COP21 – the point of no return

By Andrew L. Urban.

December 11, 2115 – Centenary of COP21 Climate Conference, Paris:

They’re all dead, all those thousands who gathered in Paris for that fateful two weeks, in which the world’s self-appointed climate warriors signed the death warrants of millions living in poverty, who are also dead. Rebuke is redundant.

The snapshot of celebrating delegates at the end of the conference when the declaration of intent was proclaimed in the agreed and carefully meaningless form of words, is the haunting and melancholy milestone that ironically reminds us of how manipulated we were. How easily we were misled. ‘Deniers’ and sceptics excepted.

That frozen image signalled the point of no return. World leaders had dutifully turned up, the United Nations bragged of its earnest intentions to save the planet (ignoring the irony that it could not even save a local tribe in Africa or the Middle East) and the tens of thousands who made up the climate industry cheered in unison. Mass (hysterical) media pumped its collective fist. There was no turning back. They had all invested too much of everything in their campaign against fossil fuels, and carbon dioxide in particular, and developing countries would be given easily corruptible cash instead of badly needed energy. The official UN COP21 website published the photo of leaders on the podium holding joined hands aloft, smiling smugly, while the self congratulatory (and emptily triumphant) caption read: “Long live the planet. Long live humanity. Long live life itself.”

‘Long live self delusion’ was a phrase we could now insert in its stead. (Some might prefer ‘Long live self interest’.) But it was too late then for doubts and reservations: this massive group of climate industry dependants and their teams could never – not now, not after COP21 – ever admit their faith was misplaced. Not even when presented with the (for them) inconvenient truth (the genuine article).

There was far too much ego to be shattered, too many reputations and careers to be wrecked, and too much credibility trashed; too many commentators who had championed the cause would have to eat their words. Too many vested interests would have to be abandoned. Too much shame would hang around too many heads to allow any retreat: this was IT: from that moment on, nothing could deny the prevailing belief that man was warming the planet – somehow, to some degree – and that trillions of dollars would be paid to thousands of the faithful to try and stop it.

In the cool of that December in Paris, the summit’s ‘success’ was the planet’s loss, for it extinguished any hope that genuine science would prevail in the debate that was so fraudulently triggered back in the naive years of 1998/99, when a small team led by newly doctorated young scientist, Dr Michael E. Mann, produced a graph that soon became the singular graphic symbol for alarming warming: the hockey stick graph. Former US Vice President and born again climate alarmist Al Gore picked up that hockey stick and helped knock over two Oscars (Best Documentary, Best Original Song) with his 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. Gore and the UN’s IPCC also won the Pulitzer in 2007 for their attention grabbing work. The film was soon included in science curricula around the world and the presentation lecture was franchised to all and sundry. Now, the climate misinformation virus was unleashed on the planet and nothing could stop it. Nothing did stop it.

Nothing was said or thought at COP21 about how to help the millions on the planet who were without electricity for their stoves, water for their latrines or medicine for their ill and old. All the words were about warming and how carbon dioxide would make it worse unless we stopped burning coal. And how it was proven by that hockey stick graph that the excessive heating of the planet began with the industrial revolution. Hey presto, the complex and still unknowable science of climate change was solved with that simple hockey stick and a $1 million documentary.

The tragedy is that there were plenty of scientists, scientists who did not falsify their data or misrepresent their research, who discredited the graph and the man (Mann) who gave birth to it. Those scientists were either silent, denied a platform, along with common or garden ‘deniers’ or simply ignored.

Many of those scientists, some 100 of them, are quoted in Mark Steyn’s Mann-berating book, A Disgrace to the Profession (September 2015 *); Steyn wrote accusingly: “Yet the real question in not whether most scientists dismiss the hockey stick today, but why more scientists didn’t denounce it back then. Too many people who should have known better sat idly by as an obscure researcher, with the ink barely dry on his PhD, overturned the accumulated scientific wisdom of centuries – because it was convenient to the political goals of activists, bureaucrats, politicians – and above all an ambitious new transnational bureaucracy, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

As Maggie Thatcher wisely observed, if you create a bureaucracy to solve a problem, that problem will never go away. In this case, the problem didn’t even exist.

Then came the propaganda-generating but also fraudulent statistic that 97% of scientists formed a consensus about the global warming science.

That fatally flawed statistic comes from a poll performed in 2008 by Professor Peter Doran and then-graduate student Margaret R.K. Zimmerman at the University of Illinois Chicago.

The “survey” was a two-question, online questionnaire sent to 10,257 earth scientists, of whom 3,146 responded. (“Hundreds of scientists told the survey coordinators during the polling process, that the poll was fundamentally flawed and could be easily misinterpreted. Some even said they could not do the poll because of the mistakes.”)

The researchers selected 79 of their sample and declared them “experts.”

Of those 79 scientists, two were excluded from a second supplementary question. So 75 out of 77 made it through to the final round, and 97.4 per cent were found to agree with “the consensus”. That’s where the 97 per cent came from. The hockey stick and the 97% became the fixations of the climate industry, to be trotted out as sword and shield against all threats – all sceptics.

The utter confusion of those days had many manifestations: the word ‘pollution’ came to refer to both invisible, odourless, particle-free, life-sustaining carbon dioxide as well as smog and deadly particle-filled pollution from industrial processes, such as the dangerously polluted air that often smothered Beijing. News media would show images of chimneys belching smoke and soot whenever illustrating a story about climate change. When there was a heatwave, climate change was invoked as the cause, likewise when there was an unseasonal or unexpected snowstorm. Droughts and floods all were caused by climate change, as was sea level rise and coral reef disease.

A simple example from the Sydney Morning Herald (aka the Sydney Warming Herald): Environment reporter Peter Hannam, writing about the 2015 “climate catastrophe”, December 29, 2015: “Record heat in southern Australia, winter tornadoes in Texas and “biblical” flooding in Britain are among the wacky extreme weather events rounding out 2015 across the globe.”

The main reason for these uninformed reactions was simple: we were (nearly) all uninformed, from prime ministers and chief scientists to climate activists, celebrities and famous actors – and self appointed guardians of the ‘consensus’ in the media. Their angry response towards any who questioned the so called science (which nobody could actually explain) bore all the hallmarks of intolerance and stubborn refusal to question and probe – the precise opposite of science. Believers and deniers are terms without meaning in science.

It was the climate itself that changed everything.

Following the inconvenient pause in global warming from about 1998 (ironically the year that Mann produced his infamous, incorrect hockey stick graph showing potentially catastrophic warming), a slight but noticeable cooling of average global temperature was being observed.

Those (few) scientists who had guesstimated that this was likely to happen greeted the observations with interest but not alarm.

One such scientist was Professor Don J. Easterbrook, who, “Using the pattern established for the past several hundred years, in 1998, I projected the temperature curve for the past century into the next century … the projected curved indicated global cooling beginning about 2005 ± 3-5 years until about 2030, then renewed warming from about 2030 to about 2060 (unrelated to CO2—just continuation of the natural cycle), then another cool period from about 2060 to about 2090. This was admittedly an approximation, but it was radically different from the 1° F per decade warming called for by the IPCC. Because the prediction was so different from the IPCC prediction, time would obviously show which projection was ultimately correct.

Now a decade later (writing in 2008), the global climate has not warmed 1° F as forecast by the IPCC but has cooled slightly until 2007-08 when global temperatures turned sharply downward. In 2008, NASA satellite imagery confirmed that the Pacific Ocean had switched from the warm mode it had been in since 1977 to its cool mode, similar to that of the 1945-1977 global cooling period. The shift strongly suggests that the next several decades will be cooler, not warmer as predicted by the IPCC.”

(Don J. Easterbrook is Professor Emeritus of Geology at Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA. He has published extensively on issues pertaining to global climate change. These extracts are from an article published by in 2008.)

Prof Easterbrook adds: “The IPCC prediction of global temperatures, 1° F warmer by 2011 and 2° F by 2038, stand little chance of being correct. NASA’s imagery showing that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) has shifted to its cool phase is right on schedule as predicted by past climate and PDO changes (Easterbrook, 2001, 2006, 2007). The PDO typically lasts 25-30 years and assures North America of cool, wetter climates during its cool phases and warmer, drier climates during its warm phases. The establishment of the cool PDO, together with similar cooling of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), virtually assures several decades of global cooling and the end of the past 30-year warm phase. It also means that the IPCC predictions of catastrophic global warming this century were highly inaccurate.”

Prof Easterbrook’s forecast of a decade of warming from 2030 was contradicted at the beginning of December 2015, when a team of European researchers unveiled a scientific model showing that the Earth is likely to experience a “mini ice age” from 2030 to 2040 as a result of decreased solar activity. The Daily Express UK, (December 1, 2015), reported that at the National Astronomy Meeting in Wales, Northumbria University professor Valentina Zharkova said fluctuations an 11-year cycle of solar activity the sun goes through would be responsible for a freeze, the like of which has not been experienced since the 1600s.

Prof Easterbrook also refers to the possibility of solar changes driving stronger cooling.

Coincidentally (reported at the end of November 2015), an intensive NASA study of both Earth’s poles had found that from 2009 to 2016 overall temperature has dropped in the southern polar region.

Prof Easterbrook warned us, back then, well before the Paris 2015 spend-fest: “The real danger in spending trillions of dollars trying to reduce atmospheric CO2 is that little will be left to deal with the very real problems engendered by global cooling.”

In the end, ridicule did what politicians and even scientists around the world could not: it deflated the IPCC’s credibility – and thus its funding. Its last report, issued in 2018, claimed that the global agreement reached in Paris in 2015 had already done the job, as warming had been reversed, as shown by observed data. It sidestepped the fact that this cooling was taking place despite continuing increases in man-made CO2 emissions. Even previously loyal warmist media baulked at this and cartoonists poured satirical scorn on the whole sorry mess.

We now look back at it all and wonder how it all went on for so long, so badly out of tune with reality. The answer may be as simple as the old activist’s handbook rule No 1: first generate fear ….

It was a phenomenon perhaps comparable to Islamic terrorism: “Fanatical evangelical sects do the same thing throughout the world, garnering vulnerable people, making them feel empowered and confident, and giving them a standing in a cause in return for their submission to direction.” (Tom Harley, The Australian, December 30, 2015)

But by the time the warming mentality was abandoned, it was too late for the millions in poverty who were denied practical help; billions had been wasted, and there was no such thing as an Intergovernmental Panel on Delivering Electricity.

As Mark Twain observed: “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

* It’s worth noting the context of Steyn’s self published book, as it is stated on his website:

“The defamation suit against Steyn by Michael E Mann, inventor of the global-warming “hockey stick”, is about to enter its fourth year at the DC Superior Court – which means Mark has a lot of case research lying around and he can’t wait forever for the trial to start. So he figured he’d put some of it in a new book, now available from SteynOnline.

In the fall of 2014, not a single amicus brief was filed on Dr Mann’s behalf, not one. He claims he’s “taking a stand for science”, but evidently science is disinclined to take a stand for him.

That got Mark curious as to what actual scientists think of Mann, his famous hockey stick, and his other work. So he started looking – and the result is a rollicking collection of insights into Big Climate’s chief enforcer by scientists from around the world, from Harvard to Helsinki, Prague to Princeton, with commentary from Steyn telling the story of the rise to global celebrity of one Mann and his stick.”


ADDENDUM, February 12, 2016: 

Cuts to the government-funded climate change program at the CSIRO coincide with a powerful critique of climate models by John Christy in a US congressional committee hearing. Michael Asten in The Australian reports: Observed data from two independent datasets (weather balloons and satellites) shows a rate of warming for 1995-2015 that is a factor of 2.5 lower than the averaged predictions from those of 102 modelling groups scattered around the globe.

This entry was posted in Democracy and global warming policies. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *