Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball.
Normally, I don’t respond to comments about my articles. However, comments about my last article raise questions that I think require context and explanation in the ongoing search for openness and free debate on climate. This applies to even the most extreme challenges to the status quo. Many of the comments are predictable because they come from people who constantly beat the same old drum. It is usually possible to predict who will respond to any subject and what they will say. They are not necessarily trolls, although trolls are ever present, and are usually called-out or ignored. The critical issue is the danger of skeptics becoming a narrow-minded, tunnel-vision group that attacks, rejects, or simply ignores skepticism about the skeptic’s position or views. This is always a problem but is particularly problematic when the prevailing view in this polarized world is that if you are not with me, you must be against me.
The global warming debate has divided into promoters of the claims of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and the skeptics. It is the nature of any group behavior to become increasingly dogmatic. It is part of the conditions that create Groupthink. The promoters are de facto ensnared in Groupthink. The skeptics are in danger of falling into the same condition. Anthony does a very good job of publishing material from across the spectrum. He also struggles with censorship of comments, being as accommodating as possible under the circumstances. It is imperative that as skeptics we keep open minds – that is, skeptics must be open to skepticism about their skepticism.
One of the comments said the article was more reasonable than those I usually produce. The writer said he could understand my anger because of the attacks I experience. While I appreciate his claim, I reject it because the one thing you learn when you choose to challenge authority is that you have no idea how nasty and demoralizing it becomes. People have a sense of the cost, and that is enough to make the vast majority remain silent. There is a reason they pass whistleblower laws, even in America where free speech is championed. As Voltaire said,
“It is dangerous to right in matters where men in authority are wrong.”
The truth is I consciously moderate my writings because of Ingersoll’s comments. Unfortunately, because of events and facts fading into history and the relentless spin and cover-up by AGW proponents, the level of deliberate deception and extent of the damage done is not appreciated by most anymore. But don’t just take my word for it. Consider the words of the late Professor Hal Lewis, Emeritus Professor of physics, when he discovered that the executive of the American Physical Society (APS) had given their support, without consultation with the membership, to the AGW story. He resigned in a very public protest. As he wrote in his October 2010 resignation letter,
“the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.”
Challenges to official climate science of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began small and gradually grew. It was pushed harder than normal for a few reasons;
- The people selected to participate in the IPCC were picked and controlled by the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
- Because of protests, a charade of external examiners was created. It was a charade because none of the early submissions were included.
- Several prominent people, like Richard Lindzen and Chris Landsea, resigned from the IPCC in protest about the practices and procedures.
- By 1995, the first major scandal involving Benjamin Santer and unauthorized alterations to Chapter 8 were exposed.
- After the forecast failures of the 1990 Report, the IPCC created a range of projections to improve chances of being correct.
- The IPCC did not follow scientific method because they set out to ‘prove’ the hypothesis rather than disprove it.
- The attacks on scientists who dared to practice proper science by challenging the hypothesis drew concern and attention.
- Growing awareness of the disparity between the Science Report and the Summary for Policymakers.
- Many knew that Al Gore’s claim that the science was settled is wrong.
- Important early skeptical web sites, like John Daly’s Still Waiting for Greenhouse, Anthony Watt’s Watts Up With That?, Steve McIntyre’s Climate Audit, and Sherwood Idso’s CO2 Science, provided forums for the skeptical view suppressed by those trying to prove the AGW hypothesis.
The shameful behavior was and continues to be by the business world, especially the energy sector. They profess to have a social conscience and care about the environment, but their actions belie those claims. If anyone has the expertize to know that the science of anthropogenic global warming was wrong, it is the energy companies. Despite this, they chose to appease the environmentalists. They are now learning that you cannot appease extremists. Besides as Churchill said,
“An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”
Donna Laframboise wrote about the millions of dollars the appeasers paid out in a 2012 article titled, “Big Oil Money for Me, But Not for Thee.”
When I think of the devastating cost to me, both financial and emotional, all based on lies and misinformation made by these receivers of oil money, it is surprising I am as calm and controlled as I am. Remember, the basis for their proof is that I am a liar and totally compromised because they say I received money from oil companies. The sad part is I never received a single penny from any oil company. Presumably, the environmentalists who did receive the money are the ones compromised. At the very least, they are absolute hypocrites.
The truth is the oil executives didn’t care about the scientific truth regarding global warming or carbon dioxide. It was profitable public relations to say they were saving the environment and the planet because they received tax write-offs for the contributions and simply passed on other costs to the consumer. They were also able to practice advocacy advertising, an activity environmentalists condemned in the 1970s and 80s. This was the charge that corporations were advertising political positions rather than a selling a product. Environmentalists, who said they could not afford such advertising, wanted a law requiring the corporation provide money, or pay for equal time and space, for their opposing view.
Perhaps the ultimate irony in all this expensive game-playing, or by its official name, politics, is that it could occur at all. The impact at the political level was not consequential or damaging, besides it is likely they were being paid off. The trillions of dollars Lewis speaks about all came out of the pockets of the people. Worse, it came at the expense of development and improvements in all sectors of the economy. This was starkly brought home when India said that the claimed damage to the environment that justified restrictions and imposition were as nothing compared to the number of people starving to death or without electricity. In this fatuous world, it is no surprise that the US Senate made somewhat similar first-world comparisons of hardship when they voted not to vote on the Kyoto Protocol (KP). They put on the cloak of green by avoiding a vote on the KP. Instead, they voted on the Byrd/Hagel resolution, which asked if they should vote on KP. The debate involved consideration of the socio-economic costs and benefits of implementing KP. They voted 95-0 not to vote on the KP.
A similar situation exists today concerning the Paris Climate Agreement. The energy companies and politicians could easily show that the science doesn’t justify the policy, but they continue to be complicit. They could also show that the environmental and climate impacts from implementing the complete Agreement are laughable. Bjorn Lomborg says,
The climate impact of all Paris INDC promises is minuscule: if we measure the impact of every nation fulfilling every promise by 2030, the total temperature reduction will be 0.048°C (0.086°F) by 2100. (His emphasis).
Even if we assume that these promises would be extended for another 70 years, there is still little impact: if every nation fulfills every promise by 2030 and continues to fulfill these promises faithfully until the end of the century, and there is no ‘CO₂ leakage’ to non-committed nations, the entirety of the Paris promises will reduce temperature rises by just 0.17°C (0.306°F) by 2100.
Notice that even if he is 100% wrong it is still inconsequential. How many real-world problems of suffering, misery, and death, could be eliminated using the billions of dollars wasted every day on the completely false claim of AGW? The underlying objective of the AGW deception was to reduce world population. It is not a problem, but if it was, the best solution is development using fossil fuels.
Climate is a vehicle for wealth transfer in the naive belief it will help ‘poor’ people. Ottar Edenhofer, co-chair of the IPCC WGIII from 2008 to 2015, explained.
“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy,” “We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”
It is another aid program, but like them all, it doesn’t and can’t work.
I listened to a professional emotion-laden plea for money for children starving in Ethiopia because of a drought. The problem is there are always droughts in Ethiopia. How did these people manage in the past? The children are dying because of the decisions of their parents and government and the abetting provided by our giving to such appeals for funds or our foreign aid. Why aren’t the adults and government of Ethiopia helping? They always have money for guns and bombs.
Ethiopia spent $5,438,000,000 on their military budget in the 12 years from 2001-2012. They reduced the amount as the civil war ended, although they still spent $329 million in 2012, but by 2015 it was back up to $404.5 million. Yes, the children are the innocent bystanders, but it is pure exploitation of emotions to make it my concern when the parents and people of Ethiopia can’t get their priorities right. Worse, we further the failures and distortions with any aid. As it is said, foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of the rich country and giving it to the rich people of the poor country. What this tells me is that there is a failure of leadership at both ends of the transfer of funds. I believe it will continue until we get angry enough to expose and stop it. Environmentalists and energy companies are complicit with the politicians in the perpetuation of abuse, death, and destruction.
I know this article will trigger the predictable narrow responses and the trolls. However, I also hope it will remind others of the extent of the deception, and loss of lives and lost opportunities of this greatest deception in human history.
Sad to lose John Coleman who I had the privilege of meeting at Heartland Climate Conferences. He was confident, forthright, and powerful, but not bullying in his views because he revered what Robert Ingersoll called the Holy Trinity of Science, Reason, Observation, and Experience. T.B.