Henry’s Wandering Geologist (HWG) has always maintained that climate change, global warming, call it what you wish, is but the latest fashion in sheep’s clothing worn by those who wish to impose on us a totalitarian state in which every aspect of our lives is regulated for the common good.
But many sceptics spend enormous amounts of effort and thought trying to counter the obvious bad science and they are wasting their time – the climate change issue is political, not scientific, though the shoddy science does have to be refuted.
Henry’s readers might not have read about it in the mainstream news media, but the climate sceptics had another conference in New York City and this can be attributed to media bias which Bernie Goldberg’s books on the U.S. media should be read for more details, Bias A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News and the second, Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite.
One of the speakers at the Heartland Plenary session was Dr. John Sununu, former Chief of Staff for President Bush the elder from 1989 to 1992 and who basically confirmed HWG’s position on the climate change agenda – that it is politically driven. Extracts from his speech follow (with thanks to Quadrant online and Dr. Bob Carter).
‘Dr Sununu advised his audience to recognise that the climate change issue will never go away, no matter how much the false alarmism of Global Warming is exposed. The reason is that Global Warming is not the real target, but just a convenient demon around which anti-growth and anti-development activism can be mounted.
‘Early demons for the same cause after the Second World War were, first, the declared “population crisis,” and then the global cooling alarmism that became prevalent in the 1970s. In turn, climate cooling alarmism transmuted into the dangerous Global Warming cult of the 1990s and beyond.
‘The most significant tactical weapon that was developed along this historic path of anti-growth agitation was the use of virtual reality computer models to generate alarm. Thus the real predecessor to the present situation was the Club of Rome “we will run out of resources” exercise, which was the first large-scale, environmental, computer modelling project to base its alarms not on empirical data, but on a computer model that was predestined to give a desired result.
‘This same predestination applies to the current IPCC computer models, which are now far too complex to be checked or debated in the public forum, and which carry great authority. Accordingly, they have become a powerful weapon in the armoury of anti-growth environmental groups.
‘Dr Sununu recalled a White House briefing that he received from alarmist scientists around 1990, when only the first primitive climate models were available – which did not include ocean to atmosphere interactions. Ever since, development of these faulty, but now much more sophisticated, models, has continued in order to drive a predetermined climate alarmism.
‘In consequence, the modellers have captured major parts of the funding streams now directed into Global Warming research, which in the US alone may total as much as $10 billion/year. “Despite this,” said Dr Sununu, the current models remain “predestined …. and are extremely far away from being able to handle the reality of nature. Nature will respond to climate change in the future in a self-stabilising way, as it always has in the past.”
‘In closing, Dr Sununu offered some advice towards winning over public opinion in a way that will influence policy makers. Unfortunately the press stands in the way of this process, and thrives on reinforcing climate alarmism. “I am often asked: Is the press biased or ignorant?,” said Dr Sununu, “and I reply, 'they certainly are.”
‘Nonetheless, science must today be presented in non-technical ways which can be understood by both your neighbour and by policy makers - “If we don’t give the press sound bites, they won’t use it,” Dr Sununu said, “Honest science, good science and valid science is the necessary basis for public policy.”’
Interestingly, one of the participants at the Heartland Conference – No. 2 was leftwing columnist Alexander Cockburn for the Los Angeles Times and the Nation magazine who recently had a damascene conversion during 2007 when he first dissented from the “consensus.”
‘“I've felt like the object of a witch hunt," he says. "One former Sierra Club board member suggested I should be criminally prosecuted." Mr. Cockburn was at the conference collecting material for his forthcoming book "A Short History of Fear," in which he will explore the link between fear-mongering and climate catastrophe proponents.
‘"No one on the left is comfortable talking about science," he told Marc Morano. "They don't feel they can easily get their arms around it, so they don't think about it much. As a result, they are prone to any peddler of ideas that reinforce their pre-existing prejudices. One would be that there is a population explosion that must be dealt with by slowing down economies."'
‘Marc Morano asked him how he felt hanging around with so many people who have a more conservative viewpoint than he does. "It's been good fun and I've learned a lot," he told me, "I think what they are saying on this topic is looking better and better."’
This raises the Malthusian nightmare peddled by anthropologist Margaret Mead and her acolytes of an impending global population explosion, encapsulated in Paul Erlich’s spectacularly wrong book “The Population Bomb” and mentioned in a previous Hissink File.
Mead and her minions sincerely believe in an impending environmental catastrophe from over- population, so it is somewhat unsurprising that her successors made a ferocious attack on Bjorn Lomborg’s book, “The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World.”
The Mead 1975 conference anticipated Global Warming:
‘Mead’s co-editor of the proceedings, climatologist William Kellogg, notes that “the main purpose of this conference is to anticipate the call that will be made on scientists and leaders of government regarding the need to protect the atmospheric environment before these calls are made.”
‘Kellogg outlines the difficulties of computer modelling of climate change and man’s role because of the nonlinearities involved in climate, but he concludes that climate models “are really the only tools we have to determine such things.”
‘He then states, “The important point to bear in mind is that mankind surely has already affected the climate of vast regions, and quite possibly of the entire Earth, and that its ever escalating population and demand for energy and food will produce larger changes in the years ahead.”
‘Kellogg reviews the potential Global Warming disaster scenarios, which are actually what then became the scientific research agenda for the next 30 years. He himself had put forward arguments that the release of the energy necessary to support a “large, affluent world population could possibly warm up the Earth excessively.”
‘The issues Kellogg laid out are all too familiar today: warming that will melt “the Arctic Ocean ice pack and the ice sheets of Greenland and the Antarctic.” “What will happen to the mean sea level and the coastal cities around the world?” Kellogg asks.
‘Increased carbon dioxide was high on the list of man-related climate change disasters. It was admitted that there might be other factors involved, but, “It is concluded that, in cases where the societal risk is great, one should therefore act as if the unaccounted-for effects had been included, since we have no way of dismissing the very possibility that the calculated effect will prevail.”
‘In the Conference summary of recommendations, Kellogg’s thrust is repeated: Scientists and policy-makers must act now on man-caused climate change. “To ignore the possibility of such changes is, in effect, a decision not to act."
‘John Holdren repeated this idea: “How close are we to the danger point?” of ecological collapse, he asked. But then he went on to say that it doesn’t matter, because we need to act now. He stated:
“We already have reached the scale of human intervention that rivals the scale of natural processes. . . . Furthermore, many of these forms of intervention will lead to observable adverse effects only after time lags, measured in years, decades, or even centuries. By the time the character of the damage is obvious, remedial action will be difficult or impossible. Some kinds of adverse effects may be practically irreversible..”
The problem we face is not so much that the science behind Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is fundamentally wrong, but that those who believe in this pseudoscience now have political control in the West and sincerely believe that there is indeed a problem, hence the severe cognitive dissonance with Lomborg’s ‘heresies.’
A conspicuous example of this blind faith was one young radical who turned up at the Heartland Conference to declare he had never witnessed so much hypocrisy. How, he asked the panellists of a session on European policy, could they sleep at night?
Clearly puzzled, one of the panellists asked him with which parts of their presentations he disagreed with. "Oh," he said "I didn't come here to listen to the presentations!"
This leads me to repeat the danger to science when the deductive method dominates the scientific process at the expense of empiricism. When terms such as ‘scientific consensus’ are used to demonstrate the verity of a theory alarm bells should start ringing. Science is not about a consensus, and if it is, it isn’t science but pseudoscience, and pseudoscience is generally driven by ideology and thus easily hijacked by ideology.
Professor Richard Lindzen speaking at the conference stressed that climate change alarmism was a political and not a scientific matter. Various scientific bodies have been taken over by the alarmists making announcements appealing to authority rather than silence. The appointment of John Holdren as Obama’s Science Advisor strongly suggests that Meads minions have finally arrived at their goal.
Returning to Sununu’s address, it is clear that since World War Two, scare after scare has been inflicted on us but whether these were purposefully engineered or not remains moot – one would hardly want to be accused of being a conspiratorial type, after all – but the signs are there for those whose brains haven’t been addled by historic revisionism.
Put simply, the Anthropogenic Global Warming scare seems to be the latest ploy of the Fabians to implement their utopia of a world socialist state centred in the United Nations.
So it was with a bit of surprise that I came across Michael Filozof’s article in American Thinker of 11 March, 2009 – Obama and the Triumph of the Fabians. (The connection between the Fabians and Margaret Mead is a little obscure but Mead was a pupil of Franz Boas and apparently accepted his views uncritically according to one account. Boas was prominent in the American Fabians: New School for Social Research.)
At the end of World War Two Churchill was unceremoniously dumped by the British electorate and England embarked on a peaceful conversion to socialism of the Fabian type. (Communism is socialism imposed at the end of a gun, Fabians impose it by stealth and deceit, Social Democracy imposes it by accident and Fascism imposes it by adding a veneer of a market economy that is tightly controlled by regulation).
‘The Fabian Society was disproportionately influential in the Labour Government of 1945; though the Society numbered only several thousand, more than half of the Labour Party MPs were members. Nearly all leaders of the post-war Labour Party have been members, including Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson, James Callaghan, Neil Kinnock and Tony Blair.
“Fabian Society membership was a Who's Who of pre-war British intellectuals, writers and artists who had rejected classical free-market economics, traditional religion, nationalism and imperialism. They included nerdy academic socialists like Harold Laski and G.D.H. Cole, as well as a motley collection of misfits, pacifists, deviants and utopian radicals.”
‘It’s in the rejection of classical free-market economics that we can recognise a link between the Fabians and those loosely affiliated with them, and the forces driving AGW centred in the UN. The relenting focus of the Rudd Government’s implementation of the ETS, while suffering temporary setbacks from the GFC, identifies it as classical Fabianism – summarised by Filozof:
“The Fabians advocated a gradual, democratic socialist takeover rather than violent revolution. Fabians sought control over more banal aspects of life -- transport, utilities, medicine -- that were far less threatening to the general public than the prospect of armed revolution.
“The society was named after the Roman general Fabius Maximus, whose tactic was to wait for the ideal opportunity. The society's motto -- "For the right moment you must wait... but when the right moment comes you must strike hard" -- is eerily similar to new White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's sentiment that "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," because "a crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that [we] could not do before."
‘The agenda of the American Left bears an uncomfortable similarity to that of the Fabian Society intellectuals that reshaped British society. If this agenda is successfully implemented by Barack Obama, the election of 2008 in the United States will be a watershed event, much like the British election of 1945.
‘But this analogy is not an optimistic one. If one wants to know what the United States will look like fifty years after Obama, one need only look at the fall of Britain from its imperial height in 1945 to the Britain of today -- a second-rate, secularized "nanny state" whose disarmed citizens are monitored by thousands of police cameras and whose police actively prosecute "hate crimes" and offenses against "multiculturalism."
‘Like Britain, the United States will almost certainly remain an important financial centre and regional power several decades from now, but the centre of global gravity will long since have shifted to the Chinese as the United States abandons it global dominance and becomes preoccupied with a liberal, postmodern, domestic agenda.
‘It does not have to be this way -- the United States can still assert itself as the ‘global hegemon’ if it has the will to do so - but the successful implementation of the Obama agenda will assure that it does not.
‘If Obama achieves the goals articulated in his campaign, his presidency will surely mark the end of "the American Century" just as the election of 1945 signalled the end of Victorian and Edwardian British global dominance.”
The election of Kevin Rudd might, in light of these facts, also be a watershed if the ETS gets up.
This is the fight we climate sceptics are fighting against, and what Friedrich Hayek feared most – an innocuous slide into a totalitarian state by accident from adopting an ever increasing amount of regulation in the name of saving the environment.
With the implementation of the ETS, we will have finally gained governmental control of “AIR” albeit from far left field, and thus the means to impose a totalitarian state by stealth by the willingness of the citizens to take precautions for the noble cause of averting a climate catastrophe.
Classic Fabian tactics, in other words.
Will Henry realise his error in supporting the Precautionary Principle in time?
Louis Hissink (HWG)