2007 was the year that the fourth edition of the IPCC’s climate bible (AR4) was bestowed upon a far too trusting universe. In 2007, according to the Ottawa Citizen’s Dan Gardner in an opinion piece published in yesterday‘s (Victoria, BC) Times Colonist, Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, is reported to have gone with the flow (my choice of phrase, not Gardner’s) by declaring that climate change is “perhaps the biggest threat to confront the future of humanity today.”
Perhaps Harper was led to this tentative but erroneous conclusion by assertions such as those of Andrew Weaver, a Victoria based “climate scientist” whose brief summary of AR4 included a declaration that this tome “revealed climate change to be a barrage of intergalactic ballistic missiles“.
One could not say that Weaver knew not whereof he hyped, considering that he was a lead author of AR4′s Working Group I, Chapter 10: “Global Climate Projections”. It’s worth noting that Weaver was the author or co-author of no fewer than 52 references cited (including 3 references in Working Group I, Chapter 10) in AR4. Not to mention that Weaver was one of the authors of the by now forgotten “Copenhagen Diagnosis” – which was, in effect, the impetus for yet another of those “it’s worse than we thought, must act now” press releases, dutifully recycled by the “science” mavens of the mainstream media.
It’s also worth noting that Weaver has been
annointed designated as one of the 13 Lead Authors of the nascent AR5′s Chapter 12: “Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility”
Weaver may well be oblivious to his fellow “climate scientist”, Joseph Alcamo’s prescient (as opposed to “post-normal-scient!) observation in his address to the October 2009 Bali meeting of the IPCC:
“[A]s policymakers and the public begin to grasp the multi-billion dollar price tag for mitigating and adapting to climate change, we should expect a sharper questioning of the science behind climate policy.” [emphasis added -hro]
YMMV, but it seems to me that Alcamo (for once) was right on the mark.
On November 17, on the heels of the Canadian Senate’s rejection of a very unrealistic bill, as the CBC very surprisingly reported:
Harper, in responding to a query [...] in question period Wednesday in Ottawa, said Conservatives have been consistent and clear in their opposition to Bill C-311, which the prime minister called “a completely irresponsible bill.”
It sets irresponsible targets, doesn’t lay out any measure of achieving them other than … by shutting down sections of the Canadian economy and throwing hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of people out of work,” Harper said. “Of course, we will never support such legislation.”
In response to the Prime Minister’s rational reply, the Times Colonist‘s Jack Knox – in a Nov. 18 article in which it was sometimes challenging to discern any difference between his own “thoughts” and Andrew Weaver’s – writes [h/t Donna Laframboise]:
Having tried, in vain, to peel a spitting-mad Andrew Weaver off the ceiling, I ask Canada’s best-known climate scientist whether he ever feels like chucking it all in and stomping off to a quiet corner with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.
“Absolutely,” he says. “Retiring with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s sounds good right now.”
The UVic climatologist, sputtering words like “unbelievable” and “dictator” and “shocking affront to democracy,” says he hopes the opposition will force Harper’s minority government to fall. “He’s got to get kicked out. This is Canada, not Zimbabwe . . . or maybe it is.
“It’s all about not wanting to do anything about the issue,” Weaver says of the Senate sabotage. It’s about pandering to the oil industry, to the Conservatives’ Alberta power base.
A truly conservative government would gather the evidence, do a rational analysis of the facts and react accordingly, [Weaver] says.
From where I’m sitting, the government obviously did “gather the evidence” and conducted “a rational analysis of the facts” – quite possibly after considering material similar to that presented by Dr. Richard Lindzen or Dr. Judith Curry in their recent testimonies to the US Congress’ Sub-committee on energy and environment.
Perhaps it hasn’t occurred to Weaver that he needs to make a choice: Does he want to be known as a thoughtful, respected scientist or an incoherent environmental activist/advocate who is only capable of mindlessly mouthing echoes of Michael Mann’s mantras?
Sorry, Dr. Weaver, but your “barrage of intergalactic ballistic missiles” appears to have boomeranged.