'The environmentalism of my daughter’s preschool is a force-fed potpourri of myth, superstition, and ritual that has much in common with the least reputable varieties of religious Fundamentalism.'
Steven Landsberg, quoted in https://www.aei.org/publication/why-naive-environmentalism-is-like-religious-fundamentalism/
Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Saturday, 25 February 2012
While climate alarmists wallow in the mud of their ugly subculture, a real climate scientist speaks out in London - Prof Lindzen, undermining crass climate curricula in schools the world over.
It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should.
The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes.
The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal.
The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such.
They are sometimes overtly dishonest.
Professor Richard Lindzen introducing a lecture (pdf) he gave in Westminster on 22nd February, 2012, in response to an invitation from the Campaign to Repeal the Climate Act. Video via Climate Realists.
Josh was there and captured insights and visual reminders in his gifted way:
Lindzen even managed to penetrate the smug assurance of someone at that home of sanctimonious superficial climate alarmism, the Independent:
The educational implications of this are clear. Here is perhaps the most distinguished scientifc meteorologist of our age. His message is not the one our schools have been told to put out.
He is a moral and intellectual giant compared to the likes of Al Gore whose shoddy DVD was issued by the last government to all schools in England and Wales, or the likes of Peter Gleick, a vainglorious alarmist now being hoist by his own petard, or, another alarmist en route to a personal fortune, Dave Miliband, a leading member of that government whose Climate Change Act brings such shame and loss to British society.
Lindzen's core message is not new. This is not a sudden revelation. Leading climate scientists were saying it loud and clear to politicians 20 years ago, as the following statement, signed by Lindzen and many others, makes clear:
'February 27, 1992
WASHINGTON, D.C. - As independent scientists, researching atmospheric and climate problems, we are concerned by the agenda for UNCED, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, being developed by environmental activist groups and certain political leaders. This so-called Earth Summit is scheduled to convene in Brazil in June 1992 and aims to impose a system of global environmental regulations, including onerous taxes on energy fuels, on the population of the United States and other industrialized nations.
Such policy initiatives derive from highly uncertain scientific theories. They are based on the unsupported assumption that catastrophic global warming follows from the burning of fossil fuels and requires immediate action. We do not agree.
A survey of U.S. atmospheric scientists, conducted in the summer of 1991, confirms that there is no consensus about the cause of the slight warming observed during the past century. A recently published research paper even suggests that sunspot variability, rather than a rise in greenhouse gases, is responsible for the global temperature increases and decreases recorded since about 1880.
Furthermore, the majority of scientific participants in the survey agreed that the theoretical climate models used to predict a future warming cannot be relied upon and are not validated by the existing climate record. Yet all predictions are based on such theoretical models.
Finally, agriculturalists generally agree that any increase in carbon dioxide levels from fossil fuel burning has beneficial effects on most crops and on world food supply.
We are disturbed that activists, anxious to stop energy and economic growth, are pushing ahead with drastic policies without taking notice of recent changes in the underlying science. We fear that the rush to impose global regulations will have catastrophic impacts on the world economy, on jobs, standards of living, and health care, with the most severe consequences falling upon developing countries and the poor.'
When it comes to cleaning the alarmist guff out of school curricula, one excuse that neither the politicians nor their tame educationalists who put those curricula together and forced them on to schools, will not have is 'we didn't know any better'. They will also not have the excuse of 'only now has recent scientific knowledge suggested less cause for alarm'. No, the real knowledge has never provided sufficient cause for alarm. Never. The alarm was and is based on speculation - hollow, flaky, insubstantial and promoted vigorously by grossly irresponsible people for a generation.
Thursday, 23 February 2012
The Great CO2 Scare - has it run out of steam, will the scaremongering soon be driven out of our schools?
But here are some signs of revolt, or of setbacks for alarmists, or at least of dawning realisation that all is not well with this scheme, or with its so-called scientific 'underpinnings'. In no particular order:
(1) WIthin a month of deciding to support warped science-teaching in schools about climate, the NCSE have 'released' their prize catch of a distinguished climate alarmist from their board of directors, one Peter Gleick, a man driven to malevolent distraction by his vivid fears of armageddon.
(2) Judith Curry, a climate scientist who is not afraid of debate, and who clearly values the integrity and repuation of science in general and her subject in particular, has just started a new thread about teaching climate in schools on her site, and within 24 hours or so it had attracted several hundred comments.
(3) The Australian Climate Madness site has in the last couple of days posted several pieces on climate materials aimed at children, and it is not at all pleased with them - here and here and here. Looks like that site may continue to pursue this topic.
(4) Andrew Bolt, and several other commentators in the mass media in Australia, have been impugned in a school geography textbook. He doesn't like that much, and I daresay the others won't either. Hopefully they will, as Bolt has done, make their displeasure widely known.
(5) Andrew Montford is the author of an outstanding book about an interface between climate science and politics, the Hockey Stick Illusion, and a man very concerned and knowledgeable about the activities and effects of key players in the headlong rush underway to make CO2 and 'climate' a dominant factor in policy making. He has just given a talk at one of the UK Met Office sites. This organisation was chosen as a next career choice by a man who played a large part in transforming the World Wildlife Fund into a lobbying body obsessed, even demented by 'climate change'. In some ways, so is the Met Office - to its great demerit since its level of competence in climate forecasting is laughable, yet it has played an important role in making climate alarm respectable, not least through the influence of its former director John Houghton, who saw climate change and man's impact on it in a religous light. Anyway, the meeting took place, and the first reports of it sound favourable.
(6) The Independent newspaper, like some other leftwing mass media in the UK, notably the Guardian and the BBC, has been prominent in campaigning and preaching about the dreadful effect of man-induced CO2 releases into the atmosphere. Their evironmental reporters have been like missionaries seized with fervour as they spread the good words about how salvation will come from reducing something called our 'carbon footprint'. Aided and abetted by rising taxes, reduced standards of living, and greater power to their preferredinstrument of all progress - the government. Well, and this is admittedly small beer, yesterday on their website a writer was allowed to publish a sympathetic report about a public lecture on climate by Richard Lindzen, another man who clearly loves science and the pursuit of truth. The penny seemed to have dropped for this writer that maybe, just maybe, the Great Co2 Scare has been overblown.
(7) The Royal Society's craven dance macabre with government over climate alarmism has been lucidly captured by the above-mentioned Andrew Montford in a short pamphlet which tells how recent leadership there has thrown away the splendid and precious spirit of objectivity and indepence captured so vividly in their original motto, Nullius in Verba (pdf). A previous mini-revolt by a few dozen fellows over the society's stance on climate may well be replicated a fortiori if this fine pamphlet helps foment some more unrest. This matters a lot for schools, since educational materials and their pushers on the climate front have been able to quote the society as an authoritative source in an area of science education that is awfully dependent on reference to authority since actual observations of the climate system show nothing at all unusual going on in what we see or experience.
(8) Another big source of authority for scaring the wits out of children, the IPCC has been exposed as a shoddy organisation by Donna Laframboise, and the next reports due from it are already being attacked in their draft form by knowledgeable commentators - see here or here.
(9) In fact, the speed with which alarmist hyperbole is being jumped upon and exposed in the blogosphere is in general very encouraging, with groups such as the GWPF and SPPI and NIPCC and CO2Science doing sterling service with high quality analyses aimed at policy makers. See here, for example, for an evisceration of the BBC's record (pdf) on climate alarmism, and here. Or visit WUWT for regular features challenging the establishment view - a website by the way which recently went past over 100 milllion visits, by itself a good sign.
(10) New books are coming out that could well be used, or inspire, teachers and pupils to take a more robust line when it comes to dealing with those who would use their pupils as pawns in political schemes. One in particular, Don't Sell Your Coat, is very accessible, being bright, brief, and extremely well-written. It also comes from an an author on the left of the political spectrum, the end at which it would seem that most teachers find themselves to be.
(11) And here's something I've been listening to with great admiration while finishing off this post: Matt Ridley talking to a 'tipping-point' conference recently. Since 'tipping-point' is one of the catch-phrases used to scare the gullible, it is likely that his audience was mostly of true believers in the climate faith, the apocalyptic one (h/t Bishop Hill) . Teachers, I know you are constrained by state-imposed curricula, but could you at least share this in your staffrooms?
(12) Perhaps we are going to see an end to junk like this video clip below, introduced by one Ben Santer, famous for editing draft IPCC reports to suit his, rather than other scientists' more rational, views, and for being tempted to 'beat the crap' out of another scientist who had the temerity to be wiser and more knowledgeable than him. The only possibly encouraging thiing about this video, apart from its dire quality, is that comments on it have been switched off at YouTube, possibly because they were too angry:
And the snows of Kilimanjaro? Well, they got that wrong too - they are not steadily disappearing. And airborne CO2 emits just as much as it absorbs of infra-red - neither it nor methane is a 'trap' keeping that radiation from escaping to space. Once high enough up, they will actually help that escape of energy to take place.
The false image of the earth behaving like a glass house will be laughed at one day in classrooms, as will the idea of CO2 as a pollutant, while the youngsters learn a little of this crazy era of CO2-driven political madness say, c. 1980 to 2020, in which gullible politicians were led to believe they could control the very weather by raising taxes, and when little children were coached as activists to encourage such beliefs. That end date may be on the optimistic side, but I think it is not out of the question.
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Climate corruption causes caustic commentary in a school textbook displaying moral turpitude, rotten attitude, and downright 'stupitude'.
Moral turpitude. The loaded use of words like ‘denial’ and ‘denying’ is a hideous abuse not only of good people who happen to have views contrary to the establishment’s, but also and more importantly to the memory and the message of the Holocaust itself. But further, to take the good intentions of such as the IPCC at face value is to make a profound error. Good intentions seized upon with enthusiasm and faith in the wisdom of ideologically-driven elites in the 20th century led to horrendous tragedies. In the climate area, the most dramatic of late has been in the imposition of bio-fuels – not just adding to energy costs in the rich world, but bringing further, totally avoidable, misery and starvation to the poor one. The longer-term harm will flow from the accretion of power and wealth by new ‘elites’ using CO2 fear-driven legislation and taxes, while the associated suppressed development, known as ‘sustainable development’, will impoverish most people in both rich and poor countries.
Rotten attitude. Aggressive, politically-loaded one-sided misrepresentation of those who are speaking out against the corruption of both science and politics does not reflect what I imagine most parents would want to see in a teacher, or in a textbook. No pupil would realise, from this material, that very distingusihed, very experience scientists have taken issue with climate alarmism, as have many very well-informed, logical, coherent, and civil commentators. The scarcity of admirable role models on the climate alarmist side is quite stark, and is not alluded to. You can hardly look into any area of climate alarmism without finding matters of great concern, often revealing low levels of integrity in science, in politics, or in journalism. Now a teacher of science or of geography might reasonably wish to protect his pupils from this rather confusing turmoil in order to teach them something of his or her subject matter. Instead, in this textbook, we see propaganda – a one-sided denigration by innuendo of good citizens, freely and reasonably deploying their own minds and finding serious grounds for opposing the headlong rush to legislate and spread fear, ostensibly in the cause of CO2 reduction.
Downright 'stupitude': The poor quality and global coverage of so much climate data is such that to describe the evidence for global warming as ‘overwhelming’ is not a very intelligent thing to say, especially when the context implies that by ‘global warming’ is meant something quite dramatic and scary. There is indeed some evidence, most notably through estimates of that rather hard to define concept of global mean temperature. This is not actually an observed temperature. Many real observations of temperature show no particularly sustained trend in the 20th century for example, some show cooling, some show periods of warming and cooling, and some show warming. Large areas of the earth’s surface have no surface weather stations in their vicinity. The satellite data available for the past 30 years or so, show no clear warming signals. Even the widely accepted global mean temperatures only show a modest overall rise in the 20th century, and furthermore show no evidence of a rise in the 21st. The case against acute, or even any strong alarm about rising CO2 levels is actually a very strong one, and so far it has been well-supported by Mother Nature herself. So many alarmist predictions capable of being put to the test by contemporary data have failed that test that it is rather stupid to pretend that the arguments are over, and we face disaster if the Jeremiahs are ignored. The scientists who are promote acute alarm about rising levels of CO2 are actually very few – perhaps a few dozen or so in my estimation, with their impact amplified by the leadership of scientific institutions and others. The numbers who promote appeals for a more calm, considered discussion of the science are far greater, probably in the hundreds or even thousands if some petitions are to be taken at face value. Finally, picking on such as Andrew Bolt, a highly articulate, well-informed man with a very sharp wit (not to mention newspaper columns a radio slot, a tv show, and a great many enthusiastic followers) is both inappropriate for a school textbook, and a little, shall we say, ill-advised. I suspect he knows far more about the climate debate that the authors of this sorry book.
|Some extracts from the book, with comments.|
Extract 1: 'Despite overwhelming scientific evidence that the planet is warming, there are still people who deny that is a result of human activity. The most vocal of these deniers are conservative political think tanks and the right-wing radio 'shock jocks'.'
This is a straw man, there to allow the authors to vent theirs spleen at what they no doubt sees as 'the enemy'. After a brief CYA sentence including 'there is a range of views', they develop the above theme. Yet what is the reality?
The planet has not been warming for the past 15 years or so by the usual measure of estimated global mean temperatures. When it was warming in the late 20th century. it was at a similar rate and magnitude to the warming of the early 20th century - a rise not attributed by anyone to CO2. Furthermore, many distinguished scientists and other sceptics are perfectly willing to entertain the possibility of a human contribution to warming via CO2. They do not dispute that, they merely observe that the expected and the observed effect are both rather small, and not of much, if any, concern. For a recent illustration of such an approach, I would direct my readers to item 1 and item 2 in the Wall Street Journal.
Extract 2 ‘Shaping the nature of the public debate about the issue is an important focus for those groups opposed to any program designed to reduce CO2 emissions. In February 2007, The Guardian (UK) reported that a conservative American think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, was offering scientists and economists US$10,000 each to ‘undermine a major climate change report’ from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’
$10,000 dollars will sound like a life-changing amount to a schoolchild, and being paid to ‘undermine’ something does sound very dubious indeed. Yet let us look at some facts:
That Guardian article by the way, came complete with this picture of a polar bear. Such bears might well become symbols of the shallow opportunism of some climate alarmists since many bear populations have been growing despite being held up to us, and to children in particular, as already being harmed by the awful warming underway.
Extract 3. ‘Many large fossil fuel-based industries have also tried to discredit the work of scientists. Exxon Mobil, the giant American Oil Company, has, for example, spent millions supporting conservative (right-wing) organizations that cast doubt on the science on which the warnings about a warming climate have been based.’
Some people really have it in for Big Oil in general, and Exxon in particular. Yet these companies are noticeable by their low profile on the sceptic side of the debate, and their prominence on the warming side with their campaigns, investments, and support for the global warming worldview that ‘something must be done’. The recent theft and publication of Heartland Institute documents is informative here I think. This is an example of what the authors refer to as a ‘conservative think tank’. First of all for the insight into the ethics of climate alarmed scientist-activists and their supporters in the mass media, but also for the remarkable absence of millions in funding by Big Oil or other fossil-fuel based industries (how much of modern industry, or indeed living, is not fossil-fuel based, by the way?). For more insight into the far larger sums flowing into the climate alarm industry, see this post by Jo Nova.
Extract 4: 'In Australia, journalists such as the Herald Sun's Andrew Bolt, the Sydney Morning Herald's Miranda Devine, the Telegraph's Piers Akerman and the radio 'shock jocks' Alan Jones and Ray Hadley dismiss the science underpinning warnings about global warming.'
This, remember, is in a school textbook on geography aimed at 13 and 14 year olds. I am not familiar with the output of all on that list, only some of Bolt's work and a little of Alan Jones'. If it is typical of this lumped together group, then a more accurate focus would be 'scientific speculations underpinning warnings about global warming'. And a more accurate term than 'dismiss' might be 'examine' or even 'draw attention to criticisms of'. 'Dismiss' does imply an attempt to ignore or downplay, but both Bolt and Jones seem to go out of their way to draw attention to them (thank goodness). For example, on 17th March, 2011, Bolt wrote this:
[there follows an annotated list of some of the most distinguished scientists who do not take Ms Gillard's alarmist view of the climate system - no dismissal of science there, I'd say]
Or you might prefer to listen to Andrew Bolt interviewing a hapless EU apparatchik called Jill Duggan, who was in Australia to promote the EU's carbon policy without having a clue about what it might achieve.
Or watch him on TV.
In all three cases, he seems to me to be taking climate science very seriously indeed. He is far from dismissing it. The TV slot also includes an interview with Prof Lindzen who is a known believer in anthropogenic global warming. He just doesn't think it amounts to much.
Extract 5 ‘Fortunately, a new generation of world leaders is taking global warming seriously. In the United States of America, President Barack Obama is working to reduce America’s reliance on fossil fuels and is providing leadership in international efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.’
This is so misleading. President Obama may be noted for some things, but providing such leadership is demonstrably not one of them. And why the ‘fortunately’ when so much harm is coming from political decisions driven by alarmist posturing?
In Bolt's own words, in reaction to this book:
Footnote (1) added 25 Feb 2012. A supporter of the UK's absurd Climate Change Act gets c. $30.000 a day for consulting, and an average of $25,000 for each of 8 speeches last year.
Socialist greenies - you've to hand it to them - they know how to look after themselves!
More here: http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2012/02/this-is-wrong.html
Will this get into the next (heaven forbid) edition of this textbook?
Monday, 20 February 2012
EU funds climate-coaching to get pupils on one side of a political debate - but their MPs may not like it
In the Norwich Advertiser on 13 Feb
Holt Hall, mentioned in the clipping, has featured in a previous post on this blog: http://climatelessons.blogspot.com/2011/02/to-holt-for-tee-transnational-energy.html
Now these MPs were raising issues with other adults, and not coaching school pupils to be activists for their side of this public debate. I wonder if those MPs might be able to get Bob Ward's assistance to make their points, given his dismay about organisations seeking school children to promote an opposing agenda.
I wonder also if those MPs might also get warning notices issued to all schools within 100 miles of such initiatives (and Norfolk seems particualry blighted in this respect) – in order to warn them to be on their guard about possible political indoctrination of their pupils. They might call it Norfolk’s Law, and it could be used for the neighbourhoods of all universities where the pursuit of knowledge amongst adults has been appreciably displaced by the pursuit of influence over children.
‘But the deeper question is – why are adults so keen to focus on children? Why concentrate on the weakest, least influential members of society and ask them to act?''
Saturday, 18 February 2012
|The Age, Melbourne|
Now Flannery is clearly, from his writings, a nervous and excitable type, easily scared and yet fluent enough when he takes his turn at scaring others, e.g.
2008: 'Throughout 2008 it’s felt as if our future has been crystallising before our eyes. Food shortages, escalating oil prices, a melting Arctic ice cap and other climatic changes seem to make the news every week. All are potentially serious threats, and any one could be the harbinger of profound change for our global civilisation. Scientific studies confirm that our planet is warming at a rate consistent with the worst case scenario developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2001, meaning that we must make substantial inroads on our emissions in the next 20 years if we hope to avoid irreversible damage to Earth’s climate system.' For concentrated silliness, this paragraph would take some beating.
Andrew Bolt has been exposing Flannery's odious flim-flam for years, as in this piece in the Herald Sun newspaper, and this one giving the transcript of a radio interview. An entire book has been published Fisking Flannery's unhinged book called 'Weather Makers', within which it found:.
- 23 misinterpretations,
- 28 contradictory statements,
- 31 untraceable or suspect sources,
- 45 failures to reflect uncertainty,
- 66 over-simplifications or factual errors,
- 78 exaggerations and over a hundred unsupported dogmatic statements, many of them quite outlandish.
So, here we have a nervous and silly man, driven by his vivid imagination to spread doom and gloom. He has also been a very influential man, at least in Australia. The combination of his silliness and his influence is surely an embarassing blot on the record of Julia Gillard's government and its predecessor. As Australians wake up to the foolishness of the recently introduced Carbon Tax, more and more of them will start asking why, and some of the pointing-fingers will surely turn to Flannery.
I look forward to the day when more and more citizens wake up to the foolishness, and cruelty, of scaring children about CO2, and start asking why. After that, they should be asking what can we do to help our children. We can tell them the stories came mostly from some foolish men who had had an awful fright and instead of dealing with it like responsible adults and checking it out, they rushed around shouting Panic! Doom! Act Now! Change those lightbulbs! How silly they were! They should have known better.
Wednesday, 15 February 2012
On the other hand, here are our teaching materials which tell you: 'a single conclusion, that carbon dioxide was virtually solely responsible for driving climate change and presented a range of "apocalyptic scenarios".'.
The text italicised in quotes is based on the reported words of a Senator in South Australia - hat-tip Greenie Watch. Here are more details of the position taken by this senator, Cory Bernardi, in a hearing with the CSIRO:
"Yet the information that is produced and distributed to schoolchildren appears only to present a single opinion about what is driving climate change," he said.
"How can you explain that given that the explanatory note for teachers says it leads to many different opinions?"
And the answer from the propagandists' friends, the CSIRO? Not exactly impressive:
I wonder if they are beginning, at long last, to realise that the alarm about CO2 is overblown, based on a flimsy theory of how the climate system works, and all but devoid of observational evidence to support its predictions.
As Mother Nature continues to refute the alarmist conjectures one by by one, the propagandists do of course change the spin. They abandoned 'Global Warming' when it become clear that it wasn't much. They backed away a bit from 'Climate Change' when it became clear than the climate was displaying business as usual. Then they had a feeble shot at 'Climate Disruption', but those pesky hurricanes and floods and icecaps and polar bears just refused to play along and do their part. Now, as evidenced by a briefing paper for the UK Parliament (h/t Bishop Hill), they are going for 'Hidden Threat' as in 'natural forms of climate variability are likely to be the main influence on the UK's climate over the next few decades'.
What? Whatever happened to that hockey stick plot, the dizzying rise in temperatures underway, the children who won't know what snow is, the desperate urgency of a Prince Charles or Gordon Brown with their X months left to save the world so better change those lightbulbs quick? Better scientists than the propagandists choose to quote, had said from the start of the scare that the effect of CO2 would be hard to detect against the variations due to other factors. They were classed, offensively, as 'deniers'. Now their wisdom is getting some indirect recognition - the flattery of imitation, but lacking the justice and the courtesy of a climb down by those who did not hesitate to try to scare us, and our children, to further their own ends.
The scientific side of the scaremongering has always had large uncertainties, often glossed over or ignored by such as the IPCC and others who feared that sharing them would inhibit political actions. They were right, I guess. Now we are burdened with the monstrous idiocy of the Climate Change Act, and the monstrous cruelty of teaching materials designed to scare children out of their wits.
Ah, but no worries. We did tell the teachers 'climate change was a complicated topic many found "daunting and confusing" and could be controversial, leading to many different opinions.' And we did tell the politicians 'natural forms of climate variability are likely to be the main influence on the UK's climate over the next few decades'. We just, kind of , you know, left it a bit late.
Exhibit 1 (2011)
Exhibit 2 (2009)
Note added 16 Feb 2012 The Australian Climate Madness site has a relevant posting from 14 Feb about government-funded climate propaganda on a TV network : http://www.australianclimatemadness.com/2012/02/governments-climate-indoctrination-exposed-again/
Monday, 13 February 2012
Note added 07 May 2012.
Sunday, 12 February 2012
Another fine resource for both teacher and pupil interested in the Royal Society has just been posted on Bishop Hill. The Royal Society is often quoted, along with the IPCC, as an authoritative body we should trust. Donna Laframboise's book has revealed the IPCC as being far from trustworthy, Andrew Montford's pamphlet has revealed the Royal Society in the hands of irresponsible politically-motivated alarmists, and now we have the words of a Fellow of that Society courteously demolishing any residual respect a naive observer might have clinged to out of deference to such a body. Here is a small extract, put in italics and partly emboldened by me for display here:
'Although I am not a climate scientist, I am sufficiently conversant with the climate science literature to be able to assess the issues accurately. My conclusion is that the case for catastrophic warming induced by man-made CO2 emissions is extremely weak ...
The case for catastrophic warming rests solely on the sign and magnitude of the feedbacks. As has been often said, “Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence”. The potential of catastrophic AGW is an extraordinary claim, but is without compelling supporting evidence. Because of the way that the AGW issue has been politicized together with the behavior of certain climate scientists, the reputation of science and the institutions that support it have suffered. Further, were catastrophic AGW to join the dreary parade of alarms that have punctuated the recent history of affluent societies, the consequences to science and the Society could be severe. It may take a long time before reputations are restored. It is, therefore, imperative for the Society to stay away from politics and advocacy of AGW or any other science based issue, no matter how beguiling the prospect may seem...'
See the post at Bishop Hill for the rest. This is a very useful introductory overview of many of the reasons why intemperate alarm over the climate is out of order. Links are provided to back up the letter-writer's concerns.
Friday, 10 February 2012
There’s more. The no doubt well-intentioned facilitators of the simulation game (Camouflaged Learning) describe it as follows:
The UEA representative at the event is reported as hyping this up just a bit:
‘The students must solve the most catastrophic, significant and terrifying crisis imaginable – a world without power’, she said, ‘…It is essential that they act fast because, unless they’re successful, life as we know it could come to an end.’
If I were of a cynical disposition, I’d call this event ‘Camouflaged Selling – of renewables by the companies, and of alarmism by the university’. Perish the thought. Who would do such a thing with such young people?
It is hoped that the school’s sustainable efforts will inspire others in the local community to follow in its footsteps and think about what they can do differently in their lives to be greener.
Clive Steed, sustainability manager for EDF Energy said: “We can only tackle climate change effectively by taking action together. As a leading energy company, EDF Energy has an ethical responsibility and the expertise to inspire people to reduce their carbon footprint, which is why we kicked off Green Britain Day.’
Wednesday, 8 February 2012
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the global community in the 21st century. Scientists believe that the world is heating up rapidly and that this will cause changes to our weather and climate.
Scotland is taking a lead on tackling climate change with the Climate Change (Scotland) Act which commits Scotland to the world’s most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets. Our country has responded positively to the challenge and is seeking to be a world leader in harnessing renewable technology - creating jobs, helping the economy and demonstrating leadership on the international stage.
However, if we are to meet the targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 then it will require everyone to play their part. This section explains some of the ways that individuals and schools can engage children and young people in hands-on activities to tackle climate change to help them develop new skills and support their development as responsible global citizens.
The above three paragraphs are
When I visited the House of Lords’ minister, Lord Marland, at the Climate Change Department a couple of years ago, I asked him and the Department’s chief number-cruncher, Professor David Mackay (neither a climate scientist nor an economist, of course) to show me the Department’s calculations detailing just how much “global warming” that might otherwise occur this century would be prevented by the $30 billion per year that the Department was committed to spend between 2011 and 2050 – $1.2 trillion in all.
There was a horrified silence. The birds stopped singing. The Minister adjusted his tie. The Permanent Secretary looked at his watch. Professor Mackay looked as though he wished the plush sofa into which he was disappearing would swallow him up entirely.
Eventually, in a very small voice, the Professor said, “Er, ah, mphm, that is, oof, arghh, we’ve never done any such calculation.” The biggest tax increase in human history had been based not upon a mature scientific assessment followed by a careful economic appraisal, but solely upon blind faith. I said as much. “Well,” said the Professor, “maybe we’ll get around to doing the calculations next October.”
Now this Department of Energy and Climate
The UK accounts for 1.5% of global business-as-usual CO2 emissions. At an officially-estimated cost of $1.2 trillion by 2050, or $834 billion after inter-temporal discounting at the minimum market rate of 5%, the Climate Change Act aims to eradicate 80% of these emissions. So just 1.2% of global emissions would be abated even if the policy were to succeed in full.
Business-as-usual CO2 concentration, as the average of all six IPCC emission scenarios, would be 514 ppmv in 2050. A full and successful reduction of UK emissions by 80% over that period would reduce that concentration to – wait for it – 512.5 ppmv. This dizzying reduction of 1.5 ppmv over 40 years would have the effect of abating 0.008 K of the 1.05 K of warming that the IPCC would otherwise have expected to see by 2050.
The UK policy’s mitigation cost-effectiveness – the cost of abating just 1 Kelvin of warming if every nation pursued the UK’s policy with the same cost-ineffectiveness – works out at $108 trillion per Kelvin abated.
So, I hope that conscientious and conforming schoolteachers everywhere, urged to do their bit by such as Education Scotland, will take a little time to explain to their pupils just what kind of difference their sacrifices of time and energy are expected to make using the projections of the IPCC with regard to CO2 and its impact on global warming. Then I hope their pupils will regard them with the contempt they deserve for their conformance to fatuous climate-alarm-driven policies. They might even start doubting such statements such as ‘the world is heating up rapidly’ and ‘climate change is one of the biggest challenges’. Let us hope so. But let us also hope that their teachers get there ahead of them.
Monday, 6 February 2012
Each of the three sources given have been widely discredited as reliable guides. The 'heightened awareness' of which she speaks is best decoded as 'irresponsible, ill-informed alarmism'.
Laframboise has spotted several other phrases to raise the hackles of the concerned citizen:
- educating for sustainability should begin very early in life. (p. 12)
- Young children can be encouraged to question over-consumption. (p. 13)
- young children have capacities to be active agents of change now… (p. 20, italics in original)
- Through their learning and social activism, the children were able to highlight their concerns… (p. 22)
- even very young children…can be proactive participants…as initiators, provocateurs, researchers and environmental activists. (p. 22)
- learning begins at birth…and even before. (p. 54)
- We must find some effective methods of teaching sustainable development that can make children understand deeply, and even shock them out of their unawareness. (p. 85)
'Anthropogenic Global Warming', all but spent.
'Sustainable Development', let's try that one again.
Fred Singer has published a brief history of 'sustainable development', which goes back to the 1960s, and in that piece he provides this quote from a Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars:
Note added 9 Feb 2012: '“Every early-years teacher in the state and the independent sector has told me how much they wish the Government wouldn’t treat childhood as a race,” says Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood and a signatory to the letter.
“Schools have become sausage factories as it is, and putting little children into the grinder earlier and earlier doesn’t make it any better.”'
Quote from an article on state interference at the pre-school level: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/9066921/Knickers-to-the-nappy-curriculum.html
Note added 12 Oct 2017: Some good news: the USA has given notice of quitting UNESCO in 2018. Not before time! https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/10/12/u-s-withdraws-from-unesco-the-u-n-s-cultural-organization-citing-anti-israel-bias/?utm_term=.d79a39b9fdb2