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11/27/2011 13:24
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Yet Another Climate-Change Scandal

The real peril comes from the economically catastrophic policies being pushed in its name.

 

By JAMES DELINGPOLE    월스트리트 저널   11-27-2011    

 

 

Climategate 2.0. Is it (a) the gift that goes on giving? Or (b) an act of "sabotage" whose seriousness merits investigation by "the full force of the world's intelligence community" so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice?

 

The correct answer depends on who you are, of course. If you're a climate skeptic it's going to be (a). If you're U.S. Congressman Ed Markey (or any his fellow-travelers on the great Man Made Global Warming gravy train) it's inevitably going to be (b). Unless, perhaps it's (c) a tired, warmed-over non-story of no significance whatsoever. But how are we supposed to make up our minds?

 

Let's deal with the facts first. Climategate 2.0 concerns the recent release onto the Internet by persons unknown of 5,000 files of private email correspondence between several of the world's top climate scientists. These include men like Michael Mann of Penn State University and the University of East Anglia's Phil Jones, whose reports inform what President Obama has called "the gold standard" of international climate science, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

 

The release of these new emails was timed to coincide with the second anniversary of the original Climategate leak and with the forthcoming U.N. climate summit in Durban, South Africa. Hence the concern of Rep. Markey expressed above. By his lights, this is nothing less than a devilish plot to undermine the good work of the world's governments as they try to save the planet from the burning hell of man-made global warming.

 

Is it really, though? One could more easily sympathize with Rep. Markey's outrage if, say, the hacker had maliciously rewritten or invented the emails so as to cast decent climate scientists in an unflattering light. But this isn't the case. At least one scientist involved—Prof. Mann—has confirmed that these emails are genuine. So any skullduggery or malfeasance revealed therein ought surely to be blamed on the scientists who wrote them rather than the whistleblower who exposed them.

 

 

 

 

 Consider, for example, this email from the aforementioned Mr. Mann, written in August 2007. "I have been talking w/ folks in the states about finding an investigative journalist to investigate and expose McIntyre, and his thus far unexplored connections with fossil fuel interests. Perhaps the same needs to be done w/ this Keenan guy."

 

Keenan is Doug Keenan, a skeptic and gadfly of the climate-change establishment. McIntyre is, of course, Steve McIntyre—the tenacious Canadian ex-mining engineer whose dogged research helped expose the flaws in Mr. Mann's "hockey stick" graph of global temperatures. One can understand Mr. Mann's irritation. His hockey stick, which purported to demonstrate the link between man-made carbon emissions and catastrophic global warming, was the central pillar of the IPCC's Third Assessment Report and brought him near-legendary status in the climate science community. Naturally he wanted to put Mr. McIntyre in his place.

 

But according to conventional scientific method, the way to have achieved this would have been to prove Mr. McIntyre wrong using facts and evidence and improved data. Instead, as we see above, Mr. Mann resorted to character assassination. This is not—one might reasonably infer—the behavior of a perfectly innocent scientist with nothing to hide. If the case for man-made global warming is really as strong as the so-called "consensus" claims it is, what need have all those climate scientists to behave so cagily? Why are they shown in emails deliberately conspiring to shut out of the debate scientists with dissenting points of view? Why must they manipulate data, using cheats like the infamous "hide the decline" email from Prof. Jones?

 

This is the real significance of the Climategate and Climategate 2.0 emails. In vain will you search them for killer lines like "Tee hee! I wonder how much longer we can get away with this crazy, dishonest scam." It's more subtle than that. What the emails show is that the scientists who inform the IPCC can't be trusted to stick to the science and not to wander into the realm of political activism. This in turn has very worrying implications for the major international policy decisions being adopted on the basis of their flawed, exaggerated reports.

 

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the new emails is not so much the content (little more is revealed that we didn't know already from Climategate 1.0) as the introductory notes from the person calling himself "FOIA" who leaked them onto the internet, explaining for the first time his or her motivation.

 

FOIA writes: "Over 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day. Every day nearly 16,000 children die from hunger and related causes. One dollar can save a life . . . Poverty is a death sentence. Nations must invest $37 trillion in energy technologies by 2030 to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions at sustainable levels.Today's decisions should be based on all the information we can get, not on hiding the decline."

 

The real peril of "Climate Change" is not the increasingly shaky theory of anthropogenic global warming but the sweeping, eye-wateringly expensive, economically catastrophic policies being introduced on the basis of little more than junk science. On the eve of the U.N.'s Durban climate summit, just as he did two years ago before Copenhagen, the anonymous leaker FOIA has done the causes of truth, rationalism and global justice an enormous favor.

 

Mr. Delingpole is the author of "Watermelons" (Publius, 2011).

 

 

 

 

The Great Global Warming Swindle

 

 

 

 

The Great Global Warming Fizzle The climate reli

 

gion fades in spasms of anger and twitches of bor

 

edom.

 

By BRET STEPHENS   11-29-2011

 

 

How do religions die? Generally they don't, which probably explains why there's so little literature on the subject. Zoroastrianism, for instance, lost many of its sacred texts when Alexander sacked Persepolis in 330 B.C., and most Zoroastrians converted to Islam over 1,000 years ago. Yet today old Zoroaster still counts as many as 210,000 followers, including 11,000 in the U.S. Christopher Hitchens might say you can't kill what wasn't there to begin with.

 

Still, Zeus and Apollo are no longer with us, and neither are Odin and Thor. Among the secular gods, Marx is mostly dead and Freud is totally so. Something did away with them, and it's worth asking what.

 

Consider the case of global warming, another system of doomsaying prophecy and faith in things unseen.

 

As with religion, it is presided over by a caste of spectacularly unattractive people pretending to an obscure form of knowledge that promises to make the seas retreat and the winds abate. As with religion, it comes with an elaborate list of virtues, vices and indulgences. As with religion, its claims are often non-falsifiable, hence the convenience of the term "climate change" when thermometers don't oblige the expected trend lines. As with religion, it is harsh toward skeptics, heretics and other "deniers." And as with religion, it is susceptible to the earthly temptations of money, power, politics, arrogance and deceit.

 

This week, the conclave of global warming's cardinals are meeting in Durban, South Africa, for their 17th conference in as many years. The idea is to come up with a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to expire next year, and to require rich countries to pony up $100 billion a year to help poor countries cope with the alleged effects of climate change. This is said to be essential because in 2017 global warming becomes "catastrophic and irreversible," according to a recent report by the International Energy Agency.

 

Yet a funny thing happened on the way to the climate apocalypse. Namely, the financial apocalypse.

 

The U.S., Russia, Japan, Canada and the EU have all but confirmed they won't be signing on to a new Kyoto. The Chinese and Indians won't make a move unless the West does. The notion that rich (or formerly rich) countries are going to ship $100 billion every year to the Micronesias of the world is risible, especially after they've spent it all on Greece.

 

Cap and trade is a dead letter in the U.S. Even Europe is having second thoughts about carbon-reduction targets that are decimating the continent's heavy industries and cost an estimated $67 billion a year. "Green" technologies have all proved expensive, environmentally hazardous and wildly unpopular duds.

 

All this has been enough to put the Durban political agenda on hold for the time being. But religions don't die, and often thrive, when put to the political sidelines. A religion, when not physically extinguished, only dies when it loses faith in itself.

 

That's where the Climategate emails come in. First released on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit two years ago and recently updated by a fresh batch, the "hide the decline" emails were an endless source of fun and lurid fascination for those of us who had never been convinced by the global-warming thesis in the first place.

 

But the real reason they mattered is that they introduced a note of caution into an enterprise whose motivating appeal resided in its increasingly frantic forecasts of catastrophe. Papers were withdrawn; source material re-examined. The Himalayan glaciers, it turned out, weren't going to melt in 30 years. Nobody can say for sure how high the seas are likely to rise—if much at all. Greenland isn't turning green. Florida isn't going anywhere.

 

The reply global warming alarmists have made to these disclosures is that they did nothing to change the underlying science, and only improved it in particulars. So what to make of the U.N.'s latest supposedly authoritative report on extreme weather events, which is tinged with admissions of doubt and uncertainty? Oddly, the report has left climate activists stuttering with rage at what they call its "watered down" predictions. If nothing else, they understand that any belief system, particularly ones as young as global warming, cannot easily survive more than a few ounces of self-doubt.

 

Meanwhile, the world marches on. On Sunday, 2,232 days will have elapsed since a category 3 hurricane made landfall in the U.S., the longest period in more than a century that the U.S. has been spared a devastating storm. Great religions are wise enough to avoid marking down the exact date when the world comes to an end. Not so for the foolish religions. Expect Mayan cosmology to take a hit to its reputation when the world doesn't end on Dec. 21, 2012. Expect likewise when global warming turns out to be neither catastrophic nor irreversible come 2017.

 

And there is this: Religions are sustained in the long run by the consolations of their teachings and the charisma of their leaders. With global warming, we have a religion whose leaders are prone to spasms of anger and whose followers are beginning to twitch with boredom. Perhaps that's another way religions die.

 

 

 

 

 

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