In one of my previous incarnations, I was the CEO of a non-profit organization providing services to people with developmental handicaps. I reported to a board of directors and one of my duties was to draft organization policies that I would distribute – well in advance of the board meeting – for discussion and approval. Yes, there was an executive summary, but it was drawn from the “meat” so to speak.
During those years, through observation of and participation in many, many board meetings (not only of the board to which I reported, but also of those on which I sat), I developed the following axiom (and a far more important corollary):
Axiom: The lower the cost implications of a board decision, the greater – and more heated – the length of the discussion.
Corollary: The indication of any board member having read beyond the executive summary – regardless of the advance time in which to do so – is inversely proportional to the number of pages in the entire draft.
Knowing this corollary to be true, I always made damn certain that both the summary and the “meat” were always kosher (not that I wouldn’t have done so without knowing this)! Although I must confesss that, as a board member, I was sometimes guilty of reading only the summary – but only when I had a very high level of confidence in the author(s) of the draft.
What does the above have to do with the “foggy solution” built on nebulous “climate science”? I’m so glad you asked!
As Lawrence Solomon reminds us in today’s Financial Post:
The Copenhagen Diagnosis, a year-long study to be unveiled at the Copenhagen climate change meetings that begin today, was designed to dramatize how little time we have left to save the planet from catastrophic climate.
But the Copenhagen Diagnosis, which is billed as an update to the last report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has a credibility problem. The Climategate gang – the same crew now discredited by emails that emerged showing a conspiracy to cook the books – had a dozen of its members in charge of producing the Copenhagen Diagnosis. More credibility problems: The Copenhagen Diagnosis relies on data from the Hadley Centre of the UK meteorological office and the Climate Research Unit of East Anglia University – two bodies that may now need to set aside the data altogether and start over.
In essence the “meat” of the Copenhagen Diagnosis is far from kosher, resulting – as one of the responders confirms – in a steamrolled world being:
[…] one step away from levying a tax on the emissions of CO2 worldwide; a tax that each and every consumer will pay through the increased energy cost of producing everything we buy. The EPA is on the verge of rendering an endangerment finding on a gas that is an essential building block to all plant life on the globe, based on what appears to be a manufactured hypothesis. Carbon Dioxide is a gas that is soluble in water, and one that forms the very base of the food chain in our oceans; it is a compound that each and every living mammal on the planet exhales as part of its very existence. And yet a group of scientists, who for purely self-serving and political reasons, embark on a crusade to manufacture evidence that CO2 is the hobgoblin of greenhouse gases, when in fact it represents only 4% of the total GHG’s in our atmosphere.
As I had noted in my earlier post, the Climategate emails indicate that prior to Kyoto, several hundred scientists were asked by a few CRUdites to endorse a “Statement”:
Recipients were asked to send their reply (if they agreed with the Statement) to Mitchell no later than November 19. And to “FORWARD THIS MESSAGE to up to three colleagues in your country who are working in climate-related fields, who you think may support the Statement and whom we have not targeted.’ [emphasis in original]
Now I understand how scientific “consensus” is built: good old-fashioned virtual chain-letters – and a minimum amount of time for any independent verification!
A significant contributor to driving the streamroller has been the Copenhagen Communiqué Guess what, folks, the Communiqué is yet another Statement (signed by no less than 871 businesses from around the world):
The Copenhagen Communiqué is a short, punchy statement that draws on some of the key thinking on climate policy that has emerged from the international business community over the past two years, and sets out the business case for a strong and effective UN climate framework.
I guess “the science is settled” wasn’t “punchy” enough! So Cambridge University got into the steamroller act. If you’ve read the 22 page IPCC Summary for Policymakers, you’ve already read the new, improved 2 page “short, punchy statement”. Probably much easier to build consensus on a “short, punchy statement”, don’t you think?
The message is “must act now” and 871 businesses have – perhaps unsuspectingly, but certainly with no due diligence regarding the “business case” (please see my corollary above) – signed up for unkosher “meat”. And if unkosher meat is good enough for Cambridge, Prince Charles – and 871 businesses worldwide – it must be good enough for the rest of us! And even if not for the rest of us, “must act now” is definitely good enough for MSM headlines.
Just received my CBC Evening News Digest. Top headline: “Immediate action needed, climate summit hears”. Why am I not in the least bit surprised?
The foggy solution to the climate question steamroller just keeps rollin’ along.