The goals of the post modern left - virtually all of whom can be found in the middle of the AGW movement or acting in full support thereof - are the accretion of power that will allow them to exercise near complete control over the lives of their subjects and the redistribution of wealth from "corrupt" capitalist countries. They make no real effort to hide their goals, though they frame it in the words of benevolent Kings acting wholly in the best interests of their ignorant subjects. As the IPCC's Chairman Mao said not long ago, the West is "corrupt" and must be made to "change its ways." A column in the NYT today is instructive. This from John Broder:
If negotiators reach an accord at the climate talks in Copenhagen it will entail profound shifts in energy production, dislocations in how and where people live, sweeping changes in agriculture and forestry and the creation of complex new markets in global warming pollution credits.
So what is all this going to cost?
The short answer is trillions of dollars over the next few decades. It is a significant sum but a relatively small fraction of the world’s total economic output. In energy infrastructure alone, the transformational ambitions that delegates to the United Nations climate change conference are expected to set in the coming days will cost more than $10 trillion in additional investment from 2010 to 2030, according to a new estimate from the International Energy Agency.
As scary as that number sounds, the agency said that the costs would ramp up relatively slowly and be largely offset by economic benefits in new jobs, improved lives, more secure energy supplies and a reduced danger of climate catastrophe. Most of the investment will come from private rather than public funds, the agency contends.
“People often ask about the costs,” said Kevin Parker, the global head of Deutsche Bank Asset Management, who tracks climate policy for the bank. “But the figures people tend to cite don’t take into account conservation and efficiency measures that are easily available. And they don’t look at the cost of inaction, which is the extinction of the human race. Period.” . . .
Read the entire article.
We really are in an existential struggle at the moment. The plans of the AGW socialists will have us making a massive transfer of wealth and a vast expansion of the power of governments to regulate the economy and our lives, all based on unproven science. They ask this of us so that they may "save us from extinction."
Their plans will have us destroy our energy infrastructure and move into reliance on "green energy which, other than nuclear power, is both far more costly and unproven at scale. While the reality of green energy's inefficiencies will keep us dependant upon fossil fuels, our own fossil fuel industries will be attacked and dismantled - as the Obama administration is well on its way to doing with the coal industry in America. To quote from Don Suber, the "Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson has not only stopped future [coal mining] permits but she went back and retroactively pulled 79 existing mine permits, including 23 in West Virginia." Similarly, recall that Obama promised to allow greater domestic oil exploration during the campaign. That promise did not survive the swearing in. Thus, it is a virtual certainty that we will become ever more dependant upon foreign oil, and that the cost of that oil will rise exponentially once world wide demand reaches and surpasses 2007 levels.
The "cost savings and efficiencies" claimed by the individual quoted in the above NYT article are wholly illusory. The new "green jobs" foisted upon us would create a market distortion and come at the cost of a loss of "old jobs." Indeed, a Spanish study found that "[e]very “green job” created with government money in Spain over the last eight years came at the cost of 2.2 regular jobs, and only one in 10 of the newly created green jobs became a permanent job."
Likewise is the massive market distortion of cap and trade. There is no better example than that discussed in a post at EU Referendum. It concerns the decision made last week to close a seemingly cost efficient steel plant employing 1700 workers in Britain. As Dr. North writes, "[t]he EU's emission trading scheme (ETS) may have been the deciding factor in the closure of the Corus Redcar steel-making plant – . . . giving the company a windfall bonus of up to £1.2 billion from the plant closure – on top of other savings." In other words, the value of carbon credits exceeded the profit from actually producing steel with an otherwise viable profit margin for the industry. Dr. North explains the nuances of how this works, and further tells us that the slack in the companies steel production will be "off shored" to India, where the cost of carbon credits is significantly lower. Thus, through the perverse incentives of Europe's carbon trading scheme, 1700 British jobs were lost, no global carbon reduction was realized, manufacturing jobs were moved to a developing country, and the company that took these acts made a windfall profit in carbon credits. If that is not market distortion, nothing is. And the ones who bear the brunt - those sacrificed on the dual alter of greed and green - are the rank and file who likely stand no chance of finding work for similar wages.
It does get worse though. The carbon trading scheme has proven in Europe to be ineffective in reducing carbon, it is corrupt and it is an invitation to large scale fraud. To quote again from Dr. North, "I don't think the majority of people even begin to realise quite what how big a scam the "carbon" market really is."
As to "improved lives," you can ask the now unemployed British steel workers about that. The reality is that the only lives that stand any chance of being improved by this insanity are the lives of politicians and their "rent seeking" cronies. The average American struggling to make ends meet would see his costs of living going up significantly while Gore and his profiteering ilk would be enriched beyond their wildest dreams. The only way to make the average person sign up for this madness is, one, threaten them with the ultimate in dire consequences if they don't accept it, two, do not allow any dissent to creep in (thus making this a political, not a scientific issue) and "hide the decline," and three, if you cannot institute it by democratic means, then do it otherwise and present it as a fait accompli. That is what the far left has now managed in America through an activist Supreme Court and Obama's EPA. When someone as serious as Charles Krauthammer bandies about words such as "revolution" as a response to such an act - at least should the EPA begin unilaterally carbon regulation - it is a marker as to how existential this whole matter truly is.
As Daniel Henninger points out in today's WSJ, one of the significant ramifications for Climategate is to the perceived credibility of all hard sciences:
Surely there must have been serious men and women in the hard sciences who at some point worried that their colleagues in the global warming movement were putting at risk the credibility of everyone in science. The nature of that risk has been twofold: First, that the claims of the climate scientists might buckle beneath the weight of their breathtaking complexity. Second, that the crudeness of modern politics, once in motion, would trample the traditions and culture of science to achieve its own policy goals. With the scandal at the East Anglia Climate Research Unit, both have happened at once.
I don't think most scientists appreciate what has hit them. . . .
As Henninger points out, the reality is that left wing post modernism has crept into the hard sciences. I blogged a few days ago on the politicization of anthropology to further the ends of our post modern left. Who knew that anthropologists who helped our military were demeaning their discipline, or that anthropology research leads directly to the conclusion that we should enact card check to resuscitate the ever shrinking unions. But that said, there are also signs that many highly respected academics are waking up to the dangers to their professions exposed by Climategate. One such example is memorialized in an article by CBS's Declan McCullagh - a journalist rapidly approaching, in my estimation, the rarified ground of an honest reporter in the MSM - a ground heretofore occupied by only Jake Tapper. Mr. McCullagh reports on the fallout from Climategate and how it has effected the American Physics Society. This from Mr. McCullah:
The professional association for physicists is facing internal pressure from some of its most distinguished members, who say the burgeoning ClimateGate scandal means the group should rescind its 2007 statement declaring that global warming represents a dire international emergency.
. . . Pressure on this venerable society of physicists, which was founded in 1899 at Columbia University, is coming from members who are squarely in the scientific mainstream and are alarmed at the state of climate science revealed in the leaked e-mail messages and program files from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit.
Those files show that prominent scientists were so wedded to theories of man-made global warming that they ridiculed dissenters who asked for copies of their data, plotted how to keep researchers who reached different conclusions from publishing, and discussed how to conceal apparently buggy computer code from being disclosed under the Freedom of Information law. Internal investigations are now underway at East Anglia, Penn State, and the British government's weather forecasting unit.
One APS dissenting member is William Happer, a physicist who runs the Happer Lab at Princeton University. Another is Hal Lewis, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A third is Robert Austin, another Princeton physics professor and head of a biophysics research group.
They've been circulating a letter saying: "By now everyone has heard of what has come to be known as ClimateGate, which was and is an international scientific fraud, the worst any of us have seen... We have asked the APS management to put the 2007 statement on ice until the extent to which it is tainted can be determined, but that has not been done. We have also asked that the membership be consulted on this point, but that too has not been done."
Some of the same scientists had asked the APS, pre-ClimateGate, to revise its climate policy statement. To the applause of like-minded bloggers who dubbed the petition "a silly distraction," the APS shot down that idea on November 10.
In the aftermath of the embarrassing data leaks, however, Princeton's Happer says that about half of the APS members they've contacted now support the petition (which, after all, is only asking for an independent analysis of the science involved).
Of the signatories so far, Happer says, 77 are fellows of major scientific societies, 14 members of the National Academies, one is a Nobel laureate, and there is a large number of authors of major scientific books and recipients of prizes and awards for scientific research. He adds: "Some have accepted a career risk by signing the petition. The 230 odd signatories can hardly be dismissed as lightweights compared to those who spread the message of impending climate disaster."
This has become a common refrain: Hans von Storch, director of the Institute for Coastal Research, calls the climate change axis a "cartel." A colleague, Eduardo Zorita, went further and said the scientists implicated in the e-mails "should be barred" from future United Nations proceedings and warned that "the scientific debate has been in many instances hijacked to advance other agendas." One estimate from a free-market group says that 12 of the 26 scientists who wrote the relevant section of a U.N. global warming report are "up to their necks in ClimateGate."
Below are excerpts from e-mail messages that the scientists behind the petition to the APS sent me on Monday:
Princeton University's Robert Austin:
I view it as science fraud, pure and simple, and that we should completely distance ourselves from such unethical behavior by CRU, and that data files be opened to the public and examined in the full light of day. We as taxpayers pay for that work -- we are owed examination of the analysis.
. . . Hal Lewis of the University of California, Santa Barbara:
I think it behooves us to be careful about how we state the science. I know of nobody who denies that the Earth has been warming for thousands of years without our help (and specifically since the Little Ice Age a few hundred years ago), and is most likely to continue to do so in its own sweet time. The important question is how much warming does the future hold, is it good or bad, and if bad is it too much for normal adaptation to handle. The real answer to the first is that no one knows, the real answer to the second is more likely good than bad (people and plants die from cold, not warmth), and the answer to the third is almost certainly not. And nobody doubts that CO2 in the atmosphere has been increasing for the better part of a century, but the disobedient temperature seems not to care very much. And nobody denies that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, along with other gases like water vapor, but despite the claims of those who are profiting by this craze, no one knows whether the temperature affects the CO2 or vice versa. The weight of the evidence is the former.
So the tragedy is that the serious questions are quantitative, and it's easy to fool people with slogans. If you say that the Earth is warming you are telling the truth, but not the whole truth, and if you say it is due to the burning of fossil fuels you are on thin ice. If you say that the Earth is warming and therefore catastrophe lies ahead, you are pulling an ordinary bait and switch scam. If you are a demagogue, of course, these distinctions don't bother you -- you have little interest in that quaint concept called truth.
So it isn't simple, and the catastrophe mongers are playing a very lucrative
I vastly over-quoted that entire article, but it is so good I wanted to preserve it on this blog.
In the same vein is an open letter sent to the UN's Secretary General by 141 scientists calling upon the UN to require climate scientists to answer some basic questions before the UN enacts any additional agreements regarding "climate change:"
Specifically, we challenge supporters of the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused climate change to demonstrate that:
1.Variations in global climate in the last hundred years are significantly outside the natural range experienced in previous centuries;
2.Humanity’s emissions of carbon dioxide and other ‘greenhouse gases’ (GHG) are having a dangerous impact on global climate;
3.Computer-based models can meaningfully replicate the impact of all of the natural factors that may significantly influence climate;
4.Sea levels are rising dangerously at a rate that has accelerated with increasing human GHG emissions, thereby threatening small islands and coastal communities;
5.The incidence of malaria is increasing due to recent climate changes;
6.Human society and natural ecosystems cannot adapt to foreseeable climate change as they have done in the past;
7.Worldwide glacier retreat, and sea ice melting in Polar Regions , is unusual and related to increases in human GHG emissions;
8.Polar bears and other Arctic and Antarctic wildlife are unable to adapt to anticipated local climate change effects, independent of the causes of those changes;
9.Hurricanes, other tropical cyclones and associated extreme weather events are increasing in severity and frequency;
10.Data recorded by ground-based stations are a reliable indicator of surface temperature trends.
It is not the responsibility of ‘climate realist’ scientists to prove that dangerous human-caused climate change is not happening. Rather, it is those who propose that it is, and promote the allocation of massive investments to solve the supposed ‘problem’, who have the obligation to convincingly demonstrate that recent climate change is not of mostly natural origin and, if we do nothing, catastrophic change will ensue. To date, this they have utterly failed to do so.
In a surprising move, CNN has apparently taken a very fair and balanced look at Climategate. I did not see it, but Media Matters is effuse in their praise of CNN's work:
CNN made a real, day-long effort on Monday to address the climate-change debate as a debate, giving skeptics of manmade climate change a series of chances to match the leftist view, especially during its evening programming. CNN is also the only U.S. TV news outlet so far to send an anchor to the Climate Research Unit at the center of the ClimateGate controversy . . .
Read the entire post for all of the details.
Lastly, Sarah Palin weighs in on Climategate in the pages of the Washington Post, where she reminds the President of his promises regarding science and calls for him to boycott the Copenhagen conference. This from Ms. Palin:
With the publication of damaging e-mails from a climate research center in Britain, the radical environmental movement appears to face a tipping point. The revelation of appalling actions by so-called climate change experts allows the American public to finally understand the concerns so many of us have articulated on this issue. . . .
This scandal obviously calls into question the proposals being pushed in Copenhagen. I've always believed that policy should be based on sound science, not politics. As governor of Alaska, I took a stand against politicized science when I sued the federal government over its decision to list the polar bear as an endangered species despite the fact that the polar bear population had more than doubled. I got clobbered for my actions by radical environmentalists nationwide, but I stood by my view that adding a healthy species to the endangered list under the guise of "climate change impacts" was an abuse of the Endangered Species Act. This would have irreversibly hurt both Alaska's economy and the nation's, while also reducing opportunities for responsible development. . . .
In his inaugural address, President Obama declared his intention to "restore science to its rightful place." But instead of staying home from Copenhagen and sending a message that the United States will not be a party to fraudulent scientific practices, the president has upped the ante. He plans to fly in at the climax of the conference in hopes of sealing a "deal." Whatever deal he gets, it will be no deal for the American people. What Obama really hopes to bring home from Copenhagen is more pressure to pass the Democrats' cap-and-tax proposal. This is a political move. The last thing America needs is misguided legislation that will raise taxes and cost jobs -- particularly when the push for such legislation rests on agenda-driven science.
Without trustworthy science and with so much at stake, Americans should be wary about what comes out of this politicized conference. The president should boycott Copenhagen.
Well said, Ms. Palin.
Climategate and Surrealism
More Climategate Fallout
Climategate Update 3
Climategate Update 4: CRU Records Worthless
Climategate Update 5: IPCC's Chairman Mao
Climategate Update 6: Climategate In Video
UNEP, Green Religion & Global Governance
Climate Update 7: IPCC's Chairman Mao Plays The Obama Card, Peer Review Analyzed, Scientific Method Explained For Paul Krugman
Climategate Update 8: The NYT Reports
Climategate Update 9: CRU Head Phil Jones Steps Down During Investigation, An MIT Prof Explains The Holes In AGW Theory, And Climate Fraud Is Everywhere
Climategate Update 10: Climategate Reverberates From The UK To Down Under
Climategate Update 11: Finally An AGW Consensus, "Hockey Stick" Mann Attacks Jones, Gore Goes To Ground
Climategate Update 12: The AGW Wall Starts To Crumble, The Smoking Code & The Tiger Woods Index
Clmategate Update 13: Hack Job Alert - Washington Post Leads With Climategate and A Complete Defense Of Global Warming
Climate Update 14: A Tale of 4 Graphs & An Influential Tree, Hide The Decline Explained, Corrupt Measurements, Goebbelswarming at Copenhagen
Climategate Update 15: Copenhagen, EPA Makes Final Finding On CO2, Courts & Clean Air