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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Today's climate scams rival a Monty Python sketch

"Recent events have seen the scare campaign over global warming descend to the level of

  • a Monty Python sketch.

Much publicity was given, for instance, to Lewis Gordon Pugh, who set out to paddle a kayak to the Pole to demonstrate the vanishing of the Arctic ice. At 80.5 degrees north, still 600 miles short of his goal,

Then there was the much-publicised speech to Compassion in World Farming by Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the

Although hailed by the BBC as "the UN's top climate scientist", Dr Pachauri, who holds PhDs in economics and engineering,

  • A vegetarian Hindu, Dr Pachauri not only used highly tendentious figures to promote his cause but said nothing about the contribution made to global warming

is converted to eating veggieburgers.

There has also been an acclaimed new paper by Michael Mann, the creator of the

After being used obsessively by the IPCC's 2001 report to promote the cause, the "hockey stick" was comprehensively discredited, not least by Steve McIntyre, a Canadian computer analyst, who showed that Mann had built into his computer programme an algorithm (or "al-gore-ithm") which would produce the hockey stick shape even if the data fed in was just "random noise"....

It is high time, however, that we took all this chicanery and wishful thinking seriously - as was evidenced in Maidstone Crown Court last Wednesday,

They were attempting to stop a new coal-fired power station being built, to produce 1,600 megawatts of electricity (two and a half times as much as is generated by all the 2,300 wind turbines so far built in Britain).

  • As gleefully reported on the front page of The Independent, and at length by other promoters of warming alarmism such as the BBC and The Guardian,
  • and contributing to the extinction of "a million species", would be far worse.

The court was swayed to this remarkable verdict by the evidence of two "expert witnesses" for the defence: Zac Goldsmith, one of David Cameron's envrionmental policy advisers and a prospective Conservative MP, and James Hansen, head of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

  • Dr Hansen, who has been the world's leading global warming campaigner for 20 years (along with his ally Al Gore), claimed that the proposed Kingsnorth power station alone would be responsible for
  • the extinction of "400 species".

It is extraordinary that two such partisan witnesses were accepted by the court in this role, since the rules, as defined by Mr Justice Cresswell in 1993, insist that the function of an "expert witness" is only to give "objective evidence". He must not be an "advocate" for one side or the other on any issue on which experts are divided.

  • Last year he was forced by Steve McIntyre to revise his figures for US surface temperatures, to show that the hottest decade of the 20th century was not the 1990s, as Hansen claimed,
  • but the 1930s. He has also campaigned tirelessly for the scrapping of all coal-fired power stations."...
As always, follow the money. Carbon offset scams--tailor made for back-room criminal hacks-attract cowards operating in the dark,
  • from Goldman Sachs on down

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1 Comments:

  • James Hansen in his own words [Nature Sep 05 2008]:
    This week, James Hansen was in London, UK, to testify on behalf of activists who defaced a coal-fired power station in Kent. Geoff Brumfiel caught up with Hansen at a London hotel to find out what has got him all hot and bothered.
    Why did you come to testify?
    Nothing could be more central to the problem we face with global climate change. If you look at the size of the oil, gas and coal reservoirs you'll see that the oil and gas have enough CO2 to bring us up to a dangerous level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
    There's a potential to solve that problem if we phase out coal. If we were to have a moratorium on coal-fired power plants within the next few years, and then phase out the existing ones between 2010 and 2030, then CO2 would peak at something between 400 and 425 parts per million. That leaves a difficult problem, but one that you can solve.
    Do you think that leaders like UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown have lived up to their promises on climate change?
    It depends on whether they will have a moratorium on coal-fired power. I think that the greenest leaders, like German chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Brown, are saying the right words. But if you look at their actions, emissions are continuing to increase. All of these countries and the United States are planning to build more coal-fired power plants. And if you build more coal-fired power plants, then it is not possible to achieve the goals that they say they are committed to. It's a really simple argument and yet they won't face up to it.
    So do you think that these activists were justified in doing what they did?
    The activists drawing attention to the issue seems to me as justified. You should try to do things through the democratic process, but we really are getting to an emergency situation. We can't continue to build more coal-fired power plants that do not capture CO2 if we hope to solve the problem.
    We need to get energy from somewhere. So if we're not getting it from coal, then where?
    The first thing we should do is focus on energy efficiency. The fact that utilities make more money by selling more energy is a big problem. We have to change those rules. Then there is renewable energy — in order to be able to fully exploit renewable energy, we need better electric grids. So those should be the first things, but I think that we also need to look at next-generation nuclear power.
    Some have said you are hypocritical for flying all the way from the US to the UK just to testify. How do you respond?
    I like to travel as little as possible, not only because it uses less CO2 but because I prefer to do science. But sometimes there are things which are sufficiently important that I think it makes sense.
    What do you think the roll of the scientist should be in the broader societal debate on climate change?
    I think it would be irresponsible not to speak out. There is a clear gap between what is understood by the relevant scientific community and what is known by the public, and we have to try and close that gap. If we don't do something in the very near future, we're going to create a situation for our children and grandchildren that is out of control.

    By Blogger rob's uncle, at 7:08 PM  

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