How Green Gullibility, Hyperpartisanship Are Wrecking The Climate Movement
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  • BillH

    Get the taxpayer money out of it, here and abroad, and it will dry up by its lonesome.

  • Kenny

    You got it just right, Mr. Mead.

    The kooks are going down in flames.

  • Totally agree. After Marxism, AGW became the new alienation.

  • Jim.

    “The root cause of all this remains, in VM’s opinion, a truly idiotic set of policy proposals that, no matter the state of the underlying science, simply cannot and will not be implemented.”

    Too true. If the Greens could come up with policy proposals that did not involve the impoverishment and de-industrialization of the West (and stunting the growth of the East) they’d have a lot more luck.

  • vanderleun

    “Green Gullibility, Hyperpartisanship Are Wrecking The Climate Movement”

    They are? Excellent. Let us to all we can to hasten this effect. The “Climate” Movement deserves wrecking as much as possible and the careers of all associated with it need to come to ruin along with it.

  • Brett

    The Heartland affair has reassured my earlier conviction that the case for climate alarmism is far weaker than the alarmists have been telling us.

    Somehow I doubt he was ever open on the issue, considering that a single scientist’s scandal shakes his faith in a well-supported scientific theory.

    Because many in the climate movement believe that this treaty is literally a matter of life and death for the human race, the moral case both for stretching the evidence and attacking critics of that agenda as aggressively as possible looks strong to weak minds.

    No, just a matter of timing. They believe that change now is necessary if we want to avoid more than 2-3 Celsius Warming, which puts us into dangerous place of shifting climates and rising sea levels.

    Such cooperation is unlikely, but we’ve had co-operation on pollution before. Look at the international ban on CFCs.

  • J Sandy

    Checking out the context of Murphy’s blog, as in Murphy’s background (Laffer? Rothbard? hardly mainstream) and the backgrounds of the other men on Master Resource, I can not feel that Murphy represents the mainstream. He seems more like a typical Heartland fellow traveller. Whenever I read faulty economic analysis like his, I deeply regret not continuing with my PhD.

  • Jim.

    @Brett-

    This is hardly a “single scientist’s scandal”. The whole movement, all the way back to the effectively fraudulent Hockey Stick graph, is shot through with stories just like this one.

    Even assuming the evidence is true — and assuming the stochastic models are accurate, which is far from certain — you still have to address the fact that “change now” seems to involve destroying industrialized society to the extent that there is a real question (which is never addressed) whether we’d be better off just facing the consequences of climate change (not all of which are bad).

    This is not simply like banning CFCs, whose alternatives perform adequately. Effective CO2 reductions would mean imposing crippling limitations on the basic energy-producing processes of human civilization, replacing them with pathetically weak alternatives.

    “Effective reductions”, by Greens’ own measure, are so severe they are easily lampooned as nature-worshiping nonsense. (Cooperation on these will not happen.) Token, ineffective reductions (say, buying a Prius, or worse, destroying wealth as in “Cash for Clunkers”) are easily lampooned as egregious vanity.

    WRM is a professor of strategy, and he is saying the Greens lack a path to victory here. He has outlined why they lack a path to victory, and he is pointing out the flaws of the path they are taking.

    You are simply applying the old strategy — calling skeptics names, and wishing for “cooperation” on efforts that simply will not happen.

    WRM’s point is this: The climate movement must recognize what its situation actually is, what its opportunities are, and what its limitations are, and mold its actions accordingly.

    You should engage with those facts, instead of conducting a futile attack against WRM’s open-mindedness. I guarantee, if you came up with something that actually had a prayer of working, WRM would be one of the first people to hop onboard.

  • A superb indictment of a political movement which is self destructing. I think the key to understanding the real nature of Green policy proposals is that they are, at bottom. an anti capitalist movement. That orientation skews their policies. Keystone is a small but good example. The priority is to stop anything that could alleviate America’s energy problems even if it results in shipping the oil on far more environmentally dangerous tankers to China. Put another way they are privileging their neo-Marxist agenda over any real concern for the environment – and it shows like the emperor’s lack of clothes. I have no doubt that there are real threats to the environment, but I no longer believe these ‘science based’ end-timers trying to sell me the same Brooklyn Bridge the Red’s were flogging in my youth.

  • Bonfire of the Idiocies

    Everything about this “movement” is a Potemkin village. Just recently, I read where the “wide support” global warming has amongst scientists is a fraud – a large number of questionaires were sent out to scientists and over 70% didn’t bother to respond, a fact that was conveniently left out when the headline “90% of scientist surveyed believe AGW is fact!” started circulating. Astroturf is the new green.

  • Lorenz Guide nails it … as did the much-maligned Rush Limbaugh, many years ago, when he pointed out the “overlap” of people and viewpoints across divergent “single-issue” activist groups on the Left.

    Nothing justifies idiocy like thinking that, even if one is wrong on the science, invoking the science to push the policy is still justified because the policy is still the “right” thing to do.

    This is more about the Cult of Human Omniscience, through its associated Cult of Climate Change, putting the “uppity” people in advanced nations “in their place”, than it is about saving the planet.

  • D. Cohen

    And, of course, the climate alarmists fail to provide any convincing evidence that a warmer climate will not, on balance, be better for mankind. Certainly everyone agrees that a colder one — for example, a return to the ice ages — would be a catastrophe. So, we’re at just the right temperature now? Seems unlikely.

  • RebeccaH

    By the end of this century, history books will be describing AGW as a kind of crazy doomsday millenialism.

  • Koblog

    One has to ask the basic question: is carbon dioxide bad? I believe Al Gore’s premise, like the Y2K premise, is false.

    We exhale C02, plants inhale it. It’s a beautiful thing.

    The AGW premise is a power grab, nothing more. How outlandish is it for the Supreme Court to declare that the gas we exhale is toxic and can be regulated, conveniently, by the government?

    Talk about totalitarianism….

  • Diggs

    Remember when your kids started whining about something they wanted, and when you told them that they had to behave better to get it, they threw a full-on tantrum instead?
    That’s today’s AGW movement. Same level of maturity, same full-on tantrum when they didn’t get Kyoto or the other follow on treaties. Now they are being sent to their room, and the sulking will go on for years.

  • T

    “•Because many in the climate movement believe that this treaty is literally a matter of life and death for the human race, . . . .”

    It never seases to amaze me that those who advocate climate control to save the human race are the same philospohical groups who cautions humans not to reproduce and to reduce our presence on the planet. Doesn’t the problem (anthropogenic global warming leading to human extinction) solve the root cause (extinguish human presence) without any outside help? So who needs global warming advocates or activists?

  • John In MA

    @Brett – you make a key point. This scientific THEORY has a lot of support. In science, a theory remains in contest until it has been appropriately tested and then may be considered FACT. The world is still waiting for a contest of ideas and proofs.

    And your example of CFCs isn’t very strong. The cost for the developed and undeveloped world alike to transition was relatively low. So, acting on theory had mostly low risks. By comparison, the alarmists want only the developed world to act in unison and absorb the trillions in costs to shift to zero carbon at a forced rate. You point out rightly the difficulty in getting nations to act in unison, where there are few cases. But even more importantly, there is no history of nations willingly divesting so much of their wealth upon poorly tested/contested predictions. And worse, nations that have moved to act more aggressively – see Spain or Germany, for example – have proven it is not cost beneficial or even net zero cost. It is very expensive even when gaining minor results (in decarbonizing).

  • Tblakely

    First, the Green movement is just a good old fashion ‘Hair Shirt’ movement dressed up with ‘science’. The core of all enviromental causes is a nihilistic, ‘humanity is evil’ belief system. I’ve always wondered why throughout history these movements have sprung up. What is it about certain people that they are attracted to such evil.

  • P.E.

    The climate movement jumped that shark long before L’affair Gleique. Gore’s AIT was risible, and Hansen’s 1988 testimony to Congress was over the top. This is just the logical conclusion.

  • chemman

    @Bret;

    If it really is as bad as certain scientists and advocates state why do they still live as if it weren’t real at all. You can’t continue to suckle on the teat of big energy and proclaim the sky is falling without setting yourself up for ridicule. The unabomber had more moral fiber in his little finger that all the climate advocates combined.

  • Unattorney

    Global cooling is coming and we must adjust now. Coolology science has conclusively proven little ice ages were both more often and more intense than previously thought. The effects will be devastating to world agriculture.

  • Mike Mahoney

    Gullability and hyperpartisanship? How about the data and the lies about them? IOW, the truth is what wrecked the climate movement.

  • Mkelley

    The most surprising thing about the Gleick/Heartland affair was the amount of money involved. The enviro-lefties decry all the money from the fossil fuel industry going to Heartland and others, but the really big bucks have been given to organizations on the global warming bandwagon. Rich, left-wing foundations give hundreds of millions each year to push the climate change agenda, while poor, little Heartland struggles by on just over $4 million a year.

  • Charlie

    I’ve worked in hard science research longer than most of the alarmists have been alive. The surest way to crash land a science career is to make stuff up, yet the response of the so-called scientists at the core of the “Climategate” scam was to justify their fabrications.

    When the grant application is on the table your reputation and skills are the first things considered. If any of those jokers ever gets close to a funded project again it will be a sad day for the scientific community.

    Charlie

  • geek49203

    AGW “science” is akin to Keynesian economics. In both cases, there might be some element of truth to the theories — a greater or lesser extent, depending. In both cases, the politicians don’t comprehend the science / math involved. And in both cases, they become wonderful vehicles for grabbing money and power from both private and government sources, without any sense of real accountability for results.

  • gringojay

    I actually believed the science was correctly reported about manmade global warming. Then found people were critical of
    that scientific interpretation & started to look at the details.
    Seems I am not cut out to be just another “watermelon” being hard eco-green on the outside and all wet fool-red to the core.

  • willis

    @Brett
    “Somehow I doubt he was ever open on the issue, considering that a single scientist’s scandal shakes his faith in a well-supported scientific theory.”

    What shakes his faith is that “most of his peers will close ranks to defend him in a sort of Green Wall of Silence,” not the scandal of a single “scientist.”

    “No, just a matter of timing. They believe that change now is necessary if we want to avoid more than 2-3 Celsius Warming.”

    The author does not dispute that the warmests believe change is necessary or that they even may be correct. What he disputes is the likelihood of using deception to promote one’s cause succeeding. Recall that he said “the moral case both for stretching the evidence and attacking critics of that agenda as aggressively as possible looks strong to weak minds.” Evidently, this would explain why their actions look strong to you.

  • John

    Thank God the world has China and India.

    The West is rich enough to destroy its own economic capacity by believing its own global warming [horsefeathers] and regulati9ng itself into oblivion.

    But China and India aren’t, and they’re not playing ball with the carbon tax thieves.

    And that, as they say, is that. If the West chose to strangle itself and adopt all of this stupidity without China and India, in less than 3 years even the unions would be screaming bloody murder about the job losses.

  • JEM

    There is, at bottom, under all the hype, two things that most of both sides agree on:

    1) The planet has been warming, on average.

    2) Absent any other influences, increases in CO2 do result in an increase in atmospheric temperature; at current levels a doubling of CO2 would produce approximately 0.6degC of warming.

    The alarmist community has problems with this:

    1) The warming started long before any human influence, and (if one looks at real data) there’s no significant recent change in that trend.

    2) 0.6degC per 100 years is not enough to be scary.

    So the alarmists are faced with the need to ‘sex up’ their case to get their 2-6degC warming scare, including but in no way limited to:

    1) Dubious statistics like the Mann hockey stick and the Steig Antarctic-warming paper.

    2) Software models that assume substantial positive feedbacks (for which there is no empirical evidence whatsoever) from cloud and other factors that amplify and accelerate the warming from CO2

    3) Manipulation of data, including Hansen’s 1200km grid cells and various ‘adjustment’ of historical data to show colder temperatures.

    4) Dismantling of any ethical boundaries between science, activism, and politics in order to fabricate a scare and stampede the public.

    And, while we’re now sitting here marveling at how badly the CAGW boosters are doing right now, let us not forget how close they came.

    They got carbon trading in Europe, the ludicrous AB32 social-engineering law in California, RGGI in the Northeast, carbon taxation in Australia, and for most of a decade something of a similar flavor looked inevitable in the US as well. They still get huge chunks of Western taxpayer dollars to skulk off to balmy climes every couple years and ‘confer’.

    I, for one, would not shed a tear if the CAGW scare crippled the environmental movement for a generation. They tried to make a disastrous global policy a fait accompli before anyone realized how full of [garbage] it was. Now they’ve been caught. They’ve sown the wind and I hope they reap the whirlwind.

  • CallMeStupid

    But has anyone really looked into the backgrounds of the climate scientists to see if they have the training and experience needed to not screw up this sort of problem? I’ve only looked at one, and the closest he came was pure physics. I’d be much more inclined to trust a mechanical* engineer with a focus on computational/numerical modeling of thermodynamics/heat transfer, probably trained inside the last twenty-thirty years.

    If one has a well defined situation, and it is just the science/engineering talking, one would expect a variety of solutions from the brainstorming.

    Solution A, the carbon dioxide restriction, suggests that human industry is relatively powerful, and that the existing dynamic equilibrium is very fragile. Given the claimed importance of fully implementing A, it seems likely that if A is not entirely feasible, then the situation is doomed no matter how much effort is sunk into A.

    Solution B might be to hyper-industrialize without regard for the environment, and try to tech up to either space colonies or digging into mountains, and building shelters with the same sort of life support there. I don’t see anything in the B solution end states that look very attractive to me, so I can see why it might be discarded, but I would still expect to see some variation in the suggested solutions by the scientists most closely involved in studying the problem.

    I haven’t closely studied the scientists’ lists of possibilities enough to say anything about their range.

    *Mechanical Engineering is one of the more common engineering disciplines that focus on thermodynamics and heat transfer. These are of some importance in being able to model temperature variation. Someone competent who has been active modeling such systems in recent years is more likely to be familiar with the pitfalls that one runs into trying to get a solution from the computer without the computer wandering into crazy land.

  • TANSTAAFL

    I always like to point out to the watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside) that there has been NO global warming over the last 10 years.

  • JEM

    CallMeStupid – there are some that are well-qualified, but in general what passes for quality control of data, software, and statistical methods in the climate-science field would be considered a sick joke in any field where lives and/or money depend on accuracy.

  • Marty

    As a corollary issue, consider that many of the advocates lack the critical-thinking skills to understand the weakness of their argument that we should impoverish ourselves and our children on the basis of a whole string of poorly-understood and not-at-all proven hypotheses about the degree to which CO2 emissions are a great threat, and what to do about it.

    That’s only speaking about those who are sincere, not the Al Gores and CO2 traders and GE’s of the world, not to mention the scientists who found the gravy train, and various and sundry characters who see huge financial advantage in playing on the guillibility of others. While corrupt, the latter at least are clear-headed about what they are after… your money.

  • Robert Hanson

    As Instapundit says, I’ll start believing in AGW when the people who support the theory start to act like they believe in it. A couple of days ago, Joe Biden’s entire motorcade of SUVs was left running for over an hour waiting for him to finish an event. If he really believed the planet was in peril, wouldn’t he be driven around in hybrids, and turn then off when they aren’t being driven?

    If alGore really believed the planet was in peril, wouldn’t he at least fly commercial instead of private jets. He had some trees planted to make up for it? Please…

    Every time there is a new UN Climate Change Meeting, many thousands of people fly private jets to far flung vacation spots to plan how to cut carbon production. Have they never heard of virtual meetings?

    The planet is in peril or it isn’t. If it is, let those who most believe in that change their lifestyles first, not last…..

  • Arch

    The basic theory that carbon dioxide causes atmospheric warming has been invalidated. We have increased CO2 annually by about 1.8 parts per million (ppm) and since 1997, there has been no warming.

    Even if we accepted the theory, these is nothing man can do to reduce atmospheric levels. According to NASA, 168 billion metric tons (BMT) of CO2 are released annually. 100 BMT come out of solution in deep ocean waters. 30 BMT are the result of decaying biomass; another 30, from animal respiration. Forest fires contribute 1 BMT and industries such as smelting, distilling, fermentation and baking add 1 BMT. Fossil fuels add 6 BMT. If we ceased all use of fossil fuels, CO2 levels would continue to rise at a rate of 1.734 ppm.

    The father of climate science was the late Professor Reid Bryson at University of Wisconsin. In 1997, he gave a very interview to the Wisconsin Energy Cooperative Newsletter. Read his bio. He postulated the existence of the jet stream as General Curtis LeMay’s Army Air Corps weatherman. By all means read the Q&A.

    http://www.wecnmagazine.com/2007issues/may/may07.html

    Stephen B. Hawking also weighed in on anthropogenic global warming referring to humans on a planetary scale as “pond scum.”

    If you want to improve your credibility, do not follow Al Gore’s strategy. In an interview with Grist Magazine, he says Americans are stupid so the greens must exaggerate the danger of warming.

    “Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.”
    http://grist.org/politics/roberts2/

  • Marc Malone

    Re: the comment that if the movement were to succeed, the unions would be screaming about the lack of jobs.

    I do not think they expect to succeed. The movement allows for graft and political power. That is its only purpose.

    Sure, some jobs get lost, like coal mining and coal plants, but while the union members may mind, the union leaders do not. Just blame the Republicans and get more political clout. Power/money is all.

    Sure, some of it will be enacted. Just look at the scheduled coal plant closings. Look at how hard it is to get mining approved and refineries built. The radicals will move to exploit the opportunities provide, but they will have limited success. This is the price to pay for the real purpose.

    The real purpose is to be able to siphon money, and more importantly, create enough useful idiots to increase political power. It’s another voting bloc in their column.

    If it falls through, they will move to a new scam. Even after it falls through, though, most of the useful idiots will cling to the idea, anyway, because they are idiots.

  • Bill G

    Freeman Dyson has said that although he has no knowledge of climate science he does know mathematical modelling. And he goes on to state that the models used to predict AGW disasters are badly flawed.
    If the basic math is wrong, it’s all GIGO.
    And it is. From Global Warming to Global Climate Change to whatever is happening next, there is no valid prediction from the AGW crew.

  • Roderic Fabian

    What it is possible to do by way of a green agenda isn’t going to do any good in terms of climate warming mitigation. What would actually do some good, at least according to the theory, isn’t economically or politically feasible. Not even if global warming theory turns out to be correct are we going to be doing things like cutting carbon emissions by 80% world wide.

    In the meantime, it makes little sense to base policies on models that haven’t been shown to be accurate in terms of predicting future global temperatures.

    But it stopped being about the science some time ago. Climate science became contaminated by politics such that desired policies were linked to the science. From that point on doing good science in the field became near impossible, and it became a political fight. The principle scientists themselves have become political advocates, wedded to a predetermined agenda based on predetermined “scientific” outcomes, and they are funded for maintaining a certain line of advocacy.

  • asdf

    If more climate advocates and scientists were like Freeman Dyson, then you’d see more serious thinking in the green movement, more acceptance of the underlying science among the rest of us, and more actual policy progress (genuine, not “new excuses for the same old central planning arguments”).

  • R7 Rocket

    Brett said:

    Somehow I doubt he was ever open on the issue, considering that a single scientist’s scandal shakes his faith in a well-supported scientific theory.

    Unfalsifiable hypothesises are not “scientific”.

  • Orson

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/climate-grief_scr.jpg?w=510&h=365

    I think Josh’ insightful cartoon ought to be used as a template for analysis of the movement.

    In addition to the green eco-hysterics’ defiance, we have Gleick and the media’s rampant denial.

    And official denialism like the World Meteorological Organization of the UN, whose latest press release is headlined:

    “Climate change accelerated in 2001-2010, according to preliminary assessment”

    http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/press_releases/pr_943_en.html

  • Gypsy Boots

    Greens are going the way of Trotskyites and Maoists: obsessed with ideological purity at the expense of real-world achievable goals.

  • Gypsy Boots

    And by the way, a shout out to the U.S. District Court for upholding the rule of law in the face of the EPA’s green hysteria in the Arch Coal case. together with last week’s defeat for EPA in the Supreme Court, a turning point?

  • Rich K

    Sadly, all the politicians we elect or have elected for the last umpteen years are so hell bound to not be called Fools and Liars that they insist in upholding this charade. And until we Unelect them the problems of bad legislation on this matter will persist in perpetuity.

  • SGT Ted

    It always been about advancing collectivism. How else can one advocate taking lots of money from other people as a “solution” to global warming?

  • Russell

    What a trenchant summary of the decline into desuetude and crank science of CEI, Cato, and Heritage:

    ” The absence of any central authority or quality control in the climate movement (and the tendency of unbalanced foundation execs and direct mail contributors to provide greater support to those ready to take more aggressive action and espouse more alarming ideas) gives more radical and less responsible voices undue prominence and entangles the whole movement in dubious claims.
    The increasing obstacles encountered by such a poorly conceptualized and poorly advocated agenda cause the embittered and alarmed advocates to circle the wagons and become both more extreme in their rhetoric and less guarded in their claims when precisely the opposite approach would work better.
    What we have here is a death spiral: the worse things get for the movement, the more scrupulously and cautiously it needs to behave, but the more incautiously and emotionally it becomes — leading to more failure and worse advocacy.”

    First , let’s hang the fact checkers….

  • MAMA Gaia

    Brett says:
    March 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Somehow I doubt he was ever open on the issue, considering that a single scientist’s scandal shakes his faith in a well-supported scientific theory….
    ________________________________
    It is not even a theory. It is just a statement that advocates say is backed by a “Concensus” (Scientists afraid of losing grant money.)

    THAT is nothing more than propaganda. It is not science. Otherwise we would still think the sun moved around a flat earth.

    In science you have a falsifiable statement that is then tested using real life experiments or observation. Instead we get models with “Projections” not “Predictions” so they can never be falsified.

    When the weather turned cooler after 1998, the battle cry was changed from “Global Warming” to “Climate Change” It was first called Global Cooling & the coming Ice Age in the 1970’s when I was young. Those changes alone tell you the whole thing is political propaganda not science.

    I am a scientist and deeply ashamed of all the lying going on. The good name of science is being dragged through the mud. Yet nothing is said because individual scientists are afraid they will lose grant money, tenure or their jobs if they do. Reminds me of Germany in the 1940’s.

    Since most humans seem to be lemmings or cowards, I sometimes think humans richly deserve the Dark Age of de-development, De-industrialization, serfdom and poverty about to descend upon them.

    Global Governance 2025 is at a “Critical Juncture” If we do not wake up to the scam NOW we will be wearing slave collars (injectable RFIDs) by that date.

  • Fred 2

    Who wouldn’t be suspicious of an advocacy group whose core beliefs can be summarized as “We are doomed, doomed I say. So give me all your money and control over your life.”

  • richard40

    Good article. And it highlights a real concern of mine. Somewhere in the midst of all the leftist advocacy and psuedoscience, there might be some real science trying to get out. But until the real scientists can take charge, and purge out the idiot leftist alarmists, there is no way to find that real science.

  • Kris

    [email protected]: Yes, I remember that argument from Logic and Rhetoric: the “I know you are but what am I”. Thank you so much for advancing this discussion.

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