Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball
We will see an increasing number of people changing their positions on global warming as the global warming ship sinks. It will take various forms including; articles appearing that subtly shift previously held positions; reevaluation of data; or finding new evidence that allows a change and perhaps worst of all those who say they knew the science was wrong all along but did not consider it important to speak out; dredging up a sentence or two from their writings that they claim showed they knew. The level of inventiveness will astonish as rats desert the sinking ship.
I am not well disposed to any of these people since the evidence was there all along. They chose not to see it, for a variety of reasons none of which are valid and as the old proverb says there are none so blind as those who will not see. I admit I hold some animosity to this group as I head to Vancouver for my first of two trials [although I received three lawsuits all from the same lawyer and all from members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)] trial for speaking out against the misuse of science for a political agenda and the scientific deception and corruption this engendered. When I realize that if even a few of these people had spoken out I would likely not have suffered the lawsuits, personal attacks, death threats and career limiting denial of funding, loss of speaking opportunities, and having my wife cry now if someone knocks on my door at four on a Friday afternoon because that is the time that all three court summons were delivered. The timing was deliberate as I only had 48 hours to respond.
I am glad Mr. McCarter finally saw the light as expressed in his article “Naïve scientists awakens to the politics underlying climate change”, but it is too late, too easy and self-serving. It is precisely his ‘I don’t want to know attitude’ that the perpetrators of the global warming deception knew would happen and exploited. What he doesn’t know is that the three Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPP) I received were not only to silence me but also to have a much wider chilling effect against anyone else who dared to speak out. It was very effective because of the silence of so many who didn’t want to know. There is safety in numbers, but a majority chose to say and do nothing. I know first-hand what Voltaire meant when he said
“It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.”
Or for my fellow Canadian
Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort.
Why didn’t McCarter act when the emails were leaked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) providing clear evidence that it was more than politics but included the abuse of science by scientists? Here is a list of the activities set out by Mosher and Fuller.
· Actively worked to evade (Steve) Mcintyre’s Freedom of Information requests, deleting emails, documents, and even climate data
· Tried to corrupt the peer-review principles that are the mainstay of modern science, reviewing each other’s’ work, sabotaging efforts of opponents trying to publish their own work, and threatening editors of journals who didn’t bow to their demands
· Changed the shape of their own data in materials shown to politicians charged with changing the shape of our world, ‘hiding the decline’ that showed their data could not be trusted.
Even if only half these charges are true, they are activities that would and should have triggered McCarter to action. It appears they did not, so the question is how much more did he need? How are things any different now that causes McCarter to respond? The apparent answer is that there are no consequences and he will be praised for his enlightenment and forgiven for his failures. Sorry, it is far too late, inadequate, and unworthy of praise. How much damage has occurred because of decisions he made to ignore the problems.
Massive amounts of damage have already occurred. People, economies, and societies have already suffered enormously. He watched as others suffered attacks, lawsuits, and bullying and did nothing. As Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” I think that the fact they did nothing eliminates them from being called good men. McCarter apologizes for Naomi Klein as a fellow Canadian, but where was he when she was appointed to Pope Francis’ committee on global warming helping him to draft the Laudate Si Encyclical? As he admits, he knew there were problems but rationalized they were political, and as a scientist, he could ignore them. He made a conscious decision to look the other way; now he wants absolution and even praises after a perfunctory mea culpa.
It is easy now as the tide is turning because Trump had the courage to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement. It is easy to jump on “the deception shouldn’t have happened” bandwagon. I can’t tell you how many people felt they were supporting me by telling me privately they agreed with me. Presumably, this absolved their conscience, but when the opportunity to speak arose at least 95 percent of them were nowhere to be seen. I used to try and understand that people did not want to lose their jobs or their income, but I don’t anymore because it is precisely this weakness that makes them vulnerable to bullies and exploiters. McCarter, by his own admission, hasn’t learned much. “So having had doubt about climate change being a political rather than scientific problem I am now a bit wiser.” Only a bit? If he had taken even a limited quiet look at what was going on, he would be a lot wiser. If he spoke out even minimally at the start, he would have experienced the push back and learned how political and nasty the attacks. He chose not to do that, and now he wants absolution for that failure. Sorry, it is too late unless he offers more than hand waving.
No, I cannot accept McCarter’s pathetic apology now it is easy. He admits in this article he knew all along but decided to do nothing. If I hear of him doing more than making an apology on friendly websites like WUWT, I will maybe temper my view. If he tries to get published in the NYT, I will have some sympathy. When I hear that his grandson was made to stand in the hallway outside his Grade six class every day for most of a month because he dared to ask questions about global warming that challenged what his teacher was saying and she knew I was his grandfather.
The only thing I can do here is quote Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemoller.
First, they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Ogden Nash wrote,
There are people who are very resourceful
At being remorseful.
And who apparently feel that the best away to make friends
Is to do something terrible then make amends.
It was a child who pointed out that the emperor had no clothes because the adults were afraid to say anything. McCarter’s story indicates that this continues and will do so until people accept the social responsibility that comes with having the privilege to practice science or do anything in society. He should read about what is happening in his Canada as the government deliberately intimidates people and moves to make alternative climate views a crime. Let him publicly fight that and earn a modicum of credibility, until then his ‘coming out’ is too little too late. For those who think his actions are sufficient as a step in the right direction I will disagree.
Yes, it is a form of penance, the “voluntary self-punishment inflicted as an outward expression of repentance for having done wrong.” However, it is completely out of proportion to the extent of the damage his failure to act created. It indicates that he still doesn’t understand.