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The dismantling of CAGW continues

Spring is in the air, and there is a spring in the step of the climate skeptic blogs these days, the two big ones on my radar being Bishop Hill and Watts Up With That. Peter Gleick‘s trickery, already written about here by Natalie Solent, combined with the willingness of so many on his team to try to promote him as some kind of hero rather than condemn him as the failed fraudster that he is (see also this posting about Michael Mann), means that although climate skepticism hasn’t won, it continues to win. Slowly but surely, C(atastrophic) A(thropogenic) G(lobal) W(arming) is being reduced from “science” to a racket.

Declarations of complete victory are surely premature. Much depends on how you define victory, and who or what you consider to be the enemy. If you care only about scientific truth, but not about the world being littered with damaging and expensive bureaucracies dedicated to perpetuating and enforcing lies, you may well indeed believe this battle to be nearly over. If those bureaucracies (to say nothing of the larger financial and ideological interests they serve) still trouble you, as they do me, you will regard the war as hardly having begun.

Some are saying that continuing to argue about the mere science of it all is a distraction from the more serious task of unmasking the motives and machinations of all those personages to whom all this fraudulent science has been so useful. I disagree. I say that showing this “science” to be dishonest leads naturally on to the question of who patronised it and to what end, given that the mere truth of things was emphatically not the only thing that concerns all those concerned. If the science of CAGW was now, still, universally accepted as honest, the underlying intentions of the various factions and characters responsible for foisting it upon the world would not now be attracting nearly so much scrutiny.

An immediate next task for the skeptic tendency is to itemise and publicise, in greater detail than hitherto, who is making money out of CAGW, a process that is already well under way. The longer term goal is to unmask the politics of it all. The bigger goal behind this hoax (and many others) was, and remains, to turn the entire world into a corrupt tax-and-spend superstate, run for the pleasure and enrichment of anti-progress, screw-the-poor-in-the-name-of-the-poor, global despots. That many very useful and desperately sincere – very useful because so desperately sincere – idiots are and always have been involved in this project is not in question. These idiots need to be challenged intellectually rather than merely denounced as crooks and tyrants, although showing them that crooks and tyrants is who they are really supplying aid and comfort to may also help to straighten them out.

In the post, and I should have read this book months ago: Watermelons. James Delingpole has been a key figure in ensuring that the CAGW ruckus (and the Climategate story in particular) escaped from the ghetto of blogs like the ones I linked to above, into the general arena of political discussion, and even to infect parts of the general public, now so curious to know why their heating bills are going ballistic. The thing about Delingpole is that not only has he done a fine job publicising the various scientific criticisms of the CAGW faith. He also understands what set the whole thing in motion in the first place. He gets the money of it. Above all, he gets the politics of it. When I have read this book, I’ll surely want to say more about it here.

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24 comments to The dismantling of CAGW continues

  • There will be no victory. Just as not even the collapse of the Soviet Union ended Marxism and its derivatives, so this will continue unimpinged by failure.

    You can only keep fighting on…

  • In this age of the internet, we have a tool to see in a few seconds who said what about the whole AGW scam and use to it as a weapon with an ease that we sadly did not have immediately after the fall of the Soviet Union.

    Also in the aftermath of the Cold War, many good folks were willing to be magnanimous in victory as we were all just glad we managed to get through it all without blowing up the world…

    This was an error of enormous proportions.

    What SHOULD have happened after the fall of the Soviets and the withdrawal of the Red Army from Central and Eastern Europe was NOT a period of reconciliation but rather a period of retribution and punishment more akin to the de-Nazification era in Germany following WW2.

    Likewise people later revealed to have been aiding Moscow in the west covertly should have spent years in jail and been banned from ever holding political office for life.

    Forgiveness should only EVER be a possibility after repentance and most of the socialists who went on to have respectable political careers post-fall repented nothing. They did not deserve the mercy they were shown and we are paying the price for that today.

    It is hard to see why the Greens should gain the same forbearance given the lack of a prospect of global nuclear annihilation. The boosters of the massive statist programmes advocated based on AGW should hounded with their words for the rest of their lives and discredited at every opportunity.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I have a copy of the Delingpole book, one of many that I need to read and review.

    You are right about Delingpole – he’s been excellent and ensuring that the expose of the frail nature of the alarmist case has been given wide coverage.

    Naturally, the AGW types (Monbiot and the rest) hate and fear these people. A good sign.

  • Stonyground

    I think that CAGW believers hate those that they call “deniers” because they genuinely believe that deniers are hampering attempts to save our world from thermageddon. It doesn’t seem to have entered their conciousness that using massive subsidies to litter the world with windmills and solar panels cannot possibly work as a way of reducing CO2 emissions. Even if the dire predictions of the IPPC were correct, a much better strategy would have been to put the money aside and use it to deal with problems as and when they occurr.

  • mdc

    Do you really believe that CAGW is, say, 99% sure to not be happening? I can understand belief it isn’t 99% sure to be real, but you’re over-egging the pudding if you think there’s been any really solid falsification.

  • Laird

    mdc, can you say “hockey stick”? What would you consider to be “really solid falsification”?

  • mdc

    A thousand years of weather data beamed in from the future. At least, for a 99% certainty.

    I’d go for 90-5% if there were a solid mechanism for negative feedback to CO2 forcing with right magnitude to cancel a lot of the claimed effect. This is plausible, and there is at least one candidate, but afaik it doesn’t exist right now.

  • Slartibartfarst

    @mdc: Do you really believe that CAGW is, say, 99% sure to not be happening? I can understand belief it isn’t 99% sure to be real, but you’re over-egging the pudding if you think there’s been any really solid falsification.

    Surely this is an an absurd question. Even if you could measure perceptual certainty of belief, it could not signify anything useful, since belief is irrational (requires no proof) by definition.

    However, it is a different matter in the case of the falsification of the ifamous “hockey stick” model and IPCC’s infamous “data” and IPCC reports. Falsification in that case is not a matter of belief but of fact, proven not only by the perpetrators of the falsehoods in their own correspondence in Climategate 1.0 and 2.0 emails, but also other points of information – including, for example, the subsequent statistical investigations about the “hockey stick”, and revelations of the truth about glaciers not “racing to the sea”, and the deliberate altering/corruption of statistical raw data to make analysis of it fit the theory, and more recently Peter Gleick’s confession to fraud.

    So, Laird’s point is correct.
    But none of this will necessarily change the confirmation bias of @mdc. Psychologists tell us that this is because we tend to believe what we want to believe, including lies/untruth.

    “Lie to me, baby.”

  • mdc

    I don’t want the world to be facing a potential disaster; I’m not a lunatic. Equally I don’t want to die, but that doesn’t mean I believe I won’t.

    The problem for the sceptic case is this: the warming effect of CO2, at a basic physical level, is known with certainty. The real question, and the current grey area, is what effect do the forcings have? The “concensus” view is that the forcings amplify the basic CO2 warming by about 2x. If instead they halve it, CO2 isn’t much of a problem.

    This is really the only ground on which a sceptical case can be made, and while it isn’t necessarily bad ground, there’s hardly much solid there right now. The predictions of the warmist models not panning out in what is climatalogically the ultra-short term is indicative, but it’s not enough for much certainty.

    The emails, fwiw, are largely irrelevant in case of “climategate”, and entirely irrelevant in case of “Heartlandgate”/”Fakegate”. Those are political scandals, not scientific ones.

  • RAB

    No mdc they are scientific scandals, I don’t remember Mann and Gleick claiming to be politicians amongst their other manifest falsehoods do you?

    Funny isn’t it that the only thing that can be taxed, Co2, is claimed to be at the root of presumed global catastrophe. Follow the money, as the saying goes.

    Can you (or anyone else) explain the Ice Ages that covered most of North America And Europe and could have had nothing to do with mankinds intervention whatsoever? And what caused them to receed?

    And what’s wrong with a bit of warming anyway? It’s a bloody sight better than freezing to death. Who handed round the snapshot of 1956 and said that was the ideal for the world’s climate, and we should set the thermostat at that for evermore?

    The current CO2 levels in our atmosphere are 390ppm, the CO2 levels in the Cambrian period were 7000ppm. The planet did not burst into flames and extinguish all life forms, on the contrary, there was the biggest increase in life this planet has ever experienced.

    Call me Alfred E Newman, but “What? Me? Worry?”

  • RRS

    Organized control of nature in a real sense depends less on the possibility of knowing nature than it does on the possibility of knowing the accuracy of other men’s knowledge of nature, and their powers of using this knowledge.
    Frank Knight in Risk, Uncertainty and Profit Part III, Chap X

  • J.M. Heinrichs

    The Delinquent Teenager may be of interest to some.


  • manuel II paleologos

    I mostly agree with mdc.

    The important argument here is about the idiocy and cost of the proposed mitigations, not about the underlying science, as Lomborg, Lawson and others realised a long time ago.

    So yes there’s lots of uncertainty over cloud cover, ocean currents etc., but all the Climategate and Hockey Stick incidents proved is that many professional geography students are morons – well, we knew that.

    If you focus with solid reasonable arguments about the relative costs and effectiveness of mitigations, the underlying uncertainty of the science comes out all by itself. You are picking the wrong fight.

  • Stonyground

    The alarmists are claiming that they can predict the future with such complete certainty that anyone who questions their assertions is denounced as a “Denier” who is as anti science as a creationist. Predicting the future is so notoriously difficult that history is littered with failed attempts to do so, many of these failures seemed to rest on solid scientific grounds at the time.

  • Laird

    Not true, Manuel. To focus on “the relative costs and effectiveness of mitigations” is to assume the answer. That’s a third-order argument; you’re putting the cart far in front of the horse. The first order question is not whether the global climate is changing (it always has and always will), but whether human activity is having any material effect on it. If the answer is no (which I believe to be the case) then you don’t even reach the “mitigation” issue. If the answer is yes, then the question becomes the magnitude of that effect and whether it is good or bad for humans. Only after you have concluded that the effects are bad do you start discussing “mitigation”, and conducting cost-benefit analyses. So far we haven’t even satisfactorily answered the first question; the existing climate models are bunk and the data has been largely fudged or corrupted.

  • Alisa

    Of course it is all about politics. Politics by definition deal with any number of “underlying issues” (i.e. anything of any concern to more than one human being): it can be science, or morality, or history, or you name it. Every time we are dragged into a discussion on the actual substance of one of these “underlying issues”, we are playing into the hands of politicians, both the professional ones and the amateurs (the latter often having a day job as scientists, or clerics, or historians). And so, for example, it becomes a discussion on whether contraception is good or bad for women’s health, or whether a smoker knew or didn’t know that cigarettes can be addictive, or whether humans do or do not cause GW merely through our existence. Most of the time these are the wrong discussions, with the correct discussion being whether these issues should even have a place within the realm of politics.

    That’s ‘most of the time’. Some times we are forced into a “wrong” discussion, because of the need to expose politicians (both professional and the amateurs) as liars, and lying as an integral part of the nature of politics. However, it is important to not lose sight of this only being a tactical diversion, and to keep the eye on the ball of the larger goal: that of getting politics out of as many “underlying issues” as possible.

  • mdc

    RAB: Mann and Gleick are scientists but the emails had very little to do with science in the former case and nothing in the latter case. I can well believe they’re heavily personally invested in the CAGW party line and even that they would twist evidence to support it, but that doesn’t mean their position is wrong. At a basic level the CO2 warming effect is undeniable, and the effect of forcings is at best unclear. I’d give them a good chance of being wrong, but not 99% or whatever I would need to write an article predicting impending “dismantlement” of CAGW.

    I’m not trying to make a case for taxation or any other sort of state control. You’ve got me confused for a troll from another site; I’m a regular reader of this blog and only comment on the rare occasions I disagree with something.

    Existence of prior climatological changes isn’t evidence against CAGW; there are other mechanisms that can affect the climate and this isn’t controversial.

    Warming may or may not be bad over-all, but it will be bad for at least some people some of the time. And it may be bad over-all.

    CO2 gives a logarithmic, not a linear response in warming. At 7000ppm we wouldn’t expect 20x the warming of 350ppm.

    manuel II paleologos: I agree. Even with the “concensus” effects fully accepted, Stern was only able to justify very large spending by fudging the discount rate. On the other hand some very effective mitigation methods would also be very cheap, like moving electricity generation primarily to nuclear.

  • Tedd

    What Alisa said.

  • RAB

    mdc, I have never thought of you as any kind of troll, I have no idea how you inferred that.

    “Existence of prior climatological changes isn’t evidence against CAGW; there are other mechanisms that can affect the climate and this isn’t controversial.”

    I’m not saying that either. Of course mankind’s emmissions are having some effect, but the real questions is, how much? My opinion is miniscule. And those prior changes of warming cooling, ice ages ice free, are cyclical as far as our geological records show, but as yet no explanation for these catastrophic events. Because if the whole of north America and most of Europe being unihabitable under two miles of ice sheet isn’t catastrophic, I’d like to know what is, short of total man made nuclear Armegeddon.

    Warming may or may not be bad over-all, but it will be bad for at least some people some of the time. And it may be bad over-all.

    No where near as bad as cooling. The oldest human burial remains in Britain (possibly the whole of Europe) were discovered in a cave in Gower South Wales. The deceased fed on Rhino’s and antelope. They are 37,000 years old. His ancestors didn’t get back to pay their respects for 27,000 years. Please explain the coming and going of ice ages and I’ll be happy to believe that a 2c rise in temperature will cause global catastrophe. I get that in a single day… oh I forgot that’s Weather, according to the jumped up Geography teachers, not Climate.

    The believe of the Warmists in their computer models (garbage in garbage out) is extraordinary. They seem not to care for the real raw data at all, or will fiddle it about to fit their purposes and belief, oh and the next grant cheque.

    So to conclude, if the world really did believe that man made CO2 was the sole problem that would destroy this Planet, why have we instituted an artificial market in carbon credits that are supposed to limit our output, but never will because that artificial market expects the producers of carbon to overspend and have to pay them money for the privilege, making the controllers of that market very rich, instead of banning all carbon emmissions per se?

  • manuel II paleologos

    I can see your point Laird.

    I suppose I’m discussing tactics rather than strategy. If you try and press a Warmist on specific mitigations (e.g. if you built a space sunshield, how big does it need to be?) you quite quickly get to the point where it’s quite clear to both sides that no one has any clue. The uncertainty around the data and models becomes their problem.

    If, on the other hand, you simply ridicule them, then any kind of plausible proof of any man-made warming, no matter how trivial, is undermining your position.

    Lindzen, Lomborg and all that lot don’t try and claim that there really is no man-made impact; they point out that the scale of that impact and the efficiency of any “mitigations” are unknown, and often exaggerated, and that spending trillions on them is foolish.

  • Laird

    Fair point, manuel. It is certainly possible to have a reasonable discussion premised upon “assuming that there is global warming, and that it caused/exacerbated by human activity”. One can then indulge in speculation (which is all that it would be) about cost-benefit analysis and mitigation tactics. But such a discussion would be a pretty sterile affair, and I can’t imagine it would be particularly enjoyable or productive.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    My personal hitlist of memes to be taken down or put under serious and proper scientific investigation:

    CAGW (in process, good odds of success)
    Keynesian/fiat-money economics
    human neurological uniformity (wait til the genetic evidence becomes more widespread and publicised)
    HIV hypothesis (sure, call me a kook)

  • Alisa

    Lindzen, Lomborg and all that lot don’t try and claim that there really is no man-made impact; they point out that the scale of that impact and the efficiency of any “mitigations” are unknown, and often exaggerated, and that spending trillions on them is foolish.

    But that doesn’t make as much as a dent in the warimists’ position: they just tell you that “mere” money cannot be an issue when the survival of the human species is at stake. That’s why in my opinion these arguments are pointless most of the time – it’s like arguing with a religious person about the existence of God. The real argument should be whether religion should be politicized, regardless of God’s existence or the lack of it.

  • Laird

    Don’t declare victory too quickly. They won’t go gentle into that good night.