October 28, 2011 1 Comment
First the good news! At the National Review, one of my favourite writer/historians, Victor Davis Hanson, weighs in on the current state of “the global warming craze”. His assessment includes:
Global Warming — RIP?
The issue seems deader than a doornail.
Not long ago, candidate Obama promised to cool the planet and lower the rising seas. Indeed, he campaigned on passing “cap-and-trade” legislation, a radical, costly effort to reduce America’s traditional carbon energy use.
Fairly or not, the warming movement appeared to be a tiny elite attempting to impose costs on a poorer and supposedly less informed middle class.
Corruption within the climate-change industry explains some of the sudden turnoff. “Climategate” — the unauthorized 2009 release of private e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit in the United Kingdom — revealed that many of the world’s top climate scientists were knee-deep in manipulating scientific evidence to support preconceived conclusions and personal agendas. Shrill warnings about everything from melting Himalayan glaciers to shrinking polar-bear populations turned out not always to be supported by scientific facts.
Of course, it didn’t help that the world’s most prominent green spokesman, Nobel laureate Al Gore, made tens of millions of dollars from his own advocacy. And he adopted a lifestyle of jet travel and energy-hungry homes at odds with his pleas for everyone else to cut back.
But even without the corruption and hypocrisy, sincere advocates of the theory of man-made global warming themselves overreached. At news that the planet had not heated up at all during the last ten years, “global warming” gave way to “climate change” — as if to warn the public that unseasonable cold or wet weather was just as man-caused as were the old specters of drought and scorching temperatures.
Then, when “climate change” was still not enough to frighten the public into action, yet a third term followed: “climate chaos.” Suddenly some “green experts” claimed that even more terrifying disasters — from periodic hurricanes and tornadoes to volcanoes and earthquakes — could for the first time be attributed to the burning of fossil fuels. At that point, serially changing the name of the problem suggested to many that there might not be such a problem after all.
The public apparently would prefer developing more of our own gas, oil, shale, tar sands, and coal as an alternative to going broke by either importing more fuels from abroad or subsidizing more inefficient windmills and solar panels at home.
[... and Hanson concludes]
We simply don’t know positively whether recent human activity has caused the planet to warm up to dangerous levels. But we do know that those who insist it has are sometimes disingenuous, often profit-minded, and nearly always impractical.
Other good news – hot off the press, so to speak – comes from Donna Laframboise, whose excellent exposé of the IPCC, The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert is now available in paperback!
The bad news is that whoever does the research for CBC’s The Current, a daily morning radio show from Canada’s “national” broadcaster, seems to be blissfully unaware of many of the latest developments – not the least of which is, as Dr. Judith Curry noted in a recent blogpost in response to some:
Well thank you IPCC authors for letting us know what is really behind that “very likely” assessment of attribution 20th century warming. A lot of overbloated over confidence that cannot survive a few years of cooling. The light bulbs seem to be just turning on in your heads over the last two years. Think about all the wasted energy fighting the “deniers” when they could have been listening, trying to understand their arguments, and making progress to increase our understanding of the causes of climate variability and change.
Two recent interviews on The Current with some high profile politicians strongly suggest that one is behind the times and the other has jumped on the so-called Green Economy bandwagon.
Peter Kent is Canada’s Environment Minister. Yesterday, he was interviewed on The Current – and, considering that he’s a politician, he did fairly well. He avoided the impending catastrophe meme, but he hasn’t yet caught on to the fact that the upcoming Durban confab of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – which, to his credit, Kent acknowledges is not going to result in a “binding agreement” to replace Kyoto – very much depends on the increasingly discredited work of the IPCC.
There may be more hope for Kent (and Canada!) though, than for former Prime Minister, Paul Martin. Martin was interviewed by The Current this morning on the subject of “Natural capital”. He took great pains to establish his “environmentalist” credentials (and to defend his record as former Finance Minister under Chretien) by telling listeners that he’s been a “fan of Amory Lovins” for 40 years!
Perhaps Martin has seen the writing on the “climate change” (aka “global warming”) wall; this is may be the reason that he has jumped on the “green industries”, green economy bandwagon, promoted by the IPCC’s younger sibling, IPBES – whose goal is to get “nature on the balance sheet”.
Martin also claims to be a fan and/or a friend (can’t quite recall which!) of (according to wikipedia) “one of the most frequently cited economists in the world”, Joseph Stiglitz.
No doubt it was a very innocent oversight on Martin’s part that during the course of this interview (with an inevitable tilt towards “sustainability”, biodiversity and “tipping points”) he made no mention whatsoever of the proposed “mechanisms” that can be conveniently put in place once we start “measuring” our “natural capital” as he urges!
Oh, well … continuing my musical theme of this week, here’s the Friday funny, as promised! Derek Harrington, a Dubliner transplanted to Canada, seems quite fond of Canada’s eastern-most province, Newfoundland – affectionately known to many as “The Rock”. He certainly rocks in this catchy satire on “global warming”! Enjoy:-)