Benny Peiser lays out the situation in the UK and Europe in a long interview on GWPF. It’s interesting, and I agree (more on that below), except for the point when he says it’s too soon to do a review of the science. Dear Benny, in the politest possible way — that’s barking. The review of the science is not too soon, it’s too late — it should have been done 10 years ago, before we spent billions, and the Greens ought to be calling for one right now.
…[sceptics are treated like] a neo-Nazi or a racist, it’s as bad as that in certain circles.
Think about it: the future of the planet (galaxy etc.) depends on convincing people to cut carbon emissions, and skeptics are everywhere and growing in number. Is there any better way to quell the dissent? The end-of-the-world memes are failing and the only way to clear the decks is the old fashioned way — air it, have it out, do the battle, and may the best team win. Obviously, since climate scientists are the experts and 97% of them agree, it will be a lay down misère — all the misguided nuclear physicists, surgeons, math-heads, geo’s and engineer deniers will get publicly trounced, and for once and for all it will be settled. I can’t imagine why The Greens / Grantham institute / IPCC have missed this opportunity and allowed thousands of other scientists to seed so much doubt. For goodness sake, get skeptical scientists and not-so-skeptical-scientists on a joint platforms, and televise the whole thing. That’s “moving forward”.
Right now, skeptical commentators are scoring win after win just pointing out how cowardly the consensus crew are, and how they depend on toxic bullying and namecalling to silence critics. (Perhaps Benny is hoping to fool them into thinking we take them seriously?)
Andrew Foster on Benny Peiser:
Amber Rudd has ruled out a review of the science and Peiser concurs. “I think it’s far too early because it’s too fuzzy. All the national academies are still adamant that everything is right, they’ve got everything right and nothing has changed. I think we need more time before we can say with some confidence that something is seriously wrong.”
Predicting the climate may be “fuzzy” but the failure of the hypothesis is beyond “wrong” and into “legendary”. History books will be written about the tragic state of climate science in 2016. As I’ve said before — the models not only fail on global decadal scales, but on regional, local, short term,  , polar, and upper tropospheric scales  too. They fail on humidity, rainfall, drought  and they fail on clouds . The hot spot is missing, the major feedbacks are not amplifying the effect of CO2 as assumed. Indeed Evans has shown that current models are missing the obvious big major feedbacks completely, and ignoring the massive fields and fluxes off the Sun. Current modelers have entirely missed the possibility of cooling coming soon.
The failure is so complete we are scraping the barrel to imagine wild possibilities whereby the theory-of-man-made-climate-control might be not-completely-absolutely-dead. For it to be correct, the natural forces that pushed the climate up and down for the last 500 million years stopped in 1880 when the first coal station was built. Or rather, they phased out over the decades as human emissions grew so as to keep the rate of decadal warming exactly the same in the 1980s as it was in 1870s. Could be.
The Committee on Climate Change says the pause doesn’t change things: “Scientists are confident the temperature will rise more quickly again, as greenhouse gas emissions continue and current cooling influences subside. The pause does not substantially affect long-term projections.”
The pause doesn’t “affect” the long term projections inasmuch as it destroys the models. Those natural cycles that phased out in 1880ish phased back in 1999 to create the pause they can’t explain. (What bad luck for the models?)
Says Peiser: “I think everyone will be observing what will happen to the temperature over the next five years or so.” If temperatures don’t shoot up, science faces a crisis.
Science faces a crisis? No, the crisis is here: funding is near 100% monopolistic, lacking in diversity, and politically correct; scientists have been sacked, exiled, abandoned at airports, and public data is hidden, or adjusted with secret methods. Peer review permits the junk and blocks the replies that fix the mistakes. Meanwhile the last backup in the failure of the science industry are the science writers. But they laud the scientists who hide their methods and who have a vested interest in the results, while they attack the volunteers who do honest work for free.
“Science faces a big test. If it turns out to be wrong – and I’m not saying it is but there’s a slight chance – then people will ask, ‘How is it possible that science failed us to such an extent, it shut down the debate, and forced governments into these billions and trillions of damaging policies?
Science faces a big test? No. What people call “the science” is not even science. It’s a political movement that has rebadged itself as “science” and taken the funding from people who use the scientific method. There is no part of real science that says that if the predictions fail then the theory is correct and the data needs to be changed.
I think they [scientists] have failed already, even if they’re right. I think it was a mistake to suppress critical views because science works best when it is tested all the time.”
On politics and policy Peiser is sharp:
Peiser thinks the Paris agreement has been over-hyped. “Paris has essentially failed just as much as Copenhagen, except the PR was better.” But David Cameron said it was a “historic deal” and legally binding. “That’s right – legally binding to meet again. The only legally binding thing is the process – it’s legally binding to meet again and to review every five years and to reassess the pledges. But there is nothing about the actual CO2 targets.” -
He thinks EU leaders will probably abandon their unilateral approach to emission reductions. “
My concern with Paris that Peiser doesn’t mention is the possibility where weak Paris waffle gets used as one half of a two pronged legal pincer movement. Some countries have legally binding domestic legislation that was waiting for a “global agreement” of the sort that the toothless Paris deal may trigger.
Peiser captures how things have changed in the last ten years:
The main change has been in the public mood. “When we spoke in 2006, 2008, there was hardly a newspaper that would dare to publish anything asking awkward questions. There was not only a complete party consensus – remember, there were only five MPs who voted against the Climate Change Act – there was almost a complete media consensus too. That has changed significantly and that has opened the public debate. It hasn’t trickled down yet to the kind of chattering classes and MPs but there is now much more questioning: ‘Hold on, does that add up? Does that make sense? How much does it actually cost?’All these questions are now in the public domain.”
A left/right split has opened up. “All centre-right papers tend to be sceptical – The Mail, The Sun, The Telegraph, The Times – they all have continuously sceptical, critical articles, columns, op-eds. Mainly because of the impact of the policies – they realise something isn’t working. Subsidising so much renewables is causing all sorts of unintended consequences.”
The political picture is largely unchanged, however. “The Conservative Party is still where it was seven-eight years ago. They haven’t changed. I mean you could argue that a few ministers within the Government who are dealing with these issues are beginning to realise there are problems and are making some noises to say ‘hold on’.
But the political picture has transformed in the US with the conservatives competing to be skeptical in the Presidential campaign. In Australia, there was progress, but now the conservatives are a Labor lite crew.
Amber Rudd has made it perfectly clear now that the main energy priority in the UK is no longer climate change. The main priority is affordability and security of energy and climate comes third. It used to be climate first. “It’s not that they can suddenly do the maths, it’s just they realise they get a lot of flak and criticism and people are saying why are we wasting billions and billions of pounds on energy systems that don’t work 24/7?”
Peiser: skeptics are treated like they are neo-Nazi’s
A great summary of the Green Blob and cohort of vested interests
For many people climate change is more than just a policy issue, he says. “It’s so deeply ingrained, it’s almost a belief system and the pressure to conform is enormous, perhaps even more than seven or eight years ago. In polite society you do not mention that you’re not entirely sure about this agenda. This is like being a neo-Nazi or a racist, it’s as bad as that in certain circles. “On the other hand, when you look at the surveys where people are actually asked about climate change, the majority of Britons are no longer bothered, there’s a fatigue, ‘Oh, we’ve heard it all before.’”
He believes vested interests act as a big barrier to rolling back policy. “All the landowners [on whose land wind-farms/solar farms have been built], all the families who have solar panels on their roofs, for them it’s an investment, they don’t want to lose that at all. Then you have the green NGOs and the green civil servants – in Paris there were 15,000 green bureaucrats.
So every government has created these institutions, almost in every department, almost everywhere someone is working on climate energy, renewables. You have an institutionalised force that lives off this very agenda. You have this ‘green blob’ that is very active and who wants to pursue this forever. “That is why I think any rollback will be piecemeal and gradual – more and more programmes will be cut, once you cut the programmes the jobs will go, and the blob shrinks. But it is very, very influential, very powerful. The green blob can organise campaigns – that they can do very effectively. They are trying these kinds of intimidation tactics that if you question any of this then you are portrayed as a very bad person.” What does he want to happen? “I think fracking and shale [oil and gas] would be a big boost to the UK economy and energy security. And I would like to see a return to rational discussion and debating where people with different views on these things are able to discuss them.” He takes a close interest in climate science. “I still believe that the basic paradigm is correct – that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that as we pump more and more of it into the atmosphere it will have a warming effect. That I fully accept. The big question always has been, ‘So how much of an effect, what are the feedbacks, what are the kind of knock-on effects of that? Will it accelerate, or will it be balanced by other feedbacks?
In the end, we ask the same question as Benny about the problem of predicting climate change. But I won’t pay the state controlled science industry the respect of calling it “the science” or pretending it might still be correct. If any of their projections are right with the political quasi religious method they use, it’s because they got lucky. It ain’t the scientific method.
Just so no one mistakes the spirit here — Benny Peiser does a magnificent job with the GWPF. I’m always interested in what he had to say — especially on Brit and EU politics. I’m having a pointed fun poke at his comment here, but it was only a couple of lines in a long interview. For all I know these were just quick asides…
The GWPF publishes excellent science reports (check them out).
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