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Discussion > The Moral and Intellectual Poverty of Climate Alarm

Thanks Richard. That's a good post, with many good discussion comments below it as well. That sister post on The Conversation also deserves a mention so thank you for that too. I found this piece of extremism in it:

What we need now is to become comfortable with the idea that the ends will justify the means. We actually need more opinions, appearing more often and expressed more noisily than ever before.

His approach seems to be one of drowning out any critical voices. Such ignorance of history. Well, at least I hope it is ignorance, and that the man is not daydreaming of the glory days of such totalitarianism in the 1920s and 1930s in Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union, or the Asian version in China after the war brought upon us by the European one.

But let us hope that Paul M's comment is correct, and that these excursions to extremes will be counter-productive for those who set out on them - before even more harm is done in the name of their cause.

Mar 17, 2014 at 10:06 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

His approach seems to be one of drowning out any critical voices. Such ignorance of history. Well, at least I hope it is ignorance, and that the man is not daydreaming of the glory days of such totalitarianism in the 1920s and 1930s in Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union, or the Asian version in China after the war brought upon us by the European one.

It's not all ignorance, in my view. At the heart of this grab for power, based both on bribery and despicable lies - not just Mann-level shoddy science but the big lie that 'denier' fairly states the case - is something evil that seldom reaches this level of influence. But did in the cases you rightly mention.

But let us hope that Paul M's comment is correct, and that these excursions to extremes will be counter-productive for those who set out on them - before even more harm is done in the name of their cause.

I'm sure Paul is correct, that such extreme language is a turnoff for many. Unfortunately, that's not the whole story. Such words also radicalise the home base - the verb used by Holocaust scholars. There is a genuine race between growing policy scepticism (which the vast majority of the general public will share, if the cost-benefits are presented fairly) and this very nasty radicalisation which will end up using totalitarian means to squash all opposition, if it gets the chance.

Each generation has its struggles and this is one of ours. Thank you greatly for this thread.

Mar 17, 2014 at 10:22 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I can't hope to track all the examples of low moral and intellectual standards amongst the promoters of climate alarm, but three recent instances seem worth noting here:

(1) The two academics noting the effectiveness of deceit about global warming, and encouraging others to make good use of it to further their odious cause. James Delingpole captures the essence of it:

The authors, Assistant Professors of Economics Fuhai Hong and Xiaojian Zhao, take it as a given that both the media and the science establishment routinely exaggerate the problem of climate change. But unlike the majority of their colleagues in academe - who primly deny that any such problem exists - they go one step further by actively endorsing dishonesty as a way of forcing through (apparently) desirable public policy.

(2) The ongoing use of the term 'denier' with deliberate association with Holocaust denial to refer to climate scientists and others who have not been convinced by the case for alarm over our impacts on climate. About a month ago, Popular Technology listed notable instances of this despicable behaviour, and noting that the Anti-Defamation League has been strangely muted about denouncing it:

"Inappropriate Comparisons Trivialize the Holocaust" - Abraham Foxman, ADL Director

While the ADL moved quickly to denounce Dr. Spencer, it appears unwilling to defend him and other climate skeptics from reprehensible analogies to "Holocaust deniers".

(3) The Lewandowsky junk papers. One has been retracted, at long last, by the journal which, beyond all reason and reasonableness, actually chose to publish it. They seem to have retracted it on moral rather than intellectual grounds, but it deserved condemnation on both. A post today by the Bish contains links to three powerful attacks on it, and he notes:

This correspondence and the failure of the university to act upon any of it suggests that the problem at UWA is not restricted to one rogue researcher. The ethical failures seem to go right to the top.

When something as rotten as the corruption of science gets so much political and financial support, it is not surprising that more rotten things follow. I'd be surprised if we have reached Peak Rot yet. Or, if you like, the depths of this particular gutter have yet to be plumbed.

Apr 5, 2014 at 5:56 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

When your cause is as bereft of moral and intellectual substance as is that of climate alarmism, see what 700,000 dollars can buy you to promote it: Looks pretty trashy to me. Just as I'd expect it to be.

Apr 15, 2014 at 7:42 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade
Apr 15, 2014 at 8:24 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Thanks, stew.

Apr 16, 2014 at 8:52 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

14/5/2014 The resignation of Professor Bengtsson from the GWPF Advisory Board:

'Dear Professor Henderson,
I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc.
I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years.
Under these situation I will be unable to contribute positively to the work of GWPF and consequently therefore I believe it is the best for me to reverse my decision to join its Board at the earliest possible time.
With my best regards
Lennart Bengtsson'


His concerns over health and safety might be due to Santer-like yobbery about alleys and threats of beating-up from would-be goon Santer, or from one of his sort in the field. The threats are more likely to be mostly from the hot-headed 'believers' in apocalypse tomorrow, for whom the climate scaremongering of recent decades is like manna from heaven. But his remarks about 'colleagues' are quite unambiguous. This letter from a distinguished and long-established climate researcher stands by itself as a condemnation of the degeneration and corruption of science we have been living through.

On the good side, but also confirming the rotten nature of climate science today:

'Date: 14/05/14

Dear Lennart,
I received your letter with shock, dismay and huge sympathy.
All scientists know that hypotheses are hypotheses and nothing more.
That politicians take hypotheses and run with them at their own convenience, is universal. But when so-called scientists give priority to their political convictions, it verges on corruption and is devastating for the world of science, in general.
The pressure on you from the climate community simply confirms the worst aspects of politicized science. I have been reprimanded myself for opposing the climate bandwaggon, with its blind dedication to political ambitions; it needs to be exposed, globally.
Thanks for showing so much courage. Let´s hope there are more honest brokers in the climate world than are apparent today.
Yours, David
David G. Gee
Professor Em. Orogen Dynamics
Department of Earth Sciences
Uppsala University, Sweden'


Right back in December 2009, Lubos Motl made some scathing remarks in the light of the Climategate revelations about the distortions of good scientific principles they exposed, including Santer's threats to 'beat the crap' out of critics:

'In climatology, some people obviously wanted (and managed) to have a "complete power" over everything - what is published, which tricks can be used, what is hidden, and who can beat the crap out of whom. That wouldn't spoil the scientific results if the people who control everything were perfect saints and perfect scientists. Except that they're manifestly not. They're much closer to the perfect devils and bad scientists.

In fact, one could think that a complete power over the institutions almost inevitably corrupts a scientist. A scientist simply shouldn't get powers that exceed some objectively written rules. When he gets these additional powers, he may inevitably start to behave as Santer et al.

Proper science simply can't work in this way. For proper science, all kinds of scientific papers and results that pass the same objective criteria must be given the same conditions, until a difference between their validity emerges in additional objective tests. A friendship between editors, authors, and referees, or their ability to subtly or not-so-subtly blackmail someone by pointing out that there are allies outside science can't count as an objective test.

These principles have been vastly violated in the "climate change" sensitive portion of climatology - the estimates of warming, the influence of CO2, climate reconstructions, and validation of models. This whole discipline got completely corrupt and the results must be largely thrown away. A completely new wave of writing papers and validating them has to start almost from the scratch because the noise and/or the amount of missing facts in the majority of the existing papers in this discipline is just way too high.'


May 15, 2014 at 9:32 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

After more than half a century of being a serious, ethical and well-regarded contributor to the field, suddenly Bengtsson has been sent to Coventry by his "colleagues" because he has done what he always did - followed his nose, no matter where it took him.

In case there is still anyone who thinks that academic thuggery does not exist, here is the prima facie example. Step out of line, and we will come after you.

May 15, 2014 at 8:37 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

It has long been a puzzle to me, the difficulty in finding someone, anyone, admirable in the ranks of climate alarm leaders, but now James Delingpole has published a simple model that accounts for it:

This is what I've always found so thoroughly enjoyable about the global warming debate. It's not one of those issues where there's right and wrong on both sides and it's really a matter of opinion which one you favour. Quite simply it's a very straightforward battle between, on the one hand a bunch of lying, greedy shysters, fanatical, misanthropic, anti-capitalist eco-loons, bent, grant-troughing scientists, grubby politicians and despicable, rent-seeking millionaires and billionaires; and on the other a handful of brave, honest, rigorous, seekers-after-truth.

Can it really be that simple?

Aug 15, 2014 at 3:00 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

:) Delingpole:

This, if Steyn is successful, could be the moment the dam bursts: the one where the global establishment is finally forced to acknowledge the fraudulence, the corruption, the mendacity, the trickery, the deception, the junk science, the big money and the official complicity which for the last two or three decades have been underpinning the Great Climate Change Scam.

Compare with McIntyre:

I’ve repeatedly urged readers not to expect very much [from the] courts.

I tend to agree with both. It's one or the other :)

Aug 15, 2014 at 3:34 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Richard Lindzen:

The current issue of global warming/climate change is extreme in terms of the number of special interests that opportunistically have strong interests in believing in the claims of catastrophe despite the lack of evidence. In no particular order, there are the leftist economists for whom global warming represents a market failure, there are the UN apparatchiks for whom global warming is the route to global governance, there are third world dictators who see guilt over global warming as providing a convenient claim on aid (ie, the transfer of wealth from the poor in rich countries to the wealthy in poor countries), there are the environmental activists who love any issue that has the capacity to frighten the gullible into making hefty contributions to their numerous NGOs, there are the crony capitalists who see the opportunity to cash in on the immense sums being made available for ‘sustainable’ energy, there are the government regulators for whom the control of a natural product of breathing is a dream come true, there are newly minted billionaires who find the issue of ‘saving the planet’ appropriately suitable to their grandiose pretensions, etc., etc. Strange as it may seem, even the fossil fuel industry is generally willing to go along. After all, they realize better than most, that there is no current replacement for fossil fuels. The closest possibilities, nuclear and hydro, are despised by the environmentalists. As long as fossil fuel companies have a level playing field, and can pass expenses to the consumers, they are satisfied. Given the nature of corporate overhead, the latter can even form a profit center. The situation within science itself is equally grim. Huge sums of government and private funding have become available to what was initially a small backwater field. Science becomes easy when emphasis is on malleable models supported by hugely uncertain data that can be readily found ‘consistent’ with the models supplemented by fervidly imagined catastrophic ‘implications.’ Indeed, uncertainty is often exaggerated for just this purpose. Opposition within the scientific community is immediately met with ad hominem attacks, loss of funding, and difficulty in publishing.
Of course, science is not the only victim of this situation. Affordable energy has been the primary vehicle for the greatest advance in human welfare in human history. This issue promises to deny this to the over 1 billion humans who still lack electricity. For billions more energy will be much less affordable leading to increased poverty. Poverty, itself, is a major factor in reduced life expectancy. It requires a peculiarly ugly obtuseness to ignore the fundamental immorality of this issue.

Found at The Hockey Schtick

Sep 19, 2014 at 3:34 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

John, thanks so much for pointing to that. I've never seen the 'extreme in terms of the number of special interests that opportunistically have strong interests in believing' laid out so well. What a guy.

Sep 21, 2014 at 12:15 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Seems in the real world most markets/fields are naturally driven to some sort of equilibrium's a kind of safety valve.
However in certain markets/fields the dynamics mean a flow almost entirely in one direction meaning they don't smoothly self-correct.
- one example is CAGW climate alarmism
..another is the UK property market (few actors profit from prices falling)
..the bubbles build and then the outside political dynamics mean that such things become seen by those politically invested as "too big to fail" ..but you can't be KIng Canute fighting forever eventually all bubbles burst, but I can't predict when.

Sep 21, 2014 at 1:08 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

A glimpse into low standards in public life in the USA has been given by the revelation that one of the key developers and promoters of the damaging and incompetent Obamcare healthcare programme decided that making the details of it obscure and confusing would help get it passed. It was passed, and it seems clear that few who voted for it actually read it. The key developer is an academic at MIT called Gruber, and a clip from a video recording of him is shown in this Fox News Bulletin.

A guest blogger at WUWT, M Paul has highlighted the relevance of this to the climate alarm fiasco in a recent post:

I think that no other word describes what we have seen in the climate debate quite as well as Grubering. The Climategate emails are full of discussions about how to “sell” the public on CAGW through a campaign of lies and exaggerations. There are many discussion about how the public could not possibly understand such a complex subject.

The late Steven Schneider puts it succinctly:

On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

Sowell has called such people the 'self-anointed'. They know what is best for us. They have a low opinion of 'us' and an astonishingly high opinion of themselves.

Nov 16, 2014 at 5:55 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Richard Drake (Mar 17. 2014 at 9:40 AM): interesting link. When I saw the title, my first thought was: “Of course not. The facts are in full support of them.” Then I thought: “But who is the “denier” in this article?” as those who seem to be the most vociferous in their denial of facts seem to be the alarmists. Then I read the rest of it. Pretty dire – “But the “more facts” solution is no solution at all. We have enough facts now and none of them are good.” An interesting position, seeing as most of the much-vaunted facts support the “denier” (which would be more accurate to describe as “sceptical”, considered to be the healthy norm in most other scientific fields) point of view – global warming/climate change/call it what you will is an entirely natural phenomenon, of which we have little understanding, and appears to have little to do with the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. A fact is. It is the interpretation of that fact that can, and does, differ.

Curiously, the entire article expresses much of the sceptics views – no matter how much the facts support the sceptical argument, the alarmists are convinced that scepticism is wrong, often to the point where many alarmists want scepticism to be criminalised.

To return to the original point of this discussion, I would moot that climate alarm is not just poverty-struck in its morals and ethics, it is wholly and utterly bankrupt in both morals and ethics. Sowell was right in his description of these charlatans – they are the self-anointed, falsely placing themselves in such lofty position of superiority over those with whom they have nothing but the most utter contempt: the “Schneiderian Directive” has the same moral content as any of Stalin’s pogroms.

Nov 22, 2014 at 1:07 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

I posted this on a thread in the main blog, but I think it belongs here as well:

Oh for the money of a rich hedge-fund manager like Grantham! I'd set up an institute dedicated to Quality Audits of climate science papers, institutions, leaders, and campaigns. I can see quite a few PhD theses in and around comparing the relative moral and intellectual merits, and basic competence, of the two main perspectives on climate variation and our influence on it. One is obsessed with CO2 and the end of the world, while the other is perplexed by seeing so much hoo-ha based on so little substance.

Another area of interest would be comparing and contrasting the public views of retired and not-yet retired scientists in relevant fields. For example, here is a taster to help motivate this line of research:

A retired professor and glacier expert has publicly declared global warming a good thing. He also refuses to go along with many of his scientific peers who he says have urged him to be in lockstep with former Vice President Al Gore – “the drum major in the parade denouncing global warming as an unmitigated disaster.”
Apparently when science professors retire, they finally get to say what’s really on their mind.

“You will never read or hear any of this from the scientific and political establishments,” Dr. Terry Hughes, professor emeritus of earth sciences and climate change at the University of Maine, told The College Fix. “I’m now retired, so I have no scientific career to protect by spreading lies.”

He said he thinks dire global warming predictions are really all about lassoing federal research funding and votes.

“Too many (the majority) of climate research scientists are quite willing to prostitute their science by giving these politicians what they want,” the glaciologist added.

N.B.: “I’m now retired, so I have no scientific career to protect by spreading lies.”


Jan 12, 2015 at 4:04 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Jan 14, 2015 at 12:36 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

“I’m now retired, so I have no scientific career to protect by spreading lies.”

What (if anything) does this imply he was up to before he retired?

Jan 14, 2015 at 4:17 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

(He retired about 5 years ago)

Jan 15, 2015 at 1:04 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I don't know if this is the correct place to post this, but apropo Alarmism, I had a quick flick through the Grauniad's Enviro stuff a short time ago, and saw that the infamous Bluecloud is in full voice with regard to fossil fuels. He does not appear to have learnt anything from his recent experiences and is vigorously throwing really silly stuff at allcomers.
How can anyone take berks such as Bluecloud seriously, or is Grauniad short of defenders/attack dogs these days?

Feb 19, 2015 at 8:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

The sad and decadent BBC has blotted an already tatty copybook so many times on the climate alarm front, that it is a well-deserved target for the following letter - a letter which captures many of the moral and intellectual flaws of their approach:
Lord Hall 26 March 2015

Director General

BBC White City Media Centre

201 Wood Lane

London W12 7TQ.

Dear Lord Hall

Last week the BBC aired an interview with a recent graduate from the University of Oxford, by chance my own alma mater. This young man, it transpired, represented a covey of similarly minded contemporaries. They were driven by a desire to pressurize the trustees of the university finances to divest its portfolio of shares in fossil fuel extractors across the spectrum. With evident, and rather obnoxiously self-preening, satisfaction, he declared this to be ‘an ethical issue’. Given the BBC’s fastidious standards in this regard, no doubt it collectively, as well as you personally, would agree. So, indeed, would I, albeit not be for reasons that would appeal either to your interviewee or to the Corporation.

Let me begin with a simple, and surely an incontrovertible, proposition. It is that the abundant availability of fossil fuels, combined with the wit that has allowed human beings to exploit them, is the greatest blessing ever to have been visited upon the species. After all, without them no BBC at all and no University of Oxford – well, at least not as to be recognisable today. So then, what are the ethical issues that should, but plainly don’t, exercise either this callow youth or the state broadcaster? Here are a few suggestions. In the interests of reasonable comprehensiveness, this may occupy space. On the other hand, the issues are important (the defining challenge of the times, according to the BBC and its mentors), so we should not be niggardly.

So when the BBC:

Routinely ignores its own Editorial Standards (as it happens, legal requirements), that is an ethical issue;
Proceeds in the comforting knowledge that its political masters will not hold it to account, that is an ethical issue;
Subverts the accepted meaning of language in order to generate a spurious justification for institutional bias, that is an ethical issue;
Claims that its much vaunted impartiality has been ‘calibrated’ on the advice of a specially convened assembly of experts, that is an ethical issue;
Subsequently spends large quantities of licence fee payers’ money seeking to avoid disclosing the composition of that convocation, that is an ethical issue;
Has, as it later transpires, lied repeatedly about the accreditation of attendees, that is an ethical issue;
Is in possession of information indicating gross malfeasance within the climate change community, which for weeks it deliberately suppresses, that is an ethical issue;
Rejects the findings of an independent committee, set up by itself, to rule on its own impartiality, that is an ethical issue;
Later, in order to justify its propagandist line, accepts on demonstrably spurious grounds the opposing verdict of a paid lapdog scientist, that is an ethical issue;
Subsequently, and for years, deliberately and willfully ignores rivers of evidence and reports from unimpeachable sources which run counter to its prevailing orthodoxy, that is an ethical issue;
Continues to give currency to demonstrable misinformation generated by vested interests, that is an ethical issue;
By silent acquiescence lends its authority to false and defamatory slurs aimed at eminent scientists who question its prevailing orthodoxy, that is an ethical issue;
Establishes a complaints procedure which, on artificial and synthetic grounds, is carefully designed to reject all objections to its prevailing orthodoxy, however well attested, that is an ethical issue.
The list is long. It could be longer.

But let us expand this young man’s horizons a little beyond merely the shortcomings of the BBC. He – and, indeed, the BBC – might, for example, consider some/all of the following:

When scientists, or those claiming to be, concoct evidence, that is an ethical issue.
When they ‘homogenise’ data, that is an ethical issue.
When they refuse to expose their data to verification by the wider scientific community, that is an ethical issue.
When they refuse to make available details of their methodology to the wider scientific community, that is an ethical issue.
When they refuse to engage in debate with their peers, that is an ethical issue.
When they willfully skirt contra-indications to an improbable hypothesis, that is an ethical issue.
When they actively collude to conceal inconsistencies in their own findings, that is an ethical issue.
When they collude to misrepresent evidence, that is an ethical issue.
When they invoke the authority of ‘peer review’ but only allow their work to be assessed by those of like mind, that is an ethical issue.
When they are in a position to select their own ‘peer reviewers’, that is an ethical issue.
When they invoke the supposed authority of ‘consensus’ in preference to evidence, that is an ethical issue.
When they deliberately exaggerate and misrepresent the scale of that alleged consensus, that is an ethical issue.
When they deliberately exaggerate the scale or frequency of observed natural/climatic phenomena, that is an ethical issue.
When they defame and willfully denigrate the motives of any who have the temerity to question their fraudulent orthodoxy, that is an ethical issue.
When they threaten the careers and livelihoods of unpersuaded scientific practitioners, that is an ethical issue.
When they monopolise finite resources at the expense of vastly more important areas of scientific investigation, that is an ethical issue.
When they subvert the integrity not only of scientific method but of intellectual rectitude itself, that is an ethical issue.
When the supposed repository of the UN’s collective wisdom on climate change, namely the IPCC, is exposed as a practised and persistent liar, that is an ethical issue.
When its Summaries for Policy Makers persistently conflict with their underlying scientific Working Group I conclusions, that is an ethical issue.
Again a long, representative but by no means comprehensive list.

Finally, let me revert to the commencement of this letter. When, on the flimsiest of grounds (indeed, no grounds at all), it seeks to deny to the poor and destitute of the earth access to the one essential requirement for their betterment – namely affordable, readily available energy – then most surely


Yours sincerely

R.C.E. Wyndham


Hat-tip: (Apr 1, 2015 at 2:00 AM | Ross) in a comment here:

Apr 1, 2015 at 5:26 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

This comment by Pascal Bruckner helps explain the appalling spectacle of climate alarmism and its moral and intellectual poverty in very few words:

These are not great souls who alert us to troubles but tiny minds who wish us suffering if we have the presumption to refuse to listen to them. Catastrophe is not their fear but their joy.


The people who push the alarmism are not admirable people, and they are most certainly not 'great souls'.

Jul 7, 2015 at 5:51 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

James Delingpole has published some notes on a few of climate alarmism's more respectable promoters:

Dr Rajendra Pachauri – former chairman of the IPCC
(Alleged) sexual harassment; rank hypocrisy; greed; baseless smearing

John Cook – President Obama’s favourite inventor of climate factoids
Dishonesty; fabrication; smearing; promulgation of junk science (notably the false “97 per cent Consensus” claim); identity theft

Peter Gleick – President (and co-founder) of environmental think tank the Pacific Institute
Dishonesty; identity theft; smearing; document faking; libel

Michael Mann – Creator of the Hockey Stick; inventor of Mann-made global warming; Nobel Prize “winner”
Indefatigable promulgation of junk-science; vexatious litigation; data-fiddling; bullying

David Suzuki – Canada’s Al Gore
Dirty Old Man; greedhead

See the article for more details under each of the above names. He concludes with these remarks:

This rogues gallery list is by no means comprehensive. Among other names I could have included, had I had the stomach for it, are those of Stephan Lewandowsky, Al Gore, Tom Steyer, Phil Jones, James Hansen, and so on and on ad nauseam.

It all reminds me a bit of an incredibly depressing Russian art movie I saw recently calledLeviathan, which depicts a world so utterly corrupt – from Putin-crony politicians to venal orthodox priests to bent coppers – that most people have given up even to make a pretence at striving to be honest or decent any more.

Something similar has happened over the years and decades to the climate change industry. Almost everyone is on the make or the take, in one way or another; the science is so dodgy that manipulation and fabrication have become the norm; the financial stakes are so high and the positions taken so entrenched that nobody has any option but to close ranks and try to shut down valid criticism by whatever means necessary. In this kind of climate venality thrives to the point where it becomes almost the norm.

It all seems worth noting here as illustrations of this Discussion Thread's theme.

Jul 24, 2015 at 3:43 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

BB is full of BS.
The EU can spend a trillion euros on so-called renewable energy per year and the only thing that would accomplish would be to enrich providers of "renewables" and the destruction of the EU power grid and impoverishment of the EU citizenry. And oil and coal would still be needed to keep the lights on.

Jul 24, 2015 at 6:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

John Shade,
You are on a roll. Play on, sir.

Jul 24, 2015 at 6:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

I understand that Hubert Lamb, who was the first director of CRU, was a great believer in understanding the natural drivers of our climate in a systematic way. Understanding the basics first seems to me to have been a sensible approach.

Unfortunately, after Lamb, the CAGW bandwagon took off and everything else was ignored. Atmospheric CO2 became the dominant forcing and everything else was trivial. Computer modelling became the holy grail.

Climate science was an embryonic subject with relatively few scientists. We know from the climategate emails what some of these people were like. We know about the pal review, the threats to critics, the bullying of journals, the refusal to share data.

Since then, the whole discipline has seen an explosion in numbers and funding. There are thousands of climate scientists. Who taught them what they know? Who wrote the important CAGW papers that underpin the whole essence of the science?

Why did these people choose that discipline? I guess it was not because they were sceptics. We probably now have the third generation of true believers preaching the gospel to the current generation. That is frightening. It explains the consensus and why the establishment is convinced that the science is sound.

It will take a catastrophic failure of AGW such as a mini ice age to change the opinions that matter. Even then, I can see the believers insist that it proves their predictions of extreme weather.

I hope I am wrong in all of the above analysis because it is so depressing.

Jul 26, 2015 at 7:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat