Guest essay by Dr. Tim Ball
Skeptics are winning the battle to reject CO2 as the only cause of warming, but losing the war to the misrepresentation of CO2 as a pollutant.
Some people generally know there is something wrong with claims of human created global warming or climate change, but governments, business, industry, mainstream media and AGW advocates succeed in the push for reduction of CO2 as a pollutant without protest from the public. All this despite massive and completely unnecessary costs.
Political advocates of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) set out to demonize CO2. They successfully shifted away from global warming to climate change and on to pollution when the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) hypothesis began to fail. Influential AGW proponents like James Hansen thought skeptics were winning the climate debate so he began talking about coal “death trains”. Obama’s “carbon pollution” is scientifically wrong but works by frightening the public. His attack on the coal industry gets little opposition outside of coal producing States. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proceeds with Supreme Court blessing as they limit a “harmful substance”.
It’s increasingly ineffective to explain what is wrong with the climate science. It is necessary to show that the switch to falsely calling it a pollutant became necessary to perpetuate the goal of eliminating fossil fuels. Most people don’t make the link and are turned against CO2 as a pollutant by the effective PR campaign.
Competing with PR experts.
Mr. Justice Burton’s October 2007 ruling on the showing of Gore’s docudrama An Inconvenient Truth in the classroom wrote,
The context and nub of the dispute are the statutory provisions described in their side headings as respectively relating to “political indoctrination” and to the “duty to secure balanced treatment of political issues” in schools,
This is the battle as the counterattack by promoters of AGW proceeds. People who question the hypothesis and science, especially as manifest in the IPCC Reports, are attacked as skeptics and deniers, who are framed as apparently willfully lying for a political agenda paid for by coal and oil companies. The public is told not to believe these deceivers because of their funding, the debate is over, the science is settled and failure to support immediate political action makes them intransigent and complicit in pollution of the planet. Gore’s movie was a major part of the deception. It was a successful piece of propaganda produced in Hollywood, a world center for telling stories to the public. Justice Burton wrote in his judgment,
I viewed the film at the parties’ request. Although I can only express an opinion as a viewer rather than as a judge, it is plainly, as witnessed by the fact that it received an Oscar this year for best documentary film, a powerful, dramatically presented and highly professionally produced film. It is built round the charismatic presence of the ex-Vice-President, Al Gore, whose crusade it now is to persuade the world of the dangers of climate change caused by global warming. It is now common ground that it is not simply a science film – although it is clear that it is based substantially on scientific research and opinion – but that it is a political film, albeit of course not party political. Its theme is not merely the fact that there is global warming, and that there is a powerful case that such global warming is caused by man, but that urgent, and if necessary expensive and inconvenient, steps must be taken to counter it, many of which are spelt out.
No wonder the public are confused. Any responses to Gore’s movie relying solely on science are seriously challenged. I’ve been involved in this debate often. One example involved helping a group of retired scientists set up Friends of Science. They chose a purely scientific approach science partly because of being from Calgary and Alberta a center of fossil fuel production, but also as scientists they wanted facts and logic. They do a good job, but mostly for those who understand science.
The simplistic deceptions of PR have been a major and effective tool. DeSmogBlog was the brainchild of James Hoggan, Board Chairman of the David Suzuki Foundation and President of a PR firm. In a December 2011 email to Michael Mann, DeSmogBlog writer Richard Littlemore says:
(as I am sure you have noticed: we’re all about PR here, not much about science).
Mann’s 2004 email to CRU Director Phil Jones confirms the PR connection of CRU/IPCC science. Confronted by challenging questions, they apparently developed a defensive mentality:
I’ve personally stopped responding to these, they’re going to get a few of these op-ed pieces out here and there, but the important thing is to make sure they’re loosing [sic] the PR battle. That’s what the site (Realclimate) is about. By the way Gavin (Schmidt) did come up w/ the name.
To overcome the combination of political PR and falsified climate science, people need to know answers to the basic questions of journalism; who, what, when, where and why it was done. Only “what” is addressed by explaining the science.
Stage of Evolution In Unveiling Misuse of Climate Science
Mahatma Gandhi said, “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” I’ve experienced all phases so far in the climate issue and believe we’re in the “fight” stage. For AGW proponents this involves grabbing headlines that backfire, such as John Holdren’s video that claimed the cold (polar vortex) is due to warming, or playing the “victim” card when evidence, like the hockey stick, is already known to the public. Paradoxically, it is counterproductive for those AGW proponents fighting because it accelerates the final stage. A comment after a presentation is “I had my suspicions, but I didn’t know enough to know.” Extreme and illogical claims help the public move to the final stage. However, critical issues common for the public, like fear and lack of knowledge, must be recognized and addressed first. Global warming deception creators effectively exploited both, as people are learning. Now people are asking other questions and they raise other concerns. Who did it, how, and why?
The switch to climate change from global warming accompanied an increase in the claims of CO2 as a pollutant. PR agents through Gore and others convinced the world it was and President Obama reinforces it with the term ”carbon pollution”. This illustrates why attempts to help the public understand the science of climate change is unworkable. CO2 continues its hold because the public believes it is a pollutant. This happens because a majority proudly avoids science; can’t believe a small group could influence and fool the world; or that scientists would be subjective and political.
The person who understood these issues leaked the emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU). From over 220,000 emails only 1000 were selected for a strategic release to undermine advancing the political agenda at the Conference of the Parties (COP) 15 in Copenhagen. That selection takes knowledge of the science, the participants and their activities, but more important what the public would understand. Focus was on malfeasance, including references to science with words like “hide” and “trick” used by the participants. Even now very few understand the science or statistics of the hockey stick. The emails provide a picture of vindictiveness, defensiveness, and malicious personal attacks that most could understand were problematic. Apparently the whistleblower knew that the COP makes decisions based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) findings. Most of the people at the CRU were also effectively in control of the IPCC so disclosure dammed both. Most COP participants are bureaucrats, politicians and NGOs so disclosures required that they were the same as those for the public.
The Time For Explanations
After challenging the prevailing wisdom of a simplistic ongoing global cooling trend in the 1970s I became more opposed to the simplistic trend prediction of global warming after the 1980s. From the start I made public presentations of what was wrong with the science to hundreds of groups and learned quickly what people knew and understood.
The pattern followed Gandhi’s pattern and public response changed as events altered how they were listening. It paralleled phone-in radio programs, which had 99 percent hostile calls through the 1990s. I learned that when I was on Greenpeace and others would line up people to call in. The solution was to bypass the first 20 calls. Nowadays there are rarely more than one or two hostile calls or emails about CO2 as a greenhouse gas, but most express concern about CO2 as a pollutant.
I waited a few years to publish my book The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science because the public was not ready. Most are still not ready for a pure science expose. I believe they are ready now for a different approach as the pattern changes once again, but that also means they are asking different questions. Now they want to know who orchestrated the deception, how was it achieved, and most important what was the motive.
This is just one more step in the effort to counteract the anti – CO2 industry. It will be difficult because so many people are involved in perpetuating the “CO2 is a pollutant” myth.
Who knew and who just participated?
My template for the book was the basic objectives of the CRU whistleblower. This means there is not enough detail to satisfy any specialist group or special interest group, but enough to help the public understand what was done and why. It is a generalist book about the corruption and misuse of a generalist discipline – climatology for a political agenda. Very few people involved knew little about what was going on, and there were millions. A brief list of most participants direct or indirect who created the myth of CO2 and will oppose its debunking follows;
1. The Core Group of scientists mostly at or linked to the CRU at the University of East Anglia (UEA). The leaked emails explain everything you need to know about this group. They knew what they were doing as reference to the “Cause” identifies. They developed a classic case of Groupthink.
Groupthink, a term coined by social psychologist Irving Janis (1972), occurs when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of “mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment” (p. 9). Groups affected by groupthink ignore alternatives and tend to take irrational actions that dehumanize other groups. A group is especially vulnerable to groupthink when its members are similar in background, when the group is insulated from outside opinions, and when there are no clear rules for decision making.
This group was closely linked to the United Kingdom Meteorological Office (UKMO) Hadley Centre as they are today; witness the data sets produced by HadCRUT. The connection to America was through former CRU director Tom Wigley and CRU graduates like Benjamin Santer.
2. The group assembled by Maurice Strong to control the political and science agenda of global warming for the political agenda through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This included bureaucrats of every national weather office through the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) who selected national scientists for the IPCC. Chief among these were UKMO, Environment Canada (EC), and NOAA. Most of them had no idea what was going on, but it was a nice secure bureaucratic job. Most knew the perils of stepping out of line. Three EC employees told me after a presentation in Winnipeg a few years ago that they agreed with me, but dare not say so. Direct participation in IPCC was as Richard Lindzen explained,
IPCC’s emphasis, however, isn’t on getting qualified scientists, but on getting representatives from over 100 countries, said Lindzen. The truth is only a handful of countries do quality climate research. Most of the so-called experts served merely to pad the number
It is no small matter that routine weather service functionaries from New Zealand to Tanzania are referred to as ‘the world’s leading climate scientists.’ It should come as no surprise that they will be determinedly supportive of the process.
Once a bureaucracy is established or assigned a task it almost guarantees it is not going to solve the problem. Rather, it will evolve to perpetuate its own existence. In the case of climate, bureaucratic science experts confronted politicians who dared to question. Once the nations weather office adopted the IPCC position it became national policy. Then all other branches of government were required to do their planning based on this official climate position.
3. Maurice Strong resurrected the Non-government Organizations (NGO) for the 1992 Rio Conference. Of the 8,375 attendees at the recent COP 19 in Warsaw 3,031 were NGOs. Why wasn’t business and industry given such a prominent place?
4. Whenever business or industry was involved they only participated because they could benefit. They were open to government largesse and guarantees and worked to support politicians who practiced “crony capitalism”. One of the most dramatic self-serving meetings occurred in 1997 at the White House between President Clinton, VP Gore, and CEOs Ken Lay of Enron and Lord Browne of BP.
5. A change in research funding evolved almost coincident with emergence of global warming. Universities stretched for income realized they could reasonably add a fee for services, which was built into the funding application. The mantra for advancement changed from ‘publish or perish’ to ‘bring funding or perish’. Academics from all disciplines learned how to enter keywords to trigger a positive result in request for funding. In the 1990s I joked about seeking a connection between climate and AIDS to almost guarantee funding.
6. Tacit support through silence was a major strength exploited by those pushing the IPCC agenda. Many were bullied into silence partly because they watched those who dared to ask questions vilified and marginalized. The silence of this group facilitated the claims of consensus.
7. The mainstream media, more than any other group failed society and worse became a platform and promoter of the deception. The US Founding Fathers believed a free press was essential to exposing deception or attempts at control. Two publications were central to the failure, the New York Times and the Guardian. Complicity of their involvement and compromise of journalistic principles were exposed when reporter’s names appeared in the leaked CRU emails.
It was a child who said the emperor had no clothes – the adults recoiled in horror expecting retribution. Edmund Burke said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It is very difficult to identify evil when you don’t understand the subject, it is a deliberate delusion and it is wrapped in the cloak of saving the planet and the children.
Failed predictions, cold weather and illogical responses were amplified by the “child” replacement, the Internet. Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message.” The Internet provided the ideal medium for democratizing information. Web pages like WUWT provided a forum for millions to question challenge and do what the media should have been doing. They significantly assisted in the exposure of CO2 climate science, but AGW proponents moved on to pollution.
Skeptics won the CO2 climate battle but are losing the CO2 is pollution war. Massively expensive, debilitating but completely unnecessary taxes, rules and restrictions will continue until the public understands that CO2 is not a pollutant. This will take a long time as too many people with power like President Obama or in powerful positions like bureaucrats in national weather agencies and thereby all areas of government are invested in maintaining the falsehood.
Appropriate Quotes detailing the challenge:
As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.
It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.
It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.
It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.
It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!
“I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”