April 18, 2018
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 to screen in U.K. 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 thirty 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 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 implementing 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 a tiebreaker with those of the U.K.:
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 U.K. It has been converted to burning wood chips from trees grown in the U.S.:
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. Meanwhile, real problems are ignored and solutions to humanity’s long-term energy needs are not being pursued.