‘No Global Warming for 16 Years’ - Part IV
Global Warming Storyline Serves Marxism
Question: By many accounts, Antarctic sea ice has set record highs, and total surface area has expanded, which seems to run counter to the “rising sea levels” narrative currently popular in the scientific community. CNN bombards its viewing audience with polar bears “drowning” in melting ice, despite these figures, publicly available to anyone who cares to look. How do you explain this apparent contradiction? Cannot polar bears swim?
Answer: Sea ice in the Arctic has declined appreciably since the satellites were first able to give reasonably reliable estimates of total sea-ice cover in 1979. However, there is some evidence to suggest that there was considerably less sea ice in the Arctic in 1922 and again in the early 1930s than there is today, and that Arctic sea ice had reached a peak in 1979 from which one would have expected it to decline somewhat in any event.
Sea ice has increased in the Antartic
Polar bears can indeed swim hundreds of miles if they wish, as recent papers have established.
Question: The response to the collapse in so-called consensus was to re-brand “global warming” as “climate change”. How do you respond?
Answer: There has been no global warming for 18 years according to the latest version of the Hadley Centre/CRU dataset that is favored by the IPCC. By coincidence, the annual U.N. Conferences on the climate under the Framework Convention on Climate Change have been running for 18 years. There has been no global warming at all throughout the period.
None of the computer models predicted this. Indeed, in 2008 the world’s leading modelers wrote a paper for the NOAA’s annual State of the Climate report (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 2008, p. 523), in which they said that their simulations ruled out, to 95% confidence, zero trends over intervals of 15 years or more, suggesting that a period at least this long would be needed to create a discrepancy between the models’ predictions and real-world observations.
Therefore, by the modelers’ own criterion, their predictions have failed. The models are wrong. Yet there are now so many people making money out of the climate scare that it cannot stop straight away. So “global warming” was rebranded first as “climate change”, then as “climate disruption”, then as “energy security”, to keep the cash flowing.
The Greenpeace movement was hijacked by Marxists
Answer: John Tyndale, at the Royal Institution in London, conducted experiments in 1859 that established by measurement that the greenhouse effect exists. However, from 1940-1976 there was a period of global cooling, even though CO2 concentration was increasing rapidly. By the mid-1970s, scientists had sensed they could scare governments into believing that global cooling was a problem, and a series of lurid articles began to appear in the news media.
Then, in 1976, coinciding abruptly with the cooling-to-warming phase transition in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, an influential weather pattern warming began. By the late 1980s, global warming was the new scare. However, the direct warming from a doubling of CO2 concentration (which may happen by about 2150) is little more than 1 Cº.
So the modelers use various imagined (and largely imaginary) “temperature feedbacks” that allow them to multiply this small warming threefold. However, since none of these feedbacks can be measured, or distinguished empirically from one another or from the forcings that triggered them, or determined theoretically by any method, they are simply guesswork.
They are not Popper-falsifiable and, therefore, neither they nor the large warming predicted by the models in response to a doubling of CO2 concentration are science at all. Yet it is on the basis of these imagined feedbacks that the IPCC tells us we must spend trillions shutting down the economies of the West. The reason for this continuing nonsense, of course, is money.
Question: Many international environmental agreements include references to Western greed and unfairness, and usually contain mechanisms for large wealth transfers from rich to poor countries to rectify claimed injustices. In the Copenhagen agreement, the term “climate reparations” was used widely. Even Obama’s advisers suggested using climate change agreements to effect “distributive justice.” Some said that Kyoto would have rebalanced global power, and virtually mandated the de-industrialization of the West, as well as capped military consumption of fossil fuels, which might have reduced American influence overseas.
Is this “watermelon Marxism”? Is there another agenda behind calls for environmental protection? President Obama once told reporters his policies would bankrupt the coal sector, which provides 50% of U.S. energy. What is going on?
Answer: The reason why the political left in the West (though not elsewhere) has adopted the climate scare with such unbecoming and avaricious enthusiasm is that some of the largest funders of their political opponents on the center-right are coal and oil corporations. Since oil is necessary for automobile gasoline, the oil corporations have largely escaped the wrath of the left, but the coal corporations are now under sustained assault and are already being compelled greatly to reduce their financial contributions to the left’s opponents.
Communist demonstrators at the Copenhagen conference
call for distribution of wealth
Therefore, just about the only regions committed to the second “commitment period” of the Kyoto Protocol that was agreed in principle in Durban in 2011 and repeated rather pointlessly in Doha in 2012, are the E.U. - run by what is effectively an unelected Politburo - and Australia, now suffering under its most extreme-left government ever.
The visibility of the distinction between hard-left regimes in the West such as the E.U. and Australia, on the one hand, and everyone else, on the other, is now useful. More and more nations are doing what Canada is doing: disengaging from the entire climate process and getting on with facing the world’s real environmental problems: deforestation on land, overfishing at sea, pollution in the air.
Question: The Convention on Biological Diversity, and the “Global Biodiversity Assessment” that it commissioned, made bold calls for the redistribution of private property and locking up over half the U.S. landmass for purposes of “re-wilding.” The U.S. Man and Biosphere program is connected to this agreement, even though it was never ratified.
Is there any link between international agreements dealing with property and those addressing “climate change”? In your view, what is the ultimate goal?
Answer: The late Eric Ellington, one of the original founders of Greenpeace, was a friend of mine. He once told me that he and many other founders of Greenpeace had left the organization within a year or two because it had been taken over by Marxists. Because Eric and his fellow founders of Greenpeace were non-political, they did not have the skill to prevent the Marxists from infiltrating and rapidly capturing and stealing their organization, re-tasking it to destroy the West while using the environment merely as cover.
Greenpeace activists in Washington reacting to the bogus scare of extinguishing the bears
When that backup scare fails, as it must, the next scare will be the “biodiversity” scare. However, this scare will in fact be far more damaging to third-world countries than to Western countries, which are largely in the Northern Hemisphere, where species diversity is not great. And, since we cannot even know to within two or three orders of magnitude how many species there are on Earth, finding a performance indicator for “biodiversity” is going to prove difficult. Frankly, when the leftists are compelled to fall back upon biodiversity, they will have lost the environmental argument for good.
Question: Many municipalities in the States have signed on to ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives), which draws its authority from Agenda 21, also not ratified by the U.S. What, if any, legal problems exist in municipal participation in this organization? What, if any, dangers might there be to such participation?
Answer: The U.N.’s Agenda 21 program is another attempt to destroy the West from within, this time via local authorities, who have been easily flattered by the attention (and, where they might otherwise have proven reluctant, the money) from the U.N. However, Agenda 21, ambitious though it is, is doomed to fail because it is seen as closely allied to the global warming movement, now in a state of rapid collapse.
Municipalities often have substantial freedom to set their own environmental policies and hence to allow the U.N. to set them for them, but in many parts of the world they have very limited freedom, and if they abuse that freedom it is possible for citizens to challenge the lawfulness of their participation in Agenda 21 by way of judicial review. In the end, economic considerations are going to persuade most Western nations, and a growing proportion of the electorate, that absurdities such as Agenda 21, which – if they had any legitimate purpose – would be much more urgently needed in heavily-polluting third-world countries than in comparatively well-regulated Western nations, can no longer be afforded.