The story so far: with the release of its Fifth Assessment Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has proved beyond reasonable doubt that it cannot be taken seriously.
Here are a few reasons why: IPCC lead author Dr Richard Lindzen has accused it of having “sunk to a level of hilarious incoherence.” Nigel Lawson has called it “not science but mumbo jumbo”. The Global Warming Policy Foundation’s Dr David Whitehouse has described the IPCC’s panel as “evasive and inaccurate” in the way it tried dodge the key issue of the 15-year (at least) pause in global warming; Donna Laframboise notes that is either riddled with errors or horribly politically manipulated – or both; Paul Matthews has found a very silly graph;Steve McIntyre has exposed how the IPCC appears deliberately to have tried to obfuscate the unhelpful discrepancy between its models and the real world data; and at Bishop Hill the excellent Katabasis has unearthed another gem: that, in jarring contrast to the alarmist message being put out at IPCC press conferences and in the Summary For Policymakers, the body of the report tells a different story – that almost all the scary scenarios we’ve been warned about this last two decades (from permafrost melt to ice sheet collapse) are now been graded by scientists somewhere between “low confidence” to “exceptionally unlikely;” and this latest from the Mighty Booker.
And there’s plenty more where that came from.
Now, of course, I fully appreciate how the climate alarmists are going to respond to these criticisms: same way they always do – with a barrage of lies, ad homs, cover-ups, rank-closings, blustering threats, straw men, and delusion-bubble conferences like the one they’ve just staged at the Royal Society in which one warmist pseudo-scientist after another mounts the podium to reassure his amen corner that everything’s going just fine and that those evil denialists couldn’t be more wrong.
Well, if that’s how they want to play it – fighting to the bitter end for their lost cause like Werewolves in Northern Europe in ’45 or those fanatical Japanese hold outs on remote Pacific islands – I guess that’s their problem.
But what I really don’t think we should be doing at this stage in the game is allowing it to be our problem too. As I argued here the other week, there is more than enough solid evidence now to demonstrate to any neutral party prepared to cast half an eye over it that the doomsday prognostications the warmist establishment has been trying to frighten us with these last two decades are a nonsense. The man-made global warming scare story has not a shred of scientific credibility. It’s over. And while I don’t expect the alarmists to admit this any time soon, I do think the rest of us should stop indulging them in their poisonous fantasy.
I’m thinking, for example, of this line from the Spectator’s otherwise superb, accurate and fair editorial summarising the state of play on climate:
Global warming is still a monumental challenge….
Is it? More of a “monumental” challenge than global cooling? And the evidence for that statement can be found where exactly? Please – I’d love to see it. Where’s the data that proves the modest 0.8 degrees C warming in the last 150 years has done more harm than good?
It may seem unduly picky to quibble over just seven errant words from an otherwise immaculate 800 word editorial. But it’s precisely intellectually lazy concessions like this that are serving only to prolong a propaganda war that really should have ended long ago.
I feel the same way when I read one of those on-the-one-hand-and-on-the-other think pieces from someone on the “sceptical” side of the argument or an editorial in a newspaper trying to position itself as the voice of reasonable authority on the climate issue. You know the sort I mean: where, in order to make his case seem more balanced and sympathetic the author concedes at the beginning that there are faults and extremists on both sides of the argument and that it’s time we all met in the middle and found a sensible solution. (I call this the Dog Poo Yoghurt Fallacy)
This is absurd, dishonest, inaccurate and counterproductive. It’s as if, after a long, long game of cat and mouse between a few maverick, out-on-a-limb private investigators and an enormous Mafia cartel, an outside arbitrator steps in and says: “Well there’s fault on both sides. You Mafia people have been really quite naughty with your multi-billion dollar crime spree. But you private investigators, you deserve a rap on the knuckles too because some of that language you’ve been using to describe the Mafia cartel is really quite offensive and hurtful. Why, you’ve actually been calling them “thieving criminals.”
“But they are thieving criminals,” the investigators protest. “And do you have any idea what it has cost us pursuing this case? Do you realise how hard the cartel worked to vilify us, marginalise us, make us seem like crazed extremists? These people have stolen billions, they’ve lied, they’ve cheated, they’re responsible for numerous deaths, and you’re, what, you’re going to buy into the specious argument of their bullshitting consigliere Roberto “Mad Dog” Ward that they deserve special favours because their tender feelings have been hurt with unkind language?”
It’s time we took the gloves off in this fight – not to escalate it but to stop it being prolonged with this ludicrous diplomatic game where we have to pretend that there’s fault on both sides – not because it’s in any way true, but because the climate scam is so vast and all-encompassing that there are just too many people in positions of power or authority who need to be indulged by being allowed to save face.
To give you but one example, last week two warmists were given space to have a go at DEFRA Secretary of State Owen Paterson.
Professor Kevin Anderson, of Manchester University, toldthe Independent: “His view that we can muddle through climate change is a colonial, arrogant, rich person’s view.”And Professor Myles Allen of Oxford University, one of the authors of the report, said: “I find it very worrying that this person is charged with adapting [Britain] to climate change. I do think it is a good idea for whoever is planning for adaptation to have a realistic understanding of what the science is saying.”
This rightly taxed the patience of even the scrupulously non-combative Bishop Hill:
One can’t help but think that politicians’ understanding of the science might be helped if scientists, including Professor Allen, had tried to write a clear explanation of it rather than trying to obfuscate any difficulty that might distract from the message of doom.
Quite. What Paterson said about the current state of climate change is both demonstrably true and wholly unexceptionable:
“People get very emotional about this subject and I think we should just accept that the climate has been changing for centuries”, he said.“Remember that for humans, the biggest cause of death is cold in winter, far bigger than heat in summer. It would also lead to longer growing seasons and you could extend growing a little further north into some of the colder areas.”
If shyster professors with cushy sinecures in state-funded seats of academe wish to counter such reasonable statements of the glaringly obvious – statements, furthermore, which are actually supported by the body of the new IPCC report (see above) – then the onus is on them to do so using verifiable facts rather than vague, emotive smears.
To return to my favourite field of analogy – World War II – the situation we’re in now is analogous to the dog days of 1945 when the allied advance was held up by small pockets of fanatical resistance. The Allies had a choice: either painstakingly take each village at the cost of numerous infantry or simply stand back and give those villages an ultimatum – you have an hour to surrender and if you don’t we’re going to obliterate you with our artillery.
We have to take a stand on this issue. One side is right; one side is quite simply wrong and deserves to be humiliated and crushingly defeated. And the sooner – for all those of us who believe in truth, decency and liberty – the better.
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