by Judith Curry
Naomi Klein explains how environmentalists may be more damaging to their cause than climate change deniers.
Salon has a provocative post Naomi Klein: Green groups more damaging to cause than climate change deniers. Naomi Klein is author of two books: No Logo and The Shock Doctrine. She is currently working on a new book about climate change. Excerpts from the Salon article, which is from an interview by Jason Mark at the Earth Journal:
Well, I think there is a very deep denialism in the environmental movement among the Big Green groups. And to be very honest with you, I think it’s been more damaging than the right-wing denialism in terms of how much ground we’ve lost. Because it has steered us in directions that have yielded very poor results. I think if we look at the track record of Kyoto, of the UN Clean Development Mechanism, the European Union’s emissions trading scheme – we now have close to a decade that we can measure these schemes against, and it’s disastrous. Not only are emissions up, but you have no end of scams to point to, which gives fodder to the right. The right took on cap-and-trade by saying it’s going to bankrupt us, it’s handouts to corporations, and, by the way, it’s not going to work. And they were right on all counts. Not in the bankrupting part, but they were right that this was a massive corporate giveaway, and they were right that it wasn’t going to bring us anywhere near what scientists were saying we needed to do lower emissions. So I think it’s a really important question why the green groups have been so unwilling to follow science to its logical conclusions.
And I think where that really came to a head was over fracking. The head offices of the Sierra Club and the NRDC and the EDF all decided this was a “bridge fuel.” We’ve done the math and we’re going to come out in favor of this thing. And then they faced big pushbacks from their membership, most of all at the Sierra Club. And they all had to modify their position somewhat. It was the grassroots going, “Wait a minute, what kind of environmentalism is it that isn’t concerned about water, that isn’t concerned about industrialization of rural landscapes – what has environmentalism become?” And so we see this grassroots, place-based resistance in the movements against the Keystone XL pipeline and the Northern Gateway pipeline, the huge anti-fracking movement. And they are the ones winning victories, right?
I think the Big Green groups are becoming deeply irrelevant. Some get a lot of money from corporations and rich donors and foundations, but their whole model is in crisis.
I should say I’m representing my own views. I see some big changes as well. I think the Sierra Club has gone through its own reformation. They are on the front line of these struggles now. I think a lot of these groups are having to listen to their members. And some of them will just refuse to change because they’re just too entrenched in the partnership model, they’ve got too many conflicts of interest at this stage. Those are the groups that are really going to suffer. And I think it’s OK.
JC comments: I find Klein’s statements to be very insightful, particularly given the context that she seems sympathetic to the broader green goals. The big insight for me is the growing importance of local efforts, whereby individuals in a particular locale work to secure the quality of their local environment. The success of these local initiatives brings to mind the following book, of which I am a big fan:
Adaptive Governance and Climate Change, by Ron Brunner and Amanda Lynch
This book provides a perspective on the failure of international and national policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the need to open the established climate change regime to additional approaches to science, policy, and decision making. In contrast to the scientific management approach (e.g. UNFCC emissions targets), adaptive governance is a bottom-up approach with a focus that is more local/regional and is focused advancing the common interests on contested issues. I read this book twice, taking notes the second time around. This book has definitely changed the way I look at the policy challenge. Brunner’s ppt presentation on this is here.
I also find the conflict between ‘management’ of the big green groups versus the rank and file members. ‘Pure environmentalism’ seems to be a very big enemy of actually making progress on reducing CO2 emissions through its opposition to nuclear energy, tracking, and even through its opposition to a short term focus on methane and soot.
In the midst of all this, big green remains focused on ‘science denial’. Amazing.
“concerned about industrialization of rural landscapes ” — That’s rich. What would you call wind farms?
‘Wind farms’ and ‘solar farms’ are smart and cosy rural phrases for what is essentially the industrialisation of the countryside.
We need equally succinct but more realistic phrases for the process . Wind power station? No. Doesn’t really put over the industrial reality . Any suggestions?
How about wind power production complexes or PPC’s?
How about Wind Power Occasional Energy?
… Boil yer kettle and enjoy a cup of tea when
the wind is blowing from the north.
And this is supposed to power industry? Imagine 1000 union guys getting scale while they play cards in the dark.
When they were deliberating at the Bishop’s Palace over their windmill barely supplying enough energy to boil a kettle, I got in ‘Teapots in a Tempest’. Ooooh, I couldn’t help myself!
How about tax credit and subsidy sinkholes.
How about tax credit and subsidy BLACK holes.
Every thing goes in and nothing comes out.
statists’ theoretically utile power inducing devices
DES, Delusional Eye Sore
Subsidy Laden Occasional Power Supplies
Or SLOPS for short? Could apply to solar too.
“SLOPS” gets my vote.
(not my idea, Probably Dellingpole’s).
great ideas everyone but they have to be alternative expressive phrases that have a chance of becoming part of every day language.
‘Wind Farms’ and ‘Solar farms’ are succinct and descriptive and cosy and fail to put over the industrialisation, which is of course the purpose.
Even ‘rural power stations’ suggests something quite benevolent
Harvesting of worthless carbon credits?
Tried and True, today too.
Come full circle once again.
Or we could use the acronym BOONDOGGLE generators.
Wind Farms = Power Plants
God forbid we should bring manufacturing jobs to the hicks in the sticks. That would spoil the view out the window of the chattering classes as they fly between the coasts.
I am referring to Britain which is the size of New York State and whose landscape is not big enough to wind farms.
Wind farms bring no manufacturing jobs to the countryside here. It may be different in the States.
Jim, its not just the hicks in the sticks, what about all the blacks, browns and yellows in the turd world, can’t let them have electricity, industry, clean water and healthcare; they breed like bunnies but obviously we can’t mention that.
For the sake of the planet, we have to make them remain in poverty.
In the beginning, it was all rural.
And then there was light…
plus one jim two.
The Sierra Club was (is) a shil for major energy corporations that use gas to shut down competitors that use coal.
The Sierra Club used the Chesapeake Energy money, donated mainly by the company’s chief executive from 2007 to 2010, for its Beyond Coal campaign to block new coal-fired power plants and shutter old ones. Carl Pope, then the club’s executive director, promoted natural gas as a cleaner “bridge fuel” to a low-carbon future
Coal suffers to an extent from vast quantities of cheap nat gas. That is a market reaction. That isn’t to say the current US administration that sucks hasn’t hurt coal also.
The war on coal predates the present admin. The last building boom was around 2001 when about 200,000 MW of new generating capacity was added and almost all of it was gas fired, before the appearence of cheap natgas. That coal was doomed by green power policies was already clear to the utilities. (I used to speak at coal power conferences at this time.) The rest is just history. We are switching from coal to gas, more’s the pity.
The upside is that it will be waiting the ground once we sober up.
The future belongs to those who pursue moral objectives by adaptive strategies grounded in scientific understanding.
Berry speaks plainly to our common, moral, historical, natural, scientific, rational, practical, foresighted sensibilities, eh Climate Etc readers?
fan illustrates what happens when the ship hits the sand. Hmmm, that one’s not quite right, either.
Apocalyptic cults are common throughout human history, decarbonization is the modern equivalent of the Aztec’s cardiac surgeons and Gore is an ixiptlatli.
My, what a beautiful pretzel Kim. In the rhetorical any way…. the visual, well…….
“In a little more that two centuries – a little more than three lifetimes such as mine – we have sold cheaply or squandered or given away or merely lost much of the original wealth and health of our land. It is a history too largely told in the statistics of soil erosion, increasing pollution, waste and degradation of forests, desecration of streams, urban sprawl, impoverishment and miseducation of people, misuse of money, and, finally, the entire and permanent destruction of whole landscapes.
Lol, we’ve never been healthier or wealthier than we are now. It amuses me that the left can only see doom and gloom for the future.”
Lol, We’ve never been healthier or wealthier than we are right now – and things will only continue to improve in the future.
It’s amusing that the Left cannot see this. All they see is doom and gloom. “The End is Nigh!”
Two centuries ago Naomi would have been a baby-making machine, imprisoned by biology to have multiple births and by society to have the sequential identities; daughter of, wife of and mother of.
Note that billions of women in the world are still in this same position.
“this were upstream from your family’s farmstead?”
Ah, the romance of the family farmstead…. Fan, have you EVER been to farm country? I mean EVER?
Was he on peote buttons when he penned that hyperbole?
I would hope that if it was necessary to still do that sort of thing in this day and age that the land would be properly reinstated. land is not really left like that in your neck of the woods is it?
Kim and JimS and timg56, wouldn’t you think different if this were upstream from your family’s farmstead?
I’d marvel at the creativity of mechanical engineers, brilliant enough to build machines capable of earth art.
I would hope the old man was smart enough to sell the farm for the mineral rights.
There is no stream so no I wouldn’t be concerned about a non-existent stream. In the same vein I also wouldn’t be worried about my unicorns being harmed. But thanks for asking.
Think globally, act locally. Natural Gas is better for the planet.
What a load of unadulterated crap! But from “fan”, what does on expect.
Strictly speaking, that’s not cr*p, it’s stripmine-tailings.
But no matter, you’ve grasped the main ideas OK, Robert Austin!
that is small potatoes compared to what St Helen wrought. What is amazing is how quickly nature reclaims.
Yeah! At 800-1000 years per inch of new-formed soil, these strip-mine scars will be fully healed just about the time intelligence re-evolves on our planet!
Who are you, timg56, who are so wise in the ways of farming, and soil conservation, and planetary ecology?
Fan you do know that the European Earthworm is an introduced species and the earthworms native to the Northern America were killed by the last ice age. All the top soil in the USA and Canada is non-native thanks to old-world reintroductions.
The US managed to regenerate the top soils lost during the dust bowl in 7 years or so, mostly by planting soy and adding the plant material back into the earth. They did worm transplants in some areas.
LOL, the FOMD robot and his heroes Jim Hansen, Wendell Berry, et al. display many of the incoherent sentimentalities of the radical enviro machine. For instance, FOMD loves to link to Berry’s NEH Jefferson Lecture, which begins with a sentimental reverie about his family’s farm in 1906, struggling to pay the bills in the face of an evil corporate monopoly.
FOMD and Berry seem not to grasp that this nostalgic family farm was dedicated to growing and selling the harmful cash crop of TOBACCO, dealing with market vagaries and the growing power of the American Tobacco Company.
Excuse me if my nostalgia does not include reverence for growing the tobacco weed. Berry’s rhetoric (with FOMD’s fervent approval) creates simple minded binary contrasts of good/evil across many issues and landscapes that involve competing claims, beliefs, property rights, and values.
I do not find that the apocalyptic agrarian nostalgia of Berry/FOMD tells us much about what should be done in real economic, political, and legal settings. Then there is Hansen, who does at least recognize that a vast amount of added nuclear power generation will be needed for any move to limit or reduce CO2 emissions (and there are excellent reasons to develop more and better 4th generation nuclear power plants anyway). Yet, the kinds of nostalgic, simplistic reveries of FOMD/Berry and most “Greens” don’t seem to allow much needed energy development.
Skiphil is right! We should all heed the wisdom of experienced Republican conservative centrists!
Al Gore 1988 in in North Carolina.
”Throughout most of my life, I’ve raised tobacco, I want you to know that with my own hands, all of my life, I put it in the plant beds and transferred it. I’ve hoed it. I’ve chopped it. I’ve shredded it, spiked it, put it in the barn and stripped it and sold it.”
Between 1980 to 1990 Al Gore accepted $16,690 from tobacco industry political action committees.
In August 1996 Al Gore gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention and described his sister’s death 12 years earlier, from lung cancer, after 20 years of a two-pack a day habit
”I knelt by her bed and held her hand,and in a very short time her breathing became labored and then she breathed her last breath. And that is why until I draw my last breath, I will pour my heart and soul into the cause of protecting our children from the dangers of smoking”
All hail Gore.
“It is not a vision of the future that we need. We need consciousness, judgment, presence of mind. If we truly know what we have, we will change what we do.”
Is this your vision for the IPCC?
Expect these things from an enormous committee, laboring over several years, that is subject to heavy and conflicting political pressures? Surely you jest.
Laboring as a committee, under similar pressures, for a comparable period of time, America’s Founders and Framers found themselves politically obliged to tolerate the abomination of slavery!
As Wendell Berry says, You cannot regulate an abomination. You have to stop it.
That’s why the Vatican has a better chance of summarizing “the best available climate-change science”, and what that science implies in practical terms
When Fan handwaves about “our rational, practical, foresighted sensibilities”, what he is of course talking about is the blinkered, biased, corrupt and politicized body of government climate science, that beavers away with one and only objective in mind : to justify an expansion of government, from whence it’s finance comes.
Jim S and others get it. The standard of living was atrocious before coal. In a couple of centuries, thanks first to coal and later to other energy sources as well, the standard of living of billions of people has been and is being lifted. It has been the most dramatically positive period for the human race. Coal will last another couple of centuries, and other energies such as nuclear will be there for even longer. That’s absolutely heaps of time for new technologies to be developed for post-coal energy sources. The miserably negative Malthusian thinking espoused by Berry and others is so ridiculously far off target it is depressing.
uh oh ……. it’s meant to be depressing …….
There is a marvelous passage in Defoe’s ‘Tour of the Whole Island’ describing a coal seam meeting the sea, used to make salt, used to preserve the herring blooms. In the beginning, there was Coal.
Denial of the settled catastrophe of an outmoded scientific consensus. Yes, once and future amazing, these most wondrous social phenomena, the abject faith of the alarmists, and the redempt curiosity of the skeptics.
Heh, Naomi demonizes a whole class of ‘climate change deniers’. Naomi, honey, who dat? Maybe you should look at dazed environmentalists for that category, cuz it’s as rare as hen’s teeth among skeptics. Your ikon, Naomi, is still the artificially straightened shaft of the Piltdown Mann’s crook’t stick. News, kiddo, it’s an illusion.
Response to Kim’s shocking embrace of Mocktonism “That precious creatures (or resources, if you insist) that are infinitely renewable can be destroyed for the sake of a resource [carbon energy] that to be used must be forever destroyed, is not just a freak of short-term accounting and the externalization of cost — it is an inversion of our sense of what is good. It is madness.”
`Cuz heck … climate-change Moncktonism *IS* madness, ain’t it Kim?
Now, that’s pure madness. Nothing is infinitely renewable.
As for sustainability, what state of affairs would you like to sustain indefinitely (or at least, for a long long time)?
We are in the middle of a huge technological transition right now, which surely needs several more decades to unfold. It is the coming age of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and MNT (Molecular Nanotechnology). And that would change the rules of the game forever.
Are you mad enough to attempt to stop this process prematurely?
With MNT, for example, airborne CO₂ will immediately become a precious resource. As soon as a rate of economic growth more than 40% per day becomes feasible (for short periods), based on carbon as its primary raw material, a great danger of a catastrophic carbon dioxide depletion is imminent (killing all plant life). One can always replenish it from limestone, of course, but sequestering great quantities of lime milk into the oceans would invite dangerous ocean basification for sure.
Therefore, preloading the atmosphere with CO₂ now is the wisest possible move (according to the precautionary principle). Eh?
“Free Labor argues that, as the Author of man makes every individual with one head and one pair of hands, it was probably intended that heads and hands should cooperate as friends; and that that particular head, should direct and control that particular pair of hands. As each man has one mouth to be fed, and one pair of hands to furnish food, it was probably intended that that particular pair of hands should feed that particular mouth — that each head is the natural guardian, director, and protector of the hands and mouth inseparably connected with it; and that being so, every head should be cultivated, and improved, by whatever will add to its capacity for performing its charge. In one word Free Labor insists on universal education.”
September 30, 1859
Pity you can’t use your education for good and not evil.
“Artifical intelligence,controlled fusion,nuclear bomber,vacuum tube circuit“
Commonly the future arrives late-to-never, eh Berényi Péter?
Sure as hell you can see trends.
By the way fan, what is your goal today in racking up “Gore Points”
Here’s a (sincere!) tribute to Dave Springer’s vision of the 21st century: synthetic biology,regenerative medicine,memory reconsolidation,epigenetics
“Mocktonism”? Kim embraced that long ago, as frequently manifested on CE. Keep on mocking, Kim, don’t stop the word music.
In what part of your ‘education’ did you learn that carbon is destroyed by it’s oxidation?
Yes, there are clear signs of madness present.
Either that or nitrous oxide.
Yes, Fan, some say we may have as little as a thousand years of carbon-based energy left at the current level of technology.
So, precious and rational beings that we are, we need to switch without delay to other energy sources that are vastly more expensive and less reliable.
Boy, that high literature approach of yours is, like, man, hey, so frikkin convincing.
I didn’t know the Sierra Club and others had initially backed fracking and shale gas as a “bridge fuel” and that their members forced them to change their tune. Unfortunately, although I agree with Klein and Curry on localism, I think these US institutions of Big Green got it right first time. Complex, contradictory world. But great insights and moral courage from Klein on how wrong the greens got it on stuff like cap-and-trade.
PS first time I got here via a tweet from Judy. To be encouraged :)
One wonders if the low information members have any idea how big and autocratic the oil is that funded ‘Gasland’. Perhaps it would give them a little thrill if they knew.
Being the dullest example of a low information member, why don’t you tell us how superficial unscientific tweethards like yourself react to irrelevant noise like gasland and their sponsors.
Kim, who funded gasland?
It would thrill me to know end mebbe U, two.
Johan Norberg in 2008 produced an insightful crticism of Klein: The Klein Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Polemics –
– “To make her case, Klein exaggerates the free market reforms that take place in times of crisis, often by ignoring central events and rewriting chronologies. She uses loose metaphors and wild distortions to claim that free markets are a form of violence. She confuses libertarianism with corporatism and neoconservatism andblames Milton Friedman for encouraging reform by stealth. To do so, she engages in one of the most malevolent distortions of a thinker that has been done in a major work in recent years. Klein tries to portray the mild-mannered and freedom-loving Dr. Friedman as a coldhearted, warmongering Mr. Hyde.” Maybe Naomi Klein’s new climate change book will be of similar scholarship? What fun! ;-)
I’m far from a Klein fan, but she’s made some good points in the head-post quotes. Not yet evidence of spot-changing, but encouraging none-the-less. If Klein can see the (green-clouded) light, perhaps others might too.
Re: Klelin’s attempted demoising of free markets etc :
I think Judith’s whole point here is thatg a even wacko and economically illiterate green nut like Klein is beginning to see the stupidities of their position.
“She confuses libertarianism with corporatism and neoconservatism”
And in what way is modern Republican libertarianism different from corporatism ?
“Corporations are people, my friend.” What Republican doesn’t believe that?
@ James Cross | September 8, 2013 at 8:44 am |
“And in what way is modern Republican libertarianism different from corporatism ?”
This is one doozy of a statement in light of the fact that the current Idiot in Chief had the head of GE$ as head of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness
“The angry Left has been calling for President Obama to fire Jeffrey Immelt from his position as head of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. I think that would be a good idea, but for different reasons.”
Obarfa routinely has CEOs to the White House.
And worst of all, he has the traitor-to-American-privacy Google in his pocket.
“During the 2012 campaign, Barack Obama’s reelection team had an underappreciated asset: Google’s (GOOG) executive chairman, Eric Schmidt. He helped recruit talent, choose technology, and coach the campaign manager, Jim Messina, on the finer points of leading a large organization. “On election night he was in our boiler room in Chicago,” says David Plouffe, then a senior White House adviser. Schmidt had a particular affinity for a group of engineers and statisticians tucked away beneath a disco ball in a darkened corner of the office known as “the Cave.” The data analytics team, led by 30-year-old Dan Wagner, is credited with producing Obama’s surprising 5 million-vote margin of victory.”
Libertarians are a much better bet to lose corporatism than either of the major parties.
@jim2 | September 8, 2013 at 9:09 am |
Yeah, the Democrats aren’t really any better.
One area where I may disagree with you is in regard to corporations.
Corporations are entities created by government. They would have no existence or ability to conduct business without government recognition of their charter. They are not mentioned in the Constitution.
The correct libertarian position in my view is that rights are for people not for corporations. As a practical matter we may decide to permit corporations certain abilities to operate but these should not be regarded as rights nor should corporations enjoy the degree of freedom to operate that individuals should have. As such, I would grant extraordinary liberty, including exemption from many regulations, to anyone who does business as an individual.
However, just as corporations are institutions granted existence by government so are unions. In that respect, there is no fundamental difference between them.
In addition, I would like to see us encourage the development of syndicates of individuals as economic units. These would be groups of people organized for economic activity without a division between worker and owner.
But let me reiterate what I said above. Democrats are no better.
JC – I absolutely agree that corporations should not have the same rights as individuals. That is why I posit they should not be able to lobby our politicians in private. They should be able to address Congress, but only in public forums.
That they would pay no tax is just a means to get them here. This would supply jobs.
There have been and are employee owned businesses. People are free to do that now. I could be for government encouragement of these sorts of entities within limits. For just as we see in big unions, these entities would come to be controlled by a small group and the individuals input would largely be lost. But, as I said, the idea does have potential.
jim2…insulting the President of the United States shows that you have little self-respect and are therefore unworthy of consideration.
Climate change toppling leaders
How the carbon tax became the ‘killing fields’ of Australian politics
In 2010 Gillard promised no crabon tax. When elected prime minister, Gillard imposed the carbon tax.
Newly elected Tony Abbot won promising:
A Common-Sense Prediction Just as US arch-conservative Ronald Reagan wisely embraced the Montreal Protocol and START nonproliferation, Aussie arch-conservative Tony Abbot will wisely embrace Australia’s universal-coverage healthcare system and non-carbon energy initiatives!
Conclusion A Reagan/Abbot conservatism is grossly *incompatible* with nutjob Moncktian climate-change denialism.
Conclusion B Reagan/Abbot conservatism is *entirely* compatible with (1) Australia-Obama universal healthcare and (2) the (deeply conservative) scientific/economic/moral worldview that James Hansen and Wendell Berry and Naomi Oreskes and the Vatican — and subsequently Naomi Klein and the Sierra Club — all achieved years ago.
That’s the plainest purest kind of foresighted conservative common-sense, eh David L. Hagen?
`Cuz heck, if an American conservative luminary like Ronald Reagan can eventually see the light, then so can an Australian conservative luminary like Tony Abbot!
Famous chickenhawk and Terrorist Arm Supplier Ronny Raygun who once said that If you’ve seen one redwood, you’ve seen ’em all is a great example.
Perhaps his soft head had something to do with his Fan-friendly actions:
Your restort to logical fallacies including ad hominem attacks reveal that you have already lost the scientific argument.
Sam Foucher shows statistical evidence for global crude oil peaking. Replacing depleting liquid fuel is civilization’s greatest challenge. It can easily accommodate the minute temperature variations from changing climate. Try focusing on major issues with scientific arguments.
In Fan’s literary approach, anyone who shares his loony-left advocacy, is “seeing the light”. Especially as regards getting on board the climate alarmist bandwagon, so dear to those like himself looking for new avenues to further tax and otherwise coerce society.
FOMBS literary loony-left advocacy has a central purpose of restructuring the social and economic order. That’s the entire rationale. He is far from interested in practical and pragmatic approaches to social, economic and environmental progress.
David, at a Bob Carter talk a few days ago, I sat near a Canadian engineer. Her phone rang. Rather than music, her “ring-tone” was Gillard saying, pre the 2010 election, “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead.” A promise which lasted about three weeks.
Who says Canadians don’t have a sense of humour?
Canadians can especially appreciate the irony of how the “Arctic will melt in 2013” prediction has foundered on ice 77% higher than 2012.
The Northwest Passage is icebound at both ends trapping 22 warm weather yachts! Expensive failures! Had they never read of the Norwegian Arctic explorations?
See current ice extents
I always get a giggle when “deniers” are accused of being in the pay of “Big Energy”
The Sierra Club disclosed Thursday that it received over $26 million from natural-gas giant Chesapeake Energy Corp. between 2007 and 2010 to help the group’s campaign against coal-fired power plants.
If you like dancing, ask Willard and some others were they rank Sierra Club with their 26 million against Heartland’s few tens of thousand received for climate issues.
It would be interesting to compare how much tax dollars Greenpeace and WWF get compared to “big oil”. (And also how much each contributes back in taxes.)
And also, how much of the green fascists’ money comes directly from the Fed via our taxpayer dollars.
I saw a Wilderness Society election ad yesterday urging votes for parties favouring GHG emissions reductions because turtles’ nests are being flooded by AGW-caused rising sea-levels. As Klein is realising, you can put off people who are well-disposed towards “protecting the environment” if you use blatant fact-denying scare arguments. As many posters here have attested, they were concerned about CAGW, sought more info and became sceptical. The truth is always the best option.
Can anyone explain why people are worried about CO2 harming Polar bear, but don’t worry about them drinking Coke?
“The Sierra Club disclosed Thursday (2012) that it received over $26 million from natural-gas giant Chesapeake Energy Corp. between 2007 and 2010 to help the group’s campaign against coal-fired power plants.”
It’s tough to be a non-profit. Using ones good name to help the natural gas industry’s attempts to regulate and legislate a competitor out of business.
I am reminded of this boiler plate language: A charitable gift is an unconditional transfer of cash or property with no personal benefit to the giver.
A pretty good rule, not just for the Sierra Club but all non profits. Call the above rule an ideal. How close one is to the ideal? Does it matter?
Even the Sierra Club/s $26 million is less than a drop in the ocean compared to what government spends on climate science at all levels – something 99% of all climate science money is from government.
Hence hence the consensus, it’s all the same funder. And, whadya know, the consensus says things calculated to make the funder even richer and more powerful. Amazing coincidence.
Thanks for reccomending adaptive governance again. I enjoyed it when u first pointed me at it
Hey, moshe, Shollenberger’s got questions about unreleased BEST code over at the end of the ‘Available Evidence’ thread. I’m enjoying the irony.
I’m hoping Mosh will come across and confirm the correct data bases have been sourced,.
Did you ever give your theory as to Trenberths missing heat and it being radiated out to space?
kim, I didn’t really bring up anything new over there. All I did was re-visit the previous discussion to provide more evidence of what I had said before. If Mosher wouldn’t answer the evidence I provided before, I doubt he’ll answer the new evidence.
But it is pretty funny Mosher was so insistent on me being wrong when what I said is the same as BEST’s website, Mosher’s website, and the code released by BEST.
Speaking of which, there was another quote I saw in the code which was even more explicit in its agreement with me. I may have to see if I can find it once I finish this latest run of the BEST code. I think I’m finally narrowing down on the sources of a couple of my problems with BEST’s work.
Kim, there are about 6 different balls up in the air with respect to an updated release of the code.
1. The ocean code that needs wrapping up and documenting.
2. The high resolution datasets. Zeke , Robert and I are working on a poster for that, I would expect to do a paper out of the results. The code
is still in flux and I’m waiting on some new data releases from other folks.
3. A higher temporal resolution approach.
plus a bunch of other stuff.
In short I would not expect a code update until the next paper. The folks who are actually working with the code dont have problems with it. But I’ll have a look at brandon’s issues. Generally speaking he comes at the very bottom of my list since he isnt a working scientist or a grad student and he hasnt published or supported any of his own code or data for the science community.
Steven Mosher | September 7, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
Did you cut and paste that stock answer out of one of Mike Mann’s/Phil Jones/Eric Steig’s emails you stole and published for profit?
> All I did was re-visit the previous discussion to provide more evidence of what I had said before.
This is not a trivial task. We should not underestimate the effort this takes.
Were such discussion mediated, getting everyone back onto where it was left could become as easy as a Git fork.
“Did you cut and paste that stock answer out of one of Mike Mann’s/Phil Jones/Eric Steig’s emails you stole and published for profit?”
Nope. With Jones and others McIntyre and I never demanded help with the code or the data. we just wanted access. The argument was raised that if they gave us access we would pester them with questions. In the case of Hansen, I told Gavin that if they gave me the code I would never ask them a question. I never have. If I cant figure the code out, then that is my problem. If they sold me the code that would be a different matter. They posted it. That satisfies me. It allows them to do the work they really want to do ( science) and doesnt impose support requirments on them.
Over the course of the past year I have had to deal with several people who expect to get their support questions answered. In general there is no support contract. When you check out linux or any other open source software you are on your own. If you want support, then buy proprietary stuff. In the open source community we work differently.
i basically get to choose who will get my time for free and who will not
get my time for free. I choose to support workings scientists first. So a guy who is writing a paper, sends me his idea and asks for help.
He gets help. for free. The graduate students who write me get help for free. And the other guys who are open source maintainers get help for free. Then I go to the last pile of mails. Questions from people who want me to do work for them, but who have never shared code or data themselves. Folks who are not writing papers or working toward a degree. They get help too, but they come last. I have to prioritize and its my job to prioritize. There is not enough of steve to go around, and no enough of robert Rohde to go around. We have to prioritize.
Brandon and I exchanged a total of 8 emails. The problem he was having related to a package called “r.matlab” I dont use that package so I suggested he write the maintanier who I know. He has other issues as well, but hasnt been able to express them clearly enough for me to understand what his real problem is. With his problem with “r.matlab”
I think sending him to the maintainer of that package was the right choice. As for his other problems he needs to learn the rulz of the road
This set of rulz for posting a question to the R list comes pretty close to my own rules for the behavior people should follow if they want a free answer from me.
“It is a skill to ask good questions. If at first you don’t get the answers that are useful to you, don’t get discouraged. A response that is concise and technically accurate may be just that, and not an intended putdown. If you feel insulted by some response to a post of yours, don’t make any hasty response in return – you’re more likely than not to regret it. Read Eric Raymond’s essay How To Ask Questions The Smart Way for more suggestions, and for insight into people’s behavior on technical mailing lists (but don’t try asking people at catb.org questions about R).”
basically, if you have a problem post your code that allows me to see what your problem is. If I can reproduce your problem, then I have a good shot at solving it. Posting your problem in blog comments is not a good way to get a solution. I generally wont read it, and will likely ignore it if I do because I have other people who actually send email with reproduceable problems. If you want to score blog points ( Ive been known to do this ) then make comments on old threads and you will win blog points but you wont help solve problems. Again, I have priorities. Those priorities are: working on my own research. Helping others who are using the data. Helping other open source maintainers. If you are not on that priority list, then you get my time and attention when time permits. If your game is scoring blog points, then I will enjoy the game. But problems wont get solved.
In short. If you find a problem write to email@example.com.
Read up on how to ask smart questions.
Supply your code so I can reproduce your problem.
Why should I give you my code when there are people who won’t try to find anything wrong with it?
By the way, Moshe, I could(n’t) care less about this. The decadal, even centennial scale records whisper; it’s the millenials that roar.
H/t the revered doctor, Judith Curry, for editorial aforesight.
“kim | September 7, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
Why should I give you my code when there are people who won’t try to find anything wrong with it?
That’s the whole point of posting code. You post code for the following reasons.
1. So that others can take it and BUILD on it
2. So that others can find flaws and bugs and problems.
The posting of code doesnt entitle you to have all your questions answered. quite the opposite, it imposes an obligation on the person asking the question to be as clear as possible. For example, on the R list if you have a question we will typically ask you to post executable code SHOWING your problem. When you do that then folks will help you. If you just hop on the list and say ” this doesnt work, or I found a bug” then folks will flame you or ignore you or explain the rules about how you conduct yourself in the community.
Your first instinct should be to refute the cogent criticism, AKA see if it is a problem; your second may be to tell him to get in line.
Steve, I know that I am the lowest of the lowest of the low, but I would like to learn how to use R and run it on Windows 7 (I am not allowed to run anything except Windows at work).
Can you recommend a package?
BTW I notice that the July 2013 ‘QAed’ site data [‘site_summary.txt’ and ‘site_detail.txt’] have been cleaned quite a bit since our exchanges in December–errors and superfluous fields removed. Good. it is looking much better.
I pointed out a specific column in a specific data file. I then graphed said column. I pointed out the graph had an anomalous artifact.
I also pointed out an assumption Mosher stated was key to BEST’s process, that the correlation structures of temperature fields was constant, was contradicted by BEST’s own results. I gave links to files and exact descriptions of calculations I ran on them to prove this.
I pointed out there was stronger seasonal cycles in BEST’s data than in any other major temperature record, plotting a graph of the autocorrelation at various lags.
In each case, I was specific, and I provided all detail one could possibly need. Mosher says:
But hey, I’ll make this simple. Disregard everything else and realize that BEST just released a major results update and:
A champion of releasing the code so people can check your work is telling us we shouldn’t expect to be able to check BEST’s work for some unspecified amount of time. And to add to this, Mosher tells us the BEST website is giving false information about how those results are generated because it hasn’t been updated.
Which is especially great as he insisted I was wrong because I said the same thing he, the BEST website, the BEST paper and the released BEST code all said. I was wrong though because there were undisclosed changes in the BEST methodology I couldn’t possible know about.
But no, please, put me at the bottom of the list. Clearly I’m just bad at explaining myself.
I forgot to address the exchange between Howard and Steven Mosher. Howard humorously asked:
Mosher’s response doesn’t explicitly refer to me, but the implication is pretty clear when he says:
I’ve never asked for help with the BEST code. The only thing I asked of Mosher was if he had been able to read the BEST data into R. At the time, there was new data released only in Matlab’s proprietary format. That made it seem I would have to pay money (to buy Matlab) to access it. Naturally, I looked for an alternative.
Even then, I did not demand anything. I asked a major proponent of open source and R, who is often asked questions about R, if he had been able to read the data into R. If he had said no, I wouldn’t have said another word about it to him.
The only way I want “help with” code or data is I want the code released to produce the results presented. If it doesn’t do so, I think it’s reasonable to ask for an explanation. For example, back in the early days of BEST, there was a code release that was missing a file needed to run their code. Of course I would ask questions if I found something like that.
In my experience, I agree with the hockey team: Audit with your own code first, then once you have found the mistakes, it’s easier to find them in their code. But then again, I am a moron who has to reinvent the wheel to understand it.
Another piece of advice. If you are getting stonewalled by an dweebutante gamer officious turd, don’t keep asking for help. Keeping you stuck in a Catch 22 loop is how those personality types get their jollies. When frontal assault doesn’t work, try a flanking maneuver.
Brandon – there are plenty of great R tutorials on the web. Search with this:
I asked Mosher for help once, and only once. What I said was:
Mosher’s response is humorous to read in light of his recent comments on another thread. First, what he says there:
He repeatedly argued I’m mixing up the .mat and .txt files. Yet, the one time I asked him for help, I specifically asked him about reading the .mat files so I could get the most up to date data. His response was to:
Discuss how to read the .txt files with a package he made for R. His response had no bearing on anything I said, and it mixed up the very files he now accuses me of mixing up. Given he responded in a way that indicated he simply didn’t read my request for help, I decided not to bother asking him for help again.
jim2, I’m not sure why you gave me a link for help in R. The problem was just that there was a bug. I didn’t mess up anything; the code just didn’t work.
It sounds like Climate Change is discovering the wonders of libertarianism. Ouch! Discovering Adaptive Governance and Naomi Klein realizing ‘Big’ is ineffective and corrupt by nature lands right into the tea party concept and individualism. How embarrassing can you get? Especially for someone like Klien.
A large part of the problem is the recognition that the CO2 myth is failing. It was incorrect initially and has proved to be worthless in correlating or predicting temperature. The use of fossil fuels was correctly identified as 80% of the problem, but it is the HEAT, not the CO2 that should be our focus. Almost everything we are witnessing regarding climate change can be accounted for by the HEAT emitted by our energy consumption. For example, in 2008 energy consumption was 16 terawatts or 50(16 zeroes) btus . The air has a mass of 1166(16) pounds and a specific heat of 0.24. This is enough to raise the temperature by 0.17*F, four times the measured rise. Where is the missing heat? Perhaps being stored in the Atlantic ocean. Between 1948 and 2008 the missing heat totaled 1650(16) btus. In addition there is the unmeasured heat, flaring, forest fires, volcano eruptions, etc. During this time temperature rose 1*F. Geothermal heat flow will cause the earth’s surface temperature to rise enough (presumably 1*F) in order to dissipate its 44 terrawatts of energy. [This stored up heat is causing the glaciers to melt enough to open up the Arctic and let the Atlantic circulate past the glaciers into the Pacific causing it to cool. The melting will accelerate. As circulation continues the Atlantic will also cool decreasing hurricane formation. Everything in this bracket is just my conjecture, but if you have a better hypothesis let’s hear it.]
Photosynthesis will remove 4900 btus of solar snergy for every pound of CO2 converted to crops and trees. Let’s not “capture and store” CO2. That’s like locking the barn door after the heat is gone. Forget “cap and trade”. Let’s accelerate the conversion to renewable energy sources.
I accept your hypothesis, but am not convinced by your conclusion. If your hypothesis is correct, renewables simply replace one form of energy with another. The more appropriate conclusion is to use energy more efficiently, i.e., more work, less waste.
Haddad – For example, in 2008 energy consumption was 16 terawatts or 50(16 zeroes) btus . The air has a mass of 1166(16) pounds and a specific heat of 0.24. This is enough to raise the temperature by 0.17*F …
Transit time for an IR photon to upper atmosphere is on the order of one-hundred microseconds. Therefore, not much heat is accumulating from second to second (forget about year to year).
OTOH, ACO2 residence time is certainly greater than a year. Therefore ACO2 molecules do accumulate. Even using a “half-life” of only one year, the continuous ACO2 forcing which carries over from prior years is significant and adds to next years forcing.
Hope you agree.
Note: your 0.17 F temp rise calculation implies an assumption of near infinite transit time for the IR photon – a perfectly insulated roof on the top of the atmosphere. Without that, the years accumulation of heat (and 0.17F) can’t happen.
me – Transit time for an IR photon to upper atmosphere is on the order of one-hundred microseconds
Well I wish I’d also mentioned a transit time of hours for vertical transport of latent and sensible heat via convection. That probably accounts for most of it.
The embrace of industrial wind turbines by Big Green is a major irony to me. Solar farms in the desert too. ‘A machine in every pristine’ is a peculiar ecology.
A major irony? The major irony is that this Enron guy Rob Bradley doesn’t have leg irons on and is not sitting behind iron bars.
BTW, I am making fun of you on the Daily Kos weekly science blog posting, figuring you would enter a comment. Heh, I even mispelled your name.
The major irony is that a state (California) stupid enough to be gamed to their knees by a private energy trading company (Enron) isn’t in economic collapse.
You left out, Wrong Beach, CA. China can build NOW, their own Gitmo and we will love having it as much as Castro has.
Tom, As a denialist, you make as little sense as Springer. Congratulations.
Environmentalism was always about local action. Suspect that as it organized nationally and now internationally, it became more about feeding the organization. They pay some pretty good salaries, if I recall correctly.
While I agree with part of Ms Klein’s precis, I think it is heavily weighted with her own biases. For example, her example of Keystone as a success, or the fight against fracking. The first is far from over and the outcome still undecided. The second doesn’t look like a win in any sense of the word. Where exactly has fracking been stopped?
News Summary Naomi Klein and the Sierra Club have recently arrived at the same (deeply conservative) scientific/economic/moral conclusions that James Hansen and Wendell Berry and Naomi Oreskes and the Vatican all reached years ago.
Why is this news, Judith Curry?
Doesn’t it amount to “the deep-principled conservatism of Hansen/Berry/Oreskes/Francis continues to gather broad-based support around the world”?
In other words “the arc of climate-change conservatism is long, but it bends toward foresighted action”!
“the arc of climate-change conservatism is long, but it bends toward foresighted action”
I see no action thus far except that which has already proven counterproductive to downright disastrous. Germany is deeply regretting it’s rush to “green” for just one example. England seems to be coming to the same conclusion. And not sure I have this right, but hasn’t Australia just thrown the green bums out?
LOL … not if Tony Abbot proves to be as smart as Ronald Reagan!
And if the Aussies are lucky, Tony will.
Holy carp, is he trying to drag MLK into this?
It’s not the color of his grin, it’s the content of his commentary.
Not only is the cure worse than the disease, there’s no disease.
Akin to kidnapping a seemingly healthy person and subjecting him to a quadruple bypass followed by a course of chemotherapy and radiation….just in case. The precautionary principle at its finest.
You mean perhaps like the mother who faked illness in her son to claim all sorts of aid & benefits ?
Is the whole Climate scare a huge Munchausens by proxy, to secure Government funding for all sorts of indulgence ?
Time to join the local TEA party and get active!
I recommend Twinings Ceylon Orange Pekoe for your tea party.
You see this with a lot of NGO’s, they are set up by people who actually care about some issues, they gain power, and then the professional administrators come in, expand the remit and start to get funding from different sources; Greenpeace, Oxfam, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch spring to mind.
The same could be said about bureaucracies.
Being a board member of a non profit, I can attest to the importance of diversifying your funding sources. Ours started out 100% federally funded. Had we not diversified, we would no longer be in existence.
But then we are small. The model for large non profits used to be a broad base of small members paying an annual due and a board either with deep pockets or connections to that level of society having very deep pockets. The really big ones have apparently figured out it pays to get on the government payroll.
I would be curious to find out if this is just a Green thing or if it occurs generally. I think I’d put my money on generally.
A corporation is a corporation is a corporation.
tim, I was chairman of the first two purpose-built Vipassana meditation centres outside India. Vipassana is taught in ten-day (11 night) residential courses for which no fees are charged. Funding is entirely by donations from those who have done a Vipassana course or courses, feel they have benefitted, and wish to help others experience those benefits. No other funding is accepted: we are beholden to nobody, and all teaching and other service is given on a voluntary basis. With this model, over a million people have sat courses in the last 30-odd years, many centres have been opened and courses are taught in most countries.
By contrast, I’ve read of concerns in England that many charities pay senior staff salaries well in excess of $150,000 a year. It seems unlikely that their motivation will be similar to that of Vipassana servers. Similarly, if you are government-funded, it is hard not to dance to the government’s tune.
> It seems unlikely that their motivation will be similar to that of Vipassana servers.
In fairness, this should extend beyond senior staff from charities and government-funded institutions.
Faustino > if you are government-funded, it is hard not to dance to the government’s tune.
Monumental understatement. Very hard / impossible to do anything BUT dance to government’s tune, very soon mouthing a Consensus in favor of it.
Klein apparently isn’t aware that fracking is turning out to be a boom and bust phenomenon. In particular, the Bakken formation for oil is providing a prime example of the Red Queen principal of resource extraction, and of gold rush dynamics in general.
The Red Queen principal is the idea that you have to run faster and faster just to keep in place.
Is Shale Oil Production from Bakken Headed for a Run with “The Red Queen”?
Since the average Bakken oil well generates only about 88,000 barrels of oil over the first year and around 280,000 barrels over their rather short lifetime, the pressure to keep on producing new wells is relentless.
This shows how well a model of the average or typical Bakken well can predict the profile of production over time, given that one can project the introduction of new wells:
The decline shown is what happens if new wells are suddenly stopped. That is how fast it will decline. This will go into my http://ContextEarth.com interactive semantic web server.
Bakken wells are already marginally profitable at $80 per barrel oil, and when the accelerated drilling starts to slow down, the hub sites in NoDak are going to turn into ghost towns pretty quick.
The Bakken will turn out to be nice for the short time that it lasted, but everyone will go “wha’ happened?” when the place starts to empty out.
“Since the average Bakken oil well generates only about 88,000 barrels of oil over the first year and around 280,000 barrels over their rather short lifetime, the pressure to keep on producing new wells is relentless.”
90,000 more to go.
Leonardo Maugeri has been thoroughly debunked in a number of places.
Google his name and the word debunked
He is the equivalent of a climate krank. He gets published in trade journals as an analyst because many people want to hear cornucopian projections.
Oil prices are volatile – but will continue to moderate as alternative sources of energy are developed.
Looking wider afield there are abundant alternatives at $50 to $100 a barrel. This alone will keep prices down over the foreseeable future.
Oil price today is the same (in constant dollars) as it was 30 years ago.
There is a guy in serious denial over reality. Thirty years ago we were in an oil-related recession.
James Hamilton studied 11 post-WWII recessions:
The Monterey Formation in California tops them all.
Monterey shale is apparently between 6,000 and 15,000 feet deep. The wells may cost twice as much to drill than Bakken, which is a more shallow formation,
It may become economical to extract when oil gets to $150 a barrel. And even then who knows what the EROEI is.
Like I said, Klein seems kind of oblivious to costs and physical limits as a parameter in the eventual outcome. (Or maybe she isn’t. Remember her book isn’t out yet, and there is a lot of hearsay)
The global economy was set up to run off of cheap liquid fossil fuel and now that the oil prospectors are frantically trying to scrape the bottom of the barrel, we are all witnessing the price of fuel go up.
It really has less to do with pure green-ness than with trying to figure out where we will get inexpensive liquid fuel to continue to power certain segments of the USA and the global economy.
The Monterey Formation is already the #1 Oil producing formation (conventional and unconventional) in California and Cali was #3 in the US in crude oil production in 2011.
For negative Nancy, grist for his mill:
Some are more optimistic, but it will take a decade to ramp up.
For you rockheads, here is a nice pp presentation of some of the details
The coastal outcroppings of the Monterey Fm are quite beautiful with lots of complex folding and faulting. It should be the state rock.
Monterey includes the Kern River oil field, which has produced 2 billion barrels of conventional oil so far.
That is different than the oil trapped in the fissures of the shale, which will be much more expensive to get out.
No argument that unconventional is more expensive and requires many many more straws to fight the faster path to asymptotic conditions. But we need to do it as a hedge against political uncertainty. For instance, if Middle Eastern oil goes radioactive, $150/bbl would be cheap oil. Lucky for us, North America contains more hydrocarbons than any other place on earth, so if we need to be self sufficient for petroleum, it’s doable… at a price.
So you think you should have one huge meal just after you are born and not have to bother with the three meals a day thing?
So what’s your point?
That the oil from these fields will run out? That their productivity will be short?
How does either point argue against going after it?
Web, the one topic I give you credit for being credible on is oil depletion. It is going to get more expensive to chase harder to get to reserves. At some point other sources of energy will beat out oil. Whether depletion is a fall off the cliff scenario or a gradual transition is debatable.
Physics modeling is cool stuff.
Come on web, you know I struggle with physics.
At least it gets you the last word.
Except with carbon dioxide – he fits curves to data. With CO2 he fits a curve to imaginary data.
Whether you call this modelling – or physics – is debatable.
WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | September 7, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Reply
“Physics modeling is cool stuff.”
Unless you do it wrong then, evidently, it’s warm stuff.
I stand corrected.
Springer gets the last word.
Klein apparently isn’t aware that fracking is turning out to be a boom and bust phenomenon
*Everything* is boom and bust in some time scale. The UK, for example, has frakking reserves of many hundreds of years at least.
“In contrast to the scientific management approach (e.g. UNFCC emissions targets), adaptive governance is a bottom-up approach with a focus that is more local/regional and is focused advancing the common interests on contested issues.” – Judith Curry.
Trust is moved down to the lower levels of the management hierarchy. Traditional control is sacrificed with the aim to achieve better results. The challenge for management is to to trust others.
• James Hansen has co-authored articles with approximately one hundred young climate researchers, while
• Chris Monckton has co-authored articles with none.
Conclusion&bnsp; Young climate-change scientists trust Hansen’s scientific worldview, not Monckton’s denialist worldview.
Inexplicably, the US Republican party has embraced Moncktonism. WUWT?
In the long run, isn’t Moncktonism a plainly losing ideology?
Thank you for making this common-sense point, Ragnaar!
My pleasure Fan. Anything to help you promote James Hansen’s presence on Climate Etc.
Wasn’t he that muppet guy?
Jim Henson is an alumni if University of Maryland.
TonyB – I think they’re talking about the antique fruitloop who keeps getting led away in handcuffs from strip-mining protests.
I’d say Hansenology
prediction – drollery
is the losing ideology.
Reference ter oceans’
boiling jest the height
Young climate-change scientists trust Hansen’s scientific worldview
ie, Young government shills trust old government shills.
Will the “Greens that Be” now rule that Naomi Klein is a denier? Maybe she is an “equal opportunity denier?” Whatever the answer, it is amazing just how attached is the Left to the term ‘denier’.
The Anti-Defamation League called. They want their drama back.
I was at klimaforum, the forum organised alongside COP15 in Copenhagen. Speakers supporting cap-and-trade were given a tough time by the audience of mostly green activists. The activists hated cap-and-trade. A carbon tax was the preferred choice.
So if “Big green” has been captured by the corporations and support corporate welfare, the majority of activists do not.
But do activists represent a majority or even a large minority of green supporters/sympathizers?
Certainly many supporters of green causes are not activists. I don’t know what these other supporters think about the relative merits of cap-and-trade and carbon taxes, but suspect many have not dwelt on the issue.
Her admission that long and growing list of scams and failures by the climate catastrophe promotion industry is all about right vs. left. It is notable because she implicitly admits that AGW is a left wing push, not actual science. That “big green” is just a buncch of political hacks seeking power. Any environmental improvement is strictly a distant second place priority to these politically obsesed people. So we can move past the worries that scientists in lab coats have, in the context of their work, and not in promotion of their left wing bigotry, have identified an actual danger which we must address.
Now it is on the table: Lefties want more power, and are willing to scam, fib, steal, lie and cheat to get it. With tax payer money, of course (and pay themselves nicely in the process). Climate concern was an all too easily hijacked vehicle for lefty hacks and profiteers. Australians and Canadians have figured this out. Americans, with our President stuck in “flat earth” mode, are still catching up.
….. “big green” is just a bunch of political hacks seeking power …. these politically obsesed people.
I think perhaps he meant to say politically “obesed” .
Obese people are often obsessed. Thanks for finding that typo, lol.
The bright side of this situation is that we see we are running on level ground.
“Wait a minute, what kind of environmentalism is it […] that isn’t concerned about industrialization of rural landscapes – what has environmentalism become?”
They say as the continue to push for more more windmills…
Remember: Tis the season.
“Well, I think there is a very deep denialism in the environmental movement among the Big Green groups. And to be very honest with you, I think it’s been more damaging than the right-wing denialism in terms of how much ground we’ve lost. ”
The world would better without isms.
Environmentalism has not made the environment better.
The fundamentally mistaken impression about isms in general
is the same mistake in thinking CO2 causes warming, instead
of the fact that increasing CO2 follows warming, rather than being
And this is the same with all politics, politicians follow rather than
lead, but they wants to sell the idea they they are leaders.
Isms are result of an uneducated public. Or replace uneducated
with enlightened, or non-rational- lacking in ability to thinking critically.
Growing numbers in whatever ism reflects a failing system of education.
Less isms would be good news.
What is denialism? Could we say it’s belief in the non-faith in experts?
Or is actually an ism at all.
It seems rational to have little faith in experts.
The experts are chosen. And are chosen generally because the support
people who chose them.
So a politician can chose someone in the CIA to be their expert for a politician purpose. News reporters can find those who experts who support their political view. And/or experts who make a news story- peanut butter causes Cancer.
There are of course a lot people who know stuff that most people are unaware of- there is a lot that isn’t known, and there lots people who
know stuff, but the important factor involved is that experts are chosen.
There is probably no group stupider than reporters, and as result they tend to choose poor experts.
And as result *are* the reporter doing a great service of building huge distrust in all expert. The batting average of these experts chosen by the media is near zero.
So is it poor job that reporter do [if you assume reporter are not simply making a living with sensational clap-trap] the main factor creating
Is it a ism to assume the sky is blue?
There people who “promote” disbelief. But it’s a choice to assume this is
narrow, rather than common place. One could say rather common to disbelief- even Christians bother [or are eager] to listen to atheists.
So people “getting the word out” about their disbelief [skeptism] which is contrary to experts of “global warmism”, could be call an ism.
But problem with calling it an ism is that isms is it suggests organization, rather one man band.
Someone living in dirt house isn’t communism, communism is rallies, and making leafets, and having a political platform.
So what you have is tiny minority of true believers who are peddling the end of the world is near due to CO2, in a vast ocean of people who lack this silly faith. And there could appear to be vast conspiracy of people who have failed to accept the true faith. And could choose to call those who causing the most damage [their perception] to the faith, to be deniers.
But the unavoidable fact is that elected members of government are deniers of this faith. Al Gore is skeptical of this faith, and true believers
of the faith are skeptical of their silliness.
Instead they are united in the belief their cause is of political use- it’s a useful club, to force political action they desire. They like the brand label, though tend to change the wording.
One could say there is some value in global warmism, in terms of getting the word out, one problem is they want everyone to listen- they don’t want dialogue. They run from dialogue. So whatever value it could have possibly served, is not of any value today. Today we sweeping up the confetti- which wasn’t bio-degradable.
Isms are result of an uneducated public. Or replace uneducated
with enlightened, or non-rational- lacking in ability to thinking critically.
Growing numbers in whatever ism reflects a failing system of education.
Less isms would be good news.
There is little evidence that educated people get suckered more or less than uneducated people. It appears to me that an education can make some people much easier to sucker. The famous scam artists who sucker rich people for their money are choosing educated people to sucker.
Poor people either work or get on whatever welfare they can find.
Rich people either work or get on whatever government subsidy and/or tax credits they can find and join isms.
Scam artists target educated rich people. There is more to gain and educated people will not admit they have been suckered.
Good post Judith. You need to make one small typo correction though:
“‘‘Pure environmentalism’ seems to be a very big enemy of actually making progress on reducing CO2 emissions through its opposition to nuclear energy, tracking, and even through its opposition to a short term focus on methane and soot.”
I think you meant “fracking” not “tracking”.
Overall, Naomi is spot on. Environmentalism will mean something quite different a generation from now.
You make it sound like Naomi Kline is some kind of voice of reason; I read the Salon interview, and nothing could be further from the truth. What she seems to support is “no compromises” on global warming: drastic forced reduction in wealth, industrial production, and material consumption. She seems to want NO natural gas fracking, NO nuclear, NO fossil fuel use, and indeed, drastically diminished economic activity. Please tell me if you think I am mistaken about this.
Naomi Kline appears quite disconnected from both physical and political reality. I wonder if she knows that Mathusian predictions have always turned out to be quite wrong. I do find reading her views mildly amusing, in the same way that watching chimp behaviors at a zoo is amusing, but it is mainly sad that anyone could have led themselves into such odd and irrational thinking. Almost nobody who does not already share her very odd views, not BIg Green, not most politicians (of any stripe), and certainly not most voters, is going to be swayed by her commentary. She is wasting her time, and that is sad indeed.
Judith does put some rather odd spin on the articles she cites.
Though it’s even weirder to watch the babbling baboons ( still more so the looney libertarians) latch onto the word ‘environmentalists’, perceive (however dimly) that there is some kind of critique of that from Klein, and then proceed from there to poo-flinging in the usual directions, all without having at all grasped what Klein is saying; essentially – ‘socialism’!
Lucky for you, Michael… You are writing more like Stalin, every day.
Does he hang out here too?
He is so over, Michael.
(typed on a keyboard with a broken letter – can yo gess which one?)
The problem with this is that yo end up with a headless movement of people who are jst “angry as hell” bt don’t actally know what it is they are angry abot. They know they don’t like the state of the modern world, bt don’t know what they do want.
At the grassroots level you tend to see simply incoherent undirected rage. These are people who don’t nderstand and hate the world they find themselves living in. They dislike science and technology, think chemicals are bad, don’t like industry, distrust modern medicine, don’t vaccinate their kids, use homeopathy, and believe in the healing power of crystals. They are often so uninformed and clueless about the tre natre of reality that it is hard to engage with them and they conseqently tend to have only a minor inflence in politics. For one thing it is almost impossible to get them to agree on a corse of action.
There is a lot of power and anger to be found in these kinds of movements. They are large movements felled by high levels of emotion and the people in them have a high level of commitment and a willingness to act. That translates into an awfl lot of political power. But unless that power is harnessed by leaders who have more of a cle abot the real world than the rest, they are never going to achieve mch.
… for which we shold all be very thankfl.
(I’m off now to by another keyboard)
Some spares until you get a new keyboard ;)
Oh, and I agree with much of your comment…
Seems the “Big” green movement suffered from the fate that all such big movements suffer from– corruption by size and the greed that big money brings. Corporations want what they want. The lessons from “Small is Beautiful” seem quite appropriate:
That’s a good idea!
• Median congressional lifespan is about 10 years
• Median corporate lifespan is about 15 years
• Median human lifespan is about 70 years
• This guy’s organization plans millennia ahead
Scheduled analyses like Georgina Endfield’s What Can We Learn from the Collapse of Past Societies? look especially good, eh? Also, David Mackay’s Alternative Sources of Energy: Which Ones Make Economic Sense? Also, Achim Steiner’s Where Are We Now in Mitigating Climate Change? Not to mention, Naomi Oreskes’s Scientific Consensus and the Role and Character of Scientific Dissent.
Gosh David L. Hagen … maybe we should heed shortsighted politicians and business leaders less, and our own scientific knowledge, common-sense family traditions, and millennia-old humanitarian values more?
That would sure beat the willfully short-sighted ideology-channeled ignorance of Moncktonism, don’t yah think?
”Green’s” honeymoon is over – they still thrive on the ”fake Skeptic’s” stupidity – which makes the Fakes irrelevant.
“The right took on cap-and-trade by saying it’s going to bankrupt us, it’s handouts to corporations, and, by the way, it’s not going to work. And they were right on all counts…So I think it’s a really important question why the green groups have been so unwilling to follow science to its logical conclusions.”
The failures of cap and trade, and carbon taxes, and “investment” in alternative energy boondoggles, are not the result of failing to “follow science to its logical conclusions.” They are the result of the success of the environmental progressives in accurately following their politics to its logical conclusion.
Central planning does not work.
You can learn something about Greens in yesterday’s Australian Federal election. The 2010 election resulted in a hung parliament, so Labor, desparate to govern, made an alliance with the Greens. So the greens took over Labor. Big mistake because both parties were wiped at yersterday’s election. The US Democrats could suffer a similar fate.
Where have all the socialists gone? Mostly they have relabelled themselves as Greens. This tactic has worked well in parts of Europe, so beware.
A new party on the horizen arisin’ from the disappointed
pink’n green alliance? Perhaps The Chamelion Party.’
‘Leopard Party’ could be a bit off putting.
Last night in OZ on OUR ABC, only it ain’t, its the ALP
coterie, the coterie talk was hardly about the winners,
more a Labor’s response ter it’s er sorta defeat and
future regroup and re-eleck-shun. Lo-o-o-o-o-ng
‘we are the light on the hill’ self congratulatory speech
by the defeated Prime Minister, no mention of the
budget black hole or failed policies as he stepped
down as PM, more like the honourable senatorial
‘I sacrifice meself’ It’show I am.’ :(.
Beth, the “not-our-BBC” chose to stress as major factors in the ALP’s thrashing (1) the Murdoch press’s strong anti-Labor comments and (2) Labor’s leadership changes. Not that we have had the six worst years of government and the two worst Prime Ministers and that the voters wisely gave the ASLP their lowest vote share in over 100 years.
That brings back memories of a phrase used by our now
ex-prime-minister’s predecessor.. I can hear her voice now,
… “playing the blame game.”
A serf happier than than she was last week. fal de ree,
fal de rah ha ha ha ha ha ha
“… we have had the six worst years of government ….”
Yet we miraculously survive the period with some of the best economic conditions in the world.
When has the US not had “some of the best economic conditions in the world”?
I will say that blaming economic conditions on whomever is President tends to indicate a lack of understanding both of our nations economics and the power of the Presidency. I believe the most valid criticism one can direct at our President is that he has not inspired confidence in investors and big business. There continues to be a lot of money sitting on the sidelines.
Shorter Klein: Hard ecofascism is a failure, let’s stick to soft ecofascism so we can corral some of the squishes and idiots we need to push through our agenda.
Dr. Curry, you have much experience with politics, perhaps too much to credibly represent an apolitical, purely scientific point of view. I gather you do not wish to be seen as a right wing scientist, but I wonder if you have considered all the angles. To the extent you do wish to be a voice for scientific integrity you have my sympathies.
Eeyore Rifkin says – “I wonder if you have considered all the angles.”
Yes, the impression I’m getting from my time on this blog is that our host started with a nominally/mildly progressive/liberal political stance, but wasn’t an activist type at all. Further, it appears that she didn’t think that her politics should conflict with doing unbiased, professional science.
Now, as she stays with her profession and her passion – science – she is finding that there is somewhat of a disconnect, because as she pursues her objective science, she finds herself being rejected by the political faction she most identified with previously. She seems a little nonplussed by this, and is still at the stage where her politics haven’t really changed, and so she focuses mostly on pointing out (truthfully and honestly) how the mainstream climate scientists are missing opportunities and failing to communicate, and hurting their credibility etc.
And so they are, but the issue goes much deeper than that, of course, and ends up in the political realm, not the scientific realm. As she continues to point out the obvious, in an unbiased, reasonable, and science-based way, Dr. Curry is going to find herself increasingly demonized unless and until she gets herself fully back on the reservation.
She can’t do this however, without abandoning all scientific objectivity. Right now, in her rhetorical approach, she’s essentially sitting on the fence, trying to sound reasonable to both sides, and that’s fine, but I don’t think she can continue this indefinitely. She has to either get back on the reservation, or face the fact that politically, she has no home anymore. Deep in her scientific heart of hearts, she has to be becoming more and more skeptical about CAGW, and maybe even AGW itself. What reasonable person without the taste of Koolaid on their tongue wouldn’t be?
After all, just because CO2 is a greenhouse gas and we’re emitting more and more of it does not by itself prove the proposition that mankind is heating the planet in any amount that matters, because even I’ve figured out that many other forces arguably more powerful than CO2 are involved too.
Of course, this is just my armchair political hypothesis, from a distance, with very little scientific knowledge, and so I could be way off base here.
The Big Green leadership has failed to provide a reasonable, rational, step-by-step and turn-by-turn map for achieving their goals — one with costs, sources of money and economic effects. I believe this is because the costs would be prohibitive, the money isn’t there and the economic fallout would be disastrous, especially in the third world.
Instead, Big Green leadership promotes solar and wind as realistic energy sources while the buzzwords “sustainable” and “renewable” have become both ubiquitous and meaningless.
Respect to Naomi Klein for her honesty (it couldn’t have been easy), her bravery (see preceding ()’s) and her sense-of-timing.
She has glimpsed the future and it isn’t the one she has fought for!
Well, hope springs eternal in the human beast. I wuz gonna say ‘Let us pray’, but saw scowling spectacles slash before my fingers.
More likely the borg has felt a tremor; was it just a chill or a neoplastic epilept apprehension? But don’t safety pin her tongue, it’s loose, and lucid lately.
There is interference on the subspace carrier wave. Non-assimilatory messages are being transmitted. No matter – they intend to add Dr. Curry’s distinctiveness to their own. MSMedia assets are being deployed to deal with the biological infestation.
Well, thanks, heh. Timing.
New study, warmer temps will enhance enjoyment of Chopin.
Good stuff, I’m trying to follow along w the score. I love that I can see what’s being played. Thanx pg
IPCC in crisis meetings
Record return of Arctic ice cap as it grows by 60% in a year with top scientists warning of global COOLING
Will the IPCC catch up with the evidence?
Wondering who might be complaining to the IPCC in the recent Daily Mail story, we have this link:
And one page to look at, page 44 which shows most of their funding. It is the IPCCs audited financial statements, the most recent ones I could find.
For that year we had as the biggest funders:
The United States
So if Arctic ice starts increasing, but Antarctic ice then begins decreasing, will we get a raft of new reports that it is the Antarctic that is really more sensitive to “global warming?” And breathless monthly reports about an Antarctic ice death spiral?
Committed alarmist Jim D stll rabbiting on about land temperatures, still thinking he’s onto something that even the most partisan alarmist bigots in the IPPC have overlooked.
I am surprised this story is not getting much in the way of comments.
We’ve seen this movie before. Rose writes a story, and gets a comment from Judith that she doesn’t trust models. The new wrinkle is last year they studiously ignored the Arctic sea-ice and this year they headline it. Wonder why? Still ignoring land heating records and rising ocean heat content, however.
Short term changes in ice are only relevant to climate if they are reductions.
‘A characteristic feature of global warming is the land–sea contrast, with stronger warming over land than over oceans. Recent studies find that this land–sea contrast also exists in equilibrium global change scenarios, and it is caused by differences in the availability of surface moisture over land and oceans. In this study it is illustrated that this land–sea contrast exists also on interannual time scales and that the ocean–land interaction is strongly asymmetric. The land surface temperature is more sensitive to the oceans than the oceans are to the land surface temperature, which is related to the processes causing the land–sea contrast in global warming scenarios. It suggests that the ocean’s natural variability and change is leading to variability and change with enhanced magnitudes over the continents, causing much of the longer-time-scale (decadal) global-scale continental climate variability. ‘ http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JCLI2778.1
No one is ignoring land warming – it is just not all that significant an issue.
Annual resolution ocean data (pre-ARGO) – shows ocean heat peaking in 1998. ARGO shows a moderate increase. Is it enough to establish a new peak? Decadal ocean cooling and decadal Arctic ice extent increase both happened in the 20th century in the familiar decadal regimes.
Ok I’ll bite : what is the alleged fingerprint of CO2 in land temperatures ?
Judging from Chief Hydrologist | September 8, 2013 at 3:22 am | (just above), there is NO fingerprint of CO2 in the land-sea temperature relationship.
So why does it keep being dragged in ?
AGW in inversely proportional to the amount of water on the surface available for evaporation. Climate change alarmists got some physics wrong. Two bits in particular. Downwelling longwave infrared cannot add significant energy to a body of water but it rather increases the evaporation rate and adds latent energy to the atmosphere above. This has the effect of reducing the lapse rate (raising altitude of the dewpoint). When clouds form at a higher altitude there is more greenhouse gas below the clouds than before and less greenhouse gas above them. The change in altitude at which clouds form (only about 100 meters per CO2 doubling) makes the radiative path from cloud to ground more restricted and the radiative path from cloud to space less restrictive. This raises cooling efficiency and negates the AGW effect where there is sufficient surface water available for evaporation. Indeed this is what we observe and it is especially apparent over frozen land surfaces. Since the northern hemisphere has far more land surface that freezes the AGW effect is most apparent in that hemisphere.
It’s not all that complicated just a simple mistaken belief that a body of water free to evaporate can be warmed by longwave infrared.
One might then ask how is ocean heat content growing. Easy. Warmer water is running off from the continents where the AGW mechanism actually works. It’s not rocket science once you have the first principles correct and the first principle that must be grokked is the inability of longwave infrared to heat a body of water that is free to evaporate in response.
David, your ideas are as ridiculous as webhub’s, albeit for different reasons.
Heat energy enters the oceans from SW radiation, which penetrates to the order of 100 metres. To suggest that the oceans warm by way of the relatively tiny amount of continental runoff is, quite frankly, laughable.
You’re right that downwelling LW doesn’t heat the ocean – simply put, the ocean is warmer than it would have been because the downwelling LW slows the energy loss from the surface. The energy for surface evaporation would come 100% from beneath the surface if it weren’t for this downwelling LW energy
A one year slight uptick in Arctic Ice. It might be the start of the trend. Then again it might not.
Chief Hydro said:
“Annual resolution ocean data (pre-ARGO) – shows ocean heat peaking in 1998. ARGO shows a moderate increase. Is it enough to establish a new peak? Decadal ocean cooling and decadal Arctic ice extent increase both happened in the 20th century in the familiar decadal regimes.”
ARGO shows a huge gain in ocean heat content since 1998, and the best available data show 1998 was no significant peak in ocean heat content, but just part of a longer term multidecadal rise:
And of course, ocean heat content will continue to rise over the long term as GH gases continue to rise in concentration, keeping ever greater amounts of energy within the Earth system. The last decadal decline in ocean heat content was likely 1960-1970, a decade that had 3 El Niños, so lots of heat going from ocean to atmosphere.
Arctic Sea Ice Headline Quiz.
Try to guess the year of these headlines.
Increase in Arctic ice confounds doomsayers
2013? Wrong. It’s from 2010:
Arctic Sea Ice Increases at Record Rate
Arctic sea ice now 28.7% higher than this date last year – still rallying
Arctic Sea Ice Melt This July Slowest On Record – “Death Spiral” Is Dead
Surely this one has to be 2013 you say! No, 2010.
Arctic sea ice back to its previous level, bears safe; film at 11
This climate denier approach to Arctic Sea Ice, I dub it the Broken Watch method. It allows them to exist in a world where Arctic Sea ice declines to zero in a future summer and all the while they can deny it, by printing similar headlines to the above every year or so.
For those who wonder why the slur “climate denier” is used, perhaps you can see now. The above behavior aint normal. It’s desperate in it’s attempt to deny what is happening in the Arctic. Plus of course the longterm trend is a declining one and the ice is declining faster than predicted, yet climate deniers try to spin that it’s declining SLOWER than predicted.
I leave you with this epitome of denial from 2010:
“What can be said about the short term trend in Arctic sea ice is that for the past two years, it has recovered from the historic low of 2007. It recovered in 2008, and more in 2009. If today’s Earth Day gift is any indication, it appears that it is on track now for a third year of recovery in 2010 as we’ve been saying at WUWT since fall of 2009.”
“This climate denier approach to Arctic Sea Ice, I dub it the Broken Watch method. It allows them to exist in a world where Arctic Sea ice declines to zero in a future summer and all the while they can deny it, by printing similar headlines to the above every year or so.”
Stupid climate deniers. Denying the obvious revealed truth of FUTURE ice melt by pointing to the lack of CURRENT ice melt. No wonder they’re compared to those who deny the past murder of 6 million Jews by progressive Germans?
Who ya gonna believe? lolwot or your lyin’ eyes.?
If Judith Curry wants to put a bunch of her eggs in the Arctic Sea Ice basket she should be aware of this
It may look like a recovery, but
The linked graph shows Ice volume divided by ice area which gives an estimate of ice thickness, which appears to be continuing to decrease.
And you can use CT side by side ice area comparison tool to compare ice area from different years to this years, and what I find as new this year is that there is more 60-80% ice area just north of Baffin Island, which used to be the hold-fast of the ancient multi-year ice.
It appears to be that the ice extant and area has increased this year at the expense of the old thick multi-year ice. And funny thing is DMI temperature is back above normal.
According to Naomi Klein, both leaders and followers of the environmental movement are in denial, and she is too. They either don’t understand what the implications of cutting emissions 80% are, or they don’t care. They aren’t in favor of nuclear, they aren’t in favor of anything. All they can possibly accomplish is to convince the rest of us that they are out of touch with reality.
“They either don’t understand what the implications of cutting emissions 80% are, or they don’t care”
They know and they care very much indeed; when things are rationed than the people in charge of the rationing system become as powerful as the owners of a monopoly. You note that the people who hate it when a company gains too much market share like the idea of having control of energy production and allocation.
” … they aren’t in favor of anything.”
There is a term for that: Green Luddite.
“Leaked documents show that governments which support and finance the IPCC are demanding more than 1,500 changes to the report’s ‘summary for policymakers’. They say its current draft does not properly explain the pause.”
What signals are the governments sending?
• To vote-grabbing politicians (and moronic Moncktonians),
… ten years is eternity.
• To soil-building farmers (and loving grandparents)
… a century is a reasonable time.
• And some institutions plan in terms of millennia.
Ragnar, what is *YOUR* preferred time-scale? And why?
FOMBS seems to think inserting the name Monckton in his many moronic ourbursts, might finally give them a smidgeon of traction.
My preferred time scale is all time frames at once, but infinity, not so much.
Whether we have a pause or not for instance. I’d say look at as 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years all the way to maybe 5000 years and not cherry pick any one.
And it’s my opinion, a farm is forever and it should be treated that way.
Ragnaar, your gracefully phrased and well-considered remarks are wholly admirable (as it seems to me). Thank you for posting them.
The thesis that the eco loons have caused ‘climate science’ more damage than assistaance is correct but that is simply a product of them being magnets for evangelical, intolerant, abusive nut jobs who quickly bully their way to positions of power and then turn their venom on all who appose. This is simply the product of creating an environment where ‘workplace’ psychopaths are attracted to and can flourish.
The good news is that this is irony at work creating a powerful negative feedback form the mechanism that creates the hysteria in the first place.
The FT in London has an interview up now online with James Lovelock, 94 now, and he says he still believes in AGW and sea level rise in distant future, maybe 500 to 1000 years from now, and it’;s real. READ it via goggles.
Interesting. Lovelock used to be a climate skeptic I wonder what convinced him to U turn.
“Wait a minute, what kind of environmentalism is it that isn’t concerned about water, that isn’t concerned about industrialization of rural landscapes – what has environmentalism become?”
Enviros now seem to think that CO2 , the base of life on Earth, is more dangerous than radio-activity.
By some skilful political Aikido, politicians have used the momentum of the environmental movement to flip it on its head.
Berényi Péter | September 7, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
When a casual reader like myself reads the exchanges between Brandon and Mosher here there is little doubt in my mind who the honest broker is. If I were the people who were in charge of the BEST project I would do my best (No pun intended) to hire Brandon not only for his obvious good qualifications but to inject some much needed integrity into the process.
Of course these little episodes of denial are precisely designed to appeal to the “casual reader”.
As a more nuanced reader I recognize the smell of desperation to discredit inconvenient data.
Both are honest brokers.
Don’t let the fact they get into sparing matches distract you from that.
I am a progressive. I supported President Obama in the last election even to the point of sending money to the campaign. I am as unhappy as other progressives about the failure to close Guantanamo, the lack of progress on gun control, and the continuing and ongoing association of the Democratic party with big business interests to the detriment of consumers and the middle class. I love Elizabeth Warren and wish there were more like her. I am for extending health care to everyone but would prefer a single payer option. I believe the government should be actively involved in protecting the environment. I believe the government should encourage research and development in new technologies, especially in alternative energy technologies. But I cringe every time progressives talk about global warming and climate change?
Progressives make two mistakes.
The first is about the consensus. Even if the often stated 97% agreement on consensus is somewhat correct despite the shoddy methodology and poor math that produced it, the broad statement that humans are influencing climates completely masks the range of opinion about how much we are changing it and, more importantly, how much we are likely to change it in the future. The problem is that predicting the future about potential effects of global warming over the next century is difficult. To do so with any accuracy, we not only need to know how much warming will occur but also how human behavior and technology will change. No multidecadal prediction relating to technology and human behavior with any degree of specificity has been close to correct. The United States reached a decades low in greenhouse gas emissions last year primarily because of the switch to burning gas for electricity generation. Who could have foreseen that? Who can foresee how fast we might have electrically powered cars and trucks predominating on the highways?
The bigger mistake progressives make is conflating the consensus that humans are changing the climate with the range of predictions about what the effect of the human influence will be. Prediction of effects requires multiple models – models of climate, models that predict how much greenhouse gas we will put into the atmosphere in the future, and models about the systems we are studying for effect. Even if the models had a relatively high degree of certainty (which they don’t), once the uncertainties of the multiple models are combined you end up with something that is almost worthless. The IPCC, in effect, says “be forewarned” when it writes: “Confidence in joint attribution statements must be lower than the confidence in either of the individual attribution steps alone, due to the combination of two separate statistical assessments.” This is jargon-speak for saying we are combining two educated guesses to make a third guess about which we have even less confidence. Just about about every hypothesized effect of global warming is this third type of guess.
I believe there is plenty we can do to mitigate the worst case scenarios for climate change and most of them are things progressives believe we should be doing anyway.
We need to focus on core progressive values.
We can focus on encouraging alternative energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a modest carbon tax which can be used to pay down the national debt or reduce other taxes.
We can find ways to improve agricultural practices everywhere to improve productivity and to reduce fertilizer runoff and water wastage.
We can build natural sea barriers because no matter how much the world warms or cools we will still need to protect our coastlines from hurricanes and storms.
We can adopt better water management practices because we cannot keep growing our urban areas in defiance of the eventual limitations we will have with water.
We can focus on improving health and sanitation in the developing world because, if the worst predictions come about, the people in it will be much better off and, besides, they should have it anyway.
Above all we should forget the alarmism, recognize there is a lot we cannot be sure about, and do all the smart things we should be doing anyway.
That was honest. I give you props for not being a Sneaky Pete.
I saw Blade Runner too. In the end they lived happily ever after…
I’m more of a libertarian than any other bucket I can think of. I believe the government should supply a social safety net. However, it should be along the lines of a negative income tax. For example, one with no income would get $16,000, no questions asked. The person could do with it as he pleased. If that person gets a job, the government would give him less money, but the money from the job plus the government money would be more than he had before. This maintains the incentive to work and removes the fear that welfare will be taken away. It would work similarly for retirees. Some basic medical care could be provided, but for the most part it should be supplied by non-profits.
I was a chemist and I believe the EPA plays a valid role in regulating chemicals in the environment. CO2 isn’t one of those, IMO.
I believe government should fund basic R&D.
The government should not tax corporations at all. This would attract business to the US and place the tax burden on voters. This would supply jobs and help the economy, which currently is in the dumper. Lobbying by business should be against the law. Business could address Congress in public hearings only.
It appears to me that trying to dispose of despots and loose-knit terrorist organizations is a losing proposition.
We need to push for nuclear power and get the government out of subsidizing particular energy sources. The free market will take care of the energy issue.
Guns should be lightly regulated because the police are pretty much never there when crime occurs. The criminals usually plan it this way and they will always break whatever law there is and get a gun for themselves.
WRT climate, we need to continue measuring and researching it. We need more information before we embark on expensive policy options. In the meantime, we can implement no-regrets policies and stop the government from insuring and rebuilding buildings in flood-prone and hurricane-prone areas.
That’s it in a nutshell.
I think I agree with just about everything you wrote.
I consider myself a progressive libertarian which may seem like a contradiction but I can’t think of anything else to call it. I want a safety net and a certain amount of government regulation but I want to find the least intrusive ways of implementing it. I want government out of our personal lives.
I like your phrase “no-regrets policy”. That sums up my view.
I left off it would be good to legalize recreational drugs. Personally, I don’t even drink alcohol or use recreational drugs, and think it is a bad idea to do so. Obviously, where there is a will, there will be a way for people to get these drugs. And I’m not going to start using them even though they are legal and neither will anyone else who thinks they are a bad idea. This has several major benefits.
1. It puts violent drug gangs out of business and takes a source of revenue from them. If they go legal, there isn’t a violence problem anymore.
2. It can be a source of tax revenue.
3. It keeps millions of young offenders out of the prison system, many for the first time.
4. It will stop the drive for legal alternative drugs, some of which end up killing a maiming people, and also makes for even more recreational drugs.
5. It will take away at least one excuse for the government to snoop on literally everyone.
6. It will shrink government and the currently all-powerful police state (in the US, that is.)
And, 7, it will save money on said snooping and police.
Jim2, I respect your right to your own beliefs, but they are not libertarian. There are too many examples of utterly non-libertarian policies in your post, e.g. Honestly, you sound much more like a leftist/progressive with utopian pie-in-the-sky communist values.
“I believe the government should supply a social safety net.”
Not libertarian at all, and the social safety net we have now started small and is out of control already after only 80 years.
“one with no income would get $16,000, no questions asked. The person could do with it as he pleased. If that person gets a job, the government would give him less money,”
this shows a poor understanding of the incentives government handouts create in the real world. Once you’re getting money for nothing, you are very reluctant to risk any reduction in that check by working. That is reality. This idea is totally pie-in-the-sky and not libertarian in any way.
“Some basic medical care could be provided, but for the most part it should be supplied by non-profits.”
People who try to “vision up” an advanced society by reducing profits are not libertarian.
“I believe the EPA plays a valid role in regulating chemicals in the environment. CO2 isn’t one of those, IMO”
Right. We’ll have an EPA, and it will only do what you want it to do, and will refrain from regulating things you think are inappropriate. Please realize this is just not happening. The EPA is not accountable to anyone. Sure they may ask for comment on their rules, but they do what they want in the end. Like nearly all Federal bureaucracies, they have gone completely rogue.
“I believe government should fund basic R&D.”
Right, like Solyndra etc. What about private for-profit entities? They put a rocket into space, so what can’t they do? This belief you express is not libertarian at all.
“Lobbying by business should be against the law.”
Libertarians don’t believe in making things against the law unless they violate someone else’s rights. If you don’t want businesses to lobby, then you have to reduce government’s power over them, and over the economy itself, which will give companies less to lobby about.
“Guns should be lightly regulated”
How “lightly”? Are guns ok, as long as they’re at home? Unloaded perhaps? Only 6 shooters? Certainly not in schools, and never ever on planes, right?
News flash: Libertarians tend to believe in the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which says “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Oh, and the operative part of that is the second part, the one that says “the right of the people to keep AND BEAR arms SHALL NOT be infringed” The first part could say anything at all, and the Amendment would have the same meaning. The context of the first part was a time of war, where we had no standing army, and every able-bodied American man was the militia. Whether or not we have a militia, the Amendment still means what it says.
On drug legalization: “”It can be a source of tax revenue.”
Most libertarians wouldn’t subscribe to giving the government more money. I think the idea that the government in any way needs more sources of tax revenue is ridiculous. Sorry, but although I admit the idea you have expressed idea is popular among many, it is not libertarian. Your error might be that you don’t realize that more tax revenue doesn’t lead to government solvency and never has. It only leads to more expenditures, more debt, and more power, so your logic is flawed at the root.
All in all, I suggest you go back to the drawing board and figure out what to call your political beliefs, because they aren’t libertarian at all. Sorry.
@tomdesabla | September 8, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
It is obvious to me that you didn’t read my post carefully. Also, Hayek was for a social safety net for reason of societal stability. He also had a heart.
tomdesabla | September 8, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
Well, can I be a progressive libertarian?
It is possible to have the view that government does have certain responsibilities beyond protecting rights yet still looking for the most non-intrusive, market oriented solutions possible.
And regarding businesses lobbying? Do you really believe as a libertarian that corporations have rights? Where do they get those rights? We may argue whether human rights come from nature or God but corporate rights clearly come from government since, without government, corporations would not exist. You and I would exist without government. My view is it is completely fair they be subject to regulation by the government that grants them existence. If the share holder owners do not like it they are welcome to do business as individuals. Then they can lobby all they want.
In my case, I said a libertarian was the closest bucket to what I believe. I know what the 70’s were like – Love canal, Lake Erie – corporations can be trusted only to the extent you can trust the people who run them – and some are going to be sociopathic as are some politicians.
James, you say that “No multidecadal prediction relating to technology and human behavior with any degree of specificity has been close to correct.” I’ve been making similar points for almost 30 years. As an economist, I’ve long argued for policies which don’t depend on a specific (and almost certainly wrong) projection of the future but which give us the most scope to get the best outcomes from whatever befalls. This means built-in flexibility, systems which encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, very limited government direction of activity.
My main concern with CAGW has been the failure to demonstrate that warming will be catastrophic. As a non-scientist following the issue since the 1980s (and sometimes advising government on it), I’ve been increasingly sceptical of alarmist predictions. Whether or not warming will resume, whether or not the outcome will be positive, neutral or negative, policies which extend our options will be best. This tends to mean supporting economic growth (which is increasingly based on knowledge rather than material) rather than adopting measures which reduce it.
I’m not a “progressive” in the sense which I think you use, I am in favour of measures which increase people’s well-being, and to me this includes policies which increase people’s self-reliance and reduce their dependence on the state. Policies which increase options and opportunities contribute to this.
Judith…thank you for the link to the article. I think Naomi is incorrect when she blames the ‘neoliberalism’ of conservation groups for ‘casting corporations as the solution’ !! Corporations (think US CoC) have been part of conservation efforts ONLY when forced to. When US Congress overrode Nixon’s veto of the Clean Water Act (and approved later, the ‘Superfund’ act) the writing was plainly on the wall for them. They had to see some financial benefit of conforming to those laws. And, so, they found a way to make money on the movement. That is what capitalists do; and Lewis Powell showed capitalists how to preside over a growing world economy. Now, however, Naomi thinks of big corporations as included in the ‘Big Green’ effort. They never were-only attracted by finding a product to manufacture and sell. However, reducing CO2 production can only be achieved by reducing (or creating by an alternate method):a) energy production or b) transportation engines. Problem is: we need to keep burning fossil fuels in order to build wind and solar farms and develop nuclear power plants (which operate at night and calm) and transportation (high speed rail systems). I believe that unless the WORLD understands this problem, we will only watch CO2 levels continue an upward climb and global warming with it. Some on this blog severely disagree. That is OK. BUt, until they can set forth a scientifically supported (by worldwide climatologists and meteorologists) conclusion that shows CO2 and global warming are NOT upward bound, I’ll continue to be apprehensive about human’s continued existance !!
Two DISASTROUS choices:
• Chris Monckton as the spokesperson for Big Carbon
• Al Gore as the spokesperson for Big Green
Reason Gore and Monckton both have zero scientific or personal credibility.
The Greens have dumped Al already. Big Green’s “backup quarterbacks” are diverse, and include Hansen, Berry, Oreskes, and Pope Francis’ gang.
The new Green quarterbacks have diverse personal styles, yet because they share in-common a long-term focus on “community, humanity, and sustainability”, they play pretty well together.
Prediction Monckton goes under the bus just like Gore.
Question Who will be Big Carbon’s “post-Monckton quarterbacks?” Will they play well together?
I find Monckton entirely credible.
Not weird at all.
Web won’t be at all surprised to see that it’s based in Australia
Monckton in a chapel and Hansen in handcuffs. Credibility?
That could well be Monckton’s own home.
At least Monckton can do math.
“In 1999, Monckton created and published the Eternity puzzle, a geometric puzzle that involved tiling a dodecagon with 209 irregularly shaped polygons called polydrafters. A £1 million prize was won after 18 months by two Cambridge mathematicians. By that time, 500,000 puzzles had been sold. Monckton also launched the Eternity II puzzle in 2007, but, after the four-year prize period, no winner came forward to claim the $2 million prize.”
Al Gore can … well … ahhh … oh yeah, he invented the internet and inspired the great South Park classic ManBearPig:
Monckton uses rhetoric to exaggerate and obfuscate. For example, his 50:1 rhetorical argument is based on his own idea that scaling up Australia’s carbon tax suitably, you can completely stop any CO2 emissions within ten years. Forget that no one has proposed stopping it that quickly. It just gives big costs that he needs for his rhetoric. He also doesn’t say that the majority of that tax goes back into the economy, and doesn’t need to because he is not an economist, just a rhetorician.
Some people don’t like the carbon tax, even though most of it goes to the poorest. Here in the US, we have plenty of welfare programs already.
It doesn’t go to the poorest, unless it is subsidizing their fuel bills. The main part should go to new green jobs or adaptation to climate change, maybe damage costs that would otherwise come from everyone’s income tax. In any case it goes back into the economy. It is known also that giving money to the poorest is the most efficient way of getting it back into the economy because they spend their extra money, and don’t just put it away or invest overseas like rich people, but that’s a different point.
My point was the poor already get a lot of welfare. Any money gotten by the government goes back into the economy, that isn’t the point. The point is that money in private hands does more for society at large because money is an incentive for people to do productive things. Take away their money, there is less incentive and less economic activity. Especially if part of that money is given to voters – the then have less incentive to work and more incentive to manipulate the government to give them even more. Free markets solve more of our problems more efficiently than money spent by government.
jim2, I don’t want to get into an economy argument, but when the corporations get the money, it percolates to the top 1% and doesn’t help anybody build anything because, as we see, they are still not hiring, and unemployment is stubbornly not dropping, despite the stocks doubling to pre-recession values. The government can stimulate middle-class growth and pay its own workers with this money. It comes down, as with the rich and poor, to who holds the money and who spends it when considering corporations and government.
JimD – I agree the current economy in the US sucks, but the US isn’t anywhere close to a small government model – it hasn’t been for decades. So the fact that it is in the dumper I put on big government along with the big spending that comes with it. Corporations aren’t hiring because the demand isn’t there. The government has made it possible for them to accumulate cash, but it hasn’t helped the economy one bit, and it has pushed us deep into debt. None of this is good.
What should have happened is that the big businesses should have been allowed to fail, interest rates left at 4-5%, and we would have had a deep but short recession. Not this going on 6 years of no growth in anything except debt and falling participation in the workforce.
Higher inflation that’s to come will mean still-tough times for savers and retirees, whose money has generated little return since the Fed took over the post-crisis economy.
So far, the balance sheet expansion to $3.6 trillion has helped generate—if you give the Fed the extreme benefit of the doubt—slow but steady employment increases and subpar economic growth.
Inflation has been confined to the corners that central bankers generally dismiss—rising commodity prices that manifest themselves in gas and groceries—while the numbers economists focus on remain tame, at about 2 percent in the latest readings.
In the interim, savers have suffered under the yoke of low interest rates that have helped finance the U.S. debt load while stock market speculators have reaped a bonanza.
But with interest rates accelerating, the economy growing and the Fed charting a course to exit its historically easy monetary policy, the inflation picture could begin changing.
Fanny’s not happy with Al-Gore ibn Al-Jazerra. Thus proving the premise of this thread.
For Big Carbon’s pet Republicans, the problem ain’t Chris Monckton.
The problem is, there’s no backup on the bench to replace Monckton.
In the league you play in, Monckton might appear like a future hall of famer. Which is probably why you get such a thrill when you win an at bat against him. Makes you forget you are riding an old school bus to Odelia to play the local farmers co-op.
Pingback: These items caught my eye – 8 September 2013 | grumpydenier
The partnership model,/em> of the global warming complex — does than mean mutual-interest-community-action instead of science?
It is what the body of evidence would suggest.
Probably the first ting I’ve read of Klein’s that I agree with.
She’ll be supporting Stephen Harper next.
In my local newspaper today:
1) “(Tony) Abbott, the leader of the conservative Liberal Party-led coalition, rode a wave of bitterness over a hated carbon emissions tax…”
Messages like this may be lost on the believers who populate NGOs. What is being asked by policy makers these days is more certainty about the origins of CAGW and the need to act now no matter how destructive those actions are to an economy as well as to vulnerable populations. Staying the course for many politicians will be disastrous. Usually politicians are skilled at reading the ripples on the water and feeling the breeze on their cheeks and adjust to which way the wind is blowing. Time to come about.
For Judith Curry
2) “Hurricane season has been a dud despite dire forecasts.” The preseason predictions were all dire, using words like “extremely active” and “above normal” to describe the forecast for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season…..the season so far has been a welcome, if unexpected, dud, with not a single hurricane yet through the first week of September.”
“We are only a the mid-point of the six-month hurricane season and have just entered the peak of the hurricane season…” Dennis Feltgen National Hurricane Center in Miami.
AcccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski: “Hurricane formation in the Atlantic is overdue and is soon likely to shift in favor of multiple tropical storms.”
It seems to me that very knowledgable people in the hurricane prediction business believe that disaster is just around the corner, just wait.
Dr Curry. I understand that you & your company do hurricane related forecasting. There are more likely than not many issues that go into developing such forecasts including which data set is used, the strength and direction of ENSO, PDO, AMO, etc. as these indices impact upon global weather including drought, hurricanes and extreme weather.
My question: why have the models used for hurricane predictions been wrong so far?
Denialism: (n) Like literraly, it means both itself and the opposite
1. The belief that half the world wouldn’t perish without extensive use of fossil fuels in the early 21st century.
2. The beleif that 50-100 year out-of sample model performance from any GCM or ensemble of GCM’s can be considered a scientific fact on which to build controversail policy.
find Klein’s statements to be very insightful
I couldn’t agree more, but not in the way you suggest. She readily admit that the right were right on the points of subsidy and cap-and-trade but then goes on to suggest this was just a strategic move to take advantage of the green-left stupidity. Well either the left-greens are stupid and therefore we should never, ever listen to them or the right were correct because they’re just smart in which case they probably have a better handle on what works.
The other point on:
I couldn’t disagree more, very often the main antagonists are not from the local communities and often import the protesters.
What is insightful is that the green movement is in disarray; its slowly dawning on them that the general public are actually smarter than they are.
Whilst she is right that environmental activists are their own worst enemy she is quite wrong to use the noxious word deniers. Furthermore many true environmentalist find the specious and self serving arguments of catastrophic global warming to be fraudulent and anti scientific.
The little green boy crying wolf then lion then tiger ad nausea just can’t seem to understand that the grown ups don’t believe a word he says, and quite rightly so.
OT: What is the nature of the ‘universe? Chaos – in fact, it is only a prejudice and a hole in the corner perspective that the universe is ‘ordered’ and, under our convenient rules, It only so happens that physics happens here and at this ‘moment’, which may last 12 billion years or may flip over into it’s ‘other’ . Yes, ‘physics’ can be tested but only in so far as the question allows such a test. Most physics, today, allows no such test. Because it is not able to ask the fundamental question:”What is being?” “What is it to be?” it leaves us in an essentially chaotic, irrational, meaningless cosmos. The answer: we will the meaning of this cosmos because we can. A unique intelligence determining, and, fundamentally making, the meaning in the world. Without whom, without this ‘unique one’, there is no world. There is no hand clapping, the emptiness of which must empty forever
Mother of all the Romans: moreover, everyone’s joy,
pleasurable Venus: everything under the stars
—the sea that carries ships as well as the earth that bears crops —
is full of you: every living thing is conceived
by your being and so comes into the daylight.
The wind eludes you and the sky is apt to be cloudless
when your time comes, and under your feet the earth
sends up her lovely flowers, and the sea’s surface
glitters placidly as the light gleams from the sky.
As soon as the face of spring puts in an appearance
and the fertilizing wind blows in from the west,
the birds of the air are the first to notice your coming
and your holy desire strikes at their very hearts;
The wild cattle jump about in their pastures,
they plunge and swim over the rivers, delight has taken them.
Then throughout the seas, on the mountains, in hungry rivers,
in the bird’s leafy recesses, on the verdant plains,
deep inside every creature appetite stirs
as you stair them to love and delight.
Since you alone guide the workings of nature,
without you nothing can come to these shores of light
and nothing is glad or amiable without you,
I seek your assistance as I write these verses
in which I shall try to explain nature to Memmius,
my friend whom you, Goddess, have always distinguished
with the best gifts which can be found for anyone.
And more, Goddess, endow my words with beauty.
Bring it about meanwhile that the wish for violent death
on land and sea everywhere falls fast asleep.
It is only you who can bring men peace and quiet,
for Mars is the one who manages these affairs
and he often throws himself on your belly,
conquered in turn because desire has wounded him.
He lies there with his handsome neck thrown back,
gaping at you and feeding on your looks,
his breath hangs on your lips as he falls back.
As he lies there on top of your holy body
allow your lips to speak gently to him, Goddess.
Klein: post-Katrina prescience,
“… prevent future disasters by having lower emissions, you have all these attempts to take advantage of that crisis. At the time, it seemed to me that climate change was potentially going to be the biggest disaster-capitalism free-for-all that we’ve seen yet.”
Sorry: I could not read past the first fifty or so comments. Please read the links Judith offers; yes, Big Green is a greater danger than any than any/all denialists.
Maurice Strong: Godfather of the international environmental movement
Elitist, Socialist Maurice Strong – United Nations Agenda 21 And Your Community
“The concept of national sovereignty has been an immutable, indeed sacred, principle of international relations. It is a principle which will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the new imperatives of global environmental cooperation. What is needed is recognition of the reality that in so many fields, and this is particularly true of environmental issues, it is simply not feasible for sovereignty to be exercised unilaterally by individual nation-states, however powerful. The global community must be assured of environmental security.”
The Corporate Capture of the Earth Summit
Instead, throughout the UNCED process, corporations enjoyed special access to the Secretariat, and the final UNCED documents treat them deferentially.
Corporate influence on the Earth Summit undermined Agenda 21, rendered the Climate Convention toothless and weakened the Biodiversity Convention, which was nonetheless rejected by the United States. In addition, through an enormous public relations drive, corporate leaders themselves attempted to take over the UNCED stage to claim that they have voluntarily turned the corner onto a new path of sustainability.
The business vision of this “new” path still centers around economic growth, with free trade and open markets as prerequisites. Meanwhile, business leaders envision linking environmental protection to profitability, through a system in which all of nature is priced and patented. This is “sustainable development” according to the global corporations. And in Rio, UNCED – made up of representatives of virtually every government in the world – came close to adopting this vision of free market environmentalism as its own.
Maurice Strong: businessman as environmentalist
The choice of Maurice Strong – a multi-millionaire Canadian businessman with interests in oil, real estate, mining and ecotourism – as UNCED Secretary-General was an early sign that the business perspective would have extraordinary clout at UNCED. In his opening speech to an UNCED preparatory conference in New York, Strong laid his philosophy on the table and called on UNCED to be compatible with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), an international trade agreement which emphasizes open markets and is strongly supported by internationally oriented companies. This emphasis on free trade is embodied in Principle 12 of the Rio Declaration and allows GATT to cast its shadow over UNCED. As Kristen Dawkins of the Minneapolis-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy says, “UNCED has bought the TNCs’ plan for free trade to reign supreme over environmental protection in the New World Order. Principle 12 has the power to render environmental agreements moot.”
Strong never denied close links with business during the UNCED process. At one meeting in Rio, he responded to criticism of this special relationship by saying, “How can we achieve [sustainable development] without the participation of business?”
The Business Council for Sustainable Development
Early in the UNCED process, Strong appointed Swiss industrialist Stephan Schmidheiny as his chief advisor for business and industry. Schmidheiny in turn gathered 48 top executives from companies like Du Pont, Shell, Dow, Ciba-Geigy and Mitsubishi to form the Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD). The centerpiece of the BCSD’s energetic effort was the book Changing Course, which lays out the multinational corporate vision of free-market environmentalism.
Throughout the UNCED process, the BCSD had special access to Strong, access which was unavailable to non-governmental organizations, trade unions and groups representing women, youth, farmers and indigenous peoples. Strong even reported that he and Du Pont Chief Executive Officer Edgar Woolard had edited a chapter of Changing Course together.
Strong’s role as an apologist for industry intensified in the week before the official opening of UNCED. On the Friday before UNCED officially began, Strong could be found at a BCSD press conference, watching a high-tech Kodak-produced slide show of Brazilian flora, and fawning over Schmidheiny and the BCSD. “No contribution [to UNCED] has been more important than yours,” he told Schmidheiny in front of scores of reporters.
The Merchants of UNCED
“The environment is not going to be saved by environmentalists. Environmentalists do not hold the levers of economic power.”
-Maurice Strong, UNCED Secretary-General
“We believe there must be further development in the whole world. We need growth to overcome inefficient behavior. It is an apparent paradox but I think once you understand what it means, you’ll find out that it’s true.”
-Stephan Schmidheiny, chair of the Business Council for Sustainable Development
RIO DE JANEIRO – Confronted with the avalanche of green rhetoric that fell upon the Earth Summit, it was easy to lose sight of the fact that United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) Secretary-General Maurice Strong and his leading collaborator, Stephan Schmidheiny, chair of the Business Council for Sustainable Development, are businessmen first, environmentalists second. Their grip on the helm of the UNCED process culminated a decades-long evolution in their careers, a path that led through such grimy industrial landscapes as the oil fields of Canada, chemical waste sites in Nova Scotia and the steel mills of Chile. It included tenure in the executive suites and boardrooms of some of the world’s largest banks and corporations.
These two merchants have left an unmistakable philosophical mark on the UNCED process, one that transcends both logic and the historical record. Despite its leading role in trashing the natural environment, big business, Strong and Schmidheiny insist, will prove the earth’s salvation. And despite the fact that two of the only hedges against corporate rapaciousness have been national borders and government regulation, they claim it is precisely the elimination of these battered bulwarks that will lead to the garden of Eden. Skepticism, it seems clear, is warranted.
Swiss Billionaire Sentenced To 16 Years In Asbestos Case
A Turin court handed down the verdict on Monday in what is reportedly the world’s largest asbestos case. It sentenced both Swiss billionaire Stephen Schmidheiny, the former owner of the Eternit Group, a company making asbestos-reinforced cement, and Eternit’s major shareholder, 90-year-old Jean-Louis Marie Ghislan de Cartier de Marchienne, to 16 years in prison and ordered them to pay compensation.
Appeals court sharpens Schmidheiny sentence
A perfect crime.
Prof. Curry, You show a shocking lack of knowledge on the disasters wrought upon rural Americans by the environmental movement. Can I suggest my book, “Eco-Fascists”, published by Harper Collins last year. While not peer-reviewed, the fact and statistics checking was rigorous, and it stands up to any examination – and was further checked after publication by the NASS of the USDA. 40 million Americans have been cleared from rural life since 1980, during which time the population of the US increased by a third. Half of the land base is under conservation, and the chronicle of broken lives is tragic. Further, “conservation biology” is as new, flawed and demagogued as climate science, and its prosecution has wrecked havoc wherever instituted. Forests, ranges and water systems are being destroyed under some kind of ham-handed utopian social equity nonsense.
All this loverly local pushback and litigation and organizing against this and that, frac’ing, e.g., is fed and instigated by floods of disinformation from Big Green. So Binghamton, NY, sits in poverty, atop riches, while Pennsylvania, a few miles south, prospers.
Big Green admires Binghamton, despises Pennsylvania. I wonder what the locals really think.