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« Pielke Jr in Foreign Policy mag | Main | Gordon Hughes on the economics of wind power »
Tuesday
Aug072012

Madrid 1995 - the last day of climate science

Bernie Lewin has posted the final part of his long history of the 1995 IPCC conference, at which activist scientists managed to fashion a summary for policymakers that told a different story to the scientific report.

Houghton’s ruling means that the integrity of the scientific process would be abandoned and its hard-won authority traded so as to expedite a political end – however virtuous that end might be. If there were others also alarmed by the treatment of the Saudi’s objections, then they must be holding their breath, for their voice is not heard.

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Reader Comments (23)

I found this very interesting but tough going. It appears that the end outcome of an explicit attribution of climate change to human activity is someone's "big" agenda, but it is not clear to me who they are. Did I miss something?

It was also interesting that BL was able to gain the input of key actors.

Aug 7, 2012 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

@Bernie

I'm not a beliver in a great conspiracy behind the climate scare. To me it seems more like an alignment of agendas including overpopulation alarmists, industrialisation haters, scammers and conmen, old school communists, very bored people and hordes of usefull idiots.

Who doesn't like to think they are the solution to a world in grave danger :)

Aug 7, 2012 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered Commenteraquix

Thanks for posting these, BH. It's fasctinating to read how Science The Mighty Warrior was Crushed By Committee. I had hoped he would since get up and get some swings in, but evidently his back is broken and he's just a puddle on the ground.

Andrew

Aug 7, 2012 at 2:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

It will take a while to get through this but I think aquix's take on the situation is probably the correct one.
On the "Feedbacks and Forcings" Discussion thread on Saturday I wrote

Until better evidence came long it was assumed that temperature and CO2 rose in something resembling lockstep. The discovery that CO2 lagged temperature ... drives a massive hole in the climate change enthusiasts' (not to mention the eco-activists) argument for the anthropogenic aspect of global warming.
Remember, the idea that CO2 causes warming was initially proved to be false and reinstated by fiat with no empirical evidence to support the concept. As [Matt] Ridley concludes: where is the evidence that continued warming is not the result of continued activity by what caused the warming in the first place?
In a further posting today, I say
Nobody has yet found empirical evidence of a causal link between CO2 and temperature increase and the relationship between the two continues to be a combination of confirmation bias and an urgent need by environmental activists — Hansen and Gore well in the lead — for something to convince politicians and sheeple of the rightness of their "Cause".
So no, I don't believe in conspiracies either but if we remember that the 70s and 80s saw the flowering of a "hard left" environmental movement it surely is no surprise that its adherents took full advantage of a situation apparently tailor-made for them to pursue their agenda.
What, for example, was the initial rationale behind researching the possible anthropogenic causes underlying this particular warming period which was in no way dissimilar from the previous two? What made it essential that we "get rid of the Mediaeval Warm Period"? What, other than enviro-politics, could have produced the notorious quote from Wirth (Hansen's 'stage manager' for the 1988 Senate hearing), "We've got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing -- in terms of economic socialism and environmental policy."?
By 1995, aquix's "alignment of agendas including overpopulation alarmists, industrialisation haters, scammers and conmen, old school communists, very bored people and hordes of usefull idiots" had reached the critical mass necessary for them to subvert successfully the IPCC and the science.
The description "The Last Day of Climate Science" is perfectly accurate.

Aug 7, 2012 at 2:23 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I followed your link (final part) to The Last Day of Climate Science.

Very revealing. A must read if I may say so.

This should be properly vetted for accuracy and be required reading for every academic and academic discipline on the planet. Especially every academic involved in "climate science" or the up and coming deluge of "species extinction". Ensure everyone reads the playbook. It's too late for today's main stream journalists but not for the new generations in all academic fields. For the well being of all branches of science and government in general the perversion of science (climate science) and the associated effect on government policies needs to be brought to light so as to prohibit any other such schemes in the future. Some form of justice needs to be administered as a deterrent to such future schemes. It really is worse than we thought.

Aug 7, 2012 at 5:00 PM | Unregistered Commentereyesonu

"It really is worse than we thought."

The only comfort I can draw on is that when the whole edifice finally crumbles, no-one will believe anything a Greenie says ever again!

Aug 7, 2012 at 5:32 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

no-one will believe anything a Greenie says ever again
You wish! Since Ehrlich has been making pronouncements since the 1970s that have proved inaccurate and people still believe him (bit like a sort of Cassandra in reverse!) I can see no reason why we should all change the habits of a lifetime.
The trick is to dump the old meme just before everybody susses it and grab a new one.
"Global Warming" is dead; long live "Sustainability"!

Aug 7, 2012 at 7:17 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Is it just me that can't get into these articles at all? I made about my third attempt this evening and managed to get as far as the stuff about Callendar, then my mind started to wander again. I feel like George Mallory on Everest. Any chance of a summary Bish, or anyone else?

Aug 7, 2012 at 9:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterSJF

@SJF
I had the same feeling.

@aquix
I guess I was not thinking of a grand conspiracy - more a meeting of minds. I was thinking, as others suggested, that the need for an explicit human attribution argument was in line with the perspective of the Berkeley/Stanford Ehrlichites - including the late Steven Schneider (Santer was in this group, I believe). The narrative, however, does not indicate what role if any these folks played and the level of aggressiveness of the environmental groups.

Aug 7, 2012 at 10:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

Actually, I must be sad, because I found it riveting.

I also have doubts about conspiracy theories, thinking that most apparent conspiracies are actually cock ups.

But just as hypochondriacs do, from time to time, fall ill; reading all this (and other examinations of the history of the cAGW religion - such as the Bish's indispensible HSI) certainly suggests that some element of conspiracy must be acknowledged.

It would be wonderful to believe that some of the guilty parties (rather than the just incompetent) would one day be punished for the evil they have done. (Evil is an oldfashioned word but, I think, appropriate here). One thinks (especially in this narrative) of Santer, Watson, Houghton.

Or perhaps, at least, that they would one day look in the mirror and be aghast at what they had done.

But I fear that this is very much a vain hope.

Aug 8, 2012 at 7:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

1. 1981: Hansen et. al. claim net GHG warming ['flat Earth'] = 33 K when you must take off ~4 km x 6 K/km lapse rate, for any gas: predicted warming x3.7 too high.

2, GISS model assumes Earth emits IR like a black body in a vacuum. This falsely exaggerates IR warming by ~x5, offset in hind-casting by exaggerated cloud albedo. Despite no physical mechanism, it's assumed all this energy is directly thermalised in the lower atmosphere. Temperature difference, sunlit to cloudy, creates imaginary positive feedback but average temperature correct.

3. 1988: supported by Enron and Gore whose interests are profiting from carbon trading, on a hot July day, Hansen presents apocalyptic predictions to Congress.

4. From mid 1990s, GISS etc. systematically adjust past temperatures and remove inconvenient stations to pretend climate has warmed at near double the real rate.

5. 1997: proved [CO2] follows temperature at end of ice ages. Fallacious Mann hockey stick created with the aid of CRU to pretend the MWP did not exist.

6. 2004, AR4 looming, NASA switches Twomey's physics he warned didn't work for thicker clouds, with fake 'surface reflection' physics to claim AIE hides most AGW.

7: 2011: Hansen and Sato claim AIE has increased to offset all AGW.

8. 2012: HADCRUT4 claims warming continuing but it's Arctic data: Icelandic government writes GISS claiming it removed 1 K from past Reykjavik temperatures.

Anyone notice a pattern?

Aug 8, 2012 at 8:51 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Part 2 is now available today (August 8th) and is well worth reading for anyone who has just read Part 1.

http://enthusiasmscepticismscience.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/madrid-1995-and-the-quest-for-the-mirror-in-the-sky-part-ii/

Aug 8, 2012 at 8:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

Re: Aug 8, 2012 at 8:54 AM | Marion

Sorry - mea culpa - posted wrong link. Correct link -

http://enthusiasmscepticismscience.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/madrid-1995-the-last-day-of-climate-science-part-ii/

Aug 8, 2012 at 8:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

I find it difficult to explain the way relatively small numbers of warmist activists have consistently found their way into absolutely crucial positions of power in scientific bodies, universities, and in the opinion forming media, whether scientific or mainstream, unless there has been some kind of conspiracy to put them there. Perhaps someone can suggest another mechanism. I can't.

Aug 8, 2012 at 10:11 AM | Unregistered Commentercerberus

Cerberus: what do you expect for a World in which carbon trader Gore shares Nobel Prize and an Oscar?

Or how about a cell biologist who becomes the President of the Royal Society and without the deep physics' understanding to realise the IPCC 'consensus' is based on fake physics, declares it to be sound!

Aug 8, 2012 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Re: Aug 8, 2012 at 10:11 AM | cerberus

"I find it difficult to explain the way relatively small numbers of warmist activists have consistently found their way into absolutely crucial positions of power in scientific bodies, universities, and in the opinion forming media, whether scientific or mainstream, unless there has been some kind of conspiracy to put them there. Perhaps someone can suggest another mechanism. I can't."

Cerberus, I think the key is education and the screening process. I believe it has long been recognised that academia is a bastion of the left. It is amazing how politics crops up in a number of subjects that would seem to be apparently unrelated. (I was also recently surprised to see just how political some of the 'critical thinking' screening questions can be for entry into professional courses )

Shocking too to see the propaganda our children have been subjected to -

http://mises.org/daily/2997

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnjx6KETmi4
(the al gore film shown in our schools)

http://math.unipa.it/~grim/21_project/21_brno03_Vernay.pdf

http://www3.ipst.ac.th/globethailand/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=37:where-did-the-mambots-go&catid=35:2011-06-10-06-46-55&Itemid=64
(science site connected to the UN)

Or what happens to those in academia who don't toe the party line -

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/11/climate-skeptic-instructor-fired-from-oregon-state-university/

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/07/climate-ugliness-gets-personal/

Interesting to note how one of the scientists in the 'Rob Wilson emails discussion' was marking papers, to what extent is the marking objective, or subjective?

As far as the UN is concerned there seems to be a trend now towards subjectivity -

http://portal.unesco.org/education/en/files/53749/11840803645Benjamin.pdf/Benjamin.pdf

Bottom line is the guys with the best qualifications tend to get the best jobs and be in positions of power......

Aug 8, 2012 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

You use the word conspiracy as if this, Global Warming, was a bunch of people in a dark room swearing an oath of alliance, then dispersing into the world to execute the grand plan.

You don't understand how the world works. But you should because the old school network of the British work like this. A lunch here, a drink there, a telephone call here, a meeting there, a job offer here, a grant there, a cocktail party here a conference there.

All the warmists know all the other warmists. If not directly then by second hand. Liberals instinctively understand a cause and the support it requires. Of course it is a conspiracy but not the dark room variety.

In this rotten business the saying " the dogs bark and the caravan moves on" is very apt. Stop being the dogs.

Aug 8, 2012 at 2:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Steiner

George Steiner; the mistake these people made was to corrupt science. None who did so will walk away with their reputation intact. OK, they may control scientific institutions like the RA and the APS, but those amount to nothing when the World of Science knows with whom the shysters have lain.

[This is nothing to do with carbon trading etc., which fellow travellers will have to explain themselves to the electorate/shareholders. It's to do with university departments like CRU teaching students fake physics to pursue political ends. You can do that in politics etc. because those subjects aren't absolute, but not in science. Those responsible may be found sinecures by their political masters but they will not survive the most frightening market place in the World, the forensic minds of their honest peers. Look at what is happening to Hansen.]

Aug 8, 2012 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

If the means needs to be justified, the means is wrong.
Whatever you build cannot be right if there are flaws in the blueprints.That is what happened to Fascism in the 1930's.
IPCC is wrong and will always be wrong.

Aug 8, 2012 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered Commentertadchem

@ Marion

I have to say that one of the facets of the AGW scam that appals me now perhaps more than any other is the planned, systematic brainwashing by the state of the minds of literally millions of young children, whole generations in fact, in our schools. The practice of feeding kids a pack of discredited lies which they then are forced to regurgitate whole or fail to meet the twisted academic standards of a second-rate junk science makes my blood boil. Instead of teaching the young to use their brains and think for themselves it does the very opposite, punishes them for so doing. How does a parent who sees through the sick propaganda begin to explain to their child that they must in some subjects diligently follow the lessons taught to them and yet in other subjects quietly reject them while pretending to toe the line, that they must use doublethink in order to give answers they know to be mindless rubbish in order to progress through the system? Or does that parent allow the indoctrination to go unchallenged? Even worse, from what I hear the whole of science teaching from top to bottom has been corrupted with global warming tripe in order to achieve the end of producing generations who will meekly conform and never threaten to buck the system until the sea and the land is everywhere desecrated with worthless industrial junk reducing the economy to ruins with all that is consequent on that reckless foolishness.

Aug 8, 2012 at 6:29 PM | Unregistered Commentercerberus

Climategate emails and documents were the first clearly visible tip of a cancerous growth that flourished out-of-sight in government research agencies for sixty-four years before surfacing in 2009 (2009 - 1945 = 64 yrs).

http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-720

Official responses to 2009 Climategate finally allowed me to grasp in 2010 why so many research findings had been hidden, manipulated or ignored since I started research on the origin of the solar system and its elements in 1960.

http://omanuel.wordpress.com/

Aug 9, 2012 at 5:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterOliver K. Maneul

George Steiner said:

You don't understand how the world works. But you should because the old school network of the British work like this. A lunch here, a drink there, a telephone call here, a meeting there, a job offer here, a grant there, a cocktail party here a conference there.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Spot on, George. It's not a bunch of people plotting in the dead of night and using secret signs. But what the Climategate emails and subsequent research by people like Donna Laframboise have shown is a relatively small and closely-knit group of people who captured the good ship 'global warming', later renamed 'climate change' early in the piece, and proceeded to repel all boarders of whom they did not approve.

Bernie's piece demonstrates how easy it was for people like (sorry, better not, don't want the Bish getting sued) to pervert science at key moments with the collusion and acquiescence of bystanders. But it couldn't have happened absent the zeitgeist of radical environmentalism, whose supporters were just moving into influential positions in science, politics and community life at that time.

Bernie's prose isn't always the easiest to navigate, but he has done a lot of original research, unpaid, in his own time, to pull this stuff together. It is a solid piece of scholarship.

AFAIK, like most readers here, he is still waiting for his first cheque from Big (fill in the blank).

Aug 10, 2012 at 7:57 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohanna

@cerberus
Unfortunately, your words are all too true! My daughter's 'science' textbook as part of the Australia National Curriculum starts of the chapter on 'Ecosystems' with Gaia and a graphic on World Environment Day and goes from there! Fortunately, I'm making sure she learns to think critically and independently. And they wonder why kids don't like science. She's enjoying gravity, static electricity and the real science, but at her age I was messing about with chemicals in the lab and running basic physics experiments. She's doing some of the latter (and enjoying it) but health and safety seems to preclude the former and she's only ever likely to encounter a rubber dogfish.

One of the things that made me more insistent on good science informing environmental policy was witnessing 'Environmental Education' specialists who thought the solution lay in changing peoples' 'values' so they thought correctly. As for institutions providing incentives for behaviour that caused environmental problems - well I guess the late Elinor Ostrom's Nobel Prize was awarded in error. No - having the right values (and singing Kumbyah) will do it.

You are right to praise Bernie for these essays. As he has acknowledged, he consulted me on several points and I know first-hand the sort of research effort he has put into them. And I also know his commitment to good scholarship.

Aug 10, 2012 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterAynsley Kellow

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