Evil Oil-Guzzling Bastard Immortalised in Art

Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry, James Delingpole: all winners of major art prizes. I was awarded mine last week by Anglia Ruskin University (formerly Anglia Polytechnic) which I think is a bit like Cambridge (it’s in the same town), though bizarrely its excellence has yet to filter through to the official UK uni rankings, where it’s rated 115th out of a list of 123.

Anyway, the point is, I won. Sort of. I ‘won’ this extremely important prize in the way that Michael Mann, the shifty climate scientist, has been known to claim he ‘won’ the Nobel prize when it was awarded to the IPCC. That is, the prize wasn’t handed to me personally but I did play my part.

What happened was this. Anglia Ruskin staged a ‘Sustainable Art’ competition and the winning entry was a 6ft high mock stone slab (made out of plywood) engraved with the names of six notorious ‘climate deniers’ including me, Christopher Booker and Lord Lawson, no less.

It’s a handsome piece of art, clever too because in ingenious installation-y style a continual stream of symbolic engine oil cascades down the face of the slab, which bears the legend ‘Lest we forget those who denied.’ But I think what probably clinched it wasn’t the design or the technical skill but the impeccable correctness of its politics.

The piece’s creator, a third-year fine art student called Ian Wolter, clearly knows how to please a sustainability prize judging panel. He declared: ‘With this work I envisage a time when the deliberate denial of climate change will be seen as a crime because it hinders progress towards a low-carbon future.’

So young, so certain. I wonder what deep background research led him to form this considered view. Actually, no I don’t, because it’s obvious. He’ll have got it from his science and geography teachers at school; from BBC nature documentaries and news reports; from comedians like Dara Ó Briain and Marcus Brigstocke; from celebrity mathematician Simon Singh, whispery-voiced gorilla-hugger David Attenborough and pouty-mouthed astronomer Brian Cox; from every other article in the Guardian; from the Science Museum in London; from Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth; from his fellow students and university professors; from the ‘97 per cent’ of scientists who, so legend has it, say the science on global warming is settled… .

Never once, in all likelihood, will young Ian ever in his entire life have been put in a position where he has been given intellectual permission even to consider the possibility that the sceptics might have a point. Like a member of the Hitler Youth who knows that Jews are bad because, well everyone knows they are, Ian can scarcely be blamed for thinking as he does. He’s just another helpless stooge of the prevailing culture.

‘Ah but things will change,’ I expect many of you breezily imagine. ‘Sooner or later, we’ll come up with the killer piece of evidence that decides the issue either way. And then we’ll all know exactly where we are and what to do.’

But this isn’t going to happen. The reason I know it’s not going to happen is that that killer evidence is already in, lots of it in fact. We know for certain that despite almost all the computer models’ predictions there has been no global warming for more than 18 years; we know — this is currently the subject of a major investigation by the Global Warming Policy Foundation — that the raw data has been so heavily tampered with that all those ‘hottest year ever’ claims are utterly bogus; we know that ocean acidification is just another myth, that the ‘97 per cent’ figure is a fraud, that all the predictions about species extinction, resource depletion and other green fantasies have been wildly exaggerated.

Yet the green caravan trundles on regardless. I saw this in Rome last week, where I’d gone to cover a visit by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who had come to the Vatican to persuade the Pope that he should join the war on ‘climate change’. A rival conference had been staged by a delegation from the free-market think-tank the Heartland Institute, which wanted to make the counter-argument: that catastrophic man-made global warming theory is unsupported by real-world evidence; that the measures being taken to deal with it, far from helping the world’s poor, are immiserating and impoverishing them still further.

The contrast between the two events could scarcely have been greater. At the Vatican, a hefty international press contingent religiously noted down every word, even though nothing of any interest was said — just the usual pieties about ‘sustainability’ and the urgency of the crisis and the needs of ‘future generations’.

At the Heartland event, on the other hand, a series of fascinating, erudite mini-lectures was delivered by a team including a meteorologist, a physicist, an ex-Nasa man who’d helped devise the landing gear for the Apollo project, and a theologian. But it was all utterly wasted on those few journalists who’d bothered to turn up. They weren’t going to allow a few inconvenient facts to get in the way of the real story: ‘Koch–funded cranks roll in to Rome to try to stop His Holiness saving the world.’

Postscript: since writing this piece I have discovered that Ian Wolter, far from being a pre-pubescent art student with no life experience or intellectual foundation is, in fact, even more depressingly, a mature student with a long, distinguished career in business behind him. Oh dear.

This article originally appeared in The Spectator

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Does no one care about the plight of drowning Samoa? Apparently not…

The Prime Minister of Samoa has launched a heartfelt plea in the Guardian newspaper on behalf of his allegedly drowning Pacific nation. (H/T Bufo 75)

Unless concerted international action is taken to deal with the threat of ‘climate change’, apparently, small islands like his will be “inundated by rising sea levels.”

Tragically, it looks as if this request by the splendidly named Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, is destined to fall on deaf ears.

Even a fair chunk of the Guardian’s impeccably green, left-liberal readership, it seems, is now sufficiently well-informed to appreciate that sea levels aren’t actually rising in any dramatic, significant or unprecedented way, and that the “drowning Pacific islands” meme is just a piece of a Third World blackmail designed to guilt-trip richer Western nations into stumping up more aid.

Here’s one comment:

I’m afraid that, just as was the case with the Maldives story, this is an utter fraud being attempted by a money grubbing politician.Check the facts about what is happening.

And:

So, Mr. Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, just how much money do you want?

And:

And even more to the point, only 7 percent of Samoan land area is below 5m above sea level.So the plea for action for small, vulnerable nations like ours, seems a bit of a stretch as far as Samoa is concerned, even though some other places may be going the way of Atlantis.

Still another commenter points unhelpfully to the fact that most Pacific Islands are in fact growing not sinking.

Read the rest at Breitbart London.

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Why We Can All Stop Worrying about ‘Global Warming’ for a Bit

Three months to go until the UN climate summit in Copenhagen. Three months in which we will be repeatedly assured by climate fear promoters such as Al Gore, George Monbiot, Ed Miliband and the risible Ban Ki-moon that this really is absolutely, definitely, totally and irrevocably the very last chance the world’s leaders will have to save the planet from ManBearPig.

(Just like they said at Rio and Poznan and all the other “let’s see who can rack up the biggest carbon footprint” global shindigs that eco-campaigners insist on staging, the better to stoke up their self-flagellatory eco-guilt).

But, for the global warming deniers among us at least, the panic’s off. Nothing scary or dangerous is going to happen as a result of the Copenhagen summit. It will be a talking shop, abundant with airy platitudes and earnest pieties, but signifying less than ****er all as far as economy-damaging Kyoto-style legislation goes. There will be a political statement of intent. But no binding “agreement”.

Here are few reasons why:

1. A bit like one of those mutant pandas I mentioned yesterday, the science has turned viciously against the warmists. Not that it wasn’t against them before.  But they have their work seriously cut out if they’re ever going to recover from the  speech given at the UN world climate conference in Geneva last week by Professor Mojib Latif of Germany’s Leibniz institute.

National Post columnist Lorne Gunter explains:

“Latif is one of the leading climate modellers in the world. He is the recipient of several international climate-study prizes and a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He has contributed significantly to the IPCC’s last two five-year reports that have stated unequivocally that man-made greenhouse emissions are causing the planet to warm dangerously.”

Yet in Geneva, Latif was forced to admit that all those An-Inconvenient-Truth-style fantasy projections showing global temperatures rising inexorably with C02 levels were wrong. The world is getting cooler, not warming. It will continue to cool, Latif reckons, till 2020 or possibly 2030. By how much he doesn’t know: “The jury is still out.”

Which begs the rather obvious question: if the IPCC’s doomsday computer models didn’t predict this cooling phase, how can we be sufficiently confident in their other assertions to start basing major economic and social policy decisions on them?

2. The Chinese. Spin it how they will, President Hu Jintao’s two-minute speech to the UN yesterday was a massive blow to the Warmists. In classic “Tell the foolish gwailo what they want to hear, then carry on doing exactly what we want” Chinese diplomatic style, Hu Jintao promised “determined action”, while refusing to commit his country to any binding targets.

The Chinese are not stupid. Their priority number one (and two, and three) is economic growth, not assuaging green lobbyists.

3. People just don’t care about “climate change” that much. Environmental purity is a rich person’s luxury and with the recession most people have other priorities. In the latest Bloomberg poll in the US, for example, just 2 per cent of respondents considered “climate change” the most important issue facing the country.

4. Almost everyone knows deep down that the green lobby’s CO2 targets are pie in the sky. Says Stephen Hayward of the American Competitive Institute in WSJ Online

“Carbon dioxide is the result of complete fuel combustion. Apart from still-unproven technologies, there’s no way to remove it from the process. The only way to reduce emissions is to burn less fuel, which means less energy output.

“So, to meet the target the climate campaigners have set, the U.S., Europe and Japan will have to replace virtually their entire fossil-fuel energy infrastructure. For the U.S., the 80% target means reducing fossil-fuel greenhouse-gas emissions to a level the nation last experienced in 1910. On a per-capita basis, we’d have to go back to the level of about 1875.”

5. If anyone’s going to push these crazy measures through it’s President Obama. But, as Terence Corcoran sensibly points out, after the rough ride he’s had with his healthcare proposals, Obama is unlikely to want to outrage the US taxpayer still further.

“Mr. Obama, already fighting charges his medicare reform will boost taxes on the average American family by $3,000, isn’t likely to simultaneously mount an aggressive push for carbon control legislation that will add another $4,000 a year in taxes.”

6. Right, consider this my serious climate change piece for the week. Now, I can go back to trading childish insults. Phew!

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