” are  teachers’ unions and the Victorian Democratic Republic’s Education Department.

(Here’s a factoid: the Victorian Essential Learning Standards up to 2013 prescribed “Climate Change” lessons in seven different subjects for the small kid in Years 1-2, even including “Health, Physical Education – Movement and Physical Activity”).

Klein concludes disarmingly: “What if global warming is not only a crisis? What if it is the best chance we will ever get to build a better world?Change or be changed!”

A 2017 survey found 15-20% of Cool-registered teachers – particularly coordinators – were using the website 10 to more than 30 times a year. Most sought lesson plans which they used four times each. Cool has become a free, popular substitute for teacher-centred input.

Cool’s asylum seeker coverage is just as one-sided – with at least 12 “lessons” based on activist Eve Orner’s 2016“Chasing Asylum” film with such commentary as: “Staff would have to be trained how to use a Hoffman’s knife. The knife would be used to cut people down when they are found hanging.”

Learning Intentions: Students will recognise that human rights and social justice are core in issues relating to seeking asylum. Students will identify ways to take action at their school or in their community…

 

Teachers love the stuff. “Wow! I’m vibrating with joy after going through your gazillion lessons and resources… this is gold,” testified Terrina Phelan, sustainability teacher at St Mary’s Primary, Echuca, on the website. A coordinator (hopefully not of English courses) wrote that the lessons gave her “piece of mind”. Maybe parents could give their local school a piece of mind too. #

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ex-BHP Chief: Scrap Paris Now

The company he once led continues to pleasure the warmists by bowing and scraping before Gaila’s carbon-free altar,  but ex-chief Jerry Ellis has had enough: the Paris accord is “a farce” and a sane government would exit the pact in a heartbeat

jerry ellisEx-chairman of BHP (1997-99), Jerry Ellis  (left) ex-chancellor of Monash University, and an ex-director of ANZ Bank, has called for Australia to dump the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Ellis’s intervention puts cat among climate pigeons. 

The alarmists like to lie that sceptics are a fringe group. Ellis is hardly fringe. His former BHP continues to promote the story about human-caused catastrophic CO2 warming, as does Monash University. Ellis is an awkwardness for both.

By coming out against climate alarmism, Ellis, 91,  is giving added respectability to scepticism, much as ex-PM Tony Abbott did with his London sceptic speech of last October.[i] The credibility of the sceptic case, of course, rests not on authority figures but data such as the  more than two-fold exaggeration of warming since 1980 by the climate models on which the CO2 scare is based.

Here is Ellis’s statement on Paris.

Why Australia should Clexit Paris Treaty

It is clear that the push to meet the Paris carbon dioxide emission targets is leading to higher power costs, and hence prices, and unreliable supply.

It is also a fact that the predictions of the warmists have not happened.

The IPCC scientific reports are stated in possibilities, yet the guidance for policy makers is written as certainty. A farce.

I hope the new leadership of the Australian Government has the courage to guide our country in a rational manner on this subject. as Angus Taylor seems keen to do, and abandons the Paris Treaty.

Jerry Ellis AO

Ellis’ intervention comes on the heels of calls from Green Climate Fund supporters for Australia to add another $400m to its $1b plus commitment and $200m contribution to date. The fund under the Paris accord is supposed to parcel up $US100b a year in developed country donations to help the third-world combat climate change. The fund peaked at  $US10b – thanks particularly to President Obama – but has only $US3b left. Its July meeting of donors and third-worlders   disbanded in chaos with no decisions made and  the resignation on the spot of its executive director, Australian ex-climate bureaucrat Howard Bamsey.

The policy of Ellis’s former BHP on climate change reads:

BHP accepts the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment of climate change science, which has found that warming of the climate is unequivocal, the human influence is clear and physical impacts are unavoidable.

Climate change is a global challenge that requires a collaborative market and policy response. Playing our part in responding to climate change is a priority governance and strategic issue for BHP. Our Board is actively engaged in the governance of climate change issues, supported by the Sustainability Committee. Management has primary responsibility for the design and implementation of our climate change strategy.

Our climate change strategy focuses on reducing our operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, investing in low emissions technologies, promoting product stewardship, managing climate-related risk and opportunity, and working with others to enhance the global policy and market response.”

Former One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts has replied to Ellis,

“A pity that your [BHP] successor in Jac Nasser, his CEO Andrew Mackenzie and his Coal Division President who is now Minerals Operations President Mike Henry lack your understanding.

What holds them back? Is theirs a lack of basic knowledge, a lack of integrity or a lack of courage? Or do they simply not care about humanity and the environment. Coal saved the whales. Coal saved the forests. Coal gave us cheap, clean energy that raised human productivity, prosperity and wealth that enables us today to care for the environment better than at any time in human history.”

Ellis is Chairman of MBD Energy, a director of Iron Road and on the Advisory Council of The Sentient Group. He is an ex- chairman of auto brake company Pacifica Group Ltd, and has chaired Australia’s premier environmental advocacy group Landcare Australia.

Ellis’ statement is published on the website of the Clexit [Climate Exit] Coalition.

The coalition was set up in 2016 by Queensland’s Viv Forbes, who runs it as secretary. A semi-retired geologist and current  livestock  breeder, he put in 40 years’ work for   coal, minerals and petroleum companies including as a director of Stanmore Coal.  The coalition committee includes ex-Czech President (2003-13) Vaclav Klaus , who is patron, Professors Will Happer  (US) and Ole Humlum (Norway), Chris (Lord) Monckton and leading blogger Roger Tattersall (UK) and astrophysicist and geoscientist Dr Willie Soon (US).

Forbes this month invited members  to add a statement on why their country should quit the Paris Accord. Ellis, an original coalition member, responded with this week’s statement. Others came in from more than 20 people representing Sweden, France, US, UK, Canada, Germany and others.

Ellis is now in the same camp as Hugh Morgan, CEO of Western Mining 1990-2003 and a Reserve Bank director 1996-2007. Morgan said today, “Ellis is absolutely right. People think the Paris Accord is just about commitments to lower CO2. It is really about transferring wealth through the UN to the so-called Less Developed Countries. It’s about advancing centralised control of people’s lives on a global scale.”

Morgan believes the alarmist movement has got so far because of backing by Western millennials who have been indoctrinated during their education. Enjoying living standards unprecedented in world history, they have embraced alarmism as a new secular religion, he says.

Ellis’ intervention could encourage other Paris sceptics to come out, including some top figures in Australia’s premier science bodies.

Tony Thomas’s new essay collection The West: An insider’s tales – a romping reporter in Perth’s innocent 1960s, can be pre-ordered hereTo get tickets to the launch in Carlton at 6pm on October 10, click here.


[i] With hindsight,that speech could have lit the fuse for last month’s ousting of climate-alarmist PM Turnbull.

[ii] The “Bloggies” annual awards

COMMENTS [6]

  1. Geoff Sherrington

    Many people from mining and exploration are among the strongest critics of the global warming scare. We became used to the large scale and long time periods of geologic processes as opposed to alarm because, for example, Arctic ice extent fell for a few years arcade ago.
    We are also critics because we have realistic targets. Ore bodies are either present or absent in exploration terms and they are mostly economic or not to mine. When we use science to discover and characterise deposits,there is no gain from creative processing of data or invention of data, such as is widespread in climate work, where the target changes to fit the theory and the non-rigid goalposts.
    You do not have to be eccentric or in a minority to arrive at this view. When global warming first started, its backers were the odd ones out. Failure to make a scientific case for global warming was always present, offset by massive advertising expenditure that convinced many of the gullible. Geoff

    • Peter Sandery

      Well and succinctly put, Geoff, I cannot understand why so many educated Australians cannot see the scientific logic to your argument but accept the chants of the modern day alchemists who turn words instead of base metals into money.

    • ianl

      C’mon Geoff – “mining hurts Gaia”. This widespread sentiment cannot be displaced with logic or facts. All that is needed to carry the myth is a photo-shopped picture of water vapour from cooling towers being deliberately and dishonestly portrayed as evil, black carbon smoke.

      For well over two decades now, I’ve harangued those who control the capital in mining circles to go public with fightback. They have persisted with the cowardly view that soft, back-room lobbying would suffice. Only in the last 12 months has there been some minor admissions that this was silly, but the green blob had well and truly won by then. As Ian Plimer pointed out (a statement of the bleeding obvious, unfortunately): there has to be much more pain yet.

      The ALP Govts of Q’ld and Vic plan to inflict that pain increasingly. The Lib SA Govt is as bat-crazy as the ALP. Liddell’s closure in a year or so will aggravate the destruction, probably a tipping point. As precise as Jerry Ellis is, he will be dismissed, shouted down, as a senile, old (white) man. Emotional power plays need no logic, evidence or common sense. In fact, such concepts are seen as inimical and will be squashed.

  2. Jody

    Uh oh, sorry, but corporate Australia has jumped in significant numbers onto the virtue signalling bandwagon. For their trouble they’re going to end up with gender pay issues, quotas and now Paris and renewables. They needed to be smarter in the first place, instead of putting their feet in the door and preventing it from being shut.

  3. Davidovich

    Thomas writes “Morgan believes the alarmist movement has got so far because of backing by Western millennials who have been indoctrinated during their education.” Hugh Morgan is quite correct, our education system has been overtaken by ideologues who teach only their view of climate and brook no dissent.

    I recently gave a necessarily short talk to my local Rotary Club on the facts about carbon dioxide which included the graph of average global temperatures produced by Prof Spencer and Dr Christy from NOAA satellite data showing the global hiatus in warming over 18 years or so. The talk also had graphs of ice core data illustrating that, for millennia, atmospheric carbon dioxide lagged hundreds of years behind global temperatures. A recently retired school principal was furious that such ‘fringe’ material should be shown as fact and was contrary to the orthodoxy on anthropogenic global warming or climate change. He called for me to be censured and to be ashamed of myself for such an error of judgement as to present such material. Sadly, this intolerant and doctrinaire attitude is prevalent within our education system from kindergarten to university and the damage being done to science and scientific process is huge.

Global Climate Fund Scam Collapses (Spectator August 2018)

Can you feel sorry for a climate bureaucrat? Well I do. Look at my fellow-Aussie Howard Bamsey. He’s been implementing climate policies abroad for the past decade, after a dep-sec stint in Kevin Rudd’s Climate Change Department in 2008-10.

Then he ran the Seoul-based multilateral Global Green Growth Institute and 18 months ago became executive director of the UN-created Green Climate Fund (GCF), now the financial muscle of the 2015 Paris Accord.

At the 24-member board meeting last month at Songdo, South Korea headquarters, the chaos was such that he finished the meeting by tabling a surprise resignation effective immediately (“pressing personal reasons”). He walked out of the room a free man.

 

The 24-person board at the four-day meeting  spent the first two days quarrelling about the agenda, and the next two days in such acrimony that it never approved the intended $US1b for 11 new grants to help its basket-case client States “mitigate and adapt” to climate change. Nor did it get around to solving where its desperately-needed top-up funding would come from – it’s only got $US2.8b free funds left from an original $US10.3b.

The previous board minutes  ran to 111 single-spaced pages plus 130 pages of appendixes, in total about 100,000 words. Maybe poor Bamsey couldn’t face another 100,000 word write-up, especially as this meeting could well precipitate the GCF’s collapse or a split into separate donor and recipient entities.

 

 

We Aussie taxpayers have so far contributed $A185m cash to the Green Climate Fund, with another $A15m due before Christmas: total $A200m. This is as pledged by PM Tony Abbott in December 2014 (what was he thinking?). It could be worse: Sweden  ($US580m) and Norway ($US270m) have peed more against the GCF wall. Those canny Kiwis across the ditch “invested” only $NZ 3m. The Danes stopped at $US72m. Canada put in $US275m but $US100m of it was just a loan.

Our $200m is just the tip of an iceberg – Turnbull pledged “at least” $1b in Paris fealty in 2015 just as Trump won office, and the billion’s now more-or-less delivered.

 

 

At last month’s GCF meeting, Howard Bamsey’s dummy-spit was not the only sensation.   Co-chair Paul Oquist, National Policies Minister of the nasty Nicaraguan regime, was a no-show, citing the civil unrest  at home (so far, 500 protesters shot). But he actually skedaddled to London, complaining to The Guardianthere about demonstrators’ looting, fake news and “quite depraved killings”.

 

Logjam and stalemate are built into the GCF constitution. Board decisions must be unanimous. Equal power goes to those who provide the cash (ourselves) and those who enjoy it, mainly African shit-holes – Trump’s words – and lying low-lying islands like the Maldives, Nauru and Tuvalu which  pretend they’re drowning under climatic seas.  Once mendicants get their paws on the funds, no-one else is allowed in to check and audit.

The GCF third-worlders couldn’t work out how to replace Oquist and the first-world’s co-chair Lennart Bage (Sweden) was left in limbo, lamenting what he called a “very difficult and disappointing” meeting. Our man Chris Tinning of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) is on the board but hasn’t piped up publicly.

Various green groups attended the meeting, like “Action Aid USA”. Its director Brandon Wu reported that some third-world board reps were out of their depth:  “Many of these people did not know how to navigate the minefield and the dynamics of the board, so there were a lot of little things that triggered people — and then those things spiraled into an hour long argument that could’ve been very easily avoided.”

Other board members protested about the meetings continuing past dinner-time, 6pm. Mr Wu lamented,  “Even if those comments were made in good faith, they were just denying the reality of what a democratic decision-making process looks like.”

 

The big player at GCF used to be the US. Obama had pledged $US3b and put in $US500m. During his last three days in office in January 2017, the feline president handed over a further $US500m by executive order as a so-there to his successor. Trump pulled out of  Paris six months later, making clear that GCF could go whistle for the missing $US2b.

The gap between Copenhagen/Paris money aspirations and reality is the stuff of farce. Australia via Kevin Rudd in 2009 agreed on this:

“In the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, developed countries commit to a goal of mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion dollars a year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries…A significant portion of such funding should flow through the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund.”

GCF’s  previous executive director  Hela Cheikhrouhouhad  chirruped about a need for $US450b a year after 2020, $US350b for fewer emissions and $US100b for adaptation.

 

So it’s tighten-belts time at GCF. There seems some fat there. Its 250 bureaucrats’ pay is  virtually tax-free and in US dollars. Staff get “a  rewarding benefits package” to meet the “growing global competition for talent.”There’s 26 days annual leave and 10 public holidays, plus 15 sick days, and up to 20 days can be worked at home or remotely. Not to mention special  living allowances, dependency and schooling aid for three children, and that delectable quasi-diplomatic passport. Candidates of all “gender identity and/or expression” are welcome.

 

As for  contributions to the fund after 2018, let’s hope PM Turnbull doesn’t get that generosity vibe at the next climate confab in Katowice, Poland in December. DFAT tells Spectator: Australia, with other developed countries, is committed to playing its part in achieving the goal of mobilising US$100 billion a year by 2020 from a variety of sources to support developing countries’ climate action.”Who knows what new commitments to GCF Turnbull could pull out of his hat?Recall his $444m  last April to a six-person Barrier Reef group, and $230m for Julia Gillard’s Global  Partnership for Education in Washington DC. Generosity can take a toll. #

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Scientific Method: Hate, Spite, Spleen

As all who browsed the infamous Climategate emails will know, the men and women of science can go to almost any lengths to suppress, harass, slander and deride those whose theories are at odds with their own. Well guess what? It’s not just climateers who are at home in the gutter

dead dinoIn the trillion-dollar global warming controversy, how objective is the science community? Scientists claim to be a priestly and virtuous caste  concerned for truth and for the welfare of the planet. Ex-PM Kevin Rudd’s formulation went that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was the work of 4000 “humorless guys in white coats”.[i] Human-caused global warming is so contentious that it’s hard to step back and look objectively at the white-coated practitioners. So let’s switch to a less important science controversy and observe how scientists behave.

Here’s the case study: Was it an asteroid or volcanoes that killed off the dinosaurs 66 million years ago?  The topic doesn’t get anyone emotional. The arguments have nothing to do with electricity bills, there is no cause for dumping prime ministers, capitalism is not at stake, and world government is not required. My dinosaur-debate text is a 9000-word blockbuster by Bianca Bosker in the latest (September) issue of The Atlantic. which informs us that the dinosaur researchers’ behavior is appalling. Name-calling. Blackmailing over academic careers. Data-tampering. Boycotts. Grant-snaffling. Peer review corruption. Consensus-touting… As you discover the details, you might notice parallels with the climate wars. Just one tiny example: $444m taxpayer money thrown to purported Barrier Reef saviors, while James Cook University sacks Professor Peter Ridd who challenged the reef alarmists’ data.

Now back to dinosaurs. In 1980, Luis Alvarez, who had already won the 1968 Nobel Prize for physics, made his claim that an asteroid’s hit finished the big lizards. This pitted the “Impacters” against the “Volcanists”, who blamed eruptions. The Impacters say a 9km-wide asteroid hit at Chicxulub by the Gulf of Mexico with the force of about 10 billion Hiroshima bombs, creating fireballs, earthquakes and a long darkness: an Old Testament version of hell, as The Atlantic puts it. These Impacters insist the science is now settled to near-total certainty. It’s as settled as evolution, they say, “The case is closed.”

But the minority Volcanists continue to argue that colossal eruptions of volcanoes in Western India’s Deccan Trapscaused the extinctions. Their leader is Gerta Keller, 73, who has published about 130 papers on the extinction (and a similar number on other specialties). Her disruptive data has caused some Impacters to have second thoughts about Alvarez’s theory. The Atlantic’s Bosker writes,

 Keller’s resistance has put her at the core of one of the most rancorous and longest-running controversies in science. “It’s like the Thirty Years’ War,” says Kirk Johnson, the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Impacters’ case-closed confidence belies decades of vicious infighting, with the two sides trading accusations of slander, sabotage, threats, discrimination, spurious data, and attempts to torpedo careers. “I’ve never come across anything that’s been so acrimonious,” Kerr says. “I’m almost speechless because of it.”

Keller keeps a running list of insults that other scientists have hurled at her, either behind her back or to her face. She says she’s been called a “bitch” and “the most dangerous woman in the world,” who “should be stoned and burned at the stake.”

Keller endured decades of ridicule. But as one colleague told Bosker, “It’s thanks to her [Keller] that the case is not closed.” In the bitter feud’s most ugly aspects, dissenters feared for their careers. Bosker quotes other scientists complaining that “the feverish competition in academia coupled with the need to curry favor with colleagues — in order to get published, get tenure, or get grant money — rewards timid research at the expense of maverick undertakings…” Bosker puts it this way

Ground down by acrimony, many critics of the asteroid hypothesis withdrew — including two of the most outspoken opponents, [Dewey] McLean and [Chuck] Officer. Lamenting the rancor as ‘embarrassing to geology,’ Officer announced in 1994 that he would quit mass-extinction research.

Though McLean did ultimately get promoted, he said Alvarez’s ‘vicious politics’  caused him serious health problems and that he couldn’t research Deccan volcanism without ‘the greatest of difficulty’ because of fear or a health relapse… “I never recovered physically or psychologically from that ordeal.” Impacters had warned some of Keller’s collaborators not to work with her, even contacting supervisors to pressure them to sever ties. Keller listed numerous research papers whose early drafts had been rejected, she felt, because pro-impact peer reviewers “just come out and regurgitate their hatred.”[ii]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0n1-DoDA8E

The Impacters pushed their “consensus” — that word again — attested by 41 of them signing a paper to Science in 2010. But Bosker writes, “Although some might consider this proof of consensus, dozens of geologists, paleontologists, and biologists wrote in to the journal contesting the paper’s methods and conclusions. Science is not done by vote.” A blind test of fossil samples was organized for six researchers in 1997. They disagreed 3-3. Further, polls of scientists involved in the debate variously went 60-40 (Impacters) or 30-70, merely demonstrating that it’s a live issue. Keller’s group accused  Science of bias, favoring Impacters’ pieces by a tally of 45 to four articles. The editor denied bias.

The vituperation spread as different disciples, such as physicists got involved, and people couldn’t agree on standards of evidence. From The Atlantic

“Where the physicists trusted models, for example, geologists demanded observations from fieldwork. Yet even specialists from complementary disciplines like geology and paleontology butted heads over crucial interpretations.”

Keller claims Impacters tried to squash debate before dissidents could get a hearing. The acceptance of the Continental Drift theory of Alfred Wegener took 60 years but Alvarez was claiming settled-science within only two years, she said.[iii] Keller in her research suggests an analogy with Iceland’s Laki eruption of 1783, which blanketed the Northern Hemisphere with fumes and ash, causing three years of famine. She argues that a single eruption of the Deccan era was thousands of times worse, and those eruptions happened many times over 350,000 years before the dinosaur die-off. Bosker writes:

As Keller has steadily accumulated evidence to undermine the asteroid hypothesis, the animosity between her and the Impacters has only intensified. Her critics have no qualms about attacking her in the press: Various scientists told me, on the record, that they consider her “fringe,” “unethical,” “particularly dishonest,” and “a gadfly.” Keller, not to be outdone, called one Impacter a “crybaby,” another a “bully,” and a third “the Trump of science.”

Meanwhile the impact theory solidified, and volcanism was largely abandoned, Bosker writes. The dispute, she says, shows how the science process, while “ostensibly guided by objective reason and the search for truth, is shaped by ego, power, and politics.” Both sides claim their respective camps will win only after their opponents have literally died off.

I have no idea which of the dinosaur theories is right. But I’ve certainly learnt from Bosker that scientists, like everyone else, don’t deserve automatic trust. For what it’s worth, Keller is a CO2 warming catastrophist, believing the dinosaur-extinction story is template for our own demise. This notion “terrified” her interviewer.

Afterthought: Like to know more about Gerta Keller? Try these biographical details:

  • She grew up hungry with 11 siblings on a farm in Switzerland. Her mother stewed a pet cat and another time gave Keller’s older sister some “mutton” comprising Gertha’s pet dog.
  • When Keller came to Australia in 1965 as a young woman an “Australian official” tried to put her in a rag-trade sweatshop, attempting to negotiate a cut of Keller’s pay “in perpetuity”, Keller claims rather implausibly. She stayed here three years.
  • Returning from a picnic near Sydney’s Gap cliffs, she crossed paths with a fleeing bank robber who casually shot her near-fatally through the chest. She woke in hospital with a priest administering the last rites. The SMHheadline was, “Woman Shot for No Reason”.

Tony Thomas’s new essay collection The West: An insider’s tales – a romping reporter in Perth’s innocent 1960s, can be pre-ordered here.

[i] For the crucial chapter of the Fourth IPCC Report (WG I chapter 9), which claimed to attribute warming to human activity, there were a mere 53 authors, 40 of whom were either work or academic associates, or were joint co-authors of published papers. The crucial second draft was reviewed by just 55 reviewers and seven governments. The other 2900 authors and reviewers (not 4000 as claimed) largely accepted chapter 9 at face value, the other authors doing so before chapter 9 was written so they could write their own chapters in parallel.  As Donna LaFramboise has shown, not all IPCC authors were recognised experts in their fields, some were yet to obtain their PhDs.”

[ii] Compare with two of the most famous Climategate emails between scientists Phil Jones and Mike Mann when sceptics were published in peer-reviewed journals. Mann to Jones, 11/3/2003: This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a    legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate    research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal…

Jones to Mann, 8/7/2004: The other paper by McKitrick and Michaels is just garbage—as you knew. De Freitas is the Editor again. Pielke is also losing all credibility as well by replying to the mad Finn as well—frequently, as I see it. I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC Report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow—even if we have to redefine what the “peer-review literature” is!

[iii] The global warming scare got under way only a few years after the end of the ‘global cooling’ scare of the 1970s, long before any serious research was undertaken.

COMMENTS [6]

  1. Lewis P Buckingham

    The last thing I saw on the Dinosoar extinction event controversy is that they could both be right.
    A bolide triggered volcanoes.
    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/meteorite-killed-dinosaurs-also-triggered-underwater-volcanoes-180968106/

    Although the birds made it out of the flames.

    • ianl

      Yes, the combination of a massive meteorite impact triggering extensive mid-ocean ridge and subduction zone vulcanism has been offered as explanation for quite a while. Ffrom the collected empirical evidence, I tend to credit it.

      Another example is the mass extinction that marked the end of the Permian and its’ interface horizon with the overlying unconformable Triassic is ascribed to widespread vulcanism. Perforce, I’ve mapped a great many kilometres of that horizon – absolutely barren of fossils (especially plant imprints) but remnant eroded “pools” of claystone (lithified volcanic ash) are often found. The proximate cause of the massive eruptions is still keenly argued, although perhaps not as vociferously as the dinosaur extinction.

      My own explanation for the psychology of the dinosaur extinction issue with its’ intense rivalry as detailed above by Tony Thomas is simply the fame and worldwide acclaim attached to the resolution of the issue. Dinosaurs have become big Hollywood – yet another Jurassic Park is currently filling the cinemas – so world attention is easily focussed on the drama of their demise.

      Imagine then the intensity of “saving the planet”. Separating hard scientific fact from noble cause corruption is now impossible, as Climategate shows us.

  2. en passant

    Tony,
    Gerta almost persuaded me until she praised someone by calling them “the Trump of science.” (thus mistaking commonsense for an insult. Also, as she is clearly so stupid as to believe the ridiculous hoax that CO2 is a problem, her credibility and reasoning powers are suspect.

    Two years ago (when I had nothing better to do) I took a course in Paleontology through Hong Kong University. I don’t know what killed off the dinosaurs so rapidly, but it was unlikely to be an asteroid. There are several other super volcanoes that are contenders from Yellowstone, to Siberia and the Deccan Traps.

    I won’t take up the space, but the composition of the atmosphere is another possibility as CO2 plummeted, plants died off and the dinosaurs might just have starved.

    • ianl

      Reptiles are poikilotherms, as I’m sure you know. A deep and long-term drop in temperature, such as may be caused by large scale air-borne ash or dust from vulcanism and/or massive asteroid impact, would contribute to reptilian metabolic failure. That is, they may have slowly frozen to death, unable to forage efficiently, while food became increasingly scarce ?

      After 11 years of legal slugfest, the Uni of Arizona has finally agreed to release huge email tranches from scientists heavily involved in Climategate (notably Overpeck and Hughes). A measure of the depth of rancour is that the release has been ordered to be in easily readable, searchable format. That has not always been the case. These emails are expected to contain information on essentially successful attempts to sideline published papers, the magazines and editors that published those papers and destruction of the authors’ reputations, if such papers disagreed with “consensus”.

      [Pixels consume electric power, but space ? Oh well …]

  3. AlanIO

    It seems Volcanoes can provide lots of history. Mt Hekla comes to mind in SO2 studies. Woods Hole core samples and so many others provide good evidence. There are so many differences between people and humans. AlanIO