Thursday, 4 March 2010

Guest Post - The Global Warming Debate Part 2

Edward's story continues. If you missed part one you can read it here.


Professor Seitz, who exposed the corruption of the 1995 IPCC report, was, of course, vilified by the “climate community” as being in the pay of Big Oil. The newspaper clippings from America and other material came to me from a pen friend in Texas who sadly died. Family, business and other commitments crowded global warmism off my horizon as I was not then connected to the internet. So I will now backtrack to the antecedents of this saga.

Scare stories about changing climate have been a staple standby of newspapers throughout the twentieth century – both warming and cooling. Following the cooling of the mid Forties, newspaper stories about a return to the Ice Age were prominent in the early Fifties. One lad in our first form grammar school class really worked himself into a state over this.

If you have seen the effects of today's climate change indoctrination in schools on the sad, frightened, worried youngsters in the film “Not Evil, Just Wrong", you will have some idea of his state of mind - but he had done it for himself. Fortunately we had a very kindly geography teacher who used a considerable part of a lesson to reassure him and to explain to the rest of us about climate and weather. He contrasted more extreme foreign climates and their highly defined wet and dry seasons with our own milder, more mixed-up one. “You could say, boys” he said “that we don't have much of a climate in this country but we do get a lot of weather”.

By coincidence, nuclear power came into it as well. The Queen had just opened Calder Hall, Britain's first nuclear power station. “They do say, boys, that, when you come to pay your electricity bills, it will be so cheap that all you will have to pay will be a small charge for maintaining the cables”. I can still hear his soft, South Wales accent as he added “And if you believe that, you'll believe anything”. Perhaps it is to this good man that I owe a habit of lifelong scepticism towards official pronouncements.

The environmental worries of the Fifties centred on growing population and fear of global famine which would, of course, be made much worse by a cooling climate. Whilst there were local famines, often exacerbated by corrupt government and war, the world did not starve. Remarkable improvements in agriculture, combined with the “green revolution” in plant breeding averted the calamity in a truly epic way. The Sixties were not a decade of mass starvation although cooling of the climate continued.

By this time I was at work. We did have one near miss with man-made catastrophe in this period.

The Russians had run a series of huge hydrogen bomb tests in the Arctic and the authorities feared that radioactive fall-out might contaminate the fields of Northern Europe. The government stockpiled a massive amount of milk powder from New Zealand in case the milk supply was contaminated. I only got to know this after the event, when the stockpile was quietly sold off . Our firm bought quite a bit of it to make baby calf food. I don't think the story was ever made public. It was overshadowed by the more dramatic Cuban missile crisis.


By the Seventies, the scientific consensus in favour of global cooling was sufficiently firm for the CIA to compile a report on it - “A Study of Climatalogical Research as it Pertains to Intelligence Problems”. It was reported by Maurizio Morabito in the Spectator ( 5 December 2009). There is a copy on microfiche in the British Library. It contains remarks such as -

“Scientists are confident that, unless man is able to effectively modify the climate, then Canada, the European part of the Soviet Union and major areas of northern China will again be covered with 100 to 200 feet of ice and snow...”

“The most dangerous effect of the global cooling trend has been a change in atmospheric circulation and rainfall”.

“Early in the 1970s, a series of adverse climatic anomalies occurred. The world's snow and ice cover increased by at least 10 to 15 per cent. In the eastern Canadian area of the Arctic and Greenland, below normal temperatures were recorded for 19 consecutive months. Nothing like this has happened in the last 100 years”.

The intelligence operatives also reported that climate science was developing “ a successful climatic prediction model”. Government intervention had brought together eminent scientists who had previously been at odds with each other , then had established a “scientific consensus” on “global climate change”. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Remarkably, some of the strongest advocates of global cooling of those days have been reborn today in positions of great authority, as spokesmen for the official theory of CO2-induced global warming.

It was in 1973 when, having negotiated the bureaucratic assault course of entering the EEC Common Agricultural Policy, we woke up one morning to find that there was a great shortage of wheat. The price, which had more or less doubled on entering the EEC on January 1st, quickly doubled again. The Russians had conducted a huge, clandestine buying operation on the Chicago grain market.

Their 1972 Autumn-sown wheat crop had been almost totally destroyed by extreme frosts and they had really caught the capitalist traders napping. So it was against this background that the CIA felt it necessary to draw up its appreciation of the climate situation. No doubt the climate scientists benefited from increased government funding for their work and the agency felt it was getting value for money in climate prediction . The “consensus” had been born, even if it was around a trend which was shortly to be discarded. The “consensus” would continue to thrive and prosper mightily – but in the direction of global warming.

Whilst the Second World War had defeated fascism and the post war period had seen the halting of communism at the East German border, there was a great deal of authoritarianism in the official thinking of the times. Some of it was philanthropically motivated, like the establishment of the National Health Service. There was a feeling that the sort of planning which had won the war should be directed at the problems of peace and that “The man in Whitehall knows best”. Nowadays it's the man in Brussels. People who objected to being directed from on high were usually brushed aside as “standing in the way of progress”.

Nowhere was this official arrogance so great as among the officials of the United Nations who saw themselves as the pioneers of what is now called “global governance”. Their ideas of the great god Progress were very different from the simpler souls who saw an extension of the principles of Christian charity in organisations like the NHS. Perhaps they are best typified in the sayings of Brock Chisholm, first Director General of the World Health Organisation:

“To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family, tradition, national patriotism and religious dogmas”

“The re-interpretation and eventually eradication of the concept of right and wrong which has been the basis of child training, the substitution of intelligent and rational thinking for faith in the certainties of old people, these are the belated objectives of practically all effective psychotherapy”.

One of his co-workers was the anthropologist, Margaret Mead, whose 1928 book “Coming of Age in Western Samoa” , portraying a supposed happy society of free sex in the South Pacific, was a foundational text for what became the “sexual revolution”. Her work has since been found to have been a fraud but, like John Brown's body, its soul goes marching on through every government and UN initiative in sex education, interference in home-schooling and the like.

It was Margaret Mead, president of the AAAS – American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1974 - who convened a conference in 1975 in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina where, it seems very likely, today's doctrines concerning global warming and climate change had their birth. It was here that the hymn sheet was changed from from freezing to boiling. The title of the conference was “THE ATMOSPHERE: ENDANGERED AND ENDANGERING”

Fear of the effects of population growth was one of the drivers of this group of would-be international legislators. “The Population Bomb” by Paul Ehrlich (1968) was one of the most influential scriptures of convinced believers – but the bomb had failed to go off (in spite of crop-destroying global cooling) because of improvements in farming. It was an early example of the many, never-reached “tipping points” with which environmentalists have sought to terrify policy makers into accepting their nostrums.

Mead had attended a UN Population Conference in Bucharest the year before. She wrote in Science magazine that this conference had settled the science (a concept which has a familiar ring).

“At Bucharest it was affirmed that continuing, unrestricted worldwide population growth can negate any socioeconomic gains and fatally imperil the environment.....”

Because of the memory of Hitler, the idea of eugenics was not very acceptable but Julian Huxley, vice president of the British Eugenics Society (1937-1944) kept the flame alive.

In 1946 he had written (more or less at the same time that Brock Chisholm was declaring war on individualism, patriotism, morality and religion) “...even though it is quite true that radical eugenic policy will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake, so that much that is now unthinkable will become thinkable”. The North Carolina conference was taking up this thread and weaving it into concern for the environment.

Margaret Mead said:

“....At this conference we are proposing that, before there is a corresponding attempt to develop a “law of the air”, the scientific community advise the United Nations (and individual, powerful nation states or aggregations of weaker states) and attempt to arrive at some overview of what is presently known about hazards to the atmosphere from man-made interventions, and how scientific knowledge, coupled with intelligent social action, can protect the peoples of the world from dangerous and preventable interference with the atmosphere upon which all life depends....”

All seemingly very high-minded but it came from a group whose pet theory of mass starvation and had just blown up in their faces and who needed another convincing scare story to get policy makers to take notice of them. They saw their influence slipping away.

She went on:

“What we need from scientists are estimates, presented with sufficient conservatism and plausibility but at the same time AS FREE AS POSSIBLE FROM INTERNAL DISAGREEMENTS (my emphasis) that can be exploited by political interests, that will allow us to start building a system of ARTIFICIAL (my emphasis) but effective warnings which will parallel the instincts of animals who flee before the hurricane “ (a presentiment of Al Gore with Hurricane Katrina, perhaps?) .

Here you see the genesis of the “consensus” - more like the building of a political party than a scientific conference. The activists were to be coordinated (Dr. Goebbels called it “Gleichgschaltung”). They were to be free from internal disagreements, all singing from the same hymn sheet which would be carbon dioxide and global warming – and it would prove to pay a great deal better than global cooling.

Some of those at the 1975 conference had been the most enthusiastic for global cooling. Among them was Stephen Schneider, whom I last saw on a video clip at the Copenhagen Climate Summit refusing to answer the politely put question of a journalist about the “Climategate” revelations from the University of East Anglia and having him put out of the room by an armed guard. In 1989 he told Discover magazine “To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective and being honest”. He has trained up many climate “scientists” in the same school of thought.

John Holdren, another cheerleader for Ehrlich's 1960s “Population Bomb” ideas is now adviser to President Barack Obama. He managed to railroad a resolution through the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science), pledging loyalty to the findings of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Literally billions of dollars, pounds and euros of tax-funded grants have cascaded onto the “scientific” community from following this doctrine, to the great advancement of many careers.

Another interesting specimen who attended the 1975 conference is Dr. George Woodall, a close associate of Holdren's, who really rather hates human beings in general. In 1996 he said “ We had an empty world that substantially ran itself as a biophysical system, and now we have filled it up with people, and the sum of human endeavours, which is large enough to affect global systems, is that it no longer works properly”.

The New Age and pagan, “Age of Aquarius” nature-worshipping movements have also acted as a chorus to the likes of the above but a digression into that world would require a book to itself.


banned said...

I remember the threat of Nuclear Winter quite clearly but likewise had a Welsh geography teacher who was unimpressed, Geraint Pritchard, R.I.P..

"Remarkably, some of the strongest advocates of global cooling of those days have been reborn today in positions of great authority, as spokesmen for the official theory of CO2-induced global warming."

I was going to ask for some names but the article later provided Stephen Schneider and John Holdrenm thank you.

subrosa said...

Banned, Edward does read this blog although he never comments. He will note what you've said. I do find his recollections fascinating.

Barking Spider said...

Great article, SR, I've been here reading for ages!

Copied and saved - both parts.

subrosa said...

It's fascinating isn't it BS. Edward will be delighted with your comment.

clochoderic said...

Your blog gets better and better, Subrosa - always thoughtful and never boring.

Lang may your lum reek.

ps - good WV - "frizesse"

Apogee said...

Interesting article. One can see in some ways how we are in the mess we are today.
I am left thinking we are still looking at an ice age but suddenly the ones in the seventies have flipped to supporting global warming.
So were they wrong then or wrong now, or in reality just whistling in the wind?
Good Article.


subrosa said...

Clochoderic, I can take no credit for guest posts and can only thank guests for sharing their writings with us.

Thank you for the compliment. :)

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Question for Edward.

What are your thoughts re population growth?

Edward Spalton said...

If Rosie continues to afford me the hospitality of her blog, I intend to say a few things about this in a future post without going too far off topic.
As I see it there are three main concerns

1. Continued population growth in Third World

2. Steep (some would say catastrophic) decline in birth rate in all developed Western countries

3. Increasing population density in British Isles as a result of
(a) free movement of EU nationals from Eastern Europe
(b) Government encouraged immigration from Third World, partly to offset (2) but also to achieve "social objectives".

subrosa said...

Edward it is a pleasure for me to publish your writings.

RA I think your question has been answered.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Possibly Rosa - it wasn't a 'trick' question.

subrosa said...

Auch RA I never thought it a 'trick' question. I'm pleased Edward has answered you though as I emailed him your poser.

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