Unfortunately, some misuse science. Some of their intentions, are far from benevolent. They see science as a mechanism for political power and control. There is great danger from those who would use science for political control over us.

How do they do this? They instill, and then continuously magnify, fear. Fear is the most effective instrument of totalitarian control.

Chet Richards, physicist,


Saturday, 17 August 2013

Green Bullies: frightening children is what they do

Is there any precedent for the childhood sacrifice being imposed on children by green fanatics?  Some are intent on spreading depression and dismay on to them while they are still at school.  Not only do they mislead them about the state of the world and of science, they also spread alarm.  If they are successful, this is what they will produce: ill-informed,  frightened children with dismal views of the future.  Ideal supporters-to-be for green causes on the one hand, but damaged victims of hyperbole and facile scaremongering on the other.

Here is a recent example from Australia (hat-tip Spiel Climate): 

Extract from this article by Tony Thomas (bold added):
'The best alarmist entry won $20,000 for Melbourne Girls College for school environmental projects, and the student won a $5000 study grant. The second prize was $12,500/$2500, to MLC, and the third prize of $8500/$1500 went to to Laverton P-12 College.
I do not, of course, begrudge the students their prizes for their talented art efforts. My complaints concern their elders, who see nothing wrong in indoctrinating kids with CO2 doomsterism. Student entrants were required to do an artwork on The Impact of Ocean Acidification and pen 100-word essays about their “inspiration”. It’s vicious, however well-meant, to blight kids’ optimism, as The Alliance’s does with its slogan, “Imagine losing all this colour and life”
The idea that a student should objectively survey the scientific controversies on this topic was unthinkable. Imagine an entry headed: “Probably not much CO2 impact”. The desired apocalyptic tone is captured in these briefing notes from the Alliance:
“The world's leading marine scientists are warning us that our current rates of carbon emissions are making our oceans more acidic. This is happening so fast that it poses a serious threat to biodiversity and marine life.
“Left unchecked, Ocean Acidification could destroy all our coral reefs by as early as 2050. It also has the potential to disrupt other ocean ecosystems, fisheries, habitats, and even entire oceanic food chains.,,
There are approximately 10,000 Coral Reefs and we are destroying one every other day...Left unchecked Ocean Acidification could trigger a Great Mass Extinction Event...
Greenhouse Gas Emissions must be cut dramatically by 2050 if Coral Reefs are to have any chance of surviving the next 50 years...”  '

The reality of course is that the oceans are alkaline, and will remain so even under the projected and imagined impacts.  The terminology of 'acidification' no doubt delights the propagandists because it has more scary overtones than talking about reductions in alkalinity.   But like the even more misleading term 'greenhouse effect', the use of 'acidification' is also widely used in scientific literature and is not likely to be replaced any time soon.

To get an idea of the one-sided view promoted for this brainwashing exercise, one can visit the invaluable CO2 Science website and its Subject Index.  There are many relevant entries under Ocean Acidification,  and under Calcification (Corals), all to research published in the science literature.  Let me reproduce some extracts here merely to make the point that it is by no means established that rising CO2 levels are a serious threat to marine life in general and corals in particular:

(1)  Loaiciga, H.A. 2006. Modern-age buildup of CO2 and its effects on seawater acidity and salinity. Geophysical Research Letters 33: 10.1029/2006GL026305.
    ' Loaiciga concludes that "on a global scale and over the time scales considered (hundreds of years), there would not be accentuated changes in either seawater salinity or acidity from the rising concentration of atmospheric CO2." Hence, any changes that might occur would have little to no negative biological ramifications, as we have reported repeatedly in Journal Reviews archived under Coral Reefs (Calcification) in our Subject Index.'
(2) Pelejero, C., Calvo, E., McCulloch, M.T., Marshall, J.F., Gagan, M.K., Lough, J.M. and Opdyke, B.N.  2005.  Preindustrial to modern interdecadal variability in coral reef pH.  Science 309: 2204-2207.
   ' Contrary to climate-alarmist claims that historical anthropogenic CO2 emissions have already resulted in a significant decline in ocean water pH and aragonite saturation state, Pelejero et al.'s 300-year record of these parameters (which, in their words, began "well before the start of the Industrial Revolution") provides no evidence of such a decline.  In addition, and also contrary to what one would expect from climate-alarmist claims of how sensitive coral calcification rate is to changes in pH and aragonite saturation state, they found that huge cyclical changes in these parameters had essentially no detectable effect on either coral calcification or skeletal extension rates. '
(3) Ries, J.B., Cohen, A.L. and McCorkle, D.C. 2010. A nonlinear calcification response to CO2-induced ocean acidification by the coral Oculina arbusculaCoral Reefs 29: 661-674.
'The three researchers, in their words, "propose that the apparent insensitivity of calcification and linear extension within O. arbuscula to reductions in ΩA from 2.6 to 1.6 reflects the corals' ability to manipulate the carbonate chemistry at their site of calcification." And it would further appear that that ability should serve the corals well, no matter how much fossil fuel is burned before various non-CO2-producing forms of energy generation become sufficiently developed to supply the bulk of the world's energy needs.'

This glimpse into the complexities of the science serves to highlight just how irresponsible and malevolent is the singling-out and promotion to children of exclusively alarmist claims in this area.  

Note added 18 Sep 2013.  Tony Thomas has written several other penetrating articles on climate matters.  See: http://tthomas061.wordpress.com/category/climate-unfrocked/

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