Warmist Witch Doctors [updated]
THE REVELATIONS OF CLIMATEGATE have bruised the Copenhagen conclave, but not battered it. Why would they, when everyone there has the same single ambition – which is anything but science.
But first, let’s just remind ourselves what was revealed by ClimateGate’s whistle blower.
Certainty, What Certainty?
If the leading revelation of the entire treasure trove is the sort of jiggery-pokery exposed in the ReadMe file of Ian ‘Harry’ Harris and the fudge factors added to temperatures to jack up the temperatures of recent decade (and hold down those of the past), then the leading revelation of the emails published so far is that when talking in public the IPCC coterie and their model-makers evince absolute certainty -- “the science is settled!” they huff – yet in private they’re much more tentative. In fact, they’re downright uncertain. Notes Robert Murphy,
The true signficance of Climategate [is that] . . . experts such as Lindzen, Michaels, and Spencer have raised serious critiques of the global climate models used by the IPCC, or at least of the conclusions that the IPCC has drawn from such simulations. In response, the IPCC’s standard bearers (such as the crew of RealClimate) have confidently stated that the consensus is in, the debate is over, there is no serious doubt about what the models are telling us, etc.
“Now as an outsider with no formal training, I personally can’t truly judge these disputes. I can think of analogies in economics where the position of Phil Jones et al. is understandable. For example, a few years ago many critics of outsourcing were arguing that the standard economic case for free trade was based on flawed assumptions. Most economists–including me–dismissed these “dissenters” as making minor technical objections that didn’t really affect the final policy decisions, and worse they were feeding into the hands of politicians who cared nothing about economic models but wanted to pass pro-union protectionist legislation. So I thought it was certainly possible that the mainstream climate modelers were telling the truth when they said they had no doubt about the reliability of their models. Perhaps their critics–who may have been perfectly sincere–really were making mountains out of molehills, and worse yet were being used by politicians who didn’t really care about the truth of the science.
“The revelations from Climategate have made me much more willing to believe the critics who claim that the global climate models cannot bear the weight that so many are putting on them.”
I think that’s true, and in their more honest public moments so too do the likes of Brit eco-warrior George Monbiot and even Aussie eco-worrier Tim Flannery, chairman now of the Copenhagen Climate Council, who admitted that: "We can't pretend we have perfect knowledge: we don't."
They sure don’t, but they do pretend. At least when they’re out in public.
Instead of admitting it out in the open however, the high priests of warmist are instead circling the wagons. Like conjurers they’re playing with either misdirection or flat-out lies in response to the lid being lifted on their private doubts – or, like a little child or Al Gore, they’re just not reading them at all in the hope they go away.
Nothing to see here? There sure as hell is. What they most don’t want you to notice is the degree of their own uncertainty about their so-called science – their own knowledge that when you pull back the curtain on all their leading studies and assumptions (all the stuff backing up all the projections of disaster on which all the politics is based) it’s all held together with little more than string and sellotape and a lot of ‘white lies.’
MURPHY TALKS, FOR EXAMPLE, about the email exchange between Kevin Trenberth and Tom Wigley in which Trenberth stated, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”
And so it is. But there was an even more jaw-dropping confession of their science’s uncertainty in that same email chain, [scroll down to ‘True Jaw-Dropper: The Wigley and Trenberth Exchange.’], and more examples in other Wigley emails of what Australian journalist Andrew Bolt reckons are scientists “choking on the deceit.”
As evidence, Bolt posts a series of emails in which Wigley
- attacks Keith Briffa’s hockey stick and tree-ring charade as “a mess,” which is being polite;
- expresses his concern over Phil Jones intention to withhold his data from outside study;
- tells off Mr Hockey Stick himself (Michael Mann) for sending a “very deceptive” graph, and suggests too many warmist scientists rely on “dishonest presentations”;
- and expresses extreme concern that his colleagues, the world’s so-called leading climate scientists, don’t appear to be properly addressing some very serious objections to how they address the Urban Heat Island Effect – i.e., the means by which modern temperatures are adjusted down (or are supposed to be) to account for the increasing heat of increased urbanisation – the importance of which was dismissed by Phil Jones in the IPCC’s report, based mostly on the now discredited work of a Professor Wang Wei-Chyung of Albany, State University of New York.
And what did Wigley say when his bald statements going to the heart of his science were held up to the light of day? He thrice denied them. He said he didn’t say them. He said plain English was something else. He said data wasn’t destroyed when it and wasn’t withheld when it was; that what amounts to a record of his private doubts have “no significance”: that what he said he didn’t say. He went on Australia’s ABC and told a pack of lies to extricate himself and his colleagues from their richly-deserved opprobrium.
SO THEY’RE LYING NOW in public attempting to cover up what they said in private. That what they’re peddling is literally Mann-made global warming. And to cover that up they’re now circling the wagons and pointing in all different directions, mocking “deniers,” uttering soothing reassurances, and talking all sorts of nonsense about one world government and the like simply to misdirect attention from the heart of the story: that the level of their private uncertainty about their science is as great as the skeptics’ public assertions of uncertainty – the chief difference is that the warmists don’t have their integrity.
WHY DO THEY DO this? Why does their private uncertainty butter no public parsnips? Why does the climate bandwagon roll on regardless – right over the facts, and right over the real data? The answer is simple: it’s power. The answer is simple: it’s not science, it’s politics – as becomes clear when science and data not consistent with the politics are either suppressed or distorted or simply fudged to fit.
Don’t follow the money, follow the power.
It’s not about global government or anything so conspiratorial. It’s all about simple human power lust. Climate scientists and politicians are natural allies against liberty.
Scientists want their research grants, true – CRU’s Phil Jones, for example, was sucking down 22 million dollars worth of those – which buys them more than just a good a meal ticket. But what it buys them chiefly is power and influence, celebrity and vanity, a place in the sun and a seat on a plane to every world warmist conference in every warming part of the world.
And the politicians? They want the warmists’ science, no matter how tainted – a Lysenko-like science that gives them (they think) an excuse for socialism, central planning and big government. And what politician could resist such an invitation, especially when they get to play the hero?
Both the Witch Doctors of warmist science and the Attilas of politics need each other – and always have. As Ayn Rand noted,
Attila and the Witchdoctor are a team, and have been for most of history – one the controller of men’s production, the other the controller of his ideas – one ruling his body, the other his brain - one preaching enslavement, the other carrying it out – one bearing a gun, the other bearing a parchment, or a clipboard.
Behind every King is his Priest extolling the ‘Divine Right of Kings’; behind every politician at Copenhagen is a Witch Doctor calling for action – for government action to ban private action. As Mike sums up:
Neither the Attilas in their limousines nor the Witch Doctors eating caviar wedges are going to abandon that job voluntarily.
UPDATE: When Ian Wishart & Gareth Morgan clashed on TVNZ’s Close Up the other night, I and other bloggers said that while it was great finally seeing that sort of debate on prime time local television, it was a pity that TVNZ hadn’t instead engaged two actual scientists for the debate.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer has gone to that trouble, putting two of the heaviest hitters in climate science head-to-head on his CNN programme to discuss ClimateGate, climate modelling and climate science: UAH’s John Christy (who collects the reference-standard satellite data) and Real Climate’s Gavin Schmidt (who’s been running interference full-out on his blog since the ClimateGate storm broke).
Take-home message from Christy” when they say ‘hide the decline’ that’s exactly what they were trying to do – it even is in the computer code.” And then there was this exchange:
CHRISTY: “Our ignorance of the climate system is enormous, and our policy-makers need to know that.”
SCHMIDT: “Our ignorance of climate systems is very large . . . ”
And by the way, I’ve linked before to debates featuring both Schmidt and Christy in which the character of both men is starkly revealed.
- Here’s the link to watch Christy debating warmist William Schlesinger, and here’s my summary.
- Here’s a link to hear Gavin et al debating Richard Lindzen, Philip Stott, and the late Michael Chrichton, here’s a transcript, and here’s my summary. PS: At the conclusion of the debate, which his team was declared to have lost convincingly, Gavin sniffily declared, "So are such debates worthwhile? On balance, I'd probably answer no." Guess why.
And just so you know, Gavin’s site Real Climate carries water for every single one of the people in those hacked CRU emails, as one of them demonstrates:
From: “Michael E. Mann”
To: Tim Osborn, Keith Briffa
Date: Thu, 09 Feb 2006 16:51:53 -0500
Cc: Gavin Schmidt
guys, I see that Science has already gone online w/ the new issue, so we put up the RC post. By now, you’ve probably read that nasty McIntyre thing. Apparently, he violated the embargo on his website (I don’t go there personally, but so I’m informed).
Anyway, I wanted you guys to know that you’re free to use RC in any way you think would be helpful. Gavin and I are going to be careful about what comments we screen through, and we’ll be very careful to answer any questions that come up to any extent we can. On the other hand, you might want to visit the thread and post replies yourself. We can hold
comments up in the queue and contact you about whether or not you think they should be screened through or not, and if so, any comments you’d like us to include.
You’re also welcome to do a followup guest post, etc. think of RC as a resource that is at your disposal to combat any disinformation put forward by the McIntyres of the world. Just let us know. We’ll use our best discretion to make sure the skeptics dont’get to use the RC comments as a megaphone…
You can only imagine the emails that are going around now that the wagons are circling.