By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
When a medical doctor with no prior record of publication in the learned journals of climate science wanders off the reservation and writes for a collectivist website about the totalitarians’ favorite Trojan horse, global warming, one expects nonsense.
One is not disappointed by: When Scientists Hate Science
Paul Offit is a paediatrician. Yet, in an article for one of the sillier groupthink websites, he considers himself qualified to state that the “climate denialists” President Trump and his appointees to EPA and Energy, Scott Pruitt and Rick Perry, “deny the fact that increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the environment have trapped heat, causing an increase in the Earth’s surface temperature … and consequent climate disruption”.
Offit loses ten points for his deliberate and malicious likening of those who disagree with him to Holocaust deniers. This is mere hate speech – and it is precisely this shrieking tone of quivering, anti-scientific, pseudo-moralistic, unreasoning hatred that has driven voters away from the Left on both sides of the Atlantic and has led to the timely collapse of the mainstream news media’s influence on public opinion.
In fact, Trump and his team cheerfully accept what experiment has established and theory demonstrated – that there is a greenhouse effect, and that some warming is to be expected.
How much “climate disruption” global warming causes, however, is a matter of legitimate scientific debate. Official sources such as IPCC have recently come down generally against the notion that warmer weather worsens floods, droughts, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Next, Offit snarls, in that tone of perpetual malice: “Although climate change is undeniable, the current administration has managed to deny it.”
Note the calculated looseness and imprecision of the wording. Of course climate change is undeniable. One need only look out of the window to see the coming and going of the seasons. Climate change is cyclical. It has been occurring for about 4 billion years. Get used to it.
As recently as 5000 years ago, what is now the Sahara Desert was green, fertile, and home to lakes considerably larger than the Great Lakes. Then, within 200 years, as the monsoon rains drifted southward owing to the libration of the Earth’s axis, the desert suddenly took hold, driving the inhabitants of that formerly fertile region into Egypt and leading to the flowering of that great civilization.
Now the Sahara is greening, thanks to warmer and hence somewhat moister air. Nomadic tribes have been returning to places where they had not settled in living memory.
No one, therefore, denies that climate changes. No one denies that Man is now capable of exerting some influence on climate. The true scientific debate is about how much change we shall cause (answer: not a lot), and about whether it is cheaper to mitigate global warming today than to adapt to its imagined net-adverse consequences the day after tomorrow (answer: it is 1000 times cheaper to adapt later than to mitigate now).
Though Offit suggests otherwise, the new administration does not “deny” that Man’s energies and enterprises have restored to the air some of the carbon dioxide that was formerly present there.
Inevitably, Offit goes on to recite the Party slogan that “the overwhelming consensus among environmental scientists is that global warming is a real and present threat”.
Offit should get someone to read Legates et al. (2013) to him at bedtime. In that paper, we revealed that only 41, or 0.3%, of 11,944 learned papers on climate and related topics published in the journals over the 21 years 1991-2011 had stated that recent global warming was mostly manmade.
We also revealed that no peer-reviewed survey of a sufficiently large sample of published papers has even asked the question whether those peer-reviewed climate papers state – with evidence – that global warming will prove dangerous. This lack of curiosity is inferentially attributable to an awareness on the part of the dopes who conduct such surveys that they would not get the answer they want.
Not that that stopped Cook et al. (2013) from falsely reporting a 97% consensus when their own records clearly show they found only 64 of those 11,944 papers had explicitly assented to the consensus position as they had defined it: that recent global warming was mostly manmade. Police on three continents are investigating. Prosecutions will follow.
Science is not done by consensus, as Aristotle in the West and Al-Haytham in the East pointed out millennia ago. Totalitarian politics is done by consensus (or, rather, by the pretense of it). Those who argue from consensus, then, demonstrate two things: that they are scientifically illiterate and politically collectivist.
Offit is blissfully unaware of the mere facts I have set out here, for he is one of those drones who know that the only thing they need to know is the Party Line.
He then repeats, straight from the Party handbook, the smear that those of us whose research has led us to question climate extremism are no better than the tobacco corporations who pretended that smoking was good for you long after it was known that it was fatal.
He maunders on to accuse “climate denialists” of drawing inconvenient conclusions from the recent temperature record about the rate of global warming. For 18 years 9 months from 1997 to late in 2015, satellites showed there had been no global warming at all, even though one-third of all anthropogenic influences on climate had occurred over the period.
Offit says: “By examining only the 10-year interval between 1998 and 2008, scientists minimized the problem.” What he should have said was, “By examining a period of almost two decades with no warming, scientists found that the predicted acceleration in the warming trend as CO2 concentration increased was not occurring, and concluded that the predictions had been exaggerated and were wrong.”
But let us help him out in his ignorance by going back further in the record. The warming rate over the 40 years 1694-1733, demonstrated by the Central England Temperature Record, a reasonable proxy for global temperature anomalies, was considerably greater than in any subsequent 40-year period. There were not many coal-fired power stations at the turn of the 18th century.
For good measure, the medieval, Roman, Minoan, Egyptian Old Kingdom and Minoan climate optima were all warmer than the present. And the Holocene Climate Optimum, which prevailed from 10,000 to 6000 years ago, was warmer than the present for four millennia (subject to a brief dip in the middle).
So there is nothing remarkable either about the rate of global warming (except that it is slowing when the climate extremists had predicted it should be accelerating) or about the absolute global temperature (except that it is remarkable only for being unremarkable).
Offit then says “prominent scientists deny scientific truths” because “they are paid to do it”. He cites the unreliable Michael Mann as saying: “The war on climate science may well continue as long as there are fossil fuels to be mined and mercenaries to be hired.”
It is the other way about. Facts, Offit, facts. So much more interesting than petty prejudices of Party Lines. The big bucks are in climate extremism, not in scepticism. Offit is simply wrong when he says scientists are only “rewarded with publications and grants when they find something new.”
In climate “science”, according to research by the redoubtable Jo Nova, about 5000 times as much is spent on scientists interminably promoting and rebarbatively regurgitating climate extremism than on research by skeptical scientists.
In future, let the cobbler stick to his last or he will find himself talking cobblers. Come off it, Offit!