AGW: It’s not about ‘the science’ | James Delingpole

March 2nd, 2010

And it never was about the science, as Sam at (”remembering what they will want us to forget”) reminds us with this useful little delve into the Government archives. He shows how in 2003 the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) deliberately set out to mislead the public about the dangers of “Climate Change”. Among the “experts” DEFRA invited to help talk up the threat were our old friends at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU).

What DEFRA was (and indeed, still is) after was “headline indicators” – ie scary scenarios with which to terrify the public into supine acceptance of the government’s high-tax, high-regulation green agenda. Here is one of its working group’s responses:

7. Socio-economic Indicators (Jean Palutikof and co-workers)

– Indicator 12 (insurance claims) might be extended to include claims for flood damage, using Association of British Insurers’ statistics.
– Indicators 13-16 are OK
– Indicator 17 (lyme disease) should stay (despite criticism) but maybe look at European trends and add a new indicator on the number of notified cases of food poisoning.
– Indicator 18 (human mortality) stays.
– Indicator 19 (irrigation water use) stays, but a new indicator might be added on household water use – taking into account the EA indicator and going back before 1992.
– Indicator 20 (percentage potato area irrigated) – there have been no data since 1995, so this may be dropped.
– Indictors 21 and 22 stay.
– Indicator 23 (forage maize) should be dropped.
– A new indicator should be sought on the sale of air conditioners; maybe there is a trade association.
A new indicator should be sought on sales of beer and soft drinks.

Sam goes on to describe what else the report contains:

The report then moves back into the existing indicators, and on page 28 they show an interesting chart. It is entitled ‘Potential “New” ECN Climate Impact Indicators’. The list contains such things as Frog Spawning date and Bat Activity, and then lists such attributes as climate sensitivity and data availability. Another attribute is worth noting. ‘Public Resonance’ is listed, on a scale of one to three. Some issues are shown to have low public resonance, such as ground beetles, and some high, such as water quality. However one issue, the “Genetic” changes of beetles, does not land on the scale but says: “Low unless hyped up.” Hyped up? Is this a technical term?

Cast your mind back to the early 2000s – not that you need to do much mind-back-casting: the same thing still goes on today – and you’ll remember those press releases regurgitated as news by Environment Correspondents everywhere. You know the kind of thing:

Daffodils will soon be flowering so early you won’t even see them because they’ll already have happened last year.

Bognor Regis: the next Cannes?

Food poisoning to kill more people than hypothermia by 2040

Elephants, monkeys, tigers and vicious new strains of malarial mosquito will swarm in Britain’s jungle zone – formerly the New Forest – by 2050

The correct name for this is not “science.” It is “propaganda.” Or “lies.”

Yet the ‘experts’, politicians, scientists, lobbists, carbon traders, and activists pushing AGW have yet to show the remotest hint of repentance for trying to deceive us in this way. On the contrary, as we’re seeing in the various enquiries into malpractice at Penn State University and the University of East Anglia, the official response has been to try to cover the whole thing up.

This weekend, I’ll discuss this topic in more detail, with the piece I’ve been promising you for ages on Post Normal Science.

In the meantime, he’s something to cheer you up in these dark times. The magnificent Willis Eschenbach at Watts Up With That savaging Warmist scientist Dr Judith Curry for having had the temerity to argue that the problem with the AGW debate lies not so much with the solidity of “the science” as with the failure of scientists to communicate their case effectively.

Here’s a taste. Darn it, this guy is so sound he makes me look like James Hansen:

You think this is a problem of image, that climate science has a bad image. It is nothing of the sort. It is a problem of scientific malfeasance, and of complicity by silence with that malfeasance. The public, it turns out, has a much better bullsh*t detector than the mainstream climate scientists do … or at least we’re willing to say so in public, while y’all cower in your cubbyholes with your heads down and never, never, never say a bad word about some other climate scientist’s bogus claims and wrong actions.

You want trust? Do good science, and publicly insist that other climate scientists do good science as well. It’s that simple. Do good science, and publicly call out the Manns and the Joneses and the Thompsons and the rest of the charlatans that you are currently protecting. Call out the journals that don’t follow their own policies on data archiving. Speak up for honest science. Archive your data. Insist on transparency. Publish your codes.


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