One of the things that define democrats is belief in freedom of speech. It is a key pillar of a free society, up there with rights like private property, and enshrined in our constitution. It is also why some things climate alarmists get up to are deeply disturbing.
Recently, when advocates of the theory that we are warming the planet to catastrophic levels feared they were losing the argument, three Democratic Party senators in the US sent letters to 100 individuals and groups demanding to know the sources of their incomes.
Was this a noble insistence on transparency, a desperate hunt for a conspiracy, or an attempt to stifle dissent, and quash free speech?
To many people the first motive looked slim. The use of senatorial notepaper was clearly intended to give the demand the voice of authority when, in fact, it was no such thing. The recipients all doubted the absolute veracity of the argument that humans are responsible for warming the planet. It looked like a clear case of intimidation laced with paranoia.
The writers tacitly admitted the second motive for these official-looking letters. Believers in man-made global warming theory have long accused oil and nuclear companies of financing challenges to their beliefs, which they regard as gospel fact. They therefore believe is criminally perverse for anyone to challenge it – free speech be damned.
It all smacked of desperation.
It is true that some oil companies—notably Exxon — make no secret that they have supported climate sceptics, but not on the scale green paranoia claims, and not conditional on any particular stance by the recipients. But even if it was true that climate sceptics all are paid by oil companies, it hardly justifies censorship, especially in the US where free speech is enshrined.
Desperation takes first place among motives for the global warming advocates. And with good reason. Their propaganda has steadily lost traction among the US public and citizens in the developed world, largely because of a series of scandals that have cast doubt on the honesty of prominent scientists in the global warming camp.
The most telling of the scandals involved climate scientists at the University of East Anglia in Britain. It revealed some clearly non-scientific behaviour, attempts to deny other scientists access to their data, and clear evidence that climate data was seen as political tool.
An Australian journalist wrote at the time: “… 1,079 emails and 72 documents seem indeed evidence of a scandal involving most of the most prominent scientists pushing the man-made warming theory – a scandal that is one of the greatest in modern science … emails suggesting conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organised resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more.”
Readers can draw their own conclusions from the list of emails and the strange attitudes they reveal here: http://tomnelson.blogspot.co.za/p/climategate_05.html
Naturally, reaction was instant. Climate sceptics gleefully seized on it. Climate believers set up investigations that unanimously found there was nothing at all that affected the theory of climate change. What a surprise that was.
Some went further. The University of East Anglia set up an international Scientific Assessment Panel, in consultation with the Royal Society that found “no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit.” Choosing the jury that suits the accused, some would say.
The UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee found that criticisms of the Climate Research Unit were misplaced and that “Professor Jones’s actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community.” No one defined the climate science community, assuming that it was monolithic in its thinking. It is not.
This seemed to let the East Anglia climate scientists off the hook. But, then another set of emails emerged. These emails showed that while believing in the guilt of industrial civilisation in causing an existential threat to the world, they were not above toadying up to major companies such as Shell, BP, and others. It looked like world-class cynicism or naiveté if one was being generous.
Of course, it was all dismissed as trivial and of no significance regarding climate change. But such criticism misses the point. The issue is no longer about the science or the environment. It is about free speech and the danger of giving unelected UN bureaucrats the power to rule our lives.
There is no consensus as the warmists claim. Here are just a few contrary views.
Tom Tripp, a member of the UN International Panel on Climate Change.
“Despite what you may have heard in the media, there is nothing like a consensus of scientific opinion that this is a problem. Because there is natural variability in the weather, you cannot statistically know for another 150 years.”
NASA Scientist Dr. Leonard Weinstein
“Any reasonable scientific analysis must conclude the basic theory wrong”.
Dr. Robert B. Laughlin, winner of the Nobel Prize for physics in 1998
“Please remain calm: The Earth will heal itself — Climate is beyond our power to control…Earth doesn’t care about governments or their legislation… Climate change is a matter of geologic time, something that the earth routinely does on its own ….”.
Dr. Anatoly Levitin, Russian Academy of Sciences.
“The energy mankind generates is so small compared to that overall energy budget that it simply cannot affect the climate….The planet’s climate is doing its own thing, but we cannot pinpoint significant trends in changes to it because it dates back millions of years while the study of it began only recently. We are children of the Sun; we simply lack data to draw the proper conclusions.”
Chemist William C. Gilbert published a study in August 2010 in the journal Energy & Environment titled “The thermodynamic relationship between surface temperature and water vapour concentration in the troposphere.”
“I am ashamed of what climate science has become today. The science community is relying on an inadequate model to blame CO2 and innocent citizens for global warming in order to generate funding and to gain attention. If this is what science has become today, I, as a scientist, am ashamed.”
Are all these scientists in the pay of Big Oil, the Nuclear Industry, the Steel Companies, Aluminium Smelters, Coal interests ,all mining companies, vehicle manufacturers, forestry companies, nylon weavers, plastic goods makers, socks and shirt makers, cigarette companies, ladies’ lingerie companies , and not to forget Monsanto?
As the kids say, “Not.”