Part 5 of The Great Global Warming Swindle picks up where Part 4 left off, having just begun looking at the history and politics of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) story.
Unfortunately, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher played a role in helping the ball get rolling. She did not want to rely on traditional energy sources due to things like the artificial oil crisis, miner’s strikes, etc., so she leaned heavily on exploiting nuclear energy.
This was not a bad goal in and of itself, but in doing so, she was willing to expend government funds on research which might point toward negative aspects of fossil fuels. The environmental extremists, eager to find any excuse to demonize industry, saw this as a perfect opportunity to put their energy behind this unexpected development.
This ended up forming the basis for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)–the UN group that has peddled this flimsy theory the hardest.
Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, says that the environmental extremists latched onto the theory of AGW because by the mid-1980s most people agreed with the reasonable things they said we should be doing. So in order to remain “counter-culture” as they wanted to be, they had to keep becoming more and more extreme in their advocacy. He said he left Greenpeace when his group wanted to ban chlorine throughout the world.
Moore also said another key reason environmentalists became so extreme was that communism had failed as an international ideology by the end of the 1980s. A lot of peaceniks and political activists had nowhere to expend their energy, so they moved into the environmental movement, “bringing their neo-Marxism with them, and learned to use green language in a very clever way to cloak agendas that actually have more to do with anti-capitalism and anti-globalization than they do with ecology or science.”
The more media attention the idea of AGW got, the more calls for research funding there were. And where there are research dollars to be had, scientists will find a way to justify the continuity of those dollars.
As Professor Richard Lindzen of the IPCC and MIT said, “We’re all competing for funds, and if your field is the focus of concern, you have that much less work rationalizing why your field should be funded.”
Dr. Roy Spencer, NASA Weather Satellite Team Leader, talks about climate models: “Climate models are only as good as the assumptions that go into them, and they have hundreds of assumptions. All it takes is one assumption to be wrong for the forecast to be way off.”
Professor Tim Ball of the Department of Climatology at the University of Winnepeg says, “The analogy I use is like, my car’s not running very well, so I’m going to ignore the engine, which is the sun, and I’m going to ignore the transmission, which is the water vapor, and I’m going to look at one nut on the right rear wheel, which is the human-produced CO2. The science is that bad.”