Sunday, 29 November 2009

Climategate: George Monbiot's Lament

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deceptionOne of Europe's most ardent and best-known global warming alarmists, George Monbiot, is in anguish over the unfolding climategate e-mail scandal and is calling on Phil Jones, one of the climate scientists at the heart of the fiasco, to resign.

"I have seldom felt so alone," wailed George Monbiot in his November 25 column in the Guardian, England's most prominent left-wing daily. "Confronted with crisis, most of the environmentalists I know have gone into denial. The emails hacked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, they say, are a storm in a tea cup, no big deal, exaggerated out of all recognition." Monbiot agrees with his green comrades that "climate change deniers have made wild claims which the [e-mail] material can't possibly support." "But," he says, "it is also true that the emails are very damaging."

The New "Deniers"

"The response of the greens and most of the scientists I know is profoundly ironic, as we spend so much of our time confronting other people's denial," wrote Monbiot. "Pretending that this isn't a real crisis isn't going to make it go away. Nor is an attempt to justify the emails with technicalities. We'll be able to get past this only by grasping reality, apologising where appropriate and demonstrating that it cannot happen again."

However, some might suggest that George Monbiot is also in denial, if he thinks that the entire "Climategate" e-mail affair (see here and here) can be resolved by a simple apology and the promise to not let such nasty practices happen again. Considering the seriousness of the alleged misdeeds in the hacked e-mails, and, even more importantly, what is at stake in the policies and legislation that have been adopted and are being proposed based on the exaggerated and fraudulent claims of the scientists involved, something far more serious than apologies and promises is required.

Even calling on CRU director Phil Jones to resign, as Monbiot does, will not suffice; nor will the resignation and/or firing of all the individuals who have been exposed as engaging in unethical practices. What has been initially culled from the vast cache of e-mails provides prima facie evidence of a concerted attempt by well-placed and fanatically biased "scientists" to cook the books on global warming statistics and prevent skeptical scientists (whom they viciously stigmatize with the "denier" label) from being published in professional journals. Moreover, as we've previously reported, the e-mails also provide evidence that the scientists in question discussed destroying their records and data to prevent its release under Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests. In this, they very possibly ventured into criminal activity.

On November 23, former British chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson called for an independent inquiry into the e-mail controversy and the claims of collusion among climate alarmists. Lawson, who has been critical of the claims of impending catastrophe due to anthropogenic global warming (AGW), was joined in the call for an investigation by global-warming champion Bob Ward, director of policy and communications at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.

On November 24, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, announced his intention to begin a Senate investigation, while in the House of Representatives Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), ranking member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, announced he and House colleagues have also begun investigating the matter.

The Totalitarian Impulse

For years, Monbiot has relished his role as the lead flamethrower of the European Greens. His has been one of the loudest voices viciously attacking opponents of global-warming alarmism, including eminent scientists, as "deniers." This, of course, is a blatantly malicious attempt to smear into silence all dissenting scientific voices by claiming that their reasoned challenges to AGW fright peddling are the equivalent of Nazi Holocaust denial.

To Monbiot, every scientist, commentator, politician, or journalist who questions the alleged "scientific consensus" on AGW, is a "denier," a "scumbag," and a "sell-out" to the coal and oil industries — or worse. For, you see, as Monbiot declared in a 2006 column: "Climate change is not just a moral question: it is the moral question of the 21st century."

When Monbiot (or "Moonbat," as he is known to many of his detractors) is not hyperventilating about the coming AGW apocalypse, he can be found railing against capitalism or leading groups of "squatters" who are occupying property in the name of "the people," or participating in "direct action" in various and sundry left-wing causes. Last year Monbiot failed in one of his direct action stunts: attempting to execute a citizen's arrest of former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, for his alleged role as a war criminal in the Iraq War. He was blocked by security guards from carrying out the arrest when Bolton spoke at the Hay Festival, a literary festival in England.

Monbiot has developed a reputation — even in some leftist circles — as a cause-of-the-week gadabout, but AGW activism clearly is his obsession. "Stopping runaway climate change must take precedence over every other aim," he claims.

While he shares philosophical porridge with anarchists, communists, socialists, and radical greens of every stripe, he frequently clashes with purist ideologues on the Left who let other single-issue interests get in the way of saving the planet.

He confesses: "I don't know how to solve the problem of capitalism without resorting to totalitarianism." But, since as a practical matter we can't abolish capitalism outright, then, for the time being, in the interest of stopping irreversible AGW, "We have to use all the resources we can lay hands on, and these must include both governments and corporations."

Breathtaking (Literally) Proposal: Personal Carbon Rationing

In his 2006 book, Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning, a best-seller in Europe and the United States, Monbiot asserts: "Manmade global warming cannot be restrained unless we persuade government to force us to change the way we live."

According to Monbiot, even the radical proposals by Britain's Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are too milquetoast, even though they would literally wreck the economy and throw many people into utter destitution. "The government is using outdated figures, aiming for a 60% reduction by 2050," in greenhouse gas emissions, he said. Monbiot calls for much more drastic action and on a much faster timetable. According to him, the government must institute "a 90% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030."

To achieve these extreme, civilization-crashing reductions, governments must, he says, "use that target to set an annual carbon cap." "Then," says Comrade Monbiot, government would "use the [carbon] cap to set a personal carbon ration. Every citizen is given a free annual quota of carbon dioxide. He or she spends it by buying gas and electricity, petrol and train and plane tickets."

Yes, every breath you take, every move you make, the government will be watching — and regulating — you. Not even Robespierre, Stalin, Mao Zedong, or Pol Pot dreamed of such absolute power.

Of course he is wildly in favor of concluding the most stringent agreement possible at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen. Monbiot is precisely the kind of ideologue Lord Christopher Monckton was referring to when he warned recently that the Copenhagen treaty would be an attempt by those of his ilk to impose a communist world government. A recipient of the United Nations Global 500 Award and the OneWorld National Press Award, Monbiot competes with Al Gore for the slot of poster boy of the green globalists. 

Tears for the Perps

Although Monbiot has called for Phil Jones to resign over the e-mail row, it appears to be a concession on his part to expediency rather than scruple; Jones must be sacrificed, like a pawn to save the queen. Monbiot's charges of denial against fellow greens and his call for Jones to step down have been characterized by even some of his erstwhile opponents as "courageous," but it is simply a more pragmatic form of denial, a choice to cut losses and continue forging ahead. He realizes that his side has a better chance of getting past the scandal by 'fessing up to minor peccadillo and offering up a sacrificial lamb, rather than stonewalling and risking a larger investigation.

Monbiot realizes that the e-mails, such as the one in which Jones tells Michael Mann that he (Jones) and Kevin Trenberth will censor opposing scientific views from the forthcoming IPCC report, are a big problem. In that e-mail Jones wrote: "I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"

Monbiot tries to put the best spin on it he can, but is forced to admit: "Even so, his message looks awful. It gives the impression of confirming a potent meme circulated by those who campaign against taking action on climate change: that the IPCC process is biased."

And indeed it is, as the e-mails confirm. However, Monbiot claims, as he has done for years, that the Climategate violations by Jones, Mann, et al are the result of the poor AGW alarmists laboring under a vicious, withering siege by well-funded "scumbag" deniers. Jones and company are victims who fell into this moral quagmire because "fossil fuel industries have employed 'experts' to lie, cheat and manipulate on their behalf."

Monbiot and his fellow alarmists know that it is their side that has always had the overwhelming advantage in funding — from governments, the UN, corporations, foundations, and NGOs — not the skeptics. Senator Inhofe has reported that the lopsided imbalance is on the order of more than $50 billion for the alarmist camp (over the past decade or so) to a paltry $19 million for the skeptics.

But Monbiot paints Phil Jones as a martyr-victim of the terrible fossil-fuel industry. He writes of Jones:

I feel desperately sorry for him: he must be walking through hell. But there is no helping it; he has to go, and the longer he leaves it, the worse it will get. He has a few days left in which to make an honourable exit. Otherwise, like the former Speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin, he will linger on until his remaining credibility vanishes, inflicting continuing damage to climate science.

"By comparison to his opponents, Phil Jones is pure as the driven snow," insists Monbiot, and the offenses by the "deniers," he claims, "are 100 times graver than anything contained in these emails."

Monbiot is hoping that public awareness of the e-mail scandal can be sufficiently contained (especially in the United States and Europe) to prevent a full-scale exposé of the extent to which so-called "climate science" has been systemically corrupted and politicized by the IPCC and its enabling "experts" at the CRU and similar institutions. Readers interested in investigating evidence that shows the CRU e-mail scandal is just the tip of the iceberg may want to check other sources, such as those here, here, and here, that have been reporting on and documenting the bias, abuses, and unethical practices of the climate alarmists for years.

Related articles:

Congress Launches Climategate Investigation

IPCC Researchers Admit Global Warming Fraud

Climategate: E-mail Scandal Could Melt Copenhagen Plans

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