In a recent fascinating Fox news segment, the erudite host Stuart Varney interviewed Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, the influential and once-responsible environmental group that’s become an organ of left-wing extremism. Moore quit the organization when, he said, “Greenpeace was hijacked by social and political activists.” He talked with Varney for 10 minutes about the nature of the current environmental movement, especially as it relates to global warming. His revelations are all the more interesting because the Obama administration bases its energy and environmental policies on the alarmism and pseudo-science that Moore decries:
(Environmentalism today is) more about globalism and anti-capitalism than it is about science or ecology….
We do not have scientific proof that we are the cause of global warming….(The global warming movement is) a powerful convergence of interests, not only environmentalists but also scientists seeking grant money, media seeking headlines, universities seeking grants from major institutions, and foundations, environmental groups, (and) politicians wanting to make it look like they’re saving future generations. All of these people have converged on this issue. Even the scientific community has become politicized on the subject of climate change. But there are many thousands of scientists, particularly in the earth sciences…who are not convinced that we have proof of climate change.”
Some recent news tends to support his views. In a scientific study of Himalayan glaciers, the researchers found that more than half the observed glaciers were advancing or stable and that global warming is not the deciding factor in whether a glacier survives or melts. This contradicts a UN report that the glaciers would soon melt away.
In January, Dr. Richard S. Lindzen, Prof. of meteorology at MIT, published an article on global warming that’s worth reading for technically savvy people. The article has one long paragraph that anyone can understand and everyone should be aware of:
(O)ne may reasonably ask why there is the current alarm, and, in particular, why the astounding upsurge in alarmism of the past 4 years. When an issue like global warming is around for over twenty years, numerous agendas are developed to exploit the issue. The interests of the environmental movement in acquiring more power, influence, and donations are reasonably clear. So too are the interests of bureaucrats for whom control of CO2 is a dream-come-true. After all, CO2 is a product of breathing itself. Politicians can see the possibility of taxation that will be cheerfully accepted because it is necessary for ‘saving’ the earth. Nations have seen how to exploit this issue in order to gain competitive advantages. But, by now, things have gone much further. The case of ENRON (a now bankrupt Texas energy firm) is illustrative in this respect. Before disintegrating in a pyrotechnic display of unscrupulous manipulation, ENRON had been one of the most intense lobbyists for Kyoto. It had hoped to become a trading firm dealing in carbon emission rights. This was no small hope. These rights are likely to amount to over a trillion dollars, and the commissions will run into many billions. Hedge funds are actively examining the possibilities; so was the late Lehman Brothers. Goldman Sachs has lobbied extensively for the ‘cap and trade’ bill, and is well positioned to make billions. It is probably no accident that Gore, himself, is associated with such activities. The sale of indulgences is already in full swing with organizations selling offsets to one’s carbon footprint while sometimes acknowledging that the offsets are irrelevant. The possibilities for corruption are immense. Archer Daniels Midland (America’s largest agribusiness) has successfully lobbied for ethanol requirements for gasoline, and the resulting demand for ethanol may already be contributing to large increases in corn prices and associated hardship in the developing world (not to mention poorer car performance). And finally, there are the numerous well meaning individuals who have allowed propagandists to convince them that in accepting the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate change, they are displaying intelligence and virtue For them, their psychic welfare is at stake.
In mid February, Robert Tracinski, editor of The Intellectual Activist and TIADaily.com., wrote a column criticizing a liberal political writer who said global warming alarmists are like Galileo. Tracinski said that in fact it’s the responsible scientists who are like Galileo:
Galileo was persecuted–threatened with torture and forced to recant–for advocating the theory that the planets revolve around the Sun, which contradicted the Church-sanctioned dogma that the Sun and planets revolve around the Earth.
Tracinski detailed how Galileo would not simply accept Copernicus’s mathematical model of heliocentrism. He insisted on doing experiments to prove it.
But physical explanations and observational evidence are precisely the weak points of the global warming dogma. The whole global warming theory began with mathematical computer models. But the actual observational data isn’t there. Climategate helped produce revelations about the corruption and unreliability of global temperature data, which in any case has shown a lack of continued warming over the past decade. In one of the Climategate e-mails, a consensus scientist complains that it is a “travesty” that they cannot explain recent cooling. In another, Michael Mann gives the most notorious line of the scandal, explaining how he is manipulating a graph of proxy temperature data to “hide the decline” it shows in recent decades….
(T)he left uses science, not as a vital thinking method, but as a political pose. They drag out science as a prop, without understanding the basic method and attitude of science….
Part of the reason why Galileo is remembered as one of the fathers of modern science is his thoroughgoing rejection of …subordination to authority….The idea is that even if a Galileo or a Newton were to present a new theory, his prestige should count for nothing. He still has to show his data and prove it.
The same goes for climate scientists, environmentalist activists, and hack political writers.