June 3 in Amsterdam; June 4,5 Briefings in Delft, Rotterdam, Wageningen
June 6 Press briefing on NIPCC in Dusseldorf, Germany>
June 7 Cologne, informal meeting of skeptics in Mainz
June 9 Briefings in Frankfurt, Stuttgart
June 13,14 Vienna. Luncheon talk at Hayek Institute
June 15 Venice and Padova
June 16 Visit to Brixen
June 17, 18 Milan. Seminar at Politecnico. Luncheon talk (Istituto Bruno Leoni)
Visits to Cenacolo and Museo della Scienza
June 19-22 Paris. Discussion at IPGP, Univ-Paris-7, Jussieu, and with Pierre Morel
Meeting with Skeptics Group at Procope
June 23 Brussels. Seminar at Royal Observatory;
Briefing at EU Parliament (Roger Helmer, MEP)
Briefing of EU Commissioner Stavros Dimas
June 24-26 London. Talk to ‘Sceptics in the Pub’
Luncheon talk on NIPCC at CPS (Lord Lawson)
Meetings with Lord Blackwell and MPs
"A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.”
1. Debunking Al Gore (and Hansen) Greenland collapse hype
2. Four policy choices – but only IF one assumes that GW is a problem
3. How Cap & Trade was defeated in the US Senate
4. Carbon Cemeteries are a dead loss for everyone
5. Britain’s coming energy crisis
6. Responding to critics of NIPCC conclusion
7. Twenty Years of GW Demagoguery
8. Global Warming as a Mass Neurosis
9. NIPCC Report is now available as an E-Book.
NEWS YOU CAN USE
Jim Hansen unhinged:
http://www.ilgiornale.it/a.pic1?ID=273762 (in Italian)
US CAP: The lobbying group US Climate Action Partnership (www.us-cap.org) is led by GE. The group includes Duke Energy, several oil companies, good old DuPont and Dow, and several environmental groups. This is good old Mercantilism whereby groups sought economic privilege from political powers to give them advantage over competitors. In Wealth of Nations Adam Smith devoted a great deal of space exposing the weaknesses of the system. He considered it a fraud perpetrated by the business class on the public. Rather than the king, now the politicians select winners and losers. The winners will be those who deliver the most goods to the politicians, the losers those who deliver the most goods to the consumers.
Japan rues Kyoto climate experience http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7490165.stm
The Kyoto Protocol on climate change negotiated in 1997 was unfair to Japan, one of the nation's chief climate negotiators has told BBC News. Jun Arima, lead negotiator for Japan's energy ministry, said the 1990 baseline for CO2 cuts agreed at Kyoto was arranged for the convenience of the UK and Germany.
Nobelists express doubts about Global Warming (Courtesy Prof Philip Stott)
Johann Deisenhofer (Germany: Chemistry, 1988); Ivar Giaever (Norway: Physics, 1973); Hartmut Michel (Germany: Chemistry, 1988); Douglas Osheroff (USA: Physics, 1996); Carlo Rubbia (Italy: Physics, 1984); Jack Steinberger (US-Germany: Physics, 1988); and Klaus von Klitzing (Germany: Physics, 1985
Most Britons doubt cause of GW
Message from Australia: Our government has just been delivered a commissioned report by Prof Garnaut, which has been described as the longest suicide note ever written for an economy. It is a plan for carbon trading and how to deal with the consequences. We are being lead on a mindless journey to economic oblivion based entirely on the false premise that CO2 is causing global warming (now called global climate change) --- Peter Harris
“The Norwegian Parliament awarded half of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore and the other half to the IPCC -- as a purely political gesture. Previous awardees have included “peace-loving” Palestinian terrorist Yasser Arafat – which should tell you something about the award process and the people who control it. The IPCC has always proclaimed a “consensus” of 2500 scientists -- a gross exaggeration, and also untrue. At most 500 can claim to be scientists, and many of these, like me, are reviewers of the IPCC report who disagree profoundly with the IPCC conclusion, unsupported by any real evidence, that global warming is human-caused. I claim my tiny little part of the Nobel Prize, not to enhance my CV but just to show how silly the whole process is.” --- (Prof.) S Fred Singer
Letter submitted July 2 http://www.publicservice.co.uk/feature_feedback_complete.asp?id=9867
SHS (Second-Hand Smoke): I don’t like it but this should not be allowed to affect the science:
James E. Enstrom and Geoffrey C. Kabat, "Environmental tobacco smoke and tobacco related mortality in a prospective study of Californians, 1960-98," British Medical Journal, May 2003: http://www.heartland.org/article.cfm?artId=23332.
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
PARIS (AFP) The head of the UN's Nobel-winning panel of climate scientists said only seven years remained for stabilising emissions of global-warming gases at a level widely considered safe. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), delivered the bleak warning at a gathering of European Union ministers where he pleaded with the EU to take the lead in global talks on tackling climate change. The UN negotiations "must progress rapidly, otherwise I am afraid that not only future generations but even this generation will treat us as having been irresponsible," said Pachauri. "The EU has to lead. If the EU does not lead, I am afraid that any attempt to bring about change and to manage the problem of climate change will collapse." http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jGxKw2XS4_IHH6Xc7RVAY02dkNBg
1. SEASONAL FACTOR SEEN IN MELTING AND ICE SHIFTS IN GREENLAND
By Andrew C. Revkin, July 4, 2008 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/04/science/earth/04greenland.html?ref=science
One of the most vivid symbols of global warming is the torrents of melt water that drain from the lakes that form each summer on Greenland's ice sheet. Recent studies have shown that this water, which flows deep into the ice through natural drainpipes called moulins, allows the ice to slide faster over bedrock toward the ocean. And the faster the ice flows, the faster sea levels rise. But a Dutch study using 17 years of satellite measurements in western Greenland suggests that the movement associated with the meltwater is not as rapid as had been feared. The acceleration appears to be a transient summer phenomenon, the researchers said, with the yearly movement actually dropping slightly in some places.
"The positive-feedback mechanism between melt rate and ice velocity," says the report, published July 4 in the journal Science, "appears to be a seasonal process that may have only a limited effect on the response of the ice sheet to climate warming over the next decades."
My response to Revkin:
One does not have to be an expert glaciologist in order to support the conclusion of van de Wal. We have the historic record to draw on. Greenland temperatures were warmer than today’s in the Middle Ages, 1000 years ago – and much warmer during the ‘Holocene Optimum’ 8000 – 5000 years BP (before present) (see the data of Dahl-Jensen et al, Science 1998). The ice cap did not disappear and data from corals show no unusual rise in global sea level – just the same steady rise of 18 cm per century that’s been measured during the past 3000 years (see NIPCC report “Nature – Not Human Activity – Rules the Climate” http://www.sepp.org/publications/NIPCC_final.pdf ) SFS
2. FOUR WAYS OF LOOKING AT GLOBAL WARMING POLICY
Assume man-made global warming is a big problem, says Reason. What should we do about it?
The four general policies currently in play are (1) cap-and-trade; (2) carbon taxes; (3) encourage economic growth and allow richer future generations to deal with any problems; and (4) massive government-funded low carbon energy research.
These policies all involve the invention and deployment of new low-carbon energy technologies, says Reason:
o The first two proposals do it by raising the price of carbon-based energy relative to low-carbon energy technologies.
o The third one implicitly melds the two-century-long trend toward progressive decarbonization of our energy supplies with a strategy of adaptation.
o The fourth one aims to accelerate technological innovation by stimulating the research and engineering pipeline.
Cap-and-trade is a rent-seeking disaster, carbon taxes are a political pipe dream, and furthering economic growth and adaptation doesn't require any specific global warming policy, says Reason. After excluding those three proposals, that leaves us with low carbon energy research.
Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, authors of "Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility," want to dedicate the revenues from a modest carbon tax to funding their low carbon energy research scheme.
As an alternative, H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis, has proposed a twofer -- would Shellenberger and Nordhaus support oil drilling on the outer continental shelves? Drilling could supply energy in the short to medium term while leasehold monies and royalties could be committed to low carbon energy research.
Which of the four policies is likely to be adopted? Given that both John McCain and Barack Obama favor cap-and-trade, get ready for an orgy of rent-seeking on Capitol Hill in 2009, says Reason.
Source: Ronald Bailey, "Four Ways of Looking at Global Warming Policy," Reason, July 1, 2008.
http://reason.com/news/show/127279.html [Courtesy NCPA]
3. HOW CAP & TRADE WAS DEFEATED: OPPOSITION TO
ENERGY-RATIONING BILL WAS BI-PARTISAN
By Myron Ebell, CEI
Last week, I summarized what happened to the Lieberman-Warner-Boxer (hereafter L-W-B) energy-rationing bill on the Senate floor. This week I want to begin discussing what can be learned from it that might be useful as we prepare to fight cap-and-trade in the next Congress. What strikes me most strongly is that while the push for reducing emissions is coming from environmental pressure groups, the push for cap-and-trade as the means to do so is coming from big businesses that hope to make a lot of money in the short term. The battle is therefore really between special interests and consumers (that is, the public). Special interests are organized to exert considerable pressure on Congress, while consumers are not. That is usually bad news for consumers. (The 2005 and 2007 ethanol mandates and the new farm bill are good examples of how things usually turn out in Washington.)
However, L-W-B crashed in less than a week. Why? First, the environmental pressure groups were divided. Friends of the Earth led a ‘Fix It or Ditch It’ grassroots campaign, while the big Wall Street establishment groups, Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense Fund, supported the bill. Second, there was no way to pay off all the special interests. Some big companies didn’t do so well. Thus James Rogers, Chairman, President, and CEO of Duke Energy, has been the biggest promoter of cap-and-trade in the business community, but he lobbied actively against it because he felt that Duke wasn’t getting its fair cut (that is, more than its share of the loot). Now, Rogers has come out in favor of a carbon tax, which may or may not be a strategic ploy.
The fact that big business was divided meant
that there was room for the public to make their views heard in
Washington. Since Kyoto hasn’t been a live issue since it was negotiated
in 1997, most conservative groups haven’t paid much attention to it -- and
understandably so: there are many other important issues and resources are
limited. But in the weeks leading up to the debate, many conservative
grassroots groups got active. Talk radio paid a lot of attention to
L-W-B, and listeners started to light up the phone lines. I don’t know
how many people called or wrote their Senators, but I did notice in the debate
that quite a few Senators who support cap-and-trade suddenly felt obliged to
express concern about the costs to consumers.
My preliminary conclusion is that the public can be heard when cap-and-trade comes up again in 2009 or 2010 and therefore it can be defeated in Congress, but only if we can keep the special interests divided and pushing and shoving each other to get to the trough. If the proponents figure out a way to pay everybody off, then it will become very difficult to save ourselves from energy rationing.
4. CARBON CEMETERIES ARE A DEAD LOSS FOR EVERYONE
A Submission from: The Carbon Sense Coalition www.carbon-sense.com
to the Parliamentary Enquiry into Greenhouse Gas Storage, 30 June 2008
1. The Facts of the Matter
The Carbon Sense Coalition (“Carbon Sense”) has looked in detail at the costs and benefits of
carbon geo-sequestration as a guide to what should be in any legislation establishing property
rights in carbon burial grounds.
In summary our findings are:
The basis for legislation requiring the burial of carbon dioxide (CO2) rests wholly on
one proposition – that increasing emissions of CO2 from man’s activities will cause
dangerous global warming. This proposition is false.
There is no evidence and no scientific proof that CO2 is the key driver of world
temperature. World climate and temperature have been changing for millions of years.
Today’s atmospheric conditions and temperature are not unusual and not threatening –
in fact they are very beneficial to all life.
The case against carbon dioxide rests solely on complex computer models which are
manipulated to produce scary forecasts of climate change resulting from carbon
emissions. There is no proof that these models have any forecasting ability beyond
about 5 days, yet they are being used as justification for massive economic dislocations
including destruction of capital and a huge increase in taxes and red tape on every
Despite all the colourful hysteria, carbon dioxide is quite boring. It is a colourless,
odourless, non-toxic gas occurring in trace amounts in today’s atmosphere. However
what is not shouted in the media is that CO2 is the basic food source for all life on
earth. The earth, the oceans and earth’s life processes have a huge ability to extract and
stabilise CO2 in the atmosphere. But even if man’s activities did manage to increase
CO2 levels significantly, the change would be very beneficial for food production and
for all life on earth.
There is no guarantee that Carbon Capture and Storage will ever become a reality. It
will never be possible to capture even a small percentage of man’s total CO2 emissions.
The process will be horrendously expensive (it could double the capital cost per unit of
energy produced) and the main cost must be borne by those associated with coal power
stations – shareholders, electricity consumers or taxpayers - probably all three. Finally,
when the final carbon accounting is done properly, the extra energy consumed in
separating, compressing, pipelines, drilling and storage may result in negligible net CO2
The conclusion is inescapable – there are NO BENEFITS in legislation forcing people
to bury the gas of life in carbon cemeteries. In fact there are big potential costs in
reduced food production. Therefore carbon funeral activities should not be allowed to
disrupt in any way beneficial activities such as producing oil, gas, water, electricity or
2. Government should not mandate, subsidise or give priority to Geosequestration
Injecting carbon dioxide into oil fields in order to stimulate or enhance the production of oil is
a sensible productive activity. Carbon Sense has no objection to this -- providing no element of
taxpayer subsidy is involved.
Moreover, we do not denigrate people who fear the Greenhouse religion and wish to be seen
burying their CO2 at private expense. The state should not interfere in any such private
religious ceremonies. However, should shareholders’ funds be involved, directors can expect to
be called to account as the waste of their funds becomes obvious.
The Parliamentary committee should thus ensure that geo-sequestration should not be
mandated by law, it should not be subsidised by taxpayers and it should not be allowed to
prevent or disrupt other economic activities such as exploration for or production of oil, gas,
water or coal.
3. Governments should protect Existing Property Rights.
4. Detailed Comments.
5. Conclusions – Carbon Capture & Storage will be a Dead Loss
In summary, carbon cemeteries are a dead loss for everyone.
They will have a huge cost, zero climate benefits and, if the process is successful, it will reduce
world plant growth and food production. However, when all the accounting is done, we may
find that the extra energy needed for CO2 separation, compression, pipelines and storage may
result in there being negligible net removal of CO2 anyway.
Therefore, there is no justification for a huge new complex piece of legislation to allow carbon
dioxide burial parties to disrupt more productive activities.
The activity should be allowed, but should not devalue the rights of any existing owner of land,
petroleum, coal or water.
Moreover, the Commonwealth as guardian of one of the world’s great food producing regions,
should not encourage, mandate or subsidise burial of part of the world’s supply of aerial plant
The Carbon Sense Coalition is happy to appear before the committee or answer questions
posed by this submission or the proposed legislation.
Viv Forbes BSc App, FAIMM, FSIA
The Carbon Sense Coalition
OUT, MR CAMERON, OR WE'LL ALL BE IN THE DARK
By Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph, 29 June 2008
Since [UK Prime Minister] Gordon Brown on Thursday launched what he called "the greatest revolution in our energy policy since the advent of nuclear power", centred on building thousands of new wind turbines, let us start with a simple fact.
Nothing conveys the futility of wind power more vividly than this: that all the electricity generated by the 2,000 wind turbines already built in Britain is still less than that produced by a single medium-sized conventional power station. There are nearly 50 nuclear, gas or coal-fired power plants in Britain today each of which produces more electricity in a year than all those 2,000 turbines put together.
I make no apology for returning to this subject because the "100 billion green energy strategy" published last week, by what is now laughably known as the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), contains not only many smaller deceptions and self-deceptions but one so great that almost everyone has fallen for it.
The starting point is the EU's requirement that, to combat the "threat of climate change", we must drastically reduce our CO2 emissions, chiefly by building thousands more wind turbines. It is quite clear from the paper that BERR's officials know we haven't the faintest hope of meeting our EU target in this way. So its number-crunchers have been working overtime to squeeze down the amount of energy we source from wind to the lowest figure it thinks can be made to sound plausible.
Until last week BERR had been claiming that our EU requirement meant that we must generate 38 per cent of our electricity from renewables, the largest contribution coming from 11,000 offshore turbines, representing 33 gigawatts (GW) of capacity. But all this has changed dramatically. They now talk only about the need to meet 32 per cent of our total EU renewables target through our methods of electricity generation, with only 32 per cent of that needing to come from wind - and that, they say, can be done with a mere 7,000 new offshore and onshore turbines. However, our present generating capacity is 76GW. By 2020, on projected demand, to replace one third of one third of our capacity with wind power would mean generating an average of 10GW.
And herein lies the central misconception which bedevils the entire debate. Because of the wind's intermittency, turbines generate on average at less than a third of their capacity. Thus to contribute 10GW would need 30GW of capacity, which would require up to twice as many turbines as ministers are talking about - needing to be erected at a rate of more than four every working day between now and 2020. In practical terms, even if they grossly bend the planning rules (as MPs voted for last week), there isn't the remotest chance that anything like this number of turbines could be built in time to meet their target.
For instance, the world only has five of the giant barges that can install monster turbines offshore - and for more than half the year our weather conditions make installation impossible anyway. But in addition we should also need to build at least 20 new conventional power stations simply to provide back-up for all the times when the wind is not blowing - at a time when, within seven years, we already stand to lose 40 per cent of our existing generating capacity through the closure of almost all our ageing nuclear power plants and half our major coal and oil-fired power stations (due to the crippling cost of complying with an EU anti-pollution directive).
It is a total mess. The reality is that, thanks to the dithering and wishful thinking of our politicians, it may already be too late to avert that breakdown of our electricity supply which would be one of the most serious disasters Britain has ever faced. And, ironically, no one at present looks more likely to inherit this mess than David Cameron - whose only response to last week' s pie-in-the-sky from Gordon Brown was to say that the Government should have been building all those useless windmills years ago.
Warming denial a 'high crime'
James Hansen, the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), is to ask Congress for the chief executives of US energy companies to face trial for the "high crime" of denying global warming.
Since his historic speech to Congress in July 1988, Mr Hansen and his close ally Al Gore have done more than anyone else to promote the warming scare which has since swept the world. Yet this is the man who last summer was forced to correct erroneous temperature figures on his influential GISS website, to show that the highest recorded US surface temperatures were not in the last 10 years, as Hansen claimed, but in the 1930s. His latest outburst is only one of many recent signs of desperation in the warmist lobby, as falling global temperatures threaten to undermine the central tenet of their orthodoxy.
Far from continuing to rise in sync with CO2 levels, as the theory says they should, temperatures have not only been dropping but are now lower than when Hansen and Gore set the scare in train in 1988. (For latest graph see the Watts Up With That website.) Even fanatical upholders of the dogma are having to admit that warming seems "temporarily" to have stopped (along with the sunspot activity they try to ignore), although they weakly claim, on no plausible evidence, that in 10 years' time it will somehow return worse than ever.
Such delusions might be viewed as no more than a comical instance of human folly, were it not for the fact that almost every politician in the Western world has fallen for them, and is now blindly supporting such crazed initiatives as that launched in Britain last week by Gordon Brown, at fathomlessly destructive cost to us all.
6. RESPONDING TO CRITICS OF NIPCC CONCLUSION
By S Fred Singer, Letter to Australian colleague, July 2
I read the comment by Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics. I don't know what discipline he represents but it sounds like a lot like theology. And my mother warned me, long ago, never to argue about religion.
As an atmospheric physicist, I deal with facts: many independent measurements published by recognized experts and the published results from some two dozen climate models run by scientists who have specialized in this subdiscipline. The IPCC and nearly all scientists also accept these same facts -- although the measurements are never perfect and the model results are based on many assumptions.
All I claim is that the observations disagree significantly with these model results. No one really disputes this claim but there are different interpretations of what this disparity implies. Some IPCC scientists, mainly modelers, say: "Maybe there's something wrong with the data." Others claim that there is no real disagreement -- if one takes account of all possible uncertainties and stretches the error bars sufficiently to get an "overlap" between observations and model results.
Maybe so -- although very few would find such arguments convincing. Even professors of public ethics would see the obvious disagreements; lawyers certainly would. But once one accepts that the models don't represent reality, then "all the rest is only commentary" -- to quote a biblical sage.
It means that the human-caused greenhouse effect is much smaller than the models calculate -- and not significant compared to natural factors that rule the climate and are beyond human control. All this has important policy consequences, which I don’t need to belabor here. Suffice it to say that CO2 is not a pollutant --in reality and in any legal sense.
Some interesting questions remain but they are purely scientific and have little significance for current policies:
· Why and how do climate models exaggerate the manmade greenhouse effect? What's been left out?
· What are the natural mechanisms that control the climate? How well can they be predicted?
All of these matters are more fully discussed in the NIPCC report Nature Not Human Activity Rules the Climate http://www.sepp.org/publications/NIPCC_final.pdf
I hope that Mr Hamilton will take the time to look at it.
YEARS OF DEMAGOGUERY
John Brignell, 29 June 2008
He made a prediction and it did not happen. Fair enough, that is how science progresses, but any relationship between the Hansen phenomenon and science is rather remote. His latest calling down of fire and brimstone is upon the wicked oil executives, who are allegedly stoking up infidel opposition to the true gospel of the global warming catastrophe to come. That this is not true is evident from the greener-than-thou advertisements put out by that industry. They know a good racket when they see one -- and if there are a few billion taxpayers' dollars on offer, they want their share of them. They are, however, likened to the tobacco giants who so misled the public.
Yes those were liars; but so were their opponents, led by the EPA, and they turned out to be better at it. The current big lie is that all the sceptical commentators are in the pay of the nefarious industry. Hansen's answer to it all is to call for an inquisition (he is a bit late into that game, by about five years). "May you have what you wish for" is an ancient curse and it would be satisfying to see Hansen have his day in court.
The reason that Monty Python's dead parrot so rapidly became a dead metaphor is that it encapsulates the modern political phenomenon of lying with a straight face, when all parties involved know that it is a lie (It's not a [EU] constitution, it is just a treaty). So now, when we are told that Global Warming isn't dead, it's just restin', we accept it as just a normal part of the political process. Formerly it would have been regarded as an example of the fifth of Langmuir's laws of bad science.
It is quite extraordinary that this sort of activity should fester within the world's most notable scientific and engineering organisation. Anyone who has had the misfortune to have been reluctantly involved with such a weirdo will feel the embarrassment for all those genuine professionals whose ingenuity, among many other achievements, put a man on the moon. They obviously tried to subject him to some sort of control, quite properly in a tax-funded, non-academic institution, which led to his wild claim to being censored. He must be the least censored person on the planet, thanks to his friends in high places.
Perhaps the world will one day be grateful to the brave band of volunteers, who have at last got together to provide an audit of the activities of such fanatics. Owing to the efforts of the likes of Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts, we have been able to penetrate the unscientific veil of secrecy behind which they brew their spells and hokum. Not only are the standards of software production and maintenance way, way below the standards officially embraced by NASA, some of the procedures are unbelievably bizarre, including even the Orwellian process of systematically rewriting the past.
A phenomenon indeed!
WARMING AS A MASS NEUROSIS
By Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, 1 July 2008
Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the mass hysteria phenomenon known as global warming. Much of the science has since been discredited. Now it's time for political scientists, theologians and psychiatrists to weigh in. What, discredited? Thousands of scientists insist otherwise, none more noisily than NASA's Jim Hansen, who first banged the gong with his June 23, 1988, congressional testimony (delivered with all the modesty of "99% confidence").
But Mother Nature has opinions of her own. NASA now begrudgingly confirms that the hottest year on record in the continental 48 was not 1998, as previously believed, but 1934, and that six of the 10 hottest years since 1880 antedate 1954. Data from 3,000 scientific robots in the world's oceans show there has been slight cooling in the past five years, never mind that "80% to 90% of global warming involves heating up ocean waters," according to a report by NPR's Richard Harris.
The Arctic ice cap may be thinning, but the extent of Antarctic sea ice has been expanding for years. At least as of February, last winter was the Northern Hemisphere's coldest in decades. In May, German climate modelers reported in the journal Nature that global warming is due for a decade-long vacation. But be not not-afraid, added the modelers: The inexorable march to apocalypse resumes in 2020.
This last item is, of course, a forecast, not an empirical observation. But it raises a useful question: If even slight global cooling remains evidence of global warming, what isn't evidence of global warming? What we have here is a nonfalsifiable hypothesis, logically indistinguishable from claims for the existence of God. This doesn't mean God doesn't exist, or that global warming isn't happening. It does mean it isn't science.
So let's stop fussing about the interpretation of ice core samples from the South Pole and temperature readings in the troposphere. The real place where discussions of global warming belong is in the realm of belief, and particularly the motives for belief. I see three mutually compatible explanations.
The first is as a vehicle of ideological convenience. Socialism may have failed as an economic theory, but global warming alarmism, with its dire warnings about the consequences of industry and consumerism, is equally a rebuke to capitalism. Take just about any other discredited leftist nostrum of yore -- population control, higher taxes, a vast new regulatory regime, global economic redistribution, an enhanced role for the United Nations -- and global warming provides a justification. One wonders what the left would make of a scientific "consensus" warning that some looming environmental crisis could only be averted if every college-educated woman bore six children: Thumbs to "patriarchal" science; curtains to the species.
A second explanation is theological. Surely it is no accident that the principal catastrophe predicted by global warming alarmists is diluvian in nature. Surely it is not a coincidence that modern-day environmentalists are awfully biblical in their critique of the depredations of modern society: "And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." That's Genesis, but it sounds like Jim Hansen. And surely it is in keeping with this essentially religious outlook that the "solutions" chiefly offered to global warming involve radical changes to personal behavior, all of them with an ascetic, virtue-centric bent: drive less, buy less, walk lightly upon the earth and so on. A light carbon footprint has become the 21st-century equivalent of sexual abstinence.
Finally, there is a psychological explanation. Listen carefully to the global warming alarmists, and the main theme that emerges is that what the developed world needs is a large dose of penance. What's remarkable is the extent to which penance sells among a mostly secular audience. What is there to be penitent about? As it turns out, a lot, at least if you're inclined to believe that our successes are undeserved and that prosperity is morally suspect. In this view, global warming is nature's great comeuppance, affirming as nothing else our guilty conscience for our worldly success.
In "The Varieties of Religious Experience," William James distinguishes between healthy, life-affirming religion and the monastically inclined, "morbid-minded" religion of the sick-souled. Global warming is sick-souled religion.
9. NIPCC REPORT IS NOW IN A SPECTACULAR E-BOOK FORMAT
The electronic book "Nature, Not Human Activity Rules
the Climate" is now available in DNL format. To view it you need a Windows operating system and have a
DNL Reader installed (similar to Acrobat Reader for a PDF file). If you already have the DNL Reader installed
on your computer, go to www.nzcpr.com and simply click the "Nature rules"
pix – or download directly from the NZCPR website: http://www.nzcpr.com/ebookNIPCC.htm
If you don't have the Reader, click on www.digitalwebbooks.com/reader and download the small file, which installs very quickly. You will then be able to read any other electronic books in DNL format.”
Please note that if you don’t have a WINDOWS operating system, you may have difficulty with the DNL format, in which case you can use the PDF version http://www.sepp.org/publications/NIPCC_final.pdf