I became a sceptic not because I could prove the world wasn’t warming, but because I could prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the public were being lied to on global warming. The test I set was simple: a warmer climate undoubtedly has benefit such as reduced deaths from cold in places like Scotland. Therefore, I reasoned, if the “science” were really science, and not propaganda, then I should see a large number of references to the known benefits of warming in the scientific papers on the subject.
So, I sat down one day and searched every single paper I could find on the effects of global warming/climate change and after reading around a hundred papers I was horrified to have found only one half-hearted mention of “some benefits of warming”.
So, it was clear beyond all reasonable doubt that the debate was being heavily manipulated in a very unscientific way. I didn’t need to know how much the world was warming if at all, all I needed to do was to highlight the contrary evidence and try to balance the debate. That is how I became a sceptic.
But now we are winning, there’s a big question: how do I know at what point does “obstinately putting the case anti-warming” itself begin to bias the debate? When I joined the debate it was so obviously skewed that there was no question it was right to say or do whatever was needed to bring it back into balance. But as more and more of the public are changing their minds towards a more neutral point of view, at what point does pushing the sceptical side in itself risk pushing the argument too far to the other side?
What is the true position on global warming?
So, you’ll have to forgive me if I think aloud. What we do know:
- A vociferous group of climate extremists have been pumping out global warming propaganda for around a decade creating a narrative of “doomsday warming” which was just patently absurd – but they are being increasingly ignored.
- Many in the media, government and embarrassingly even many “scientists” were taken in by this propaganda – but the media are now a lot less gullible than a few years ago
- We have had a series of fraudulent inquiries in that they demonstrably failed to investigate the papers that were being complained about or subject to criminally obfuscated FOI requests. It is therefore very clear we cannot trust anyone who had anything to do with these inquiries and there is no sign at all that anything will change soon in this area.
- The public and media support for global warming has been on a fairly steady decline since 2007. I suspect this is largely the real world experience of people being at odds with the impending doomsday scenario of global warming. Or to put it another way, if global warming started in the 1970s, we are now 40years into the 150 year predictions and the evidence of this impending doomsday is so slight it isn’t even affecting the time the snowdrops come out.
- We are now seeing credible science on this subject e.g. Hermann Harde, which does suggest that the fundamental “science” of CO2 warming has itself been overestimated perhaps by as much as 100%
- Political support is falling. In Ireland the green vote collapsed, in the US anti-warmists now dominate the senate and effectively block new legislation. In Westminster plans like the Green bank are being put on hold. Using the old adage: Politicians are like a dinosaur it take five years between kicking them between the legs and the nerve impulse making its way up to their puny brain … means it could be another five years before the politicians finally wake up to the change in public opinion, so we shouldn’t be surprised at the lack of change.
So have we won?
What is the aims of scepticism? My aim is simple: to have government policy based on the evidence and not the biased unsubstantiated opinions of a group-think clique who have never once made a prediction that ever came true.
But where does that leave us? The “experts” have palpably shown themselves to be untrustworthy. Those investigating the experts have been even worse and have overtly attempted to hide the bias and unprofessionalism of the “experts” which is undoubtedly a far worse crime. But just because a theory is being supported by a group of rogues and criminals, that doesn’t in itself mean the theory is wrong!
Winning means the policy is based on the evidence. But the evidence has been so distorted that who knows what is and isn’t true in this area any longer? Worse still, whilst the global warming scam has cost us plenty, a far greater danger is that whilst the politicians and scientists were trying to save the planet from a problem that “didn’t exist”** perhaps they were ignoring other far bigger problems like peak-oil. Or perhaps peak oil is itself another scam in the making?
No we have not won!
The public are convinced that global warming isn’t real/vastly overstated, the media are learning that the public don’t believe them when they cry wolf over global warming/climate change/climate chaos/climate weirding but that doesn’t fundamentally change the fact that those advising government palpably got it wrong, and as the climategate inquiries show, they have not the slightest intention of ever relinquishing their position where they can “pour my spirits in thy ear”. (Lady MacBeth – referring to an “undetectable” method of murder by pouring acid into the victims ear)
Somehow I knew the day that Obama came back to a snowstorm after Jokenhagen, that his administration would never cosy up to the climategate team again. Even if climategate had not exposed them as a bunch of political and scientific incompetents I doubt any world leader would quickly forgive the utter embarrassment of Jokenhagen.
So, even if the science were solid, their shear incompetence necessitated that people like Mann et al should be replaced by more competent people and institutions.
So, I wasn’t surprised when some of the “older institutions” started to pick up the baton and begin ploughing their own furrow, like e,g, the Berkeley temperature series. But, in some senses this is already too little too late. The whole UK science has been tainted by the inquiries. Or to put it another way, UK science has lost any reputation it might have had for impartiality or putting the science first and the petty politics last. I suspect the same is true of the US.
So, we should really see Hermann Harde’s paper on CO2 warming, not so much as one individual just pondering a question, but a real scientific bystander wondering how much the UK and US can be trusted on climate “science”, and on the face of it, the answer does not look good for UK and US science. So, it seems pretty inevitable that the centre of gravity of climate science will move away from the US and UK. E.g. German politicians and scientists can unite that in the light of the climategate coverups, only German scientists can really be trusted. And personally I would like to see that because there’s far more to the climate than global warming, and e.g. prediction of weather can save lives and having real scientists investigate the climate could provide real benefits to us all.
Where does this leave me?
As the Japanese Tsunami has quite rightly focussed world media on the real problems there, rather than the imagined hand-wringing of global warming, there hasn’t been much to report on global warming in Scotland recently … hence the soul searching. So I started writing this in the hope that I would have some sudden road to Damascus conversion and realise that climate scepticms is no longer necessary (no such luck). Instead, I am faced with the inevitability that those responsible for this charade will remain advising government long after the last embers of the scare have been doused in copious cooling.
I am also left with the profound sense that if there were a real problem, like e.g. peak oil, that those advising government are so incompetent that there is only a very slim chance that they would predict a crisis if it were going to develop into a crisis and/or not predict a crisis if it were stoked up by those with a commercial interest in creating a fossil fuel peak-oil crisis.++
I remember part of the reason I gave up running a business was that I felt it was inevitable that the UK would suffer and economic recession due to the massive personal and government and it was difficult enough in manufacturing the “boom” years of the debtoconomy, and I really had to either seriously invest in the business or give up and investing just before an economic crash seemed madness. I was completely right about the recession, what I wasn’t right about is the timing. It was several years before the debt house-bubble bungee cord was pulled so tight it had only one way to go and that was backward. Likewise, because I’m inherently a sceptic, I can’t understand why people would continue to believe something as stupid as doomsday warming so I am probably predicting the end of the global warming scam perhaps 5 even 10 years before it is officially recognised as being dead by the politicians and media.
Which really means I just have to wait, and wait, and wait, and grow increasingly frustrated when other people who seem to take their cue from the “consensus” of society and not the evidence just can’t seem to see what the evidence clearly says.
Which I suppose leaves me having to remain a sceptic, whilst wondering what the impact of CO2 really will be on the climate! After all these years trying to balance the climate debate, I really would like to know what the true impact of CO2 is … just for personal curiosity! If you remove all the flannel by group-think “scientists” there is some real science there and having been so close for so long I’d just like to see it!
**Something that is safe to say about the whole chain of inference: from temperature data that was affected by urban heating through the wholly untested climate models and to the frankly ferrytale effects.
++How is it possible that they can make a prediction on a crisis that will/won’t happen and have a less than 50% chance of getting it right? Because we live in a world of many possible crisis and there’s next to no chance of them picking the “right” crisis to react to.
The real hallmark that the sceptics have won, is when there is a healthy debate about the science, based on the evidence. A debate in which there is a fair allocation of resources so that all views can have a public hearing and where there is the necessary access to information and resources to follow through alternative hypothesis so that they can be tested and judged according to their merit and not against prejudiced buddy “peer review” process by people who openly declare their intention of not letting any contrary views get a public airing.
All subjects have their petty political squabbles. What marked out climate “science” was that it wasn’t so much petty politics as more akin to Gaddafi style one-party state: A single consensus not because that was what everyone believed, but because no other view was allowed. And like the Libyan people, I suspect the solution to the problems in UK science can only be dealt with by those in UK science or not at all.
I would have thought you would reference the paper by Dr(Ir) Noor Van Andel (beside the previous link the following also has a link http://climategate.nl/2011/02/17/versie-7-van-noors-groengaspaper/) before Herman Harde. 1/ the subjects -thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer, and fluid dynamics which are fundamental to the understanding of climate are engineering subjects. Van Andel is a chemical engineer who has an understanding of these engineering subjects and has many patents including an energy saving heat exchanger see here http://www.xs4all.nl/~fiwihex/english/. There is no climate scientist (pseudo scientist) who has his knowledge about heat transfer 2/ Van Andel has used real data from KNMI and other sources in his analyses to determine that CO2 has no influence other than to provide some cooling by radiation to space at the top of the atmosphere 3/ Van Andel’s paper was the basis of a presentation to a large audience including climate scientists at KNMI in February this year.
There is an increasing number of engineers and scientist coming to the view that CO2 has practically no role in determining climate but of course it is necessary for the growth of plants which in turn feed animals and sustain life.
Cementafriend, thanks for the links. My interest in direct CO2 radiative heating is because it ought to be relatively simple to calculate and so this ought to be the one figure that everyone can agree on – even if there are obviously other mechanisms.
I think this blog is vital, hopefully read by many in the green movement, and I agree, you do need to continue to push out the skeptical viewpoint. Your comment about the almost totally negative coverage of global warming is interesting. I have often wondered how it is that “the man in the street” has recognised AGW to be bogus. Perhaps you have hit on one of the reasons that people who don’t even know climategate ever happened, nevertheless sense that “Global Warming” is bogus!
As for the true impact of CO2 on climate, there was an interesting discussion at WUWT about Venus, some time back. This planet has long been considered to be the ultimate example of CO2 warming, with an atmosphere mostly composed of CO2, and a surface temperature sufficient to melt lead. However, the surface atmospheric pressure is approximately 92 times that on Earth, and, just as on Earth, atmospheric temperature varies with height. The temperature of the atmosphere of Venus at a height where the pressure is 1 atmosphere, is only modestly higher than that on Earth – corresponding to the fact that it is a lot closer to the sun!
I really hope a new green movement can emerge from all this – one that is deeply skeptical, particularly when it finds politicians suspiciously eager to agree! I want a green movement that is involved with real issues:
1) Unsustainable population growth.
2) Destruction of the forests.
3) Loss of habitat for wild animals.
4) Over consumption of resources.
5) Nuclear weapons, and dangers associated with nuclear power.
6) Chemical pollution (not CO2!).
Sorry, I did not quite finish my comment -I had to go out.
I was going to mention the post by Prof Nasif Nahle here http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2011/03/recycling-of-heat-in-the-atmosphere-is-impossible/. This has a link a the end to a previous post and a number of other links amongst the references.
I think I mentioned previously the Chilingar et al (2008) paper “Cooling of the atmosphere due to CO2 emission” Energy Sources Part A 30:1 (2008) 1-9. I mentioned two separate links to the paper on some other blogs but within in hours the links had disappeared- one on google.com.au I believe has been deliberately cleansed by google in their attempt to promote AGW (see here http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/19/an-open-letter-to-google/) . Through Bing I found the following link http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/open-discussion/what-do-we-think-about-climate-change-21390-599.html One needs to go down to the commentator bearflag (#8983) to find the link in the comment. I checked it a minute ago to see if the full article downloaded, lets see how long it lasts.
Are you making your way down to London for the Spectator debate…
Not being on a government grant, or being a government climate consultant, or working for a wind industry lobby group no one pays me and given the cost of travel and stay in London I couldn’t afford it.
Yes – me too.