The Week That Was (to July 31, 2010)
Excerpts from Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
On Thursday afternoon, the ten groups that petitioned EPA to reconsider its finding that carbon dioxide emissions endanger public health and welfare received notice that the petitions have been denied. This was not unexpected.
The notice quotes the May 2010 report of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, Advancing the Science of Climate Change:
"[T]here is a strong, credible body of evidence, based on multiple lines of research, documenting that climate is changing, and that these changes are in large part caused by human activities... . Climate change... poses significant risks for – and in many cases is already affecting – a broad range of human and natural systems."
The June 5, 2010 TWTW’ Science Editorial discussed this report. “The report … claims that the climate is warming and that the cause is human.” “The first claim of this federally funded $6-million exercise is meaningless and trivial, the second claim is almost surely wrong. Their recommendation is that the United States should put a price on carbon to staunch emissions of CO2; it is pointless, counterproductive, and very costly.”
Clearly, the leadership for the National Academy of Sciences has placed that venerable organization in the camp of those demanding expansion of government power and control over the American economy. This entire exercise requires abandoning knowledge of the earth’s history.
The EPA notice opens with this sentence: “EPA determined in December 2009 that climate change caused by emissions of greenhouse gases threatens the public's health and the environment.” [Bold face added] The Constitution discusses protecting public health and welfare, not the more nebulous term the environment which could be used to justify regulation of virtually all human activity.
The response to the petitions is some 590 pages long. In addition to the NAS study the notice references other studies including the IPCC Assessment Report, the 2009 study by the U.S. Global Change Research Program and a NOAA study released on July 28, 2010, no doubt especially prepared for the occasion. Also the notice references the three British inquiries into Climategate, the Netherlands assessment of the IPCC report, and the Penn State investigation of Michael Mann. It will not be a quiet August for those who have petitioned the courts to review the EPA endangerment finding.
It appears that US tax-and-cap is dead, at least for now. A clear indication is the speed in which many of the proponents are disavowing any association with Kerry-Lieberman. Of course the “greedy corporations” that participated in drafting the bill are receiving much of the blame. Little is said about the big corporations in the Green Industry that spent millions of dollars in promoting Kerry-Lieberman. These include National Resources Defense Council, Pew Center on Global Climate Change, Environmental Defense Fund and The Nature Conservancy. Future letters from these corporations soliciting donations will be an interesting read.
Still of concern is the possibility of an energy bill that includes a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), namely solar and wind. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid states he does not have the votes for RES, but someone may try to sneak one in. RES will have disastrous economic consequences. The Federal government greatly contributed to the sub-prime mortgage disaster by requiring lenders to offer sub-prime loans, but consumers were not forced to take them. RES will require utilities to provide sub-prime electricity that the consumers will be forced to buy at premium prices.
EPA Climate Proposals Threaten Pursuit of Happiness and Justice
Environmental justice demands that the United States address global warming, the gravest threat facing minority Americans, insist the EPA, Congressional Black Caucus and White House. Are they serious?
The alleged threat pales next to unwed teen motherhood, school dropouts, murder and other crime. But even assuming human carbon dioxide emissions will cause average global temperatures to rise a few degrees more than they have already since the Little Ice Age ended, it is absurd to suggest that any such warming would harm minorities more than policies imposed in the name of preventing climate change.
Human activities have not replaced the complex natural forces that drove climate change throughout Earth’s history. But even if manmade greenhouse gases do contribute to planetary warming, slashing US emissions to zero would bring no benefit, because steadily rising emissions from China, India, Brazil and other rapidly growing economies would almost instantly replace whatever gases we cease emitting.
Most important, fossil fuels power the economic engine that ensures justice and opportunity in America today. Policies that make energy less reliable and affordable reduce business revenues and profits, shrink investment and innovation, imperil economic recovery, and hobble job creation, civil rights, and the pursuit of happiness and the American dream.
Whether they take the form of cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, restrictions on drilling and coal mining, or EPA rules under its claim that carbon dioxide “endangers” human health and welfare, anti-energy policies frustrate the natural desire of poor and minority Americans to improve their lives.
As to coping with higher temperatures, restrictive energy policies send electricity prices skyrocketing, making it harder for low-income households to afford air conditioning, and putting lives at risk. They send poor families back to pre-AC misery of bygone eras, like the 1896 heat wave that killed 1,300 people in New York City’s sweltering tenements. In wintertime, they make heating less affordable, again putting lives at risk.
I recently documented the connection between energy policies and civil rights. My “Justice through Affordable Energy for Wisconsin” report focuses on the Dairy State, where I grew up. However, its lessons apply to every state, especially the 26 that get 48-98% of their electricity from coal or have a strong manufacturing base. (The full report can be found at www.CFACT.org)
Energy is the foundation for America’s jobs, living standards, and everything we make, grow, eat, wear, transport and do. Climate change bills, energy taxes and renewable energy mandates deliberately restrict supplies of reliable, affordable hydrocarbon energy – sending shockwaves through the economy.
Fossil fuels generate three-fourths of Wisconsin’s electricity, keeping costs low and enabling its $45-billion-a-year manufacturing sector to compete in a tough global marketplace. Hydrocarbons sustain thousands of jobs in agriculture, tourism and other sectors of the state’s economy. They ensure that hospitals and clinics can offer high-tech diagnostic, surgical and treatment services.
They enable school districts, families, churches, shops and government offices to operate in the black. Soaring fuel and electricity prices would force schools to spend millions more for buses, heating and lighting. That would mean higher taxes – or reduced music, sports, language and special education programs. Poor and minority neighborhoods would be impacted worst.
Small and minority businesses are often young and undercapitalized. Increasing their operating costs, while decreasing the disposable income of their customers, puts them on the verge of bankruptcy.
“A single worker in our Rhinelander fabrication plant can do the work of ten who do not have access to cranes, welding machines, plasma burners and all other machinery that allows us to cut, bend and fabricate steel up to six inches thick, and make all kinds of heavy equipment,” says Oldenburg Group executive vice president Tim Nerenz. But the machinery and facilities are energy-intensive. If energy costs rise, the company would have to cut wages and benefits or lay off workers, as contract prices are fixed and overseas competition is fierce.
Indoor pools and other facilities make tourism a year-round industry, sustaining local economies during frigid Wisconsin winters, making resorts like the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells popular jumping-off points for cross country skiing, snowmobiling and dining. Rising energy costs would reduce family vacations, hammer bottom lines, force layoffs, and cause foreclosures throughout these communities.
In every case, it is blue-collar workers, low and moderate income families, minorities and the elderly that are affected most severely.
Nor are these impacts likely to be offset by “green” jobs. As Spain, Germany and other countries have discovered, wind and solar power require constant infusions of money from increasingly strapped taxpayers and energy consumers. When the economy sours, the subsidies disappear, and so do the jobs.
Wind and solar electricity is expensive, intermittent and unreliable – necessitating expensive gas-powered backup generators, and further damaging family and business budgets. Plus, most of the jobs will be in China and India, where low energy and labor costs, and access to rare earths and other raw materials that America refuses to mine, supply wind turbine and solar panel factories that easily under-price US firms.
The entire cap-tax-and-trade, renewable energy and green-jobs edifice is a house of cards, propped up by claims that humans are affecting the Earth’s climate. As EPA and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson repeatedly assert, “Climate change is already happening, and human activity is a contributor.”
However, that is not the issue. The issue is whether our use of fossil fuels is now the dominant factor in global warming and cooling, and whether future manmade climate change will be catastrophic. There is no replicable or credible evidence to support that proposition.
Headline-grabbing disaster scenarios forecast for 50 or 100 years in the future are the product of speculation, assumptions, unreliable computer models, and articles by climate activists falsely presented as peer-reviewed scientific papers in IPCC reports, news stories and political speeches. As my Wisconsin study explains, they are not supported by actual data and observations regarding historic and current global temperatures, ice caps, glaciers, sea levels, rainforests or cyclical weather patterns.
Energy taxes and subsidies, renewable energy mandates, soaring prices for everything we need – and severe impacts on families, businesses, jobs, opportunities, living standards and basic civil rights – might be justified if we did indeed face a manmade climate disaster. But even then we should carefully examine the costs and benefits of any proposed actions.
We should determine whether slashing fossil fuel use will stabilize our planet’s ever-turbulent climate, and whether our limited resources might be better spent on adapting to future changes, natural and manmade, just as our ancestors did.
If global warming science is inaccurate, dishonest, slanted or fraudulent, there is even less justification.
We cannot have justice without opportunity, or opportunity without energy. We cannot have justice by sharing scarcity, poverty and skyrocketing energy prices more equally – especially on the basis of erroneous, speculative or manipulated climate science.
We must therefore be forever vigilant, to ensure that Congress does not slip cap-tax-and-trade proposals through during a post-election lame-duck session – and EPA does not shackle our economy and civil rights progress with its job-killing “endangerment” rules.
Is Temperature Spinning, Out of Control?
As we are told of yet another “hottest year on record”, our daily news reports are full of “hot testimony”, for example the heatwave in Moscow, Russia is described in this report:
“The heat has caused asphalt to melt, boosted sales of air conditioners, ventilators, ice cream and beverages, and pushed grain prices up. Environmentalists are blaming the abnormally dry spell on climate change. On ‘black’ Saturday, temperatures in Moscow hit a record high of 38 degrees Celsius with little relief at night, making this July the hottest month in 130 years. The average temperature in central Russia is 9 degrees above the seasonal norm.”
As usual, WWF regard this as proof of global warming: “Certainly, such a long period of hot weather in unusual for central Russia. But the global tendency proves that in future, such climate abnormalities will become only more frequent”, says Alexey Kokorin, the Head of Climate and Energy Program of the World Wide Fund (WWF) Russia.
He fails, of course, to say what caused the previous heat wave of similar magnitude 130 years previously, as was mentioned in the report. Such is the nature of environmental reporting these days, that such questions equally do not arise in the minds of those willing reporters who swallow every crumb of global warming thrown to them. Never ever mentioned are historical instances such as the seven month long European heatwave of 1540, when the River Rhine dried up and the bed of the River Seine in Paris was used as a thoroughfare.
It seems to be axiomatic, that whilst reports such as the Moscow Heatwave make the headlines, there is scant reporting in the popular media of the severe cold in the South American winter, with loss of life and livelihoods, due to temperatures in some places reaching minus 15 celsius, or 5 deg F.
“The polar wave that has trapped the Southern Cone of South America has caused an estimated one hundred deaths and killed thousands of cattle, according to the latest reports on Monday from Argentina, south of Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and Bolivia. Even the east of the country which is mostly sub-tropical climate has been exposed to frosts and almost zero freezing temperatures.”
But not to worry, it is still global warming, as explained by the Moscow head of WWF:
”I think that the heat we are suffering from now as well as very low temperatures we had this winter, are hydro-meteorological tendencies that are equally harmful for us as they both were caused by human impact on weather and the greenhouse effect which has grown steadily for the past 30-40 years.”
The “cold is hot” approach can be traced back to a working document by the UK Tyndall Centre for Climate Change back in 2004, when they said:
* Only the experience of positive temperature anomalies will be registered as indication of change, if the issue is framed as global warming.
* Both positive and negative temperature anomalies will be registered in experience as indication of change if the issue is framed as climate change.
* We propose that in those countries where climate change has become the predominant popular term for the phenomenon, unseasonably cold temperatures, for example, are also interpreted to reflect climate change/global warming.
It certainly works for WWF and the mainstream media, although surprisingly, the UK Guardian did a slight volte face when it changed a headline from: “2010 on track to become warmest year ever“ to the slightly less dramatic “2010 could be among warmest years recorded by man”
Since, by decree of James Hansen, there were no reliable thermometers prior to 1880, this is a pretty short record in the overall scheme of things. However the UK Central England Temperature Record goes back to 1659, when the “non-existent” Little Ice Age was producing extremely low temperatures, with winter averages barely above zero deg C. A Press Release from 1698 could have said for example: 1698 – “Eight of the coldest years have occurred in the last 15 years”
An enterprising environmental journalist of the time could then have totally forgotten that period, and produced this headline, as temperatures recovered: 1733- The UK has heated by a massive 3.2 degrees over the last 4 decades,
There are many more temperature periods where such specious claims can be made, if the right starting and ending points are selected and of course they are all meaningless, as are the current headlines.
In fact the Central England temperature average for the thirty year period 1971-2000, was just 0.51 deg C higher than the thirty year period 1701-1730, some 270 years earlier. If you consider the impact of urban heat islands on the temperature record since that time, you can only ask, “what global warming”?
The average Central England summer average for 1961-90, the baseline period used by CRU, is actually –0.15 deg C lower than the summer average for 1721-1750, and under current definitions, thirty years counts as climate, but don’t tell anyone, it might spoil the story.
Proxies go up and proxies go down
Suggesting that they are not really measures of temperature at all
NASA blogger Gavin Schmidt as part of his ongoing attempt to rehabilitate Mannian paleoclimate reconstructions, characterized here as dendro-phrenology, has drawn attention to a graphic posted up at Mann’s website in November 2009. In this graphic, Mann responded to criticisms that his “no-dendro” stick had been contaminated by bridge-building sediments despite warnings from the author (warnings noted by Mann himself but the contaminated data was used anyway.) I’ll show this figure at the end of the post, but first I’m going to show the “raw materials” for this “reconstruction” and my results from the same data.
I’m going to show a lot of plots of “proxies” today. The intuitive idea of a proxy is that the thing being measured (tree ring width, sediment thickness, ice core O18, etc) has a linear relationship with a temperature “signal” plus low-order red noise. Therefore, if the temperature “signal” is a hockey stick, the various proxy plots should look like a hockey stick plus low-order red-noise. I encourage readers to look at the no-dendro no-Tilj data for Mann’s November 2009 example with that in mind. If the topics were being discussed by proper statisticians, the properties of the “noise” would be discussed, rather than ignored.
To illustrate the calculation, I’ve picked the AD1000 Mann 2008 data set as an example since it covers the MWP. I’ve used the late-miss version (calibration 1859-1949) to work through, since it will give a look at any potential “divergence problems” in non-dendro data.
There were 29 “proxies” in the data set- 11 sediments, 2 “documentary” (both Chinese), 9 speleo and 7 ice core. Eleven of these were annually resolved; the other 18 were “decadal” resolution. 22 were NH; 7 SH.
The first step in Mann’s algorithm is determining the orientation of speleo and documentary proxies through their after-the-fact correlation to instrumental data. (The orientation of other proxies is presumed to be known a priori). In this network, there were 11 speleo+documentary proxies and 5 of 11 were flipped. (Interestingly, it is possible in Mann’s algorithm for the same proxy to have opposite “significant” orientations depending on the calibration period.)
The next step is to screen out proxies that do not have a “significant” correlation to gridcell temperature. Although we’ve heard much invective against the meaningful of r^2 statistics from Mann, Schmidt and others in the context of MBH98, Mann then uses correlation (r) to screen series in Mann et al 2008. (Perhaps it is the squaring of the correlation statistic that Schmidt takes exception to.)
There were 16 proxies that “passed” Mannian significance: – 3 of 11 sediments, both “documentary (Chinese), 7 of 9 speleo and 4 of 7 ice cores. Seven of 11 annually resolved passed; nine of 18 decadally resolved passed. 12 of 22 NH passed; 4 of 7 SH passed.
In the figure below, I’ve plotted all 22 NH “proxies” (standardized), coloring the “rejected” proxies in green. I don’t think that anyone can reasonably look at these 22 series and say that the individual “proxies” can be reasonably interpreted as different linear transformations of a Hockey Stick plus low-order AR1 red noise or that the individual proxies look much like one another. They are a hodge-podge to say the least. This is the problem of proxy inconsistency that I’ve talked about frequently and that Ross and I reported in our comment at PNAS in Mann 2008. Mann either didn’t understand or pretended not to understand the problem, which is fundamental to the entire enterprise of proxy reconstructions and readily apparent merely by plotting the “proxies”.
While “ex post screening” by correlation is accepted as a given by realclimatescientists, ex-post screening by correlation is not a statistical procedure that is recommended or discussed in Draper and Smith or standard statistical texts. The tendency of this procedure to produce sticks from red noise is well known in the technical blogosphere (Jeff Id, David Stockwell, Lubos Motl and myself have all more or less independently noticed and reported the phenomenon, with David publishing a short note in an Australian mining newsletter that Ross and I cited in our PNAS comment. However professional climate scientists appear unaware of the effect and it remains unreported in the PeerReviewedLiterature.
The top left proxy (192) is an interesting one. It is Baker’s speleothem record from Scotland that was discussed at CA in early 2009 and here as an interesting example of Upside-Down Mann. In the orientation applied in Mann’s no-dendro no-Tiljander reconstruction endorsed by Gavin Schmidt, Scotland is shown as having experienced the unique phenomena of the Medieval Cold Period and Little Warm Age – bizarro Hubert Lamb, as it were.
The “proxies” show little evidence of an overall pattern, let alone a Stick.
BOOK REVIEW: "Climate Cover-up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming" by James Hoggan and Richard Littlemore
Review by S. Fred Singer, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project
Anyone who has seen the smears on DeSmogBlog will find more of the same in this hastily-written book which continues to smear on an even larger scale. For example, on page 39 it describes me as a “tobacco-sponsored scientist” which is totally untrue.
Later, on page 80, it mentions me again as a “hard working climate change denier who has done no obvious scientific work in the field for years.” It lists me as an advisor to the organization “TASSC” (The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition) which is also completely untrue. In fact, I have never been associated with TASSC in any way --although I do commune with many of the other groups listed, all respected conservative think tanks.
I gladly take credit for conducting, in 1992, what may have been the first survey of expert opinions on global warming. It included all of the members of technical committees of the American Meteorological Society and showed, for the first time, the existence of considerable professional skepticism about global warming promotion. The 1995 Leipzig Declaration carries this further; and contrary to Hoggan, all of the signatures are on file. Of course, Leipzig was outdone by the Oregon Petition Project, which eventually garnered over 31,000 signatures from American scientists and engineers (p.108).
Not surprisingly, Hoggan puts a great deal of stock in the claims of journalist Ross Gelbspan, who asserts in his book “The Heat is On” that climate skeptics were drawing major financial support from coal and oil interests. While I cannot speak for others, this is simply not true in my case. And would it have mattered?
One whole chapter is devoted to my libel suit against one Justin Lancaster. Of course, Hoggan misrepresents the facts, which are fully laid out in the book “Politicizing Science” (Michael Gough, ed. Published by Hoover Institution, Stanford, 2003).
It all started when Al Gore was running for Vice President. He faced great embarrassment since his guru, Professor Roger Revelle, had published a somewhat skeptical article in an obscure journal, together with me and Chauncey Starr.
This led to an attack on Singer by Lancaster, a Gore groupie, who first claimed that Revelle was not a coauthor. When this did not work, he then claimed that Singer had taken advantage of Revelle’s advanced age.
When this didn’t work either, he was finally forced to retract and apologize in order to avoid a trial that would have cost him a great deal of money and ruined his reputation forever.
More recently, however, Lancaster has retracted his retraction and has left himself open to another lawsuit; but it may not be worthwhile to sue him. In any case, there is ample evidence in Revelle’s writings of his skeptical views on the global warming issue -- sufficient to undermine any claim that Lancaster might have.
Hoggan has his heroes, people like Gelbspan and Naomi Oreskes, who are fully expert in smearing people. And he also has his enemies, whom he tries to pull down: Freeman Dyson, Sallie Baliunas, Tim Ball, Stephen Milloy, and of course me.
But always it’s the same story: accusations of being in the pay of the oil industry or tobacco lobby or worse. Lyndon Larouche makes an appearance, in connection with a story about melting glaciers, traced to Singer’s website and based on a wrong reference. As a result, another Hoggan’s hero, British smear artist George Monbiot, is credited with breaking “one of the all-time-great climate disinformation stories” (p.162). We haven’t heard much from George Monbiot since exaggerations of glacier melt in the Himalayas was exposed.
It’s too bad that Hoggan’s book appeared just before ClimateGate broke. His book title would have fitted perfectly, by changing only a single word: “Climate Cover-up: The Crusade to Hype Global Warming.”
SEPP SCIENCE EDITORIAL #23-2010 (July 31, 2010)
Closing out dissent: The phenomena of disinvitation and the brotherhood of silence
by Bob Carter
Scientists who venture to make independent statements in public about environmental myths soon come to learn about two post-modern-science tactics used to suppress their views – namely, disinvitation and the application of a brotherhood of silence. How these tactics work is explained in this article.
The modus operandi
A member of the organising committee for one or another conference comes to one of my talks, or chances to meet a friend who has attended. Enthusiasm thereby arises for me to speak at the conference that is being planned. Prompted by the member, the conference committee approves an invitation, which I accept. Later, the Council or governing body of the society in question gets to “rubber stamp” the conference program and someone says: “Bob Carter as a plenary speaker! You must be joking”. The disinvitation follows, sometimes well after the talk has been written and travel booked.
In a variation on this, earlier this year I was invited by our ABC to contribute an opinion piece about climate change to their online blog site, The Drum. The piece was duly written and tendered, only to be declined.
Similarly, strong control has long been exercised by public broadcasters ABC and SBS against the appearance of independent scientists on their TV and radio news and current affairs programs. I first encountered this in 2007, when I participated in a broadcast discussion about Martin Durkin’s epoch-making documentary film, The Great Global Warming Swindle. Before the broadcast I had the astonishing experience of being successively invited, disinvited, prevaricated with and then finally invited to participate again, as competing interests inside the ABC battled, as they obviously saw it, to control the outcome of the panel discussion.
I have generally viewed these and similar experiences over the years as amusing irritations that go with the territory of scientific independence. But the matter starts to become offensive, and indeed sinister, when it transpires that scientists from CSIRO, and other IPCC-linked research groups in Australia, have been behind particular disinvitations; or, even more commonly, have refused to participate in public debate on climate change.
The same self-appointed guardians of the sanctity of IPCC climate propaganda also strive ceaselessly to prevent invitations from being issued in the first place. For example, when it was suggested to a Sydney metropolitan university that I might give a talk on the campus, their Distinguished (sic) Professor of Sustainability responded that:
he would not be interested in allowing anyone to present a point of view which did not support the fact that human-generated carbon dioxide has caused global warming.
Engineers Australia (Sydney)
On July 8th this year, at the invitation of the Chairman of the Electrical & ITE Branch, Engineers Australia Sydney, I delivered a lecture on climate change in Chatswood to an attentive audience of about 55 practicing engineers, retired engineers and engineering students.
EA (Sydney) run a series of about 22 such lectures every year for the continuing professional development of their members. The intent is to impart knowledge to the engineering fraternity on current subjects of interest, and lecturers are generally recognized as leaders in the field of the subject that they present.
When controversial topics are involved, the institute attempts to attract speakers who will illustrate different aspects of the debate, as indeed they did on this occasion. For the lecture that I delivered was intended to be one of a pair, in which the other speaker would explain the reasons behind the federal government's preference for using United Nations (IPCC) advice as the basis for Australian climate policy.
Significantly, CSIRO were asked, and declined, to provide such a speaker, thereby exemplifying the brotherhood of silence, i.e. the long-held ban that all IPCC-linked research groups strive to inflict upon independent scientists by refusing to debate with them as equals on a public platform. Earlier this year, CSIRO chairperson Megan Clarke boasted that her organisation had 40 persons involved in advising the IPCC, yet not one of them was available to talk to Australia’s major engineering professional institute? Pull the other one, Megan.
Well, if CSIRO is not prepared to explain the basis for government’s science policy then there’s always the universities, so a Director of the Climate Change Research Centre at another Sydney metropolitan university was approached to participate as the second speaker. He too declined on the grounds that the envisaged two-lecture format was "flawed", adding:
You would not have an "anti-gravity" person debate gravity and since there honestly is no debate in this space in SCIENCE the offer I made a little while ago of offering a full day to detail the science to your members stand(s).
Your society risks falling into the trap of the media in believing there is debate and that is sad, misleading and unfortunate.
This stance was supported by an experienced NSW power engineer who wrote to EA at about the same time to malign my professional standing, and who included, for good measure, a gratuitous remark about the well-regarded London publisher of my recent book on climate change, viz.:
It appears that Bob Carter is representative of the group of the relatively little-published 2% group of scientists who generally are not mainly working in real climate science (Bob Carter is a geologist not a climate scientist, and is published in You-tube and popular magazines, not peer-reviewed journals), who oppose the real climate science consensus. This appears to be correct based on your notice of the meeting and his website. In this case he does not deserve equal time to the 98% of scientists regularly published on climate change in peer-reviewed journals. There is no counter consensus! I question the wisdom of giving this man the Engineers Australia podium.
Furthermore, Stacey International is a publisher of popular works and has no specific scientific credibility.
These examples both involve the citation of private letters. Other engineers blatantly attain the same ends of denigration or censorship in full public gaze. For example, ANU’s Tony Kevin wrote recently in an invited address in Canberra to the Australian Council of Engineering Deans:
I am not going to dwell on climate change denialism. The science is in. Climate crisis denialism should simply be condemned as a socially disruptive cognitive disorder. It seduces people who are psychologically unwilling to admit limits to economic growth. Denialists cling to the arrogant “mechanical philosophy” of mankind’s infinite right and capacity to exploit and transcend his natural environment. Or, they suffer from a kind of morally indifferent, fatalistic nihilism.
Like other cognitive disorders that have in the past caused great suffering to humanity, climate denialism is impervious to observed facts. As the climate crisis worsens, denialism perversely flourishes even more, confusing the community and eroding public support for sound risk-averse policies.
Needless to say, all these statements, both the private and the public, are a confused farrago of mostly ad hominem nonsense. It is disturbing, to say the least, that organisations and persons who would be quick to claim professional status consider that it is their current duty to disparage, or to refuse to debate with, or to muzzle scientists whose views on climate change they apparently disagree with.
Disturbing too is the fact that for at least the last twenty years the practitioners of environmentalism and climate alarm have made it their business to exert special influence on our younger citizens. Many parents have shared the experience of being horrified by the imbalance of information that their children from time to time come home from school with about iconic environmental issues. The indoctrination continues, of course, at university, and through into the junior workforce.
An exemplary case follows next of the way in which the views of young Australians are manipulated.
On March 18th this year (4 months ahead), I was invited by a student organizer to
speak as a panelist at the Asia-Pacific Model United Nations Conference 2010 being hosted by the Sydney University Model United Nations Society in July this year. The event is a large, annual tertiary student conference attended mainly by law and politics students …. Each year it attracts 500- 600 university students from across Australia, New Zealand, East and South-East Asia and beyond. AMUNC 2010 will be a celebration of academic excellence, youth diplomacy and cross-cultural understanding.
Model UN is a special form of tertiary student conference in which delegates engage in a simulation of the practices, actions and debates of a number of global multilateral institutions. Delegates represent assigned countries across a number of committees of the United Nations and associated bodies, from the archetypal Security Council to the International Court of Justice, International Monetary Fund and the World Health Organisation.
The invitation continued:
Issues related to the environment and the effects of climate change are now dominating discussions across all international institutions. As such, with your expertise on climate change and your position as an Adjunct Professional [sic] Research Fellow at James Cook University, the AMUNC 2010 Secretariat would be honoured to have you partake in our Environment and Technology panel discussion. The recent UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen has provided much debate for university students and questions over the integrity of scientific evidence cited by governmental bodies and institutions such as the IPCCC are also on the rise. In response to this, our panel will be discussing issues surrounding Australia’s environmental policies, as well as the correlation between human activity and global warming, and other topics pertaining to climate change.
Having spent an entire professional career educating young persons, I was of course delighted to accept appointment to the panel on "The Challenge of Climate Change", the purpose of which is further outlined in the following programme extract:
Arriving in Sydney on other business about a week before the conference, I received a letter from AMUNC Secretary General which, inter alia, conveyed the following:
In light of some concerns which have been brought to my attention, the AMUNC Secretariat have determined that there is a need to try and separate out the issues of climate change science and solutions to climate change. This is because the other speakers on the panel may lack the capacity to advocate the majority view on climate change in response to any arguments you might make. While we have endeavored to find a climate change scientist to include on the panel, because we have been unable to do so, there is a risk that discussion could become quite uneven.
As a compromise, one of our panelists, Dr Mark Diesendorf, who while not a climate change specialist, has agreed to debate with you on climate change science in the lead up to the Environment & Technology panel (so from about 13:00-13:20). I would propose this would include an opening statement from each, questions and answers from the audience followed by closing remarks. However this would mean that you would not be able to participate in the Environment & Technology panel as a speaker.
Between my initial invitation in March and the receipt of this letter I had published an entire book that “separate(s) out the issues of climate change science and solutions”; this was apparently an inadequate qualification to participate in the AMUNC panel. The sweet irony appeared to escape the Secretary General that the purpose of the pivotal Chapter 11 – in what has been described as “an enthralling book, a sunrise of calm analysis and penetrating good sense“ - was precisely to provide a sensible, effective and politically realistic policy path on climate change.
Much more HERE
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