Like everyone in my part of the blogosphere, I am very excited about last night’s Channel 4 Documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle. I also recorded it to my TV hard disc.
The two most interesting claims in it, for me, were: that the Global Warming CO2 link is that that Global Warming causes more CO2 rather than the dominant notion now (as expounded by Al Gore) that more CO2 causes Global Warming, and: that Maggie Thatcher set the whole recent Global Warming pseudo- (if pseudo- it be) science funding bandwagon in motion because it was a stick to beat coal miners with. Brilliant. You want to explain what a mad cow Thatcher was? Denounce her take on Global Warming as cynical bollocks.
What was so excellent, for me, about this show is not that it totally convinced me (I have had enough experience with arguing to know that changing your mind is not something you should do lightly and impulsively) but that it sketched out with absolute clarity the anti-Gore (for want of a better phrase) case. It’s the sun what does it. Sun temperature change, earth temperature change, CO2. That’s the direction of the causes, not CO2 earth temperature change. They are correlated, just as Al Gore said. But Gore got the causation the wrong way round.
I also finally understand the point I have kept hearing about sun spots. Hitherto, sun spots have, when being sold to me as the explanation of all this, sounded to me like they are supposed to cause things. Wrong. They are merely a symptom of what does cause things, namely big change in the sun as a whole. The sunspots are a symptom of the sun warming, not the cause of anything on earth in themselves.
Nevertheless, this show certainly made me more of an anthropogenic Global Warming atheist, and less of a mere agnostic on the subject. I will be watching out for whatever arguments for and against that I encounter during the next few weeks and months. I will, for instance, be watching out for what happens to the academics featured in the show who were brave enough to put their heads above the parapet. That we now have a whole heroes gallery of sun-worshippers (so to speak), whose general intellectual demeanour and record we can now scrutinise, is an immense help. Presumably there will be (have already been) lots of character assassinations, attempted and maybe successful.
And who is Martin Durkin, the guy who made the programme? Ah yes, Living Marxism (that was what they called themselves when I first got to know these weirdos. Before that they were RCP. Equals Revolutionary Communist Party).
Living Marxism were one of those creepy outfits that then said you should only refer to them as LM, without saying what LM used to stand for. Sort of like BAT (who were absolutely not British American Tobacco you understand, definitely not, no relation whatsoever at all blah blah blah), only political. Then when that was greeted with the derision and contempt that it deserved, they dumped even the LM crap, and called themselves the Institute of Ideas. I do not trust them further than I can spit them.
But, for their own bonkers cult reasons, they are very ambitious and worldly wise, rather like the Scientologists (Claire Fox, for instance, is one of them. Frank Furedi is another). Generally, what they say is, strangely, well worth listening to. They speak truth to power, because they are insane and want one day to be power, and do Marx knows what to us.
RCP/Living Marxism/etc. is one of the great conveyor belts of libertarianism from the libertarian ghetto here on earth to the real world, also here on earth, via the planet Zarg. Their Zargian take on the whole Class War thing is that the Class War is still raging between the nobs and the yobs, just like Marx said, but Zargians explain it differently to the usual way. Instead of Al Gore et al being described as repentant nobs on the side of the yobs, the RCP/Living Marxism/etc. people describe Al Gore et al as unrepentant nobs, foisting their latest line of bullshit on the toiling masses, the Working Stiffs of the World who Have Nothing To Lose But Their Chains. RCP/Living Marxism/LM/Institute of Ideas/Whatever will lead the Working Stiffs of the World to victory, and then put Marxist lizards in power or whatever the hell they have in mind.
All of this will now be explained with great enthusiasm by Al Gore et al, the central claim being: These People are Bonkers and we can safely ignore what they say!!!
My answer: These People are indeed Bonkers and Not To Be Trusted (i.e. warmed over and (not very) secretly unrepentant Marxists), but meanwhile, what do you say to their arguments? This particular clutch of notions sounds rather persuasive to me.
Not the least of the fun is going to be that a bunch of warmed over Marxists (Al Gore et al) are going to have to explain that another bunch of warmed over Marxists are bonkers, and are going to disagree about whether they should play the Marx card. I personally agree completely that being a Marxist, still, is strong evidence that you should be taken away in a van. But how will other Marxists with a different take on Marxism handle this argumentative opportunity?
But all that is a digression. The truth is the truth. If a mad, not-to-be-trusted person says something true, there is still the matter of its truth to be considered. Pointing out that the person saying the truth is mad and not-to-be-trusted does not make the truth untrue. Point of logic. Besides which, although the RCP/LM crowd are from the planet Zarg, that doesn’t mean that the scientists they have rounded up are likewise Zargians. They are almost certainly, almost entirely, bona fide earth people.
The arguments in this documentary are now going to be the new orthodoxy of the global right wing, anti-regulation, anti-high-taxes, anti-road-pricing, fuck-you-Karl, fuck-you-Tarqin crowd, who will now echo-chamber these arguments with their blogs into a roar that will deafen the world, in other words these arguments will be adopted by a huge number of earth people. Al Gore et al are going to have to explain why these arguments are nonsense, or, despite the fact that they have won every battle so far, they will lose their war.
I await developments with fascination.
UPDATE: try here for some responses from the opposition.
Cross posted from www.brianmicklethwait.com