Parakeets may be a foreign pest which only settled in Britain in 1969 but shooting them just because they’re a “nasty alien” is “racist” – a form of “eco-xenophobia.” So claims the director of the Environmental Change Research Unit at Sheffield Hallam University.
Earlier this week, the director of another eco-body – the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research – grabbed the headlines with a similar loopy claim. Britain, said Kevin Anderson, simply isn’t doing enough to combat climate change. What it needs, he argued, is a “planned recession” – with a ban on petrol-driven cars, coal-fired power stations and new airports. Only if Britain reduces its carbon emissions by at least 70 per cent by 2020 can eco-catastrophe be averted.
Gosh I don’t half enjoy news stories like this. They remind us that for all the modern green movement’s claims to sweet reasonableness, scientific integrity, and good, old-fashioned planet-saving commonsense it is in fact stuffed to the gills with activists madder than a giant pantechnicon from Mad Max III with “I’m completely mad” written in ornate golden lettering on the front and on the back “No really I am, madder than you could ever imagine.”
That’s how mad they are. Which would be fine if no one took their ramblings seriously. But unfortunately many people do, and quite a few of those people have control over our lives and our purse strings. President Obama, for example. He believes all this “cut carbon emissions or the world will die tomorrow” drivel. As does our future king. As does pretty much every political administration in Europe, save possibly Poland and the Czech Republic. As does your and my local council. As do most of the teachers filling your kids brains with eco-propaganda at school. As indeed, I’m sorry to say, do lots and lots of your friends, and if you were ever to try to put them right over dinner one night they wouldn’t swing round to your point of view you know, they’d think you were evil and uncaring and very possibly in the pay of Big Oil.
Why do so many people think this way? Well, largely, I think because of a meme which has been spread very successfully by the MSM that the “science is settled” and that the real crazies are the ones who don’t believe in AGW. Earlier this week, for example – on the same day that Kevin Anderson was urging us to bomb our economy back to the Dark Ages in order to save the planet – a story broke which drove a coach and horses right through one of the AGW movement’s most sacred cows. (Yes, can’t you just imagine the mess that mixed metaphor crash made?).
This was the claim made by Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth – with the help of his scary, dramatically upward-ticking graph – that the last decades of the 20th century were the hottest in modern history. Even hotter, apparently, than the Medieval Warming Period when grape vines grew even in the north of Britain.
As I reported earlier in the week this graph – known as the Hockey Stick, used on two occasions in the IPCC’s reports – has now been debunked beyond all credibility. It’s a complicated story – way too complicated for me, because I got several technical details wrong. If you want chapter and verse try this piece by Andrew Orlowski in The Register, or this by Ross McKitrick – one of the scientific analysts who broke the story – in the National Post. Or, get every last pornographic scientific detail from the Man Who Broke The Hockey Stick , Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit.
McKitrick sums up the problem very well:
“I have been probing the arguments for global warming for well over a decade. In collaboration with a lot of excellent coauthors I have consistently found that when the layers get peeled back, what lies at the core is either flawed, misleading or simply non-existent. The surface temperature data is a contaminated mess with a significant warm bias, and as I have detailed elsewhere the IPCC fabricated evidence in its 2007 report to cover up the problem. Climate models are in gross disagreement with observations, and the discrepancy is growing with each passing year. The often-hyped claim that the modern climate has departed from natural variability depended on flawed statistical methods and low-quality data. The IPCC review process, of which I was a member last time, is nothing at all like what the public has been told: Conflicts of interest are endemic, critical evidence is systematically ignored and there are no effective checks and balances against bias or distortion.”
Or, if you want it put even more succinctly: AGW is bunk; the scientific “consensus” a figment of Al Gore’s imagination. The only reason anyone could possibly have for believing otherwise is because of the extraordinarily one-sided way the story is reported in the MSM.
Apart from Canada’s National Post – whose editor Lawrence Solomon has written a splendid editorial arguing that “the global warming scare is all over bar the shouting” – the Hockey Stick story has been given next to no coverage in the mainstream media.
This, it seems to me, is a scandal almost as big as the scientific conspiracy just exposed by Steve McIntyre. Every time a climate fear promoter opens his mouth – be he the Prince of Wales, Al Gore or some nutty prof from the Hadley Centre and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research – he is quoted in the Dead Tree Press as if he were the Delphic Oracle. But when evidence emerges to prove them wrong, it’s as if the story just didn’t exist.