In my opinion this entire sorry episode goes straight to the heart of the difference between the way alarmists like Williamson see the world, and the way normal people view the world. Alarmists seem to want their models, theories and opinions to be accepted as established fact. But the reality is their shaky theories are full of poorly supported conjecture and extrapolation.

Eric Worrall on WUWT, quoted by Dellers who has criticised Williamson's facile alarmism:

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Funders of school materials on climate: vested interests in the The Scare vs The Heartland Institute

Most of these state-funded bodies have grown hugely bigger, richer, and more powerful by jumping on the CO2 Scare bandwagon with alacrity.  I suspect they also all produce materials for schools with some of their funds.  They no doubt see children as a means of influencing their parents as well as voters of the future.  Meanwhile, some climate alarmists have tried to frame, abuse, and attack the tiny Heartland Institute for daring to consider producing some educational materials on climate themselves.  The moral and intellectual mess which Peter Gleick has got himself into in this smearing and deceit is tragic for him, and has itself drawn out more reprehensible comments from his 'side' (for examples, see this post by Donna Laframboise ).  

The reality is the funding of that institute is minimal in comparison with those who push the establishment's line, while their integrity may well be orders of magnitude greater than that of their critics.  I would hazard a guess that the science and reasoning and basic humanity in any climate materials they might produce for schools will be outstanding compared to the alarmist dross currently polluting the minds and spirits of the young.

Josh (Cartoons by Josh) captures a sense of the funding discrepancy with his superb graphic shown above.  Ben Pile does the same, also superbly but using prose:
'The environmental movement is as promiscuous with its ‘ethics’ as it is with ‘The Science’. You can make stuff up, apparently, just so long as you do so in order to ‘save the planet’. And this is why sums as paltry and insignificant as $1,000 are so important to their perspective. It is only by amplifying the trivial that the myth of ‘networks’ of ‘well-funded deniers’ can be sustained. It’s only when you lose a sense of proportion that a few million dollars can stop global action on climate change. Trivia, vanity and mythology allows environmentalists to turn ordinary facts of politics – funding, associations of people, and campaigning organisations – into secret conspiracies to explain their own failure to create a popular movement.'

(hat/tips: Bishop Hill)

Those wealthy agencies may well turn on a sixpence as and when their political masters change tack.  They will continue to do as they are bid.  The glossy materials, the fancy websites, the PR machines, the outreach to the young - all of it could look the same from the distance, but, and here is the dream, one day the words will be different, the fearmongering will go, the manipulation, the condescension and the authoritarianism will vanish.  Proper science, respect for others - especially for the trust and vulnerability of the young - and a sense of calm perspective about what we know and don't know about the climate system will take their place, along with more respect for the great industrial achievements of the past and for our ability to rise to the challenges of the future.

And all on greatly reduced budgets!  There's the rub.  And there's the value for money in small outfits like the Heartland Institute.  I hope they do proceed with their climate materials for schools - they could scarcely fail to improve on some of the stuff out there, and they might just help with the long climb out of this pit of fear and smear we find ourselves in thanks to the political and financial power of people driven crazy by their phobia concerning CO2.

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