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Andrew Neil on the global warming issue

Andrew Neil, former Sunday Times editor, now TV pundit and all-round-media mogul and stirrer, has a fine column here about the latest developments surrounding the scientific credibility, or lack thereof, of the IPCC.

I notice that the Times (of London)’s front page splash is on the unfolding scandal of what sort of data has been concealed as inconvenient to the AGW alarmists. As some of us have noted in recent weeks, the MSM has been a very slow – to put it politely – to pick up on this issue. But not now. The other night, the issue even figured on the evening news on the BBC’s flagship news channel.

Of course, it is unclear how far the effect of these stories will go. The other day, chatting to an investment manager who was talking about a climate change fund he was promoting, I casually mentioned the University of East Anglia scandal, and he gave me a funny look. The problem is that a lot of money is now tied up with this AGW stuff, not to mention a lot of political credibility.

All of which proves a point that the new media forms are now breaking stories that could and should have been broken in the days of yore. The internet is having an effect. I’d even go so far as to say that one of the reasons why Barack Obama cannot count on fawning coverage any more is because, while the MSM was in adoration mode, the internet and related channels ensured that the less flattering aspects of his administration got attention. And sooner or later, people noticed.

27 comments to Andrew Neil on the global warming issue

  • JP

    Good stuff.

    Re that investment manager, you would be doing him a favour if you actually warned him about all the shit that will eventually, and quite soon, be hitting his fan. All that has to happen is that the name of his fund gets known about, and blogged about. Google searches will do the rest, and his week will be badly spoiled. As you say, a lot of money is riding on this, and a lot of that money is going to be lost.

    Lots of bets based on AGW assumptions, are now, surely, going very bad.

    Or am I getting this entirely wrong? You’re the expert here. I’d love your further reactions. At your leisure.

    I think the problem this guy has is thinking that because he hasn’t been covered in shit yet, he never will be. But, when it comes to taking people down on the back of Climategate, it is a target rich environment, and the relatively few bloggers doing the research hardly know where to start. Little guys like your guy are very low on the list. But, they’re on the list. Plus, as the bigger targets start to crash, his investors will start to notice, and the shit will come at him from another direction.

    Like I say, I don’t know how all this works, so please say if I am making any sense.

  • Frank S

    The fan is certainly busy at the moment. This whole shameful episode (I refer to climate alarmism) of shoddy science and excellent PR has many lessons in it about human frailties and tendencies. Climate science is in a primitive condition, with many disciplines contributing in a situation of inadequate theory, ridiculously inadequate computer models, and, in the last 30 years or so, a lot of political interest. The modest scientific steps feasible within each discipline are taken over by others and dreadfully misused. Albert Gore’s film ‘Inconvenient Truth’ is a case in point, being full of lies and deceptions. Yet it became promoted for universal use in schools in the UK (complete with, later, a legal judgement warning of the inherent corruption of science in the film). The financiers naturally follow any bandwagon where many tens of billions of dollars have been spent in studies and agitation alone in the States . So far, despite this spending, no convincing evidence has been produced for CO2 variations being an important or even a detectable influence on recent climate variations. Indeed the levels in the air seem better regarded as a response to, rather than a driver of, climate variations. The human contribution, at around 3 or 4% is of course of minor interest, even if some detectable effect of CO2 is conceded. Despite this, we have major investments, carbon trading, draconian energy legislation, and catchphrases about climate tripping from the lips of all and sundry. A proper reckoning seems unlikely given the scale of red-facedness it would involve. So let’s hope that fan keeps on spinning and dishing out inconvenient truth, as well as ordure, on and around at least some of the targets.

  • RW

    As the revelations keep coming, the CO2 alarmists’ position is becoming more and more untenable. I’m reminded of cartoon characters running over the edge of cliffs… But the juggernaut had a great deal of inertia and, as you point out, there is a lot of mney and political prestige at stake.

    Meanwhile, here is a beautiful description of the ecology of atolls and of the real threats to them.

  • Mr. Xyz


    A relatively tame Hitler parody video

    “As chief operating officer for the cabal of Billionaires who control the global warming scam, Hitler quickly realizes the long range implications of “Glaciergate”.”

    Glaciergate: Hitler’s Last Straw


  • RAB

    I bet Al Gore wishes he had never invented the Internet now, doesn’t he? 😉

  • Alice

    Do a Google search on AIDS back in the days of the George HW Bush and Clinton Administrations. There was scientific concensus. There was big funding for research. There were extravagant claims – we were going to lose an entire generation as the Great Heterosexual AIDS Epidemic exploded.

    Didn’t happen.

    Yet there were no apologies. The subject was tastefully kicked under the rug, and the Usual Suspects moved on.

    That’s what is likely to happen with “Climate Change”. The funds will dry up, and scientists will look elsewhere for money. Activists will find another drum to beat.

    Will there be any lessons learned? Not unless those who really believe in science make a point of keeping on kicking the offenders while they are down, and then repeatedly flogging the horse after it is dead.

  • nemesis

    RW at January 28, 2010 02:07 PM:
    ” I’m reminded of cartoon characters running over the edge of cliffs”
    Maybe if the earth is flat – they could just jump off the edge ?

  • Alice, aren’t you forgetting something?

  • Stonyground

    I think that the climate scare is very interesting when put into the context of scare stories of the past. These scares all seem to follow a similar pattern in that we are told that some imminent disaster is about to befall us. Next there is a period of hysteria and demands for governments to take action. Some government action ensues which costs tons of money and achieves nothing as the disaster was never going to happen anyway. Eventually the public and the media get bored with it, move on and forget about it.

    If it turns out that the climate scare is just that, a scare, is it really possible that it will simply blow over and be forgotten just as previous scares have done? Climate Change, or Global Warming as it used to be called, has been a major issue for far longer than previous scares and we have been bombarded with it almost constantly from every available media outlet. It will be interesting to watch the fall out if the bubble does burst.

  • Alice

    “Alice, aren’t you forgetting something?”

    Undoubtedly. Unfortunately, I forget many things. Which one did I forget here?

  • Camryn

    FYI – I can report from California (a bastion of AGW fanatics) that the scandal hasn’t appeared in the MSM in any noticeable way at all.

  • Alice: something about a certain UK media outlet?:-)

  • Jerry

    Stony –

    Read Scared to Death by Booker & North.

    There have been a series of ‘one after another’ ‘scares’ that started very small and then was fed upon and magnified by the MSM ( which is the VAST majority of people’s main source of ‘information’ ).

    ‘Climate Change’ will die a very slow, relatively quiet death. It will NEVER be acknowledged as a scam or mistake or anything else by the MSM and it’s supporters.
    What will hasten its demise is ANOTHER baseless scare with which to frighten the masses and thereby take more of their money and gain more control over them. ( God help us PLEASE government do SOMETHING to protect us the way you have so successfully done in the past. Here here take my money and tell me where to go and what to say and what to eat and and and … do ANYTHING…just SAVE US !!! /so)

    ‘We’ve discovered an asteroid that will hit the earth
    ( in about 40 years – long after I’m gone and have milked everyone for every cent I can ) and if we don’t start spending TRILLIONS of dollars TODAY to build bunkers and store water and and and – there simply won’t be enough TIME to get everything that need to be done done !!

    That kind of bull.

    Environmentalist, greenies, socialists, SOMEBODY thought the world was finally ready for this ‘crisis’ which would be the pinnacle of power/money grab schemes and that is ONE reason it has lasted this long. Others are vastly increased scientific ignorance, apathy and the desire for SOMEONE to TAKE CARE OF US.
    60 years ago most of these loons would have been laughed out of the room.

    Same with our current ‘president’. Somehow, someway, some group thought the U.S. was ready for a full blown socialist president and with ‘proper packaging’ we now have this incompetent boob who has never accomplished anything in his life ( except perhaps blowing smoke up other people’s ….)

    He, however, along with ‘climate change’ will one day be nothing more than a portrait somewhere and an unpleasant memory !!!

  • “…something about a certain UK media outlet?:-)”

    A pox on the BBC!

    As long as the climate-IPCC scandals don’t find their way into the top stories sections of Google and Yahoo news, then the commies will keep trying to hide the decline of their AGW cult.

  • Alice

    Thanks, Alisa & Mike, for setting me straight.

    We may have to go all Orwell on this and schedule a weekly hate session!

  • Edmund Burke

    This is moving beyond the blogosphere. See Der Spiegel(Link)
    The authors are major figures in the IPCC.

  • Mike

    I saw the Times yesterday, and right next to its reporting page on this issue there was an editorial about why it really doesn’t matter, the science is settled, everything is “robust” the consensus still stands, move along nothing to see here…

    the Times has just turned into the Guardian light. Just look at its fawning adoration of Obama and its repetition of DNC “lines to take” memes as objective fact, particularly the one about Republicans being “obstructionist” and somehow “blocking” Healthcare (a particularly ridiculous assertion given the distribution of seats in Congress.

  • I DID idly wonder if the Uk government’s upgrading of the terror threat to “Super Duper Scary” the other day was anything to do with this.

  • Stonyground

    Jerry, it was reading Scared to Death by Booker & North that started me off thinking about Climate Change against the background of previous scares.

    Another interesting book in a similar vein is Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay. First published in 1841, this book shows that there is nothing new about these scare stories becoming widely believed and then quickly forgotten.

  • Frank S

    I’d suggest ‘The Hockey Stick Illusion’ as a good read, one which lifts the lid on one particularly sordid burst of scientific deception and intrigue in the area of so-called ‘climate science’.

  • FJ Harris

    Little sign that the US media is taking note of the fraud. Our leadership is moving forward, stiff upper lip, and all that, “got to cage the beast carbon”. Ideas flooding out of our best thinkers, pump the stuff into deep caverns, out into space through hole in the ozone.
    My own idea is a form of tar paper, hung about like fly strips, that absorbs carbon. Very cost effective, but unattractive in upscale homes and offices.

  • Kate

    This might help to explain the position of the BBC, the Environment Agency, other Government and some Universities.


    “The group currently has over 50 members, including some of the largest pension funds and asset managers in Europe, and represents assets of around €4trillion. A full list of members is available on the membership page”.

  • Paul Marks

    Of course the MSM is still acting as a propaganda arm for the regime of President Barack Obama.

    For example, today the BBC broadcast his full speech on the budget (I can not remember any other President getting similar treatment by the BBC).

    And for days all the “mainstream” media have been going on about the “freeze” in government spending.

    There is no “freeze” – in fact Barack Obama is continuing to demand the largest increase in government spending in peacetime history.

    This is on top of the almost doubling of government spending that he has already pushed through.

    There are also vast tax increases requested – on everything from getting rid of the decuctablity of charitable gifts (so much for civil society – the “independent sector”) to the deductability of home loan payments (a tax increase – whatever the Economist magazine says).

    And many other tax increases also.

    But unless a person watches Fox News (on cable or sat) or reads the Wall Street Journal such news will not reach them.

    Other than via the internet.

  • Paul Marks

    Almost (but not quite) needless to say – one of the few cuts in Barack Obama’s nearly four TRILLION Dollar budget is withdrawing funding from the nuclear waste repository in Nevada (as a sop to Harry Reid).

    Of course without the insane government regulations this place for nuclear waste would not be needed – but there is no move to get rid of the regulations.

    So all the talk of allowing the expansion of nuclear power is “hot air”.

    Barack Obama does not really believe in “global warming” (otherwise he would not stab nuclear power in the back) – it is all windmill and solar panel nonsense (stuff that will make no real difference to C02 emissions – but which reward key people and organizations who supported Obama).