Friday, February 5th, 2010
Unquestionably the world’s final authority on the subject, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s findings and recommendations have formed the bedrock of literally every climate-related initiative worldwide for more than a decade. Likewise, virtually all such future endeavors — be they Kyoto II, domestic cap-and-tax, or EPA carbon regulation, would inexorably be built upon the credibility of the same U.N. panel’s “expert” counsel. But a glut of ongoing recent discoveries of systemic fraud has rocked that foundation, and the entire man-made global warming house of cards is now teetering on the verge of complete collapse.
Simply stated, we’ve been swindled. We’ve been set up as marks by a gang of opportunistic hucksters who have exploited the naïvely altruistic intentions of the environmental movement in an effort to control international energy consumption while redistributing global wealth and (in many cases) greedily lining their own pockets in the process.
Perhaps now, more people will finally understand what many have known for years: Man-made climate change was never really a problem — but rather, a solution.
For just as the science of the IPCC has been exposed as fraudulent, so have its apparent motives. The true ones became strikingly evident when the negotiating text for the “last chance to save the planet” International Climate Accord [PDF], put forth in Copenhagen in December, was found to contain as many paragraphs outlining the payment of “climate debt” reparations by Western nations under the watchful eye of a U.N.-controlled global government as it did emission reduction schemes.
Then again, neither stratagem should come as any real surprise to those who’ve paid attention. Here’s a recap for those who have, and a long-overdue wake-up call for those who haven’t. [See also The CFC Ban: Global Warming's Pilot Episode]
The Perfect Problem to the Imperfect Solution
The U.N. signaled its intent to politicize science as far back as 1972 at its Conference on the Human Environment (UNCHE) in Stockholm, Sweden. There, an unlikely mélange of legitimate environmental activists, dyed-in-the-wool Marxists, and assorted anti-establishment ’60s leftovers were delighted to hear not only the usual complaints about “industrialized” environmental problems, but also a long list of international inequities. Among the many human responsibilities condemned were overpopulation, misuse of resources and technology, unbalanced development, and the worldwide dilemma of urbanization. And from that marriage of global, environmental, and social justice concerns was born the IPCC’s parent organization — the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) — and the fortune-cookie like prose of its socialist-environmentalist manifesto, the Stockholm Declaration.
It was seven years later that UNEP was handed the ideal villain to fuel its counterfeit crusade. That was the year (1979) in which NASA’s James Hansen’s team of climate modelers convinced a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel to report [PDF] that doubling atmospheric CO2 — which had risen from 280 ppmv in the pre-industrial 1800s to over 335 ppmv — would cause nearly 3°C of global warming. And although the figure was wildly speculative, many funding-minded scientists — including some previously predicting that aerosols and orbital shifts would lead to catastrophic global cooling — suddenly embraced greenhouse gas theory and the inevitability of global warming.
It was at that moment that it became clear that the long-held scientific position that the Earth’s ecosystem has always and will always maintain CO2 equilibrium could be easily swayed toward a more exploitable belief system. And the UNEP now had the perfect problem to its solution: anthropogenic global warming (AGW).
After all, both its abatement and adaptation require huge expansion of government controls and taxation. Furthermore, it makes industry and capitalism look bad while affording endless visuals of animals and third-world humans suffering at the hands of wealthy Westerners. And most importantly, by fomenting accusations that “rich” countries have effectively violated the human rights of hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest people by selfishly causing climate-based global suffering, it helps promote the promise of international wealth redistribution to help less fortunate nations adapt to its consequences.
Best of all, being driven by junk-science that easily metamorphoses as required, it appeared to be endlessly self-sustaining.
But it needed to be packaged for widespread consumption. And packaged it they surely have. Here’s an early classic.
The year was 1988, and Colorado Senator Tim Wirth had arranged for Hansen to testify on the subject before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to help sell the dire need to enact national environmental legislation. As Wirth has since admitted, he intentionally scheduled Hansen’s appearance on what was forecasted to be the hottest day of the hearings. And in a brilliantly underhanded marketing ploy, he and his cohorts actually snuck into the hearing room the night before and opened the windows, rendering the air conditioning all but useless.
Imagine the devious beauty of the scene that unfolded in front of the cameras the next day — a NASA scientist preaching fire and brimstone, warning of “unprecedented global warming” and a potential “runaway greenhouse effect,” all the while wiping the dripping sweat off his brow. No wonder the resultant NY Times headline screamed, “Global Warming Has Begun, Expert Tells Senate.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how climate hysteria and not one, but two of its shining stars were born. For coincidentally, that was the same year the IPCC was established by the U.N. Its mandate: to assess “the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change.”
How perfect: an organization formed not to prove or disprove AGW, but merely to assess its risks and recommend an appropriate response.
Now it was time to really get to work.
Testing the “Global Warming as Social Injustice” WatersIn 1990, the IPCC issued its First Assessment Report, warning of a natural greenhouse effect being enhanced by human emission activities. Apparently not quite ready to show its cards, the IPCC even admitted that the still-little-understood effects of such factors as carbon sinks, ocean currents, and clouds left many uncertainties as to timing and magnitude.
Meanwhile, the politics pushed forward in earnest. At the 1992 U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (aka Earth Summit) in Rio de Janeiro, the event’s Secretary-General, Maurice Strong, told the opening session that industrialized countries had “developed and benefited from the unsustainable patterns of production and consumption which have produced our present dilemma.” The veteran U.N. puppeteer blamed the “lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class,” which included “high meat consumption and large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and workplace air-conditioning, and suburban housing” for the world’s environment ills. The solution: “[A] vast strengthening of the multilateral system, including the United Nations.”
From that meeting sprouted the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) treaty. Absent specific numbers, the highly-touted Kyoto precursor nonetheless promised to stabilize greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere to prevent “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” But much less fanfare accompanied the essentially concurrent adoption of Agenda 21: a global contract that bound governments around the world to a U.N. plan to change the way people “live, eat, learn and communicate,” all in the name of “saving the earth” from mankind’s mistakes, particularly global warming.
Again we saw a U.N.-crafted convergence of climate “science” and social “justice.” While the signing of the UNFCCC would be a gradual process, 178 governments voted to adopt the Agenda 21 on the spot. This was quite a victory, especially in light of the IPCC’s complete control over just exactly how such planetary salvation was best realized.
And in 1995, its Second Assessment Report (SAR) upped that ante a bit, stating that “the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.” Oddly, SAR slightly toned down previous projections for future warming and sea level rise based on the newly-considered cooling effects of anthropogenic atmospheric aerosols — a move the U.N. brass likely regretted two years later.
In 1997, a protocol was added to UNFCCC that attempted to enact national commitments to emission reductions based on SAR recommendations. Fully 160 countries agreed to the legally binding Kyoto Protocol, under which industrialized countries would reduce their collective emissions by 5.2%. However, although a signatory, the United States made ratification all but impossible when its Senate unanimously passed a resolution that year prohibiting U.S involvement in “any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing nations as well as industrialized nations.”
It appeared time to ratchet up the rhetoric — truth be damned.
The Dawn of Outright Climate FraudBack in 1989, future Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) Working Group 2 (WG2) lead author Stephen Schneider disclosed several tricks of the trade to Discover magazine:
To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest.
And according to MIT’s Richard Lindzen’s 2001 Senate subcommittee testimony, that’s precisely what he witnessed as a Third Assessment Report (TAR) lead author. Among the atmospheric physicist’s revelations was the fact that contributing TAR scientists — already facing the threat of disappearing grant funds and derision as industry stooges — were also met with ad hominem attacks from IPCC “coordinators” if they refused to tone down criticism of faulty climate models or otherwise questioned AGW dogma. I suppose that’s one way to achieve the “consensus” the IPCC loudly boasts of.
As previously discussed here and here, it was in the same 2001 TAR that the IPCC suddenly and inexplicably scrapped its long-held position that global temperatures had fluctuated drastically over the previous millennium and replaced it with a chart depicting relatively flat temperatures prior to a sharp rise beginning in 1900. This, of course, removed the pesky higher-than-present-day temperatures of the Medieval Warm Period of 900-1300 AD, the existence of which obstructed the unprecedented-warming sales pitch.
Truth be told, this little bit of hocus-pocus alone should have marked the end of the panel’s scientific credibility, particularly after Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick uncovered the corruption behind it. But thanks to a hugely successful campaign to demonize all critics as big-oil shills, the “Hockey Stick Graph” (aka MBH98) not only survived, but — after receiving a prominent role in Al Gore’s 2006 grossly exaggerated “scary scenarios” sci-fi movie — actually went on to become a global warming icon. Even after McIntyre finally got his hands on one scientist’s data last September and proved that Keith Briffa had cherry-picked data to create his MBH98-supporting series, the MSM paid McIntyre and others reporting the hoax little heed.
Consequently, TAR’s false declaration of the 20th as the hottest century of the millennium was widely accepted as fact, right along with its proclamation that the 1990’s were the hottest decade and 1998 the hottest year since measurements began in 1861…as was the replacement of “discernible human influence” described six years earlier with the claim of “new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.”
So by the time AR4 rolled out in 2007, in which they significantly raised not only the threat level, but also the degree of anthropogenic certitude (to 90%), the IPCC’s word was all but gospel to the MSM, left-leaning policymakers, and an increasingly large portion of the population. Indeed, everywhere you turned, you’d hear that “the IPCC said this” or “the IPCC said that.” The need to address “climate change” had quickly become a foregone and inarguable conclusion in most public discourse.
At that moment, Kyoto II seemed as inevitable as the next insufferable NBC Green is Universal week, and with it, the U.N.’s place as steward of the planet, which would surely be ratified at the pending 2009 Climate Conference in Copenhagen.
…Until, that is, the mind-boggling magnitude of AR4’s deception became glaringly apparent.
Caught with their Green Thumbs on the Scale
Most readers are likely aware that in November of last year, a folder containing documents, source code, data, and e-mails was somehow misappropriated from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU). The so-called “Climategate” emails disclosed an arrogant mockery of the peer review process as well a widespread complicity in and acceptance among climate researchers to hiding and manipulating data unfriendly to the global warming agenda. The modeling source code — as I reported here — contained routines which employed a number of “fudge factors” to modify the results of data series — again, to bias results to the desired outcome. And this, coupled with the disclosure of the Jones “hide the decline” e-mail, provided more evidence that MBH98 — and ergo unprecedented 20th-century warming — is a fraud.
The following month, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change had probably tampered with Russian climate data. Apparently, Hadley ignored data submitted by 75% of Russian stations, effectively omitting over 40% of Russian territory from global temperature calculations — not coincidentally, areas that didn’t “show any substantial warming in the late 20th-century and the early 21st-century.”
But Climategate was only the tip of the iceberg. An AR4 warning that unchecked climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 was found to be lifted from an erroneous World Wildlife Federation (WWF) report and misrepresented as peer-reviewed science. IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri attempted to parry this “mistake” by accusing the accusers at the Indian environment ministry of “arrogance” and practicing “voodoo science” in issuing a report [PDF] disputing the IPCC. But one in his own ranks, Dr Murari Lal, the coordinating lead author of the chapter making the claim, had the astoundingly bad manners to admit that he knew all along that it “did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.” Apparently, so had Pachauri, who continued to lie about it for months so as not to sully the exalted AR4 immediately prior to Copenhagen.
And “Glaciergate” opened the floodgates to other serious misrepresentations in AR4, including a boatload of additional non-peer-reviewed projections pulled directly from WWF reports. These included discussions on the effects of melting glaciers on mudflows and avalanches, the significant damages climate change will have on selected marine fish and shellfish, and even assessing global-average per-capita “ecological footprints.” It should be noted here that IPCC rules specifically disqualify all non-peer-reviewed primary sources.
Nonetheless, Chapter 13 of the WG2 report stated that forty percent of Amazonian forests are threatened by climate change. And it also cited a WWF piece as its source — this one by two so-called “experts,” who incidentally are actually environmental activists. What’s more, the WWF study dealt with anthropogenic forest fires, not global warming, and barely made mention of Amazonian forests at all. Additionally, the WWF’s figures were themselves based on a Nature paper [PDF] studying neither global warming nor forest fires, but rather the effects of logging on rain forests. So the IPCC predicted climate change-caused 40% forest destruction based on a report two steps upstream which concluded that “[l]ogging companies in Amazonia kill or damage 10-40% of the living biomass of forests through the harvest process.”
Adding to the glacial egg on the AR4 authors’ faces was the statement that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps, and Africa were being caused by global warming. It turns out that one of the two source papers cited was actually a mountain-climbers’ magazine. Actually, this is a relatively authoritative source compared to the other: a dissertation from a Swiss college student based on his interviews with mountain guides in the Alps.
The 2007 green bible also contained a gross exaggeration in its citation of Muir-Wood et al., 2006’s study on global warming and natural disasters. The original stated that “a small statistically significant trend was found for an increase in annual catastrophe loss since 1970 of 2% per year.” But the AR4 synthesis report stated that more “heavy precipitation” is “very likely” and that an “increase in tropical cyclone intensity” is “likely” as temperatures rise.
Perhaps the most dumbfounding AR4 citation (so far) was recently discovered by Climatequotes.com. It appears that a WG2 warning that “[t]he multiple stresses of climate change and increasing human activity on the Antarctic Peninsula represent a clear vulnerability and have necessitated the implementation of stringent clothing decontamination guidelines for tourist landings on the Antarctic Peninsula” originated from and was attributed to a guide for Antarctica tour operators on decontaminating boots and clothing. Really.
And here’s one you may not have heard yet. A paper published last December by Lockart, Kavetski, and Franks rebuts the AR4 WG1 assertion that CO2-driven higher temperatures drive higher evaporation and thereby cause droughts. The study claims they got it backwards, as higher air temperatures are in fact driven by the lack of evaporation (as occurs during drought). I smell another “-gate” in the works.
And yet, perhaps the greatest undermining of IPCC integrity comes from a recent study, which I’ve summarized here, challenging the global temperature data reported by its two most important American allies: NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). As these represent the readings used by most climate analysis agencies, including the IPCC, the discovery by meteorologist Joe D’Aleo and computer expert E.M. Smith that they’ve been intentionally biased to the warm side since 1990 puts literally every temperature-related climate report released since then into question.
…Along with, of course, any policy decisions based on their content.
It’s Time for some Real Climate Justice
Here in the states, left-leaning policymakers and their cohorts in the MSM have thus far all but ignored both the reality and implications of the fraud unveiled by Climategate, Glaciergate, Amazongate, and the myriad other AGW-hyping scandals that seem to surface almost daily. Remarkably, most continue to discuss “climate pollution” and “carbon footprints” and the “tragedy” of Copenhagen’s failure, even as the global warming fever of their own contagion plunges precipitously. The president appears equally deluded, as passing a “comprehensive energy and climate bill” (as though the climate might somehow be managed by parliamentary edict) was one of the many goals he set forth in his State of the Union address last week.
But their denial will be short-lived as even the last vestiges of the green lie they so desperately cling to evaporate under the heat of the spotlight suddenly shining upon them.
For outside of the U.S., many news organizations and politicians already get it. Some are calling for Pachauri’s resignation, and others for a full investigation into his possible financial conflicts of interest. There have also been demands for a complete reassessment of all IPCC reports, including a suggestion from the Financial Times that, given the IPCC’s “central role in climate science,” an independent auditor must be commissioned to “look at all the claims in the 2007 report and remove any that were not soundly based.”
At least one American, AGW believer Walter Russell Mead of American Interest Online, agrees: “A highly publicized effort that includes serious skeptics and has bipartisan backing is the only way to get American public opinion on board the climate change train.” And China’s lead climate change negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, suggested that “contrarian views” be included in 2014’s AR5.
But when the Australian suddenly recommended “applying a healthy degree of scepticism to scientific claims that drive policy,” paleoclimatologist Bob Carter told me he just couldn’t help laughingly writing the editors to welcome them to the ranks of the majority of scientists who “practice exactly the technique that [they] belatedly recommend” — the skeptics.
Indeed, this abrupt challenge to their own “consensus” mantra that they’ve spoon-fed the public for years rings decidedly hollow. Those “serious skeptics” and the holders of those “contrarian views” are the same scientists the IPCC deliberately excluded from its proceedings with impunity. They’re the same people whom the media have ignored or ridiculed for years, along with their conventions — like Heartland’s ICCC 1, 2, and 3 — and innumerable contrarian reports. In fact, a superb rebuttal to AR4, Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) — produced by Dr. S. Fred Singer, Dr. Craig Idso, and thirty fellow scientists — has received no MSM attention whatsoever, despite its availability here since last June.
Besides, the time for credibility makeovers has long passed. As U.K. Professor Phillip Stott recently observed:
[A]s ever, capitalism has read the runes, with carbon-trading posts quietly being shed, ‘Green’ jobs sidelined, and even big insurance companies starting to hedge their own bets against the future of the Global Warming Grand Narrative. These rats are leaving the sinking ship far faster than any politician, many of whom are going to be abandoned, left, still clinging to the masts, as the Good Ship ‘Global Warming’ founders on titanic icebergs in the raging oceans of doubt and delusion.
Stott compared the IPCC’s fall to that of the Berlin Wall. And he’s spot-on — for just as the latter symbolized the doom of European communism, so does the former signal the death knell for global socialist-environmentalism.
Let’s get real — given the enormousness of the booty these grifters attempted to extort from the entire developed world, not to mention the extraordinary depth of their hubris, it isn’t rehabilitation that’s required here, but swift justice. In 2006, IPCC cheerleader Grist Magazine’s staff writer David Roberts received a pass when he called for the Nuremberg-style war-crimes trials for the “bastards” who were members of the global warming “denial industry.” Surely, it’s now clear that the members of the global warming “fraud industry” are the true “bastards” who should be hauled before an international tribunal for crimes against humanity…any tribunal, that is, other than the U.N.’s own International Criminal Court in The Hague.
We’ll deal with their accessories-after-the-fact in the Congress, the White House — and consequently, the EPA — in due time.
And the first such judgment is already scheduled — for November.