Why is there so much preoccupation with atmospheric CO2 concentrations and reducing anthropogenic CO2 emissions when it is well documented in the peer-reviewed scientific literature that the CO2 contribution to the overall greenhouse effect is so weak that it can be easily supplanted by small changes in clouds and water vapor, or natural climate-changing constituents?
Friday, 18 June 2010
Schools' Low Carbon Day - Hoax, Scam, Astroturf, or Genuine?
They claim to be a 'group of concerned mothers', but do not identify themselves
They claim to have created a registered charity, but I was not able to find any registration for it in Britain.
The site is somewhat timeless, other than the 24th June date in the title, and also fails to include any news about what is happening other than a flier near the top of the homepage claiming 1,600 schools have registered. No details of when they did so, or where they are, or what they might be planning.
I have done a little, inconclusive, digging on the web, and have put the results below, inspired by Kipling's verse:
I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
What: The site states 'Our vision is to set aside a morning to teach children all over the country about climate change, to focus children on their own energy consumption and to inspire children and their families to cut their carbon footprint.'. Teaching plans are offered, as is advice for parent and pupils on how they can change their energy consumption, and other actions claimed to be good for the climate. All stuff that could readily be garnered from the many sites pushing it.
Why: Four possibilities occur to me.
1. Hoax. Someone or some group assembled the site to see what would happen
2. Scam. Someone or some group wants to entice payments from schools and parents.
3. Astroturf. Someone or somegroup wants to give the impression of 'grass-roots' support for climate alarmism.
4. Genuine. There really is a group of 'concerned mothers' who want to help save the planet.
Of these, I currently find 2. and 3. the most plausible. The site is very slick, and well put together. Too slick, and too lifeless, for 4. Too much work for 1.
When: The Day is scheduled to be Thursday, 24th June 2010. It is not clear when the initiative began, but right at the foot of their website pages, there is a copyright claim dated 2009 for 'Mothers Against Climate Change'.
How: The website invites schools and parents to register their interest, and receive packs of some kind. The site also provides lists of things they could do on the day, and of habits they should cultivate to be good (walk to school, eat less meat, switch off lights, and so on).
Where: Presumably the UK. But this is not made explicit. They refer to 'cars' rather than 'automobiles', and the school categories offered on the registration form are 'State' and 'Independent' - both terms used in the UK, but not, for example, in the States.
Who: No information on the site, other than the talk of 'concerned mothers' and 'a registered charity', and a copyright notice at the foot of the homepage for 'Mothers Against Climate Change'.
I think the charity may be called 'Cooling the World' or 'Cool the World', but I could find no reference to in on the Charities Commission site for England and Wales (http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk), nor in the equivalent office in Scotland (http://www.oscr.org.uk/). Same null results for 'Mothers Against Climate Change'.
I also found reference to a Facebook group called 'Moms Against Climate Change':
http://www.facebook.com/MomsAgainstClimateChange, which seems to be based in Canada, and which has produced an apparently oleaginous promotional video (http://www.earthfeed.com/the-trouble-with-the-climate-change-movement). I do not belong to Facebook, and so I have not looked at this further.
More Googling led to the name 'Erica Robb', said to be a founder of 'Cool the World', and a promoter of low carbon day here: http://www.healthypages.co.uk/newsitem.php?news=6265
This link names an 'Erica Charles' as the founder of 'Cool the World': http://naturalmatters.net/news-view.asp?news=4151
I found an intriguing FOI request asking if the UK Department for Education had paid any money to a charity called 'Cooling the World' - they denied having done so (http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/payments_to_cool_the_world_2 )
They have a sidebar with quotes in it. There are only four: 2 from politicians (Ed Balls, Greg Clark ), 1 from Sir John Houghton, and 1 from a Juliet Davenport who runs a company selling 'green power' (http://www.goodenergy.co.uk/)
There are links to marketing sites for carbon trading and 'green-tariff'; electricity suppliers (see: http://www.lowcarbonday.com/low_carbon_day.php, and scroll down to 'Offsetting emissions')
Anyway, enough of this amateur sleuthing. Perhaps others may be able to dig more deeply into this.
In the meantime, I will complete my notes challenging their claims about climate, whoever they are, and hope to publish these here today or tomorrow.