Friday, June 26, 2009

The Minority Report: Why I am a Climate Sceptic

I used to be a believer.

Up until about two years ago, I had taken the pronouncements of the IPCC and related bodies for granted. I trusted them. This was actually something very out of character for me; I've spent many years analysing the corrupting influences of political and media power, observing how vested interests frequently support one another. I should have known better.

The problem is, and this is a problem absolutely endemic to Western civilisation is this: I just don't have the time to analyse every pronouncement, every potential political or self-aggrandising agenda, every statement of scientific "fact". No one does. I had other things to focus on and, unfortunately, I let myself be led astray by the commonly promulgated idea that climate sceptics were just shills for vested interests. The problem is of course that we are fed an almost constant torrent of bullshit by the mass media. Every goddamn statement has to be analysed carefully if you care about the truth of it. I can quite understand sometimes why some people look at politics and decide to stick their head in the sand, or go insane and shoot loads of people. We're lied to almost non-stop and worse, we generally fund these people to do it. And even critical people can be easily brainwashed if the message is ubiquitous and repeated often enough.

About two years ago I decided to look at what the sceptics were actually saying, and it would be an understatement to say I was shocked. You don't have to be a climatologist to recognise foul play, nor to understand massive fallacies in presented arguments (especially when said arguments are presented by claiming that anyone opposing them is a loon). One area I do know plenty about is politics - and the corrupting work of a confluence of interests is very easy to spot. Where there is any such confluence, one is obliged to adopt immediate scepticism regarding any claims to truth.

I wanted to put together my particular thoughts on this as we are now reaching crunch time. The "Cap and Trade" bill in the U.S. has passed the House and is likely to get through the Senate also (once enough concessions have been made - not likely ones of principle unfortunately). This legislation will come at a truly horrifying economic cost for the Americans. And Britain will be following suit, adding costs to an energy infrastructure that is already close to breaking. And all of this on the back of an economic depression. One wonders if our leaders could possibly be any more criminally insane.

There are a lot of interrelated criticisms I have of this issue. I'll go through most of them in turn:

- The Minority Report

It's actually (not) funny how the behaviour of the "consensus" bullies plays out in a very similar way to the pre-crime in the film namesake. Some of these dirty tricks are outlined by various sceptical scientists in the report itself.

The Senate Committe Minority Report on Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims is by far the best resource I have seen yet on this topic, especially as it is updated periodically (and the number of scientists added to it increases continually). It is potentially your one-stop shop for debating with the climate consensus crew (hereafter to be referred to as "C3").

You can find the summary of the report here.

And the full report itself is here. It looks like quite a weighty document, however in practice you only really need to read to page 97 (out of 255), as the PDF file also contains the previous versions. Also, the URL takes a little while to resolve to the PDF file, so be patient with your browser.

The Minority Report is a source I'll regularly quote below. Do go and read the whole thing though - there's an incredible amount of useful information (and some experiences of the sceptics at the hands of their consensus crew pals will make your blood boil), there are a tremendous amount of links to sources too, which are also regularly updated on the website.

I defy anyone to read the report and come away with the belief that AGW is even likely, never mind a "consensus" view. The C3 probably won't take it seriously though, because they already know the truth.

- "The new Oil".

This alone should give one pause for thought. Traders in the City have begun referring to "Green" investments as "the new oil". Why might that be? Could it be because there is effectively free mana from heaven pouring from the coffers of the taxpayer? Could it be that, in the same way you could attract money to any project by citing the Cold War in the 80s, then T.W.A.T. in the noughties, now (not even out of the noughties), just give something a Greenwash and watch money fly towards you like shit towards a fucking fan. The metaphor is apt because that is exactly what is going to happen to most of this "investment". And you and me get to pick up the tab.

In fact, to call this "Green shit" would be an even more appropriate metaphor. We have diarrhea flying towards the fan, to be spread uselessly in all directions, all the while sucking vital nutrients from the body forced to produce it.

Climate sceptic, chemical engineer Bob Ashworth:
"The lesson to the world here is, when it comes to science, never blindly accept an explanation from a politician or scientists who have turned political for their own private gain. Taxing carbon will have absolutely no beneficial effect on our climate, will hurt the economies of the world, and will be harmful to the production of food because less carbon dioxide means reduced plant growth."

- The "shilling" vested interests are actually behind the consensus now.

Funny, I was recently accused of being a possible shill for big oil. Hahahaha. Oh dear. Let me quote one of the Minority Report researchers:

Chemist, Dr. Kenneth Rundt: "I am only a humble scientist with a PhD degree in physical chemistry and an interest in the history of the globe we inhabit. I have no connection with any oil or energy-related business. I have nothing to gain from being a skeptic."

Quite. And not having anything to do with the Earth sciences myself, being a humble technology researcher (by day, at night I take repeated punches to the head...), I have nothing to gain either. I just like to stick to the old fashioned dictum of my opinions changing with the facts!

The large energy companies aren't going to suffer particularly badly. It's win-win. Where they aren't subsidised by the public purse to make structural changes, they're being given free reign to pass on costs to the consumer. The C3 see this as good because horrifying energy prices are sure to force people to conserve massively. Never mind all of the people pushed into fuel poverty. Add to this the behaviour we saw in the last year, where Hedge funds were moving into Oil, and pushing the price up astronomically - which is likely to be repeated again now with the weakness of the dollar, and short to medium term at least, many conventional energy providers will be sitting pretty if they get their greenwash campaign right.

- The International Geological Congress (the "olympics" of Climatology and Geology):

Skeptical scientists overwhelm conference: '2/3 of presenters and question-askers were hostile to, even dismissive of, the UN IPCC'

- Authoritative sources turn out to be authoritarian rather than scholarly.

Dr. James ("Hockey Stick Graph") Hansen, Gore's cheerleader in chief has shown himself to be a colossal and disingenuous fraud. Hansen - according to his ex boss Dr. John S. Theon, was an embarrassment to NASA and seems to be suffering a "bad case of megalomania".

Meanwhile, in Blighty, it appears the MET office also can't be trusted: "During a rather bad-tempered interview on Thursday evening... Read more’s Newsnight, Kirsty Wark asked Hilary Benn, the UK Environment Secretary, why local authorities were being told to use the Met Office predictions as a template for infrastructure planning when their report had not been peer reviewed and the authors had postponed publication of information about the methodology that they had used. She also told him that there was considerable concern among other climate scientists about the Met Office’s research."

That's also not to mention the fact that, suddenly, the MET office can carry out astonishing calculations that it claimed last year would require supercomputers one thousand times more powerful than we have at present. Now this is my scientific area, and despite some pretty astonishing breakthroughs in computing technology (many of which are yet to be commercially available), I can state with authority that in the space of one year, we don't have supercomputers that are 1000 times more powerful than their predecessors last year.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency censors internal dissent.

And that's not to mention Gore's behaviour. (See the section, 'The big lie and the big goddamn confluence' below).

- Several recent sceptics were on the IPCC panels

Take note C3 people:
- Environmental physical chemist, Dr. Kiminori Itoh
- Meteorologist Hajo Smit
- Nuclear Physicist and Chemical Engineer, Dr. Philip Lloyd
- Professor of the Department of Atmosphere Sciences, University of Buenos Aires, Prof. Rosa Compagnucci
- Former head of Arizona State University's Office of Climatology, Dr. Robert Balling.
- Atmospheric chemist, Dr. Steven M. Japar.

And there are many others who took part in IPCC activities who reported serious foul play.

And, as mentioned in the minority report, the officially recorded number of climate sceptics is now 700 - more than 13 times the number of UN scientists who authored the IPCC 2007 report. Contrary to popular myth, the IPCC report wasn't cobbled together through thousands, or even hundreds of scientists. It was in fact only 52.

-Co-opting of the green movement.

This is a very serious issue that often gets overlooked. Rabid AGW supporters don't realise how much damage they are doing to the rest of the Ecological movement. Do I think there are serious environmental issues for us to address? Sure. Unfortunately because so many in the Green movement are into AGW, and its horribly statist and invasive so called "solutions", there is a seed of truth in the accusation of "Envirofascist". And a lot of people, after being harried and bossed around by the C3 won't have much patience for subtleties elsewhere.

The Greens are being used and many can't seem to see it. It's a bonanza for the corrupt elites who already screw most of us most of the time. Between the bogus "war on terror" and the bogus AGW agenda and the bogus (grand theft) financial "crisis", is there anywhere left for the 'little people' to turn where their lives are not dominated by fear, guilt and increasingly intrusive government diktat and hand in our pockets?

Senator Inhofe reveals how Scientists & Activists believe Global Warming has 'Co-opted' the environmental movement

- The "complexity defence"

Simply dealing with the core of the AGW argument leads to what I call 'the complexity defence'. This alone is enough to scupper the entire argument.

If we get into the meat of the AGW position, something absolutely fascinating happens. It generally follows this pattern:

Stage 1: Your opponent looks at you like you just said you'd stuffed his pet hamster up your arse and shat it out the window. This stage often takes some time to get through as you have to deal with the disbelief that you could possibly challenge the orthodoxy.

Stage 2: Restatement of the "basic facts", leading to Argument 1:

Argument 1: Green house gases, such as CO2, cause a measurable warming effect. Humans have been adding tons of CO2 to the atmosphere for decades, and there is a measurable increase in global temperatures. There is a correlation between rising CO2 and rising temperatures. Therefore, human activity is causing the rising temperatures.

Now many sceptical scientists have already pointed out issues with the actual mechanisms that might be involved here. However, we can give the C3 the benefit of the doubt on this and still hang them by their own petard.

They assert not only correlation, but a one way causative relationship between humans producing CO2, the actual level of CO2 in the atmosphere and rising temperatures. This, for many years, has been presented as an upwards, linear relationship.

So, what about the occasions when the correlation fails? This is supposed to be the very heart of the argument, so if say, we had a cooling trend for a sizable period, say around the last 10 years, then that indicates that this correlation is bunk.

This is when we reach....

Stage 3: The complexity argument

Argument 2 to the rescue!
Apparently, because the climate is so complex, indeed it is the "mother of all nonlinear dynamical systems", then other factors come into play, determining the global temperature.

Well, I quite agree with this. Yet, somehow, C3 like to add a silent premise - that human produced CO2 is still the dominating factor to this model. What? So when we see an upwards correlation, it is because of AGW, but when we see a negative correlation (because remember humans are still adding more CO2 to the atmosphere, and in increasing amounts, during these cooling periods), it is because of "complex factors" amongst which AGW still happens to - magically - be the major factor.

So when the earth heats up, it is AGW. When the earth cools down it is AGW.

Similarly, when ice melts in the arctic it is AGW. And when ice forms in the antarctic it is AGW. Got it?

Never mind all those other factors that you might want to consider if you invoke the "complex system" - Solar impact, Earth's precession, Variations in the Magnetic field, Water Vapour, Sulphur outputs etc etc.

Earth Scientist, Dr. Javier Cuadros: "Curiously, it is a feature of man-made global warming that every fact confirms it: rising temperatures or decreasing temperatures, drought or torrential rain, tonadoes and hurricanes or changes in teh habits of migratory birds. No matter what the weather, some model of global warming offers a watertight explanation."

- The big lie and the big goddamn confluence

It is crucially important to understand that the C3 lobby represents the confluence of perhaps the most powerful set of lobbies humans have ever seen. Not only are most national governments behind the "consensus" (notably absent China, India and Russia - but they're just "evil" right?), we also have the media, and a large swathe of compromised scientists who's very livelihood depends on the massive amounts of taxpayer funds being siphoned away to fund their research. People like Al Gore, and "Hockey Stick" Hansen have built careers on this. Plus, there are huge, structural interests now coming into place as Western governments are now preparing fundamental restructures of our economy around this mythology. A lot of organisations, including numerous energy companies, have a lot of public money to lose if the "consensus" is broken.

I'm also more than happy to point out how this is like the Nazi "big lie" written even larger. Now normally I would avoid such comparisons. However, really all I have to say is "fuck you" to the C3. I can think of few things more disturbing than the emergence and promotion of the term, "Climate change denier", with its very obvious and intentional parallel with "holocaust denial". Seriously, fuck you guys - this has already resulted in witch hunts and the destruction of the careers of perfectly good scientists.

Ecological modeler, Dr David Stockwell: "..the IPCC is just another review, and an unstructured and biased one at that. Its main in-scope goal is to find a human influence on climate, and the range of reasons for climate change are out-of-scope."

Russian geographer and Antarctic ice core researcher, Andrei Kapitsa: the UN IPCC is "the biggest ever scientific fraud" - "A large number of critical documents submitted at the 1995 U.N. conference in Madrid vanished without a trace....As a result, the discussion was one-sided and heavily biased, and the U.N. declared global warming to be a scientific fact."

Award winning physicist, Dr. Will Happer, Physics professor at Princeton University: "I had the privilege of being fired by Al Gore, since I refused to go along with his alarmism. I did not need the job that badly....I was told that science was not going to intrude on policy." [My emphasis]

Princeton University physicist, Dr. Robert H. Austin: "I was taught that any discipline with the word 'science' as part of its title is to be avoided, such as Political Science. Unfortunately, Climate Science has become Political Science."

And, directly from the Minority Report:

Skeptical scientists are gaining recognition despite what many say is a bias against them in parts of the scientific community and are facing significant funding disadvantages. Dr. William M. Briggs, a climate statistician who serves on the American Meteorological Society's Probability and Statistics Committee, explained that his colleagues described “absolute horror stories of what happened to them when they tried getting papers published that explored non-‘consensus’ views.” In a March 4, 2008, report Briggs described the
behavior as “really outrageous and unethical … on the parts of some editors. I was
shocked.”(LINK) [Note: An August 2007 report detailed how proponents of man-made global warming fears enjoy a monumental funding advantage over skeptical scientists. LINK A July 2007 Senate report details how skeptical scientists have faced threats and intimidation - LINK & LINK ]
[My emphasis]

- The Manhattan Declaration

Never heard of it? That's no surprise! The Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change is a vetted list of scientists declaring their scepticism towards the AGW consensus.

This declaration is well worth reading in full - its only a page long, however it makes quite a striking statement, especially as it has been signed by so many. And again, we have a body of scientists much larger than the IPCC disagreeing with the "consensus". I know its not all about numbers, but if you're going to have the cheek to claim "consensus"... well....

I'll finish with a quote from one of the IPCC "traitors" - Dr. Kiminori Itoh: Warming fears are the "worst scientific scandal in the history...When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists."

Quite. I hope the Righteous will be happy with their end result - fuel poverty for hundreds of thousands (if not millions) and forever tarnishing science and scientists with the same brush as politicians and investment bankers. Congratulations chaps.


RobinL said...

Is it possible that some assertions made by AGW proponents could lead to prosecution, or is that too much to hope for? Fraud, criminal negligence, dereliction of duty? Just musing...

Great post. The red highlights are a bit hard to read, on my monitor.

Richard Dale said...

Great post, and one of the links I lost when I spilled wine on my last computer, and had looked for when writing my own piece. Thanks!

I too used to be a believer. As you read in my blog, I am no longer. I stopped believing more gradually, and slightly earlier, probably because I do have a degree in Earth Science, and although only a bachelor's degree it allows me to recognise extraordinary claims, and the lack of accompanying extraordinary evidence.

Like you the suspiscions hardened as I saw how sceptics were treated. That is not even unscientific, that is anti-scientific.

banned said...

I have never been a believer, from an historians point of view because the warmists lie and omit.
OMG it's gonna be 80 degrees f next week and we're all gonna die. like it's never happened before.

X year was the warmist sibce 1914 shock horror, really ? What caused a hot 1914 then and why did no-one notice ( perhaps because they had more important things to worry about ).

Lastly, America has only just got interested in climate change because they have figured out how to make money out of it.

Call me Infidel said...

I was never a believer. If memory serves this nonsense started with the absurd claims about ozone depletion in the stratosphere. The claim that we would all be cooked and blinded by UV light. So they removed CFC's from fridges and the "problem" disappeared. They seemed to then blend this into global warming. I can accept the idea of climate change because it is not exactly a stable system, but the idea that our increased production of plant food (CO2) would somehow cause the planet to turn into a greenhouse I find hard to accept.

The scary thing for me is that it has been turned into a psuedo religion with the latter day communists in the Green parties prepared to carry acts of terrorism in order to further their aims.