Greenpeace, Poorpeace

Or…how the usual “little” greenie exaggeration can ethically harm people under the unscrutinizing gaze of journalists and politicians…

Ben Pile on Spiked: “Greenpeace: putting trees before people

[...] There may well be an argument that what happens to trees thousands of miles away is a problem. But the problems experienced by the poor in Brazil, and throughout the world, must surely be more pressing. Instead, it is squeamishness about what our shopping habits do to forests that drives the argument for international regulatory frameworks, and it is hard to see how focusing on land, trees and cows will raise the standard of living for people whose labour and lives are cheap. Such campaigns seem to express greater solidarity with wood than with people.

Greenpeace enjoys an increasingly cosy relationship with the establishment. As politicians find it harder to make arguments for themselves, they frequently turn to NGOs to give their policies credibility. For instance, the UK Conservative leader David Cameron recently launched his party’s energy policy at a press event held on the rooftop of Greenpeace’s London HQ (watch it here).

Journalists, too, look to such organisations for moral direction and sensational copy. This means that rather than holding them to account, the claims and broader agendas of NGOs often go without scrutiny or criticism. It is taken for granted that they are ‘ethical’, but no one ever voted for Greenpeace and there is no good reason to believe that the preoccupation with environmental issues is in the interests of people, either in the UK or in Brazil

At The UK Hadley Centre, They Know Something Nobody Else Knows…

…or alternatively, somebody has just used giant amounts of computing power to provide the UK Government’s Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs ) with antiscientific numbers on alleged future climate “forecast”, “predictions” or “projections” (pick your preferred choice…).

What’s happening? Since last Sunday, there has been a curious slow-feeding of news about an upcoming “UK Climate Impact Projections” document prepared by the Met Office’s Hadley Centre for Defra, “which is trying to plan for future changes brought about by global warming“.

Even more curious is the fact that as of today neither the Hadley Centre’s website nor DEFRA’s make any mention of such document. Full results are expected by June 18, so we will have to rely on news reports in the meanwhile.

Google News shows articles from The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times (and again), Sky News, Daily Mail, Southern Daily Echo, with mentions of 41C in London, vineyards all around, a Mediterranean climate in Devon and a list of expected temperatures at county level.

Since there is no original document to read, those news reports must have been based mostly on each other, and hopefully at least one on some sort of “hidden” press release. And in fact, there is at least one section that appears in most articles pretty much unchanged:

Some may question how the Met Office can make predictions a lifetime into the future, when it struggles to produce forecasts for the next few months. However, climate change impacts are predicted to be so strong that, over decades, they are easier to predict than short-term changes.

There are positive and negative aspects to the text above. Whoever wrote it, they had to face the fact that the time when multidecadal climate projections would be left unchallenged, has ended some time ago. Therefore they had to imagine what climate skeptics would question, and come up with some sort of an answer. Trouble is, the answer is no good at all.

  1. They are admitting that the state of the climate in the long term is uncertain
  2. There is a misuse of the word “predictions” (see below)
  3. The author tries to convey the idea that future climate is easier to forecast, the stronger the “climate change impacts”. But this means that not even the people at the Hadley Centre are confident in the projections computed in anything but the worst possible scenario (every other scenario having weaker climate change impacts, is by definition more of a struggle to predict)

Perhaps more importantly, the trouble with long-term climate predictions is not just due to their intrinsic temporal timeframe, spanning decades. Even admitting that as a possibilty (and I have my strong doubts about it), still the problem of how to go from planet-wide analyses to a regional level has not been solved. And by regions I am talking “continents”.

How did anybody at the Hadley Centre manage to compute anything meaningful at the level of Yorkshire or East Anglia? Is there anything they have not told us, a major breakthrough in climate science that will be revealed to the masses by Thursday next?

Or have they just computed and published figures that have no basis in Science?

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Another antiscientific aspect is in the use of words. I am not talking about the journalists…those are forever going to mix up “prediction” and “projection”. What is wrong is when scientists, or in any case people that should know better, add to the confusion by mixing those words up.

Look at the “answer” text above (that we can assume having been written by somebody at the Hadley Centre or Defra, the only people with access to the original document): “impacts are PREDICTED“.

Sky’s weather presenter Lucy Verasamy says: “These PREDICTIONS“.

A Met Office spokesman says: “These FORECASTS“, “Our PREDICTIONS“.

Myles Allen, head of climate dynamics at Cambridge University, is quoted: “Cities in the Midlands and south, ARE GOING to start experiencing some increasingly uncomfortable summers.

There might be very few things I understand about climate, but one there is: whoever speaks of PREDICTIONS or FORECASTS concerning the climate many decades in the future, they have failed to understand an extremely important aspect of climatology.

AGW Fascism Reaches European Union Elections

(thanks to Piero Vietti for pointing this out)

AGW Fascists have gone full-throttle for the upcoming elections for the European Union Parliament. Even the mildest of non-catastrophist objection is described as a terrible political sin, akin to racism and the denial of the Holocaust.

First example, the PES (European Socialist Party) publishing a list of “Twelve Terrible Candidates

This PES document presents a selection of terrible European election candidates of other European political parties. We criticize not the candidates but their views. We do so because voters have a right to see not only the candidates they can vote for directly, but also their European allies. The selection presented a difficult choice and there are certainly other candidates with even more absurd or offensive views.

Nonetheless, outside our social democratic family there are an unknown number of candidates who deny the holocaust, defend fascism, oppose Government action on climate change and hold other views that deserve to be condemned or laughed at. Whatever your reaction, we are pleased to present some candidates with views that will contribute nothing positive to the European Parliament.

One doesn’t need too good a memory to understand how profoundly Stalinist is what the PES has attempted.

Anyway, the list is moslty risible, including Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi just because European Socialists find him personally unpleasant, and former Romanian Minister of Justice Monica Macovel as guilty of denouncing her country’s notoriously sleazy politics.

Were it not for BNP’s Nick Griffin, the “Twelve Terrible Candidates” list would be a complete farce.

And who do we find among the “defenders of fascism” and “deniers of the Holocaust“? Why, Mr. Hynek Fajmon, Member of the European Parliament since 2004 for the Czech Republic. Included because “voted against the European Parliament’s report on EU future policy on climate change (e.g. [sic] the ‘Florenz report’).” (the shock! the horror!)

Hynek Fajmon? Who he? Perhaps a rabid AGW slayer, the owner of 200 SUVs and 15 Hummers, Exxon’s response to Al Gore? Of course not. Mr Fajmon’s unspeakable action deserving “to be condemned or laughed at” includes the following genocidal, baby-eating, wife-beating, kitten-torturing words anybody with two functioning neurons should be able to agree with as a matter of course:

The Florenz report asserts that the climate undertakings adopted by the EU in 2007 are insufficient and that they must be increased. I do not agree with this. As long as the EU is the only part of the world reducing its emissions then the target of reducing global emissions will never be achieved.

Sadly, the PES is not alone. Here’s what “lead Welsh Labour candidate Derek Vaughan” told the BBC on June 2:

the Tories have pledged to sit with racists and those who deny that global warming is a man-made problem

There you are, you (we) despicable climate skeptics! And you still call yourselves humans??? Tsk tsk. Wait until the PES and Derek Vaughan get their way, and the shame will befall upon you lot!!

Are AGW-prone Editors A Hindrance To Science?

Imagine preparing to submit an article to a scientific journal, in response to something they have just published.

Imagine spending an enormous amount of time getting all relevant references together, all the reasoning properly done, all the computations calculated and reviewed thrice, to be sure about your results.

Imagine clarifying your message with the original authors, arriving at the conclusion that there really is something new in what you’ve found.

Imagine submitting your contribution following each and every rule for publication.

Imagine awaiting the response of the anonymous referees.

Imagine getting positive reviews and recommendation for publication from two referees out of two, a 100% success rate on the peer-review side.

Imagine then receiving an e-mail from the Editor of that “scientific” journal, explaining that they are not going to publish what you’ve referenced, reasoned, computed, clarified, submitted, and even gotten positive reviews about.

Imagine looking at your work, reviewed and approved by peers. Unpublished because of an Editor.

Oh…and of course…your work was not following the AGW consensus. No need to imagine that.

Either The Best BBC Climate Blog…

…or their way of “showing impartiality”?

In any case, the BBC’s “Climate Change – The Blog of Bloom” is well worth an entry in one’s RSS feeds list.

And the authors there are quite humorous and far, far less the self-conscious, bordering-on-pompous, depressive types like Roger Harrabin and Richard Black.

For a couple of suggestions, start from these:

Carbon-neutral adventurers find reason to love oil tanker

Giant trees decline in Yosemite: climate change may, or equally may not be to blame

Sacked climate minister reveals somewhat unsurprising support for state aid

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Now…can “The Blog of Bloom” really be used to demonstrate the impartiality of the BBC in the climate debate? I am afraid it cannot. See, there is no link to it, and there has never been, into the “Science and Environment” section of the BBC News website.

Greenies As Modern-Day Hitlerites

And it’s not even my idea…

From the BBC’s Climate Change – The Blog of Bloom
Hitler: the green movement’s German shepherd?
by Shanta Barley

Ever wondered why it is that Germany [...] is so far ahead of the rest of the world in the race to be green?

According to Lord Anthony Giddens’ latest book, ‘The Politics of Climate Change‘ and a number of respected historians, Hitler may have given Germany a head-start. Not only did he pass the most stringent and comprehensive environmental protection law in the world at that time, but he also had a soft spot for vegetarianism, organic nibbles and animal welfare (up until the point when he poisoned his doting German Shepherd, Blondi, that is).

The Nazi “ecologists” [...] had the aim of preventing damage to the environment in undeveloped areas, protecting forests and animals and reducing air pollution.’

Incredibly, it gets even juicier than one could have ever dreamed

[...] the Nazis, [...] says Peter Staudenmaier, co-author of the book ‘Ecofascism’ were ‘conscious promoters and executors of a vile program explicitly dedicated to inhuman racist violence, massive political repression and worldwide military domination. Their “ecological” involvements, far from offsetting these fundamental commitments, deepened and radicalized them‘. [...]

Stansted Climate Protest, or Why AGW Must Be Challenged

Major PR debacle for AGWers, one hopes, in today’s break-in at London’s Stansted Airport with thousands unable to leave for their expected destinations.

And it’s not just a matter of going home and rebook online: imagine how many pre-booked vacations have been ruined, family reunions postponed, business meetings cancelled, money wasted in giant taxi fares and expensive car parking, that will have to be paid again shortly.

Who would have guessed, of all people the climate protesters have prevented from flying a BBC journalist with plenty of AGW articles in his CV and a long-planned trip to Poznan to attend the UN climate talks. Is there a long, long ferry journey to Denmark in Mr Black’s future, one wonders?

Promises of bringing to protesters in front of a court of justice already abounds. However, in the recent past the UK Government has approved of apparently law-breaking climate-change protests, so I would’t bet anybody will be punished…

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Actually the Plane Stupid’s plain stupid initiative of today comes out handy to demonstrate why AGW has to be challenged by everybody with a sane mind: because it has been portrayed in so dire terms, that people of various critical ability will do who-knows-what excessive actions in its name.

If 80% or more of the living species are threatened by humans, surely a terrorist attack will appear fully justified in many not-even-too-deranged-minds? People have been bombing each other for decades for far less than the well-being of the biosphere. One wished nonviolence figured more prominently in the Plane Stupid declarations.

Nothing is safe from “the threat of runaway climate change”, and no rights can be considered too important for AGWers to leave it untouched: our rights to move freely, to choose how to earn and how to spend our money, to plan for a holiday, to visit parents and other relatives abroad or even on the other side of the country, not to mention the right to think if not express the opinion that AGW is a big castle made of nothing like sand, they will all disappear sooner or later, if nobody tries to insert some sense in the climate discussion.

The strange bit is that even such an authoritative AGW group like the IPCC, and avowed catastrophiliacs such as Lord Stern, do not believe overdramatic actions are needed today, or tomorrow. Rather, they all advocate something to be done in the scale of decades.

And that is even more worrying: because in spite of what is actually meant by Stern, or by Al Gore, or by James Hansen or the UK Government,  at the end of the day their choice of words will always inspire simpletons to do something very very silly at airports and elsewhere; and Governments to curtail civil liberties in the name of the Greater Good That Could Not Have Been Portrayed Greater.

Perhaps more people will wake up one day to the fact that he transformation of society into a “Moral Police State” is the only way AGW  can be stopped, or so it is implied by those that portray it as the biggest challenge to humanity, a threat bigger than the terrorism, the source of everything wrong with the world today, the thing that will burn up the world to cinder, etc etc.

All statements, by the way, that rest on very weak foundations, because extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence. And we don’t have it.