Free Markets, Free People
So you’re a “journalist” and you have the opportunity to interview Al Gore prior to the Copenhagen climate summit. The scandal surrounding the University of East Anglia’s CRU has been breaking for two weeks and its head, Phil Jones has stepped down. Penn State University is investigating Michael Mann and his discredited “hockey stick”. It even appears that NASA may have been in on the scandal having spent 2 years avoiding FOIA requests. And all of it undermines the very foundation of the science of man-made global warming Gore has based his assertions upon.
Do you think, as journalists, that might be something you’d want to question the man who has almost made a religion out of the cause based on this data?
Yeah, I’d think so too. But apparently John Harris and Mike Allen of Politico didn’t think that was important enough to ask Mr. Gore. Unless, of course, they just didn’t include it in their “published excerpts”. But then I can’t think of a single reason, given the depth and breadth of the scandal, that they wouldn’t can you?
Well, they didn’t.
John Coleman tells you why.
One of the favorite rebuttals of the alarmists – especially when a skeptical scientists scores a point on them – is to point to the scientist’s funding (“he’s paid by oil companies) and attempt to dismiss the science by claiming a bias. The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens does a little digging into the money trail on the warmist side and, unsurprisingly, finds plenty of reasons for the alarmist cause to find what is has found:
Climategate, as readers of these pages know, concerns some of the world’s leading climate scientists working in tandem to block freedom of information requests, blackball dissenting scientists, manipulate the peer-review process, and obscure, destroy or massage inconvenient temperature data—facts that were laid bare by last week’s disclosure of thousands of emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, or CRU.
But the deeper question is why the scientists behaved this way to begin with, especially since the science behind man-made global warming is said to be firmly settled. To answer the question, it helps to turn the alarmists’ follow-the-money methods right back at them.
Consider the case of Phil Jones, the director of the CRU and the man at the heart of climategate. According to one of the documents hacked from his center, between 2000 and 2006 Mr. Jones was the recipient (or co-recipient) of some $19 million worth of research grants, a sixfold increase over what he’d been awarded in the 1990s.
19 million. A sixfold increase in funding. And all for being on the side that found what the alarmists wanted found – a human hand in the warming trend. But what’s incredible is how small, in terms of “research grants” the money paid to Jones and CRU was in the big scheme of payouts. There’s gold in that thar “settled science:
Thus, the European Commission’s most recent appropriation for climate research comes to nearly $3 billion, and that’s not counting funds from the EU’s member governments. In the U.S., the House intends to spend $1.3 billion on NASA’s climate efforts, $400 million on NOAA’s, and another $300 million for the National Science Foundation. The states also have a piece of the action, with California—apparently not feeling bankrupt enough—devoting $600 million to their own climate initiative. In Australia, alarmists have their own Department of Climate Change at their funding disposal.
All totaled, about 5 billion in research money out there for the scientist who is able to “prove” what the politicians want proven. And that’s just the beginning of the gravy train:
And all this is only a fraction of the $94 billion that HSBC Bank estimates has been spent globally this year on what it calls “green stimulus”—largely ethanol and other alternative energy schemes—of the kind from which Al Gore and his partners at Kleiner Perkins hope to profit handsomely.
And you wondered why Al Gore had essentially gone silent at this point? Why talk any more when what you’ve schemed to have happen is beginning to happen. One thing a good con artist knows is when to shut up.
Stephens makes the most important point:
Supply, as we know, creates its own demand. So for every additional billion in government-funded grants (or the tens of millions supplied by foundations like the Pew Charitable Trusts), universities, research institutes, advocacy groups and their various spin-offs and dependents have emerged from the woodwork to receive them.
All of them have been on the receiving end of climate change-related funding, so all of them must believe in the reality (and catastrophic imminence) of global warming just as a priest must believe in the existence of God.
None of these outfits are per se corrupt, in the sense that the monies they get are spent on something other than their intended purposes. But they depend on an inherently corrupting premise, namely that the hypothesis on which their livelihood depends has in fact been proved. Absent that proof, everything they represent—including the thousands of jobs they provide—vanishes. This is what’s known as a vested interest, and vested interests are an enemy of sound science.
Science is not an ends for these eco-religionists, but a means. The “settled science” is faith based, not reality or science based. It’s what they believe. Al Gore, otoh, is simply a grifter who recognized that propensity toward blind faith, fed it and now stands to profit from it.
Which brings us full circle to the CRU and their horrible and scandalous misbehavior. As Stephens concludes:
This is not the sound of settled science, but of a cracking empirical foundation. And however many billion-dollar edifices may be built on it, sooner or later it is bound to crumble.
Or said another way, the alarmists are denying the scandal because of the vested interests so many have in those “billion-dollar edifices” they’ve built over the years of scamming the world about the supposed imminent catastrophe of man-made global warming. There is no settled science regardless of what the White House claims (speaking of vested interests). In fact, it is beginning to appear there’s no science at all to under-gird the hypothesis of man-made global warming. Just some cooked-data that can’t be checked produced by a group of “scientists” who appear to have benefited handsomely from the funding alarmists were paid to help push this scam on the world.
To see this denial in full action, stay tuned to Copenhagen. It is when those who love to describe themselves as members of the “reality-based community” will be on full display – and just as fully engaged in denying reality.
His supporters call him a visionary. His detractors call him a con artist. One thing is certain though, the hype of AGW is making Al Gore a very rich man. And that alone should make people very skeptical of his “cause”.
Few people have been as vocal about the urgency of global warming and the need to reinvent the way the world produces and consumes energy. And few have put as much money behind their advocacy as Mr. Gore and are as well positioned to profit from this green transformation, if and when it comes.
Critics, mostly on the political right and among global warming skeptics, say Mr. Gore is poised to become the world’s first “carbon billionaire,” profiteering from government policies he supports that would direct billions of dollars to the business ventures he has invested in.
And, in fact, the NYT describes just such a venture that will now pay off for Gore and his partners. You remember those “smart grid” grants handed out a week or so ago?
The company, Silver Spring Networks, produces hardware and software to make the electricity grid more efficient. It came to Mr. Gore’s firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital providers, looking for $75 million to expand its partnerships with utilities seeking to install millions of so-called smart meters in homes and businesses.
Mr. Gore and his partners decided to back the company, and in gratitude Silver Spring retained him and John Doerr, another Kleiner Perkins partner, as unpaid corporate advisers.
The deal appeared to pay off in a big way last week, when the Energy Department announced $3.4 billion in smart grid grants. Of the total, more than $560 million went to utilities with which Silver Spring has contracts. Kleiner Perkins and its partners, including Mr. Gore, could recoup their investment many times over in coming years.
How very, uh, convenient. Anyone who doesn’t believe Gore’s connections inside government at very high levels isn’t paying off just isn’t paying attention. Gore has pushed AGW vigorously for years and until recently when the science he based his pitch on has been found seriously wanting, he’s pretty much had it his way. Governments around the globe swallowed it whole and the movement has grown into a veritable religion.
Gore’s reaction to the skepticism about his profiting off what many, myself included, consider a gigantic scam?
Mr. Gore says that he is simply putting his money where his mouth is.
“Do you think there is something wrong with being active in business in this country?” Mr. Gore said. “I am proud of it. I am proud of it.”
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being active in business in this country, Mr. Gore – unless of course it’s the coal business or the lumber business or the nuclear energy business, or the oil business. Or for that matter the pharmaceutical business, health insurance business or financial sector. Then there’s the car business …
Well you get the idea. What Mr. Gore is actually proud of is creating a business that’s a politically popular one and stands to suck in untold piles of money based on a scam that would make Bernie Madoff green with envy. Because Al Gore has created and is engaged in a “legal” ripoff the size of which the world has never seen. Of course he’s “proud of it”.
There goes that “scientific consensus” about AGW again. And in a peer-reviewed study too.
Three Australasian scientists have published a study in the Journal of Geophysical Research claiming that virtually none of the observed temperature increases in the Earth’s atmosphere in recent years can be attributed to man-made factors.
Ummm … sure am wantin’ me some of that cap-and-trade now. As anyone should be able to figure out by now, the science is anything but settled concerning AGW.
Their research says that it is the El Nino-Southern Oscillation that pretty much has its way with temperature. And, the claim, volcanoes have a pretty significant impact on cooling.
“The surge in global temperatures since 1977 can be attributed to a 1976 climate shift in the Pacific Ocean that made warming El Niño conditions more likely than they were over the previous 30 years and cooling La Niña conditions less likely” de Freitas said.
“We have shown that internal global climate-system variability accounts for at least 80% of the observed global climate variation over the past half-century. It may even be more if the period of influence of major volcanoes can be more clearly identified and the corresponding data excluded from the analysis,” he added.
“Overall the results suggest that the Southern Oscillation exercises a consistently dominant influence on mean global temperature, with a maximum effect in the tropics, except for periods when equatorial volcanism causes ad hoc cooling.”
Not so much.
I’m sure our resident AGW believers will troop in to tell us how this is obviously not anything that “real science” would advance – except this is real science, with real scientists and a peer-reviewed study.
This will throw an inconvenient kink in the Al Gore “earth has a fever” pitch, won’t it?
Could the best climate models — the ones used to predict global warming — all be wrong?
Maybe so, says a new study published online today in the journal Nature Geoscience. The report found that only about half of the warming that occurred during a natural climate change 55 million years ago can be explained by excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. What caused the remainder of the warming is a mystery.
“In a nutshell, theoretical models cannot explain what we observe in the geological record,” says oceanographer Gerald Dickens, study co-author and professor of Earth Science at Rice University in Houston. “There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models.”
As someone said recently, science is skeptism, and this is science. This is science taking another look and admitting “something’s just not right” with the current warming theories. And the problem begins with thier climate models.
The explanation is found in the earth’s history:
During the warming period, known as the “Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum” (PETM), for unknown reasons, the amount of carbon in Earth’s atmosphere rose rapidly. This makes the PETM one of the best ancient climate analogues for present-day Earth.
As the levels of carbon increased, global surface temperatures also rose dramatically during the PETM. Average temperatures worldwide rose by around 13 degrees in the relatively short geological span of about 10,000 years.
The conclusion, Dickens said, is that something other than carbon dioxide caused much of this ancient warming. “Some feedback loop or other processes that aren’t accounted for in these models — the same ones used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for current best estimates of 21st century warming — caused a substantial portion of the warming that occurred during the PETM.”
One can only assume, if you want to go along with the oracle’s claims, that Fred Flintstone and his buddy Barney were driving their stonemobiles way to much. Except Fred and Barney weren’t even around then
The point made by Dickens is a solid one. If your model can’t “model” the past given all you know about it, how in the world can anyone have any scientific confidence in its modeling of the future? Here we have a period of the earth’s history (55.8 million years ago) in which man hadn’t even shown up on the scene yet, but where temperatures rose fairly drastically, globally, in a relatively short time (20,000 years). Why?
We’ve been led to believe that increases CO2 are the root cause and man is the reason for the rise in C02. But PETM seems to dispel that theory doesn’t it?
Nice to see science beginning to exert itself again as it reexamines what has become a mostly faith-based exercise in fear-mongering. Now if the politicians would only catch up.
Why don’t they just shut up!
The science is settled! We have consensus.
Well, except for those 32,000 American scientists who have signed a petition saying they don’t agree that anthropogenic, or man-made, global warming is threatening society as we know it.
And now we have another one – another skeptical scientist who attempts to enlighten the cult of AGW as to how the science actually works. I’ll let him lay it out:
So why the fuss lately about man-made global warming? The melting Arctic? Do you know we’ve only been monitoring the extent of Arctic ice via satellites since 1979? And while Arctic ice coverage has declined, it’s actually been rising since 2006. And have you heard Antarctic sea ice has increased by nearly 14% since 1979?
The global warming crowd is quick to blame the release of carbon dioxide thru the burning of fossil fuels, such as oil, gasoline, natural gas, and coal, for warming our climate and setting us on a path for doom.
Since before the industrial revolution the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been rising, up to around 385 parts per million by volume today. That amounts to a miniscule 0.0385% of the atmosphere. Increased CO2 levels are beneficial to plants since they require carbon dioxide to grow. In this experiment, plants exposed to CO2 levels of 1,090 parts per million by volume by far exhibited the most growth.
So, does carbon dioxide drive the climate? The answer is no!
Natural cycles play a much bigger role with the sun at the top of the list. A look at total solar irradiance since 1600 shows a distinct correlation to temperature readings. Readings are higher now than anytime in the past 400 years!
Then there’s El Nino Southern Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation, the Arctic Oscillation, the Pacific-North American Teleconnection, Milankovitch forcing, ocean variations, and so on and so forth.
Is there any way to model all these variables? Again, the answer is no! The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, has tried and failed!
Back in 2001 the IPCC released a suite of computer model solutions depicting the future state of the atmosphere. These reports by the IPCC are used repeatedly to drive policy around the world. But, if you look at what’s happened since then, global temperatures are actually on a downward trend, whether you look at actual thermometer readings across the world or satellite-derived temperatures. This when the IPCC models were predicting continued warming.
Can you believe it? Another one who insists models at least be able to model what is happening by using all the variables? And that the models be able to actually predict what is happening instead of modeling something that isn’t?
What’s up with demands like that?! We’ve heard from the oracle, he’s told us the earth has a fever and that’s that.
Gore said it, enough “scientists” believed it and that ends it!
Now let’s get that cap-and-trade bill through the Senate and save the planet.
First Paul Krugman calls anyone who opposes climate change legislation “traitors against the planet”. We then have Al Gore claiming fighting those who oppose such legislation akin to fighting Nazis. The latest to resort to ad hominem is Henry Waxman, who claims the GOP, and by implication, anyone who is against the nonsense he just pushed through the House is an unpatriotic so-and-so:
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who has had an eventful couple of weeks to say the least, believes House Republican opposition to climate change legislation and the stimulus indicates they’re cheering against the good ol’ US of A.
“It appears that the Republican Party leadership in the Congress has made a decision that they want to deny President Obama success, which means, in my mind, they are rooting against the country, as well,” the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman told WAMU radio host Diane Rehm on Tuesday morning, promoting his new book, “The Waxman Report.”
Yeah, see it couldn’t at all be that they’re concerned with the crippling effect it will have on the economy or that it is based in bad science that is daily being successfully challenged. Or that the stimulus was a bad idea that put us into much worse shape fiscally while doing very little to help the economy.
Nope, it’s all about wanting to “deny President Obama success”, and that, of course means it is OK to question their patriotism.
Because, as we’ve all learned, since the election of Obama and the rise of the Democrat left, dissent is no longer the highest form of patriotism, is it?
UPDATE: Oops – looks like Michael and I came to the same conclusion at about the same time. Ah well, such is blogging – read ‘em both. They’re just different enough (and short enough) to warrant it. And btw, Michael, it doesn’t surprise me that Steve Benen, hack that he is, doesn’t find the rhetoric to be “over the top” when a Democrat says it, but would be devoting a full week of outraged blogging if it had been the other way around.
I really hate to use the medium he invented against him, but someone has to do this:
Al Gore invoked the spirit of Winston Churchill today by encouraging political leaders to follow the example of Britain’s wartime leader and unite their nations to fight climate change.
So, skeptics are Nazis now (and no I’m not stretching it here – the original headline, now changed, had Gore comparing skeptics to Nazis)? I’m not sure if that’s better than a “traitor to the planet”, but it sure seems the Warmers are left with nothing but name calling as an argument.
The former US vice-president accused politicians around the world of exploiting ignorance about the dangers of global warming. He said lack of awareness among voters allowed governments to avoid taking difficult decisions.
You have got to love this one – this is said by Gore in a country in which a court ruled that his film, “An Inconvenient Truth” couldn’t be shown in schools without an addendum explaining at least 9 factually incorrect points.
“The level of awareness and concern among populations has not crossed the threshhold where political leaders feel that they must change.”
Perhaps that’s because the level of “science” presented by Gore has been found to be wanting in several areas and the skeptics are being successful in making the point that much of Gore’s data is dated or wrong.
“The only way politicians will act is if awareness raises to a level to make them feel that it’s a necessity.” Mr Gore, who brought the issues around climate change to a mass audience with the 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth, said the great hope for the future lay in the high level of environmental awareness among young people.
Or said another way, get ‘em while they’re young and don’t know any better and you have a fairly decent shot at getting them to do whatever you want (after all, that’s what schools are for).
He said sceptics who refused to believe dramatic cuts in carbon emissions could be delivered should consider the example of the young scientists in the Nasa team which put a man on the moon on 1969.
“The average age of scientists in the space centre control room was 26, which means they were 18 when they heard President Kennedy say he wanted to put a man on the moon in 10 years. Neil Armstrong did it eight years and two months later.”
Yup, and Buzz Aldrin said that AGW was a batch of cow cookies. I mean if we’re going to invoke the name of astronauts let’s at least keep it germane to the subject.
He said future generations would put one of two questions to today’s adults.
“It will either be ’what were you thinking, didn’t you see the North Pole melting before your eyes, didn’t you hear what the scientists were saying?’ “Or they will ask ’how is it you were able to find the moral courage to solve the crisis which so many said couldn’t be solved?’.
Actually there’s a third question – “How did you muster the courage to stand up against bad science and horrible politics in order to save the world as we know it from economic catastrophe when it is clear now that the AGW group was completely wrong?”
Gotta appreciate the fallacy of the false choice though, don’t you? Al Gore uses all the tricks to run his nonsense by you.
I’m sure Gore gave that a lot of thought as he winged his way home on his private jet.
From Anthony Watts:
Given the U.S. Senate is about to vote upon the most complex and costly plan to regulate greenhouse gases, while the EPA suppresses earlier versions of the chart shown below from a senior analyst, this should give some pause to those who are rational thinkers. For those that see only dogma, I expect this will be greeted with jeers.
The chart in question is here:
What it shows is we’ve undergone another drop in temperature this past month (coolest June since 1958). In fact:
This latest drop in global temperatures means despite his dire warnings, the Earth has cooled .74°F since former Vice President Al Gore released “An Inconvenient Truth” in 2006.
It is also the information that the EPA tried to suppress recently despite the Obama administration’s pledge that science would now take precedence over ideology.
The new information adds to an 8 year trend of dropping global temperatures. Here’s another view of the same chart with a few important annotations:
The earth no more has a fever than Al Gore has a clue. But the science that continues to contest and debunk the nonsense Gore and the warmers have pushed out there is having a tough time overcoming the institutional impetus of a Congress, which is ideologically vested in the old message. And, of course, there’s the massive amounts of money and power (both for the government and certain private sources which have helped foment this panic) to be derived from legislation such as cap-and-trade.
This is a massive attempt by government to take more control of the economy, based in shaky science at best, and as Anthony Watts claims, pure dogma. When warmers such as Paul Krugman are reduced to calling scientific skeptics “traitors to the planet”, you know they’ve essentially lost the argument and now have only emotional and populist rhetoric left to defend the indefensible.
I understand that everywhere else today it is “Michale Jackson is dead” day – I suspect days such as this must be infinitely boring to most news junkies because the news is dominated by a single topic.
Meanwhile Democrats are doing their best to rush cap-and-trade through the House today even while the pseudo-science that supports their effort continues to collapse. The WSJ has an article today which points out:
Among the many reasons President Barack Obama and the Democratic majority are so intent on quickly jamming a cap-and-trade system through Congress is because the global warming tide is again shifting. It turns out Al Gore and the United Nations (with an assist from the media), did a little too vociferous a job smearing anyone who disagreed with them as “deniers.” The backlash has brought the scientific debate roaring back to life in Australia, Europe, Japan and even, if less reported, the U.S.
Interestingly, as the EPA story below points out, it has actually been suppressed here. But that hasn’t stopped the scientific community elsewhere from continuing to destroy the myth of consensus and replace it with a healthy, and might I add peer reviewed, skepticism real science brings to any theory:
In April, the Polish Academy of Sciences published a document challenging man-made global warming. In the Czech Republic, where President Vaclav Klaus remains a leading skeptic, today only 11% of the population believes humans play a role. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to tap Claude Allegre to lead the country’s new ministry of industry and innovation. Twenty years ago Mr. Allegre was among the first to trill about man-made global warming, but the geochemist has since recanted. New Zealand last year elected a new government, which immediately suspended the country’s weeks-old cap-and-trade program.
The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. — 13 times the number who authored the U.N.’s 2007 climate summary for policymakers. Joanne Simpson, the world’s first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak “frankly” of her nonbelief. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming “the worst scientific scandal in history.” Norway’s Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the “new religion.” A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton’s Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled. (Both Nature and Science magazines have refused to run the physicists’ open letter.)
It is falling apart in big chunks now – not that anyone on the left here is listening. We’ve got the fingers firmly in the ears in Congress and the EPA. Both made up their minds years ago, having bought into the pseudo-science of Al Gore and are now determined to act on their preconceived notions – science be damned.
Economist John M. Keynes once said, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”
The answer for the left is ignore them and pass economy killing legislation as fast as they can.
The collapse of the “consensus” has been driven by reality. The inconvenient truth is that the earth’s temperatures have flat-lined since 2001, despite growing concentrations of C02. Peer-reviewed research has debunked doomsday scenarios about the polar ice caps, hurricanes, malaria, extinctions, rising oceans. A global financial crisis has politicians taking a harder look at the science that would require them to hamstring their economies to rein in carbon.
Meanwhile our blinkered ideologues push cap-and-trade while ignoring the new evidence.
Comforting, isn’t it?