Thursday, April 09, 2009


Watermelons: “green” on the outside, “red” on the inside. That popular definition of environmental statists is what Czech President Vaclav Klaus had in mind when he denounced global warming zealots for promoting “a new religion” that “threatens to undermine freedom and the world’s economic and social order.”

Klaus would not have been welcome a week ago Saturday when lights were dimmed in San Diego and other local communities to celebrate “Earth Hour”—a global PR event sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund to tout the profound dangers of manmade climate change.

As is typically the case, our local television hairdos enthusiastically aired the proceedings without providing (as an honest “Fairness Doctrine” would require) comment from team-Klaus or team-Richard Lindzen (MIT Professor of Meteorology) or team-Freeman Dyson (Princeton physicist emeritus) or team-Bjorn Lomborg (Danish author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist”).

That’s only a short list of dissenters who possess credentials at least as impressive as those held by members of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Indeed, “climate criminal” Christopher Horner notes in his book, “Red Hot Lies,” that the IPCC is chock full of government-picked “scientists” with degrees in sociology, economics, and even “transport management.” That unimpressive list includes IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri, who as an economist and industrial engineer felt sufficiently qualified in atmospheric dynamics and psychohistory to compare critic Bjorn Lomborg with Adolf Hitler.

Horner supplements his analysis of the IPCC’s general scientific expertise with two lengthy chapters that document IPCC malfeasance—exemplified in the practice of hyping summaries for policymakers months before completion of the work purportedly being summarized. New Zealand climate scientist Dr. Vincent Gray provides his own succinct institutional summary: “The IPCC is fundamentally corrupt.”

Horner, Klaus, and others have explained why today’s global warming propagandists are knee-deep in statistical manipulation, character assassination, intimidation, and censorship.

First, financial incentives for jumping on the global warming gravy train are enormous—dwarfing the alleged “buying” of scientists by Exxon-Mobil. Billions are now headed toward alarmists like Al Gore who stand to gain billions more from their ties to favored green industries. Ironically, this idea of “monotizing” environmental groups was made famous by Enron’s Ken Lay.

Secondly, climate hysteria creates an opportunity for top-down statist policies—the preferred governmental arrangement of “Watermelons” whose political dreams revolve around the redistribution of wealth and ever-expanding social controls.

A prime example of the hugely successful indoctrination tactics employed by alarmists is the shameless targeting of intellectually defenseless children. One prominent proselytizer recently spoke at a San Marcos high school and was described in a North County Times headline as a “Nobel Prize winner” and “expert in global climate change.” Paragraph thirteen noted that the “author” (actually one of many authors) of an IPCC climate change report teaches “conservation biology.”

Nowhere was it mentioned that Antarctica’s ice-mass is actually increasing or that polar bears are flourishing. Least of all, I’d wager, did the feted butterfly specialist divulge any such inconvenient truths to her captive audience.


maurile said...

I highly recommend this series of YouTube videos on Climate Change. (There are three up so far, with more to come.) The guy who does them has a real talent for explaining complex subjects so that they're easy to understand. (Also see his series: From Big Bang to Us.)

Of course, the science behind global warming is only part of the story. There are economic issues to consider as well. I agree with Freemon Dyson that restricting CO2 will hurt the poorest countries, and that the costs of the measures currently being proposed would likely exceed the benefits.

Moreover, as David Friedman points out at about the 39 minute mark here, global warming is projected to raise the sea level by a few feet and raise the temperature by a few degrees centigrade over the next 100 years. There are plenty of other hazards that can wipe out the entire human race well before then. Friedman mentions nanotech, biotech, and unfriendly artificial intelligence. In addition, the possibility of solar flares, comets and asteroids, caldera eruptions, and other dangers would not only be more dire than global warming's likely impact, but they can happen with relatively no warning. A bio-engineered plague could give us just days to respond. Even the fastest climate change scenarios would take decades.

I'm personally fairly convinced of the reality of anthropogenic global warming. But I am skeptical that a given dollar will do more good if spent to reduce the threat of global warming than if spent to reduce other future risks instead, or just to reduce current poverty.

RKirk said...

Here is an interview with Professor Ian Plimer on Australian TV:

TICKY FULLERTON, PRESENTER: There's another voice raising alarm at the impact of emissions trading on the resource sector.

Professor Ian Plimer is one of the few scientists roundly pooh poohing the theory of human induced climate change. He is a geologist, not a climatologist who argues that actual events in the earth's history tells us far more than climate models of the future.

As Professor of Mining Geology at the University of Adelaide, Ian Plimer by definition works closely with the mining industry, where he says there's a growing backlash against the current thinking on emissions.

Professor Ian Plimer, welcome to Lateline Business.


TICKY FULLERTON: You are a greenhouse heretic, if I may say so. How can so many governments and the media have got it wrong?

IAN PLIMER: Well heretic is quite correct. That's a religious word and that's what we're dealing with- a modern political religion.

Governments do not seem to understand that the UN is a political organisation and there were scientists who were seeking fame and fortune, there's not much money around, and if you can get on that bandwagon, then you can have yourself funded and have a great party frightening people witless.

TICKY FULLERTON: So what do you think the science is that proves your case?

IAN PLIMER: The science that defiantly proves my case is history. Looking back at history, looking at archaeology, looking at geology. And it shows us that the planet is dynamic, the planet is always changing, some of these changes are as cycles.

And what we're seeing today are changes that are far less than anything we've ever seen in the past. I look in my area of expertise, which is geology, and we look at how sea levels rise and fall, and they always have, but they've risen and fallen up to 600 metres.

The sea level changes we've had in the last 12,000 years have been about a centimetre a year. That’s what the IPCC are claiming is going to happen in 100 years.

That doesn't really frighten us, that's happened before. In geology we look at changing climates, and we see periods in the past when we had very high carbon dioxide contents yet we had glaciations.

So explain that. They sit under the oceans, provide a lot of heat to the ocean, they put a huge amount of carbon dioxide into ocean water that doesn't have much carbon dioxide in it, and it later is vented out.

TICKY FULLERTON: But Professor, why not back the precautionary principle and accept that perhaps there might be a tipping point looking forward on climate change.

IAN PLIMER: There's no such thing as precautionary principle in science, and if there was in society you'd never get out of bed. The second thing is that we've had plenty of opportunity in the last 4,500 million years when we had high carbon dioxide contents and we had very warm climates in the past.

We had plenty of opportunity for a tipping point.

TICKY FULLERTON: Well we could talk long into the night about this I know, but what I am interested in this is the talk that you gave last week to the Sydney Mining Club.

What sort of response did you get?

IAN PLIMER: Well I had a phenomenal response. It was overbooked, people couldn't come in, I'm getting a couple of hundred emails a day as a result of it.

TICKY FULLERTON: Is the scepticism genuine or is this also about economic self interest.

IAN PLIMER: Well I can't speak for others but scepticism is an integral part of science and when we have sceptical views regarded pejoratively then I think we're abandoning science.

And I would argue that the current campaign is one that has abandoned science and has taken on the place of socialism and a new type of religion.

TICKY FULLERTON: How do you think the mining industry has handled its case lobbying Government?

IAN PLIMER: Well the mining industry doesn't lobby very hard, it's too busy creating wealth in isolated outback areas where people don't have employment.

It is very hard for junior and medium sized mining companies to lobby government. And for the bigger mining companies, they can easily move somewhere else and take their operations elsewhere.

I see that if this goes through to its natural course, we could destroy Australia's greatest wealth generating industry, and that's the mining industry. And we all live off the mining industry.

We do not live off the sheep's back; we live off the mining industry.

TICKY FULLERTON: What do you think the Emissions Trading Scheme is going to do to the mining industry?

IAN PLIMER: It will probably destroy it totally, it'll create massive unemployment and we'll have a change of Government. That's the very clear message...

TICKY FULLERTON: That you're getting that from the industry?

IAN PLIMER: Yes, very much so. It will certainly change Government because a lot of the workers in the mining industry supported the current Government, and they will not support the current Government if it looks as if they're going to lose their jobs.

So I see the Government has to tread very carefully in balancing ideology with pragmatism and the pragmatism is that it is a brave Government that will put people out of work.

TICKY FULLERTON: Do you think the financial meltdown has made a difference to how industry is looking at spending on climate change?

IAN PLIMER: Well I think its forced people to think about their costs in much more detail, and there have been a lot of sceptical views out there and people are saying, "Well let's revisit these, let us really think whether this is a smart thing to do."

Even if Australia does do something about climate it’s not going to affect the globe, it's a very, very big planet. And we're just going to leave ourselves open to lose all our markets.

TICKY FULLERTON: Professor Ian Plimer, thank you for talking to Lateline Business.

IAN PLIMER: It's a pleasure.

RKirk said...

Here is information about Plimer's new book: HEAVEN AND EARTH

Heaven and Earth


Recommended by Václav Klaus, President of the EU, 2009.

“This is a very powerful, clear, understandable and extremely useful book. Ian Plimer fully exploits his unique scientific background in geology, his life-long academic experience, and his broad, truly interdisciplinary knowledge to dismantle the currently popular, politically correct but rationally untenable and indefensible position that the Earth is approaching catastrophic climate change and that we have to react – at all costs – to prevent it.

Professor Plimer argues that the undergoing climate change is not unprecedented in history and that the temperatures in the 20th Century are not outside the range of natural variability. He rejects the unscientific idea that the explanation of climate change can be reduced to one variable (CO2), the proposition that there is a strong relationship between measured temperature and CO2 emissions, and the almost religious belief that we will stop climate change by reducing CO2 emissions. He rightly assumes that humans will be able to adapt to any future coolings or warmings.

He also convincingly criticizes the UN, the IPCC, UK and US politicians as well as “Hollywood show business celebrities”. He strictly distinguishes science and environmental activism, politics and opportunism. The book I wrote two years ago “Blue Planet in Green Shackles” comes to very similar conclusions but I have to say that if I’d had a chance to read Professor Plimer’s book, my book would have been better.” (Václav Klaus.)

The hypothesis that humans can actually change climate is unsupported by evidence from geology, archaeology, history and astronomy.

The Earth is an evolving dynamic system. Current changes in climate, sea level and ice are within variability. Atmospheric CO2 is the lowest for 500 million years. Climate has always been driven by the Sun, the Earth’s orbit and plate tectonics and the oceans, atmosphere and life respond. Humans have made their mark on the planet, thrived in warm times and struggled in cool times.
The hypothesis that humans can actually change climate is unsupported by evidence from geology, archaeology, history and astronomy. The hypothesis is rejected.

A new ignorance fills the yawning spiritual gap in Western society. Climate change politics is religious fundamentalism masquerading as science. Its triumph is computer models unrelated to observations in nature. There has been no critical due diligence of the science of climate change, dogma dominates, sceptics are pilloried and 17th Century thinking promotes prophets of doom, guilt and penance.

When plate tectonics ceases and the world runs out of new rocks, there will be a tipping point and irreversible climate change.

Don’t wait up.

Over 500 pages, over 50 diagrams


Ian Plimer is Professor of Mining Geology at The University of Adelaide and Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences at The University of Melbourne where he was Professor and Head (1991-2005). He was previously Professor and Head of Geology at The University of Newcastle (1985-1991). His previous book, A Short History of Planet Earth, won the Eureka Prize.

ISBN: ISBN 9781921421143