In his recent triumphalist Telegraph piece "The Game is Up for Climate Change Believers", Charles Moore finally puts pay to the scare story of Climate Change with a glowing review of Rupert Darwall's book, which pretty much concludes that climate change is a con. Charles Moore is not a scientist. Neither is Rupert Darwall. Darwall is a historian. Naturally. When I want to know what the weather is going to be, I generally call the British Museum. Moore skillfully argues that the whole thing is all a big attack on splendid old economic growth by smelly hippies. Oh, except these smelly hippies are world elites. Are you still with me?
The Telegraph is keen on publishing these articles. I can only imagine the number of extra hits it gives them on their website. In a similar article, from an equally underqualified source, Christopher Booker calls it all "alarmism." He cites temperature rises throughout the century as damning evidence that temperature rises are perfectly natural, seemingly oblivious to the fact that we were we kinda had industry then, too! Because the global temperature hasn't been accommodating enough to rise exactly in line with 1998 predictions, he concludes that it's all rubbish. That's the problem with the climate. It's very difficult to pin down - and this is fuel for the skeptics already raging fossil fuel fires. And it doesn't take much to convince them. I mean, how can there be a Global Warming if it snows, right guys? Skeptics hang on to the idea that the earth should warm rather like a bedroom with a radiator on, otherwise it's all made up.
It's very odd that right wing elements should seek to politicise the weather. Booker doesn't hold back, blaming the panic on "anti-industrial nature worship, post-colonial guilt, a post-Enlightenment belief in scientists as a new priesthood of the truth, a hatred of population growth, a revulsion against the widespread increase in wealth and a belief in world government." There is a desperate urge on the part of the skeptics to make sense of the phenomenon. Possibly the idea that something is happening which is outside of our control may terrify them, and so the best solution is to deny it or blame it on Commies. That used to work so well during the Cold War. There was never any talk about the warming of things during The Cold War. Presumably the rain is Socialist because it falls equally on everyone.
The feeling is that it's all a big conspiracy by Green Technology business interests or Communists or Politically Correct people, or whoever it is that they're currently feeling narky with. I'm quite amazed that no one has yet linked Climate Change propaganda with a plot to impose Shariah Law, but I assume it will only be a matter of time.
Quite a few keyboard warriors leap on the fact that oil companies like Shell are seemingly funding climate research as damning proof that even fossil fuel companies are in on the scam. What doesn't occur to them is that the biggest polluters might also be the people most keen to display their green credentials, due to a thing called Public Relations. What they also fail to see is that if there was conclusive scientific proof that the whole thing was nonsense, Shell would be the first to publish the skeptics' reports. The fact that even petroleum companies, their last ditch doubts published in a 2007 report, have had to hold their hands up should be telling enough. It's not as if anyone actually wants climate change. It's bloody inconvenient. Oh, except from the money-grabbing Beatniks, of course.
What skeptics are delighted to point out is that sometimes things get warmer and sometimes they get colder and that's natural. The MWP (Medieval Warm Period) is one of their favourite go-to acronyms. During the MWP things got warmer and then things got colder and now things are getting warmer again. All this is perfectly true but it's rather like saying that because forest fires occur naturally, there are no such things as manmade forest fires. In the 1970s, they like to remind us, some scientists were convinced that we would be plunged into another Ice Age. Because they were wrong, it means that scientists will now be always be wrong. But that's the good thing about scientists. They will accept something if there is evidence. If someone disproves the evidence, they will stop accepting it. This is what separates science from journalism.
Skeptics need not get their knickers so comprehensively into a twist. For one thing, even if everyone does buy it, there's no danger of anything getting sorted on the issue. We'll be playing Carbon Credit pass-the-parcel until the polar melt water is lapping at our knees. Furthermore the retreating ice has uncovered a rather large glut of oil under Greenland and, consensus or not, there's no way that every last penny of oil won't be sucked out and put to worrying use. Human beings may be ingenious and creative when there's profit on the line, but we'd rather pull out our own teeth than sort things out until the very last minute. Usually that works. You can always do your homework on the bus to school, but this time the climate may not be willing to play to our deadlines.