I have neglected this blog for too long.
The main excuse is inveterate laziness, of course, coupled with an unfortunate habit of choosing a subject only to find that those better qualified than I — I’m thinking especially of Matt Ridley and Ben Pile, whose boots I am not fit, in blogging terms, to lick — have had the same idea at the same time and handled it considerably better than I could.
I have also started to realise that I am better at argument than polemic and since the traffic on this site is embarrassingly tiny, or would be if I got embarrassed about such things, I have used my time more wisely by contributing elsewhere.
There does come a time, however …
2012 has been an unusual year for the climate sceptics. While most of the arguments have been going the sceptic way the alarmist tendency has been as active as ever with what strikes the enquiring mind as evermore strident and unbelievable claims, so much so that one is forced to ask what sort of mentality it is that apparently wants things to be worse than they imagined or closes its collective mind to any argument that states, posits or even gently hints that things might not be so bad after all.
Aside from the obvious cynical reason, namely that the grant money will only continue to flow for as long as further research into this supposedly settled science is allowed to continue, the most likely explanation is the one that I have always subscribed to: science has nothing to do with it while environmental politics has (almost) everything to do with it.
As someone who has had the dubious privilege over several years of being able to study local eco-nuts at close quarters, I can say unequivocally that their eyes are firmly on the past and that the sooner we return to the Dark Ages — or at the very least the 18th century — the better they will be pleased. Their problem has always been that the average voter has rejected the concept of a lifestyle which, to paraphrase my very first blog post, would lead to a life expectancy of 35 and a working day spent entirely in collecting enough berries for the next day’s breakfast and enough wood to keep the fire inside the hovel going until the Spring.
The ability to link CO2 — hitherto understood by most people to be an essential and largely benevolent trace gas — to a potentially lethal global warming was a godsend to the enviro-extremists and one which they took instantly to their hearts. Those of us who knew what was going on in the murky recesses of the environmentalist mind were sceptical from the very beginning and nothing we have heard or read or seen since has given us cause to change our position.
I said earlier that it was ‘almost’ all about politics. It was also — why are you not surprised? — about greed. From the beginning there was money to be made and prestige to be had and who wouldn’t want his share of the trillions of dollars and perhaps the titles and medals that were going to be flung about like so much confetti? All of a sudden second-rate scientists at third-rate universities were being fêted by governments; otherwise obscure economists were producing reports which (naturally) confirmed what politicians wanted to hear (“there’s tax in that there CO2, Prime Minister).
Somebody (who almost certainly wishes to remain anonymous) suggested that it would be possible to reduce atmospheric CO2 by generating electricity from wind, “but I think it will need a bit of subsidy to get it off the ground, minister. So another scam was born and if you don’t believe it was a scam consider:
- the electricity company executive who went so far as to admit in public that the only reason his firm were building wind farms was because the government was subsidising them;
- the persistent and dishonest practice of over-stating the actual amount of electricity produced per turbine by a factor of 3;
- the persistent and equally dishonest refusal to admit that CO2 savings — if indeed there are any — are minimal.
The last couple of years has seen
- an increasing number of studies which have cast doubt on the extent to which the positive feedback which the alarmists require to activate the Catastrophic bit of their Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming actually exists
- a flatlining of the temperature trend which casts doubt (temporarily at least) on the Warming bit;
- and now a paper which calls into question the Anthropogenic aspect as well.
Which leaves only “Global” and since even the warmist community accepts that the concept of an average temperature for the earth is pretty meaningless there doesn’t seem much of the global warming hypotheses left.
But don’t expect the rats to jump ship quite yet.