Know your enemy : the alarmist scientist.

I’d like to preface this piece by saying there are a number of scientists doing significant work in the field of climate science whom I deeply respect. They have all along raised the balanced doubts about the supposedly “settled” science and I’ve no doubt taken some easily avoidable professional damage for doing so. I don’t necessarily see eye to eye with all of them over every aspect of the climate debate, but high-profile people of courage, integrity and reason, prepared to speak out are all too scarce in an area so brutally controlled by a thought police and are therefore to be prized even more highly.

They are the brave few who for years have put themselves into a very real danger zone, while everyone else kept their mouths shut and their heads down. Over the years more than a few of them, like Prof. Bob Carter this week, have paid the price for such integrity. For what it’s worth, they have my lasting admiration and if you’re a true skeptic, they should have yours as well.

Posterity will one day exonerate them, and it will be at the expense of those shadowy creatures who had them removed from their positions.

Climate alarmism was, and could only have been, a child born of good times. In the midst of an extraordinarily long fifteen year economic boom when most people had jobs, money, houses and not many real concerns, it was something that a number of people actually needed to invent. The politicians needed a danger they could save us from and as it happened, a few scientists raised some genuine concerns over the slight temperature uptick that occurred in the closing decades of the previous century. The political activists of the well left of centre group, still reeling from the double whammy of the death of the liberal dream in the eighties and the collapse of Soviet communism in the nineties, needed it even more desperately.

That little spark of concern was deliberately fanned into a raging inferno that reached its peak at the end of the opening decade of this century.

The political activists hijacked the environmental organisations and more importantly, traduced a hitherto obscure and sleepy branch of science that dealt with the Earth’s climate. As the vague concerns raised by some increasingly politicised climate scientists gradually mutated into doom laden certainties, the media seized on them as good old-fashioned scare the pants off them headline stories. Since the suggested salvation from such a frightening thermogeddon looked like a nice way of redistributing the world’s wealth, an overwhelmingly liberal mainstream media jumped on the promotional bandwagon with alacrity.

A monstrous and building synergy developed. The stories coming out of the science became scarier and scarier, the alarmist headlines became more frequent, climate activist lobbies pressured governments to do something, people got worried about their carbon footprint and to top it all, the politicians began assuring us they could actually save the planet. It was all good stuff for certain people and to see exactly who those people were, you’ve only got to follow the money trail.

Lots of people were making impassioned speeches but it’s who is actually making money out of the whole situation which is always the important pea to keep your eye on. Governments raised more money by imposing green taxes, the environmental organisations filled their coffers with public grants to save various things, financial dealers made billions trading carbon instruments, thousands of people found employment as carbon emission regulators and climate science was the beneficiary of an avalanche of research funding. Everyone else was a loser. The rich got richer and as usual, the ordinary person and the poor got screwed.

A few compliant third-rate scientists were catapulted blinking mole-like out of obscurity and up into that media firmament of stardom. Basking in their new-found adulation, they became masters of the climate universe. The media hung on every word they uttered, the politicians engaged them as climate advisers, big business paid them handsomely for the cachet of their time as consultants, little men suddenly became important little men and gradually, the details of the science not only became unquestioned but also unquestionable.

Anyone who raised a doubt about their god-like authority was to be equated with a holocaust denier. They put their peculiar idea of science at the service of the “cause”, had prominent dissenters removed from their jobs, bullied and browbeat their way to the top and almost complete control of their field, subverted and redefined the peer review process, crowed over the tragic death of opponents, substituted consensus for scientific proof, ploughed straight through the confirmatory bias barrier and right into raw naked advocacy, assured us the seas would boil, the ice caps would melt and snow was a thing of the past.

They became arrogant superstars of Facebook and Twitter, bent the independence of a grovelling money hungry academia to their will, addressed massive international climate conferences in far away exotic places as revered demigods alighting on Earth, reframed the non-existent global warming as climate change, withheld or lost their source data, wrote pseudo-psychological papers to smear their opponents as insane, deleted emails and hid behind non-disclosure agreements and Freedom of Information legislation.

A new and lordly priesthood was born.

Again and again, they unhesitatingly found new depths to drag the integrity of science down to. In short, they betrayed everything I ever loved about it.

But the deeper truth is that when it came down to them, it was never really about the science. For such little men it was always about ego tripping, power and above all money. The political activists saw them for what they really were and simply pimped them out on the mean streets of power.

Gimme yuh dolla big boy, I give you pleny what you wan. Pleny big time boom boom. Ise a good girl, a clean girl, ganteed. I show you good time foh ya monee. Gimme da monee.

They obligingly churned out alarmist paper after alarmist paper and were rewarded with more money every time. The climate activists amongst them fed the suitably spun press releases of the half-baked science out to their equally like-minded friends in the media, who just cranked up the hysteria machine even more.

The end result is that climate science now looks like an old, tired and shop-worn whore whose better days are well behind her.

In the years to come, it will fall to those few good men I alluded to in the opening paragraphs, to mitigate the disaster in credibility brought about by those smaller men and rebuild from the scorched earth upwards what is still an important area of research. No good deed goes unpunished, to use that cynical expression, but it’s a challenge I feel they’ll take on, if only because they were the ones who all along had the strength of character to refuse the king’s shilling.


Related articles by Pointman:

Click here for all articles in the know your enemy series.

The power of dreams and the power of nightmares.

How environmentalism turned to the dark side.

A Tale of Two Davids.

So, which is it; Global Warming, Climate Disruption or Climate Change?

Click for a list of other articles.

27 Responses to “Know your enemy : the alarmist scientist.”
  1. Blackswan says:


    Once again you put into sobering words what so many of us know to be the truth, and it’s greatly appreciated. Your respect for Prof Bob Carter is shared by us all, and despite some who claim he wasn’t “fired” because as an ‘Adjunct Professor’ he wasn’t paid, completely miss the point. Such a position carried all the rights and privileges of his previous salaried work and in the years since his ‘retirement’ he has worked with students in complete dedication to the science for which he had devoted 30 years of his life at that university.

    Perhaps it’s a sad indictment of today’s world and its values, when only ‘money’ can lend a life legitimacy.

    Our own Climate Commissioner, Tim Flannery, perfectly fits your description of “compliant third-rate scientists … catapulted blinking mole-like out of obscurity and up into that media firmament of stardom.” He’s a palaeontologist who doubtless spent his life in a minor South Australian university’s dingy basements, poring over the crumbling bones of long-dead critters and struggling to attain some relevance in modern scientific circles.

    Bingo! He hits the jackpot … as a crackpot, and a highly paid one at that. He believes Mother Gaia is on the brink of attaining consciousness, a personality, forever grateful to her devotees who save her from destruction. He has said that carbon dioxide “pollution” will turn our oceans into purple slime, cause our rivers and dams to run dry while the sea levels swamp the world’s major cities, that methane-producing livestock should be heavily culled while we starve and crops shrivel in the blistering heat.

    Meantime, he buys a luxury waterfront home in one of Sydney’s exclusive harbour-side enclaves.

    “The political activists saw them for what they really were and simply pimped them out on the mean streets of power. Flannery certainly fits the bill, right down to his fishnet stockings and six-inch stilettos.

    You have absolutely ‘nailed’ these Climate Carpetbaggers Pointman – looking forward to the next in your series.


  2. Timbo says:

    “Climate alarmism was, and could only have been, a child born of good times”

    Absolutely spot on. The curious thing is that even though times are now not so good, the warmists are doubling down.

    When you see Obama promising to carry out initiatives which will drive up unemployment and energy costs the only conclusion is that the lunatics have taken over the asylum.


    • Latimer Alder says:

      Warmists are doubling down because they have nowhere else to go. They have far too much personal and political capital invested to be able to do anything else.

      Imagine that you are an academic approaching middle age. You joined the AGW train 15 years ago and rode it to a nice sinecure in a ‘radical’ university. Until years ago everything was on track. But now the wind is changing – scientific, political, public opinion – are all turning against you. What was once a trendy growing field is now being seen as outdated and irrelevant. You can see opportunity and finance drying up. Fewer students, fewer grants. Tougher times ahead

      And maybe you have a family with mouths to feed and a roof to keep over your head. You probably have a fairly high opinion of yourself and enjoy the trappings of academic status. But you also realise that you are pretty much unemployable outside academia – too old, too much ‘yesterday’s man’ .

      Your only possible option is to double down. Fight against the dying of the light. Scream and shout and hope against hope that somebody notices. Pray for the climate catastrophe that will unlock all the goodies that gets your career back on track.

      But the sad fact is – that with all their boasts about being able to foretell the future – the academics didn’t see the change in the weather. They didn’t recognise that Copenhagen, Climategate and the temperature hiatus was a triple whammy that really holed their ship below the waterline. The effects are still being felt.


      • johanna says:

        True dat.

        I think the other problem they have is in their personal and public personas as caring, sharing, environmentally aware, highly evolved beings. Whereas, they have characterised their opponents as knuckle-dragging, right-wing, plundering, planet murdering shysters in the pay of Big (fill in the blank).

        While this is an absurd caricature, how they they now concede that said knuckle-draggers might have been right after all? Lewandowsky’s contortions are a classic example of the difficulty they are now experiencing.


      • johanna says:

        Edit: “how can they now concede …”


  3. meltemian says:

    Great Post Pointy!!
    I didn’t just ‘like’ it I loved it.
    You have the amazing ability to say what we all think but could never express nearly as well.
    (well I certainly couldn’t)


  4. meltemian says:

    What you gonna do when the money runs out?


  5. Ed Moran says:

    Thanks, Pointman! Another good blog.
    It sparked a faint, dim memory. An American sceptic scientist was targeted to the extent that the university kicked his kids off their courses (nuclear physics?). Can anyone point me at this story?


  6. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
    Pointman presents insight well worth the reading, well worth noting and referring to again.


  7. Peter Crawford says:

    Johanna…say ninety-nine and kiss me / just hold me tight and tell me you’ll miss me.

    Pointlet – but how do we winkle these turds off their perches? Flannery shouldn’t be too much of a problem, I reckon a broom handle, a couple of blokes with tennis raquets, and a can of pepper spray will do for Tim. We can net him and release him somewhere in the Scottish Highlands where he can wander to his hearts content.
    Mann will be harder. Like a bushbaby he will cling to the tree and spit like the devil no matter how vigourously you poke him with a stick. We will have to leave him to Mark Steyn. With any luck there will be **** all left but a a few tufts of beard and a tooth once Steyn has done his brutal but necessary work.

    The rest of them might then slope off. But don’t bet on it.

    Next winter (northern hemisphere) I plan to confront Steph Lewandowsky in his Bristol lair and ask him some questions. Will keep you posted.


  8. Manfred says:

    “Climate alarmism was, and could only have been, a child born of good times.”

    Absolutely on the nail Pointman. Pascal Bruckner alludes to this in his recent essay ‘Against Environmental Panic’. The insufferable existential angst of the Green eco-theocrats achieved a crescendissimo of societal projection, aided and abetted by corrupt science, politics and a liberal ‘progressive’ MSM, lubricated by a supply of endless credit. This could only occur in an environment in which there existed an absurd latitude afforded by growth and prosperity, an observation you highlight well.

    It is trite to say storms have silver linings, particularly when so many struggle badly, often aggravated by the superfluous and costly burden of toxic Green policies. If a silver lining may be perceived it was indeed the crash of 2008 within a lingering and pervasive economic decline from 2007. The collapse was the single greatest inhibitor to the rate of embrace by Green totalitarianism in the name of the Ministry of We Know Best. In a sense, we were saved by the bell. Actually, we were saved by random chance.

    As we recover, the truth outs and this period of stagnation wanes, the challenge will become to develop the societal maturity to free ourselves from the existential angst that appears reflexively sought in our cortical hardwired craving to identify threat – an entirely relative phenomena. If there is none, we manufacture it as we bizarrely and simultaneously provide the religious means to transcend it. The new eco-theocratic elite peddle their wares in the name of Gaia. Minimise your ‘carbon’ [sic] footprint, it is your religious duty.

    Little changes. Marx considered religion the opiate of the masses, keeping the great unwashed salved, calm and in their place. He also thought the proletariat would eventually rise up.


    • johanna says:

      Manfred, it’s no accident that the radical environmental movement started in the late 60s – early 70s. People had the time and leisure to pursue it; plus, there were genuine issues worth pursuing.

      Having been a young gel hanging around that scene at the time, what is interesting is how quickly the hard Left (including the Communist Party, in Australia) attached themselves to the movement. Since radical environmentalism is, on the face of it, diametrically opposed to dialectical materialism and scientific socialism, in retrospect it seems odd, to say the least. But the happy-clapper naifs of the middle class environment movement went along, heedless and regardless.They got money, bodies and organised support – what was not to like?

      I won’t drone on further, but hope that Pointman will address some of this as part of his series.

      Peter Crawford, quoting the Mamas and Papas (as I have at the Bishop’s place) may get you somewhere. But, misquoting them is pretty much unforgivable. 🙂


      • Manfred says:

        ‘The Greens’ Agenda, in Their Own Words’. Kevin Andrews

        Andrews writes:

        “Many descriptions could be applied to the Greens, but none seems more accurate than Jack Mundey’s own description of “ecological Marxism”, which sums up the two core beliefs of the Greens. First, the environment or the ecology is to be placed before all else. This is spelt out in the first principle in the Greens Global Charter, to which the Australian Greens are subscribers: “We acknowledge that human beings are part of the natural world and we respect the specific values of all forms of life, including non-human species.”

        “Second, the Greens are Marxist in their philosophy, and display the same totalitarian tendencies of all previous forms of Marxism as a political movement. By totalitarian, I mean the subordination of the individual in the impulse to rid society of all elements that, in the eyes of the adherent, mar its perfection.”

        Worth a read Johanna – if perchance you haven’t read it already.


      • johanna says:

        Manfred, Mundey et al were a splinter group called ‘anarcho-syndicalists’, who were sort of Trotskyist-lite. If it sounds like The Life of Brian, that’s because it was like The Life of Brian. But the beauty of it was that there was a splinter for every constituency – from the concerned middle-class (Mundey et al) to the hard-line activists (Spartacists, Maoists and Stalinists).

        For example, Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, whose parents were Stalinists, co-edited and later edited their Stalinist journal until it became unviable and embarrassing. Then she joined the Greens. Her hardline rhetoric and political skills learned in the treacherous shoals of extreme left politics took her all the way to the top. The well-meaning do-gooders never had a chance for preselection, just as they didn’t for preselection for the Upper House seat she held in NSW previously. Notice that Rhiannon, while caring deeply about the masses, has never faced an election where she (rather than her party) is the candidate.Long terms, no pesky constituents – what more could a watermelon want? (h/t James Delingpole)


    • Old woman of the north says:

      Yesterday I found a reference to the fact that the major left wing unions in Australia – CFMEU, and a couple of other have funded the Greens for the past few years. So much for political clarity.


  9. Pointman says:

    Happy birthday America.



  10. M Simon says:

    “Gimme yuh dolla big boy, I give you pleny what you wan. Pleny big time boom boom. Ise a good girl, a clean girl, ganteed. I show you good time foh ya monee. Gimme da monee.”

    You know those oriental pimps so well. Reminds me of the last time I heard that almost 50 years ago.


Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Lots of people were making impassioned speeches but it’s who is actually making money out of the whole situation which is always the important pea to keep your eye on. Governments raised more money by imposing green taxes, the environmental organisations filled their coffers with public grants to save various things, financial dealers made billions trading carbon instruments, thousands of people found employment as carbon emission regulators and climate science was the beneficiary of an avalanche of research funding. Everyone else was a loser. The rich got richer and as usual, the ordinary person and the poor got screwed.  Continue reading, here… […]


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