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Let the Climate Debate Begin

Why did almost every country buy into possibly bogus science?

You've got to feel almost sorry for Elizabeth May and George Monbiot. The leader of the Green Party and the prominent columnist and promoter of catastrophic climate change from Britain's Guardian are due, next Tuesday, to debate Danish academic Bjorn Lomborg and former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson in Toronto on climate change. In the latest Munk Debate, Messrs May and Monbiot will support the motion "Be it resolved climate change is mankind's defining crisis, and demands a commensurate response."

GoreHypnosisThey have to take the stage in the wake of the devastating hack/leak from Britain's Climate Research Unit of the Hadley Centre at the University of East Anglia, which indicates extensive scientific chicanery to support the warmist cause.

In fact, the deteriorating credibility of the science seems even to undermine one of their opponents. Bjorn Lomborg some while ago - whether from genuine belief, for strategic reasons, or simply because he couldn't take the abuse any more - stopped arguing against the alleged scientific "consensus" on man-made climate change, and instead moved to the position that the policies designed to deal with it were severely sub-optimal if you were genuinely concerned about helping "the poor." Professor Lomborg points out that there are far more effective ways to spray billions at the Third World. In other words he shares the redistributive urges of the UN-centred climate change industry, it's just that he wants to spend the money more effectively, which has certainly never been any sort of priority down at UN headquarters. It will be fascinating to see if he jumps back into the role of full-blown skeptic. Lord Lawson, for his part, has already called for an independent inquiry into the goings on at the CRU, which are bound to reverberate around the world. He noted this week that "the reputation of British science has been severely tarnished."

Ms. May, co-author of Global Warming for Dummies, is presumably unlikely to revise her work with the new title of "We Were the Dummies," but she and Mr. Monbiot will now doubtless be concentrating on damage control. In fact, Mr. Monbiot on Monday produced an extraordinary column in which he at once seemed to acknowledge the damage from the CRU emails, but went on to to ridicule the implication of a broader conspiracy.

Mr. Monbiot noted that there was no use pretending that the CRU e-mails weren't a "major blow." He went on to write that they could "scarcely be more damaging. I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I'm dismayed and deeply shaken by them... There appears to be evidence here of attempts to prevent scientific data from being released, and even to destroy material that was subject to a freedom of information request. Worse still, some of the emails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate sceptics, or to keep it out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I believe that the head of the unit, Phil Jones, should now resign."

This is dramatic stuff. But then came to first line of counterattack. Was this "the final nail in the coffin" of global warming theory? "Not at all," wrote Mr. Monbiot. What we had here was merely damage to the credibility of "three or four scientists." Questions were raised only "about the integrity of one or perhaps two out of several hundred lines of evidence. To bury man-made climate change, a far wider conspiracy would have to be revealed."

In an attempt to establish how utterly ridiculous such a notion was, Mr. Monbiot concocted a smoking gun email to the alleged perpetrators of the conspiracy, dubbed "The Knights Carbonic," all about the plot to install a "Communist World Government." The fake e-mail suggested that such a scheme would have involved the corruption of the entire scientific establishment for almost two hundred years, plus virtually the whole global political establishment, including even George W. Bush!

How Looney Tunes!

The most ridiculous notion of all, according to Mr. Monbiot's fake e-mail, was that "world government will be established under the guise of controlling man-made emissions of greenhouse gases."

But what's so ridiculous about that? It is exactly what the UN-based climate change industry has been saying for almost two decades. Except that they don't want world government, they just want "global governance."

See the difference? No, neither do I.

Mr. Monbiot seeks thus to bury with ridicule the greatest issue of all: How and why did virtually every government on earth buy into what might turn out to be bogus science and potentially disastrous policy? How was a manifestly biased IPCC process able to sell the line - along with its co-Nobel Peace Prize winner, Al Gore - that the science was "settled." What was the UN-based system's role in promoting radical environmental NGOs and allowing them into the policy process? How did NGOs manage to scare the public, and threaten and co-opt Big Business? What was the role of government bureaucracies in pushing obviously self-interested plans to erect massive new programmes to control the weather and dictate industrial activity? How were the vast majority of democratic politicians sucked into this blatantly ideological process without issuing so much as a peep of dissent?

Expect a ding dong debate next Tuesday, with lots more to follow in Copenhagen.


Peter Foster

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