US: “Billionaires’ club” controls environmental movement and EPA


All the money goes to the alarmists

All the money goes to the alarmists

But, but, but… it’s the sceptics that are bankrolled by the rich, right? That’s the only way they could possibly outwit the billions spent by governments on propping up the consensus.

Well, er, no.

It appears that the environmental movement is the one benefiting from the wealthy’s largesse, with a report by the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee shedding light on the shady goings-on:

This report examines in detail the mechanisms and methods of a far-left environmental machine that has been erected around a small group of powerful and active millionaires and billionaires who exert tremendous sway over a colossal effort. Although startling in its findings, the report covers only a small fraction of the amount of money that is being secreted and moved around. It would be virtually impossible to examine this system completely given the enormity of this carefully coordinated effort and the lack of transparency surrounding it.

The failure to openly acknowledge this force and the silence of the media with whom they coordinate further emphasize the fact that until today, the Billionaire’s Club operated in relative obscurity hidden under the guise of “philanthropy.” The scheme to keep their efforts hidden and far removed from the political stage is deliberate, meticulous, and intended to mislead the public. While it is uncertain why they operate in the shadows and what they are hiding, what is clear is that these individuals and foundations go to tremendous lengths to avoid public association with the far-left environmental movement they so generously fund.

Some of the most valued services activists provide the Billionaire’s Club includes promulgation of propaganda, which creates an artificial echo chamber; appearance of a faux grassroots movement; access to nimble and transient groups under fiscal sponsorship arrangements; distance/anonymity between donations made by well-known donors and activities of risky activist groups; and above all – the ability to leverage tens of millions of dollars in questionable foreign funding.

Foundations finance research to justify desired predetermined policy outcome. The research is then reported on by a news outlet, oftentimes one that is also supported by the same foundation, in an effort to increase visibility. In one example, a story reporting on a Park Foundation-supported anti-fracking study was reproduced by a Park-funded news organization through a Park-funded media collaboration where it was then further disseminated on Twitter by the maker of Park-backed anti-fracking movies.

Another service provided to the Billionaire’s Club is the manufacturing of an artificial grassroots movement where it is not the citizen’s interest that drives the movement; rather, it is part of a well-funded national strategy … (link – PDF)

I’m sure we can all look forward to the imminent outrage from ‘the Cause’ about this highly distorting and politicised funding of alarmism and environmental extremism, can’t we? Er…

[Tumbleweed]

Hypocrisy alert: Lewandowsky’s a climate scientist now?


Models fail

Models fail

Is there no end to this man’s talents? One minute an ‘expert’ on the conspiracy theories of ‘deniers’, the next, a climate scientist published in Nature!

Psycho-logist Stephan Lewandowsky has broken cover as second-listed author of a paper in Nature Climate Change entitled “Well-estimated global surface warming in climate projections selected for ENSO phase”, the abstract of which reads:

The question of how climate model projections have tracked the actual evolution of global mean surface air temperature is important in establishing the credibility of their projections. Some studies and the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report suggest that the recent 15-year period (1998–2012) provides evidence that models are overestimating current temperature evolution. Such comparisons are not evidence against model trends because they represent only one realization where the decadal natural variability component of the model climate is generally not in phase with observations. We present a more appropriate test of models where only those models with natural variability (represented by El Niño/Southern Oscillation) largely in phase with observations are selected from multi-model ensembles for comparison with observations. These tests show that climate models have provided good estimates of 15-year trends, including for recent periods and for Pacific spatial trend patterns.

All that guff translates as basically yet another desperate attempt to cover up the utterly woeful performance of climate models (see image). Lew also writes a lengthy post on Shaping Tomorrow’s World on the subject.

Just one tiny question, however, if I may: what the freaking hell is going on?

Surely Lewandowsky cannot have forgotten the golden rule of alarmists, oft repeated by his mates over at Un-Skeptical Pseudo-Science? Never take any notice of anything written by anyone unless they are properly qualified to write on the subject. That’s the reason they can continue to ridicule and ignore the views of dissenting commentators (who are not climate scientists) without having to deal with their arguments.

Or maybe he’s just a massive hypocrite. You decide.

Lew has no qualifications in climate or meteorology or anything relevant at all.  The abstract has nothing related to the psychology of climate science communication, conspiracy theories or consensus. So what was Lew’s role on the paper? Why is Naomi Oreskes, author of Merchants of Doubt which discredited anyone who dared question the ‘consensus’, listed as an author as well?

Applying the same standards to this paper that Lew and his mates apply to others with which he disagrees, his and Oreskes’ presence on the list of authors means we can all safely disregard this paper as the ignorant rantings of unqualified commentators with a vested interest and an agenda to plug.

Bin it.

Hypocrisy of the BBC


BBC: loves Gore, hates Lawson

BBC: loves Gore, hates Lawson

Censorship now rules at the British publicly funded broadcaster, the BBC.

On a current affairs programme in February of this year, Lord (Nigel) Lawson of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) was brought in to debate Sir Brian Hoskins of the (ultra alarmist) Grantham Institute, home of the odious Bob Ward.

Subsequently, a Greens activist (naturally) complained that the BBC was guilty of giving ‘false balance’ to the flat-earthers. Hugh Muir of the Grauniad takes up the story:

It still sends a frisson down the spine of certain producers to give airtime to the former chancellor Lord Lawson so that he can chip away at the widespread scientific agreement over the causes and impact of climate change. The temperature is always a little higher with a heretic in the room. And yet this route towards excitement has its dangers. As the go-to guy in the thinktank of his own creation, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Lawson was called in February to the studios of the Today programme for debate with Sir Brian Hoskins, a climatologist from Imperial College London.

Things did not go as they should, and the broadcast became the subject of a complaint from Chit Chong, a Green party activist. Reviewing the broadcast, the BBC’s head of editorial complaints, Fraser Steel, took a dim view. “Lord Lawson’s views are not supported by the evidence from computer modelling and scientific research,” Steel says, “and I don’t believe this was made sufficiently clear to the audience … Furthermore the implication was that Lord Lawson’s views on climate change were on an equal footing with those of Sir Brian.”

And they aren’t. Sceptics have their place in the debate, Steel says in his provisional finding, but “it is important to ensure that such views are put into the appropriate context and given due (rather than equal) weight.” Chong is only partially satisfied. He’d like a right of reply and perhaps a balancing programme. And others say “due weight” should mean not having Lawson on at all. Still, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Furthermore, the Telegraph reports:

Lord Lawson wrote that Fraser Steel, head of the unit, apologised to Mr Chong “for the fact I was allowed to appear on the programme and to make clear this will not happen again”.

In other words, they won’t be inviting Lawson back, effectively censoring his contribution to the debate.

But let’s look at whether the BBC sticks to its own rules, and, guess what? Surprise! The ‘false balance’ argument only applies to sceptics.

A Google search of “Al Gore” and climate on the bbc.co.uk site reveals nearly 12,000 hits, and top result is from just three days ago! Didn’t they get the memo? You can’t have unqualified people speaking about climate! We all know that Al Gore has no science qualifications and therefore has no right to speak on climate change, apart perhaps from having made a ludicrous and inaccurate propaganda video in 2007.

But that doesn’t stop the BBC giving Gore a platform to spout yet more propaganda, unchallenged.

See? It’s not a question of false balance, it’s a question of getting the right message out – the alarmist message. As Lawson rightly says:

“If there is to be a ban on non-scientists discussing climate change issues (which I do not, of course, support), this should in the best BBC tradition be an even-handed one. That is to say, they should also ban non-scientists such as energy secretary Ed Davey, Ed Miliband, Lord Deben (chairman of the government’s climate advisory committee), Lord Stern (former adviser to the government on the economics of climate change and development) and all the others who are regularly invited to appear.”

Let’s have a look at the ABC (the Australian Bolsheviks Collective) here in Australia. Top of the list must be cracked-crystal-ball-wielding Tim Flannery, he of the many and varied dud predictions. A Google search of his name on the ABC web site reveals nearly 7,000 hits with ‘climate’. Just last week, the ABC spruiked Flannery as a ‘climate scientist’ (see image).

Flannery a 'climate scientist'?

Flannery a ‘climate scientist’? [click to enlarge]

He is nothing of the sort, of course. He’s a mammalogist, palaeontologist, environmentalist (whatever that is), and… ta da! … ‘global warming activist’. Thus spake Wikipedia. So it doesn’t matter if you’re not a climate scientist, global warming activist will do just as well.

We can add to our list other favourites of the ABC, Stephan Lewandowsky (psychologist), Clive Hamilton (no idea, but certainly not climate science), Robyn Williams, etc etc. So it’s all fine and dandy for our public broadcaster to drag in unqualified persons to rattle on about climate change, as long as it’s the approved message they’re spouting.

But think about the reverse – if engaging Lawson to debate Hoskins is false balance, how about the BBC get on the phone to Dr Roy Spencer, or Pat Michaels, or Richard Lindzen? They are as distinguished climate scientists as you could hope to get, so that should satisfy the ‘false balance’ conundrum, right?

Er, no. Roy Spencer manages a tad over 300 mentions on bbc.co.uk, and only one in the last 12 months… and a fair amount of those hits may also be reader comments.

Surely Lindzen will do better?

Nope. The learned professor manages just over 200 mentions, and in the last four years, just three…

How about Pat Michaels?

Zero. Nada. Zilch. Zippo.

Clearly the BBC isn’t trying very hard to find any kind of balance on climate, and would rather censor debate in its own Stalinist fashion.

Is climate ‘misinformation’ criminal negligence?


Wants to apply criminal sanctions to scientific argument

Torcello – criminal sanctions to scientific argument

An assistant professor of philosophy at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Lawrence Torcello, claims that climate ‘misinformation’ should be treated as criminal negligence.

Writing at the taxpayer-funded, and invariably Left-wing, Conversation site, Torcello compares the dissemination of climate ‘misinformation’ with the liability of scientists in relation to the L’Aquila earthquake in 2009:

The earthquake that rocked L’Aquila Italy in 2009 provides an interesting case study of botched communication. This natural disaster left more than 300 people dead and nearly 66,000 people homeless. In a strange turn of events six Italian scientists and a local defence minister were subsequently sentenced to six years in prison.

The ruling is popularly thought to have convicted scientists for failing to predict an earthquake. On the contrary, as risk assessment expert David Ropeik pointed out, the trial was actually about the failure of scientists to clearly communicate risks to the public. The convicted parties were accused of providing “inexact, incomplete and contradictory information”. As one citizen stated:

We all know that the earthquake could not be predicted, and that evacuation was not an option. All we wanted was clearer information on risks in order to make our choices.

Torcello links to the inevitable ‘97% of climate scientists believe…’ myth and continutes:

We have good reason to consider the funding of climate denial to be criminally and morally negligent. The charge of criminal and moral negligence ought to extend to all activities of the climate deniers who receive funding as part of a sustained campaign to undermine the public’s understanding of scientific consensus.

Criminal negligence is normally understood to result from failures to avoid reasonably foreseeable harms, or the threat of harms to public safety, consequent of certain activities. Those funding climate denial campaigns can reasonably predict the public’s diminished ability to respond to climate change as a result of their behaviour. Indeed, public uncertainty regarding climate science, and the resulting failure to respond to climate change, is the intentional aim of politically and financially motivated denialists. (source)

But as with all those overcome with such totalitarian instincts, the arguments could quite easily be turned around. For example, the 97% figure Torcello cites is itself a blatant example of climate misinformation. It may be that 97% of scientists accept that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and that an increase in the proportion of that molecule in the atmosphere will increase warming. But to claim that 97% of scientists subscribe to the alarmism of catastrophic AGW vastly overstates the certainty of the science.

As a result of that overconfidence in the apocalyptic projections of climate models, many of the poorest in society will be denied access to cheap electricity as a result of harsh emissions reduction measures, and will be prevented from enjoying the economic growth from which others have benefitted. If those emission reduction measures are eventually shown to be unnecessary, and that many have suffered as a result, should those responsible for the 97% figure be held criminally negligent as well?

Or perhaps these too:

  • Those who intentionally play down any natural influence on the climate (e.g. casually ignoring or dismissing solar effects), with the same end result? Should they also be held criminally negligent?
  • All those environmental activists who have ensured that piles of grey literature have been incorporated into the IPCC reports, to ensure that the worst possible scenarios are always communicated to the public? Them too?
  • The IPCC scientists themselves, perhaps, for intentionally offering up ‘scary scenarios‘ in order to capture the public’s attention and force governments to take action? That’s pretty shocking.
  • Those who engaged in blatant scientific misconduct, as evidenced by the Climategate emails? Hiding the decline sounds like intentional misrepresentation to me. That’s not just negligent, it’s wilful.
  • Those who use climate change as a Trojan horse for their own political ends, e.g. advocating a return to socialism, or to force through social justice reform? Surely that is climate misrepresentation as well?
  • The Greens, who shamelessly exaggerate the risks of climate change for their own political advantage?
  • Even the governments that have relied on so-called ‘independent’ climate advisers, such as David Karoly and Clive Hamilton (no, don’t laugh), on their climate panels, such as the Australian government’s Climate Change Authority? Ditto?

I could go on…

Once again, we see the double standards that are applied to the consensus and those that challenge it. The moral here is that those in glass houses should not throw stones.

Labor's shameful hypocrisy over Greens


Bunch of nut-jobs

The slow and painful disintegration of the Labor/Green alliance is a joy to watch – Labor’s chickens are all coming home to roost.

But at the same time it reveals the astonishing hypocrisy at the very heart of the ALP.

Back in 2010, Labor were only too happy to welcome the Greens into their fold, with friendly handshakes and smiles all round and Bob ‘n’ Julia signing their marriage pact before the assembled press.

Only later did we find out that a condition of the Greens’ support was “taking urgent action on climate”. So Julia, abandoning a pre-election promise not to introduce a carbon tax, announced that she would be doing precisely that.

Why did Labor MPs not protest back then at that cowardly surrender of principle? There was just a stony silence, because they had agreed to sell out their principles (such that they were) to stay in power at any cost (and what a cost it will turn out to be).

But now, barely a week after the introduction of the carbon tax, Labor has apparently and suddenly rediscovered those principles that it so hastily rejected in 2010, and is now desperately trying to distance itself from the extreme-Left party of environmental headbangers with which it chose to share a bed. It’s nothing short of pathetic.

And the most pathetic figure in all of this is Greg Combet, climate change minister, who, despite having relied on the Greens to get his disastrous carbon tax through Parliament, now lines up to criticise the Greens with the rest of his Labor mates – breathtaking.

SENIOR Labor Left figures have backed calls for the party to take a tougher line against the Greens as members of all factions lashed the minor party for its stance on offshore processing and contempt for blue-collar workers.

As the NSW Nationals yesterday revealed they expected to preference the Greens last at the next election, Labor Left faction convenor Stephen Jones said he expected that NSW general secretary Sam Dastyari’s motion to take a tough line on Greens preferences would pass the state conference.

“When the asylum-seeker legislation was in the Senate, the Greens had the choice between being a protest movement or a parliamentary party,” Mr Jones said. “They chose to continue to be a protest movement.”

Senior left-aligned minister, Greg Combet, distanced the government from the Greens, declaring Labor did not share the same values.

“We (Labor) have different values and different policies, and we certainly distinguish from them (Greens),” the Climate Change Minister said. (source)

Double standards, Greg. You only have different values and policies when it suits you. When you need the Greens, those policies and values are abandoned in an instant. Because you have no principles other than staying in power. Shameful.

Quote of the Day: Ian Young, ANU Vice Chancellor


Ian Young

The ABC reports on the release of the death threat emails and quotes the ANU Vice Chancellor:

“My view is the more we discuss these things in public – these are emotive issues – the more you tend to beat the whole issue up.

“We had issues, we dealt with them we believe in an appropriate way and we don’t want to make more of it than that.” (source)

Then please explain why you chose to release the story to the media in the first place?

Unbelievable.

Heartland: Fairfax hypocrisy


The cartoonist gets the irony

Fairfax, part owner of the Earth Hour farce and propaganda machine for climate alarmism, publishes yet another article on Heartland today in the Sydney Morning Herald, and instead of hyperventilating about the perpetrators of the leak being brought to justice a la Climategate, breathlessly questions the motives of anyone who doesn’t submit to the AGW religion:

THE paper trail connecting the climate change sceptic movement in Australia and the conservative US expert panel the Heartland Institute goes back at least to 2009, documents released on the internet this week show.

The Heartland Institute, a leading group that funds activities designed to sow doubt about climate change science, was embarrassed this week when its strategy and budget documents found their way to a US blog.

The institute described the leak as a theft and said a police investigation was under way, while apologising to the 1800 companies and individuals whose identities were revealed as donors

Documents from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show that a group funded by the Heartland Institute, via a thicket of other foundations and think tanks, provided the vast majority of the cash for an anti-carbon price lobby group in Australia in 2009 and 2010.

The Australian Climate Science Coalition, an offshoot of a conservative lobby group called the Australian Environment Foundation, received virtually all its funding from the International Climate Science Coalition, which has been financially supported by Heartland. (source)

The sums are trivial, around $50 or $60,000, and the fact that Ben Cubby gets so steamed up about them when Greenpeace and WWF have budgets in the hundreds of millions reveals the desperate desire of the alarmists to smear the sceptics. Why aren’t the motives of Big Green ever discussed at Fairfax? Because they have the politically correct moral high ground, perhaps?

Cubby also hints that the opinions of the scientists advising the ACSC were influenced by the funding, an allegation that Bob Carter regarded as “offensive”. Presumably, since Cubby cannot comprehend why anyone could possibly hold views contrary to his own, it must be down to financial incentives.

More importantly, Heartland stated on their press release that a key document in the bundle was faked, a fact which Cubby also fails to mention.

Typical Fairfax spin, as usual. But I’m very glad the cartoonist hit the nail squarely on the head.

(h/t Marc H for cartoon)

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