Look Back In Bemusement
by David Archibald
18 April 2018
We study history so as to not repeat it. There are many historical parallels with Australia’s current insanity on renewable energy. The first book written, Caesar’s Conquest of Gaul, mentions tribes from the area of current day Switzerland that would suddenly up and leave, burning their homes behind them, and go off on a rampage cross-country. A legion would be dispatched to send them back to where they came from and restore order. A closer parallel is the rise of puritanism in late 16th century England with its mental self-flagellation, joylessness and zeal. Puritanism burnt itself out eventually and Charles II was invited back to rule England in 1660. Religious revivals are recurrent. The burned-over district is a term for the western and central regions of New York State in the early 19th century, where religious revivals and the formation of new religious movements prevailed.
The closest parallel, ideologically, to what we are enduring at the moment in Australia is the 1858 cattle-killing frenzy of the Xhosa tribe in what is now South Africa. Briefly, a teenage girl named Nongqawuse and her friend Nombanda went to fetch water. Upon returning, she said that they had met the spirits of three of her ancestors who had told her that the Xhosa people should destroy their crops and kill their cattle. In return the spirits would sweep the British settlers into the sea. Then their granaries would fill again and their kraals would have more and better cattle. The cattle-killing frenzy that followed killed between 300,000 and 400,000 head of cattle. In the resulting famine, the population of the province dropped from 105,000 to fewer than 27,000. This is a photo of Nongqause’s gravestone:
Nations shouldn’t kill their cattle on the advice of simple-minded teenage spiritualists. Neither should they destroy their coal-fired power stations on the urging of the current day versions of same — Premiers Andrews and Berejiklian and the now-deposed Jay Weatherill.
Belief in global warming is another religious revival. Nicholas Wade in The Faith Instinct makes the case for Homo sapiens being hardwired to believe in a religion. Without something to believe in, some people experience their meaningless lives as being shallow, hollow, depressing and purposeless, and they even lose interest in breeding. Global warming fills a void. Unfortunately, like most whacko religions, they want impose their belief system on the rest of us.
History is repeating itself in the UK, after five hundred years, with global warming being the new puritanism. Once again this involves much self-flagellation over imagined sins, culminating in what is said to be the world’s longest suicide note – the UK’s Climate Change Act 2008. There are some sane people left in the UK though; the ones at the Global Warming Policy Foundation commissioned eminent British journalist, Christopher Booker, to write a report which is entitled Global Warming: A case study in groupthink. Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT wrote the foreword which, in relation to global warming theory, includes the question of:
how do otherwise intelligent people come to believe such arrant nonsense despite its implausibility, internal contradictions, contradictory data, evident corruption and ludicrous policy implications.
How indeed? Dr Lindzen has been publishing tracts critical of the global warming theory for over 30 years. Booker’s report is a good history of how global warming captured elite opinion. It includes many amusing anecdotes of the antics that the global warming scientists and supporters resorted to in order to further their cause, mostly relating to their inherent hypocrisy. Following are some of those stories.
The scientific establishment in the US and Europe were solidly on board the global warming hoax from at least 30 years ago, before the evidence for it had even been concocted. Of course any dissent from this was not tolerated; from page 13:
But, as Lindzen noted, it had soon become clear that any proposals deemed likely to be at all ambivalent over global warming were highly unlikely to be accepted. He recalled how, in the winter of 1989, the National Science Foundation had withdrawn funding from one of his MIT colleagues, Professor Reginald Newell, when his data analyses failed to show that the previous century had seen a net warming (one reviewer suggested that his results were ‘dangerous to humanity’).
Dr Lindzen also had similar problems, as recounted on page 14:
This was an indication of just how ruthless the pressure had become to shut any critics of the ‘consensus’ out of the debate. When Lindzen himself submitted a critique of the global warming thesis to Science, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, his article was rejected as being of ‘no interest’ to its readership. But, to his astonishment, Science then proceeded to attack his paper even though it had not been published.
Although the article eventually appeared in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, its editor made ‘a determined effort to solicit rebuttals’.
At one level, global warming theory was a means to an end. Actually reversing the supposed harm caused by extra carbon dioxide was not the point. The point was to have a hate object that would justify what the protagonists wanted to do. On page 18 there is a quote from The First Global Revolution, Report by the Club of Rome, 1991:
In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill … all these dangers are caused by human intervention … the real enemy then is humanity itself.
The wonderful thing about global warming as an issue is that no physical evidence of its existence that people experience in their daily lives was necessary. To a large extent the global warmers were ‘faking it until they made it’ but no temperature increase came along to help them out. Their predictions now are no less ridiculous, but the warmers have learnt to push them much further out in time.
Back in the 1990s some of the original participants in the global warming industry thought they were involved in doing real science. Thus this amusing story from page 20 about an IPCC report from 1995:
But no one was more surprised by this than several of the scientific contributors to those same pages, who had earlier signed off the text as an accurate record of what they had agreed. These now much-quoted words had not appeared in the draft they formally approved at a meeting in Madrid in November 1995
In clear breach of one of the IPCC’s strictest rules, these two cited papers had not even yet been published. What astonished the scientists even more, however, was to discover that no less than 15 key statements from their agreed text had been deleted. And each of these had expressed serious doubt over the human contribution to global warming.
Other “scientists” were well aware that what they were doing wasn’t science at all. On page 23 is the story of what Jonathan Overpeck will be remembered for:
It began in 1995 with a famous email from one of the little group of scientists at the heart of the IPCC, Jonathan Overpeck, to another scientist whom he assumed agreed with the ‘consensus’. In it, Overpeck said ‘we have to get rid of the Mediaeval Warm Period’
Facts that proved global warming to be wrong had to be eliminated. Because there was no evidence for global warming in the climate record, beyond normal variation, evidence for it had to be fabricated. One of these fabrications was Michael Mann’s hockey stick graph that got rid of the inconvenient Medieval Warm Period. This was exposed by Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, who found that:
In essence it seemed that Mann’s algorithm was ‘mining’ the underlying data for hockey-stick shapes, and therefore would give a hockey stick result from whatever data was fed into it.
Despite having the gumption to throw out a thousand years’ worth of climate data in pursuit of his hockey stick, Mann is a sensitive soul with a fragile self-identity. He went on to sue Mark Steyn and others for alleged defamation.
Another unpleasant individual prominent at the time was the smarmy Tony Blair, then Prime Minister of the UK, who sent a delegation headed by Sir David King to a climate seminar in Moscow organised by Putin’s economic adviser, Alexander Ilarionov. King behaved abominably. The Russians had recently emerged from 70 years of a totalitarian regime enforcing groupthink and were quick to recognise global warming for what it was, as told on page 28:
He went on to speak witheringly about the ‘distorted and falsified’ data used to promote the ‘consensus’, mentioning the ‘hockey stick’. And he then tore apart the behaviour of King and his colleagues, pointing out their complete inability to answer scientific questions and referring to those ‘ugly scenes’ that had ‘prevented the seminar from proceeding normally’.
Ilarionov ended with a peroration warning that the world seemed once again to be up against a ‘man-hating, totalitarian ideology’, dealing in ‘misinformation, falsification, fabrication, mythology and propaganda’, in an attempt ‘to prove the alleged validity’ of its theory. No one listening to this storming rejection of all the ‘consensus’ stood for could have guessed that, four months later, on a private initiative by Tony Blair, President Putin would do a complete U-turn. In return for Russia being allowed to join the World Trade Organization on very favourable terms, it would now ratify the Kyoto Treaty.
There has been only one good movie about global warming and that is The Great Global Warming Swindle. It is well-made, scientifically correct, effective and a pleasure to watch. So the global warming establishment did their best to discredit it by sending letters of complaint to the UK’s broadcasting regulator, Ofcom. As recounted on page 40, Ofcom dismissed most of the complaints by saying that since the public believed in global warming they would not have been misled by Swindle:
So vast was the mountain of complaints that it was to take Ofcom a year to process them. But so strongly was Channel 4 able to support all it had said that the vast majority were rejected. Ofcom avoided the main issue by claiming that, since the science on global warming was generally accepted, the programme could not have misled its viewers, as alleged.
By 2007 the head of the IPCC was an Indian railway engineer, Rajendra Pachauri. Dr Pachauri was later accused of misconduct in matters of the heart, but he also liked cricket. During a seminar in New York, he flew to Delhi and back to join a cricket practice session. The quality of the IPCC’s reports under Dr Pachauri had not improved on their previous low standard. Having removed self-respecting scientists from the process, more imaginative people became involved; from page 51:
The resulting stir prompted a diligent Canadian journalist, Donna Laframboise, to invite readers of her blog to co-operate in checking out every single source given for statements in the 2007 report. Her 40-strong team discovered that, of the 18,531 scientific references cited in the report, no fewer than 5,587, nearly a third, had not been peer-reviewed academic studies at all, but were ‘newspaper and magazine articles, discussion papers, MA and PhD theses, working papers and advocacy literature published by environmental groups’.
The big event a decade ago was Climategate. Some public-spirited person, most likely a techie, uploaded the email correspondence between warmer scientists from the server at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia to a Russian server. What was revealed provided endless amusement and confirmed that, almost to a man, the warmer scientists were the mendacious, scheming, nasty people we thought they were. Also that there had been no warming; from page 52:
This led to Jones’s startling admission that, since 1995, there had been ‘no statistically significant global warming’; and furthermore that the rate of warming in earlier years, between 1860 and 1880 and 1910 and 1940, had been ‘not statistically different’ from that between 1975 and 2009.
No fewer than eight separate official inquiries were launched into Climategate, five in America and three in Britain. All the misbehaving warmers were exonerated.
For anyone contemplating a scientific career, on page 59 Christopher Booker tells the story of how to get the result you need when conducting a scientific study. The story relates to the commonly cited claim that 97 percent of climate scientists believe in global warming:
For a start, the survey was the work of a master’s degree student at the University of Illinois, under the guidance of her supervisor. She had indeed originally approached ‘10,257 Earth scientists’, but it was then decided that many of these represented disciplines which did not qualify them to answer, including physicists, geologists, astronomers and experts on solar activity (who might have believed there was a connection between global warming and the Sun).
So the original number of those approached was winnowed down to 3,146. Those who remained were then asked two questions. First, did they accept that the world had warmed since the pre-industrial era? It might have been hard to find any reasonably well-informed person who disagreed with this, but even so 10 percent of them did so. Secondly, did they believe that human activity had ‘significantly’ contributed to this warming’?
When only 82 percent said they did, this was not considered to convey quite the required impression of an overwhelming ‘consensus’. So the sample was winnowed down still further until the researchers were left with just 77 respondents who (a) described themselves as ‘climate scientists’ and (b) had recently published peer-reviewed papers on climate change. When 75 of the 77 gave the required answer to the second question, this provided the ‘97 percent’ figure which won all those headlines (although it amounted to only 0.7 percent of the ‘10,257 earth scientists’ originally approached).
The true nastiness of the global warming believers was revealed in a short film they produced themselves: No Pressure.
This was launched in October 2010 for showing in UK cinemas and on the internet. It was made for 10:10, a campaign urging everyone in 2010 to cut their personal ‘carbon footprint’ by 10 percent:
The video opened with a gushing school teacher, played by a well-known actress, Gillian Anderson, telling her class that there was a ‘brilliant idea’ going round, that people should cut their ‘carbon emissions by 10 percent’, to keep ‘the planet safe for everyone’. She asks the class what they might think of doing for the cause, particularly pleased with one girl who says she will be cycling to school instead of coming by car. ‘Fantastic, Jemima!’. ‘No pressure’, the teacher gushes on, ‘but it would be great to get an idea of how many of you are going to do this’.
It seems as if every hand has been raised, until she notices that Philip and Tracy have refused to join in. Smiling on, she says ‘absolutely fine, your own choice’ and prepares to end the lesson – until she remembers something, ‘Oh, just before you go’, she says, reaching under the papers on her desk, ‘I just need to press this button’. She does so and Philip and Tracy explode into fragments all around the room, showering blood and body parts over the desks and white shirts of their horrified fellow pupils.
As a belief system, global warming is just as intolerant as some far more established religions. Global warming has its own particular problem, as a belief system, in that the present must always be warmer than the past. As per Orwell’s dictum that ‘He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past’, the warmers keep changing the past to make it colder; from page 68:
But it then emerged that something very odd had been going on with the surface records on which this new claim was based: the data for the two El Niño years 1998 and 2010 had been significantly altered. The previous version of HadCRUt, known as HadCRUt 3, had shown 1998 as 0.07 ◦C warmer than 2010. But a new HadCRUt 4 version was now showing that its figure for 1998 had been adjusted downwards and that for 2010 upwards, to give completely the opposite impression.
Such mendacity has kept the global warming juggernaut going for over 30 years now. The attempt in Copenhagen in 2009 to impose a new world order with climate as the excuse was a failure. There was another attempt in Paris in 2015 which was marginally more successful in that a meaningful sum of money was coughed up by the Obama regime. But as page 71 relates, the Paris treaty was built on a lie:
Buried away in the figures submitted by China, now easily the world’s largest single emitter, contributing 24 percent of the global total, it emerged that it was actually planning by 2030 to double its carbon dioxide emissions, not least by building hundreds more coal-fired power stations. The INDC submitted by India, by now the world’s third largest emitter, showed that it too was planning to build even more coal-fired power stations, which by 2030 71 would contribute to a trebling of its annual emissions.
As Richard Lindzen mentioned in his foreword, global warming has ludicrous policy implications. It seems that people who believe in global warming are capable of adopting any idiotic scheme. I thought Australia had the world’s stupidest politicians but after reading the stories on pages 77 and 78 it could be tie with those of the UK:
In Northern Ireland in January 2017, the coalition government collapsed, creating its worst political crisis since the end of the Troubles. This came about through a major scandal over a government ‘green’ scheme, the Renewable Heat Incentive, under which businesses had been offered almost unlimited subsidies to heat their premises with wood chip boilers.
So many had rushed to claim £160 in subsidy for every £100 they paid for wood chips that they were running their boilers round the clock, even to heat factories, offices and warehouses no longer in use. The total subsidy bill, it had now been estimated, would by 2020 have soared to £1 billion.
A similar, little-noticed racket was already going on in England, where, under the same scheme, owners of large houses openly boasted to friends that they were able to keep their wood-chip heating systems going full-blast even at the height of summer, because they were making a 60 percent profit on all the fuel they burned (which contributed to the fact that Britain was now said to be burning more wood than at any time since the Napoleonic wars).
The Drax coal-fired power station was one of the best in the UK. It has been converted to burning woodchips from trees grown in the US:
for burning wood (officially rated by the EU as ‘carbon neutral’, because eventually new trees would supposedly absorb the carbon dioxide emitted by burning the wood pellets), Drax was now receiving a subsidy of £500 million a year. But a report from Chatham House had confirmed that Drax was now emitting more carbon dioxide per unit of electricity than it did when only burning coal.
The ludicrous policy implications of global warming are now making many of us poorer for no good reason. We feel that in our power bills, jobs lost, industries closed and the nation is less secure. Our version of the UK’s suicide note is the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act of October 2007, Howard’s last dark deed. Repeal that act and the whole rotten edifice of renewable energy targets etc. comes tumbling down. If your federal member of parliament doesn’t want to repeal that act, do your utmost to replace him with someone who does.
To hasten that process we need to give the warmers something else to believe in. As a religion, belief in global warming is well short of being complicated enough to do some actual good, such as building orphanages, retirement homes or hospitals for the importune. Relative to a religion that actually does some good, belief in global warming is like a prion relative to the human genome, a little poisonous fragment even simpler than a virus. A Christian revival is possible but unlikely. Steve Bannon, before he himself burnt out, talked of the need for a church militant. But our current crop of clerics are clueless, averse to work and couldn’t be repurposed for good anyway. We need something like another Council of Nicaea to formulate a new religion for the warmers to believe in.
And we are running out of time. The margin of safety in our society, both economically and culturally, is running down. The most recent example of the latter is the Queensland Govt. considering having five genders to choose from on the state’s birth certificate. Any parent who ticked any box other than male or female is guilty of child abuse.
It has been said that the millennials are on a trajectory to be the first generation to decriminalise paedophilia. But there are the odd signs that the warmers and their fellow travellers might burn themselves out first. One such sign is the suicide of the self-loathing: a white, lesbian couple from Washington State killed themselves along with their five adopted, abused, black children. Another self-loather who self-immolated was an activist lawyer protesting against global warming. Something that can’t go on forever won’t. There is hope.
David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare.