Sunday, October 06, 2013

The Road to Redemption

I have long contended that the faux concern over AGW had little basis in the science of climate change and large reliance upon the symbolic use of climate as a contrivance for compliance with environmentalist control and censure ideology.  The science was co-opted merely as a tool to embed an axiomatic authority to the alarmist and dystopian assertions activists invoke to compel compliance with their command and control agendas.  Thus, the muted media reaction to the 5th IPCC Assessment is indicative that the conversation on climate is now closed.

In the wake of IPCC5 we have indictments of the IPCC as failed instrument of enforced international consensus, its incoherence and lack of scientific credibility, some insight into the manipulations and deceit utilized to obscure and hide facts within the Summary most media use for their summaries and some excellent summations of the present state of affairs.

I was recently faced by two different requests at my own institution. One was for a repeat of a debate on climate change I had participated in a decade ago.  The second was to promote a student event on the 'growing climate conversation". 

I decided to decline the first: nothing good can come of disabusing people of their faith and that's all a belief in AGW is today, all it ever has been.  Any pretense of scientific imperative, of pending crisis and human induced catastrophe has ceased to exist with the release of the very data contained within the full version of IPCC5.  Climate sensitivity is now estimated at its highest to be below the lowest of the lowest possible scenarios contemplated within previous IPCC supported AGW hysteria.  Moreover, climate change at 0.8 degrees Celsius per 100 yrs. can't be spun as alarming to anyone let alone a developed, technocratic and fast changing world.

And yet, the student run environmental association on campus is still in thrall with the anti-hydro carbon, zero-carbon, environmental Armageddon caused by humans message that both initiated and fueled the AGW myth.  Ignorance is pervasive, especially within the academy that has feasted at the AGW trough for the past two decades, that thrives on the clarion call for intellectually derived command and control compliance with expertise and authority acting in consensus and uses intimidation politics to marginalize its critics.

I decided to use the second request as a teaching example of the pervasiveness of environmentalism as a religion and as a placebo for real caring, real action and real implementation of change.

Its been a long 20 years of futility, chasing a false God and a mythical Holy Grail.  The AGW myth has been a blight on intellectualism, academic integrity, environmental thought and effective policy making.  The only question facing its proponents, adherents and inductees is how quickly they will recant and at what cost to their own personal integrity, careers and credibility.

The road to Damascus will indeed be crowded.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

why blogs persist and scare stasists

Here is the latest excellent post from Ben Pile.  Given the flurry of discussion this week over the sate of the climate blogosphere, why it exists and what it does, Ben's points are important:
  • This blog has always identified itself as sceptical of environmentalism — environmental politics, especially climate politics — rather than climate science.
  •  Environmentalists ... simply do not recognise their own perspective as ‘ideological’. ‘Ideology’ is what other people do. The conceit — in all senses of the word — being that the environmentalist simply takes ‘science’ at face value, whereas those he points his fingers at refuse to see the science because they are somehow blinded by ‘ideology’. 
  • Putting it simply, the ‘ideology’ of the political establishment is a system of ideas that would put political institutions above democratic oversight, and under the direction of panels of technical experts. But one can agree or disagree with the scientific consensus independently of one’s view that political institutions should be arranged in that way. One can disagree with policies independently of the consensus. In other words, the idea that the scientific consensus is equivalent to the configuration of supranational and national political institutions and their respective policies is ‘ideological’. Indeed, as this blog has also pointed out, ad nauseum, the notion of the scientific consensus is used in political and policy debates at all levels, with no regard for the substance of the consensus. As I explain it elsewhere, it is a consensus without an object.  
For some unknown reason the very basis and logic eloquently summarized by Ben is ignored, missed or simply mis-understood by those who persist in wishing to demonize, silence and otherwise marginalize those of us who blog to question the ideology of environmentalism and the effects it has on contemporary society, politics and public policy.

As Ben concludes:
  • The problem is not now, nor has it ever been, ‘ideology’. Ideology has not itself turned people blind to science or anything else. ‘Ideology’ is nothing more than a system of ideas, or beliefs, much of which is embedded in, and transmitted through, culture. 
  • The problem is instead an inability to reflect...
  • The problem, then, is the same as with any religious zealot, ideologue, tyrant or bigot. Proponents of orthodoxies do not recognise themselves as vulnerable to ideology. Why should they, since prevailing hegemonies don’t need to justify themselves — their preferences and prejudices appear to them as manifestly ‘common sense’, and challenges to their authority seem impertinent and obtuse.  
The environmentalist imperative has always rested on the certitude of the science that its adherents assert to compel compliance with their political edicts.  As a consequence, environmentalism has become shrill, anti-humanist and devoid of meaningful morality and ethics.

But to see that from within takes an element of self-reflection most zealots are unwilling and/or unable to achieve. (Sadly it is a capacity even many reasoned, moderates fail to practice). Instead they cast aspersions with invective language at those with the temerity to deviate from their sense of correctness, of compliance, of consensus and then they seek to use the social tools of media, authority and fear to bolster their believe in scenarios of doom and gloom that the science itself does not support, validate nor justify.

The climate blogosphere is not one uniform template of ideas, focus or expertise.  There are technical blogs that assess data and methods (like Climate Audit) there are sites that discuss environmentalism (like this one and Climate Resistance), there are those that act as window on the "climate debate" (such as WUWT ,Bishop Hill and Climate Etc), those that act as a news clearing house for environmental stories (Tom Nelson) and those that present investigative insight and revelations (No Frakking Consensus).  Beyond this, I am not sure what a mapping of the blogosphere achieves -- it appears to me an exercise without clear intellectual purpose, unless that purpose is merely to box all the deviants together ready for metaphorical or literal abuse.

That an effort was made to map the climate blogosphere reveals the extent to which the intellectual and political elite (the climatocracy) is threatened and has failed in its attempts to use climate as a contrivance to compel compliance with its message of austerity chic as a necessary ethic for the masses.

And then, of course, there's this:

  • I urge the minister, in the light of all the evidence that has come out about the lack of any change in temperature over the past 15 years, to think again about the Climate Change Act and to revoke it, amend it and support home owners and British businesses.
David Davies MP

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A quick summary

I mentioned  the latest article from Peter Foster in the last post but it is worth pulling some excerpts because he so nicely summarizes the present situation with climate alarmism.

As he writes, the
  • alleged climate catastrophe is based not on “simple” atmospheric physics but on the computer models of the... IPCC
  • which assume that CO2 drives the climate
  • then assume the multiplication of that driving force via positive feedbacks
  • then assume the worst possible implications.
All of these assumptions can and have been successfully challenged. Some would say debunked and discredited.

Meanwhile, there is no disputing that levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have now reached 400 ppm.  However, the breathless reporting of this figure reflects numerical mysticism, not science, especially as the  period of years during which there has been no warming is now 16 years.

Not only is the science not settled but the situation is muddied further by that fact that
  • ...the policy measures taken to address this alleged existential crisis have been (a) climatically pointless, and (b) economically disastrous.
  •  However, any suggestion of revisiting the science is treated with primal screams because the climate industry has succeeded in framing this as a “moral issue,” all about hurting poor people and recklessly endangering the future of the planet. 
  •  This moral crusade has been so successful because it is fed by the anti-capitalist psychological compost that has been piling up since Marx stalked the earth.
  • The issue also remains politically toxic due to the vast and disproportionate power of radical environmental NGOs, who have very deliberately been cultivated both within the UN and by nodes of Global Salvationism
Anyone who persists in positing climate policy as an issue of science is both disingenuous and misleading.  Climate policy has always been an environmental morality play and the role of science has been as a tool of authority to bully and intimidate people into conforming with prescribed policy outcomes that conform to an elitist ideology of environmentalism that in practice contrasts markedly with the pragmatic environmental ethics of common sense.

The underlying problem with any elitist ideology is that it is not sustainable in a free democratic society.  Zombies, vampires and ghosts make for good scary stories but they are ephemeral and as mythical as the sky is falling alarmism of climate catastrophe.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Can Climateagate Mann evolve?

Sometimes students will ask me why if everything I am telling them is the truth (and it is!) do other professors and the media still propagate the myths I have just exposed?

I can think of no better example than the continued and ongoing attempts to re-assert the sky is falling, climate alarmism narrative, long after that ship has sailed (much like my efforts to avoid mixed metaphors).  In the wake of Climategate 3.0, we have yet another example of climate scientists acting badly.  

In this superb summary, Roger Pielke Jr. is careful to leave everyone's dignity intact.  He is polite, constructive and wonderfully constrained.  I admire his patience and continued belief that accidents can and persistently do happen.  Sadly, what he sees as accidental is all too easily construed as intentional malfeasance (again).

What this latest example demonstrates is how "findings" are spun, spiral into "facts" and become embedded as the dominant narrative of consensus science.  Along the way, there is an embrace of misrepresentation, the inclusion of significant impropriety and the adoption of an attitude that is especially illuminating and immoral in the post-Climategate era.

No more. No longer. Get it together and act honorably as scientists should. Embrace some ethics, work on your integrity and check you personal ideology at the door.  Enough already.  Personally I am tired of professional colleagues who should know better not doing better because they lack the will to try.

Cartoon from Josh
and a real world up date from Peter Foster who offers the insight that ...facts always need perspective. 
A sentiment heartily endorsed by this blog!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Climategate 3.0

Any good sequel will spawn its own sequel, and so it is with Climategate. Apparently there is indeed a Climateate 3.0, although the biggest impact of this latest revelation is the accompanying letter which confirms the leak was that, a leak, and the actions of a civic minded single individual and not the manifestation of an oil funded, massive conspiracy.  Another myth laid to rest.

In the real world, Climategate has served to help shift the climate narrative away from AGW alarmism and into a more considered re-assessment of green-inspired energy  lunacy policy.  

Sadly, in the halls of academia, Climategate is rarely mentioned, never discussed and, especially, not brought to the attention of tender, impressionable undergraduates for fear they loose their faith in the environmental dogma most courses still spoon feed to their compliant stooges more focused on strategic education (is this on the exam?) than deep learning.

As always, truth will out and inquiring minds will re-assert the necessity for academia to actually practice critical thinking rather than merely espouse its virtues.

Monday, January 21, 2013

don't foget to double tap

I am invited to speak next week at an environment conference being hosted by one of the colleges on my home campus.  I am excited as my views and alternate perspective will broaden the range of discussion and my inclusion on the list of invited speakers offers a sign of hope that a new, more enlightened environmentalism may yet emerge from the ashes of the past 20 year in climate alarmism.

But just as every playbook has a silver lining, there's always a counter point to remind you that mental illness is real and requires infinite patience.  Just as ecomyths seem to rise Phoenix style every time they are dismissed, so do old environmentalists.  So it was a great pleasure to read the latest missive over on Climate Resistance, once more eviscerating the latest reincarnation of ideological doom and gloom from Paul Ehrlich which Ben encapsulates in his essay Malthus's Zombie.

Can sustainability ever be achieved?  What is the greatest barrier to successful implementation of effective strategies and policies?  First, we must begin to recognize, acknowledge and finally ignore the willful stupidity still firmly embedded within the heart of environmental ideology.  Rather than recycle the alarmist Zombie, we need to recognize that:
  • the earth's resources are not limited: technology is advancing more rapidly today than at any other point in human history
  • limits do not define the human existence: hope and ingenuity do.  Sustainability must be built upon incentives, not censure.
  • science and an understanding of the environment are not our primary constraint: politics and political will are
  • before governance can be efficient, it must first be effective: zero-carbon is the wrong goal, we should be seeking to provide low-cost, decentralized energy worldwide to liberate people from poverty
  • education needs to create divergent thinking and creativity: not conformity, fear and censure.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

if you didn't laugh, you'd cry

This cartoon from Josh was too good not to re-post: the original courtesy of the impeccable Bishop: