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?


Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Scaring Children about Climate - some good news, and some bad news at the end of 2013.

As can be seen in numerous posts and pages on this site, there are people willing to do horrible things in order to bolster their own political and/or financial prospects, or to flatter their egos as saviours of the world, or to damage industrialised economies or to suppress development opportunities in the less-industrialised ones.  I refer in particular to the deliberate intention of frightening children with horror stories about climate.  The frail notion that rising levels of CO2 are dominating the climate system to the imminent danger of life on Earth is the intellectual underpinning that seems to be required for such inhumane behaviour.  The good news is that there have been many scientific papers published in the past year which could help undermine the glib assurance of those who enjoy and benefit from standing on or around this dreadful platform.

The Good News

The good news which I want to feature here is the many setbacks this year in the scientific underpinnings for alarm over human impact on climate.  When the threadbare nature of the scientific case for such alarm, and the inevitable scaremongering which it encourages, are more widely exposed for what they are, the political support will surely weaken further, and then in due course our schools may become freer to concentrate on the education and on the pastoral care of their pupils and be less vulnerable to those who view them as potential recruits for sundry political causes such as ‘sustainable development’ and ‘carbon reduction’.  

There are a great many papers to choose from.  To provide an illustrative selection, I have chosen one for each month from just one blog, a blog which published dozens of reports every month, usually with a direct link to a scientific paper, or to a meta-analysis based on scientific papers.  Readers might like to take a look themselves by scrolling through the archives there:  THE HOCKEY SCHTICK             .

January: ‘Inconvenient truth: Sea level rise is decelerating’  

February: ‘Clouds/aerosols control the climate, not man-made CO2’   

March: ‘Analysis finds warming leads to less extreme storms’  

April: ‘New paper demonstrates temperature drives CO2 levels, not man-made CO2’  

May: ‘Global warming caused by CFCs, not carbon dioxide, study says’  

June: ‘New paper predicts a decrease in tropical cyclones in the future’   

July: New paper finds climate change over decades primarily determined by the oceans'  

August:  ‘The skeptics were right: Climate changes naturally & these natural changes outweigh any man-made influences’  

September:  ‘New paper finds another amplification mechanism by which the Sun controls climate’   

November: ’ New paper finds evidence of Svensmark's cosmic ray theory of climate on a regional scale’

December: ‘Observations show IPCC exaggerates anthropogenic global warming by a factor of 7’ 


These are a somewhat arbitrary selection from the dozens of relevant posts in each of these months at that blog.  I make no claims that this selection includes the best papers, nor even that the source blog is the best or only place to find such links.  It is an encouraging aspect of the disparate resistance to scaremongering over climate that there are a great many sites and blogs around which can provide entries into the scientific literature, and often helpful summaries and commentaries as well.  

A major contribution of the year was, in my view 'Climate Change Reconsidered II', and I will say a little more about it at the end of this post.  (I helped it along in one of the most modest of ways one can contribute to such a venture:  by reviewing one of the chapters ahead of publication.).

The Bad News

The bad news is, in essence, that the production of materials and the creation of initiatives to win children over to causes underpinned by climate-scaremongering continues  The pressure on children remains relentless and widespread.  Some may be due to hard-hearted activists, some may be due to decent people duped by the relentless propaganda they themselves have been subjected to, in some cases all their lives.  Here are a few recent examples:

UNICEF:  they have a new campaign, and a new catchphrase ‘A Climate Fit for Children’   In the UK, they run a schools network pushing children into political actions, and it wants to get into this new campaign as well:  ‘Children and young people have a powerful voice and it’s one our decision-makers should be listening to.’

University of Leeds (and others):  they think it a wheeze to rope children into preparing feel-good propaganda about a low-carbon future by getting them to work with deep greens such as Derrick Jensen to produce cartoons for the cause.  (I wonder how they cover the suffering and waste due that cause
The product of this cartooning is a graphic novel whichis being circulated to schools and museums throughout the UK, as well as selected comics shops.’

Greenpeace plays the Santa card.  Every year it seems some eco-loon or other spots this opportunity. Suzuki has tried it for example.  Now the bourgeois hooligans of Greenpeace have had a shot at it: Santa under threat from disappearing ice.  A miserable effort from miserable people determined to darken all our lives. It won them a Bah Humbug Award from ACM, but it really deserves deeper contempt than that conveys.

ColdPlay soundtrack for a junk video aimed at kids.  A video described on the rtcc site as having had the support of the Foreign Office (something I hope someone will investigate).  The video contains a doom-laden future thanks to 'climate change' - the classic CAGW stuff.  Designed to keep children awake at night.  Awake and screaming for help perhaps.[6 Jan: Climate Science has highlighted the Foreign Office connection]

‘Common Core’  in the USA. That’s the official name for sweeping changes proposed in developing a national curriculum in the States. It doesn’t look good for the children.  For example, in Colorado Fifth grade students at Fremont Elementary School in Colorado were assigned a reading passage that describes global warming as a dangerous, man-made phenomenon that will destroy civilization in a few hundred years.'  Everyone wants to do their bit to disturb the young, even teachers of English it would seem.  Another report entitles this 'Students Receive Doomsday Climate Propaganda' and that seems about right.

UNESCO deep in planning for ESD next year.      (ESD = Education for Sustainable Development.)  By which they mean 'suppressed development', and which of course is driven by the usual set of climate fears, and buttressed by any other eco-scare you care to mention.  The banner of sustainable development is the big vehicle for the political and financial ambitions for many taking advantage of the climate scaremongering.  Who could possibly be against 'sustainable' they must suppose.  Anyone who has given it more than a moment's thought would be my response.  Anyway, there is to be an ESD conference in Japan in November, 2014.  I'd like to think it will be cancelled for lack of interest, but that would require a lot of wishful thinking to be sustainable for very long, sad to say.

Looking Ahead

The hapless shipload of climateers currently stuck in the Antarctic ice provides a fittingly allegorical end to 2013 for the CAGW movement as captured by Josh (hat-tip: Bishop Hill):

Let us hope that they are all brought to safety in due course, but let us also hope that their cause continues to be morally and intellectually and economically and politically in trouble next year as well, and in every successive year until it is dismissed forever as an awful aberration.  One that nevertheless caused a great deal of harm while it lasted.  

Loss of respect for science may well be one of the longer-lasting effects, but it will take more and more scientists to lift their attention from their own studies and devote some serious attention to what has been done in their name if this aberration is to end sooner rather than later.  The Non-Governmental International Panel on Climate Change has been doing sterling work in building up a body of research .  Its report 'Climate Change Reconsidered II' was for me one of the most important events in 2013, not least because this report could be of value for years to come for scientists intent on getting more information about what we know and don't know about the climate system, and who have realised that they cannot trust the IPCC, nor those who embellish and exaggerate what it has chosen to publish..  I hope that more and more teachers, educational leaders and administrators, and interested politicians will come to the same realisation sooner rather than later.

[hat-tip: Dave W for some of the links used in this post, and for general encouragement]

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