Saturday, 27 February 2010

A strange feeling about global warming

Listening to a show on BBC Radio Five Live I heard a woman in Scotland being interviewed about snow. Apparently they are having quite a lot of it up there at the moment. The interviewer asked whether she put it down to global warming. He obviously lost the cue-card that requires use of "climate change" rather than "global warming" in all BBC programmes. It was on the radio but I got the distinct impression that the woman being interviewed was one of those short feisty ladies who is as broad as she is tall and takes no nonsense from anyone.

Her reply? "I don't believe in global warming, I think these things come and go". The interviewer let his guard slip for a second time and said "you can say that, I'm not allowed to". This was not the first time I have encountered a senior BBC broadcaster say this sort of thing, I correspond from time-to-time with one who has confirmed to me that the policy line is strict. My correspondent must remain anonymous but Friday afternoon's interviewer was Peter Allen, a serious journalist with a wealth of experience and, in my opinion, an excellent broadcaster. He will probably get away with letting the cat out of the bag because the mood has undoubtedly changed over the last few months. The occasional snippet of dissent has appeared on the BBC website and even flagship news and comment programmes like Newsnight have hosted debates about some aspects of the great global warming hoax.

I find myself with a curious feeling about this.

It is probably only about three years ago that I started to read into the subject. As the warnings of dire consequences became more and more stark, so my bullshit meter began bleeping loudly and I felt I had to try to understand at least something of the technical case the warmists were putting. Of course I could only reach a conclusion that made sense to me, that it might not make sense to others is a matter for them. What I concluded, subject to revision as and when new analyses or evidence appeared, is that it was nonsense just like every other end-of-the-world prediction I had heard. Indeed, much of it seemed to me to have no more substance than a nutter wearing a sandwich board and proclaiming the descent of London into hell and damnation if we don't all repent our sins by 2.14pm next Monday. I didn't have to wait until 2.15pm on Monday to be able to dismiss his prediction of imminent doom and once 2.15pm arrived he was back again with a new deadline and a message of even more grisly suffering for those who sin.

As the last three years have progressed the modern day nutters in sandwich boards have followed the tried and tested path. When adverse consequences they predicted have not materialised they have just moved the dates and predicted that things will be even worse because we have not done what they have told us to do. And all the time people with greater technical skills than me have been continuing to chip away at the so-called science. Every month seems to uncover a new hole in the case put with absolute certainty by the doommongers just a few short years ago.

The "climategate" hoo-hah has brought matters to the public gaze when previously you had to hunt for evidence on blogs and websites. Suddenly doubts about the reliability of historic temperature reconstructions were headline news when previously they had been almost entirely the subject of discussion between those who chose to investigate. With typical perspicacity our absurd Prime Minister chose to deride sceptics as "flat-earthers" just as the shallowness of the case for man-made catastrophic global warming was being exposed publicly and brutally as it had never been exposed before.

And that is where my strange feeling comes in. Perhaps it is not a very strange feeling at all because opinion polls suggest that the Chicken Licken scenario has never persuaded more than a bare majority. But it feels strange to me. My feeling is that the views I hold have now won the argument. Before I felt like a little voice spouting what I believed to be obvious common sense but never felt that my opinion was the default position. Now that has changed. Those who thought "it sounds like nonsense to me but I suppose those clever scientists might be right" are able to delete the last nine words because their newspapers tell them of the CRU's fiddling of the figure and the IPCC's false claims about Himalayan glaciers, Amazon rainforests and all the rest of it.

Unravelling the paraphernalia of the warmist machine will take time. Politicians who have attached themselves publicly to the warmist case will not back down easily. It will probably require changes of government in many countries before the political powerbrokers reflect the new reality unless incumbent leaders realise their own careers might depend on them abandoning their established positions. They have the evidence they need to say "sorry chaps, we were advised the evidence was unimpeachable and now we know we hitched our wagon to a three-legged nag"; somehow I can't see that happening any time soon.

And then there are the vast financial interests that depend on the catastrophic man-made global warming theory such as the carbon credits nonsense. We know it's nonsense, you only need to ask what it involves to see this. It is, quite literally, trading in hot air. Then there are the "green energy" cons, with companies being subsidised to produce expensive electricity inefficiently. Once they taste the sweet milk from the subsidised teat you know they will suck harder and others will want a piece of the action. None of these vultures will give up the game without a fight.

The biggest game of all is that played by the UN and the EU. We know they are corrupt organisations run almost exclusively by those who proved themselves unfit to run individual countries. These organisations are operated primarily to perpetuate their own existence and they expand their powers so that the act of perpetuation is made easier. Nothing is better for them than an issue about which they can say "the task is so big that only we are big enough to deal with it".

It will take time. That's fine, I can wait because I am basking in the warm fuzzy glow of vindication.


Mark Wadsworth said...

Could you just clarify: is the "strange feeling" you refer to earlier in the post the same as "the warm fuzzy glow of vindication" you mention at the end?

Norman said...

I do feel now that man made global warming is like the Bismarck circling in the Bay of Biscay - still a formidable sight but no longer the danger it once was.

Man made global warming was a godsend to politicians - hike up taxes on fuel, electricity, oil companies, etc. all in the name of saving the world.

It will be interesting watching what happens over the next five years now that a large majority are sceptical of the premise that CO2 is the greatest danger the earth has ever faced.

Alex Cull said...

Very interesting re the radio interview, and I would agree that the mood has subtly changed, even at the BBC. Though there are striking differences in stance, depending on who's talking - Peter Allen, as in your example, or Andrew Neil of the Daily Politics, as opposed to the more committed voices such as Richard Black or Roger Harrabin. I also agree about the strange feeling - it's partly relief, isn't it, the sense that a corner has been turned. The end of the beginning?

TheFatBigot said...

Different things, Mr W, but related. The strange feeling is of the change of mood, that the default position is now anti-Chicken Licken. The warm fuzzy glow is pure smugness, enhanced by the change of mood.

Anonymous said...

I've got a feeling it's not just scientists who can be accused of confirmation bias.

Andrew W

gyg3s said...

A couple of links ...

The Corporate Climate Coup


Global Warming: Truth or Dare?

a lot of people cried foul years ago.

Little Black Sambo said...

Yes, but does the change make any real difference? You could say much the same about public opinion of membership of the EU, but the people in charge just go on their oblivious way.

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