Darwall's The Age of Global Warming
By William Walter Kay
Cambridge-trained economist and historian Rupert Darwall has done research and writing for the Conservative Research Department and for businesses and think-tanks in Britain and the USA. The 442-page The Age of Global Warming: A History (2013) draws on Darwall’s interviews with dozens of the saga’s heroes and villains including Global Warming masterminds like Sir Crispin Tickell, Sir John Houghton et al.
One might presume commercial publishing houses scrambled after this manuscript. Not so. This being a climate-sceptical manuscript, it was rejected by the majors and finally accepted by Quartet Books – a firm not hitherto associated with pro-business American think-tanks or the British Conservative Party.
Part One of this condensation distills Darwall’s history of Global Warming’s political history. Others have essayed this chronology, and all have over-emphases and omissions. Nevertheless, it does the sceptic’s brain good to periodically jog down a timeline of the great Climate Change caper.
Part Two extracts Darwall’s commentary on: a) the failure of Global Warming as a scientific hypothesis; b) the crimes perpetrated to rescue this hypothesis; and c) the carnage wrought by Global Warming upon Western science.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Darwall's History of the Global Warming Project
Darwall's Explication of Global Warming Science
Darwall's History of the Global Warming Project
For environmentalists Global Warming represents an unprecedentedly ambitious challenge. Because carbon-based fuels are society’s primary energy source, decarbonizing society affects energy policy, economic policy, land use, housing, transportation, agriculture, and international relations. Comprehending this extraordinary political undertaking requires contextualizing it within the legacy of sweeping conservationist projects. Conservationist policies, being irrational, are marketed to the public under seemingly urgent pretexts.
Malthus’s Essay on the Principle of Population (1798) had immense impact. The book was reissued six times during Malthus’s life. Most Malthusians were, like their mentor, protestant pastors. Malthusianism expressed a phobia about human demands outstripping Nature’s finite resources.
A twist on Malthusianism occurred in 1865 when William Jevons’ bestseller The Coal Question predicted exhaustion of coal reserves. Like Malthus, Jevons stressed “exterior nature presents a certain and absolute limit” and again natural constraints were given almost religious significance. Jevons’ analysis of Britain’s energy needs casually dismissed any future role petroleum might play.
In the early 20th century British conservationist/nature politics, being influenced by German thinking, emerged from the same swamps where Nazi doctrines festered. Calls for a return to Nature were a reaction to modernity tinged with blood-and-soil nationalism.
In the 1920s and 1930s the German ideas permeating Britain were evident in: D. H. Lawrence’s distinctively German brand of Nature and sun worship, in T. S. Eliot’s medievalism, and in Hilaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton’s Catholic Socialism. Such men loathed urban bourgeois culture and industrial capitalism. Their enemy was, in Eliot’s words:
“…the hypertrophy of the motive of Profit into a social ideal, the distinction between the use of natural resources and their exploitation, the use of labour and its exploitation, the advantages unfairly accruing to the trader in contrast to the primary producer, the misdirection of the financial machine, the iniquity of usury and other features of a commercialized society.”
In 1926 prosperous old society types founded the Council for the Protection of Rural England to defend their way of life with a new weapon – conservationist land-use planning.
Another initiative from this constituency began in 1920 when John Hargrave founded Kindred Kibbo Kift to engage British youth in camping, nature crafts, totem poles, Nordic sagas, and Saxon dress. Hargrave attracted high-profile support from: Norman Angell (author of The Grand Illusion and later a Labour MP and Nobel prize winner), Belgian playwright and Nobel laureate Maurice Maeterlinck, Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore, author H.G. Wells, and biologist Julian Huxley.
(Huxley subscribed to every reactionary/environmental cause, especially eugenics and population control. He became the first Director General of UNESCO in 1946 and a co-founder of WWF in 1961.)
In 1923 Rolf Gardiner introduced Hargrave to Major Douglas – architect of the archconservative Social Credit movement. Over several years Kibbo Kift morphed into the Green Shirt Movement for Social Credit. Green Shirts marched through English towns denouncing capitalism and industry.
Gardiner was only briefly a Kibber. He had his own agenda, as evidenced by this passage from his Britain and Germany (1928):
“Germany is the sole country where there is a positive challenge to the mechanism and commercialism which we associate with America, but which we in England take lying down.”
Gardiner considered the British Union of Fascists (BUF) too urban middle class. His fascism was an alliance of aristocrats and yeoman. Gardiner and the Earl of Portsmouth were leading advocates of the back-to-the-land and organic-farming movements. The two men pilgrimaged to Walther Darre, Nazi Agriculture Minister (1933-1942). Their journal, New Pioneer,was edited by a former National Socialist League member (an organization that rejected BUF for being insufficiently anti-Semitic).
While not as green as many of their Far Right rivals, BUF promoted land-use planning, re-afforestation, and recycling.
Another prominent British Nazi of this era was author Henry Williamson whose Tarka the Otter and Salar the Salmon won him wide acclaim as a Nature writer.
In 1945 Gardiner founded the Soil Association, and for many years he sat on its council. Until the early 1960s, the Soil Association’s journal, Mother Earth, was edited by former BUF agricultural secretary Jorian Jenks. (The Soil Association remains Britain’s main organic food certifier. 80% of the organic food currently sold in British supermarkets is certified organic by the Soil Association.)
Third Reich environmental policies were ahead of their time. Nazi Germany was the first European country to develop nature reserves and the first to stipulate tree plantations have deciduous trees as well as conifers. They passed hedgerow and thicket protection ordinances. One-sixth of occupied Poland was reserved for forests. At the height of WWII Hitler vetoed Agriculture Ministry requests to drain and reclaim moorlands. Hess and Darre prioritized organic farming. The Nazis passed sweeping anti-vivisection laws (using humans instead). Nazism rejected the notion of a politically neutral science.
WWII’s outcome meant post-war conservationism could not be ostensibly German-led. The war’s outcome meant conservationism had to be American-friendly. In Britain, the movement’s High Conservative lineage and the stain of Nazism meant its next wave needed to be led by a different social class and from a different part of the political spectrum.
One notable within the new Ecologism milieu was German-born Fritz Schumacher. After becoming chief economist of Britain’s National Coal Board, Schumacher sounded the alarms about resource depletion. Preoccupied with organic farming, Schumacher joined the Soil Association and became an avid reader of Mother Earth. He bequeathed the royalties from his phenomenally best-selling eco-manifesto, Small is Beautiful, to the Soil Association. While Schumacher dabbled in Eastern mysticism and astrology, he ultimately led his flock back to Catholicism; and hence, he should be viewed as a hip descendant of Chesterton, Eliot et al.
In the early 1970s opposition to environmentalism came from the Left, not the Right. Labour Party analysts complained environmental policies were skewed toward the wealthy at the poor’s expense. Environmentalism was the upper classes kicking down the ladder behind them. Labour analysts stressed that the benefits of economic growth, which environmentalists eschewed, far outweighed the costs. However, left-of-centre parties were terminally divided between blue collar workers and middle class intelligentsia, with the latter gravitating to environmentalism.
Within the movement phobias about overpopulation and resource depletion became partially supplanted by phobias about industrial products and by-products saturating Nature with toxins. The formative text was Rachel Carson’s hysterical anecdotal romp, Silent Spring (1962). (Discarded alternative titles included Man Against the Earth and War Against Nature.) The screed topped the New York Times bestseller list for much of 1962; selling 100,000 copies in the week before Christmas. Julian Huxley wrote the preface for the British edition.
As a student Carson majored in Literature (a favorite author being Henry Williamson), but a switch to Zoology readied her for a job as a biologist in the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Her first book, Under the Sea Wind, was inspired by Williamson’s Salar the Salmon. An Ecologist with Nietzschean inclinations, Carson rejected mass industrial society. Silent Spring has an unmistakable religious quality as Carson was motivated by a belief in the immortality of her soul.
President Kennedy’s 1962 address to the UN General Assembly named resource plunder and pollution as the common foes of every nation. He proposed a global conservation program.
Concern for the environment rose dramatically across the West during the 1960s. The percentage of US citizens expressing concern about the environment grew from 25% to 75% between 1965 and 1969. The 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill further bumped environmental concern. The wave crested with the original Earth Day (April 22, 1970). In 1970 President Nixon established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Within six years 70 nations had launched EPA-like agencies.
In 1971 the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned developed societies were approaching saturation levels while European Commission President Sicco Mansholt called for re-orientating society away from economic growth.
In 1972 Ecologist magazine released the uber-alarmist Blueprint for Survival – a document endorsed by 5 Royal Society Fellows, 16 holders of science chairs at British universities, 2 Nobel laureates, and Julian Huxley. Months later the Club of Rome released Limits to Growth to warn of resource depletion, overpopulation, and pollution. The book quickly sold four million copies.
Back in 1968, prompted by Swedish fears about Acid Rain, the UN General Assembly resolved to convene an international environmental conference. This confab, the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm Conference), became the template for subsequent enviro-events.
To prepare for Stockholm, Britain’s Conservative government asked Sir Eric Ashby (a botanist and Royal Society Fellow) to chair the study group that produced Pollution: Nuisance or Nemesis. The authors were divided on the urgency of the crisis, but many believed “a fundamental and painful restructuring of our industrial society is necessary if mankind is to survive.”
On June 5, 1972 the Stockholm Conference convened at the Royal Opera House with UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim presiding. A parallel forum of 400 NGOs, including many enviro-NGOs, convened at a farm outside Stockholm with Red Cross International’s Baron Axel von dem Bussche presiding.
Prominent among the Stockholm Declaration’s Principles was a directive that schools and broadcasters disseminate more environmentalist information. The half page of text allocated to climate issues in the Conference’s Recommendations proposed building ten baseline stations to help the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) distinguish natural from manmade climatic change. On the whole, Stockholm paid far more attention to oceanic issues than to atmospheric ones.
Environmentalist campaigns against fossil fuels closely track concerns about national energy security.
In 1973 major oil exporting countries formed the OPEC cartel. Between September and December of 1973, the price of a barrel of oil went from $3 to $12. In November Nixon told his fellow Americans to brace for the worst “energy crisis” since WWII.
While these price hikes were seized upon by environmentalists as a vindication of their resource scarcity dogma, the facts show otherwise. In 1973 world oil production was 58 million barrels a day. During this allegedly scarcity-driven crisis, output increased to 66 million barrels a day by 1979. In the 1980s humanity floundered in an oil glut and prices plummeted. The “energy crisis” was orchestrated.
Although he rarely mentioned “energy” during his 1976 campaign, Jimmy Carter made the “energy crisis” a centrepiece of his presidency. In April 1977 (three months post-inauguration) he appeared on national television to dub the energy crisis the “moral equivalent of a war.” Carter made two more national television broadcasts in 1977 and numerous public appearances to address the energy crisis. He told Congress: “the transition to renewable energy sources, particularly solar energy, must be made.”
Carter specifically pushed: gasohol (gasoline mixed with ethanol), an energy security corporation financed by $5 billion in government bonds, and a solar energy bank. He envisioned 20% of US energy coming from solar by 2000. He installed solar panels atop the White House.
In 1977 Carter dispatched a team to study the environmental impacts of economic, and population, growth. The subsequent tome, Global 2000 Report to the President, came out in 1980. The only non-American participating on this project was the Brit Crispin Tickell, author of Climate Change and World Affairs (1977). Global 2000 sold 1.5 million copies. Among its worries:
“Rising carbon dioxide concentrations are a concern because of their potential for causing a warming of the earth.”
Global 2000 predicted that doubling atmospheric CO2 levels by 2100 would raise temperatures 2.5 C, and the consequential melting of polar ice would inundate coastal cities.
Also launched in 1977 and coming out in 1980 was North South Program for Survival, a.k.a. the “Brandt Report” after the former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, who supervised its writing. (Among the 25 eminences whose opinions Brandt solicited was high-society maven and Washington Post Co. owner Katharine Graham.) While the Brandt Report shifted away from the militant anti-growth rhetoric hitherto characterising environmentalism, it continued to point to a sombre future, asking: “Are we to leave our successors a scorched planet of advancing deserts, impoverished landscapes, and ailing environment?”
Both the Brandt Report and Global 2000 were agenda items when G7 leaders met in Venice in 1980. The tenor of the discussions improved over the previous year’s meeting where Carter endured a brow-beating from Helmut Schmidt. In his 1980 farewell address, Carter said population growth and resource depletion were the top issues confronting America. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Green parties began transforming the political landscape. Radical environmentalism had been chiefly the province of old and new Nazis. In 1980 the German Green Party debuted as a “leftist radical” environmentalist formation.
The UN remained the principal arena of international enviro-activism.
In 1982 the UN Environment Programme (UNEP, est. 1972) cited its three main concerns as: a) hazardous waste; b) Acid Rain; and c) the impacts of large-scale renewable energy farms.
In 1983 the UN General Assembly resolved, without vote, to strike a commission to strategize around environmental issues. This commission (funded by the Netherlands, Switzerland, the Nordic Nations, Canada, and Japan) was chaired by former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland. She entertained presentations from 900 organizations.
In 1984 Foreign Office Deputy Undersecretary Crispin Tickell suggested to Prime Minister Thatcher that “Climate Change” might be a promising policy field. She invited him to Number 10 Downing Street. At the ensuing G7 meeting in London, environmental problems emerged as a distinct agenda item, and the final communique mentioned “Climate Change.” National environment ministers were instructed to report back to the 1985 G7 meeting at Bonn, where Climate Change emerged as a distinct agenda item.
A 1985 conference of UNEP, WMO, and the International Council of Scientific Unions in Villach, Austria assessed the consequences of rising CO2 emissions before concluding:
“…it is now believed that in the first half of the next century a rise of global mean temperature could occur which is greater than any in man’s history.”
Villach’s spawn, the Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases, liaised with Gro Brundtland’s Commission.
In 1987 Crispin Tickell became Britain’s UN Ambassador and, informally, Thatcher’s Global Warming envoy. Twice she summoned him from New York for briefings. She also summoned her cabinet to Number 10 for Global Warming briefings with climate scientists whereat ministers were instructed “to listen, not to speak.”
The Brundtland Commission’s doom-mongering Our Common Future (1987) trisected the crisis into: environmental, energy, and development. Conservationism, rebranded “Sustainable Development,” meant meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. This entailed renewable energy. Our Common Future is remarkably fact-free – a doctrine in search of scientific justification. Global Warming was one of four identified environmental mega-threats (along with nuclear accidents, Acid Rain, and urban air pollution.)
Thus Global Warming emerged from a pre-existing conservationist ideology buttressed with beliefs in imminent planetary catastrophe. Global Warming emerged from within a pre-existing UN-centred infrastructure with a cadre of influential politicians and activist scientists, ready and waiting to assist.
In 1988 mainstream politicians from across the spectrum jumped on the Global Warming bandwagon.
On June 24, 1988 NASA scientist James Hansen told a Senate Committee that a “greenhouse effect” had been detected and was already changing the climate. His testimony received blanket TV coverage.
On June 27, 1988 Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney hosted a conference in Toronto focused on Global Warming’s implications for global security. (After the conference a German team concluded Germany’s CO2 emissions reduction goals were under-ambitious.)
In September 1988 Thatcher spoke about Global Warming to a meeting of the Royal Society. Action was already being undertaken in Britain to reduce Acid Rain through cutting coal-fired power station emissions, at great public expense. Even elite pro-Global Warming proponents concede Thatcher’s sudden anxiety about atmospheric hygiene arose from her desire to end Britain’s reliance on coal.
(Coal-fired electricity occupies a unique place in environmentalist demonology. Coal was accused of causing Global Cooling and Acid Rain. At Global Warming’s unveiling, 56% of US electricity came from coal. Conversely, 80% of France and Sweden’s electricity came from nuclear and hydro-electric sources.)
In Geneva in November 1988, UNEP and the WMO co-launched the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to tackle manmade Global Warming.
The fact Global Warming went mainstream during the Reagan-Bush years seems strange, but then neither of these politicians were as anti-environmentalist as they are often portrayed. As California Governor, Reagan created the 58,000-acre Redwood National Park, he stopped the Dos Rios Dam, and he opposed the never-built Trans Sierra Highway. During the 1988 presidential election, Bush Sr. relied heavily on William Reilly, head of the influential Conservation Foundation. During the campaign Bush hosted a dinner for elite enviros where he sat between Reilly and another pillar of American environmentalism, Russell Train (leader of the US delegation at the Stockholm Conference). One of President Bush’s first moves was to name Reilly as his EPA Director – the first professional environmentalist to hold this position.
The following events occurred within a three-week span in February-March 1989:
An international conference in New Delhi concluded: “Global Warming is the greatest crisis ever collectively faced by humankind.”
In an interview for the BBC special The Greening of Mrs. Thatcher, the Prime Minister stated her priority was saving the climate through saving trees. (She was much influenced by billionaire financier Sir James Goldsmith who, amongst other things, owned an 18,000-acre estate on Mexico’s Pacific coast. His brother Edward published Ecologist magazine.)
A conference at The Hague organized by the French, Dutch, and Norwegian governments, and attended by reps from 24 countries, declared: “The very conditions of life on the planet are threatened by severe attacks to which the earth’s atmosphere is subjected.”
(A Dutch official at this conference let slip that a new world ecological order could be cobbled together in the way EC institutions were assembled around the humble European Coal and Steel Community.)
Queen Elizabeth’s Commonwealth Day message listed among the unconscionable threats to our environment: “the possibility of radical changes in our climate leading, among other things, to a rise in the sea level, with all that would mean for small islands and low-lying regions.”
The Financial Times said of Global Warming: “Panic is scarcely too strong a phrase.”
After the G7 Summit in Paris (July 1989) President Mitterrand observed environmental issues had never before been the subject of so many conversations.
At the Noordwijk Ministerial Conference (November 1989) geopolitical fault lines opened as the Europeans appeared far greener than the Americans, Russians, or Japanese. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia’s delegate called Global Warming a life or death issue. No delegate doubted the anthropogenic Global Warming credo nor questioned the need for a low-carbon economy.
Thatcher’s December 1989 address to the UN, while centred on Global Warming, betrayed undiluted Malthusianism:
“More than anything, our environment is threatened by the sheer numbers of the people and the plants and the animals which go with them…”
The speech received massive media coverage in the USA as did the coterminous first meeting of the National Governors Association Task Force on Global Warming.
In early 1990 Kohl asked his Environment Minister, Klaus Topfer, to rethink Germany’s CO2 reduction targets. Four weeks later Topfer concluded a 30% reduction was doable. Topfer also publicly questioned America’s commitment to combating Climate Change.
In May 1990, in a speech written by Sir John Houghton, Thatcher opened the UK Meteorological Office’s Hadley Centre for Climate Research. She stressed the Centre’s role in safeguarding Earth’s climate while announcing Britain’s target of cutting projected CO2 levels by 30% by 2005.
A Conference on Sustainable Development in Bergen, and a second World Climate Conference in Geneva, sustained enthusiasm in the lead-up to the November 1990 EC Environment Ministers conference (hosted by Gro Brundtland) whereat all agreed to an EC-wide goal of stabilizing CO2 emissions at 1990 levels by 2000. Simultaneously, Tickell marshalled UN support for a mega-conference celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Stockholm Conference while French Prime Minister Rocard railed:
“We need action now. The race against time is on. The very real survival of our planet is at stake.”
In December 1990 the UN General Assembly established the International Negotiating Committee for a Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The conference Tickell had been promoting turned into the UN Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, June 1992). In preparation, Prince Charles sailed the Royal Yacht Britannia to Brazil in April 1991 to entertain key politicians, businessmen, and ENGO execs. Brazil’s President was on board as was EPA Director William Reilly.
At Rio, Global Warming became the main issue and the USA became besieged. Austria, Switzerland, and the Netherlands pressed for binding CO2 emissions reduction targets. Breaking an agreement between Bush and Kohl, Germany proposed a separate EC-members-only treaty re-stating EC emissions targets. As well, the Germans made public their plans to cut CO2 emissions 30% by 2005.
Outside the conference, employees from 1,450 accredited ENGOs used floats, parades, and street theatre to conjure their trademark “circus atmosphere.” They were aided by a constellation of celebrities: Roger Moore, Placido Domingo, the Beach Boys, etc. Coca-Cola provided marketing and public relations.
Bush spent an evening with the King and Queen of Sweden et al listening to Jacques Cousteau vent about how overpopulation was creating a world where all would live like rats. According to Cousteau:
“Even if we found a way to feed this tidal wave, it would be impossible to provide this multitude with decent living conditions.”
One document coming out of Rio, “Agenda 21,” reconfigured Sustainable Development to mean eliminating unsustainable consumption patterns and population growth.
Euro-environmentalists, while disappointed Rio did not result in binding global CO2 emissions reduction targets, were consoled by the fact that every government around the globe now accepted the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming doctrine.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – Rio’s masterpiece – was explicitly based on the precautionary principle. What the UNFCCC set in motion is best described by veteran US negotiator Richard Benedick:
“Since 1992, legions of well-meaning diplomats, scientists, and environmentalists have undertaken excruciatingly complicated negotiations in what is essentially a political exercise that creates an illusion of mitigating climate change while actually accomplishing little more than raising public consciousness.”
UNFCCC’s First Conference of the Parties (COP1) took place in Berlin in 1995 and produced the Berlin Mandate. German Environment Minister Angela Merkel was a star performer.
At COP2 (Geneva 1996) a ministerial declaration decreed greenhouse gas emissions “will” lead to dangerous interference with the climate. OPEC members were bought off with promises of compensation for losses resulting from reduced petroleum usage.
COP2 was an EU versus US standoff. A month later the US Senate resolved, by a 95 to 0 vote, to prohibit America from signing any climate protocol imposing limits on the US without imposing similar limits on China, India, etc.
In October 1997 President Clinton, while hosting a climate alarmist wonkfest, reiterated:
“The United States will not assume binding obligations unless key developing nations meaningfully participate in the effort.”
At COP3 (1997, Kyoto, Japan) hundreds of ENGOs influenced negotiators and raised the stakes for failure. Celebrity scientists played their Cassandra role. Vice President Gore theatrically dropped the bombshell that America had newfound negotiating flexibility, thus clearing the way for the “Kyoto Protocol” which the US never signed.
The Kyoto Protocol was absurd. It applied only to industrially developed “Annex 1” countries. Non-Annex 1 countries included oil-rich exporters, successfully industrialized countries, and the world’s fastest growing economies. China and India were immune from compliance. (China is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases.) Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait, three of the world’s top per capita emitters of carbon dioxide, were exempt from compliance, as was fully industrialized South Korea. Compounding the absurdity is the fact that due to their primitive technology, Non-Annex 1 countries typically emit 50% more carbon dioxide per unit of electricity than do Annex 1 countries.
COP6 (The Hague 2001) deadlocked in arguments over carbon sinks; specifically, in protracted debates over “when is a tree a tree?” An exasperated Dutch negotiator summed up the COP process:
“All this went on year after year, month after month, seminar after seminar, workshop after workshop, conference after conference. And during the conferences and negotiations themselves, day after day, hour after hour, night after night.”
No American oil company enjoys the intimate relationship with the US Government that BP enjoys with the British Government. In the late-1990s BP earned the moniker “Blair Petroleum.”
In a 1997 speech at Stanford, Sir John Browne, BP’s CEO, defined BP’s strategy as “precautionary action.” He repeated this message months later at the second annual Greenpeace Business Conference. In 1999 Browne received the Earth Day Award at UN headquarters in New York.
BP’s bonding with Greenpeace was indicative of the deepening relationship between ENGOs and big business. At Rio, Swiss industrialist Stephan Schmidheiny unveiled the Business Council for Sustainable Development whose manifesto, Changing Course, was signed by 47 Chairmen and CEOs including those from: Volkswagen, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Chevron, and Shell.
One exemplary personage within this realm, BP environmental advisor Tom Burke, held senior posts in Friends of the Earth, Green Alliance, and the British Conservative Party. Burke left BP to become Rio Tinto’s environmental advisor. Burke’s handiwork can be seen in the fact that between 1998 and 2000 BP bought three petroleum companies (Amoco, ARCO, and Burmah Castrol) while rebranding itself “Beyond Petroleum.”
BP bought the world’s largest solar energy company, Solarex, in 1999. In 2007 Browne announced plans to sink $1 billion a year into alternative energy sources. However, in 2011 BP closed its solar business, citing the industry’s hopeless unprofitability.
The main resistance organization to Global Warming within the business world, the Global Climate Coalition (GCC, est. 1989), expressed the views of certain oil firms, utilities, automakers, and the US Chamber of Commerce. GCC members were assailed by ENGO-mustered shareholder initiatives. BP split in 1997; Ford in 1999. (Ford Chairman William Ford, a self-described “life-long environmentalist,” told a Greenpeace Business Conference, “I expect to preside over the demise of the internal combustion engine.”) After Shell, Texaco, and Daimler Chrysler jumped ship, GCC fell apart in 2002.
After GCC’s demise, Exxon Mobil continued to support groups like Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) that challenged Global Warming science and economics. However, in 2005 Exxon Mobil too succumbed to enviro-pressure and ceased funding CEI.
The above episodes refute the myth that big business in general, or Big Oil in particular, killed Kyoto. Conspiracy theorists have a hard time forging the chain of causality linking Big Oil to India and China’s refusal to cap their greenhouse gas emissions.
European politics turned an ever-deeper green.
In Germany, Kohl lost the 1998 election to a Social Democrat-Green coalition. Environment Minister Merkel was replaced by Green Party stalwart Jurgen Tritten. At the same time the environment portfolio in France’s Jospin administration went to a founder of France’s Green Party. Sweden’s Environment Minister was another Green Party man. Global Warming champions within governments had always been the Environment Ministers. Now, in Europe those ministers were born of, and beholden to, a deep green constituency.
(Hamburg U economics prof Richard Tol worked on the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (1996-2001) but was pointedly not re-nominated by the German Government to work on the Fourth Assessment Report. By then only persons closely connected to the Green Party could participate in the IPCC process. “Things have become more and more politicized,” opined Tol.)
Clinton’s final State of the Union address (January 2000) singled out Global Warming as the gravest environmental threat of the new century. He appeared to believe what he was saying. His successor, Bush Jr., quickly affirmed he had no intention of sending any climate treaty to the Senate for ratification that “exempts 80% of the world, including major population centres such as China and India.”
At COP7 (2001) the Protocol’s compliance regime was weakened to allow Russia to double its carbon sink allowances. Japan also won concessions. Months later, Canada unilaterally claimed a further 30% emissions credit for its hydro-electric exports.
The exertion of the day consisted of Europeans dragging Russians on board; a task made more onerous by widespread climate scepticism within Russia’s scientific community. A 2004 Russian Science Academy climate seminar in Moscow was disrupted four times by ugly scenes coordinated by the British climate establishment. Even after Russia’s political elite signed the Kyoto Protocol (in exchange for membership in the World Trade Organization), leading Russian scientists continued to disparage Global Warming doctrine. In 2005 Professor Illarionov quipped: “Anyone who is frightened about the prospect of global warming is welcome to come live in Siberia.”
Russian ratification meant there were enough signatories for the Protocol to come into force (February 16, 2005) after which climate derangement syndrome became epidemic. Climate Change became dangerous Climate Change. Rajendra Pachauri, IPCC Chair, implored: “Immediate and very deep cuts in the pollution (CO2) are needed if humanity is to survive.” Lord May, Royal Society President, likened Climate Change to weapons of mass destruction. Sir Richard Mottram, former Defence Minister and Joint Intelligence chairman, called Global Warming “a vastly greater threat to civilization than terrorism.”
(Kyoto’s coming into force also induced a change in UN jargon. Conferences of the Parties now went by two names: COPs plus MOPs – Meetings of the Parties).
The dearth of economic analysis was astonishing. Not until 2005 did any government outside the US publicly discuss Global Warming’s economic dimensions. In that year the House of Lords held hearings into the economics of Climate Change. Soon after, Nicholas Stern was dispatched to write a report on the topic. Stern was a “development economist” – a field preoccupied with market failure and corrective intervention. He was “more than 99% certain” that Global Warming science was unimpugnable.
The Stern Review (2006) described the economic consequences of warming in apocalyptic terms. Unabated warming would inflict economic losses equivalent to 5% of global GDP every year “now and forever.” Buried within his methodology was the confession that much of this economic carnage would occur after the year 2800. The Review contained howling prophecies: Antarctica’s western ice sheet would completely melt in 90 years; there was a 10% chance Global Warming would render Homo sapiens extinct before 2100, and so on.
Stern’s solution: a) build two million wind turbines; b) cover 100,000 square kilometres with solar panels; and; c) devote an area ten times the size of California to the growing of bio-fuels.
The Times found the Stern Review “certainly compelling.” The Daily Telegraph said the Review was “invaluable.” The Financial Times added, “The economic benefits of action far outweigh the costs of not acting,” while The Economist chimed in, “The costs are not huge, the dangers are.”
In his third term PM Blair (2005-2007) came under pressure from the “Big Ask” campaign spearheaded by Friends of the Earth to push for legislation mandating year-on-year CO2 emissions cuts.
David Cameron’s greening of the Conservative Party began October 2005 when his shadow DEFRA secretary and Liberal Democratic counterpart issued a letter urging year-on-year carbon reduction requirements. Thereafter, Cameron consistently outbid Labour on commitments to decarbonisation.
Labour responded with a commitment to a Climate Change Bill, complete with annual targets and reports, in the Queen’s Speech of November 2006. After the Bill reached the Commons in 2008, the rival parties bid up emissions reduction targets to 80% by 2050 (baseline 1990). Labour’s Desmond Turner accused opponents of being Flat Earth Society members, further inserting: “The issue is not counting beans but the survival of the species.”
Despite the Bill being the most expensive legislation ever put before Parliament, its costs were never debated. Ed Miliband (Britain’s first Climate Change Secretary) later confirmed its costs amounted to 18,000 pounds per household. Only five MPs voted “nay.”
2007 marked the most febrile phase of climatist fever. UNEP Director Klaus Topfer saw a “planet spinning out of control” with temperatures rising 5.8 C by 2100. Nature magazine magnified this spectre by predicting such heat before 2050. The Davos World Economic Forum voted Climate Change the top global issue.
In March 2007 the EU agreed to derive 20% of their energy from renewables by 2020. In September the UN and the USA hosted back-to-back international climate conferences. In October Gore and the IPCC were co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for creating “an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming.” The Nobel Committee wanted to “contribute to a sharper focus on the processes and decisions that appear to be necessary to protect the world’s future climate.”
Amidst this climate hysteria Australians went to the polls (November 2007). Australia’s failure to ratify Kyoto was the principal election issue. The media made much of recent brush fires and droughts. Labour’s Kevin Rudd surfed in on the Warming wave. His opponent, John Howard, went down with the ship shouting, “I will not subcontract our climate change policy to the European Union.”
(Another telling quote from former PM Howard: “The more I studied it, the more I became convinced that Kyoto was very Eurocentric.”)
Ten days after taking office, PM Rudd flew to the UNFCCC’s COP13 (MOP3) in Bali to personally hand UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon the documents verifying Australia’s ratification of Kyoto.
The drumbeat of media hype preceding the Bali conference centred on the “Bali Communique” and the “Bali Declaration.” The Communique, a project of Prince Charles’ troop, called for global CO2 emission cuts of 50% by 2050. About 150 CEOs signed the Communique including CEOs from: G.E., DuPont, Shell, Coca-Cola, Nike, Nestle, British Airways, News Corp, Nokia, Volkswagen, and Tesco. The Declaration was signed by 200 scientists demanding a climate treaty limiting temperature increases to 2.0 C above pre-industrial levels (not coincidently, the EU’s stated position).
Running alongside Bali’s main conference were meetings of numerous subsidiary bodies and contact groups. This multi-track process, standard at UNFCCC conferences, evades UN rules prohibiting multiple simultaneous meetings.
The highfalutin “Bali Road Map” was not a single document but rather a mash of accords aimed at creating a comprehensive regime to replace the Kyoto Protocol. This proposed regime was to be anointed at COP15 (Copenhagen 2009). Ban Ki-moon described the Road Map as: “our chance to usher in a new age of green economics.”
EU obtuseness at Bali reflected the institutional inertia one might expect from a negotiating team comprised of European Environment Ministers and an EU Environment Commissioner – all conscious envoys of the Euro-ENGO matrix.
11,000 people flew to Bali including 3,500 government officials; 5,800 representatives from ENGOs, UN bodies and agencies; and 1,500 media minions. Bali climaxed with Gore’s diatribe to a packed auditorium. After Gore cried out, “My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here at Bali,” the hall went wild. When Gore finished his rant, the audience was on its feet cheering and whooping. A sweat-drenched Gore was mobbed by delegates rushing to shake his hand. In contrast, when the US Government’s official spokesperson, Paula Dobriansky, got to the podium she was greeted with boos.
(A confessed Rachel Carson fan, Al Gore, regularly breakfasted with leading scientists and was an avid reader of Nature magazine. His Earth in the Balance (1992) (with its Germanesque subtitle, Ecology and the Human Spirit) blames the environmental crisis on Western civilization. Nature is sick because the West is sick. Gore accused two pillars of Western science, Bacon and Descartes, of divorcing Nature from Science. His assault on the Scientific Revolution was tolerated by the science establishment because it came from an ally in the crusade against fossil fuels. Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth (2006) raked in $50 million and won two Oscars. The film claimed Greenland’s ice sheet was disappearing despite well-known accumulations of snow on Greenland’s main plateau. The film’s “ice core temperature graph” was Mann’s Hockey Stick graph.)
In the run-up to the Copenhagen Climate Conference (COP15/MOP5) climate mania began wearing thin. Vicky Pope, UK Met’s head of Climate Change Advice, complained about people asking her if she actually believed in Global Warming. A late 2008 UK poll found only 41% accepted manmade global warming to be an established fact. The rest of the population were, according to Vicky, “taking refuge in denial.” An early 2009 poll discovered 41% of Americans blaming warming on humans and 44% thinking natural trends were the cause – a reversal of the opinion ratios held three years earlier. Americans placed Global Warming far down their list of social problems.
In September 2009, to build momentum for Copenhagen, Ban Ki-moon hosted a climate get-together at UN headquarters for 100 world leaders. Weeks later UK Prime Minister Brown did likewise with reps from the Major Economies Forum.
To kick-off Copenhagen (December 7, 2009) the Obama Administration announced its endangerment finding on greenhouse gases as stipulated by the Supreme Court. (In 2007, in Massachusetts v EPA, the Supreme Court voted 5-to-4 to require the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.)
Religious elites came out in force for Copenhagen. The World Council of Churches asked clergy around the world to ring steeple bells midway through the conference. British leaders of the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Baha’i, Jain, and Zoroastrian faiths issued a statement (overseen by Climate Secretary Miliband and filmed by the Foreign Office for worldwide distribution) claiming that tackling Global Warming was a moral imperative. Two days before the Copenhagen conference 20 British clerics painted their hands blue and prayed for an ambitious deal while the Archbishop of Canterbury sermonized: “The human race on the whole has not been very good news for the rest of creation.” The Nepalese cabinet helicoptered to a Himalayan plateau to take part in a Sherpa prayer ceremony. On December 15 Pope Benedict XVI pontificated:
“It is indeed important to recognize, among the causes of the current ecological crisis, the historic responsibility of the industrialized countries.”
PM Brown, the son of a Presbyterian Minister, yearned for “a profound historical transformation reversing the road we have travelled for 200 years.” German Chancellor Merkel, daughter of a Lutheran pastor, expressed similar longings.
This religion-enviro confluence is neither new nor rare. Sir John Houghton, a field marshal within the Global Warming crusade, once affirmed:
“As a Christian, I believe God is committed to his creation and that we have a God-given task of being good stewards of creation – a task that we do not have to accomplish on our own because God is there to help us with it.”
A precursor to the modern environmental movement was Pope Paul VI’s 1967 establishment of the Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace, which employed enviro-supremo Barbara Ward to draft the encyclical, The Development of the Peoples. This document criticised “unbridled liberalism” and called for central planning and a world development fund. In 1973 another paper written by Ward for the Vatican denounced “reckless economic expansion.”
40,000 flocked to Copenhagen to partake in the ritualized climate conference PR hoopla. Major corporations sent reps or otherwise made their presence felt. Coca-Cola splashed its ‘Hopenhagen’ tagline about the town. Al Gore and Prince Charles descended, the latter summoning a press conference to argue that the best way to combat Global Warming was to make trees worth more alive than dead. Obama arrived fashionably late, what with picking up a Nobel earlier in the week. Queen Margrethe hosted a gala whereat France’s Sarkozy rallied the illuminati for a final thrust toward the new climate order.
ENGOs stoked anger with inflammatory rhetoric. Greenpeace leader Kumi Nadoo claimed: “Every year 300,000 people are dying from climate change.” Friends of the Earth’s Nnimmo Bassey added: “Rich countries have condemned millions of the world’s poorest people to hunger, suffering, and loss of life.” 30,000 shivering enviros crept through Copenhagen’s snow-swept streets. 968 got arrested. A few hundred youths shrouded in black, incensed about the excessive warmth, smashed store windows.
Copenhagen was not a confrontation between capitalism and socialism but between environmentalist Western countries and emerging economies (mainly Brazil, South Africa, India, and China) asserting their right to a prosperous future.
COP15’s negotiating text, the most complicated in UNFCCC history, ran to 200 pages of text littered with bracketed phrases indicating areas of disagreement. The buzz phrase was “common but differentiated.”
The sticking point for the swing states (mainly poor African countries) concerned translating the promises made by rich countries to fund enviro-technology transfers into actual cash. To address this point, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dramatically pulled a giant sum from her back pocket – $100 billion a year by 2020 – for technology transfers. The euphoria dissolved with the realization that this was funny money without firm commitments from any donor.
Copenhagen’s decisive confrontation occurred in a meeting of fewer than 50 people where the US, India, and China squared with Germany, France, and Britain. China and India shared an objective of never being subject to international emission controls. Obama correctly opined the US Congress would never ratify a treaty penalizing the American economy while exempting China et al. As the meeting deadlocked, Sarkozy exploded, calling the Chinese hypocrites.
In a subsequent unscheduled last-ditch 80-minute meeting between Obama and the heads of state from Brazil, South Africa, India, and China, a vague “Copenhagen Accord” emerged. Obama declared victory and sped to Air Force One to beat a forecast blizzard. Danish PM Rasmussen (who had unceremoniously replaced his zealous Environment Minister, Connie Hedegaard, as conference coordinator two days before) had the unenviable task of getting the rest of the delegates to ratify this discordant “Accord.” He achieved this after a tortuous 13-hour wrangle.
Something died at Copenhagen.
At COP16 (Cancun) Norway was the only European country to send a head of state. Japan confirmed it would not participate in any sequel to the Kyoto Protocol. In 2011 Canada withdrew from Kyoto, thereby saving Canadians $14 billion in impending emissions credit purchases.
What are the tangible results of the Global Warming project?
The 30-year campaign had no appreciable impact on global temperatures. According to Global Warming doctrine, even if Annex 1 countries complied with Kyoto, this would have only delayed planetary warming by several years over the course of the 21st century. In any event, there was little compliance.
Global CO2 emissions rose between 1990 and 2009, and Annex 1 countries were notable culprits. Japan increased emissions by 6%. Norway’s emissions were up 27%. Spain, despite colossal investments in green energy, increased emissions by 48%. Italy’s were up 7.4% and Greece’s by 32.4%. Dutch emissions were up 10%. (Sweden, Denmark, and France recorded small reductions.)
The CO2 emissions reductions that did occur between 1990 and 2009 mainly resulted from the economic collapse of Warsaw Pact countries and from global recessions. The Soviet Union’s demise caused a 41% fall in regional CO2 emissions between 1990 and 2000. After East and West Germany unified (1990), former East Germany’s heavy industries were shuttered, causing overall German emissions to fall 9% between 1990 and 1992 (allowing Germans to posture virtuously at the Rio Summit).
In Britain the original idea had been to create a power duopoly with the larger company controlling nuclear power stations. After decommissioning costs rendered nuclear power uneconomic, the regulating half of the duopoly encouraged local distributors to build gas-fired plants by allowing them to earn super-profits through vertical integration. Gas-fired power came on faster than markets would have permitted and coal-fired power contracted quickly. The dash-for-gas coupled with a recession caused UK emissions to fall 7% from 1990 to 1997.
In Statecraft (2002) Thatcher criticised both the anti-capitalist sentiments of Global Warmers and the dearth of sceptical scientific advice available to politicians. Her denouncements went unheeded as the British Government in 2002 imposed a “Renewables Obligation” on energy companies. By 2010 this had obliged consumers to fork over seven billion pounds to wind farm developers and landowners. (Off-shore wind farms may result in a windfall of 38 million pounds a year to the Royal Family as the sea-bed within British territorial waters is owned by the Crown Estate.)
Labour’s stunning defeat in 2010 did not impede environmentalism’s momentum as incoming Conservative PM Cameron assured: “I want us to be the greenest government ever.” Neither the change in government nor the calamity in Copenhagen seemed to affect Britain’s scientific establishment. In 2012 the Royal Society published People and the Planet to warn of “catastrophes on a scale never imagined.”
Efforts by Danish politicians to maintain the myth of successful integration of wind power is merely PR for the Danish multinational Vestas – a world leader in wind turbine manufacture. By 2009 Denmark had installed 3,000 MW of wind-power capacity. However, wind is unpredictable. During one 24-hour period, output from all Danish wind farms fell to less than 0.25% of overall electricity capacity. Sometimes a surplus of wind power compels the Danes to actually pay other countries to accept it.
The German “Renewable Energy Regime” with its generous “feed-in tariffs” for alternative energy producers was established in 1991 and renewed in 2000 for an additional 20 years. By 2008 Germany’s wind and solar capacity reached 28,000 MW (7% market share). One German utility executive admitted the purpose of wind farms is to grab taxpayer’s money.
Spain’s renewable electricity generators received “tariff deficit credits” from the government. By 2012 they had accumulated 21 billion euros worth of these sketchy IOUs. The price for one green job in Spain has been estimated at 570,000 euros. Each green job dislocates 2.2 jobs elsewhere in the economy.
From the outset the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) was fraught with fraud. A favorite scam, carousel trading, involved fraudsters buying carbon credits in countries that did not impose Value Added Taxes (VAT), then selling the credits in countries that did charge VAT, and pocketing the difference. Carousel trades may have accounted for a whopping 90% of all ETS trades in 2009. Europol measures the cost of ETS frauds in the billions of euros per year. Legitimate and illegitimate uses of the ETS cost consumers 18 billion euros in 2012.
One of the more controversial parts of the Kyoto Protocol, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), channels funds from Annex 1 countries to “climate-friendly” projects in Non-Annex 1 countries. South Korea is the big winner of the CDM jackpot, scooping 18% of credits. One French-owned factory in South Korea will earn $1 billion over several years from the CDM to destroy nitrous oxides.
Biofuels are the most harmful climate policy. Bush Jr. complained: “America is addicted to oil.” In fact, American politicians are addicted to bioethanol policies. US bioethanol production hit 14 billion gallons in 2010.
Between 2002 and 2008, global food prices doubled. The World Bank attributes most of this price increase to biofuel policies, i.e. converting food crops to fuel crops (the buying and burning of food).
During Bush Jr.’s administrations (2000 to 2008) the US Federal Government spent a total of $40 billion on all types of climate change research, technology, incentives, etc.
Global Warming threw Australian politics into a perpetual tizzy. On December 1, 2009 a caucus revolt among opposition Liberal Party MPs ousted leader Malcolm Turnbull as punishment for his cooperating with Labor on an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). The new opposition leader, Tony Abbott, referred to Global Warming as “absolute crap.” On December 2 Australia’s Senate voted down the ETS for the second time. In April 2010 Australian PM Rudd, in an about-face, announced a two-year delay of his decarbonisation scheme. In retaliation, two months later his Labour caucus ditched him in favour of his much greener deputy, Julia Gillard.
Finally, Global Warming facilitated a rise of green protectionism. In 2008 European leaders threatened the US and China with trade sanctions if the latter two did not commit to ambitious cuts in greenhouse gases. Sarkozy threatened to “strike against the imports of countries that don’t play by the rules of the game on environmental protection.” In 2010, after former Danish Environment Minister Connie Hedegaard became the EU’s first Climate Change Commissioner, she immediately launched a trade dispute with China over applying the ETS to foreign airlines.
Darwall's Explication of Global Warming Science
The Global Warming campaign occasioned a profound shift within science institutions, particularly in the climate sciences, which effectively became possessions of a clique who manufacture facts to fit their preconceived hypothesis. Agenda-driven climatologists monopolize the presentation of climate issues. Their high command, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, est. 1988), parades a deep-seated politicization. Consensus-building, not scientific inquiry, is the IPCC’s purpose. The IPCC aims to forge an agreement broad enough to support collective political action.
While consensus can be a legitimate component of the scientific method for weeding out individual error, its role is strictly limited. To Global Warmers “consensus” requires viewing all changes in climate, natural or manmade, through the prism of CO2’s atmospheric effects. An even more basic assumption within the Global Warmer’s consensus (which betrays their Ecologism) is – but for industrial emissions Earth’s climate would rest in benign equilibrium.
Global Warmers treat any criticism of their hypothesis as an attack on science itself. Non-subscribers are portrayed as agents of the “denial lobby” and are treated like Thought Criminals. Defending the consensus requires vigilant censorship.
On February 4, 2010 Stephen Schneider, veteran Global Warmer, gave his last lecture at Stanford. He died six months later. In the 1970s Schneider promoted Global Cooling. According to long-serving IPCC lead author (and Chief Scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund) Michael Oppenheimer:
“No one, I mean no one, had a broader and deeper understanding of the climate issue than Stephen.”
Here are revelations from Stephen’s swan song:
“Climate science is not like test tube science. You don’t falsify. Eventually you do, but not right away… It’s system science.”
“Every single complicated system science, whether were talking climate science, healthcare, security, education, always is going to be in this category.”
“There are some people who think (climate science) operates on the basis of ‘falsification’. In the case of system science it does – by community action over decades.”
In system science: “we do not falsify by single experiment. We falsify on the basis of the accumulated papers and numbers and bits of information.”
System science requires: “selective inattention to inconvenient components.”
System scientists are like lawyers and: “…if I were accused of something, I don’t want my lawyer dwelling on abstractions of truth. I want him to get me off.”
“They (thesceptics) just write blogs and screeds and do ‘audits’ without really becoming members of the community. So they’re not welcome. That’s absolutely true because they’re not part of the debate. That’s cultural. That’s not a matter of who’s right or wrong.”
Schneider could get quite exercised over the media’s role in the climate struggle. Earlier he argued it was “journalistically irresponsible to present both sides of the debate.”
Long range weather forecasts are incapable of being tested; we simply have to wait and see. Thus, the Global Warming hypothesis, being non-falsifiable, does not belong within the realm of science. Global Warming belongs with pseudo-sciences like Futurology. Moreover, the predictive record of the enviro-scientists is abysmal. Enviro-manifestos like Silent Spring, Blueprint for Survival and Limits to Growth,abound with failed prophesies of doom. Global Warmers uphold this tradition.
In their First Assessment Report (1990) the IPCC predicted a 1.0 C rise in global mean temperature by 2025. By 2009 (past the halfway mark) temperatures had risen 0.18 C – well below the mark.
(In her 1988 speech to the Royal Society, Thatcher mentioned temperature rises of 1.0 C per decade.)
In 1990 Martin Parry (future chair of IPCC Working Group II) predicted warming would be causing mass starvation within 40 years.
In 2000 Climate Research Unit’s David Viner predicted that within a few years snowfall would become so rare: “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.”
In 2007 Gore predicted the entire north polar ice cap would be gone in five to seven years.
In 2008 James Hansen predicted the Arctic Sea would soon be ice free leading to a two metre rise in sea levels. (This “value-neutral scientist” gets arrested at protests and calls for coal company execs to be tried for crimes against Nature.)
The post-1998 flat-lining of temperatures was not predicted by the IPCC. In a 2009 email, alarmist supremo Kevin Trenberth, bemoaning the post-1998 temperature record, wrote: “The fact is we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”
Given the range of temperatures occurring across Earth’s surface, “average global temperature” must be treated as a statistical artefact. Projecting this artifact onto the distant past is guesswork. The oldest thermometer record, the Central England Temperature Record, dates to 1659 on a monthly basis and to 1772 on a daily basis. Even for this small patch of the world pre-1659 temperature estimates rely on imprecise proxy data such as lake sediments, pollen deposits, tree rings, etc. For most of Earth’s surface, the instrumental record dates back only a few decades.
The Climate Research Unit (CRU) is one of three principal temperature reconstructions centres. All three derive their data from the Global Historical Climatology Network. The Hadley-CRU Temperature (HadCRUT) series are gospels to Global Warmers. This is what their data indicates:
HadCRUT3 estimated global temperatures rose about 0.5 C between 1900 and 2000. This warming came in fits and starts. Between 1900 and 1944 temperatures rose 0.35 C. Between 1944 and 1976 temperatures fell to levels lower than those experienced in 1900. From 1976 to 1998 they rose 0.5 C. Temperatures stabilized from 1998 to 2012. Four points:
- The temperature trend was erratic despite constant rises in anthropogenic CO2 emissions;
- Temperature changes were within the envelope of natural variability;
- Warming episodes did not correlate to increases in anthropogenic CO2 emissions;
- Warming did not cause catastrophes.
Regarding the first half of the 20th century, it is worth noting that in 1922 newspaper reports warned of an overheating Arctic. As well, NASA’s Goddard Institute, another custodian of global temperature records (and another redoubt of climate alarmism), has difficulty deciding if 1934 was hotter than 1998.
Temperature declines were obvious in the 1960s. England’s three “skating Christmases” – 1961 to 1963, the coldest winters since 1740 – rattled Professor Callendar’s belief in CO2-driven warming (see below). In 1965 the retreat of Alpine glaciers halted and Arctic Sea ice returned to Icelandic shores. In the early 1970s the US National Science Board expressed concern about what they reckoned was a 25-year cooling trend.
Global Warming made its tentative debut as a political cause in Dubos and Ward’s Only One Earth (1972) but the authors did not consider it a major threat. The Club of Rome’s Mankind at the Turning Point (1974) connected rising CO2 levels to rising temperatures but also claimed particulate pollution lowered temperatures. Both scenarios were calamitous, but the latter was consistent with the observed cooling trend. Global Warming campaigns require warming globes. 1988, the year Global Warming hit the Big Time, arrived on the heels of a 12-year warming trend that merely reversed a 32-year cooling trend.
Global Warmers make much of the fact that post-1998 temperatures plateaued at a high level compared to existing records. Three inconvenient points for them are:
- This leveling off of temperatures occurred during unprecedented human greenhouse gas emissions which, according to their theory, should cause further warming;
- Current temperatures are not appreciably hotter than they were in the 1930s;
- Much of Eurasia and North America experienced unusually cold winters after 2007.
Circa 1800 Frederick Herschel discovered that sunlight passing through a prism contained heat just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum, i.e. infrared radiation.
In 1859 John Tyndall surmised: “The atmosphere admits of the entrance of the solar heat, but checks its exit; and the result is a tendency to accumulate heat at the surface of the planet.”
In 1896 Svante Arrhenius, while contemplating the atmosphere’s role in ice ages, estimated a doubling of atmospheric CO2 would increase temperatures by 5 C. His theories of atmosphere-driven glaciation were supplanted by theories favouring orbital changes as the cause of glaciations.
In 1938 Guy Callendar’s The Artificial Production of Carbon Dioxide and its Influence on Temperature speculated that industry-induced increases in atmospheric CO2 accounted for two-thirds of the warming experienced thus far in the 20th century (0.005 C per year).
Arrhenius and Callendar thought burning fossil fuels could stave off ice ages.
After a career in the UK Meteorological Office, Hubert Lamb became founding director of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) in 1972. His last book (1982) criticised anthropogenic Global Warming theory. Lamb thought natural temperature variations far exceeded the ranges presumed by Global Warmers. According to Lamb: “It is impossible to define the figure for the range of natural variation of climate”; moreover, “the range of variation is subject to variation.”
Lamb, Arrhenius, and Callendar each believed a warming climate to be a genial trend.
The trajectory of the tenor and content of the IPCC’s four supposedly authoritative “Assessment Reports” tracks the conquest of climate science by political operatives.
In 1988 the IPCC was established with a tripartite working system. Working Group I, focused on evidence, was chaired by Sir John Houghton of the UK Meteorological Office. Working Group II, “impacts,” was chaired by the USSR’s Dr Yuri Izrael while Dr. Frederick Bernthal of the US State Department chaired the responses-orientated Working Group III.
The IPCC’s First Assessment Report (1990) contained candid admissions by scientists about their own ignorance. Professor Izrael emphasised the uncertainties within climate science and held to his conviction that warming would benefit people living in the northern hemisphere. (Even after the Second Assessment Report, Izrael disputed the harmfulness of warming.)
The First Assessment Report acknowledged global temperatures were higher 5,000 years ago than they are today despite similar CO2 levels. Elsewhere the Report noted: “A global warming of larger size has almost certainly occurred at least once since the end of the last glaciation without any appreciable increase in greenhouse gases.”
The Report found no clear evidence of any recent changes in storm frequency. The Report concluded the pre-1940 warming most likely had natural causes! As well, Working Group I, while discussing increases in surface ocean temperature over the previous century, commented: “The observed increase could be largely due to this natural variability.”
Nonetheless, the First Assessment Report’s Summary for Policymakers concluded:
“We calculate with confidence that CO2 has been responsible for over half the enhanced greenhouse effect in the past.”
Sir John Houghton explained this to the Financial Times:
“We are sure that human activities are leading to climate change – although we do not claim to have detected it.”
First Assessment Report contributor, German meteorologist Hartmut Grassl, told journalists that contemporary warming was without precedent in the last 10,000 years – a statement without any basis in the First Assessment Report.
Critics of the IPCC wondered why such a fuss was being made over computer model projections of temperature rises that were smaller than those computer models’ own stated margins of error. Less understood at the time was that these computer modellers were given wide latitude in determining the parameters of climate sensitivity. Half the CO2-induced warming assumed by the First Assessment Report came from “positive feedbacks” programmed into the computer models. (A “positive feedback” is a phenomenon piggybacking on the warming caused by increased greenhouse gas emissions and further accelerating warming.) Negative feedbacks, like increased cloudiness, were ignored. This neglect of clouds was roundly criticised by MIT Meteorology Professor Richard Lindzen.
Understanding ocean circulation is crucial to climatology. The heat storage capacity of the entire atmosphere is equalled by the heat storage capacity of the first three metres of ocean depth. The IPCC’s earlier computer models ignored oceans. This deficiency alone rendered their models meaningless.
John Sununu (Bush Sr.’s Chief of Staff from 1988 to 1991) heaped scorn on the inadequacy of computer climate models. To improve model validity, he authorised a huge increase in funding – in the next two years spending more than doubled to $1 billion. This merely fed the beast; models remained steadfastly biased in favour of Global Warming.
Since the Second Assessment Report (1996) the IPCC has used the same language to describe computer model output as it uses for evidence derived from observations of nature. Here is what Cambridge Physics Professor Michael Kelly says of this practice:
“I take real exception to having simulation runs described as experiments (without at least the qualifications of “computer” experiments) … this last is a very serious matter, as it can lead to the idea that ‘real data’ might be wrong simply because it disagrees with the models! That is turning centuries of science on its head.”
To this indictment three MIT professors have added:
“Today’s climate models cannot reproduce the succession of the ice ages and warm periods over the past 200 and 50,000 years, let alone the smaller climatic fluctuations observed over the last century.”
Finally, on this point Richard Lindzen has noted:
“That the models used different assumptions for aerosols and solar variability makes clear that these are simply adjustable parameters.”
The Second Assessment Report concluded meekly: “The balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate.”
Even to arrive at this timid assertion, 15 sections of Chapter 8 had to be deleted. One notable casualty:
“None of the studies above has shown clear evidence that we attribute the observed (climate) changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases.”
The Second Assessment Report’s re-writing came at the behest of governments officials. On November 15, 1995 a US State Department official wrote to Sir John Houghton:
“It is essential … that chapter authors be prevailed upon to modify their text in an appropriate manner following the discussions in Madrid.”
The censors did not catch all the problematic passages. The Second Assessment Report conceded that ice core samples from Greenland indicated: “changes in climate may often have been quite rapid and large and not associated with any known external forcings.”
Of the Second Assessment Report, Frederick Seitz (former National Academy of Sciences President) commented he had never witnessed: “a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process.”
Much deception occurs within the IPCC’s Summaries for Policymakers – often the only documents journalists and politicians read. Summaries are the product of extensive negotiations at venues where lead authors (the scientists) sit beside their government bosses. Final drafts are agreed upon after grueling sentence by sentence reviews. Britain’s former top civil servant Andrew Turnbull refers to the Summary for Policymakers as the summaries by policymakers, adding:
“The scientists prepare a draft but this is redrafted in a conclave of representatives from the member Governments, mostly officials from environment departments fighting to get their ministers’ views reflected.”
In the Fourth Assessment Report (2007) the IPCC, after 17 years of equivocation, was now certain:
“Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid twentieth century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG (greenhouse gas) concentrations.” (“Very likely” meant 90% likely.)
The Fourth Assessment Report’s Summary describes Earth’s warming as indisputable and human activity as its main driver. Expunging past uncertainties from the Summary required 72 hours of non-stop wrangling by government officials.
In 2006 the US National Academy of Science asked a panel of paleoclimatologists if they could determine century-to-century global temperature changes, as far back as 1000 AD, within a margin of error of 0.5 C. None purported to possess such powers – except for Michael Mann who could divine 1000-year-old global temperature changes within a 0.2 C margin of error.
Before the Global Warming juggernaut got rolling, the consensus among paleoclimatologists was that there had been a Medieval Warm Period starting around 1000 AD and a Little Ice Age starting in the 16th century. This consensus was confirmed by evidence varying from Viking reports to shifts in Lake Chad’s shoreline. Such wild swings in temperature, coupled with the obvious benefits of warming displayed by the Medieval Warm Period, presented a big problem for Global Warmers.
In 1995 Professor David Denning published a study of boreholes indicating North America warmed after 1850. As this study validated the anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis it earned Denning admittance into the inner sanctum of the climate establishment where on one occasion a major player was overheard plotting: “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”
While the rewriting of climate history preceded the Second Assessment Report, it was after this Report’s publication, 1996, that such revisionism began in earnest. In that year, Tim Barnett of San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and CRU’s Phil Jones began scouring the paleo-climate archives.
In 1998 Nature published a paper co-written by post-doc student Michael Mann (based on his Ph.D. thesis) that homogenized temperature records from 1400 to 2000. In 1999 Mann co-wrote a similar paper extending this temperature series back to 1000. Mann’s “hockey stick shaped” temperature graph for the years 1000 to 2000 showed a flat line for 8 centuries followed by a sudden uptick corresponding to increases in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Presto! – the Medieval Warm Period (and Little Ice Age) vanished. For slaying the Medieval Warm Period, Saint Michael was awarded a Ph.D., given a professorship, and made a lead author for the Third Assessment Report.
In early 1999 CRU’s Keith Briffa wrote a paper for Science contradicting Mann’s research. Briffa’s proxy (tree rings) reconstructions pointed to a sharp cooling trend in the latter 20th century which did not jibe with thermometer readings. Briffa’s work thus raised serious questions about the reliability of these proxies, including ones Mann relied upon.
Upon reading a draft, Mann emailed Science editors warning: “Better that nothing appear than something unacceptable to us.” Briffa was: “casting doubt on our ability to understand the factors that influence these estimates and, thus, can undermine faith in the paleo-estimates.” Briffa would give: “the sceptics a field day.”
Briffa complained of being pressured to create “a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming.’” Inevitably, he re-wrote his paper. His “disagreeable curve” was truncated around 1960 to hide divergence problems.
In the Third Assessment Report (2001) Mann’s Hockey Stick graph appeared six times including on page three of the Summary for Policymakers.
Sceptics revealed Mann’s Hockey Stick was based on: unjustified truncations, dubious copying of values from one series to another, fudging-in of missing numbers, wrong dates, and obsolete data. For a stretch of pre-1421 years Mann relied on the rings of a single pine tree to establish the temperature of the entire planet, and even here he fudged-in numbers for the years 1400 to 1404.
Another tree ring series crucial to Mann’s Hockey Stick was borrowed from a study on the effects of CO2 fertilization which sampled pines in the western USA where the bark had died around much of the trees’ circumferences. This study recorded 20th century growth rates incompatibly greater than the rates one might infer from temperature data from nearby weather stations. Self-evidently, these trees were unreliable temperature proxies and Mann was aware of this.
Most importantly, to put his disparate proxy series on a common basis, Mann standardized his data using an algorithm selectively derived from his data. The effect was to give hockey stick shaped series the highest ranking in the analysis. Mann’s algorithm looked for hockey sticks. Running random numbers through Mann’s algorithm produced “hockey sticks” 99% of the time. As Mann possessed university degrees in applied mathematics, he was capable of such prestidigitation.
The sceptics who exposed Mann’s misconduct had a difficult time getting published. They were rejected by Nature but eventually were accepted by Geophysical Research Letters (February 2005). During these years, CRU’s Phil Jones emailed climatologists imploring them not to cooperate with the sceptics. In a similar vein, a 2003 email from Mann, under the subject line “Reconstruction errors,” instructed his cohorts: “Don’t pass this along to others without checking w/me first. This is sort of ‘dirty laundry’…”
(After German climatologist Hans von Storch suggested Mann underestimated past temperature variability, he immediately felt negative pressure from colleagues.)
Mann withheld computer codes needed to verify his methodology; claiming intellectual property rights. The function of intellectual property rights is to provide temporary protection from commercial exploitation by third parties. Claiming intellectual property rights for scientific research contradicts the rules of science. The intellectual property rights issue reared again in 2005 after an Australian climatologist asked CRU’s Phil Jones for data underlying Jones’s temperature estimates. Jones responded:
“We have twenty-five years invested in the work. Why should we give it to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it? There is also IPR to consider.”
After Congress launched investigations into the Hockey Stick scandal, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Society, and the American Meteorological Society rushed to Mann’s defence. The National Science Foundation (NSF) defended Mann’s efforts to conceal his NSF-funded research. The President of the National Association of Science defused the situation by convincing the House Science Committee to delegate their investigation to a panel chaired by an avowed Warmer who quickly changed the panel’s terms of reference to drop any mention of Mann.
Although a whitewash, the hearings did provide insights into the kind of paleoclimatology being practised by the new True Believers. Starry-eyed Professor Rosanne D’Arrigo’s presentation included a slide titled Cherry Picking. “You have to pick cherries if you want to make cherry pie,” chirped Rosanne. She boasted that for one temperature reconstruction she carefully plucked 10 out of 36 chronologies because they were the most temperature influenced. Without a blush, she informed:
“If we get a good climate story from a chronology, we write a paper with it. That is our funded mission.”
(In 2003 Jan Esper, a tree ring specialist, marvelled at how effectively one could get the desired temperature signal by selectively reducing the number of tree ring series analysed.)
On the other hand, Congress heard from elite statistician Ed Wegman who found Mann’s work obscure and incomplete and the sceptic’s work valid and compelling. He found Mann’s claim that the 1990s were the hottest decade of the millennium unsupported by Mann’s analysis. Wegman concluded the paleoclimatologist community was such a dense social network their touted peer-review process was a sham. He said paleoclimatologists could not reassess their Global Warming positions without losing credibility.
“Climategate” began in November 2009 after 1,000 emails to and from scientists at the Climate Research Unit (CRU) were dumped onto the Internet.
One Climategate revelation dated to 2007 when British climate sceptics had made Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from the government agencies responsible for reviewing IPCC records. Two days after these requests were relayed to CRU, a panicky Phil Jones emailed Michael Mann et al:
“Mike, Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4 (IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report). Keith could you do likewise…Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address. …We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.”
(Jones escaped prosecution for destroying information subject to a FOIA request only because prosecution was time-barred.)
In November 2009 the Sunday Times revealed CRU had destroyed the records upon which its temperature reconstructions had been derived. CRU claimed it did this to free up office space. Jones later admitted that due to changes in computer programs and lost data, neither he nor his CRU crew could reproduce many of the basic temperature series underlying the Global Warming hypothesis.
In December 2009, amidst the Climategate furore, the UK Meteorological Office mobilized 70 science professors from British universities to collect signatures for a statement to “defend our profession against this unprecedented attack.” 1,700 scientists signed. One anonymous scientist, who complained of being pressured into signing, noted:
“The Met Office is a major employer of scientists and has long had a policy of appointing and working with those who subscribe to their views of manmade global warming.”
In January 2010 Prince Charles visited CRU to shore up spirits and denounce “the appalling treatment they had endured.” Charles has been CRU’s patron since its founding.
The University of East Anglia (CRU’s supervising institution) and the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee launched inquiries. By a 3-1 vote the Commons committee found no reason to challenge the scientific consensus on Global Warming. However, the chair commented: “(Jones) was certainly not co-operative with those seeking data, but that was true of all the climate scientists.”
An exasperated Lord Lawson noted that proper scientists do not need FOIA requests to force them to reveal their underlying research data. The Royal Society of Chemistry, Royal Statistical Society, and Institute of Physics criticised CRU for not making data available.
A second UEA panel headed by renewable energy advocate Lord Oxburgh deftly tiptoed around the elephant in the room – the deleting of emails subject to FOIA requests. Oxburgh’s five-page report found no scientific malpractice.
More scandals broke in 2009/2010 regarding the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. Firstly, there was uproar about a manifestly absurd claim (originating from the WWF) that Himalayan glaciers would entirely melt away by 2035. Secondly, the Report claimed 55% of the Netherlands lay below sea level. The correct figure is 26%. The discovery of such a basic error led to an investigation by the Dutch Environmental Assessment Agency who duly found 7 of 32 conclusions in Working Group II’s Summary were unsupported by the Group’s own Report; and that the entire Report discussed only negative consequences of climate change. A connected scandal, also surfacing at this time, involved the alarming extent to which the Fourth Assessment Report was freighted with ENGO propaganda.
Standing tall against the credibility crisis, Dr. Julia Slingo, Chief Scientist at the UK Met (Britain’s top climate scientist), described IPCC science as: “the most robust peer review process that you will find in any area of science.”
Scientific elites promoted not just the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis but a raft of specific government policies. For example, before the 2005 G8 meeting the national science academies of all eight countries issued a joint statement proclaiming:
“…the scientific understanding of climate change is sufficiently clear to justify taking prompt action to reduce net global greenhouse gas emissions.”
In 2010 the Presidents of Britain’s Royal Society and the USA’s National Academy of Science wrote:
“Our academies will provide the scientific backdrop for the political and business leaders who must create effective policies to steer the world toward a low-carbon economy.”
However, such approaches to science are not universally subscribed to. The September 2009 issue of Beijing’s Science Times relayed this quote from China’s top paleoclimatologist (and Vice President of China’s Academy of Science):
“…the idea that there is significant correlation between temperature increases and concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide lacks reliable evidence in science.”
Similarly, in 2010 the Wall Street Journal described India’s Environment Minister as a “climate agnostic.”
Conflicting scientific opinion exposes what a political football climatology has become.
Misconceptions arise because environmentalists conceal their motives behind thick smokescreens. Even sceptics extend too much respect to flimflam about the atmosphere. Precise policies recommendations warrant more scrutiny than do the pretexts advanced to justify implementing these “solutions.”
Acid Rain and Global Warming were both environmentalist campaigns launched in the late-1970s/early-1980s; with Acid Rain being slightly older. Both campaigns alleged there was something horribly awry with the atmosphere. Propaganda mainly consisted of the mainstream media hyping the fables of agenda-driven atmospheric scientists. Both campaigns fought to defend forests and other greenery. Both campaigns named coal-fired electrical generation as the main culprit; however, Global Warming broadened the blame to all fossil fuels. Both campaigns sought policy changes to suppress coal and expand wind and solar power; with Global Warming also plugging biofuels. The natural gas industry crept in as a primary beneficiary of both campaigns.
The real, on the ground, consequences of Acid Rain/Global Warming is measured thusly. The following physical objects were almost non-existent in 1973: wind turbines, solar panels, biofuel refineries, hybrid/electric cars, and natural gas-fired electricity generators. Over the ensuing 40 years hundreds of billions of dollars were plowed into creating said physical objects. This industrial undertaking was not a market-driven process and would never have occurred without government subsidies and regulatory preferences. Acid Rain/Global Warming secured the policy changes needed to facilitate this industrial undertaking.
Two overlapping agendas are at work – one large, one small. Polities inhabiting regions un-endowed with oil and coal deposits are at a profound disadvantage compared to polities inhabiting areas with superabundance of such fuels. If we persist with market-driven economies and a liberal international trade regime there will be losers (fossil fuel poor areas: Western Europe, US Northeast, Central Canada, Japan, etc.) and winners (Persian Gulf, Russia, Western North America, Australia, etc.). Global Warming is an attempt by losers to shift the global energy infrastructure away from oil and coal. This is the small agenda.
The grander agenda guides an ancient encompassing effort by conservative anti-capitalist elements within the landed elites of Europe and its satellites. It is vital to this constituency that nothing approaching libertarian economics ever be applied to land or agriculture. They own the immobile investments affixed to the land in and around older built-up metropolitan regions. Their arch-nemesis is the free-booting entrepreneur. They want to tightly police domestic and international markets. The struggle between land and capital over control of the state has been a primary political driver across the West for 400 years. Wind, solar, and biofuels produce energy from the land in and around older metropolitan regions and hence benefit the owners of this land.
Separately, and sadly, Darwall scores poorly on the “Strong Index” – now a standard enviro-movementology metric. The more an author refers to Maurice Strong, the less that author understands environmentalism’s internal power structure. Darwall mentions Strong 51 times! He devotes even more attention to Barbara Ward who died before Global Warming began. Strong and Ward are from among the movement’s clerks and minute-takers. In Darwall’s dramaturgy William Ford; James Goldsmith; Katherine Graham; the Kennedys; the British, Swedish, and Danish Royal families, etc. make mere cameo appearances while publicists and event-planners command centre stage. The height of this folly is when Darwall has billionaire New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller gaining entry into Barbara Ward’s charmed circle. (How thrilled Nelson must have been!) When writers and policy wonks gaze upon Mount Olympus, they perceive a realm of writers and wonks. If triangles had gods, those gods would look like triangles.
Save and except the Intro and Conclusion, all pertinent facts and clever turns of phrase within this posting are from:
Darwall, Rupert. The Age of Global Warming: A History, Quartet Books Ltd., London, 2013.