Skip to comments.Mark Steyn: Credibility is what’s really melting (Climategate)
Posted on 02/03/2010 6:55:20 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Whenever I write about climate change, a week or two later theres a flurry of letters whose general line is: la-la-la cant hear you. Dan Gajewski of Ottawa provided a typical example in our Dec. 28 issue. Id written about the East Anglia Climatic Research Units efforts to hide the decline, and mentioned that Phil Jones, their head honcho, had now conceded what Id been saying for yearsthat there has been no global warming since 1997. Tim Flannery, Australias numero uno warm-monger, subsequently confirmed this on Oz TV, although he never had before.
In response, Mr. Gajewski wrote to our Letters page: Steyns column on climate change was one-sided, juvenile and inarticulate.
Yes, yes, but what Steyn column isnt? Thats just business as usual. A more pertinent question is: was any of it, you know, wrong?
Well, our reader didnt want to get hung on footling details: The disproportionate evidence supports the anthropogenic cause of global warming, he concluded.
Yes, but how did the evidence get to be quite so disproportionate?
Take the Himalayan glaciers. Theyre supposed to be entirely melted by 2035. The evidence is totally disproportionate, man. No wonder professor Orville Schell of Berkeley is so upset about it: Lately, Ive been studying the climate-change-induced melting of glaciers in the Greater Himalaya, he wrote. Understanding the cascading effects of the slow-motion downsizing of one of the planets most magnificent landforms has, to put it politely, left me dispirited. Ill say. Professor Schell continued: If you focus on those Himalayan highlands, a deep sense of loss creeps over youthe kind that comes from contemplating the possible end of something once imagined as immovable, immutable, eternal . . .
Poor chap. Still, you cant blame him for being in the slough of despond. That magnificent landform is melting before his eyes like the illustration of the dripping ice cream cone that accompanied his eulogy for the fast vanishing glaciers. Everyone knows theyre gonna be gone in a generation. The glaciers on the Himalayas are retreating, said Lord Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank and author of the single most influential document on global warming. Were facing the risk of extreme runoff, with water running straight into the Bay of Bengal and taking a lot of topsoil with it. A few hundred square miles of the Himalayas are the source for all the major rivers of Asiathe Ganges, the Yellow River, the Yangtzewhere three billion people live. Thats almost half the worlds population. And NASA agrees, and so does the UN Environment Programme, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the World Wildlife Fund, and the respected magazine the New Scientist. The evidence is, like, way disproportionate.
But where did all these experts get the data from? Well, NASAs assertion that Himalayan glaciers may disappear altogether by 2030 rests on one footnote, citing the IPCCs Fourth Assessment Report from 2007.
In fact, the Fourth Assessment Report suggests 2035 as the likely arrival of Armageddon, but whats half a decade between scaremongers? They rate the likelihood of the glaciers disappearing as very highi.e., more than 90 per cent. And the IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for that report, so it must be kosher, right? Well, yes, its Himalayan claims rest on a 2005 World Wildlife Fund report called An Overview of Glaciers.
WWF? Arent they something to do with pandas and the Duke of Edinburgh? True. But they wouldnt be saying this stuff if they hadnt got the science nailed down, would they? The WWF report relies on an article published in the New Scientist in 1999 by Fred Pearce.
Thats it? One article from 12 years ago in a pop-science mag? Oh, but dont worry, back in 1999 Fred did a quickie telephone interview with a chap called Syed Hasnain of Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. And this Syed Hasnain cove presumably knows a thing or two about glaciers.
Well, yes. But he now says he was just idly speculating; he didnt do any research or anything like that.
But so what? His musings were wafted upwards through the New Scientist to the World Wildlife Fund to the IPCC to a global fait accompli: the glaciers are disappearing. Everyone knows that. Youre not a denier, are you? Indias environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, says there was not an iota of scientiﬁc evidence to support the 2035 claim. Yet that proved no obstacle to its progress through the alarmist establishment. Dr. Murari Lal, the scientist who included the 2035 glacier apocalypse in the IPCC report, told Britains Mail on Sunday that he knew it wasnt based on peer-reviewed science but we thought we should put it infor political reasons.
I wonder what else is in that Nobel Peace Prize-winning report for no other reason than we thought we should put it in. Dont forget, the IPCCs sole source was the cuddly panda crowd over at the World Wildlife Fund. Donna Laframboise, a colleague of mine from the glory days at the National Post, did a simple search of the online version of the IPCC report and discovered dozens of citations of the WWF. Its the sole source cited for doomsday predictions of glacier melt not only in the Himalayas but also the Andes and the Alps, as well as for a multitude of other topics, from coral reefs to avalanches. This would appear to be in breach of the IPCCs own guidelines. The WWF is a pressure group. Theyre not scientists. Theyre not even numerate: one of their more startling glacier-melt claims derives entirely from an arithmetical miscalculation arising from a typing error.
Go back to that Berkeley professor mooning over the loss of that magnificent landform he once thought immutable, eternal. From his prose style, one might easily assume Orville Schell was a professor of creative writing or some such. In fact, hes the former dean of the Graduate School of Journalism. Yet, for all the limpid fragrance of his poignant obsequies, professor Schell would seem to lack the one indispensable quality of a journalist: basic curiositythe same curiosity that led Miss Laframboise to see just how much of the science in the IPCC report rested on the assertions of the panda-cuddlers. So instead, professor Schell bid a teary farewell to his beloved landform, even though the glaciers of the western Himalayas are, in fact, increasing.
Likewise, in the years since Syed Hasnain speculated about glacial melt, the BBC, the CBC, CNN and thousands of newspapers around the world have hired specialist Environmental Correspondents on lavish salaries. Yet not one of them gave any serious examination to the claims of the IPCC report, or the science on which they rested. And, now that the IPCC and WWF have conceded their error, the eco-correspondents are allowing NATO and other dupes to vacuum their records without having to explain why they fell for the scam.
V. K. Raina, of the Geological Survey of India, produced a special report demonstrating that the run-for-your-life-the-glaciers-are-melting IPCC scenario was utterly false. For his pains, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, the self-aggrandizing old bruiser and former railroad engineer who serves as head honcho of the IPCC jet set, dismissed Mr. Rainas research as voodoo science. Hes now been obliged to admit the voodoo was all on his side. But dont worry. By 2008, Syed Hasnains decade-old casual chit-chat over the phone to a London journalist had become settled science, so Dr. Pachauris company TERI (The Energy & Resources Institute) approached the Carnegie Corporation for a grant to research challenges to South Asia posed by melting Himalayan glaciers, and was rewarded with half a million bucks. Which they promptly used to hire Syed Hasnain. In other words, professor Hasnain has landed a cushy gig researching solutions to an entirely non-existent global crisis he accidentally invented over a 15-minute phone call 10 years earlier. As they say in the glacier business, ice work if you can get it.
Climate change is not a story of climate change, which has been a fact of life throughout our planets history. It is a far more contemporary story about the corruption of science and peer review by hucksters, opportunists and global-government control-freaks. I can see whats in it for Dr. Pachauri and professor Hasnain, and even for the lowly Environmental Correspondent enjoying a cozy sinecure at a time of newspaper cutbacks in everything from foreign bureaus to arts coverage.
But its hard to see whats in it for Dan Gajewski of Ottawa and the millions of kindred spirits whove signed on to this racket and are determined to stick with it. Dont be the last off a collapsing bandwagon. The scientific consensus is melting way faster than the glaciers.
I wish there were some way to “short” Global Warming. I’d make a fortune!
That was a tour de force
ROFLOL - I love the title.
Steyn is ALWAYS so right on the money.
In the information age truth matters not. It’s all media , hype , perception nothing more. The average TV citizen is a moron and can be fooled sooo easily.
Damn he’s good.
Brilliant. He can take a complex series of scholarly mistakes that most people would need a hundred footnotes to unravel, and put it all together so that it’s not only perfectly clear what happened, but it’s fun to read.
Bravo, Mark! And I say that with the best English accent I can imitate (and all due respect).
For a Texan like myself, readin’ Steyn, is a much more relaxed and entertaining endeavor than hearin’ Steyn. :)
LOL. Styne's pen really is mightier than the sword. The guy has a wonderful gift for turning phrases.
Creative, funny, and a damn good and very concise thinker.
Mencken is a great comparison.
Steyn has it all. Brilliant, acerbic, brutally honest wit.
How about “Jolly Good Show, Old Pip!”
We’re still seeing lots of corporations advertising their green credentials on what they are doing to combat climate change. I just saw one this evening on Fox Business from Siemens Company. I have no idea what they do, but I am tempted to e-mail them and ask them why they haven’t heard yet that climate change is a hoax.
Mark Steyn makes all the other pundits look like so plodding.
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