Thursday, 10 December 2009

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?

CLIMATEGATE SHOWS THE LEADING warmists with their pants down – and I don’t just mean the free sex that delegates to Copenhagen are enjoying with their caviar wedges.

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,

_quote 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.

Outlook 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.

Andrew Bolt has the whole sorry saga.


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.

The Pay-off

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,

_quote Just as the Witch Doctor is impotent without Attila, so Attila is impotent without the Witch Doctor; neither can make his power last without the other.

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:

_quoteThe job of the Witch Doctor [has always been] to provide Attila with a moral justification or at least a rationalization for his continued rule by force.”

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.

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
Subject: update
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.


  1. You still have yet to convince anyone of the gains to be made by manufacturing a global warming myth.

    Anyone can come up with a conspiracy.

    Coming up with a convincing one is not the same.

    There just doesn't seem to be the incentives to manufacture a climate crisis.

    It requires people to suffer in order to save the environment. People must therefore be convinced of a real threat.

    There has been a serious amount of research done and the skeptic arguments have been consistently disregarded on the basis of insignificance and irrelevance.

    The AGW science is not perfect but no science is. However the Skeptic science is not yet convincing enough for anybody.

    I have read the arguments about heat Island effect and raw data. But Skeptics have yet to convincingly argue that raw data does not need to be adjusted over time to account for movement of stations etc.

    I have heard Skeptics discredit the methods used by AGW scientists to adjust but they have not provided a convincing alternative other than don't adjust. But anyone with half a brain can see that there WAS a reason for the adjustment so simply cancelling is not good enough.

    Basically AGW science, while incomplete, is far MORE complete than Skeptic science is. Skeptic science is simply a bunch of pot shots rather than a complete theory with evidence and a rational basis for belief.

  2. You can only imagine the emails...

    Think they'll have moved to phone calls on secure lines.

    Seeing these debates happen is a good thing. The "consensus" dies a little more every day. Pity there's only 9 minutes allocated. Some network should take the plunge and give it at least 30.

    Christy is the real deal; an independent thinker & scientist.

  3. Barry, have a look out the window. Is it hotter than it used to be? Are the sea levels rising and engulfing us? Does your tap provide dust when you turn it on? If the answer to all those is no, then why would you need to catastrophically change your way of life to try and make it colder? A bunch of people have said that we have to give up a large percentage of our civilised lifestyle because the sky is falling, even though it's pretty obvious it isn't. Consequently they have to do a much better job of PROVING their predictions than they have done so far.

  4. Barry, I posed to you over a week ago:

    Do you believe that (the evidence for) AGW warrants the strangulation of industry and the destruction of individual liberties, such as being proposed by environmentalists?

    And if so, why?

    Now, are you going to answer?

  5. Callum

    Barry, Bruce, Monsieur (or whatever the glove puppet of the day is lately) is not going to answer your question directly. The reason for that is a combination of of dishonesty, cowardice and stupidity.

    Unfortunately you are attempting to deal sensibly with an imbecile. That can't be done.


  6. Callum,

    The answer from me is that I will accept what the parliaments decide.

    I don't have the information infront of me about all of the potential consequences of unrestrained growth in C02. But if the IPCC and my government thinks they are severe then that is enough for me.

    I think you are overdramatising with strangulation and destroying.

    What governments are attempting to do is shift the world towards more sustainable methods of energy production and use.

    This will involve a reallocation of resource and a subsequent loss of allocative efficiency but it is debatable whether we are gonna be greatly affected at all.

    I haven't seen a government yet that has promised to sabotage its own national industries. Rather they are all pledging to increase incentives over time to redirect future growth into sustainable channels.

  7. Barry:

    It is a yes or no question. Parliaments have nothing to do with it. However, as you seem to place your faith with parliamentary acts, your answer is a yes.

    "I think you are overdramatising with strangulation and destroying."

    Maybe, but when government is morally allowed to take property and restrict the freedom of the citizenry, all laws trying to regulate the power of government become completely arbitrary. That is what worries me about governmental power - if it isn't "strangulation" and "destruction" now, there is nothing preventing that from happening.

    As to your last three paragraphs:

    Perhaps it is a noble goal to try to "shift the world towards sustainable methods of production and use". However, a line has to be drawn between use of government force, and voluntary arrangements through the free market.

    Ultimately, if AGW is entirely real, only free markets can actually produce properly 'sustainable' industry, without compromising the future of freedom and industry by putting the power of coercion in government.

    That is what I'm trying to get at: whether AGW is happening or not, it does not justify the use of government coercion to achieve the end of 'sustainability', no matter how noble that or any other end may be.

    Human rights and liberties are inalienable.

  8. Callum, LGM, I've answered that question many times here, in fact I believe it was one of the first posts I made a few years ago.

    The protection of the environment is the protection of property. The primary purpose of the government is to protect people from the initiation of force. If someone is taking an action that will inevitably lead to the destruction of other people's property, government has a mandate to intervene. Opposing such intervention is anti-libertarian.

    Opposing the science behind AGW is one thing, opposing action should it prove correct (which I think it has) is quite different.

  9. David:

    Can you please provide a link to the post in which you answered my question?

    You are completely right in regard to property - PC has a cue-card libertarianism post on common law, which is what libertarians use in disputes over property.

    However, I would be skeptical of people who claim that their property has been affected by the effects of AGW, because it would be virtually impossible to prove.

  10. Callum

    You write: "However, I would be skeptical of people who claim that their property has been affected by the effects of AGW, because it would be virtually impossible to prove."

    If it is impossible to prove that would be because it is a false claim.


  11. David S

    You write: "The protection of the environment is the protection of property."

    No. You are conflating concepts. The protection of private property is the protection of private property. It is nothing other than that. Protection of private property does not presuppose protection of the environment.

    You write: "If someone is taking an action that will inevitably lead to the destruction of other people's property, government has a mandate to intervene. Opposing such intervention is anti-libertarian."

    Firstly, it would need to PROVED that the action that a person is taking WILL inevitably result in the destruction of other people's property.

    Secondly, opposing the government mandate you assert is not necessarily anti-libertarian. I draw your attention to the writings of Kinsella and Herman-Hoppe on the matter.

    Thirdly, who appointed you the arbiter of libertarianism anyway?

    You write: "Opposing the science behind AGW is one thing, opposing action should it prove correct (which I think it has) is quite different."

    An odd thing for a self-appointed arbiter of libertarianism to write.

    Supporting the imposition of socialism, the compulsory collectivisation of people and their property, by initiation of coecive force is hardly a libertarian approach. Regardless of the various attempts to validate collectivism by employing AGW theories as excuse, libertarianism does not support collectivist action from government. Whether or not AGW theory was correct (and in reality the available evidence suggests it to be utterly false) is irrelevant to the political issue here. Libertarian ideology opposes collectivism and hence the actions taken that head in this direction.

    Final points. Logical rational people are opposing AGW theory because those who assert that theory have not provided proof. They oppose AGW theory because real evidence strongly suggests that it is false. They oppose it as an attempted validation for coercion, the initiation of force and the compulsory collectivisation of individuals. In other words, they oppose it precisely because it is being utilised as a camouflage for the anti-thesis of libertarianism.


  12. I wrote: "Protection of private property does not presuppose protection of the environment."

    That should be:-

    Protection of private property is not presupposed by protection of the environment.

  13. "I haven't seen a government yet that has promised to sabotage its own national industries. "

    ...and yet history is littered with examples of governments who have done exactly that, primarily because collections of ex-school teachers, unionists, and farmers are usually too fucking thick or corrupt to foresee or care about the consequences of their actions when they implement policy.


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