Well of course I would write a headline like that having just spent the last three days in Chicago at the Heartland Institute’s 4th International Conference on Climate Change. This is the event the cackling, cloak-wearing, befanged AGW-denying community attends every year to glorify in their own evil. And naturally, in the wake of Climategate, a mood of uproarious triumphalism has prevailed as distinguished skeptical scientists, economists, and policymakers from around the world – Pat Michaels, Richard Lindzen, Ian Plimer, Bob Carter, Fred Singer.. you name them, they’re here – have gathered to dance on the smouldering ashes of the mythical beast ManBearPig.
Except we shouldn’t use that word “sceptic” any more. Richard Lindzen – Godfather of Climate Realism – told us so in one of the keynote addresses.
“Scepticism implies doubts about a plausible proposition,” he said. “Current global warming alarmism hardly represents a plausible proposition.” Not least, he pointed out, because the various activist scientists, greenies and government institutions pushing AGW theory have failed to “improve their case over 20 years.” So paper thin are the AGW movement’s arguments that pretty much the only defences left to them are desperate techniques like the appeal to authority (“the Royal Society believes in AGW and the Royal Society is, like, really old and distinguished, so AGW must be true”) and cheap slurs.
Consider, as examples of the latter technique, how this conference has been reported in the liberal media. Both the BBC and the Huffington Post have decided to write off the expertise of the dozens of PhDs and professors speaking at this event to concentrate on the issue that really matters: it was funded by Big Oil. (Except it isn’t. Unfortunately Big Oil stopped funding the skeptical side of the argument a long time ago. The Heartland Institute is a conservative leaning think tank funded by a number of business donors, and the main funder of the conference is a local libertarian millionaire who just happens to want a bit of openness and honesty in the debate on AGW. But hey, never let the facts get in the way of a libtard story).
The other main objection I heard – from the BBC’s Roger Harrabin – is how utterly ridiculous it was that a total know-nothing like James Delingpole was speaking on a “Science” panel with meteorologist Joe D’Aleo, climate expert Fred Singer, and economist Ross McKitrick (co-destroyer – with Steve McIntyre – of Michael Mann’s hockey stick). Indeed, when I introduced myself to him, he snapped back “I’m not sure whether I should shake your hand. I want to punch you.” He sounded jolly cross indeed – and ranted that I was utterly irresponsible and had disseminated lots of lies – though he later apologized to me saying he was jet-lagged and had confused me with Christopher Booker. Hmm.
Anyway, I agree with him. As I said when I gave my speech, it was entirely inappropriate that a humble hack like me should be on a panel with such great men – like a lowly swineherd suddenly finding himself translated to Mount Olympus. Then again, I said, it wasn’t such a bad idea that I was there to inject a note of reality to the proceedings. The truth is, I said, that the scientific debate is over. The scientists on our side of the argument have won (which is why no Warmist will dare debate Richard Lindzen, and while Al Gore won’t debate anyone at all: they know they’d lose). Problem is, I went on, this debate was never really about science anyway. AGW is and always have been a political process. It’s the political war that we’re fighting now and it’s going to be much much harder to win.
Especially when you look at the results of our recent General Election which I still find so monumentally depressing I’m not altogether sure I can bring myself to fly home.