Aug 302009

What happens when a leading environmental campaigner meets a Spectator columnist, who is sceptical about climate change, on a BBC discussion programme, and there is a question about carbon emissions and wind farms?This was the situation on last Friday’s Any Questions, which was chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby who, while scrupulously trying to maintain an appearance of impartiality on such subjects, never quite manages to conceal his sympathy for the warmist cause.

Any Questions is broadcast from a different venue each week, with a local audience, although it is not unusual for panellists with a cause to make sure that there are a few of their supporters in the audience. The venue for this edition was the quaintly named Middle Wallop, a rural community set in the rolling Hampshire countryside.

At the beginning of the programme, he introduced the main protagonists in the following way:

Jonathan Porritt: Doyen of the green party, founder of Forum for the Future, and until a few weeks ago, chairman of the Sustainable Development Commission, and the government’s chief environmental adviser, to which post he was appointed by Tony Blair a decade ago.

James Delingpole: comes from a rather different tradition, author and Spectator columnist, he reviles what he calls the deceit and lies of the anthropogenic global warming industry … He’s also scathing about left liberals who he is prone to see in his words as ‘stupid’.

There were two other members of the panel, Kate Mosse, a novelist who has sold some 5 million books, and Mark Stephens a lawyer specialising in the entertainment industry.

The question about climate change came from a Mr Gent, who asked, ‘Is the answer to an 80% reduction in carbon emissions blowing in the wind?’

On this programme the panel genuinely do not know what the questions will be, although they may be able to guess what is likely to be come up and do some home work. The chairman immediately slipped the poisoned pill to Delingpole, although he must have realised that pitting a journalist with no specialised knowledge of this subject against a specialist like Porritt could make for an uneven contest. And addressing the question first is always a disadvantage; there is nothing to react to and no thinking time.

Delingpole: Oh-ho! Why pick on me first! OK. Um!

I was stunned about by how beautiful this part of the world is. I haven’t been round here before, and I was thinking, [addressing the audience] does anyone here think that Danebury Hill Fort could do with a windmill on top of it, a wind turbine? Hands up who would like a wind farm. Because I think that a lot of bad things –  one person [had put their hand up] –  a lot of bad things are being done in the name of the environment. It’s weird, that’s a bit like the US general in the Vietnam war who said that in order to save the city we had to destroy it. And I see this very much with the environmental movement. I see that Jonathan for example is a big supporter of the Severn Barrage, which is going to cost about eight times as much as a nuclear power station and its going to wipe out the mud flats which are where all the birds are.  I see plans to carpet this country, this, some of this most beautiful, well I think most beautiful, country on earth, with wind farms that won’t actually replace our power stations. We are going to have to have power stations as backups for when the windmills don’t work. I don’t think that this is sense at all. And this is the fallout of the green movement’s zealotry. [Loud and spontaneous applause]

That seemed like a pretty good attempt at answering the question and opening up a discussion on alternative sources of energy. Porritt had other ideas when he replied:

Porritt: Zealotry? Hmmm! I’m amazed that so many of you clapped so enthusiastically at that. I suspect that it means that you still think that people like James [Delingpole] and Jeremy Clarkson are better advisers on the science of climate change than the Royal Society, the government’s chief scientific adviser or the vast majority of the world’s scientists. I don’t know on what basis you think that they are better mentors for you in this particular debate. And I’d strongly advise you to take your advice – your scientific advice –  from those who actually know what they are talking about, rather than those who just expostulate in the way that you have just heard.

This produced some rather ragged applause which was obviously started by a single enthusiast. The audience probably weren’t too keen on the patronising tone or being ticked off for applauding Delingpole. Or perhaps quite a few of them suspect that so far as  ‘the Royal Society, the government’s chief scientific adviser or the vast majority of the world’s scientists’, entertaining even the smallest doubts about climate change would be a career terminating mistake. Delingpole and Clarkson are at least in a position to say what they think. Porritt continued:

So its only once you understand what the science is really telling us, which is that we face a very grim future for humankind indeed unless we aim for the 80% reduction that you’re talking about by 2050. Unless you understand how that science then cascades through the decision making process you won’t be able to come to a judgement about this. And what that means is that we are going to have to massively ramp-up the amount of energy that we derive from renewables; from wind and other sources including the tidal barrage. Wonderful that James is such an ardent defender [sneering] of the mud flats. At last he’s found a cause worth defending.

The image of science cascading through the decision making process is a bit troubling; rather like a description of a particularly distressing bowel complaint, but one does know what he means. So far as the mud flats are concerned, when the plans for the Severn Barage  were announced Porritt was asked about the loss of sea bird habitats, including the world famous Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust site at Slimbridge, in a radio interview. He said that that was OK, because we could just create new ones elsewhere.

But Porritt was only beginning to get into his stride:

We have to do this! We don’t have a choice about this – we have to find the ways of bringing forward those new energy choices, and yes! I make no apology for this, I am a very enthusiastic advocate of wind power, I have increasingly less time for those whose nimbyist sentiments persuade them that somehow the best route to defending their cherished landscapes is to see it be drowned by a huge amount later on in life. Which particular bit of the landscape do you want to defend James [with sly emphasis] if what we are threatened by is a seven meter rise in sea levels? So we aren’t really doing the calculations here in the right kind of way, and frankly for me, we’re surrounded by so many mischief makers, so many people in the media who continue to obfuscate and basically tell lies  … basically tell lies [someone trying to interrupt] both about climate change and about the impact of wind power on people’s lives. Most of what you hear about that is straight outright lying. That is what it is these days. So it really worries me that this country at the moment has such a poor quality debate as a …..

At this point the chairman finally interrupted him. When guests on Any Questions get abusive, Dimbleby usually cuts them off pretty quickly and tries to restore some semblance of propriety to the discussion. In this case he let Porritt continue, in spite of his repeatedly having suggeated that a fellow guest was a liar.

Perhaps the most disturbing moment in this diatribe was the seemingly contemptuous reference to a ‘cherished landscape’,  but what about the suggestion that it may be ‘drowned by a huge amount later on in life’? No credible scientific predictions envisage our landscape being inundated within the lifetime of any nimby. Surely a government chief environmental adviser must be aware that even the IPCC’s worst case scenario for climate change suggests no more than an eighteen inch rise in sea levels during this century, which certainly would not be enough to drown any cherished landscapes.

The chairman finally allowed Delingpole to respond to Porritt’s attack, which he attempted to do in a perfectly rational way:

Delingpole: We have as classic a case there of what the director of Greenpeace called ‘emotionalising the issue’ when he was talking about why a Greenpeace press release on the declining ice levels in the Arctic turned out to be untrue. But it was necessary, he said, to emotionalise the issue.

(Delingpole had good reason to say this; see here)

Porritt, attempting to interupt.

Delingpole: Well I mean … I’m sorry but ….

Porritt: I’ve been talking about science.

Delingpole: Let me talk about science briefly….One of the main theories, one of the main computer modelling theories is that as Co2  levels rise, so inexorably global temperatures will rise. Well for the last twelve years they haven’t risen, they’ve actually fallen. Well, I think that Co2  levels have risen in that time. So there are holes in your side’s arguments too.

So far as Dimbleby was concerned, this was evidently the wrong kind of science, because he cut off Delingpole again and asked Porritt to reply.

Porritt: Well! [pretended laughter]  Its completely wrong for one thing, so the difficulty about all of this is that these kind of little statements get out into the media and every time you hear them bandied around they become truth, as it were, and as you all know the earth is still flat, so I don’t know what we’re worried about here.

But even Met Office (Hadley Centre) graphs do actually show falling global temperatures over at least the last decade.

The other two panellists were then given a chance to speak, with the novelist claiming that she was ‘a Sussex girl’ who found wind farms beautiful, and the solicitor relying on aquifers in northern India ‘going down by 4cm a year’, and Basingstoke facing a water shortage, as proof that the case for anthropogenic climate change has now been proved. One wonders what kind of evidence he deploys in his client’s interests.

Eventually, Dimbleby asked the questioner, Mr Gent, for his views:

Mr Gent: Yes! I would like to say that I think that the media find a need to polarise the discussion to obviously sell papers and have active debates. But the science is quite unequivocal, and I think that it is a lot cheaper to take action now, than to find out in twenty years time that we really should have done, and have to pay a lot more money to solve the problem.

Dimbleby: Just very briefly, against that, James Delingpole. [Delingpole tries to answer, but Dimbleby bores on) If the overwhelming scientific expertise is of the view that this is a very serious and is partly the source of – because of –  human behaviour, and the prevailing view of the rest of the panel, why not take action in case it is

Delingpole: … The science; I cannot accept that –  because the science is not settled! Thirty-thousand scientists have signed a document saying that we do not believe in this anthropogenic global warming. That does not sound to me like a consensus at all. And Jonathan can come up with all sorts of his statistics and I will come up with all sorts of mine and we will never get anywhere. We haven’t got time for this …

Dimbleby, horrified: Thirty thousand scientists?

Delingpole: … from around the world.

Dimbleby, desperately: climate change scientists?

Delingpole: …. Rather like the IPC [sic] all these scientists from the IPCC they are not all climate change scientists. They come from all sorts of fields.

Porritt interupting: OK!

Delingpole: If we throw back these claims, back and forth, we’re going to get nowhere.

Porritt: I’m not going to take that tack. You are quite right, there are a lot of scientists, some of them intelligent and eminent in their own fields who continue to dissent from the overarching consensus about climate change, and that will always be the case. But the question that you have to ask yourself is, why do governments follow the guidance of some scientists and reject the advice of other scientists? Is it because they have all been beguiled and seduced by this climate change conspiracy? Is it because they are incapable of making good judgements because of the quality of the advice they are getting? What is it that has persuaded every government in the world today, including the United States, to follow the consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change?

There might be a clue as to why  ‘governments follow the guidance of some scientists and reject the advice of other scientists’ in the appointment of someone like Jonathan Porritt –  who seems to think that anyone who does not agree with his views on climate change is either mischievous, a liar or probably a fool –  as chief environmental adviser to the UK government for a whole decade?

Delingpole: Australia has just gone and rejected their cap-and-trade bill. That’s not true Jonathan, you’re coming up with some quite untrue statements. You know I can’t accept this.

Porritt: Sorry, you need to get a little up to date on this. They are signatories to Kyoto. They have rejected one particular measure recently; they have not pulled out of Kyoto.

Bur Kyoto is now dead, and it didn’t bring about the reductions in Co2 emmissions that were intended. Delingpole attemted to respond, but was cut-off by the chairman.

To close the programme, Dimbleby asked the audience for a  show of hands on ‘who believes that the IPCC are right, global warming is very serious, and action needs to be taken of the kind that Jonathan Porritt is talking about?’ Apparently the audience obediently put up their hands.

Dimbleby: Well in this case there is a (pause) I think fairly –  an overwhelming majority that takes the view of Jonathan Porrirtt on this.

Judging by what happened during this edition of Any Questons, it is hardly surprising that leading representatives of the warmist lobby, like Jonathan Porritt, are very reluctant to debate with sceptics in public. His arguments seem to rely on ad hominem attack and myths. Claiming a scientific basis for scare stories about an imminent seven meter rise in sea levels or saying that it is untrue that global average temperature has fallen in recent years is, at the very  least, misleading. The IPCC gives no credence to the idea that there can be sea level rise in the order of seven meters on a time scale of less than several thousand years. Their own worst case scenario for the end of this century is a fraction of this. And when Delingpole rightly pointed out that there has been no global warming during the last decade, Porritt’s response was, in the context of all that had gone before, to call him a liar again. Is it really possible that Porrit is unaware of what the IPCC and the Hadley Centre say, in spite of his exalted position as ‘the government’s chief environmental adviser’.

Delingpole, as I said, is not a specialist in this subject; Porritt is certainly supposed to be just that. Had an expert sceptic like Benny Peiser, Bob Carter, Christopher Monckton or David Henderson been on the programme, and had Porritt tried to use the same unsupportable arguments in such company, he would have been humiliated.

Delingpole did well to keep his cool in the face of much provocation and the combined efforts of an experienced propagandist and the supposedly impartial chairman. He also won on points without having to mislead anyone.

You can listen again to the whole programme here.

(HT to James P for mentioning that this programme was coming up)

23 Responses to “Lies, damned lies and Jonathan Porritt”

  1. Very good post, Tony. One very telling line is where Jonathan Porritt says “I’m amazed that so many of you clapped so enthusiastically at that.” He comes across as thoroughly patronising and out of touch – calling his audience stupid (in effect) will not win him many hearts and minds.

  2. I just listened to it again. Here’s another utterance by Porritt: “Which particular bit of the landscape do you want to defend, James, if what we’re threatened with is a 7-metre rise in sea levels?” Seven metres? Which particular bit of the science does that rather alarming figure come from, I wonder?

    I suspect this might be something to do with what might happen if the complete melting of the Greenland ice cap occurs. Over millennia… In which case, Stephen Sackur’s comments in the Gerd Leipold interview are rather apt.

    On a different note, does Jonathan’s delivery remind anyone else of Alan Rickman as Snape in the Harry Potter films?

  3. Jonathan Dimbleby is a member of the Green Alliance, I believe.

  4. James Delingpole is correct on nuclear power. Even when the disaster at Chernobyl is taken into account it still works out to be safer than any alternative. Millions die every year from particulates pollution from fossil fuels. Scientifically, the case for nuclear power is a strong one. If there are any doubts lets have a UN report with strong emphasis on the saftety aspects.

    Jonathan Porritt, is scientifically correct on the CO2 issue. There is no recognised scientific body anywhere in the world disagreeing in any significant way with the IPCC report.

    Its just a pity that the debate has to between those who agree with the science only when it suits them politically. Although , having said that, I can’t see any particular reason why following the best scientific advice possible should be a problem for either side.

  5. I am currently reading The Skeptikal Environmentalist by Bjorn Lomberg, which should be essential reading for anyone with an interest in the environment. The book sets out to see if the common perceptions published by the green movementare true or not, by subjecting the claims to rigorous scrutiny and statistical analysis. In conclusion the world is in a lot better shape than the environmentalists would have us believe.
    You are quite right in suggesting Jonathon Porrit does not like their scientific orthodoxy scrutinised and challenged in public

  6. Alistair:

    In a way, I suppose Lomborg was ahead of his time, although it often doesn’t look that way.

    Porritt’s performance on Any Quesions shocked me. He’d always seemed like a well meaning if somewhat blinkered idealist. Given what he told the audience, I wonder what kind of advice he’s been giving the government for the last decade?

    Peter Taylor, another environmentalist who is having second thoughts about what is being done in the name of the movement, has recently published a book called Chill: A Reassessment of Global Warming Theory and seems not to have been attacked by his comrades with the same savagery that Lomborg suffered. Perhaps word had gone round that controversy sells books.

  7. Tony,

    Just read Peter Taylor’s post on WUWT and your reply. Are you going to post a review of his book ? I would be interested to read it.

  8. James Delingpole has things to say about this post at The Telegraph here:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100008254/the-bbc-al-gores-uk-propaganda-mouthpiece/

    Jack:

    I don’t seem to be able to spot the Peter Taylor stuff at WUWT; a link would be appreciated. As his book only arrived a couple of days ago I’ve done no more than glance at it so far.

  9. Thanks for the hat-tip, Tony. I have to admit that I didn’t get to hear the programme (end-of-school-holiday stuff intervened) but I’d only have ended up shouting at the radio. Porritt can be monumentally pompous, and one wonders how it would have gone if Dimbleby had been obliged to declare an interest at the beginning – something the BBC is usually pretty keen on where other people are concerned!

  10. I heard the programme and I must say I was surprised at the sweeping statements that Porritt was allowed to get away with, the most daft being his assertion of a 7 metre sea level rise.

    That this was not picked up and rammed down his throat as the nonsense it is was a sad indictment of both Delingpole and Dimbleby. An open goal with the ball two inches from the goal mouth. How can anyone miss that?

    Interestingly, I attended a conference many years ago at which Porritt was the main speaker.

    Porritt had been his usual insufferable self-I suspect that he and Monbiot attended the same insufferability training course- when someone from the audience (obviously becoming fed up) asked him as to whether he used Natural nappies or throwaway ones for his newly born child.

    Porritt hummed and hawed for a bit then admitted that life was too short and he used throwaways- to the huge enjoyment of the audience who were glad to see him discomfited.

    This was at a time when it was thought deeply anti social to use throwaways.

    Whether it is Sting, Bono, Gore or Porritt it always seem to be a case of do what I say not do what I do. I must admit I enjoyed it when Monbiot admitted he had to buy a car when he moved to Wales.

    tonyb

  11. Tony:

    I think that you are being a bit hard on Delingpole.

    For people who have a specialised interest in AGW, the 7 meter sea level rise canard may stick out like a sore thumb, but for a columnist who covers a wide range of subjects his performance seemed pretty good to me. You can’t expect the same kind of performance that someone like Monckton would have turned in, which raises an interesting question.

    If Monckton, or someone like him, had been on the programme, would Pottitt have been willing to appear? And I wonder if Dimbleby, who certainly takes a lot of interest in AGW, recognised the 7 meter sea level rise myth when it was trotted out? We will never know, but he was quick enough to interrupt when Delingpole mentioned 30,000 sceptical scientists.

  12. Peter:
    I’m no expert on nuclear, but I have come across people who are questioning it’s role as a backup for wind. Apparently there are problems switching nuclear power plants in and out of the grid at for relatively short periods, and its very expensive to have a nuclear plant standing idle. Apparently they are best suited to operating at maximum load all the time. Which makes one wonder why the UK government is committing to wind and nuclear at the same time, even if the Severn Barrage never gets built.

  13. Jask Huges #8

    The review of Peter Taylors book isn’t on line but I will retrieve a copy and post it here if TonyN doesn’t mind. As well as great science it makes some very interesting points on what is driving the agenda and I think TonyN himself would greatly enjoy it. (The book that is, not my review)

    tonyb

    TonyN: That will be fine with me

  14. TonyN

    I do not think I am being hard on Delingpole, he does set himself up as a public sceptic and it is reasonable to expect him to know the important basics. A 7 metre rise is surely one of those? Even more so as he could have completely ruined Porritts credibilty at a stroke.

    That aside I do think he aquitted himself very well, it must be a bit of a bear pit and Porritt is a very difficult man to debate with and the situation was not helped by a rather biased chairman. So 6 out of 10 perhaps and definite promise for the future!

    You raise an interesting point as to whether Porritt would have dared debate with Monckton. Sadly we shall probably never know

    Tonyb

  15. Apparently there are problems switching nuclear power plants in and out of the grid at for relatively short periods

    Indeed so – in fact nuclear plants are really either on or off (and don’t do that quickly), hence the Dinorwig pumping station that is designed to buffer the load, pumping water uphill when there is excess power and letting it generate when there isn’t.

    FWIW, I think there’s room for a few windmills – I live in the Isle of Wight, where Vestas have recently closed shop and rather significantly, the local Nimbys have objected to three wind turbines on a high down, but in terms of flexible power generation, neither they nor nuclear are going to rival a good old hydrocarbon-fired station anytime soon!

  16. Apparently there are problems switching nuclear power plants in and out of the grid at for relatively short periods

    The same can be said for coal as well. Coal and Nuclear are good for base load, ie that level below which demand never drops. Gas and oil can and do fill the gap between base load and peak demand as they can be varied faster. This is the conundrum with wind as as it not a fuel we can control at all, and if produced during periods when demand is at base-load is all wasted, or we use it and waste real fuel.

    Many countries, France being the best known to me, use the diesel powered generators that big organisations have installed as standby sets to produce power at peak times in what is known as power shaving. These highly efficient sets between 1 and 2 Megawatt can vary their output to suit demand with the speed of the electronic processor controlling them. So whilst these diesels are less efficient than the latest coal stations when at full load, they are less wasteful when the load varies. Horses for courses, but no sensible place for wind.

  17. TonyN,

    You say “people who are questioning it’s [nuclear] role as a backup for wind”. Of course, it never can be and I doubt if even the strongest advocates of nuclear power would argue that it should fulfill that role.

    Wind, and tidal, energy has its place but unless there is a rapid development of much cheaper energy storage it is hard to see how it can ever be considered a base load supplier. It may, if we were being very optimistic about its prospects, and with a lot of effort, provide 20% of total power. So, so much effort in promoting the idea? What about the other 80%? That should be what the real debate should centre on.

  18. Peter is absolutely right (surely a first time this has been said on this blog without a qualifying ‘not’ in the same sentence :) )

    In the UK we have signed up to a legally binding agreement on carbon without a rational discussion as to how our energy needs are to be met.

    Wind power is being touted as the answer whilst its considerable shortcomings are ignored. I am very worried about energy supply -and security of supply- and for both those reasons favour coal fired power stations (with suitable safeguards) and gasification of coal plus burning of waste plus nuclear.

    However, bearing in mind our looming energy shortage in 8 years, as a base load coal generation (in some form) seems the only way to get us out of our self inflicted problems.

    I do like the idea of renewables and have a peer reviewed paper coming out in the Autumn on wave power. Our current status on this source is depressingly abysmal and on current showing it will be 20 years before it is providing any sort of substantial input.

    For different reasons to Peter I do think we need to step up our search for renewables-especially wave and tidal-but that would take an Apollo type effort, In the absence of that, conventional sources will have to do and coal can be put into effect much quicker than nuclear.

    This base load question is something our UK politicians are ducking-I don’t know the situation in other countries-perhaps Australia and the US have had more foresight.

    Tonyb

  19. TonyB,

    You, and maybe others too, seem somewhat surprised that I might come out with something you might agree with.

    Going back to title of the thread, which is ostensibly about Jonathan Porritt, an environmental campaigner for the Green Party. TonyN could perhaps have also included, in the title, James Delingpole who is considered a Conservative in modern day terms. To understand better where each individual stands, and I’ll add myself in too, it is necessary to go back to the original definition, a more 19th understanding, of political terms.

    Conservatism: The political credo of the landed classes. Literally, conserving the system to be very much as it was at the time. The rich man in his castle, poor man at his gate. Considered reactionary by those wanting change. Religious? Yes. Scientific? Not very in the 19th century. More so now when it suits.
    Liberalism: The politics of the capitalist class. Just as revolutionary a political force as Socialism came to be later. Progressive? Yes. Constant revolutionising of the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Religious? No. Scientific? . Yes, usually. But, with one obvious recent glaring exception.
    Socialism: The politics of the organised working classes. Advocating state, worker or public ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources, and a society characterized by equal access to resources for all individuals with an egalitarian method of compensation and a strong emphasis on social justice. Progressive? Yes Religious? No. Scientific? Yes. This must override all other considerations.

    These political strands became so intertwined in the 20th century, as deals and accommodations were reached by the different groupings, that the terms have lost some, if not , much of their original meaning. Liberalism is now at very home in the modern Conservative party in UK terms. The “Liberal Democrats” having drifted off to the the left. In America, what should be called Socialism is referred to as liberalism. True Conservatism can only exist in terms of keeping things as they are at a particular time, and Conservatives can now be found in all political parties. Conservativism more widely spread than among the landed classes.

    I’d say that James Delingpole was definitely a Liberal. Jonathan Porritt, and probably Al Gore too, are more Conservative. Incidentally, I’d say I was a socialist who was prepared to reach an accommodation with others of different persuasions. Sometimes referred to as Social Democratic, in the broader sense, in European terms.

    TonyN; Your fixation with left and right is becoming monotonous.

  20. Wind power belongs to the past – we moved on to steam power then electricity just as soon as these appeared.

    Water power can work in some countries. Here on the Mainland of New Zealand (South Island) we are 100% hydro. There are huge dammed lakes and canals down south. The enviros would hate these if they were built today – in fact they are making a lot of noise right now about a scheme on the Wairau River.

    For the last few years there has been an annual wobbly moment every winter as the reservoirs get lower and lower. Large consumers of electricity like the aluminium smelter go into shutdown.

    Hour-to-hour variations in load are managed by sending a signal down the cables that switches domestic water heaters off – and back on when it’s OK. I’ve got a huge well-insulated tank so I could probably manage for 2 days on hot water from the tank if needed.

  21. Here is a cut-out-and-keep thread from another blog.

    It echoes my own journey of discovery. At first I just went along with the mainstream themes of global warming as it was then called. Ordinary citizens never hear any other views and I just assumed it was science.

    But when I started to think about it, it just didn’t add up. The solutions seemed totally out of whack with the scale of the problem. The whole climate was going down the gurgler any minute and we had meetings about proposals to maybe recycle bus tickets in a few years time.

    The blog I link to starts with some interesting ideas from Mick Hulme – formerly a high priest of AGW. The blog really catches fire with a comment from Stefan about how AGW has got traction because it just fits so neatly into a particular worldview. Like carbon monoxide sitting in a haemoglobin molecule.

    Stefan’s comment is here

  22. The mis-alignment between the huge and urgent problem and the modest and delayed solutions made me look more closely.

    I found there were liars like Al Gore, propagandists like George Monbiot, and people simply out of their depth like our very own kiwi Gareth Morgan.

    Then I started to look at the source documents. Plenty of stupid mistakes like energy starting off negative, misunderstanding of what negative and positive feedback are, attempts to use scientific language to describe conjecture about future events (‘the observed temperatures for 2020’). Then the IPCC report is just a mishmash of meaningless babble. Maybe it has some meaning in the original language but it’s been lost in translation.

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