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Bob Ward says we should shut up!

I’ve just watched the Channel 4 Sky news video clip to be seen here, in which Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, berates Fraser Nelson, editor of the Spectator, thus:

“… it’s remarkable how the so-called sceptics have been using this as a propaganda tool to promote a political end … People with a clear vested interest in creating public confusion because they want to undermine action on climate change, they should shut up and wait until the investigation is done rather than carry on a witch hunt.”

Fraser Nelson took exception to this, in particular because Fraser Nelson thinks that AGW is quite a bit truer than I now think it is. In other words, said Fraser Nelson, he is a true sceptic, rather than a “so-called sceptic”.

However, if Bob Ward had been shouting at someone like me, instead of at Fraser Nelson, as in his own mind he surely was, then he would have had a point. I definitely want the whole AGW thing to collapse in ruins, and suspect that it quite soon may collapse. In the meantime, I definitely do dislike all the regulations and taxes that Bob Ward and co want to see introduced, and I am most definitely using Climategate as a propaganda tool to promote that political end. I certainly prefer the current state of public confusion about climate science to the public unanimity that this confusion has now replaced. Insofar as I had any tiny part in helping to create and spread such confusion, and I did, I am a proud man.

But, as the true object of Bob Ward’s ire, I do have some incidental disagreements with him.
Bob Ward says that it is “remarkable” how people like me are using Climategate to score political points. No it isn’t. And the reason Bob Ward is so alert to the true nature of his politically biased and point-scoring enemies such as me is that he is quite clearly just such a creature himself. He is almost certainly telling lies, while I am sincerely trying to tell the truth. But when it comes to point-scoring and having a political agenda and being keen on propaganda, we are two of a kind.

Rather unpleasantly, Bob Ward says that we anti-AGW-ers should “shut up”. Well, yes, I’m sure he would like that. He and his team are now losing an argument that could end up wrecking all their careers, and he wants that argument to cease. But that is not a proof that it should cease, and of course there is no chance of that happening, now that the internet makes it so hard to shut people up.

Talking of shutting people up, and of the internet, the notion that we anti-AGW-ers should wait, in silence, for a “public inquiry” is also very bizarre. What on earth does Bob Ward think has been in progress on the internet for the last fortnight, if not a gigantic inquiry of the most public kind?

Telling people to “shut up” these days is rather ridiculous, so maybe I am making a bit too much of what is really just silly bluster. On the other hand, shutting people up was what some of the nastiest of those GRU emails were all about, so on second thoughts I think I am not making too much of this phrase. I wonder what kind of teacher Ward is, when teaching students who don’t share his worldview. I wonder what kind of scientist he is when faced with scientific disgreement. Not a nice one, and not a nice one, are my guesses. My guess is that Bob Ward is someone who says “Shut up!” rather a lot. Especially just lately.

I don’t have any “vested interest” in the sense of being paid by anyone to say the things I now say. My vested interest is intellectual rather than economic. Bob Ward’s vested interests, on the other hand, are both intellectual and economic. He stands to lose both an argument and a job if this argument carries on going against him.

Nor am I part of a witch hunt, exactly. A Bob Ward hunt yes, a witch hunt no. As has been said many times, and as is now going to have to be said many times more, the bad thing about the original medieval witch hunts is that those accused of witchcraft did not, on the whole, do the things they were accused of. They did not, for instance, fly across Europe on broomsticks at the dead of night and participate in Walpurgisnacht ceremonies. Lots were accused of this. None actually did this. This was an entirely imaginary crime. However, the victims of the anti-Communist “witchhunts” (sneer quotes there because the phrase was and is deliberately misleading) were, on the whole, guilty as charged. They were accused of being Communists and of being supporters of the vile tyranny that was the USSR, and they mostly were. Certainly many people were, at that time and since, guilty of being Communists and USSR supporters – real Communists, who did exactly the evil things that Communists were accused of. “Witchcraft”, on the other hand, was not actually practiced by anyone.

And now, a quite large number of climate scientists are, I believe, about to be proved guilty of manipulating the science of climate to create both unnecessary climate panic and consequent new global political arrangements that could do huge political and economic harm to the human species. Unlike all those poor medieval witches, most of them are probably once again: guilty as charged. They are green Communists, people who want the exact same global political and economic catastrophe that the earlier Communists worked so hard to achieve, but by using different arguments, different academic and scientific frauds and manipulations, different lies.

The basic problem with what Bob Ward said in his little contretemps with Fraser Nelson is not that Bob Ward is wrong about my motives, and he may even have been right also about Fraser Nelson’s motives. No, Bob Ward’s problem is that what we partisan politicos are saying about him and his fellow climate scientists is probably true. Wishing something to be true does not make it true, but neither does it make it false. What you want to be true sometimes is true. I and my political comrades do indeed want to believe that Bob Ward and his political comrades have been foisting a fraud upon the world, and we want this to be proved, asap. Boy, do we want it! We will rejoice at such an outcome, and absolutely will not be shutting up about the possibility of this, and reasons for hoping for this, in the meantime. But that does not mean that this outcome, if it materialises, will be unjust or untrue.

20 comments to Bob Ward says we should shut up!

  • Alice

    Interesting that the proponents of Alleged Anthropogenic Global Warming rarely want to talk about the science. Instead, they launch into (unscientific) appeals to authority, claims of “scientific consensus” (how do we know there is “scientific concensus”?), and ad hominem attacks on those who disagree.

    If they were real scientists, they would be emphasizing the successful predictions they have made. But they are not real scientists. As is becoming increasingly obvious.

    The scale of the wasted (taxpayer) funds is spectacular. Who even knew that there was a “Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment”? What have they done for us recently?

  • “They are green Communists, people who want the exact same global political and economic catastrophe that the earlier Communists worked so hard to achieve, but by using different arguments, different academic and scientific frauds and manipulations, different lies.”


  • Brian Swisher

    I remember, back in the ’80s, reading an interview with Tomas Borge, Sandinista minister of propaganda. He was asked about the rationale of shutting down opposition media. His reply was that the people, when presented with differing points of view, would be “confused”, and it was better for them to get their information from a single source, i.e., the government…

    Mr. Ward has the same kind of totalitarian mindset…

  • I would like to encourage everyone to follow the link posted above by the ukipwebmaster. These people are shameless – I hope that it’s just because they are in panic.

  • bill-tb

    If the science, and conclusions of man-made global warming FRAUD were TRUE, then a simple experiment would suffice to prove that. All the global climate models, yes every single one of them, use the now proved falsified CRU data set as their start point. That alone would be sufficient for real scientist to doubt their output horror show.

    BUT and it’s a very big BUT … The simple experiment — All of the GCMs predict that CO2 builds up in the atmosphere between +-15 latitude, holds heat in and warms the earth. And here is the very BIG BUTTT — Every single science and meteorology study that went seeking the “Al Gore warm blanket” have come up empty, nothing there, nada, zip, blanket not not found. The hypothesis that CO2 causes warming is therefore falsified.

    In a sane world, that would be the end of it.

  • Public enquiries, eh? Only one problem with them: they don’t work. At least, not as advertised. The one thing they never do is get at the truth. What they do do is to provide the state with the justification for doing whatever it was it wanted to do in the first place. Hutton, Cameron, Cullen: they’re all the same.

    Which presumably is why Ward is so keen on one.

  • Steve

    I too saw the Ward piece. What an ignorant, arrogant bigotted slob. I lack the knowledge to be certain about AAGW but I sure hope it falls so that Ward ends up on the street where he belongs. And where he might meet Brown, Gore, Milliband, Mann, Jones ….

  • Those of us who have been following the subject knew quite a while ago that AGW was nonsense.
    The CRU data release (we don’t know whether it was a hack, whistleblower or plain incompetence – the latter quite likely I think) just confirms to the general public that all isn’t well in climate science.

    BTW the new term for the AGW crowd is “co2mmunists”

  • “co2mmunists” – awesome!

  • Pat

    Public inquiry- wonderful idea- if genuine. Does all the public get to see all the data-sets, and all the calculations?
    It occurs to me that anyone sane buying a house would want their own solicitor checking the deeds, and their own surveyor checking the structure. No- one would read the estate agent’s description, put down the asking price, and ask meekly when they might have possession.
    Since the asking price for AGW theory is that my grandchildren live in poverty, and less fortunate grandchildren will suffer worse, I won’t buy until I see the data, and the calculations, and have people I trust check them over.
    The fact that the possessors of the four (two weeks ago) or three(last week) or two (now) datasets have refused to publish, combined with the fact that no-one has willingly published their calculations doesn’t heighten my belief. And the fact that the two sets of calculations released- one via US senate action and the other via a leak- prove to be at best faulty doesn’t giver me confidence that the rest is all Kosher.
    All in all I think it would be saner to present an estate agent with the cash he’s asking for (no solicitor, no surveyor) than it would be to accept AGW theory.

  • Wasn’t my invention Alisa. Somebody at Wattsupwiththat I think.

    Could stand much wider dissemination though. We need good, punchy easy to remember slogans to beat the watermelons. Which happened in Australia in a couple of by elections last weekend.

  • Roue le Jour

    My understanding of the phrase “witch hunt” is that it involves making accusations which cannot be disproved, i.e. assertions that cannot be falsified, so the accusation is sufficient to convict. (See paedophilia, if you’re not fiddling, you’re grooming.)

    Is it then Bob Ward’s position that AGW cannot be falsified?

  • Is it then Bob Ward’s position that AGW cannot be falsified?

    Obviously. If he is not fiddling, he is grooming.

  • It was on Sky News not Ch4 and although the Speccie embedded it, like many others, without credit, it was uploaded by The Daily Politics.

  • Laird

    The Japanese apparently are now disavowing the AGW hypothesis, properly likening it to “ancient astrology”.

  • “shut up and wait until the investigation is done” – Would that the same standard were applied to the petty tyrants now convening in Copenhagen. But no, from them we’ll hear a great deal about how our time is running out and how we must take action NOW before it’s too late!

  • is there any way we can fill the conference room at Copenhagen with CO2? We could see if it gets any warmer.

  • Someone please give mandrill a beverage of his choice!

  • Rich Rostrom

    I think the “witch hunt” analogy is excellent – for the AGW panic. Authorities claim a grave danger, and prescribe drastic remedies, on the basis of unreliable information. When they are questioned, they accuse the questioners themselves of being in the service of evil!