Posted 23 June 2009
**A Legacy of Vested Interests
Joe Fone, Christchurch, in Investigate magazine**
“Unless we announce disasters, no one will listen", declared Sir John Houghton, first chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But Stephen Schneider, lead author of the IPCC, worried no one would believe them. So he advised "We need to get some broad based support to capture the public's imagination... So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts we might have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest".
Such deceitful statements coming from the IPCC should be enough to raise serious doubts about anthropogenic global warming (AGW) even without the abundant physical evidence against the theory. These statements should worry any self-respecting scientist or politician who endorses the theory. They should provoke intense suspicion of the true agenda of the IPCC.
But they don’t. At least not for the passionately committed and the unsuspecting public. Why don’t they? The answer lies in vested interests and entrenched ignorance, elements that allowed the carbon cult to gain such powerful traction within society. It has become an unstoppable force, which is ironic considering the glaring flaws in the theory of manmade global warming itself. The problems with the science are legion, yet they go ignored by the media and politicians. Why?
The carbon cult is fuelled largely by politicians and the media, both of whom have vested interests in seeing it advance. But it is the politicians who are the more potentially harmful because they have the means to injure a country’s economy and the welfare of its citizens by introducing damaging legislation. Naturally such legislation is sanitized as being in the interests of the environment, but this veneer of concern may be completely synthetic. The problem facing politicians is that they must always appear to be fighting the good fight for the good of the public who might reward them with their vote. The “good fight” of course is whatever happens to be the latest hobgoblin seizing the collective mind of the fashionably frightened. Today it is manmade global warming, relabelled “climate change” to cope with global temperatures going either way, which is itself a subtle admission the theory is fundamentally flawed.
Politicians must always appear concerned, ready to respond to the latest fad irrespective of their personal views on an issue, regardless of their ideals, their beliefs and their loyalties. Failure to be seen on the latest bandwagon reciting the trendy new mantra may translate into lost votes at the next election, especially when the voters are moved by large concerns like “saving the planet”. There is nothing bigger. Environmentalism is the new surrogate religion, filling the void left by the collapse of socialism and the decline of Christianity in the West. It is grist for the AGW mill because it allows the public to put the evil eye on a new surrogate Devil: CO₂ or Mankind.
For the politicians it is all about votes to remain in power and it takes a brave one to swim against the tide and thumb his nose at the latest fad. The media on the other hand, fan the flames of fear by bombarding the uncritical masses with one side of the issue: the side with the more exciting story to tell. This is why few if any media providers are prepared to publish more than a token number of articles sceptical of human induced climate-change. To do so would be tantamount to admitting there is nothing to worry about. Such an admission would be anathema to the media, like Nature abhorring a vacuum. It goes against the grain. Runs counter to media philosophies. Danger, disaster and calamity sell. Mundane normality does not.
Because of this lack, most people might think there are few if any contradictory stories to be had. But a quick trawl through the internet would easily disabuse them of that notion. There are myriad professional web sites and blogs highlighting the weaknesses of the AGW hypothesis - not to mention the many books available as well.
Between the politicians and the media, the scientists play piggy in the middle. Motivated by the promise of research grants and the potential kudos that comes from being involved in the latest scientific fashion, many scientists have made careers out of trying to prove what the politicians require and what the media want to publish. "We have a vested interest in creating panic because money will then flow to climate scientists", says Professor John Christy, University of Alabama atmospheric scientist who also contributed to the IPCC. Yet the science behind human-induced global warming is so flawed it is amazing all three parties have managed to get away with the deception. The pro-AGW scientists and Government ministers must know, or at least suspect, that the science is broken and that AGW is a monumental scam. But they don't care. That is why they are not affected by conflicting evidence, like global temperatures trending downward for the past decade while CO₂ emissions increased.
This fact alone should give any scientist worth his salt some pause. But it fails even to dent their pride, let alone their confidence in repeating the AGW myth to an uncritical public. The politicians don't care while voters are preoccupied by 'green' issues and “saving the planet” from plastic shopping bags and incandescent light bulbs, and the scientists don't care while the politicians are dishing out research grants to ‘prove’ how valid the public's concerns are.
Truth has nothing to do with it. To the politicians, it’s about power; to the AGW scientists, it’s about funding; to the media, it’s a marketable commodity and to the environmentalists, it’s a religious conviction and a need to impose socialist controls. The only people who care about the truth are the sceptics. But they don’t matter because they are heretics ruining the fun of everyone else. All four interest groups are like symbiotic parasites feeding off each other while they also support the public’s collective subconscious need for a surrogate Devil to fear. They thrive on the madness because they have vested interests in keeping it alive.
Eventually global warming hysteria will subside, but we will leave a strange legacy to future generations to ponder. Professor Richard Lindzen from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said, “Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections... proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age”.