The Week That Was (Nov 1, 2008) brought
to you by SEPP
Quote of the Week:
historians will definitely wonder about in future centuries is how deeply
flawed logic, obscured by shrewd and unrelenting propaganda, actually enabled a
coalition of powerful special interests to convince nearly everyone in the
world that CO2 from human industry was a dangerous, planet-destroying toxin. It
will be remembered as the greatest mass delusion in the history of the world -
that CO2, the life of plants, was considered for a time to be a deadly poison.
– Richard S. Lindzen
THIS WEEK Report from Madrid
EX-PRIME MINISTER BLASTS 'NEW RELIGION' OF GLOBAL WARMING
MADRID (AFP, 22 Oct) - Former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar Wednesday
dismissed climate change as a "new religion" that is drawing hundreds
of billions of euros at a time of economic crisis. Aznar made the remarks at the presentation of
a book by Czech President Vaclav Klaus, "Blue Planet in Green
Shackles", in which he also questions the widely held theories about
"In these times of global cooling of
the international economy ... the standard bearers of the climatic apocalypse
demand hundreds of billions of euros" to combat global warming, said
Aznar, who was conservative prime minister from 1996 to 2004. "They want to throw onto the bonfire
anyone who, like Vaclav Klaus, questions the new religion. The slightest doubt on the man-made origin of
climate change is cause of automatic ex-communication." -- Courtesy
SEPP Science Editorial #10 (11/1/08)
The crucial question is: Is warming (predominantly) due
to natural or human causes? How can
one tell? The issue is of obvious
importance since natural causes cannot be influenced in any way by policies
that limit greenhouse (GH) gas emissions, such as CO2. Resolving the question is a difficult
scientific task. Natural causes are
plausible; the climate has been warming and cooling for billions of years on
many different time scales [See, e.g., Singer and Avery 2007]. On the other hand, GH warming is also
plausible, since the concentration of GH gases has been increasing due to human
The method agreed to by everyone is the “fingerprint”
method, which compares the pattern of temperature trends calculated from
GH models with the pattern observed in the atmosphere. The first application of this method may have
been by Santer et al in IPCC-SAR .
However, Santer misapplied the method in order to force the conclusion
that warming was due to human causes, namely GH gases.
In one attempt, he compared the geographic pattern of
surface temperature trends, derived from GH models, with the observed
pattern. He calculated a “pattern
correlation coefficient” and claimed that it was increasing with time “as the
human signal emerged from the background noise of climate variability”
[IPCC-SAR, 1996, chapter 8]. However,
when the graph there is compared to the one in his original publication [Santer
et al 1995], one discovered that he had removed all of the trend lines,
including zero and negative trends, except the one that suggested an increasing
correlation in the last 50 years [Singer 1997].
When questioned about this by e-mail, he replied that it was done for
Santer’s second attempt, also in chapter 8 of IPCC-SAR, was
to compare the modeled and observed latitude and altitude patterns of
temperature trends. It was soon
discovered, however, that his claimed “agreement” was due to a selective use of
data; he had chosen a time interval (1963-1987) during which the tropospheric
trend was increasing, while the overall trend during the period (1957-1995) was
not [Michaels and Knappenberger 1996].
By then it had become quite apparent that there was a
disparity between the observed trends in the troposphere and the surface [NRC
2000; Singer 2001]. Douglass, Pearson
and Singer carried out a full-scale comparison of available model results and
temperature observations from balloons, satellites, and reanalysis . They concluded that the observations did not
confirm the expected increase (from GH models) in temperature trends with
altitude in the tropics; but they did not delve into the implication of this
disparity. As a result, their result was
Next, a full-scale investigation of this problem was carried
out as part of the federally financed Climate Change Science Program. CCSP-SAP-1.1 , the first and most
crucial of the 21 reports of the CCSP, titled “Temperature Trends in the Lower
Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences,” confirmed the
result of Douglass et al .
To be sure, the abstract of CCSP 1.1 claims that the
discrepancies between surface warming and tropospheric warming trends have been
removed. This statement distorts the
sense of the CCSP report and has been widely misunderstood as having confirmed
the validity of GH models. CCSP-1.1
admits, however, (p.3) that in the tropics “the majority of observational data
sets show more warming at the surface than in the troposphere….[but] almost all
model simulations show more warming in the troposphere than at the
surface.” In other words, there exists
indeed a discrepancy, which has not been removed. This Executive Summary was authored by
Wigley, with the participation of the chapter lead authors, including
Following the publication of CCSP 1.1, and using best
available models and data, Douglass, Christy, Pearson, and Singer 
extended their comparison between model results and observations in the
tropical zone and concluded again that the observations did not confirm the GH
model results. This paper was also
ignored until a group of independent scientists, the Nongovernmental
International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) published its summary report in
2008. Drawing mainly on the data from
CCSP-1.1 and Douglass et al , NIPCC [Singer et al 2008] showed
conclusively the disparity between GH models and observations.
The NIPCC then drew the obvious logical conclusion: Since GH models cannot explain the
observations, the warming of the past 30 years must be due predominantly to
causes other than GH gases. In other
words, the human contribution to the warming trend since 1979 is minor and
insignificant – a conclusion contrary to that of IPCC . Another way of stating the NIPCC result: Climate Sensitivity is considerably less than
the values quoted by the IPCC, i.e. 1.5 – 4.5 C, and more in accord with
the much lower values deduced by other methods [Schwartz, Monckton, Lindzen,
Douglass DH, Pearson BD, Singer SF. 2004. Altitude
dependence of atmospheric temperature trends: Climate models versus
observations. Geophysical Research Letters 31:
Douglass DH, Christy JR, Pearson BD, Singer SF. 2007. A
comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions. International
Journal of Climatology 27: Doi:10.1002/joc.1651.
IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). 1996.
Summary for policymakers. In Climate Change 1995: The Science of
Contribution of Working Group I to the Second Assessment Report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Houghton JT, Meira Filho LG,
Callander BA, Harris N, Kattenberg A, Maskell K (eds). Cambridge University
Cambridge, New York.
IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). 2001.
Summary for policymakers. In Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis,
Contribution of Working Group I to the Third Assessment
Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Houghton JT, Ding Y,
Griggs DJ, Noguer M, van der Linden PJ, Dai X, Maskell K, Johnson CA (eds).
Cambridge University Press:
Cambridge, New York.
IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). 2007.
Summary for policymakers. In Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis,
Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z,
Marquis M, Avery KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds). Cambridge University Press:
P.J., and P.C. Knappenberger, 1996. Human Influence on Global Climate? Nature,
NRC (National Research Council). 2000. Reconciling
Observations of Global Temperature Change. National Academy Press:
BD, Taylor KE, Wigley TML, Penner JE, Jones PD, Cubash U. 1995. Towards the detection
and attribution of an anthropogenic effect on climate. Climate Dynamics
Santer BD, Wigley TML, Barnett TP, Anyamba E. 1996.
Detection of climate change and attribution of causes. In Climate Change
1995: The Science of Climate Change, Contribution of Working Group I to the
Second Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,
Houghton JT, Meira Filho LG, Callander BA, Harris N, Kattenberg A, Maskell K
(eds). Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, New York; 572.
SF. 1999. Reply. Eos 80:372
Singer SF. 2001. Global warming: An insignificant
trend? Science 292:1063–1064.
Singer SF and Avery DT. 2007. Unstoppable Global Warming – Every 1500
Years. Rowman & Littlefield.
Singer SF. et al
2008. Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate: Summary for
Policymakers of the Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on
Climate Change, Singer SF (ed.). The Heartland Institute: Chicago, IL.
Santer also made significant text changes in Chapter 8 of the IPCC-SAR report,
after its approval by coauthors. See
discussion by SF Singer et al [Bull. AMS 78:81-82, 1997], and E. Masood
[Nature 381:039, 1996]
Obama plans to regulate CO2 using EPA and Clean Air Act
2. Bush vs Bush (his
irresolution applies also to CO2 and GW)
in climate science and among scientists
The next commodity to collapse will be mass-marketed environmentalism
5. Holland inundated by alarmist propaganda
NEWS YOU CAN USE
27, 2008 - Climate Change survey in America: Only 18% believe it's real, caused
by humans, and harmful. Americans are
sharply divided in their beliefs about whether climate change is real,
according to a new study commissioned by The Nature Conservancy and other
leading conservation and climate action groups.
The study the American Climate Values Survey (ACVS), conducted by the
consulting group EcoAmerica also found that only 18 percent of survey
respondents strongly believe that climate change is real, human-caused and
harmful. It also found that political party affiliation is the single largest
indicator as to whether people see climate change as a threat.
This means that 82% get it! http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2008/10/18.html
about NIPCC: Reply to a reader’s question:
1) How many copies of the NIPCC report have been distributed to date?
Did all national legislators receive a copy?
>>>>>>>>>All 8700 state legislators and all 525
Members of Congress, plus hundreds of staffers and assorted bureaucrats.
Has SEPP targeted a group to receive copies?
>>>>>>SEPP has charged the Heartland Institute with
the marketing and promotion of the NIPCC report.
Is there a plan for distributing this publication? >>>>>>>>The NIPCC
report is available at all of the scores of presentations, seminars, meetings
and conventions that Heartland participates in. In addition, we mail it to
teachers, civic groups, colleges, etc. We have nearly exhausted the first
75,000 printing. The report is available at heartland.org in PDF format. In
addition, Fred Singer recently completed an update of the NIPCC report, and
that update currently is being edited. We expect to publish a new edition in
the next couple months, with a press run around 50,000. We’ll hit all state and
federal legislators again, plus allies and others in environmental regulation,
and of course Heartland and SEPP members
How can I help get this publication into the hands of those who need to read
>>>>>>>>>>>Your hands-on work in distributing
the report is excellent, and I commend you for it. If you have snail-mail lists of groups that
could benefit from a sound-science analysis of climate change, please send the
list to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll get a mailing out.
future of a U.S. economy re-ordered by global-warming rather than market
concerns is being played out in microcosm in Michigan this week. Last
year, Washington passed legislation requiring the U.S. auto fleet to meet an
average 35-mpg fuel-economy goal by 2020, a mandate designed to reduce
greenhouse emissions that is utterly divorced from whatever consumer market
tastes might be. Employing an army of lobbyists, the Big Three protested a
regulatory burden estimated to cost a staggering $85 billion over ten years.
When their protests fell on deaf ears, automakers then demanded that the feds
pony up $25 billion to help retool American factories to produce the
fuel-efficient cars Washington requires. A partnership was born.
--Henry Payne, Planet Gore, 30 October 2008
Scientists at MIT have recorded a nearly simultaneous worldwide increase in
methane levels. This is the first increase in ten years, and what baffles
science is that this data contradicts theories stating man is the primary
source of increase for this greenhouse gas. It takes about one full year for
gases generated in the highly industrial northern hemisphere to cycle through
and reach the southern hemisphere. However, since all worldwide levels rose
simultaneously throughout the same year, it is now believed this may be part of
a natural cycle in mother nature - and not the direct result of man's
--Rick C. Hodgin, TG Daily, 30 October 2008
The multibillion-dollar project to build the world's biggest wind farm in Texas
has been delayed because of the fall-out from the credit crunch and the drop in
the price of natural gas, it emerged today. Pickens's hedge fund BP Capital has
lost $2bn or 60% of its value since peaking in June. And according to a Wall
Street Journal report, investors are bailing out.
--John Sterlicchi, The Guardian, 30 October 2008
UNDER THE BOTTOM LINE
Carborexia - A new mental illness defined as
Obsession with saving the planet: You are probably
suffering from "carborexia", Or "energy anorexia".
Psychiatrists in America have identified a new mental illness that threatens
the very fabric of society: an obsession with saving the planet. Some people
are so addicted to cutting their carbon emissions that they seem to have gone
quite mad. Take, for example, Sharon Astyk, who makes her four children sleep
in a huddle so she doesn't have to turn on the heating (if she was that
concerned about the planet, perhaps she could have stopped reproducing after
baby number two). Or Jay Matsueda, who waters his lawn with his own urine so
that he doesn't have to flush the loo; he says that it was his ex-girlfriend's
choice of gas-guzzling car, rather than his habit of weeing on the grass, that
led to the break-down of their relationship. "If you're criticising
friends because they're not living up to your standards of green, that's a
problem," said Elizabeth Carll, a psychologist who specialises in
1. OBAMA'S CARBON ULTIMATUM
Liberals pretend that only President Bush is
preventing the United States from adopting some global warming
"solution," but occasionally their mask slips. As Barack Obama's energy adviser has now made
clear, the would-be President intends to blackmail -- or rather, greenmail --
Congress into falling in line with his climate agenda, says the Wall Street
The complaint has been that the White House
blocked Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) bureaucrats from making the
so-called "endangerment finding" on carbon. Now it turns out that a President Obama would
himself wield such a finding as a political bludgeon. He plans to issue an ultimatum to Congress:
Either impose new taxes and limits on carbon that he finds amenable, or the EPA
carbon police will be let loose to ravage the countryside.
These costs would far exceed the burden of a
straight carbon tax or cap-and-trade system enacted by Congress, because the
Clean Air Act was never written to apply to carbon and other greenhouse gases.
Moreover, climate-change politics don't break cleanly along partisan lines:
burden of a carbon clampdown will fall disproportionately on some states over
others, especially the 25 interior states that get more than 50 percent of
their electricity from coal.
Rustbelt manufacturing states like Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania will
get hit hard too.
President Bush leaves office, the coastal Democrats pushing hardest for a
climate change program might find their colleagues splitting off, especially
after they vote for a huge tax increase on incomes.
Supposedly global warming is the transcendent
challenge of the age, but Obama evidently doesn't believe he'll be able to
convince his own party to do something about it without a bureaucratic
ultimatum, says the Journal.
Source: Editorial, "Obama's Carbon
Ultimatum," Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2008. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122445812003548473.html#printMode
2. BUSH vs BUSH (his
irresolution applies also to CO2 and GW)
By Caroline B. Glick, deputy editor,
In recent months, conservative commentators have
devoted countless commentaries to the American media's open bias in favor of
Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama. Although there is no
question that their criticism is accurate, it is wrong to root that bias merely
in the media's leftist sympathies. The
American media's pro-Obama bias is also the consequence of their
misrepresentation of outgoing President George W. Bush's record in office. And
that misrepresentation too cannot be ascribed merely to the leftist sympathies
of the media. For the media are not the
source of that misrepresentation. Bush
himself is the source of that misrepresentation.
Bush's record in office is the key issue in the
campaign. The outgoing President's abysmal approval ratings in his last two
years in power caused both parties to recognize that to win the election, their
candidate had to distinguish himself as much as possible from the current
occupant of the Oval Office. In
selecting Senator John McCain as their party's nominee, the Republicans adopted
this approach. Throughout his long career in Congress, McCain has served as the
consummate party outsider. Yet, in his own way, and now to his detriment, he
has also been loyal. And so until recently he avoided attacking Bush outright
preferring instead to ignore him.
But by ignoring the President, McCain gave Obama
full freedom to define Bush's presidency in the manner that best advanced his
electoral prospects. And Obama's success in defining Bush has enabled the
Democratic nominee to set the terms of debate on the central issue of the
campaign: how America finds itself in the situation it now finds itself, and
what policies should be adopted to improve its situation.
Obama has successfully cast Bush's presidency as
a repeat of Ronald Reagan's presidency. Obama has portrayed Bush's foreign
policy as a reenactment of Reagan's muscular, pro-American foreign policy,
which was based on Reagan's belief in American exceptionalism and his
willingness to disregard what America's enemies and its erstwhile allies
thought of America's actions. Obama has also portrayed Bush's economic policies
as a reenactment of Reagan's policies of free market capitalism characterized
by deregulation and tax cuts.
Obama has claimed that European and Muslim estrangement
from the US; the increased strength of the insurgency in Afghanistan; the
resilience of the insurgency in Iraq; Iran's unimpeded drive towards nuclear
weapons, and every other major US foreign policy problem are the consequences
of Bush's embrace of Reagan's foreign policy approach. Obama claims that the financial crisis too,
is a consequence of Bush's Reaganesque tax cuts and his general embrace of
supply-side economics and the conservative preference for limited
government. By so defining Bush's record
in office, Obama has been able to make a case for his own policies, which are
diametrically opposed to those he ascribes to Bush.
There is only one problem with Obama's
description of Bush's record in office. It is utterly false.
During his first term in office, Bush's foreign
policy was raft with internal contradictions and intellectual confusion. Books
have been written about the two competing factions in Bush's inner circle. Vice
President Richard Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld championed a
Reaganesque model of statecraft. And opposing them, Secretary of State Colin
Powell pushed for a UN-centered, European-style foreign policy more similar to
the one adopted by Bush's father.
Throughout his first term, Bush refused to side
with one or the other of the factions. Instead he tried to simultaneously
implement two mutually exclusive foreign policies. His indecisiveness rendered
his foreign policy intellectually incoherent and doomed much that he did to
failure. Bush's speechwriters were
evidently more sympathetic to the Cheney-Rumsfeld view and so many of his
speeches during his first term echoed Reagan's soaring rhetoric. But on the
ground, Bush's policies adhered much more closely to Powell's program.
This intellectual disarray was perhaps nowhere
more evident than in Bush's refusal to define the enemy in the war. The men who
attacked the US on September 11, 2001 were more than simply terrorists. They
had a plan and a cause: They were Muslim jihadists. And they were not the ideological
fringe of the Islamic world. Their beliefs are propagated by the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia and are advanced in the most prestigious academies in the Islamic
By claiming that the enemy in the war is generic
"terror" rather than a worldview embraced by millions of people
throughout the Islamic world, Bush made it impossible for his advisors to
develop a coherent strategy for war. He also denied the American people the
tools necessary for understanding either the meaning of the struggle or the necessity
of fighting it. He deprived the public the basic intellectual framework for
understanding, for instance, why he decided to imprison terrorists at
Bush's two-headed foreign policy made it
difficult for the public to recognize that the war being waged against the US
and its allies in Iraq is not simply an Iraqi struggle, but a battlefield in a
regional war fueled by neighboring regimes. His intellectual confusion blinded
him to the fact that his democracy agenda was harmed, not advanced, by holding
popular elections in which jihadists - whose views and aspirations are inimical
to the notion of human freedom - were permitted to participate.
In Bush's second term in office, and
particularly since the Republican defeat in the 2006 Congressional elections,
Bush abandoned the intellectual incoherence of his first term in favor of a
full embrace of Powell's policy preferences now championed by his successor
Condoleezza Rice. Throughout his entire first term in office, and due to his
refusal to adjudicate between two contradictory foreign policy visions, Bush
failed to adopt any policy towards Iran. After the 2006 Congressional
elections, Bush embraced the Powell-Rice policy of European-style appeasement.
This has been demonstrated most recently by his stated plan to open a US
embassy in Teheran.
Bush's wholesale adoption of the Powell-Rice
appeasement policy is also reflected in his policies towards North Korea and
the Palestinians. And this week, according to statements by White House officials,
he stands ready to apply it towards the Taliban, with whom he is considering
In Bush's last two years in office, the only
surviving remnant of the Cheney-Rumsfeld Reaganesque foreign policy has been
Bush's counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq. And in spite of its military
success, the fact that this policy is contradicted by the President's policy
everywhere else casts doubt on the durability of America's victories on the
Bush's acceptance of the Powell-Rice foreign
policy doctrine has not been widely recognized. In large part this has been due
to Bush's own refusal to tell the public that he has in fact embraced
appeasement. Moreover, Bush's reluctance to come clean with the public has been
exacerbated by the media's denial of the change. Whether due to blindness fed by an underlying
hostility towards the President, or to ignorance of the significance of Bush's
policies, the media have failed to report that Bush's policies today are a
repudiation of the ideals and policies Bush gave voice to in his speeches
during his first term. Those effectively repudiated speeches were the
embodiment of Reagan's foreign policy doctrine.
The same pattern has been followed in popular
characterizations of Bush's economic policies. Aside from his tax cuts in his
first term - tax cuts that include a "sunset" provision rendering
them temporary measures rather than enduring tax reforms - Bush's economic
policies during his two terms have been anything but Reaganesque. Bush has
vastly increased the size of the federal government. And he has introduced
massive new regulation into the US economy.
Emblematic of Bush's eschewal of Reagan's legacy
on both foreign policy and economic levels is his newly created Office of the
Director of National Intelligence. The establishment of this new position - and
the large bureaucracy supporting it - was how Bush chose to contend with US
intelligence agencies' failure to foresee and prevent the Sept. 11 attacks.
But like most failures in governance, the
failure to anticipate, uncover and prevent those attacks was not due to an
absence bureaucracy. Rather, the failure stemmed from the ideologically-driven
unwillingness of the directors of the FBI and the CIA to recognize the threat
of al Qaida and focus their efforts on tracking and capturing al Qaida members
and sympathizers. The proper response to that failure would have been to fire
the heads of those agencies and replace them with people who understood the
nature of the threat and were capable of contending with it.
Instead Bush decided to increase the size of the
government, add a new layer of bureaucracy to the failed intelligence
community, and staff it with people of the same mind as those who had failed to
anticipate, expose and prevent the September 11 attacks. Not surprisingly, the
newly appointed, ideologically uniform bureaucrats continued to underestimate
the threats of jihadists or pay attention to any new significant trends in
It was this failed bureaucratic groupthink that
produced the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear weapons program
last year. That report, with its demonstrably false assertion that Iran ended
its nuclear-weapons program in 2003, scuttled all of Bush's efforts to use
economic sanctions to dissuade Iran from building nuclear bombs and pulled the
rug out from under any plan to take military action against Iran's nuclear
installations in the event of the sanctions' failure.
So too, led by officials of limited intellectual
curiosity and blinding ideological cowardice now sitting atop a new
bureaucracy, US intelligence agencies failed to anticipate or prevent Russia's
invasion of Georgia.
Bush's establishment of the behemoth Department
of Homeland Security was yet another attempt to solve a personnel problem by
creating yet another department. And just as the National Intelligence
Directorate has failed to solve the problems it was created to contend with, so
the Department of Homeland Security has simply continued the same failed
immigration policies and domestic intelligence policies that caused the INS and
the FBI to fail to identify and arrest the Sept. 11 hijackers.
In short then, both in foreign and domestic
affairs, Bush's record is completely at odds with Reagan's record in office.
Indeed, his policies have been far more similar to those that Obama - who runs
as the anti-Reagan -- promises to advance than those that Reagan adopted.
And this is the great irony of the campaign
season. By failing to accurately represent his policies to the public, Bush
invited Obama to misrepresent his record and so wrongly ascribe Bush's failures
to policies he never adopted - much less implemented. By failing to correct
Obama's misrepresentation of Bush's actual record, McCain has allowed Obama to
characterize him as the candidate who would continue the Bush presidency --
when the fact is that the small-government policies and the relatively more
robust foreign-policy positions that McCain has adopted render him the
candidate most unlike the sitting president.
If Obama wins the elections on Tuesday, his
victory will find its roots not in media bias, but in Bush's insistent
misrepresentation of his record as president.
SEPP Comment: Bush has shown
similar irresolution on the GW issue.
While, properly, steadfastly refusing to regulate CO2 emissions, his
technology (remember the “hydrogen economy”?) and energy policies have treated
CO2 and GW as threats (see, e.g., “Climate fears distort rational energy
3. CLIMATE SCIENCE: IS IT CURRENTLY DESIGNED TO
Richard S Lindzen, MIT
- The primary spokesman for the
American Meteorological Society in Washington is Anthony Socci, who is
neither an elected official of the AMS nor a contributor to climate
science. Rather, he is a former staffer for Al Gore.
- John Firor was the
administrative director for the National Center for Atmospheric Research
(NCAR) and frequently spoke as an NCAR expert on the dangers of global
warming. But he didn’t mention that he also served as chairman of
the board of Environmental Defense,
- The UK Meteorological Offices
boards chairman, Robert Napier, was previously the chief executive for
World Wildlife Fund - UK.
- Bill Hare, a lawyer and
campaign director for Greenpeace, frequently speaks as a scientist
representing the Potsdam Institute, one of Germany’s leading global
warming research centers.
- Michael Oppenheimer is now a
professor at Princeton University and is often referred to as a leading
climate scientist. Oppenheimer previously occupied the Barbra
Streisand Chair at Environmental Defense. His scholarly publication
record does not include any significant contributions to climate science.
- The myth of scientific
consensus is perpetuated in the webs Wikipedia where climate articles are
edited by William Connolley, who regularly runs for office in England as a
Green Party candidate. No deviation from the politically correct line is
- The National Academies of
Sciences had a Temporary Nominating Group for the Global Environment which
bypassed the usual procedures for vetting candidates and thereby provided
a back door for the election of candidates who were prominent
environmental activists but otherwise fell short of the qualifications
necessary for election. Lindzen details how many of these new Academicians
exerted control over the NAS and were elected to high positions.
4. WAL-MART ENVIRONMENTALISM: The next commodity
to collapse will be mass-marketed environmentalism
Lawrence Solomon, October 17, 2008
market indexes have plummeted from their inflated peaks. Oil and other
commodities have likewise plummeted. The next commodity to tumble from
unsustainable peak levels: environmentalism. In part, I am making this prediction
because, in my 30 years as an environmentalist, I have never seen so many
governments and so many corporations so profusely espousing so many
promoting environmentalism was once seen as daring and counter-cultural, today it
has become banal, no longer the exclusive preserve of a Body Shop chain, but of
every retailer down to Wal-Mart. For the same reason that clothes go out of
fashion after the masses embrace them, mass-marketed environmentalism will come
to be disdained.
am predicting a collapse of today’s Wal-Mart environmentalism for another
reason, too: Much of it is misguided, based on misunderstanding and vacuity.
Global warming is by far the biggest such example. Those who have been
following my Denier series in these pages know that large numbers of
distinguished scientists dispute the conventional wisdom on climate change,
making absurd the claim that the science is settled on climate change. And yet
government and corporate propaganda in global warming and elsewhere strip away
all subtlety and uncertainty in their public-relations programs, portraying
environmental problems and proposing environmental solutions in cartoon-cutout
simplicity that, more often than not, accomplish nothing good or make matters
governments and industry discount major environmental issues that affect crown
corporations and crown resources (nuclear power, forestry), they stir up
concerns in consumer areas that have high visibility and often pose few true
hazards. The results are often perverse: Blue Box recycling programs that
promote waste; ethanol blends for automobiles that benefit the farm lobby while
depleting the land and fouling the air; bans on incandescent bulbs that ignore
consumer preferences but please light-bulb manufacturers seeking lucrative new
markets; public-transit systems that run near-empty buses along low-density
routes; Right-to-Farm laws that legalize polluting practices; demonization of
private water systems, including bans on water bottles, when private systems
have a superior safety and environmental record: in short, most of the environmental policies
that governments put before the public are wrong-headed.
third reason for my prediction that environmentalism has peaked is the instinct
for self-preservation among the political leadership. Thinking they could raise
revenues while appearing green, opportunistic politicians have been promoting
environmental taxes without having a credible case to make. The result,
increasingly, is political ruin. The federal election [in Canada] results this
week are, in good part, a testament to Liberal leader Stphan Dion’s failure to
sell his Green Shift: the Liberals
obtained the lowest share of the vote since Confederation.
England, where citizens face the world’s highest burden of green taxes, the
ruling Labour Party received a miserable 3% of the vote in by-elections earlier
this year and London’s mayor, the greenest in Europe, was thrown out of office.
Across Europe, once-green politicians are now backing away from their earlier
commitments to push green agendas.
stock and commodity markets, when values fall from unrealistically high levels,
they often fall further than justified. When environmentalism falls from its
high values on the realization that many concerns have been oversold, it too
will likely fall further than justified. Environmentalism will then need to
reestablish public trust before real environmental gains can be made. As
history shows, after being burned in the stock market, investors often stay
away for years, fearful of being burned again. The lack of trust harms the
greater economy. We have no history of what happens when citizens feel taken in
by false environmental claims. But we may soon find out.
Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe and author of The Deniers.
5. HOLLAND INUNDATED BY ALARMIST PROPAGANDA
Guest weblog by Hendrik Tennekes, October 28, 2008
Five months ago, I felt that the tide in Holland was
turning. Marcel Stive, a civil engineering professor and member of the Delta
Committee, a blue-ribbon panel that was going to publish a report on our
coastal defenses, said in an interview with an alumni magazine:
“Fortunately, the time rate of climate change is slow
compared to the life span of the defense structures along our coast. There is
enough time for adaptation. We should monitor the situation carefully, but up
to now, climate change does not cause severe problems for our coastal defense
system. IPCC has given lower estimates for the expected sea level rise in four
successive reports.” [See here NIPCC report Fig. 19]
But what happened? The Delta Committee published its report
in September, and based its recommendations on well over a meter of
sea-level rise in this century and a tenfold increase in coastal
security. Its estimate for the additional funding needed is two billion
In interviews with journalists, scientists associated with
the Delta Committee went further yet. Professor Pavel Kabat of Wageningen University
said that sea-level rise could easily exceed the number given in the report,
and Professor Pier Vellinga, also of Wageningen University, quoted six
meters, on the assumption that the rate at which the Greenland ice cap is
melting will accelerate dramatically.
Professor Hans von Storch, a German member of the
subcommittee in charge of assessing the scientific evidence, promptly protested
in the Dutch press, saying that the Delta Committee had piled extreme upon
extreme in order to obtain these figures. Holland’s senior science writer,
Karel Knip, followed suit, suggesting that the Committee was evidently ignorant
of the statistics of rare events. For reasons unknown to me, KNMI, the Royal
Netherlands Meteorological Institute, did not attempt a rebuttal. It could have
chosen to state in public that recent assessments by IPCC and by its own
scientists predicted half a meter of sea-level rise, but it didn’t. I
suspect that the Department of Transportation and Public Works, which is
responsible for our coastal defense system, instructed KNMI not to derail the
political debate with a balanced presentation of the scientific evidence. [ SEPP comment: NIPCC’s best
estimate is only 28 cm]
Much to my dismay, the publication of the Committee report
was followed by a massive publicity campaign. Al Gore came over to Holland a
month ago, and gave a $300,000 speech blasting the energy industry. James
Hansen, advisor to Gore and well-known forecaster of catastrophic sea-level
rise, will address a meeting in Rotterdam next month. Kabat and Vellinga will
speak there too. The Urgenda Foundation, not so subtly named for its promotion
of an Urgent Agenda for Climate Change, has published a manifesto full of hell
and damnation in a leading newspaper. After several years of floating scary
stories about possible inundation of Amsterdam Airport, Professor Vellinga now
advocates a massive dam in front of our entire coast, wide enough for urban
What is the purpose of hyped-up forecasts of sea-level rise?
Why don’t the Dutch participants in IPCC speak up? Why doesn’t the IPCC brass?
Whose interests are served by ridiculous climate alarms? The problems
surrounding climate change are tough enough as is. We desperately need
moderation, not propaganda.
6. STRANGER THAN FICTION
Brendan O’Neill, October 27, 2008
this year, I wrote an eco-satirical
column under the pseudonym Ethan Greenhart, in which I (or rather, Ethan)
called upon Greens everywhere to pray for an economic downturn. The column
argued that nothing would benefit our human-ravaged planet more than a big,
beautiful, stock-crashing, Wall Street-burning, consumer-baiting,
home-evicting, bank-busting recession.
need something to stop humans raping the planet, I said, tongue pressed
ferociously against my cheek, and the recession might just be the chemical
castration for the job. A recession could be the antibody Gaia so desperately
needs to deal with her human itch, since it would force people to buy less and
live more humbly.
column said recession would be a just punishment for the lunatics of humankind,
before the arrival of the final big disease -- that glorious moment when a
rampant sickness will reduce the human population to sustainable levels and end
industrialism . . . just as the Plague contributed to the demise of feudalism.
was going too far, right? Yes, there are super-aloof Gaia worshippers who,
caring little for the living standards of their fellow men, argue that a
recession would be a good thing and, sure, they deserve a few satirical
darts tossed their way. But surely no right-minded Green (assuming such a thing
exists) would celebrate the depletion of mankind by a preferably painless but
speedily contagious disease?
24 hours after the column was published, Ethan received an e-mail (my alter ego
came with his own inbox) from Valerie Stevens, chairperson of the U.K.-based Optimum Population Trust. The OPT is an influential green-leaning outfit that
campaigns for strict controls on population growth. Ms. Stevens, believing
remarkably that Ethan Greenhart is a real person, wrote: What a marvellous
piece of writing. I feel exactly the same as you!
what this means. The head of one of Britain’s most vocal Green lobby groups
feels exactly that people who work in shops are comparable to concentration
camp guards; that humankind is a poisonous bacteria in Gaia’s bloodstream; that
consumerism makes us mentally ill; that the consumer society has turned us into
savages . . . well, not us, obviously, but certainly them; and
that a disease should come and decimate the plague that is mankind. All of these statements were contained in the
pretend eco-rant that OPT chair Valerie Stevens described as a marvellous piece
of writing with which she agrees exactly.
OPT has numerous Green bigwigs on its advisory board, including Jonathon Porritt, who was director of Friends of the Earth from 1984
to 1990 and is currently an adviser to Prince
Charles, the insufferably eco-minded heir to the British throne. Ms
Stevens’ enthusiastic agreement with Ethan Greenhart unwittingly revealed the
backward, misanthropic thinking that rattles in the attics of Britain’s posh
also revealed something else: the environmental movement is now so pompous,
hysterical, bloated, and disconnected that it is almost beyond satire. My
weekly Ethan Greenhart columns, published in my online magazine, spiked,
have now been turned into a book: Can I
My Granny? And 39 Other Eco-Dilemmas.
In the course of writing it, I discovered that satirizing Greens is forever an
uphill struggle, as one’s campaign to mock environmentalism continually
threatens to be derailed by the latest ridiculous utterance from the Greens
Greenhart has argued that climate-change denial should be recognized by the
American Psychiatric Association as a mental disorder and that there should be
eco-lobotomies for persistent deniers. Well, this is only a more extreme
version of a leading
demand for international criminal tribunals to try those who preach the gospel
of denial. Yet it turns out that many Greens are already discussing the
psychological processes that contribute to climate change denial, with The Ecologist,
an influential British magazine, arguing that angrily denying the problem [of
climate change] outright is a form of psychotic denial. Perhaps eco-lobotomies
aren’t so far off now.
Greenhart has claimed to have set up something called Bottlefeeders Anonymous,
for those moms who have strayed from The Ethical Path by bottlefeeding rather
than breastfeeding their offspring. Bottlefeeding is a form of child abuse, he
declares, since it involves stuffing your child’s gut with powder produced in a
factory by a really big and probably quite evil conglomerate. Lo and behold, it
turns out that eco-minded militant lactivists really do look upon bottlefeeding
as abusive. Green columnist George
Monbiot believes that feeding your child formula is tantamount to child
has even celebrated suicide as a sensible solution to human overcrowding on
Gaia’s pretty face. Here he was inspired by cranky Green groups like the Church of Euthanasia. Yet this
outlook ain’t so cranky anymore. Shortly before Can I
Recycle My Granny? was to hit the shelves in which Ethan
maintains that non-existence is the most perfectly ethical way of being, a book
by David Benatar (a professor of philosophy at the University of Cape Town, no
less) appeared under the title Better
Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence.
said the purpose of satire is to laugh men out of their follies. Yet such is
the depth of contemporary Green folly that even mockery can be mistaken for
another sensible idea or contribution to the Green cause. Of course (and I
would say this, wouldn’t I?) my book is still full of cutting-edge satire
richly comic, hails The
Independent. But you had better buy it quick before its maddest,
zaniest send-ups of the environmentalist movement become the latest Green
Brendan O’Neill (a.k.a. Ethan Greenhart) is the editor of spiked