The Climate Wars revisited or No truce with kings.

Home sweet home.

This is a quiet little island of the internet. I write an article and it floats off into the blogosphere to end up Lord knows where. Some pieces sink without trace, foundering even before they’ve cleared the reef but others seem to take on a life of their own. There’s no way of predicting their fate so it’s never a consideration when I’m writing them. They are simply my thoughts and observations and this blog is my way of launching them out into the world. They’re little folded paper boats.

I wrote a piece about the Climate Wars and it seems to have voyaged far and generated a fair amount of debate. It is a brief history of the Climate Wars, some thoughts on the strategy with which we realists fought them and what the current state of play is. It’s an analysis piece on the politics and infowar aspects of the thing, which is what this blog is all about. In terms of comments posted on it here and elsewhere, there were too many to respond to individually, so this particular little boat is my attempt to address the salient points raised.

Before doing that, I’d like to remind you that I said you have to become a thinker and planner. While there are lighter aspects to it, this blog is a carefully constructed vehicle, which I designed long before the first article was ever written. A lot of those articles are small stand-alone explanations of political or psychological ideas, which are essentially key components, building blocks if you like, to be slotted into larger articles. I will be referencing quite a number of them in this piece, because I need to; feel free to click on the links or not, they’ll open in new windows, so you won’t lose your place in this article. Now, let’s get back to going over the reactions to the Climate Wars piece.

I suppose the main one was some surprise at the underlying assertion of the article, which was that the alarmists were a beaten force. I’ve thought that for at least the last year and a half but it seemed to be a new and slightly radical idea to a number of people. I gave what I thought were the reasons for the decline of the movement in an article six months ago, which you can find here and which I referenced in the Climate Wars article. I’ll try to justify that assessment using a different approach but it’s the long way around I’m afraid, so crack open a beer and get comfortable.

Let’s consider the composition of each side’s forces at the start of the war. On their side were; the big moneymen, all the mainstream politicians, most governments, the climate science establishment, the politicised “yoof” of the world, every organ of the mainstream media (MSM) and all the political activists in the shape of Greenpeace, the WWF, various green parties of whatever national flavour and other assorted nuts and fruit loops, who were absolutely determined to deconstruct western industrial society into their vision of a socialist state in the soviet mould, although with a greenish and therefore virtuous spin. On our side, well, as a matter of fact, we just had us – a few scattered skeptics.

Asymmetric war doesn’t even begin to describe that match up. Not even UFC would bother staging that bout, because a one round fight is a tough sell at the best of times. Anyway, a few years down the line, let’s work our way through where each of those parties now finds themselves.

The big moneymen, who were quite naturally expecting to make billions of dollars from the carbon trading market, left the scene over a year and a half ago. When Cap and Trade legislation went down the toilet in America, the price of carbon headed inexorably down to a hard floor of five cents per metric tonne and the Chicago Climate Exchange therefore closed its doors for good. Everyone cut their losses and got the hell out of there. They were a valuable source of warmist finance but that, like them, is now a distant memory of those good old days of climate alarmism. If there’s no possible return on investment, they don’t invest.

The only thing they’ve ever believed in, is acting quickly on a stop-loss and letting a profit run. Beyond that, they’re a totally belief-free bunch, which makes them very easy to understand. The only way they’d make a reappearance is if Cap and Trade comes back from the dead and in the current political climate, that’s simply not going to happen. When you think about it, we’ve only had one Lazarus in two thousand years. They’re out of the game and busy little beavers making money elsewhere.

The not so big moneymen, in the shape of corporate donations and funding of green initiatives, known as greenmail in business circles, have pretty much dried up. Times are hard, money’s tight and anyway, they’ve all had the green makeover years ago – it says so on the packaging, once you’ve got through a few layers of it with a machete. They’re out of the game.

Around the world, the politicians and mainstream political parties have adjusted their policies away from environmental concerns because electorates are no longer worried about scary end of the world scenarios; just real and immediate things like jobs and money. We’re heading into the presidential election in America later this year and going by the mid-terms, the Republicans will again play the climate skeptic card, simply because it was so successful the last time around and the administration’s track record in that area is littered with the wreckage of so many disasters.

The only mention you’ll hear of green policies will be in connection with failed things like the Solyndra scandal, in which the US Government pledged and lost half a billion dollars in loan guarantees, which will be used as a club against the incumbent Democratic party. There’s an embarrassingly large list of green financial scandals to pick from, so you’ll be hearing a lot about them. Given no fundamental change in the political landscape and his general unpopularity, what I can only call the Barack Obama Bloodbath at the polls is inevitable. After that, the Democrats will jettison green policies wholesale. If it doesn’t get you votes or is losing you votes, it gets junked. That’s just Realpolitik 101.

The essentially communist blocks have never given a rat’s ass about global warming. If the opposition were hell-bent on de-industrialising themselves back to a pre-industrial age, they weren’t going to interfere but they were damned if they were going to do the same. They’re busy building new coal-fired electricity generation plants at the rate of one or two a week.

In Western Europe, the only political entity, which seems not to have abandoned the global warming cause, is the European Union (EU). They’re currently heading into a dispute with the rest of the world, because they want to unilaterally impose a carbon tax on flights into the EU. A few little countries like America and China are not happy with that idea and if the EU insist on it, they’ll just impose retaliatory taxes on imported EU goods, which means welcome to a trade war. Basically, the faceless bureaucrats of the EU are about to be taught a humiliating lesson, which can’t be a bad thing. When it comes to the EU and its particular brand of insular stupidity, you have to admit that Forrest Gump’s Momma was right – stupid is as stupid does.

The only significant exception to this world-wide distancing of politicians from environmental policies, is in Australia. The Australian Labor Party (ALP), leading a coalition with a majority of one vote, are introducing a carbon tax, despite their leader having said explicitly in the last general election that they would do no such thing. Given the deep, abiding and widespread anger of the ordinary Australian over this gross betrayal of trust, I cannot think of a possible outcome scenario at the next general election (and boy, can I think outside the box), which does not produce an evisceration of the ALP and the complete destruction of its green party allies. In order to stitch together a governing coalition at any cost, the ALP put together a carbon tax deal, which would inescapably result in its annihilation at the next election. The technical term for such an abysmal short-termist level of political acumen, is stoopid.

This looming near-death experience for the ALP, will produce a political opportunity, the exploitation of which should be planned now. It’s interesting to note that in general elections of late, the green parties have been doing very badly, a case in point being Ireland, where they lost every seat they had. When you consider that the voting system there is a variant of proportional representation, that’s a spectacularly bad result.

Moving back to the world of the politically rational, beyond nothing more than a token lip-service to environmentalism, the mainstream politicians are out of the business of saving the planet. Incidentally, don’t expect any of them to publicly recant their previous fulsome support for all things green. To borrow a phrase from Rod Stewart, they don’t want to talk about it. They’ve been busy not mentioning it for the last year. The environment has become the former love that dare not speak its name. They’re out of the game.

Governments. Well, let’s face it, technically, they’re nearly all broke. If any one of them started calling in markers on the other, they’d all have to, and then they’d all have to fold. For instance, China, a nominally communist and therefore anti-capitalist country, is forced to indirectly loan the West vast amounts of money by buying its sovereign debt, because if they didn’t, then Western economies would fold and China would have no market to sell its manufactured goods into and therefore, it would fold as well. It all has a mad interior logic of its very own. You just have to get comfortable with it.

Nowadays, everyone is doing the austerity regime routine, so governments handing out vast sums of money to feel good causes is definitely a thing of the past. With high unemployment, ballooning budget deficits and plunging tax revenues, they’re into cutting back on everything except essential services. Slowly but surely, the green subsidies and environmental budgets are being chopped back, because the money just simply isn’t there any more. In terms of the money, they’re well on the way out of the game.

If you’re noticing the word money occurring a lot, then it’s because it’s one of those important things in any war. Believe it or not, no matter how virtuous your cause, you still need money to fight a decent war. It’s money that buys the three B’s; bullets, beans and bandages, which are the essential things you need to have if you’re serious about winning one.

The credibility of the alarmist climate scientists has taken just too much damage. The original Climategate was of course the start but it’s since been followed by Climategate II and they’re living in dread of another possible Climategate III drop of emails. If that should happen, it’ll be because the content the next time around will be those highly embarrassing political emails, rather than the type we’ve previously had, which were carefully selected to just illustrate the lack of integrity of the science.

Fakegate was the final hammer blow. A high-profile climate scientist committing identity theft, wire fraud and possibly document forgery, has kicked any remaining integrity supports out from underneath them, especially as he was the chair of the American Geophysical Union’s Task Force on Ethics in Science. As a source to use for arguments from authority, they’re now a joke.

Of course, there are still a few free-range climate scientists on the loose out there, but their increasingly erratic behaviour has isolated them from everyone, most interestingly their own side, who quite rightly fear it’s only a matter of time until they land themselves, and “the cause”, into another disaster of gleickian proportions.

When you add in the fact that senior figures in other scientific disciplines, are finally starting to speak out against the climate scientists’ notions of how science should be conducted, it’s a bad sign for the future. The establishment is breaking ranks and they’re being cut loose. They’re in the water, there’s blood in it and the sharks are circling in closer and closer. It’s old scores time. The bitter cherry on top of the whole mess is, they know every single paper they publish will be scrutinised by a very informed blogosphere, who by this stage, are wise to all the old tricks they formerly got away with. You can smell the fear off them nowadays. They’re in a totally defensive posture; it’s all about personal survival now, so they’re out of the game too.

The flash mobs of young people, who invaded Copenhagen and just knew they only had days to save the planet, have all disappeared just as rapidly as they appeared. They didn’t do Cancun or Durban and their almost total non-participation in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Event, ensured it turned into a damp squib – no offence intended to any readers out there, who may be of the squib persuasion, damp or otherwise. They’ve now moved on to reality talent shows on TV or something equally stylish but insubstantial. The big problem is, being green and even saving the freaking planet, just isn’t kool anymore; in point of fact, it’s all seen as a bit old-school grunge hippy nowadays. They and their youthful enthusiasm are outta da game.

The mainstream media (MSM) are still in the game but they’ve been getting quieter and quieter for a number of months. They’re beginning to back off. Once you get past the climate fixated organs such as the NY Times, the Guardian and the dog it wags called the BBC, all the rest of them are toning down the rhetoric. Basically, climate hysteria just isn’t selling. It’s known euphemistically as “climate fatigue” in the news business. People have simply had enough of eco-scares; they don’t work any more and everyone is bored to death with them. Immediately the talking head on the TV mentions the environment word, everyone grabs for the remote. It’s like firing the starting pistol on a channel surfing race. There’s also an element of wait and see amongst the rest of the media, with regard to what is going to happen to businesses like the aforementioned three, in the wake of their reckless but arguably libelous Fakegate reporting.

The MSM has for too long allowed itself to be used as the unquestioning propaganda arm of the alarmist movement and in my assessment, Fakegate is going to be used as the weapon to destroy its capacity to act in that fashion in the future. Fakegate is the MSM’s very own, perfect, untreated, sucking chest wound and it was totally self-inflicted. At some point, they will either pay up substantial damages or grovel in public, because those are the only two choices they’ve left themselves. Pass the popcorn and crack me another beer.

Strangely enough, I get the impression from the MSM that a number of environmental journalists somehow think the Heartland Institute won’t actually go to law, because of the potential bad publicity. Given that the Heartland Institute has only ever been on the receiving end of viciously negative publicity from them anyway and that they’ve just engaged a team of what I could only describe as expensive raptor-class libel lawyers, I sort of think they might be intending to go all the way and there’s going to be some very large libel payouts in a year or so. When that starts to happen, the MSM will be out of the game for good.

Finally, we arrive at the political activists. It’s only now beginning to dawn on some of the more perceptive ones, how bad their current situation is. The mainstream political backing has somehow slipped away, the easy donations of large amounts of money from various quarters are harder to come by, the automatic backing of the MSM is no longer guaranteed and any credibility climate science formerly had, is now toast. Fortunately, those few individuals are in the minority and not in significantly influential positions.

The movement’s problems are further compounded by a complete refusal to modify policy or strategy in the light of these changed and deteriorating circumstances. Too much of the leadership is in denial over the situation but over and above that, too much of the leadership can only be characterised as fanatics. I said in a previous piece called, “Some thoughts on fanatics and how to fight them“, a fanatic’s real strength is that they’ll never give up, never rethink their position, are not proportionate and above all; don’t know when to stop. This refusal to adapt and change will inevitably lead to schisms in the movement, which will weaken it even further, and indeed, this is already beginning to happen over issues such as nuclear power and the birdie choppers.

How are the skeptics doing? You know things have changed when Climategate II breaks and your sleepy little island is invaded by a few thousand visitors in a single day. As the alarmists move inexorably to the political lunatic fringe, we’ll become more mainstream, which I think will be a bit of a shock to most of us but you might as well start getting used to the idea. All wars end some day, so we better be prepared to come out of the jungle with some ideas and join into the thing again, to influence its future direction. That’s what we were fighting for after all. The war is not over yet but they’re a beaten foe, in retreat on all fronts. For them, there is no way back. It’s Norwegian Blue, a polygon, long gone John, Appomattox courthouse, the war is over, der Krieg ist vorbei, it’s finished, c’est fini.

Cast your mind back a couple of years to Copenhagen and recall the glory days of the movement. The whole world seemed to be on their side. The TV, radio, newspapers and everything else seemed to do nothing but blast the climate change message at you. There was simply no escaping it. People were crazily enthusiastic but scared at the same time. Hysteria ruled and panic prevailed. Grownups began to worry about their carbon footprint. Crowds filled the streets demanding action to save us all from the end of the world – people seemed to be going mad.

Look around you now. It’s all gone. The circus has left town and it ain’t coming back. QED.

I wrote an article about a year ago, called “The death of the AGW belief system“, which describes the process the activists are now going through. The vast majority of them are still in the initial deep denial stage but you can sense the desperation building as the situation deteriorates. They’re starting to transition into the next stage, anger, which comes with some pretty heavy emotional side effects. Peter Gleick would be the classic example of it and the descent into unreasoning rage, with all its bizarre and unpredictable behaviour. There’s going to be some terrible tantrums, with lots of rattles being thrown out of lots of prams.

Some warmists have even entered the third stage; bargaining. They’re repositioning themselves and are prepared to meet us half way, to talk things out with us. Indeed, they’ve even learnt not to call us deniers to our face. Leaving aside a natural cynicism about their motives, the question arises; should we respond favourably to such peace overtures?

The answer is no and for very sound reasons. Niccolo Machiavelli, a disgracefully neglected political writer of antiquity, said something ruthless but very astute about wars. If you do decide to go to war, then you must smash and annihilate your enemy completely. Nobody must be in any doubt about who is the winner and who is the loser. If you don’t do that, you’re just laying the ground for fighting that same war again a few years down the line.

History is littered with tragic examples of ignoring this dictum. Accepting an armistice rather than insisting on a surrender at the end of World War I, helped to produce Work War II within a couple of generations. It allowed the “we weren’t defeated but betrayed” myth to grow and blossom in Nazi Germany. In more recent times, the failure to prosecute Gulf War One to the very streets of Baghdad, produced Gulf War Two and other things within a generation. The pseudo science of Eugenics was allowed to slink away into obscurity, after the logical consequences of its philosophy became appallingly obvious, when the concentration camps were discovered at the end of World War II but the Eugenics legislation, already on the statute books, stayed in place. Human beings were still being forcibly sterilised into the 1970’s.

As a historical aside, the only country in the world that didn’t enact eugenic legislation was the UK. It would be nice to think that was because the average Briton was somehow strong enough to resist the world-wide titanic wave of Eugenics, which was sweeping all before it at the time, but the truth is more prosaic. A handful of people, who saw the murderous fad for what it was and what it would eventually lead to, got together and used every dirty trick in the parliamentary book to slow down, hinder and sabotage at every turn, any effort to legislate it into law. They became extremely unpopular. They lost friends, they lost reputations and they all lost their political careers but they stopped it dead in its tracks. There are no monuments to them nor any plaques, on which their names are carefully inscribed, but that is the sort of lonely moral courage I respect and admire deeply.

Back on topic. We’re winning so there’s not one single benefit for us but lots of benefits for them, in going into palsy walsy peace hugs and sharing spit with them but if we do, make no mistake, all the laws and spending commitments already in place, will stay there for years to come. More importantly from my viewpoint, their slow motion genocidal policies towards the developing world will continue to kill people by the millions every year. It is now that we have to start thinking about what has to be done after the war is over. There will be a window of opportunity and we must to be ready to utilise it.

A lot of comments discussed exactly how far through the conflict we are and before Fakegate, I would have estimated about two more years to go. However, as Fakegate looks to be the strategic disaster that strips the alarmists of their propaganda arm, I think that end will now come sooner. Time will tell.

Some people thought the war context of the piece “wasn’t helpful”, perhaps because they imagine it’s some sort of genteel debate, which can be won from the comfort of their armchair with their feet up on the desk, as they sip a glass of lightly chilled Pinot Grigio before their computer screen. Well, I only wish I lived in their world. I can assure them that if they spent a fraction of the time I do, reading alarmist blogs and talking to people in eco-extremist chat rooms, they’d soon move over to a war footing.

The alarmists have always thought of it as a war and us as the enemy, to whom no mercy is to be shown. As far as they’re concerned, it’s total, unrestricted warfare. It’s as simple and savagely direct as that. As I said in the original piece, if you don’t have a clear understanding of the nature of the beast you’re fighting against, you’ll be destroyed by it. I don’t do dumb, I don’t do wishful thinking and I don’t do helpless victimhood – I do fighting back. If you don’t like that, then you’d better find a more comfortable blog to read.

They’ve accused us for years of being anti-science, paid lackeys of big oil, climate criminals, despoilers of the environment and being drones of some shadowy organised conspiracy against them. We long ago wrote off such accusations as propaganda stereotypes, designed to dehumanise and marginalise us but what you have to take on board is that in a very real sense, they’ve become victims of their own propaganda. The lies have been repeated so often that they now believe them themselves. That is now their operational worldview and their understanding of us and it’s a false one. Essentially, they went to war against and are still fighting, a phantasm figure who is a patchwork product of their own spin machine’s memes. They simply have a false understanding of us and that works in our favour.

We ourselves have to be careful about what psychologists call projection, which is assuming other people operate on the same basis and with the same world view as yourself. We tend to think the mobs of trolls that suddenly appear out of nowhere, magically on cue to attack certain realist articles or disrupt particular debates, are somehow representative of the actual number of activists on the other side; they are not. There’s not as many of them as you might think but they are organised and unlike us, their activities are well-coordinated by a few overt sites, such as George Manbiot’s TrollzAreUz, and some pretty dark covert sites as well. They hunt in well organised wolf packs, whereas we operate as lone hunter killer subs. I see the same individuals operating under multiple personas, but the fist and the synchronised uniformity of the current playbook in use, always gives them away.

Discussing the article with online friends, there were a couple of things about it that found a real resonance with them. The first was the categorisation of the war as a guerilla war, which it is, and the climate realists as lone guerilla fighters, which we are. Each of us independently worked out our own strategy to fight it and that was guerilla warfare. They owned every organ of the information infrastructure except the internet, which became our jungle and we operate in it so much better than they do, but it’s a solitary fight most of the time. I think the article fitted each of us into some bigger context that we always knew existed but never quite acknowledged; we’ve always fought alone but we are definitely part of something bigger; a band of brothers and sisters fighting against a Goliath.

The second is a lot more complex and a lot more personal. In the early days, when any sort of ally was few and far between, if someone happened to be shooting in the same direction as me, I wasn’t too concerned about the reasons why, just as long as they kept blasting away. As the thing went on, you got to know each other and gradually found out why each of you were in the fight. It came down to each one’s own perception of what global warming was all about. It’s my nature to analyse and look for patterns in things but there simply wasn’t a common motivation there.

For some, it was the creeping anti-democratic totalitarianism hiding behind a mask of good intentions, for others it was the deliberate perversion of that thing they loved called science. Some hated it because it was the extremist’s hijacking of environmentalism, something they’d fought for in their youth, others hated it because it substituted a genocidal worship of Gaia before any other human consideration. Some, like myself, just fought it because it was killing helpless people. The nearest thing to a common factor, was that we were all in it to protect something we loved against something we hated.

While there was no uniformity of motivation, there was one thing each and every one of us shared and that was the moment. The moment was when you realised that if you were going to commit yourself to fighting the thing, you were going to lose some friends, you were going to be isolated, you were going to take some professional damage, you were going to be ridiculed, you were going to spend a lot of your free time on it, you were never going to make a buck out of it, the chances of you winning were remote and even if by some miracle you did, nobody would ever remember your efforts anyway. We’d all had that moment and we’d all made the decision to fight it anyway.

I’ve battled against the thing in various ways but finally came to realise the most effective weapon I had, was a facility to write the truth well, which is why the original piece had to have the sentence below. It’s about that moment and that decision.

“Too many people have already walked away from even fighting the first round; you’re on your own and you know it and that’s just the way the thing is.”

Doing that is called moral courage.

©Pointman

Related articles by Pointman:

The Climate Wars.

The death of the AGW belief system.

How policies get dropped and positions reversed.

I’m not a scientist but …

Comments
42 Responses to “The Climate Wars revisited or No truce with kings.”
  1. BongoFury says:

    Very well said.

  2. Deadman says:

    Aye, erstwhile friends often don’t like it if you question Authority without Authority’s licence; on the other hand, one can make friends in this pious campaign.

  3. Rick says:

    Just yesterday, the local paper ran another attempt to rekindle the flame:

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/03/as_seas_rise_researchers_say_d.html:

    “Sea level rise is not some distant problem that we can just let our children deal with. The risks are imminent and serious,” said Ben Strauss, lead author of “Surging Seas” a new report by the Princeton-based Climate Central, a foundation-funded non-profit organization

    Now I wonder who funds the foundation that funds this crew?
    Notice they are back to “warming” instead of “change” because rising seas would be hard to sell if all the water freezes.

  4. retireddave says:

    An excellent summary of where we are Pointman.

    I wouldn’t disagree with your thoughtful analysis, but I do wonder if AGW will be a beast that will take a long time to finally die or whether there is a “tipping point” (to coin a phrase) where a rapid collapse will take place.

    I think ClimateGate 1 (CG1) was a major event. Sceptics like me (retired meteorologist) who didn’t believe the AGW theory and said so, did so based on the science, or lack of it; but for others whose reasons were more diverse CG1 was a turning point. It proved to them that all those things sceptical scientists had been complaining about (always denied by the team) were completely true.

    The BBC Climate Wars TV series aired in the weeks before CG1 and Copenhagen, and I clearly remember Lord Monckton telling Iain Stewart (the unbiased presenter /sarc off) about the very practices that CG1 was about to lift the lid on. Iain Stewart was openly, smirkingly dismissive. The series was full of false balance, with Stewart putting forward some sceptical point, only to say it had been proved wrong, and how you just had to feel sorry for the sceptical scientist involved – ha, ha. A pity the series ended before CG1 – perhaps they could have had a piece inserted with the narrator saying – you just have to feel sorry for Prof. Stewart, how was he to know all these emails would come out????

  5. scottc0317 says:

    I’d like to be as optimistic as you are. Your analysis is a help. However, the green movement has plenty of other irons in the fire and they will continue to inflict their thousand cuts on us: plastic bags, fracking, pipelines, air pollution from lawn mowers, shutting off irrigation water, fees and taxes designed to get us to use buses and bicycles, closing zoos and circuses, forbidding us to cut down that old tree in the front yard, pig tail light bulbs, limits to hot water usage, and seventy-times-seven other things designed to return us to Woodstock Nation. They will never give up. We should have put them to rout when they first outlawed burning leaves in the back yard. My gosh, have you ever listened to Darryl Hannah try to carry on a conversation? She’s one of their figureheads. Fighting greenies is like trying to nail fog to a rainbow.

  6. mlpinaus says:

    “The only significant exception to this world-wide distancing of politicians from environmental policies, is in Australia.” Yes. The Orange Roughie seems to be stuck in student politics days, where lies glibly delivered were the norm…..and OK! “Whatever it takes”.

    “We should have put them to rout when they first outlawed burning leaves in the back yard.” This is also right. Adelaide, with its summer inversion layers, was an easy target, but this ruling leads onto the endless petty crap culminating in myriad garbage bins and a Stasi to supervise us all.

    Marcus

  7. “Fakegate is the MSM’s very own, perfect, untreated, sucking chest wound and it was totally self-inflicted”

    So true, Pointman, so true. In the Age of Information, we can hold to account those that deliberately promote untruths, especially the MSM and the astroturfers that bombard blogs with their eco-loony religious shrapnel.

    An excellent piece. Thank you.

  8. alexjc38 says:

    Watch out, though, for the battlefield to shift from climate change to sustainability – or to put it more accurately, the emphasis to revert back to the agenda of the Limits to Growth era (exactly 40 years ago, this year).

    As an experiment, google “sustainability” and the phrase “even if you don’t believe in climate change” and see how many results pop up – I think many of these are arguments that will be coming our way more and more, particularly in and around Rio +20 this June.

    Whether it’s couched in terms of a low-carbon society or a low-impact sustainable society, the end point remains the same, IMO – a return to basic lifestyles and lowered horizons.

  9. dpeaton says:

    Yeah, I don’t have much faith that the left is that badly beaten. There is always the next issue on the lengthy list of issues. Who knows what the next outrage will be that will stir the battalions of taxteat sucklers who populate the governments of the free world and who conspire with all manner of foundation-funded NGOs to “make the world a better place” with other people’s money.

    But I’m one of those guys who’s been fighting beside Pointman in anonymity and I have to say I had a healthy swelling of pride reading this.

    Continue to advance, Pointman . . .

    theduke

  10. James Evans says:

    Enjoyable analysis, ta. I was particularly interested in your comments about the raptor lawyers. That could get very interesting indeed.

    If I might add to the victory chorus – it seems to me that there are three massive train wrecks on the tracks up ahead:

    – The climate models are about to fail spectacularly. (Bye bye “climate science”.)
    – There’s no way that the USA, China, India et al. will reach any meaningful agreement on cutting emissions. (Bye bye international agreement.)
    – Here in the UK, spending hundreds of billions on windmills and solar panels will start to seriously piss people off. (Bye bye renewable energy policy.)

    That’ll all hit the fan in the next two or three years. It won’t be pretty. But it’ll be fascinating to watch.

  11. Barry Woods says:

    I do think ee are at a quite dangerous stage in the collapse of the CAGW delusion..
    My personal encounter with Peter Gleick shows that this type of scientist absolutely believes, and will do or say anything without much thought, it is a war to them.
    Many activist like this will be almost in despair as the politcal, financial and even media support backaway and move on.

    What they may say or do or demand may yet make it very uncomfortable for sceptical blogers. I do hope Heartland pursue the media to the full extent possible, over and above Peter Gleick, they have more responsibilty
    … As without the guardian, BBC, etc the smearing if heartland and WUWT would not have been as far reaching. Maybe the editors, newsdrdk will realise because of this just how native the environmental/science journalists have become.

    Barry Woods
    Realclimategate.org

    • Pointman says:

      Hello Barry and welcome to the blog. Did you ever get an explanation, apology or retraction from Gleick re his Twitter comment about you?

      Pointman

  12. Power Grab says:

    I keep getting the feeling that all these skirmishes are merely pretexts for getting the sheep to kill each other – yet another way of reducing the excess population!

  13. orkneylad says:

    Stronsay Inc:
    http://www.glebedigital.co.uk/blog/?p=5706

    Green fraud in the heart of Orkney, pushed out by the local press [clearly without checking their facts]. Article even written by the chairman of Orkney NHS board……truth is stranger than fiction!

  14. orkneylad says:

    Update:
    I’ve had a response from the owners of Broadgate Tower, which our Mr Watkins claims is his London HQ. They have no record of Stronsay Inc.

  15. Truthseeker says:

    Pointman, another execellent analysis, written with real clarity and concise logic. One thing that the greens (they are not environmentalists in my book) fail to understand is that everyone is concerned about the environment, but it is not at the top of the list. Back in University I learnt about “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” and at the base of the pyramid (i.e. most important) was the physiological stuff (food, shelter, sex, sleep, etc), then came the the safety stuff (security of body, employment, health, safety of family, property), then came the love/belonging stuff (friendship, relationships, intimacy) then came esteem (recognition and achievement) and at the top was “self-actualisation” (morality, creativity, problem solving, information gathering).

    So, getting back to my original point, people will be concerned with the environment when they have got the more important stuff sorted. That is why the most important environmental improvements occurred during the period of greatest economic growth and prosperity during the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s. Western society had generally sorted the bottom four layers of this pyramid and so we started to fix the environment we lived in. I can remember seeing a layer of brown smudge over Sydney when I was growing up fairly consistently, especially during the long, hot summers we used to have. I have worked in offices with a panoramic view of Sydney for some time now and I cannot remember the last time I saw such a brown smudge of pollution over the city.

    So, what are these “greens” trying to do? They are trying to stop or hinder economic activity. They are trying to take away cheap energy, individual freedoms and free enterprise. What will this do? It will drive things back to the lower levels of this pyramid of needs and the environment will be the last thing on people’s minds. They will be too concerned about keeping and finding jobs, putting food on the table, keeping families together and so on to worry about the environment. The environment will suffer and the “greens” will be to blame. The problem is that they are too fanatical to see this, but then if they were capable of truly rational thought, they would not be “green” in the first place.

  16. Pointman.

    Another considered and expert analysis of Climate Alarmism and you acknowledge that Australia is a “significant exception” – significant indeed.

    Our Carbon Dioxide Tax is legislated to begin on July 1st and it’s impact is already being felt with unemployment rising as companies downsize or relocate offshore, hundreds of tradesmen out of work as projects dry up and retail sales slump as people hang on to their discretionary dollars in fear of what is looming on the horizon.

    Only last week Westfield, our biggest shopping centre landlord, issued notice to all their tenants of increased rentals due to significant rises in future electricity costs. Consequently everything, from a haircut to a cup of coffee to an icecream cone will increase in price, although icecream manufacturers will have already raised their prices due to higher power bills. Nothing will escape this insidious tax.

    When a supposedly democratically elected government has been hijacked by a cabal of lying, thieving Marxist/Socialists in murky backroom deals, it’s understandable that your Aussie friends have a somewhat sceptical attitude on many fronts and can’t readily share your optimism for an end to this monumental climate fraud.

    Last week in Tasmania that odious high priest of the Gangrenes, Senator Bob Brown, was crowing about the 40th anniversary of the Green movement right here in this small island state. He and his gang stopped the building of a new hydro-electric dam because they didn’t want a remote wilderness valley flooded (might have disturbed a few possums and lizards). With a population of only half a million people we were self-sufficient in clean renewable Hydro Energy until we started selling onto the mainland power grid a few years back and now a ‘wind farm’ of several hundred eagle-crunching monstrosities is under construction in Mussel Roe Bay.

    Three months ago I was in our mountain country marvelling at those beautiful man-made lakes built fifty or 60 years ago (great trout fishing by the way), and a couple of weeks back was appalled at how the water levels have dropped exposing the muddy lake beds. Over this dry summer season the Hydro power stations have been cranking out the juice to sell to the lucrative mainland energy market.

    We Aussies are fighting these Marxist Mongrels on many fronts; from prime agricultural land and water resources sold off to Chinese, Indian, American and Middle Eastern nations, to food security, to pollution of our artesian aquifers from frakking, to productive family farms held for generations scarified into massive open-cut coal mines.

    The Lucky Country is up for grabs to the highest bidder and this impending carbon tax is like waiting for Damocles sword to fall on our necks.

  17. Nick in Vancouver says:

    This is not even the end of the beginning.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/24/where-theres-a-need-for-immunity-theres-a-crime-green-climate-fund-looking-to-un-for-diplomatic-immunity-protection-from-lawsuits/#more-60058

    With complete immunity from investigation and prosecution and independent of any national sovereignty and 100 billion dollars to spend the “war chest” is only just getting stuffed. It has only just begun.

  18. w.w.wygart says:

    Here is a link to the Heartland Institute’s statement on the appointment of Gordon B. Nash Jr. as head of their legal team in the Gleikgate matter:

    http://heartland.org/press-releases/2012/03/05/fakegate-heartland-announces-legal-team

    W^3

  19. Pointman,

    The Sydney Daily Telegraph’s Tim Blair reminds us all of a coming ‘special event’. We should take note and do our bit to counter the Gaia worshippers …….

    “EARTH Hour is with us again this Saturday night, so you’ll want to start planning.

    For your normal Earth Hour types, this is a simple procedure. Just turn all your lights off at 8.30pm and sit there thinking you’re Jesus. But for those of us in the Hour of Power movement, a proper celebration requires substantial commitment.”

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/come-on-baby-light-my-fire-but-watch-the-cat/story-e6frezz0-1226309663925

    “If you know anybody in the local council or the film industry, lean on them for a one-night use of something huge. These people have got lights that you wouldn’t believe. Point them at your pool and it’ll evaporate like a state Labor party.”

    Surely we can come up with some other great ideas.

  20. Following on from Tim’s suggestion, how about a little something from the Electric Light Orchestra –

    ….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RJPaj97H24

  21. Brian H says:

    www;
    Interesting how overt the Heartland presser is; “disgraced climate scientist Peter Gleick” , “Gleick’s crimes”. I see the hand of the new head of the team, Nash, in this, essentially inviting a challenge or counter-suit.

    Heh.

  22. Pointman says:

    “We long ago wrote off such accusations as propaganda stereotypes, designed to dehumanise and marginalise us but what you have to take on board is that in a very real sense, they’ve become victims of their own propaganda. The lies have been repeated so often that they now believe them themselves”

    Senator Kerry is the perfect example of the above. He think it’s all collapsing because of Big Oil and the Koch brothers – seriously.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/27/thank-you-senator-kerry-for-saying-what-we-already-know/

    Pointman

  23. greg2213 says:

    “…that they’ve just engaged a team of what I could only describe as expensive raptor-class libel lawyers…”

    Love the way you write. While the Global Warming movement might be on its last legs I think I have to agree with some of the comments above. The Greens will just regroup and push other issues. People will forget how much they cried “Wolf!” but some of us will remember and maybe have a head start into fighting off the next scares.

    I think that they’ll be screaming about Global Cooling and coming ice ages in a few years, much like they did in the 70s.

  24. evanmjones says:

    Brilliant and inspirational. I have deliberately avoided the political arena, but only because that is not where my fight is. After all, under the circumstances, we must put down our buckets where we are.

    My two motives are your second and last stated: The evisceration of scientific method, aka “post-normal science”, and the grim realization that for every billion wasted (anywhere), babies (somewhere) starve.

    My fight consists of intense scrutiny of the actual climate stations. I strike at the root. For the entire so-called “consensus” is based on the integrity of the data. If the data is exaggerated, the entire alarmist position is built on sand.

    And the data, on the whole, appears to be of shockingly poor quality. Only fifteen percent of the stations are worth their salt. If that. And their trends (Tmean, NOT just Tmin) turn out to be — far — lower than the poorly sited stations.

    I have also discovered that the adjustment procedure consists not of DEcreasing the trends of the bad stations to match those of the good, but INcreasing the trends of the good stations to match those of the bad. The overall exaggeration of real-world Tmean warming trend (i.e., the raw data of the well sited stations) is nearly doubled after “adjustment”.

    The data compilation is just recently completed. And, yes, there will be a paper, and, yes, it will be the subject of (intensely hostile) peer review.

    I do not fight in the same manner as you; my efforts are directed almost exclusively at those who are undecided. I am therefore (unlike nearly all alarmists) severely restricted by the rules of warfare and of civility. And, indeed, for every Judith Curry out there, there are two dozen Joe Romms. But your efforts and mine are mutually supportive and I greatly appreciate what you do on your end of the “debate” — no, you’re right when you say “war”.

    One good scientist could make me switch sides, though. And that’s how science is supposed to work. So far, though, it’s been no contest: The closer I look at the so-called science of so-called climatologists, the more horrified I am by what I see.

    Strike hard and strike well. Good Hunting.

  25. Pointman says:

    “When you add in the fact that senior figures in other scientific disciplines, are finally starting to speak out against the climate scientists’ notions of how science should be conducted, it’s a bad sign for the future. The establishment is breaking ranks and they’re being cut loose. They’re in the water, there’s blood in it and the sharks are circling in closer and closer. It’s old scores time”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/10/hansen-and-schmidt-of-nasa-giss-under-fire-engineers-scientists-astronauts-ask-nasa-administration-to-look-at-emprical-evidence-rather-than-climate-models/

    Pointman

  26. Blackswan says:

    Pointman,

    It’s official – it’s midday on Friday 13th April and Senator Bob Brown, Leader of the Gangrenes has resigned, from the Party leadership and from the Senate.

    Who said Friday the 13th was unlucky? His replacement is his deputy Christine Milne, that dowdy little country schoolteacher, who has found herself leading the Australian government. It was she who was the architect and driving force behind the Carbon Dioxide tax. It remains to be seen how quickly this gaggle of warped characters implode and fade from view.

    As for Bob, he and his boyfriend (who joined him on the podium at the press conference) will be heading off into the wilds of the Tasmanian wilderness for a “walking tour”. He is describing himself as “nimble and athletic” – good for you Bob.

    I see him as the first rat to be scurrying down the hawsers as our Government ship is about to set sail inevitably towards the iceberg of our next general election in 2013. How appropriate at the hundredth anniversary of the loss of the Titanic.

  27. Blackswan says:

    Pointman,

    It’s been quite a momentous news day. Australia’s flag-ship airline Qantas has announced that ….

    “A PASSENGER jet powered by cooking oil will take off from Sydney today in an Australian first.”

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-nsw/qantas-passenger-jet-flying-high-on-cooking-oil/story-e6freuzi-1226325303941

    What isn’t in this story but was trumpeted in the evening news is the fact that the used cooking oil
    will be sourced from McDonalds’ fast food outlets across America. They actually conceded that the fuel will be much more expensive than regular jet fuel but hey!! ….. it’s Green, it’s sustainable, it’s environmentally friendly, it will save the planet.

    Sorry Qantas, you’ve lost me. Will the oil only be used to fuel jets flying out of the USA or do you plan to actually import the stuff to fuel planes on our domestic routes? We have a plethora of Macca’s stores cooking up french fries, so when will our local oil be used or, horror of horrors, perhaps we don’t have the capacity to refine the stuff at all.

    I’m sure that won’t hinder Qantas or McDonalds from using this farcical exercise in advertising spin to promote their Green credentials. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is an Irishman just full of bright ideas.

  28. Jud says:

    Great article.
    And to those who doubt the idea that this will tip over in an ugly fashion consider that although the funds of the alarmists are indeed massive, it will take a very small realative drop in funding to put them into a deficit situation.
    These are not people who know how to economize or budget – a drop in income with the attempt to maintain the massive expenditures they need to keep this thing going will prove their ultimate downfall – and it need not take long.

    The skeptics on the other hand, can and will keep going indefinitely, as no funds are required.
    The irony is delicious.

  29. Pointman,

    Have you ever spent time with an Amway distributor? In the early 90s, I had occasion to know some people that were “involved.” I find many parallels to the AGW community.

    I found that for the most part, the amway people were very hard working very dedicated, sincere people very committed to what they were doing. They were very well organized and had a very bullet proof system of “debunking Amway myths.” They had a well thought out argument for everything and at times were mildly convincing. However, for the most part, the “myths” were all true.” LIke AGW believers, Amway distributor were not about to concede a single point. And like many Amway distributors, some AGW believers are very good.

    To an AGW believer, any warming is bad, and that is the end of it. Polar Bears are going extinct, and there is nothing that can be said to convince them otherwise. It is as if their whole house of cards will come crashing down if it turns out that Polar Bears will be fine.

    They act as if the current state of the glaciers is critical and somehow “optimum.” They almost attach a “soul” to glaciers. However, glaciers have been changing all along. I live near Chicago and the great lakes. The great lakes are only about 10,000 – 15,000 years old. 15,000 years ago, it was a glacier. It receded, and the results were amazing.

    When people are so committed and so convinced, one can only feel that one is being taken for a ride. “This stock is guaranteed to double your money.”

    If, in the 1980s, AGW was such a imminent threat to humanity and the world, where are the consequences? The consequences range from non-existent to very very minor. The “consequences” are so minor, that it can’t be known whether they are even consequences of AGW at all. Increased tornadoes? Sure, any tornado that takes out a town and kills little kids is a disaster, but where is the evidence that it is any different than it has always been?

    The best that can be said about the Polar Bear population is that we don’t know whether it is increasing or decreasing. But there are about 25,000 polar bears. We don’t know because we didn’t track the population. If Polar Bears are so sensitive to changes in the Arctic, wouldn’t they have been impacted in the last 5 years when changes have been significant? Yet, we don’t know if they are declining or increasing.

    Oh, but look here, polar bears are in a “desperate struggle for survival” and could lose 2/3rds of their population by 2050:

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/04/polar-bears-on-thin-ice-in-new-imax-movie/

    I can’t say I know everything about how the climate works, but I can state very confidently that the polar bear population has a zero chance of declining to 1/3 current levels by 2050. Zero.

    I think that sometimes, AGW believers are so committed and believe so much that when the world doesn’t listen, they speak louder. James Hansen might fall into this category. 5m sea level rises and mass extinction by the end of this century? Complete loss of all water on the planet in 400 years? That is what this guy is going around saying. Interestingly enough, however, he is not just saying it, he is jetting around the world giving talks and accepting $500,000 awards. I wonder what is James’ carbon footprint?

    .

    • Pointman says:

      Hi John. You can definitely see the parallels between amway distributors and AGW believers. It reminds me in some ways of the brand loyalty thing. A person agonises over which manufacturer’s car to buy and after buying one, becomes fiercly loyal to the brand, defending it against any and all criticism, because it reinforces in their mind that they made the correct decision.

      I wrote a piece on Polar Bears, which debunked the myths. You can find it here.

      https://thepointman.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/polar-bears-going-extinct-yawn/

      The cult has this idea that we live in some sort of steady state environment, whose “balance” must be preserved at all costs. Things like glaciers shouldn’t change. It’s of course nonsense but it’s deeply embedded in their psyche. Again, another piece discussing that.

      https://thepointman.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/the-steady-state-environment-delusion/

      As always, your thoughts on the above are welcome.

      I think having hysterical people like Hansen and Gleick running around proclaiming the end of the world are a real asset to us climate realists. Have you noticed that lately, carbon footprints are rarely mentioned?

      Pointman

  30. eyesonly says:

    Pointman, this is a very well written article. I share your viewpoint in things you present here and comments on other blogs.

    I appreciate your optimistic approach. I share that view also but I’m cautiously optimistic. Nevertheless, moral courage will keep me going regardless of the outcome. Compromise at this point is out of the question. The ‘believers’ need to be sorted out as to who are the players, who are religious fanatics of the green persuation, and who were just duped. The players need to be brought to justice, the religious fanatics scorned and ridiculed, and the duped viewed with some sense of understanding as to how they were duped by the so-called scientific community.

    The players would certainly be those in the scientific community who know or should have the ability to determine the truth with regards to doubts as to the claims made concerning any changes in the climate. Climategate I and II should have raised red flags in any circles. The MSM would certainly be listed among the players and many so-called journalists would also fall into the religious fanatical category. The academics pushing ‘the cause’ should not have a claim to stupidity and would be considered players as well. The politicians, well they are in a category of their own. Their ‘out’ is the fact that someone keeps electing them. MSM shares fault here.

    In a nutshell, those who deliberately supported ‘the cause’ knowing it to be deceitful deserve no quarter. It is one thing to pursue one’s own beliefs but yet another to force those beliefs down the throat of the rest of the world. So let them chose their own label. Are they frauds for ‘the cause’, religious fanatics, or duped?

    • Pointman says:

      Hello Eyesonly. I agree that compromise is out of the question and we must keep going, which is why I quoted Machiavelli’s dictum. As you say, I’m optimistic about the outcome but as for anyone being punished, I don’t believe that’ll ever happen. Yes, certain careers and people will be removed from the chessboard but I don’t see any of them ending up in a court of law.

      I think some of them should, if only for the crimes the big green killing machine has inflicted on the most vulnerable around the world. I wish it were otherwise.

      I do find your aggregation of the various parties into three groups useful, though I think some of the parties straddle the groupings. eg Some of the scientists are sincere and some are simply activists masquerading as scientists, quite prepared to pervert the science at the drop of a hat.

      Pointman

      • eyesonly says:

        I agree fully with your reply to my comment. Clearly the groupings were a vague attempt to separate those who were just caught up in the moment so to speak (ignorance / misinformed) vs those with an activist agenda. Those with the activist agenda willfully perverting the science and employing deceitful tactics for public funding should be dealt with in an appropriate manner. Academics and those receiving public funds or those affecting government policy must be held to a higher standard. The standards that have been employed within the entire CAGW community clearly border on, if not outright, the realm of fraud. That house of cards has been exposed and is collapsing. It should have never occurred in the first place.

      • Pointman says:

        Eyesonly, I think you and I will have a lot to discuss after my next blog.

        Pointman

  31. We fight as individuals to achieve our own purpose. They fight as a collective to achieve a purpose not their own. They cannot win. We can only lose. To win, all we need to do is live as best we can, as free as we can, as long as we can, and never ever submit.

    He who is free never submits. He who submits was never free. Stay FREE!

    • Pointman says:

      Hello and welcome Lionell. “All that’s neccessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to stand idly by.” Edmund Burke, I think.

      Pointman

      • To stand idly by is to submit. Hence, I don’t stand by and do nothing. What I can do and actually do is write well and reduce the essentials to clear short statements. It is by that doing I fight to stay free. Thank you for permitting me to do it on your blog.

  32. Brian H says:

    There’s a missing term for what I want to refer to, so I’m going to co-opt “flooding”. It is fundamental to the approach of both the Green/AGW cabal and the current criminal US Administration and its backers.

    It consists of perpetrating so many borderline and outright illegalities and offenses and uttering so many blatant falsehoods that no targetting of one or a few has any impact. It’s brazen and arrogant, but operates something like mob mentality, in which individuals commit acts they’d never consider solo. Safety in shared criminality.

    MSM dereliction, academic empire-building and funding misallocation, political arrogation of even specifically forbidden authority and controls, etc.; it all gets away with egregious abuse by flooding.

    Are you/we prepared to deal with it, and its after-effects? Post-flood cleanup is not for the squeamish or easily fatigued.

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