|The Week That Was
April 15, 2006
Steve Milloy's junkscience.com celebrated its 10th anniversary on April 1, 2006. To mark the event, he spotlights 10 junk science stories of the last 10 years (Item #1)
Does Kyoto make economic sense? Not by a long shot, according to Alister McFarquhar in Adam Smith Institute Blog. "The politicization of the scientific establishment and once reputable journals merits real alarm" (Item #2).
The real meaning of "Green ideas sleep furiously"? See Item #3.
In the Financial Post (Toronto), 60 climate experts implore Canada's
prime minister to forget about Kyoto. With comments from London and Vancouver
NASA's James Hansen et al now predict [Draft March 29, 2006 online
"a potential super-El Nino and global temperature
record, perhaps dangerous, levels." ".. the Earth is now warmer
than at any time in the Holocene
" etc, etc.
Did you know that the official temperature record of NOAA's National Climate Data Center shows a global cooling trend over the past seven years in spite of rapid increases in levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases? You might ask: How is this possible? Doesn't everyone agree that the climate is warming?
The answer is: It all depends on how you define the trend. When you start in 1998, a peak warm year, you will get a cooling trend.
But is this fair? That's the whole point of this exercise. The widely
announced loss of Antarctic ice (seen by the GRACE satellite, as published
in Science 24 March, 2006) is based on only three years of data. And even
if this trend is sustained, it translates into a sea-level rise of only
0.4 mm (less than 0.02 inch) per year.
Commentary on Global Warming politics by Richard Lindzen in WSJ (Item
#7) has created a great stir and produced predictable cheap ad hominem
attacks. These don't compare, however, with the attack on the distinguished
senior scientist Frederick Seitz in - of all places -Vanity Fair.
For a proper response , see
Fred Gielow www.youdontsay.org reveals Secrets of Environmentalists
From our readers:
And a final reminder:
My web site JunkScience.com celebrated its 10th anniversary on April
1, 2006. To mark the event, this column spotlights 10 big junk science
stories of the last 10 years. In no particular order, they are:
1. The most toxic manmade chemical? That's what some called dioxin, a
by-product of natural and industrial combustion processes and the "contaminant
of concern" in the Vietnam-era defoliant known as Agent Orange. Billions
of dollars have been spent studying and regulating dioxin, but debunking
the scare only cost a few thousand dollars.
2. Dial "F" for Fear. Since the 1993 Larry King Live broadcast
featuring a man suing a cell phone maker claiming his wife died from a
cell phone-induced brain cancer, many cell phone users have worried about
phone safety. But studies failed to identify any risk.
3. Powerline scare unplugged. Fears that electric and magnetic fields
(EMFs) created by power lines and appliances caused cancer started in
1978. Parents worried about power lines over schools. Consumers worried
about electric blankets. Power companies worried about burying power lines.
The National Academy of Sciences finally unplugged the scare in October
1996, concluding that no evidence showed EMFs presented a health hazard.
4. Hormone Hysterics. Tulane University researchers published a 1996
study claiming that combinations of manmade chemicals (pesticides and
PCBs) disrupted normal hormonal processes, causing everything from cancer
to infertility to attention deficit disorder.
5. Secret Science? EPA air pollution rules issued in 1997 governing airborne
particulate matter (soot) are estimated to cost $10 billion annually.
The EPA claimed soot in ambient air causes tens of thousands of premature
deaths every year.
6. Obesity statistics lose weight. The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention added to our bodyweight panic in 2004 by announcing that obesity
kills 400,000 people annually, a number approaching the death toll attributed
to smoking (440,000). Criticism of the estimate from CDC's own statisticians
caused the agency in 2005 to back-off the estimate - adjusting it downward
by 93 percent to 25,814 annual deaths. Read more
7. 'Ear-ie' biotech scare. "Who plays God in the 21st century?"
captioned an Oct. 11, 1999 full-page ad in the New York Times attacking
genetic engineering. Placed by a coalition including Greenpeace and the
Sierra Club, the ad featured a photo of a shaved laboratory mouse with
what looks like a human ear attached to its back.
8. PETA: Milk drinking makes for future felons. With its web site repeatedly
alluding to acts of animal cruelty committed in childhood as being predictors
of adult criminality, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sponsored
an in-school curricula teaching children that eating meat and drinking
milk constitutes "animal cruelty."
9. Choking on chips. Swedish scientists alarmed us in April 2002 that
cooking high-carbohydrate foods - like potatoes and bread - formed acrylamide,
a substance linked with cancer in lab animals. But even if lab animals
were reasonable predictors of cancer risk in humans - a notion yet to
be validated - someone of average bodyweight would have to eat 35,000
potato chips (about 62.5 pounds) per day for life to get an equivalent
dose of acrylamide as the lab animals. Read more
10. The Mother of all junk science controversies. The most important
junk science story of the last 10 years is global warming. Though climate
varies naturally and ongoing climate change is within that natural variation,
the global warming lobby seems bent on railroading us into economy-killing
They confirm what ASI Blog has been saying for some years. As Sir Nicholas says, "the science... actually shapes all the economics that follows." But although Stern says that there is a consensus among climate scientists, he offers no survey evidence. The Lavoisier Group in Australia notes, well sourced, that the Stern Oxonia papers contain:
'serious gaps and errors'; and it goes on to say that '"The science" of climate change prediction is still in its infancy, and the account of it given in these documents is questionable, misleading and biased'
The Byatt critique must be disingenuous in failing to note that climate science in support of Kyoto is completely politicized. It is ably led by our Chief Scientific Officer, Sir David King, and citing widely discredited IPCC climate reports is a 'consensus' which is confuted daily as Kyoto proves costly and ineffective.
As Distinguished Professor Lindzen says (PDF):
"there is widespread and even rigorous scientific agreement that complete adherence to the Kyoto Agreement would have no discernible impact on climate. This clearly is of no importance to the thousands of negotiators, diplomats, regulators, general purpose bureaucrats and advocates attached to this issue."
The Stern Review will prolong their survival by pretending the science is settled and it is all a matter of risk and cost - as if either could be assessed with any confidence. This is an old dodge. Get the political problem of choice redefined as a technical problem comprehensible only to experts who will support the party line, either confirming human CO2 as the culprit, or escaping from past errors by advancing risk and cost as reasons for a rethink. Tony Blair is already well down the latter path.
Last week I dined with a scientist of approaching five decades professional
acquaintance, FRS, Cambridge Head of House, and with countless unimpeachable
distinctions. He dismissed my evidence of doubt over climate alarm and
the IPCC as a Bush-led conspiracy driven by think tanks financed by US
oil and corporate interests. This is a genuine if misguided consensus
in Europe. The politicization of the scientific establishment and once
reputable journals merits real alarm.
Opinion , The Daily Telegraph, 1 April 2006
In New Zealand this week, in remarks which, in some respects, showed
signs of mental life (and were therefore immediately attacked by Greens),
Tony Blair began with the great piety of current Green thought. "In
terms of the long-term future," he said, "there is no issue
more important than climate change."
Once upon a time, pollution was something the Left almost approved of.
New dams and factories and mines gave more power to the organised working
class, and had to be rushed forward to replace the feudal societies which
socialism overthrew. Worker control of the means of production was good;
therefore production itself was good, and pollution was ignored on the
© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2006.
4. Open Kyoto to debate
Sixty scientists call on Harper to revisit the science of global warming
An open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper:
Dear Prime Minister:
Kyoto is pointless, say 60 leading scientists
Canada's new Conservative prime minister, Stephen Harper, has been urged
In an open letter that includes five British scientists among the
"Much of the billions of dollars earmarked for implementation of
They emphasised that the study of global climate change is, in Mr Harper's
"'Climate change is real' is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly
"Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the
The letter is the latest effort by climate change sceptics to counter
C Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2006.
Michael Campbell in the Vancouver Sun
I guess the 60 climate experts who wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper this week imploring him to "examine the scientific foundation of the federal government's climate-change plans" hadn't read Time magazine's declaration in last week's special edition that "the debate over climate change is over."
Instead of debate, Time (and many other media heavyweights including ABC, USA Today and CNN) is advising us to "Be Worried, Be Very Worried."
Personally, I am worried. Like the 60 scientists who signed the letter to Mr. Harper, I am worried that, "much of the billions of dollars earmarked for implementation of the [Kyoto] Protocol in Canada will be squandered without a proper assessment of recent developments in climate science."
That fear is well-founded, given that our own bureaucrats admitted that the $4 billion spent between 1998 and 2003 on climate change and our plan to meet our commitments outlined in the Kyoto accord was wasted.
Before you think of adding to the 327 hate mails I've received for stating on numerous occasions that Kyoto was a farce, consider that a couple of weeks ago Tom Axworthy, co-chair of a Liberal party renewal commission, summed up the government's climate-change plan by saying it was difficult to understand, but that didn't matter because his party's Kyoto plan "wasn't real anyways."
Last September, one of Kyoto's main proponents, Tony Blair, declared that for all practical purposes the accord was dead because "no country was going to cut its growth." The Canadian record lends credence to that observation given that, despite all the rhetoric to the contrary, we are 30-per-cent away from meeting our Kyoto commitments.
By exempting both the auto and petroleum industries from its Kyoto plans, the government was clearly not interested in implementing a plan that the Canadian Taxpayer's Federation estimated would cost the average Canadian household $3,000 a year for what even proponents of Kyoto admit would yield little progress.
I have no idea whether I should file my concerns over global warming beside my Y2K survival kit, my SARS epidemic face mask, and my avian flu pamphlet. But I do know that there is no scientific consensus as to humanity's impact on climate change. I don't need to be a climate expert to notice the thousands of signatories from the scientific community who declared in the Oregon Petition that "there is no convincing evidence" of the impact of human activities on climate change.
Last year, I noted that the vice-president of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Yury Izrael, was quoted in the online Media Monitor that "there is no proven link between human activity and global warming." I'm also aware that the data behind the famous hockey-stick graph used by so many global warming proponents has now been shown to be deeply flawed, and more importantly was never properly checked by members of the peer-review panels.
I admit that I smiled last week when I read syndicated columnist George Will's reminder that in 1975 the New York Times declared that "a major cooling of the climate is widely considered inevitable" as he recited the conventional wisdom of the time.
It's hardly a surprise -- given that I've been skeptical of the one-sided coverage the topic has received -- that I would welcome the federal government "convening open, unbiased consultations [so that] Canadians will be permitted to hear from experts on both sides of the debate," as the 60 signatories of the open letter to Mr. Harper suggest, before billions of dollars more are wasted.
Michael Campbell's Money Talks radio show can be heard on CKNW 980 on
Saturdays from 8:30 to 10 a.m.
For many years now, human-caused climate change has been viewed as a large and urgent problem. In truth, however, the biggest part of the problem is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco. Consider the simple fact, drawn from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero).
Yes, you did read that right. And also, yes, this eight-year period of temperature stasis did coincide with society's continued power station and SUV-inspired pumping of yet more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
In response to these facts, a global warming devotee will chuckle and say "how silly to judge climate change over such a short period". Yet in the next breath, the same person will assure you that the 28-year-long period of warming which occurred between 1970 and 1998 constitutes a dangerous (and man-made) warming. Tosh. Our devotee will also pass by the curious additional facts that a period of similar warming occurred between 1918 and 1940, well prior to the greatest phase of world industrialisation, and that cooling occurred between 1940 and 1965, at precisely the time that human emissions were increasing at their greatest rate.
Does something not strike you as odd here? That industrial carbon dioxide is not the primary cause of earth's recent decadal-scale temperature changes doesn't seem at all odd to many thousands of independent scientists. They have long appreciated - ever since the early 1990s, when the global warming bandwagon first started to roll behind the gravy train of the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - that such short-term climate fluctuations are chiefly of natural origin. Yet the public appears to be largely convinced otherwise. How is this possible?
Since the early 1990s, the columns of many leading newspapers and magazines, worldwide, have carried an increasing stream of alarmist letters and articles on hypothetical, human-caused climate change. Each such alarmist article is larded with words such as "if", "might", "could", "probably", "perhaps", "expected", "projected" or "modelled" - and many involve such deep dreaming, or ignorance of scientific facts and principles, that they are akin to nonsense.
The problem here is not that of climate change per se, but rather that of the sophisticated scientific brainwashing that has been inflicted on the public, bureaucrats and politicians alike. Governments generally choose not to receive policy advice on climate from independent scientists. Rather, they seek guidance from their own self-interested science bureaucracies and senior advisers, or from the IPCC itself. No matter how accurate it may be, cautious and politically non-correct science advice is not welcomed in Westminster, and nor is it widely reported.
Marketed under the imprimatur of the IPCC, the bladder-trembling and now infamous hockey-stick diagram that shows accelerating warming during the 20th century - a statistical construct by scientist Michael Mann and co-workers from mostly tree ring records - has been a seminal image of the climate scaremongering campaign. Thanks to the work of a Canadian statistician, Stephen McIntyre, and others, this graph is now known to be deeply flawed.
There are other reasons, too, why the public hears so little in detail from those scientists who approach climate change issues rationally, the so-called climate sceptics. Most are to do with intimidation against speaking out, which operates intensely on several parallel fronts.
First, most government scientists are gagged from making public comment on contentious issues, their employing organisations instead making use of public relations experts to craft carefully tailored, frisbee-science press releases. Second, scientists are under intense pressure to conform with the prevailing paradigm of climate alarmism if they wish to receive funding for their research. Third, members of the Establishment have spoken declamatory words on the issue, and the kingdom's subjects are expected to listen.
On the alarmist campaign trail, the UK's Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir David King, is thus reported as saying that global warming is so bad that Antarctica is likely to be the world's only habitable continent by the end of this century. Warming devotee and former Chairman of Shell, Lord [Ron] Oxburgh, reportedly agrees with another rash statement of King's, that climate change is a bigger threat than terrorism. And goodly Archbishop Rowan Williams, who self-evidently understands little about the science, has warned of "millions, billions" of deaths as a result of global warming and threatened Mr Blair with the wrath of the climate God unless he acts. By betraying the public's trust in their positions of influence, so do the great and good become the small and silly.
Two simple graphs provide needed context, and exemplify the dynamic, fluctuating nature of climate change. The first is a temperature curve for the last six million years, which shows a three-million year period when it was several degrees warmer than today, followed by a three-million year cooling trend which was accompanied by an increase in the magnitude of the pervasive, higher frequency, cold and warm climate cycles. During the last three such warm (interglacial) periods, temperatures at high latitudes were as much as 5 degrees warmer than today's. The second graph shows the average global temperature over the last eight years, which has proved to be a period of stasis.
The essence of the issue is this. Climate changes naturally all the time, partly in predictable cycles, and partly in unpredictable shorter rhythms and rapid episodic shifts, some of the causes of which remain unknown. We are fortunate that our modern societies have developed during the last 10,000 years of benignly warm, interglacial climate. But for more than 90 per cent of the last two million years, the climate has been colder, and generally much colder, than today. The reality of the climate record is that a sudden natural cooling is far more to be feared, and will do infinitely more social and economic damage, than the late 20th century phase of gentle warming.
The British Government urgently needs to recast the sources from which it draws its climate advice. The shrill alarmism of its public advisers, and the often eco-fundamentalist policy initiatives that bubble up from the depths of the Civil Service, have all long since been detached from science reality. Internationally, the IPCC is a deeply flawed organisation, as acknowledged in a recent House of Lords report, and the Kyoto Protocol has proved a costly flop. Clearly, the wrong horses have been backed.
As mooted recently by Tony Blair, perhaps the time has come for Britain to join instead the new Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (AP6), whose six member countries are committed to the development of new technologies to improve environmental outcomes. There, at least, some real solutions are likely to emerge for improving energy efficiency and reducing pollution.
Informal discussions have already begun about a new AP6 audit body, designed to vet rigorously the science advice that the Partnership receives, including from the IPCC. Can Britain afford not to be there?
Prof Bob Carter is a geologist at James Cook University, Queensland,
engaged in paleoclimate research
One of the country's leading climate scientists says there is "a good chance" for a "super El Nino" next winter, a powerful warming in the Pacific Ocean linked to wet winters in the Southwest.
In a draft paper circulated to colleagues, NASA climate researcher James Hansen blames global warming for increasing the chance of extreme El Ninos.
When they happen, such extreme El Ninos can wreak weather havoc worldwide, from deep drought in Australia to flooding in California.
Hansen's new paper drew a flurry of attention among scientists because of his standing as one of the nation's most prominent climate scientists. But the most common reaction was caution.
"The graveyard is filled with missed El Nino forecasts," said Mickey Glantz at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.
Scientists also questioned Hansen's El Nino-global warming link, noting researchers' predictions on the subject vary widely. "There is no consensus," said University of New Mexico climate researcher Dave Gutzler.
One of the strongest reactions came from Mark Cane, at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York. "I strongly believe that most of what Jim Hansen writes about El Nino there is incorrect," Cane said in a phone interview Friday.
Hansen, head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, sent a March 29 e-mail to a list of colleagues describing "a draft paper that I intend to submit for publication within a few days" and including a link to the paper on a public Web site. University of Colorado science policy researcher Roger Pielke Jr. made it public late Thursday afternoon on his blog.
Hansen could not be reached for comment Friday.
El Nino and its counterpart, La Nina, act like a global climate seesaw, tipping back and forth every few years as temperatures and winds across the equatorial Pacific shift.
When the seesaw tips to the warm side- El Nino- New Mexico and the Southwest generally have wet winters. When the seesaw tips to the cool side- La Nina, which we are experiencing now- things here tend to be dry.
Similar patterns of extreme wet weather or drought follow La Nina and El Nino over large parts of the globe, which makes forecasting the phenomena of critical importance.
"Predicting El Nino ... both on the seasonal time scale and for the next century is a key societal need," French climate researcher Eric Guilyardi recently wrote.
In his draft paper, Hansen argues that ocean conditions now, including a significant warming off the coast of Peru, are similar to those that preceded the extreme El Nino in the winter 1997-98- the strongest in the 20th century.
The 1997-98 event brought, in Cane's words, "worldwide notoriety" to El Nino, including a famous "Saturday Night Live" sketch in which the late Chris Farley played a bombastic professional wrestler known as "El Nino."
In the United States, California felt the brunt of El Nino's wrath, suffering massive flooding. New Mexico received above-average precipitation.
Hansen's prediction is at odds with a forecast issued Thursday by the federal government's Climate Prediction Center, which noted significant uncertainty in the computer climate models used to forecast what will happen next winter. None of the 20 models surveyed by federal forecasters are predicting as strong an El Nino as Hansen suggests.
Gutzler urged patience, saying that there is no need for a 2006-07 El
Nino forecast now anyway, and by September the forecast will be more clear.
"Let's wait till the end of summer," he said.
7. Climate of Fear
There have been repeated claims that this past year's hurricane activity was another sign of human-induced climate change. Everything from the heat wave in Paris to heavy snows in Buffalo has been blamed on people burning gasoline to fuel their cars, and coal and natural gas to heat, cool and electrify their homes. Yet how can a barely discernible, one-degree increase in the recorded global mean temperature since the late 19th century possibly gain public acceptance as the source of recent weather catastrophes? And how can it translate into unlikely claims about future catastrophes?
The answer has much to do with misunderstanding the science of climate, plus a willingness to debase climate science into a triangle of alarmism. Ambiguous scientific statements about climate are hyped by those with a vested interest in alarm, thus raising the political stakes for policy makers who provide funds for more science research to feed more alarm to increase the political stakes. After all, who puts money into science -- whether for AIDS, or space, or climate -- where there is nothing really alarming? Indeed, the success of climate alarmism can be counted in the increased federal spending on climate research from a few hundred million dollars pre-1990 to $1.7 billion today. It can also be seen in heightened spending on solar, wind, hydrogen, ethanol and clean coal technologies, as well as on other energy-investment decisions.
But there is a more sinister side to this feeding frenzy. Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis.
To understand the misconceptions perpetuated about climate science and the climate of intimidation, one needs to grasp some of the complex underlying scientific issues. First, let's start where there is agreement. The public, press and policy makers have been repeatedly told that three claims have widespread scientific support: Global temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th century; levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have increased by about 30% over the same period; and CO2 should contribute to future warming. These claims are true. However, what the public fails to grasp is that the claims neither constitute support for alarm nor establish man's responsibility for the small amount of warming that has occurred. In fact, those who make the most outlandish claims of alarm are actually demonstrating skepticism of the very science they say supports them. It isn't just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn't happen even if the models were right as justifying costly policies to try to prevent global warming.
If the models are correct, global warming reduces the temperature differences between the poles and the equator. When you have less difference in temperature, you have less excitation of extratropical storms, not more. And, in fact, model runs support this conclusion. Alarmists have drawn some support for increased claims of tropical storminess from a casual claim by Sir John Houghton of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that a warmer world would have more evaporation, with latent heat providing more energy for disturbances. The problem with this is that the ability of evaporation to drive tropical storms relies not only on temperature but humidity as well, and calls for drier, less humid air. Claims for starkly higher temperatures are based upon there being more humidity, not less -- hardly a case for more storminess with global warming.
So how is it that we don't have more scientists speaking up about this junk science? It's my belief that many scientists have been cowed not merely by money but by fear. An example: Earlier this year, Texas Rep. Joe Barton issued letters to paleoclimatologist Michael Mann and some of his co-authors seeking the details behind a taxpayer-funded analysis that claimed the 1990s were likely the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year in the last millennium. Mr. Barton's concern was based on the fact that the IPCC had singled out Mr. Mann's work as a means to encourage policy makers to take action. And they did so before his work could be replicated and tested -- a task made difficult because Mr. Mann, a key IPCC author, had refused to release the details for analysis. The scientific community's defense of Mr. Mann was, nonetheless, immediate and harsh. The president of the National Academy of Sciences -- as well as the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union -- formally protested, saying that Rep. Barton's singling out of a scientist's work smacked of intimidation.
All of which starkly contrasts to the silence of the scientific community when anti-alarmists were in the crosshairs of then-Senator Al Gore. In 1992, he ran two congressional hearings during which he tried to bully dissenting scientists, including myself, into changing our views and supporting his climate alarmism. Nor did the scientific community complain when Mr. Gore, as vice president, tried to enlist Ted Koppel in a witch hunt to discredit anti-alarmist scientists -- a request that Mr. Koppel deemed publicly inappropriate. And they were mum when subsequent articles and books by Ross Gelbspan libelously labeled scientists who differed with Mr. Gore as stooges of the fossil-fuel industry.
Sadly, this is only the tip of a non-melting iceberg. In Europe, Henk Tennekes was dismissed as research director of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Society after questioning the scientific underpinnings of global warming. Aksel Winn-Nielsen, former director of the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization, was tarred by Bert Bolin, first head of the IPCC, as a tool of the coal industry for questioning climate alarmism. Respected Italian professors Alfonso Sutera and Antonio Speranza disappeared from the debate in 1991, apparently losing climate-research funding for raising questions.
And then there are the peculiar standards in place in scientific journals
for articles submitted by those who raise questions about accepted climate
wisdom. At Science and Nature, such papers are commonly refused without
review as being without interest. However, even when such papers are published,
standards shift. When I, with some colleagues at NASA, attempted to determine
how clouds behave under varying temperatures, we discovered what we called
an "Iris Effect," wherein upper-level cirrus clouds contracted
with increased temperature, providing a very strong negative climate feedback
sufficient to greatly reduce the response to increasing CO2. Normally,
criticism of papers appears in the form of letters to the journal to which
the original authors can respond immediately. However, in this case (and
others) a flurry of hastily prepared papers appeared, claiming errors
in our study, with our responses delayed months and longer. The delay
permitted our paper to be commonly referred to as "discredited."
Indeed, there is a strange reluctance to actually find out how climate
really behaves. In
Alarm rather than genuine scientific curiosity, it appears, is essential
to maintaining funding. And only the most senior scientists today can
stand up against this alarmist gale, and defy the iron triangle of climate
scientists, advocates and policymakers.
Professor claims intimidation for scientists who don't support global warming theory
By Gretchen Randall, April 13, 2006
Comment 3: "Alarm rather than genuine scientific curiosity, it appears,
is essential to maintaining funding. And only the most senior scientists
today can stand up against this alarmist gale, and defy the iron triangle
of climate scientists, advocates and policymakers."
Laurie David's screed on Richard Lindzen
Laurie David (author of the piece on Huffington's website) has a potential
conflict of interest as co-producer of Mr. Gore's upcoming movie, An Inconvenient
If you think environmentalism is all about saving the Earth, protecting
the whales, stopping pollution, and the like, here's some news. It's not!
Listen to what environmental advocates themselves have to say:
"I think if we don't overthrow capitalism, we don't have a chance
of saving the world ecologically. I think it is possible to have an ecologically
sound society under socialism. I don't think it's possible under capitalism."
"The environmentalist's dream is an egalitarian society, based
on rejection of economic growth, a smaller population, eating lower on
the food chain, consuming a lot less, and sharing a much lower level of
resources much more equally."
"No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental
benefits... [C]limate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about
justice and equality in the world."
· "We must make this an insecure and inhospitable place for
capitalists, and their projects... We must reclaim the roads and plowed
land, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers,
and return to wilderness millions of tens of millions of acres of presently
· "We've got to ride the global-warming issue. Even if the
theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing, in
terms of economic policy and environmental policy."
· "[W]e have to offer up scary scenarios [about global warming
and destruction of the environment], make simplified, dramatic statements,
and make little mention of any doubts one might have... Each of us has
to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being
· "We routinely wrote scare stories about the hazards of
chemicals, employing words like "cancer," and "birth defects"
to splash a little cold water in reporters' faces... Our press reports
were more or less true... Few handouts, however, can be completely honest,
and ours were no exception... We were out to whip the public into a frenzy
about the environment."
· "Not only do journalists not have a responsibility to report
what skeptical scientists have to say about global warming, they have
a responsibility not to report what these scientists say."
"I would freely admit that on [global warming] we have crossed
the boundary from news reporting to advocacy."
Writer John Meredith summarizes:
Walter Williams has the last word: