Climate Alarmists Finally Admit ‘We Were Wrong About Global Warming’

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty

Climate alarmists have finally admitted that they’ve got it wrong on global warming.

This is the inescapable conclusion of a landmark paper, published in Nature Geoscience, which finally admits that the computer models have overstated the impact of carbon dioxide on climate and that the planet is warming more slowly than predicted.

The paper – titled Emission budgets and pathways consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C –  concedes that it is now almost impossible that the doomsday predictions made in the last IPCC Assessment Report of 1.5 degrees C warming above pre-industrial levels by 2022 will come true.

In order for that to happen, temperatures would have to rise by a massive 0.5 degrees C in five years.

Since global mean temperatures rarely rise by even as much as 0.25 degrees C in a decade, that would mean the planet would have to do 20 years’ worth of extreme warming in the space of the next five years.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

How Scientists Got Their Global Warming Sums Wrong

— and created a £1TRILLION-a-year green industry that bullied experts who dared to question the figures.

The scientists who produce those doomsday reports for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change finally come clean. The planet has stubbornly refused to heat up to predicted levels.

I’VE just discovered the hardest word in science.

Not pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (inflammation of the lungs caused by inhalation of silica dust). Nor palmitoyloleoylphosphatidylethanolamine (a lipid bilayer found in nerve tissue).

The earth hasn’t heated up anywhere near as much as it was supposed to. Image credit: ALAMY

No, the actual hardest word — which scientists use so rarely it might as well not exist — is “Sorry”.

Which is a shame because right now the scientists owe us an apology so enormous that I doubt even a bunch of two dozen roses every day for the rest of our lives is quite enough to make amends for the damage they’ve done.

Thanks to their bad advice on climate change our gas and electricity bills have rocketed.

So too have our taxes, our car bills and the cost of flying abroad, our kids have been brainwashed into becoming tofu-munching eco-zealots, our old folk have frozen to death in fuel poverty, our countryside has been blighted with ranks of space-age solar panels and bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes, our rubbish collection service hijacked by hectoring bullies, our cities poisoned with diesel fumes . . .

And all because a tiny bunch of ­scientists got their sums wrong and scared the world silly with a story about catastrophic man-made global warming.

Read the rest in the Sun.

New York Times Snowflake Readers Melt in Horror at Climate Skeptic Columnist Bret Stephens

bret stephens
Alex Wong/Getty

New York Times readers are deserting in droves in protest that its new columnist, Bret Stephens, thinks incorrect thoughts about man-made global warming.

In his first column Stephens committed the cardinal sin of suggesting that maybe climate change isn’t quite the major existential threat that liberals have cracked up to be; and that maybe the environmentalists’ rabid zealotry is doing their cause more harm than good.

Claiming total certainty about the science traduces the spirit of science and creates openings for doubt whenever a climate claim proves wrong. Demanding abrupt and expensive changes in public policy raises fair questions about ideological intentions. Censoriously asserting one’s moral superiority and treating skeptics as imbeciles and deplorables wins few converts.

Mighty has been the progressives’ wrath.

According to Soros attack dog Joe Romm, it could scarcely have been worse if the New York Times had given the column to the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke.

According to the Guardian‘s Dana Nucitelli, the most charitable thing you could say about Stephens’s piece is that it’s “ignorant and wrong.”

Professor Ken Caldeira, of the Carnegie Institute for Science, has publicly cancelled his NYT subscription.

So too has German climate professor Stefan Rahmsdorf, who wrote to complain:

My heroes are Copernicus, Galilei and Kepler, who sought the scientific truth based on observational evidence and defended it against the powerful authority of the church in Rome, at great personal cost.

Had the New York Times existed then – would you have seen it as part of your mission to insult and denigrate these scientists, as Stephens has done with climate scientists?

Twitter has been outraged:

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Climate Change Is Real Because Bad Weather, Explains WMO

Climate Change is more real, and dangerous, and worrying than ever before because lots of bad weather has happened around the world.

Now that I have handily summarised the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) latest report — WMO Statement on the State of Global Climate in 2016 — you have no need to read it.

That’s because the report’s only intended function is as a propaganda device to prop up the global climate alarmist narrative.

You can tell this because of certain key phrases that have been embedded in the “Executive Summary.”

Phrases like:

Warming continued in 2016, setting a new temperature record of approximately 1.1 °C above the pre-industrial period…

…against a background of long-term climate change….

Severe droughts affected agriculture and yield production in many parts of the world, particularly in southern and eastern Africa and parts of Central America, where several million people experienced food insecurity and hundreds of thousands were displaced internally…

Detection and attribution studies have demonstrated that human influence on the climate has been a main driver behind the unequivocal warming of the global climate system…

Human influence has also led to significant regional temperature increases at the continental and subcontinental levels. Shifts of the temperature distribution to warmer regimes are expected to bring about increases in the frequency and intensity of extremely warm events.

But most of this stuff just comes from the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, which was published in 2014. What, exactly, is its relevance to a new report on last year’s weather?

Short answer: none — but this was never the point.

The point is that the World Meteorological Organization has long been one of the chief promoters of the great global warming scare. The WMO was one of the two United Nations organizations — the other was the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) – which set up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC exists on the unquestioned assumption that man-made climate change is a serious problem. Its only purposes are to find more evidence for the problem’s existence and to propose various solutions for how to deal with it. At no stage, ever, can the IPCC admit to there not being a man-made climate change problem because that would mean doing itself out of business.

The WMO and its various UN sidekicks, in other words, represent the belly of the beast of the Climate Industrial Complex.

This is the rampaging monster against which President Trump has heroically pitted himself on his holy mission to slay the Green Blob.

It will not be an easy task — and it might even be a hopeless one for the Green Blob has many tentacles.

One of them is this rather noisome organisation, the Science Media Centre, which reports to be a neutral charity providing dispassionate information about science but, in fact, works as a tireless disseminator of green propaganda. In order to big up the WMO report, it has lined up various members of the usual suspects from the world of climate alarmism to testify about how amazingly important it is — and to dutifully confirm that, yes, global warming is, like, even worse than ever.

Why, here is Prof. Martin Siegert of the Grantham Institute, funded by climate alarmist hedge funder Jeremy Grantham, to promote the cause of climate alarmism:

The announcement from WMO is shocking but sadly unsurprising… We simply cannot say we haven’t been warned, however.  The problem is ours to fix and we must do so right now.  The longer we wait for effective action the harder and more costly it will be.

Well, whoulda thunk, eh?

And here is the photogenic Dr. Emily Shuckburgh of the British Antarctic Survey:

The changes we are now seeing in the polar regions are a stark reminder of the scale and urgency of the climate challenge.

Of course they are, Emily. Of course. And you didn’t even need to use the phrase, “By the way, please can we have lots more grant funding?”

And here’s Dr. Phil Williamson, speaking from the home of the Climategate scandal, the University of East Anglia:

Human-driven climate change is now an empirically-verifiable fact, combining year-to-year variability with the consequences of our release of extra greenhouse gases.  Those who dispute that link are not sceptics, but anti-science deniers.

Surely this can’t be the same Dr. Phil Williamson whose complaint was humiliatingly rejected when he reported your humble correspondent to IPSO because he objected to a few pieces I’d written explaining why Ocean Acidification was basically just another junk science scare intended to prop up the alarmist anti-CO2 narrative? Why yes. Exactly that Dr. Phil Williamson.

Truly these people have no shame. And they can go on and on spouting all this nonsense because the braindead liberal media is more than happy to regurgitate it. As you can see, for example, from this pile of weapons-grade tosh from the Independent.

None of this scaremongering has any basis in reality, though, as Paul Homewood patiently explains in this masterly demolition job.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

The Climate Alarmists Have Lost the Debate: It’s Time We Stopped Indulging Their Poisonous Fantasy

Not in danger–never really were.
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.
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.

Related posts:

  1. Climategate reminds us of the liberal-left’s visceral loathing of open debate
  2. Who funds the Climate Alarmists?
  3. Global warming: red-faced climatologist issues grovelling apology
  4. How ‘tech-savvy’ Barack Obama lost the health care debate thanks to sinister Right-wing blogs like this one


Twelve Reasons Why the Paris Climate Talks Are a Total Waste

Here is why they might just as well not have bothered.

1. There has been no ‘global warming’ since 1997


So, of all the children round the world currently being taught in schools about the perils of man-made global warming, not a single one has lived through a period in which the planet was actually warming.

2. The polar bears are doing just great.

As they have been for the last five decades, during which time their population has increased roughly five-fold. So why does the IUCN still classify them as “vulnerable”? Because the environmentalists needed a cute, fluffy white poster-child for their “the animals are dying and it’s all our fault” campaign, and the snail darter and the California delta smelt just didn’t cut it. So various tame conservation biologists came up with all sorts of nonsense about how polar bear populations were dwindling and how the melting of the ice floes would jeopardize their ability to feed themselves etc. How can you tell a conservation biologist is lying? When his lips move.

3. Antarctica is growing.

According to the greenies, this just wasn’t meant to happen. But it is. Even NASA admits this.

4. The Maldives aren’t sinking

Or, if they are, their government is responding in a very odd way. Just a few years back, they were staging photos of their Cabinet meeting underwater to symbolize how threatened they were by “climate change” – a problem that could only be cured, apparently, with the donation of large sums of guilt money from rich Western industrialized nations. But a few months ago they completed work on their 11th international airport. So that all the climate refugees caused by global warming can escape quickly, presumably.

5. Ocean acidification is a myth

If I were an eco-Nazi I would seriously think about killing myself at this point. Ocean acidification was supposed to be their Siegfried Line – the final line of defense if, as has grown increasingly obvious over the last few years, “anthropogenic global warming” theory proved to be a busted flush. But it turns out that ocean acidification is as big a myth as man-made climate change. a) it’s based on dubious, possibly even fraudulent, research and b) if anyone’s acidifying the ocean it’s those wretched bloody coral reefs

Read the rest at Breitbart.

NOAA Attempts to Hide the Pause in Global Warming: The Most Disgraceful Cover-Up Since Climategate

Despite being a public, taxpayer-funded institution, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) insists that it is under no obligation to provide the research papers, as demanded in a subpoena by Rep Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

Gosh. What vital information of national secrecy importance could NOAA possibly have to hide?

That question is entirely rhetorical, by the way. The answer is obvious – well known to every one within the climate change research community. And the whole business stinks. When these documents are released, as eventually they surely must be, what will become evident is that this represents the most disgraceful official cover-up by the politicized science establishment since the release of the Climategate emails.

At the root of the issue is the inconvenient truth that there has been no “global warming” since January 1997.

This is clearly shown by the most reliable global temperature dataset – the RSS satellite records – and was even grudgingly acknowledged in the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment report. While still insisting that there has been a slight warming – an increase, since 1998, of around 0.05 degrees C per decade – the IPCC had in all honesty to admit that this is smaller than the 0.1 degrees C error range for thermometer readings, and consequently statistically insignificant.

But if there has been no “global warming” for nearly 19 years how can alarmist proselytisers like President Obama and John Kerry possibly hope to convince an increasingly skeptical public that this apparently non-existent problem yet remains the most pressing concern of our age?”

Step forward the Obama administration’s helpful friends at NOAA. It’s not supposed to be a politicized institution: its job is to do science, not propaganda. But the memo must have been missed by NOAA scientists Thomas Karl and Thomas Peterson who, in May this year, published a “study” so favourable to the alarmist cause it might just as well have been scripted by Al Gore and Greenpeace, with a royal foreword by the Prince of Wales, and a blessing from Pope Francis.

“Data show no slowdown in recent global warming” declared NOAA’s press release. “The Pause”, in other words, was just the construct of a few warped deniers’ twisted imaginations.

Naturally this new “evidence” was seized on with alacrity by the usual media suspects.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Happy 18th Birthday, No Global Warming!

All right, so we’re slightly premature. By one measure – according to Bishop Hill – we’re still a month away before “no global warming” achieves its coming of age.

But by other measurements, as Matt Ridley notes in the Wall Street Journal, we’re already as much as 19 or even 26 years into “no global warming” “depending on whether you choose the surface temperature record or one of two satellite records of the lower atmosphere.”

Still, whichever measurement you pick, it’s really not looking good for the Warmists – whose stubborn ongoing refusal to acknowledge the failure of the planet’s temperatures to accord with their computer models’ doomsday predictions is starting to look so shameless and desperate it’s really about time they considered a name change. How about “deniers”?

Sure, they’ve found lots of excuses to explain the so-called “pause” in global warming. (“Pause” by the way is a most unscientific term which we really shouldn’t allow them to get away with. It presupposes that they know that continued warming is inevitable. Which they don’t. No one does – and that’s the fundamental problem)…

Read the rest at Breitbart London

Related posts:

  1. ‘Global warming? What global warming?’ says High Priest of Gaia Religion
  2. Why we can all stop worrying about ‘Global Warming’ for a bit
  3. Global warming is dead. Long live, er, ‘Global climate disruption’!
  4. Global warming: red-faced climatologist issues grovelling apology


Greenpeace and the IPCC: time, surely, for a Climate Masada? | James Delingpole

June 19, 2011

For once my sympathy is all with the whalers...

For once my sympathy is all with the whalers…

And how are you feeling today, all you Greenies, after your most embarrassing week (well, one of the most embarrassing: the competition, it must be said, has been pretty stiff these last 18 months) since Climategate?

Just in case your only information sources are RealClimate or Guardian Environment let me explain, briefly, what has been happening out here on Planet Reality. In a nutshell, you’ve been caught with your trousers down yet again, viz:

An official IPCC report bigging up renewable energy as the power source of the future turns out to have been lead-authored by an activist from Greenpeace and based not on solid science but a wish-fulfilment fantasy scenario devised by, you guessed it, Greenpeace.

Here’s how the press release of the IPCC’s Summary For Policymakers reported its findings:

Close to 80 percent of the world‘s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies a new report shows.

This was uncritically reported by its amen corner in the MSM, led of course by the BBC’s Richard Black and the Guardian. But others more diligent smelt a rat – among them the mighty Steve McIntyre whose magisterially contemptuous blogpost on the subject has been keeping climate sceptics such as Bishop Hill, WUWT, Rex Murphy, Ronald Bailey and Mark Lynas busy all week.

Mark Lynas? Not the same eco activist Mark Lynas who once threw a custard pie in Bjorn Lomborg’s face and was responsible for advising the Maldives cabinet to pose for that nauseatingly disingenuous publicity shot where they’re all under water (because, like, the Maldives are being drowned due to global warming: except, of course they’re not)? Yep, that one. But on this occasion, at least, even as committed an eco zealot as he has been forced to concede that IPCC has done its reputation as the “gold standard” (copyright: B Obama) of international climate science few favours:

The IPCC must urgently review its policies for hiring lead authors – and I would have thought that not only should biased ‘grey literature’ be rejected, but campaigners from NGOs should not be allowed to join the lead author group and thereby review their own work. There is even a commercial conflict of interest here given that the renewables industry stands to be the main beneficiary of any change in government policies based on the IPCC report’s conclusions. Had it been an oil industry intervention which led the IPCC to a particular conclusion, Greenpeace et al would have course have been screaming blue murder.

Additionally, the Greenpeace/renewables industry report is so flawed that it should not have been considered by the IPCC at all. Whilst the journal-published version looks like proper science, the propaganda version on the Greenpeace website has all the hallmarks of a piece of work which started with some conclusions and then set about justifying them. There is a whole section dedicated to ‘dirty, dangerous nuclear power’, and the scenario includes a complete phase-out of new nuclear globally, with no stations built after 2008.

It is a good point well made. Putting a guy from Greenpeace in charge of writing the supposedly neutral, scientifically-based report on which governments are going to base their energy policy is like putting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in charge of a report entitled Whither Israel? It is, in fact, yet another scandal of Climategate proportions. But you’d be amazed how many people there are out there who still don’t quite see the broader significance of this.

Here, for example, is the characteristically wet response from the Economist’s Babbage:

THE release of the full text of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Renewable Energy this week has led to a new set of questions about the panel’s attitudes, probity and reliability: is it simply a sounding board for green activists? The answer is no—but that doesn’t mean it’s without serious problems.

Er, no, actually, Babbage. The answer is “yes.” Since its very foundation, the IPCC has been a sounding board for green activists. That is indeed its purpose. It has no remit to investigate whether or not climate change is significantly man-made and whether this constitutes a threat serious enough to handicap the global economy with massive tax and regulation because it takes all those as givens: as far as the IPCC’s concerned, the debate is over and the time to act is now. (Which, funnily enough, is exactly what green activists think). This was the point of McKitrick and McIntyre’s brilliant demolition of the Hockey Stick; the point of Climategate; the point of Amazongate, Glaciergate, Africagate et al; the point of Donna Laframboise’s superb research showing how much “grey literature” (ie activist propaganda with no solid scientific basis) from activist groups like WWF and Greenpeace has informed the IPCC’s supposedly state-of-the-art assessment reports.

The Man Made Global Warming industry is a crock, a scam on an epic scale, fed by the world’s biggest outbreak of mass hysteria, stoked by politicians dying for an excuse to impose more tax and regulation on us while being seen to “care” about an issue of pressing urgency, fuelled by the shrill lies and tear-jerking propaganda of activists possessed of no understanding of the real world other than a chippy instinctive hatred of capitalism, given a veneer of scientific respectability by post-normal scientists who believe their job is to behave like politicians rather than dispassionate seekers-after-truth, cheered on by rent-seeking businesses, financed by the EU, the UN and the charitable foundations of the guilt-ridden rich, and promoted at every turn by schoolteachers, college lecturers, organic muesli packets, Walkers crisps, the BBC, CNBC, Al Gore, the Prince Of Wales, David Suzuki, the British Antarctic Survey, Barack Obama, David Cameron and Knut – the late, dyslexic-challenging, baby polar bear, formerly of Berlin Zoo.

And you really don’t need to be a contrarian or an out-there conspiracy theorist or a hard-core libertarian or a rampant free-market capitalist or a dyed in the wool conservative to think this way any more. This is reality. This is how it is. This is where all the overwhelming evidence points. So what kind of a bizarro, warped, intellectually challenged, cognitively dissonant, eco-fascistic nutcase would you have to be to think otherwise?

Look, I’m sorry to be blunt all you Greenies (you know how normally polite and respectful I am to you and your cause) but don’t you think the charade has gone on long enough? Do you not think, maybe, that given that the IPCC is the basis of all your so-called “science” on climate change, and given that the IPCC has been proven dozens of times now to have been hijacked by activists with about as much of a handle on objective reality as Syd Barrett locked in a cupboard during a particularly bad acid trip, it mightn’t be time finally to do the decent thing?

Either come over to the side of reality, truth and climate scepticism (as your Lynas has sort of done) and admit you’re wrong. Or gather together in your last redoubt with your Hansens and your Gores and your Porritts and all the other die hards and do the only other honorable thing: show the courage of your convictions by staging a Climate Masada.

Related posts:

  1. IPCC Fourth Assessment Report is rubbish – says yet another expert
  2. Redfaced Greenpeace insists ‘we didn’t make it up’ – we just ’emotionalised the issue’
  3. Green jobs? Wot green jobs? (pt 242)
  4. Climategate: Greenpeace hoist by its own petard

One thought on “Greenpeace and the IPCC: time, surely, for a Climate Masada?”

  1. spark says:19th June 2011 at 1:41 pmCouldn’t find an email address so decided to use this venue.

    I first found your columns when the East Anglia scandal broke out almost two years ago.

    Keep up the good work.

Homeopathy: not as bad as genocide

Last week in the Spectator I wrote a piece which I knew was going to get me into trouble.

Aiieeee! Deadly Arnica!!!!

Aiieeee! Deadly Arnica!!!!

And indeed, to read some of the reaction since, you’d think I’d been advocating military intervention in support of Col Gaddafi or compulsory puppy drowning classes at primary school. Actually though, all I was doing was questioning the bizarre witch-hunt atmosphere that now surrounds the subject of homeopathy. Here’s what I said:

But as a general principle, when it comes to complementary medicine my sympathies are with the Prince of Wales (unusually) and with another, more famous prince: ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’

For Horatio, read any number of celebrity debunkers of religion, magic, pseudoscience and superstition, from Ben Goldacre and Richard Dawkins to Derren Brown, James Randi and Penn and Teller. I like what a lot of them do and I share their belief in the importance of rigour, empiricism and rationalism. But I do wonder whether in their pursuit of post-Enlightenment heresies (from Christianity to homeopathy to climate change ‘denial’), they are not exhibiting just the kind of self-righteous fervour which in earlier times would have made them ideal witchfinders general or Spanish inquisitors.

Can they really afford to be so certain that they know everything there is to know about the scientific truth? Up until the 1880s, the experts would have laughed in your face if you’d suggested that malaria was caused by anything other than the foul air that emanated from swamps; up until the 1970s, you’d have been ridiculed for positing that stomach ulcers were caused by a bacterium; up until 1934, nobody even suspected that the major part of the universe comprised something called ‘dark matter’. Does that mean that everyone was totally thick in the old days and that we have all the answers now?

Can they really afford to be so certain that they know everything there is to know about the scientific truth? Up until the 1880s, the experts would have laughed in your face if you’d suggested that malaria was caused by anything other than the foul air that emanated from swamps; up until the 1970s, you’d have been ridiculed for positing that stomach ulcers were caused by a bacterium; up until 1934, nobody even suspected that the major part of the universe comprised something called ‘dark matter’. Does that mean that everyone was totally thick in the old days and that we have all the answers now?

Perhaps, when we get round to discovering the hidden truth about absolutely everything, it will emerge that homeopathy is a load of old crock. Or perhaps, we’ll be totally amazed to find that despite being so dilute as to contain not a single molecule of the original substance homeopathic remedies yet really do retain a ‘memory’ with incredible curative powers. Until that day, what harm is there in keeping an open mind?

I know I do. On the one hand, almost every sensible article I’ve read confirms me in my assurance that it’s bunk. On the other, I’ve met too many people whose lives have been transformed by homeopathy not to keep trying it. And I’m one of them.

There were at least two reasons why I knew there would be a strong reaction.

The first is that homeopathy is a subject that really, really, really gets the goat of a lot of articulate, clever, funny writers from Ben Goldacre to Damian Thompson. I’ve read quite a bit of what they have said on the subject. And do you know what? I dispute barely a word of what they say. As I thought I’d made pretty clear in the original piece – clue: “almost every sensible article I’ve read confirms me in my assurance that it’s bunk” – I’m fully aware that whenever homeopathy has been subjected to any kind of empirical testing it has failed to perform except (presumably) through the placebo effect.

What I am disputing – and this was one of the reasons I wrote my provocative article – is their tone.  Truly, to hear some of them you would think homeopathy were one of the great plagues of our time, something which all right-thinking people should be out marching in the streets to have banned. And I’m sorry, but homeopathy just ain’t that big a deal. I agree homeopathy shouldn’t be available on the NHS  because I believe it’s irresponsible for taxpayers’ money to be spent on something with no proven medical benefit. But beyond that, I find the shrillness and vehemence with which the “skeptics” rail against homeopathy (and religion, Richard Dawkins) is akin to the kind of playground bullying that gets meted out to fat kids or ones with red hair. “Urrggh! You believe in homeopathy! That means you’re stupid and you smell.”

Even worse than that, it’s invariably accompanied by a grotesque, self-aggrandising aura of smugness: “See just how clever and rational I am. I know my science, I do. Plus I hate religion. I’m a real ‘skeptic’, me.” I’m telling you, some of the idiots out on Twitter boasting about their “skeptic” credentials: it’s as if their avowed disbelief in homeopathy (or the passion with which they argue, say, for the banning of church schools: because, hey, imagine how much better the world would be without religion!) is the Get Out Of Jail Free that renders all their myriad intellectual, social and physical inadequacies magically invalid.

And I look at these “skeptics” with their arrogant certitude and I compare them with the gentle, thoughtful people who practise homeopathy (giving their patients the kind of consideration and interpersonal care you rarely get from time-pressed GPs these days) and with all those people out there whose lives have been helped by homeopathy (whether through the placebo effect or no) – and I think: “Well I know whose side I’d rather be on.”

I said there were two reasons why I knew the homeopathy piece would get me in to trouble. The second is that for some truly bizarre reason, many of the most outspoken critics of homeopathy (and “junk science” generally) also happen to be passionate believers in the “consensus” of Man Made Global Warming. And naturally, it delights them no end to be able to use this as ammunition: “See! See! He doesn’t believe homeopathy is bunk, therefore he is stupid and wrong about everything else too!”

Clearly this is a false and dishonest syllogism. My belief or otherwise in the efficacy and harmlessness of homeopathy has no bearing whatsoever on whether the Climategate scientists acted dishonestly and fraudulently, whether windfarms and solar energy are expensive and environmentally destructive, or whether carbon trading was invented by Enron. (No, really).

Furthermore, to attempt such an argument constitutes the most sublime hypocrisy. AGW is the most expensive unproven hypothesis in the history of science. Wiser heads – such as the new intake at the US House of Representatives, a majority of whom have voted to withdraw funding from the IPCC because it is so heavily politicised and devoid of scientific credibility – are increasingly cognizant of this uncomfortable truth. Not a shred of convincing empirical evidence has yet been produced to show that human CO2 emissions pose any kind of serious threat to the health of the planet.

So what’s worse? Believing we should keep an open mind on homeopathy, which costs the taxpayer next to nothing and which makes thousands of people very happy, creates work for some in a small but thriving industry and causes negligible harm?

Or believing in a hypothesis so increasingly threadbare it owes more to religion than science, which is costing taxpayers, businesses and energy users all round the world trillions of pounds, which holds back economic growth, which drives up food prices, which restricts freedoms, which is directly responsible for starvation, poverty and environmental damage?

Related posts:

  1. Wales is in danger: why isn’t the Prince of Wales saving it?
  2. What did our grandchildren do to deserve the Prince of Wales?
  3. Is Prince Charles ill-advised, or merely idiotic?
  4. Memo to Prince Charles: CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 is plant food.

9 thoughts on “Homeopathy: not as bad as genocide”

  1. Paul says:26th February 2011 at 7:05 pmI don’t understand. Don’t some of our basic medicines come from plant extracts? Did not some of those wild age-old homeopathic remedies actually pass the scrutiny of the Victorian scientific eye and make it onto the shelves of our pharmacies in tablets, pastes and powders?

    The trouble with the post-Marxist closed-minded system of science is that it is political by design, and relies on the auto-scoff response to fend off any challenges to it in the first instance. Inevitably, this engenders a legion of semi-educated experts who are officially assured that they know best.

  2. TDK says:26th February 2011 at 11:18 pm“Don’t some of our basic medicines come from plant extracts? Did not some of those wild age-old homeopathic remedies actually pass the scrutiny of the Victorian scientific eye and make it onto the shelves of our pharmacies in tablets, pastes and powders?”

    There’s a difference between “Natural” medicine and homoeopathy. What you describe is the process whereby medicines were once created. That bears no relationship to homoeopathy. People chewed White Willow Bark because it had a pain killing effect. We know it contains natural aspirin.

    Homoeopathy says here’s a disease. The disease creates symptoms. We find in nature a substance that causes the same symptoms (doesn’t have to create the disease). NOTE: Does not cure the symptoms OR the disease in this natural state. Then we dilute this active substance, save a minuscule fraction, dilute again, save a minuscule fraction etc for several rounds till the amount of the active substance might be less than one molecule in a litre of water. Then add this to something like a sugar tablet and give to the patient. It cures the patient.

    Note: Homoeopathic “doctors” fax the medicines to each other.

    Now prove me wrong by giving me a homoeopathic remedy equivalent of White Willow Bark.

  3. TDK says:26th February 2011 at 11:27 pmThe following got mangled

    “We know it contains natural aspirin.” should read

    We now know it contains natural aspirin. From there it is a short step to refine the active ingredient increasing its potency and removing impurities.

  4. JimmyGiro says:27th February 2011 at 12:04 amSpeaking of Dawkins, a couple of years ago I asked on his website: if his membership of the New Humanist Society, and his associations with Polly Toynbee, was a tacit admission of him being a Fabian?

    His devoted acolytes on the website, subtitled: “A Clear-Thinking Oasis”, subsequently censored all my posts; though credit to a few who did complain, mainly as they wanted me there to be a writhing punch-bag for their own invectives.

    Thankfully they offer the critics from the ranks of the dull and ordinary variety of atheist, the clear demarcation of their re-brand: New Atheism. They seem to hide behind the stalking horse of science, as the Nazi’s hid behind German heroism; seducing an otherwise rational people, into sterilizing the children of a lesser god, because they just didn’t fit the utopia of the ubermensch, or worse, they threatened to vitiate it.

    So we now have an ugly dwarf, spawned from the intolerance of ‘clear-thinking’, posing as science and reason, imploring rational people to regard unorthodox personal philosophies, as the spastic minds fit for intellectual sterilisation, or worse.

    Those who have experienced any form of scientific pursuit, from A-level to PhD research, would have experienced the sheer delight that is hypothesising: “It is a good morning exercise for a research scientist to discard a pet hypothesis every day before breakfast. It keeps him young.”[Konrad Lorenz]. Indeed, it is the inexactitude of real science that allows the creative mind to explore the unknown, given only some of the facts of all of the universe, real scientists have achieved marvels. This comes about because for every good idea, there are dozens of wrong ones, and this is the necessary intellectual entropy that ensures the success of real science.

    But these new-wave, intolerant, politically motivated scientists, are putting science at the brink of a credibility abyss; simply by insisting on the gleichshaltung of ‘clear-thinking’. They have opened the cage of the science dwarfs, which spit and kick at all that are non-scientific, because their creative genus has been transplanted by political manifesto; like drunken brown-shirts, enthused by their new found status of herrenvolk, yet lacking real attributes, resort to attacking the other, in the hope of advancing by default.

    And here we are, looking down at the homoeopathy spastics in the gutter, next to all manner of misfits and unorthodoxy, writhing in pools of obloquy. They’re not us, so we’re OK… for now.

  5. Nige Cook says:27th February 2011 at 10:58 am“Now prove me wrong by giving me a homoeopathic remedy equivalent of White Willow Bark.” – TDK

    Witchcraft spells! The placebo effect! Give milk powder capsules disguised as aspirin, and it will have some effect in some people (though I don’t recommend this as an alternative to real aspirin for all conditions, especially as a blood-thinner during aircraft flights for people at risk of deep vein thrombosis). The placebo effect is the power of mind over matter. People in the nuclear industry with malfunctioning dosimeters have suffered all the symptoms of radiation sickness, from vomiting to hair loss, until blood counts finally disproved their lethal dose. Homeopathetic medicines which are so diluted with pure water that none of the original drug is present can hardly be a poison; they’re a psychological complement to modern medicine and are guaranteed not to interfere with any drug! Water is harmless. As with religion, horoscopes and the supernatural, many people who go in for this kind of thing find it useful for other reasons, such as groupthink rebellion against mainstream authority, or entertainment.

    The strawman argument against complementary medicines is to take the most diluted “15C” homeopathetic medicine, prove it to be pure water chemically, then claim it is misleading the public and causing everyone to take useless medicine in place of proven remedies. Part of the problem here is that proven remedies are proven in a way that ignores the placebo benefit, and there is also the problem that pure water has no side-effects, unlike most “proven remedies”. So the comparison can be misleading. If the patients are all prehistoric morons who can’t think for themselves, then the argument would be 100% valid.

    “And here we are, looking down at the homoeopathy spastics in the gutter, next to all manner of misfits and unorthodoxy, writhing in pools of obloquy.” – JimmyGiro

    Orthodoxy is the definition of organized religion, which is anathema to scientists. The professional “scientist” who fits in to an orthodox dogma in exchange for a research grant of thirty pieces of silver, is hardly a scientist. A better name is priest. Example:

    “Lack of boundary conditions: Most well-supported scientific theories possess well-articulated limitations under which the predicted phenomena do and do not apply.” –

    This is the definition of pseudoscience dressed up as a definition of science. The argument is that “every good theory must be wrong beyond certain limits”. So what happens if someone discovers a theory which is correct for all instances, not merely a limited range? Answer: it is censored out as being “wrong”. Let’s give a personal example. Via page 896 of the October 1996 issue of Electronics World, I published a prediction of the cosmological acceleration, a ~ Hc = 7 x 10^{-10} m/s^2 (it was also published in the Feb 1997 Science World, ISSN 1367-6172). The prediction was confirmed by two different teams, including Perlmutter who published in Nature, from automated CCD telescope supernova redshift observations a couple of years after I had submitted my paper to Nature, CQG, and other journals early in 1996.

    The “proper” journals rejected it as “speculative” before confirmation, and as “ad hoc” after publication. The CQG (Classical and Quantum Gravity) journal editor sent me a “peer”-reviewer report saying that the paper was nonsense because it wasn’t based on “superstring theory” (which doesn’t exist, since there are is a landscape of 10^500 metastable stringy vacua, each a different stabilized compactification of 6/7 extra spatial dimensions).

    Both prediction methods used gave the same prediction, but they were entirely unconnected. First, transferring Hubble’s 1929 recession law v = HR into spacetime rather than merely spatial distance R, predicts the acceleration. Second, a quantum gravity theory in which gravity is produced by forces generated by the exchange of gravitons, predicts the correct cosmological acceleration, and completely independently of the v = HR or a ~ Hc prediction. In “scientific” arguments over this, other people always hurl vitrol such as false claims based on ignorance, and then close the discussion without allowing a reply. This includes, unfortunately, those who claim to be outsiders themselves.

    The groupthink-based Wikipedia article on pseudoscience states:

    “A field, practice, or body of knowledge might reasonably be called pseudoscientific when (1) it is presented as consistent with the norms of scientific research; but (2) it demonstrably fails to meet these norms.”

    Problem is, as Professor Paul Feyerabend explained in “Against Method”, norms are invariably wrong and hold back science. Science is not a methodology, but is whatever works. In superstring theory and CO2 AGW theory, we have good examples of things that work in the sense of sucking in money for “research”, while producing no useful output. No core theory falsifiable predictions have come out of superstring. It does generate research funding, science fiction, and numerous false, overblown, or overhyped media spin doctor claims. Similarly, the only use of AGW – besides providing about $1 billion a year in research funds to NASA – is that it massages the egos of the self-righteous, sanctimonious liars. Wikipedia defines pseudoscience as follows:

    “Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but which does not adhere to a valid scientific methodology, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status.”

    In this case, superstring theory and AGW theory are both pseudoscience. Here is an alternative definition of science, from Jerome Y. Lettvin’s “The Second Dark Ages” in the UNESCO Symposium on “Culture and Science”, Paris, 6-10 September 1971 (published in Clarke, “Notes for the Future”, Thames and Hudson, London, 1975, pages 141-150):

    “There are two distinct meanings to the word ‘science’. The first meaning is what physicists and mathematicians do. The second meaning is a magical art, about which the general public has superstition. … What is of harm is the blind faith in an imposed system that is implied. ‘Science says’ has replaced ‘scripture tells us’ but with no more critical reflection on the one that on the other. … I have fear of what science says, not the science that is hard-won knowledge but that other science, the faith imposed on people by a self-elected administering priesthood. … In the hands of an unscrupulous and power-grasping priesthood, this efficient tool, just as earlier, the Final Man, has become an instrument of bondage. … A metaphysics that ushered in the Dark Ages is again flourishing. … Natural sciences turned from description to a ruminative scholarship concerned with authority. … Our sales representatives, trained in your tribal taboos, will call on you shortly. You have no choice but to buy. For this is the new rationalism, the new messiah, the new Church, and the new Dark Ages come upon us.”

  6. TDK says:27th February 2011 at 12:31 pmRight let’s see.

    Advocates of homoeopathy claim that their medicine have an effect above and beyond the acknowledged placebo effect and your counter-examples lead off with …. the placebo effect.

    Says it all really.

    Then you try and widen the discussion by talking about supposed problems with the tests, complimentary medicine in general or definitions of pseudo-science.

    Well done.

  7. TDK says:27th February 2011 at 12:43 pmBTW for the record I don’t believe in homoeopathy but I certainly don’t want to ban it or restrict its availability. If people choose to believe in it, that’s no threat to me. I would agree with James that there is an over-reaction to these ideas.

    Also for the record my wife and I are friends with a couple. He is a solicitor and she a teacher. She earns extra money in her spare time as a homoeopathic practitioner and has the certificate proudly framed. She also believes passionately that mobile phones and electricity pylons cause cancer and … that man-made global warming is not only real but that IPCC is understating the dangers. No bearing on this issue either way but I find it amusing how frequently catastrophism comes in package with sandal wearing woo.

  8. Nige Cook says:27th February 2011 at 3:19 pm“Advocates of homoeopathy claim that their medicine have an effect above and beyond the acknowledged placebo effect …” – TDK

    Claims require evidence, but you’re generalizing without any examples, which seems to be a strawman attack, irrespective of particular cases and dilution factors for “remedies”. The placebo effect (or its opposite) is actually present in all kinds of currently accepted trials, like radiation effects on humans in the RERF study of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The control groups they took was the population beyond say 3.5 km from ground zero, who knew they had received very little radiation. All through the 1950s, the highly irradiated exposed groups within 3.5 km were bombarded with media scare stories that they were all doomed to die from cancer. The 1958 book “Formula for Death” and subsequent books document some the effects of this pro-disarmament radiation scare story propaganda, such as increased stress, depression, smoking, and other effects in the highly irradiated groups.

    Actually the effects of radiation in mammals do show evidence of hormesis for exposure at low dose rates. At Oak Ridge National Lab, Tennessee, in the 1950s, there was the “megamouse” project where millions of mice were exposed at various dose rates to determine long-term effects from radiation. There was a threshold dose rate of 0.5 R/hour (5 mSv/hr) before any genetic effects appeared in female mice, which is 50,000 times natural background! The mechanism for hormesis at low dose rates is the natural DNA repair enzymes like P53, which exist in all cell nuclei repairing single and double strand breaks before somatic or genetic replication. This effect doesn’t appear in short-lived insects and plants like Muller’s fruit flies or corn, which were used to produce the misleading “linear-no threshold” (LNT) legislation for dose limits back in the 1950s. There is some evidence that the whole basis of radiation health physics on doses is wrong, and the correct approach is to limit the dose rate.

    Using your aspirin example, the health consequences are more closely correlated to the number of aspirin you take each day, not the total lifetime dosage. It’s the dose rate, not the dose, that matters. You might be able to take a dose rate of 1 aspirin a week for 10 years (total dose = 520 aspirins) with no effect at all, not even stomach ulcers! But if you took the same dose of 520 aspirins all at once, you’d probably bleed to death. It’s the same with the incredibly high dose rate from the air burst nuclear explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Most of the doses were received from initial fireball radiation over about 20 seconds before the fireball rose high to form the mushroom, so multiple double-strand DNA breaks occurred all at once, resulting in recombination errors when the fragmented DNA was “repaired” by P53 and other repair proteins. This resulted in the higher cancer rate in survivors. If you spread out the dose, the repairs can be done in-step with the damage. Similarly, if you break a vase into thousands of pieces all at once, it’s harder to repair it correctly than if you break it one piece at a time and repair it before the next break occurs!

    What happens with homoeopathy is similar to radiation hormesis where radiation damage to DNA drives the body to devote more resources to DNA repair enzymes, costing more energy but reducing the cancer rate. It’s similar to the over-compensation after regular exercise. If you do too much too infrequently, it can be harmful, but spread out it stimulates a compensation by the body, a biological version of LeChatelier’s principle in chemistry. Disturb an equilibrium, and the system tends to compensate.

    Mathematically, existing medicine and also things like the LNT theory of radiation dose effects and CO2 AGW theory, are naive. They result in a relationship where the effect E is related to dose D by a formula like E = cD (where c is a constant) or for population growth or global warming (with assumed positive feedback from H2O evaporation and increased humidity), E = c*exp(D).

    Nature rarely conforms to such simplistic linear or exponential models, preferring either a “saturation” model, E = c[1 – exp(-D)] or the “pulse” model, E = c[{exp(-aD)} – {exp(-bD)}].

    In the saturation model, for low doses the effect is linear, but for large doses it reaches a maximum limit and then ceases to increase any further.

    In the pulse model, it starts off with a rise that reaches a peak, and then returns to normal with an exponential decay. If you mix two chemicals for an exothermic reaction, the temperature rises to a peak as the reaction progresses, then falls to ambient as the system reaches a stable equilibrium. I’m working on a paper about CO2 effects on temperature, and it seems that this is the correct analogy. Pump CO2 into the atmosphere, and the temperature initially rises a little, but this causes the oceans to gradually warm very slightly, which increases the evaporation rate and cloud cover, which cancels out the temperature rise by increasing earth’s albedo slightly! The same mechanism can result from taking low doses of herbal remedies; you get a slight shift in natural processes, maybe boosting the immune system or the DNA repair enzymes.

  9. Orentago says:24th May 2011 at 10:08 pm“Pump CO2 into the atmosphere, and the temperature initially rises a little, but this causes the oceans to gradually warm very slightly, which increases the evaporation rate and cloud cover, which cancels out the temperature rise by increasing earth’s albedo slightly! ”

    Wrong. Cloud formation is not only dependent upon atmospheric water vapour but also aerosol concentration, which provides condensation nuclei. If not enough condensation nuclei are present then the air becomes supersaturated and cloud formation is inhibited. Furthermore, the various different cloud types produce the albedo effect to different degrees. One must also consider the effect of the clouds reflecting radiation from the ground back towards the Earth.

    Secondly, nature rarely conforms to pulse or saturation models either. With such an enormously complex system, nothing models will also be comparably complicated. Modelling the atmosphere with a couple of exponential functions is greedy reductionism in the extreme.

    As an aside, the IPCC have taken increasing atmospheric aerosol concentrations into account in their models, as well as cloud formation and the albedo affect (see IPCC AR4 WGI), and these negative feedback forcing mechanisms do not counter-balance the effect of atmospheric CO2 rise.

    If this your paper is accepted and published I will buy a (edible) hat and eat it.

    As an honest question, what breed of scientist are you? I ask because you appear to have written two papers on quite different subjects.

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