By Dev Nadkarni
More proof came to the fore last month that it is men who cause global warming: men with vested interests who put a dangerously deceitful spin on science, that is – not quite you and me, be assured!
Two years ago, the University of East Anglia’s leaked “climategate” emails eloquently told the sordid story of hostility of the anthropogenic or human caused climate change brigade to climate scientists with an opposite view. The emails revealed manipulation of documentation and distortions and data doctoring to suit the anthropogenic climate change view.
The university’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) was one of the main sources, which the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) based its science on. In the following weeks, UK newspapers reported that one of IPCC’s key findings on melting glaciers “may have been simply taken from a press interview with an obscure Indian scientist.” Based on such a flimsy premise, the IPCC had made a prediction that Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035.
While the climategate emails of two years ago continue to be investigated by various authorities, new emails, all in the same vein, were leaked to the media last month. Many of the scientists in question are linked to the previous scandal, which has further eroded the credibility of the lobby that has single mindedly pushed the cause of man made global warming – and tried to reap huge monetary reward based on it.
For on this lobbying has been built the highly complex and sophisticated edifice of emission trading schemes, which many governments across the world are beginning to look at with rising suspicion. While many governments simply adopted a wait and watch approach to the unfolding anthropogenic climate change scenario – exemplified by their continuing intransigence at successive climate change summits – others that were quick to jump on the bandwagon are scaling back. New Zealand is one example of this.
New Zealand’s National party, which had forcefully pushed for an emissions trading scheme in its last government in the face of much criticism from almost all quarters, announced a dramatic climb down ahead of last month’s elections. Someone clearly saw the writing on the wall and took heed of it.
Climategate version 2.0
The volume of the new leaked emails is much larger than the one two years ago and even more damaging. Consider the extracts below, taken from the emails now widely published on several websites across the world.
In one of the emails, scientist Peter Thorne writes, “Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest. Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these further if necessary […]” In another he says, “I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.”
Professor Jagadish Shukla, a lead IPCC author and one of the most senior climate experts remarks, “It is inconceivable that policymakers will be willing to make billion-and trillion-dollar decisions for adaptation to the projected regional climate change based on models that do not even describe and simulate the processes that are the building blocks of climate variability.”
These and hundreds of other leaked emails of scientists whose “findings” were quoted by the advocates of man made climate change as the gospel truth to build the complicated mechanisms of the carbon economy reveal that deep down, the scientists themselves were not convinced with the theory and were simply endorsing a fabricated “inconvenient truth.”
It is unfortunate to think that it is such unabashedly fudged data dictated by vested interests and erroneous observations by scientific institutions that played a large part in shaping Kyoto and Copenhagen. And the same dodgy data was used to pour scorn on anyone who legitimately challenged them, not to mention the US$ 100 million it made for Al Gore’s documentary that helped perpetrate the anthropogenic myth.
Many rational people have rightly seen carbon economics based on anthropogenic global warming for what it really is – the 21st century version of the emperor’s new clothes. People are no fools. Chicanery, no matter how contrived and sophisticated, can never last too long.
The whole concept of adaptation and mitigation has been built on the premise of anthropogenic climate change – as if nothing else is responsible. The very fact that countries have been so reluctant to buy into it, going by the lack of any meaningful progress in terms of firm commitments “to show the money” during climate jamborees in the intervening years is testimony to that.
This has done gross disservice to the phenomenon of climate change, which is absolutely real – there is no doubt about it. Whatever the reasons may be – natural cycles, unknown phenomena, anthropogenic, a combination of all three – climate change is for real. No one else knows it more acutely and alarmingly than people who live in isolated communities at sea level and who depend on seasonal cycles for all their activities.
The islanders’ voices screaming out their increasingly vulnerable status to global audiences were drowned out at the summits amidst hairsplitting arguments on whether to reduce global temperatures by half a degree or two degrees – all based on much of the “scientific research” of the men whose leaked emails have discredited them so much.
The latest leaks are proof enough that mega, over-arching global strategies are seriously flawed. The need for a change in approach to dealing with the effects of climate change is urgent. Strategies must be arrived at and implemented in a need-based manner not on an over-arching, one size fits all approach like big ticket concepts that could hardly address the immediate problems staring the most vulnerable in the face.
It is time the world’s leaders to stop putting the cart before the horse and not wait for the science to dictate what to do in the future, while the what is most needed is action here and now.
First appeared in Islands Business, December 2011