Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Friday, March 09, 2007

"The Great Global Warming Swindle" (sic)

Channel 4 in the UK broadcast this programme last night which was an extended attack on greens, the left and climate scientists. (See the end of my blog last night)

I have no problem with debate on the models, scepticism etc I don't mind people saying that I, or the vast majority of climate scientists have an imperfect understanding, or have got a fact wrong or whatever. This is the stuff of scientific debate. Present the facts and we will debate them. Most of the debatable points put by the programme were old hat and are dealt with here at Grist and here by John Houghton.

However, the programme in question began by saying that man made global warming was a lie , and furthermore that all those arguing for the theory are liars. Now this isn't scientific debate. This is political polemic, this is slander. Round here, calling someone a liar to their face would be asking for a fight!

Calling those arguing that man made global warming exists and something can be done about it liars is classic conspiracy theory. It implies that greens and the IPCC and much of the global scientific/meteorological community know that they are arguing falsehoods and do so for a political reason. Durkin and his LM chums are of course familiar with this territory (remember the Serb prisoner camp affair) and perhaps familiar with the legally actionable nature of making such claims. Far be it from me to suggest that the IPCC and Mr Stern and Greenpeace take Mr Durkin to court......

The problem is, like the Telegraph piece and Crichton's books this polemical crap will get thrown back at us by elements of the public every time we try and argue for sensible measures to tackle the problem and we have to waste time exposing the poor arguments of the well funded contrarians that could be better spent elsewhere.

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4 Comments:

At 8:38 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There *is* no man-made global warming. It's a con. Even as late as the mid-1970s we all thought we were heading for an ice-age. Now this. It's the Greens Weapon of Mass Distruction.

 
At 11:23 am, Blogger greenman said...

I wish you were right, I really do. It would be nice to have more time to achieve the changes we need to see. It would be nice to think that everything bad that happens is just the result of nature, sun spots or whatever, or else fiendish conspiracies of evil power hungry megalomaniacs. It would simplify reality somewhat, in the pattern of religion. It would make you feel self righteous and noble, after all you would be one of the *few* to see through the evil plot, yeah? (Those green demons, servants of Satan..........)
Truth is more mundane I am afraid. Our current economic system externalises costs and collapses if it cannot have a vista of endless expansion. Unfortunately for the system, (and us who survive under it) the bills - environmental, social and political - are beginning to arrive. The natural limits - of resources and ecological carrying capacity - are being arrived at. Whether anthropogenic global warming is an open and shut case or not does not affect this analysis (though *I* prefer to listen to the vast majority of suitably qualified scientific opinion rather than a handful of well paid 'skeptics', conspiracists, professional contrarians and apologists for the status quo.) So even if by some strange chance all these experts were wrong we would still need to be moving to a low carbon economy, and I would still be campaigning for a more sustainable, democratic and egalitarian society. Check all the nice links on my Sunday post for the counter evidence to the Swindle programme.

 
At 10:55 pm, Anonymous Rudstone said...

I for one remain a sceptic, here is a short (one of many, very similar and equally as credible) resaon why:


Prof David Bellamy

Am I worried about carbon induced global warming? The answer is no and yes. No because there has been no sign of global warming in New Zealand since 1955, this year snow has fallen in Portugal for the first time in 52 years and 3 US states are united by the fact that they have recorded their lowest temperatures ever. Yes because it has become a political football that has lost its foundations in real science.



What especially worries me is that if anyone dares to question the dogma of the global warming doomsters who repeatedly tell us that C not only stands for carbon but for climate catastrophe, we are immediately vilified as heretics or worse as deniers.

I am quite happy to be branded a heretic because throughout history heretics have stood up against dogma based on bigotry.

I don’t like being called a denier because deniers don’t believe in facts. There are no facts linking the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide with imminent catastrophic global warming there are only predictions based on complex computer models.

Name calling may be acceptable in political circles but it has no place in the language of science, indeed what is happening in the annals of global warming smacks of Macarthyism complete with witch hunts.

Robust science is carried out in a robust way through reasoned argument based on well researched data and although it may dent the ego of the loser it does not smear the name of science.

I offer two simple data sets that are already in the public domain.

The most reliable global, regional and local temperature records from around the world display no distinguishable trend up or down over the past century.

The last peak temperatures were around 1940 and 1998, with troughs of low temperature around 1910 and 1970.



The second dip caused pop science and the media to cry wolf about a catastrophic ice age just around the corner. Our end was nigh! As soon as the temperatures took an upward turn in the 1980’s the scaremongers changed their tune switching their dogma to imminent catastrophic scenarios of global warming all based on computer models some that were proved to be as bent as the hockey stick which no longer features in IPCC’s armoury.

I used to discuss climate change with my undergraduates and point out that there was much good scientific evidence that the latest of a string of ice ages had affected the climate and sea levels around the world. Thank goodness it began to come to an end a mere 18,000 to 20,000 years ago The Romans grew grapes in York and during the world wide medieval warm period when civilization blossomed across the world, Nordic settlers farmed lowland Greenland (hence its name) and then got wiped out by the Little Ice Age that only started to wane around 1850).

Back to the data, how can a sixty-year cycle of changing temperature give any credibility to claims that carbon dioxide is causing an inexorable march towards a climate Armageddon.

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen throughout this time frame, yet the temperature has gone up and down in a cyclical manner. How can this be explained unless there are other factors in control overriding the effect of this greenhouse gas? There are of course many to be found in peer reviewed literature, solar cycles, cosmic ray cloud control and those little rascals El Ninos and La Ninas all of which are played down or even ignored by the global warming brigade. As are the positive aspects of carbon dioxide in the growth of plants.

Add to that the fact that since 1998 the world’s average temperature has shown a tendency to fall not rise. This fact the warmers play down by arguing that you need a 10 year period, or better still a 30 year period to register a convincing change. Well 2008 is just around the corner and sadly another 20 years on the next natural cycle will have done its best or worse vindicating carbon dioxide as the villain of the piece.

Turning to Al Gore’s doom and gloom laden Oscar, I will pose but two questions. Why scare the families of the world with tales that polar bears are heading for extinction when there is good evidence that there are now twice as many of these iconic animals, most doing well in the Arctic than there were 20 years ago? Why cry wolf on a rise in the spread of malaria thanks to rising temperatures when this mosquito borne disease was a main killer of people throughout the Little Ice Age in Britain and northern Russia?

To date it has cost the world around $ US 50 billion to spread global warming doom and gloom. However now thanks to questions asked by we the sceptics The New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research’s Dr Jim Renwick has spilt the beans that "Climate prediction is hard, half of the variability in the climate system is not predictable, so we don't expect to do terrifically well." Later on New Zealand radio, Dr Renwick said: " The weather is not predictable beyond a week or two." The spin of a coin starts a rugby match the spin on 50 million greenbacks surely deserves an unbiased referee.


New Zealand leads the world in the eradication of feral plants and animals making restoration of the natural ecosystems that kept the biosphere in balance long before the IPCC was invented. Habitat destruction and the loss of biodiversity is one of the greatest threats to climate and landscape stability. I beg your government to continue to lead the world in this sustainable endeavour.

In the words of a great mathematician and satirist Tom Lehrer, “Don’t be scared be prepared”.

David Bellamy
June 2007

 
At 6:09 pm, Blogger greenman said...

Hmmm...
http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php
= Bellamy's arguments debunked?

 

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