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Melanie Phillips

The Extinction of Reason

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On a day like today, when there are protests and demonstrations in country after country against governments’ alleged failure to tackle “climate change”, you feel as if you have stepped into a looking-glass world in which people have collectively taken leave of their senses.

If, that is, you are someone like me for whom the whole climate change hypothesis is a mad, nightmarish cult in which an infantile (literally) view of the world, peddling ludicrous theories of imminent apocalypse which owe more to medieval millenarian sects than modern science, is being treated as unchallengeable wisdom by a lazy and credulous adult world that has stopped asking rational questions.

Listening to BBC Radio’s Today programme this morning on the Extinction Rebellion protests was a frightening experience in itself. The BBC has decided there can be no challenge to “climate change” theory, other wise known as anthropogenic global warming (AGW). In its notorious “crib sheet” to staff, it advised: “As climate change is accepted as happening, you do not need a ‘denier’ to balance the debate”.

Thus the BBC is engaged in the extinction of journalism.

The strongest questions its presenters could bring themselves to ask about the Extinction Rebellion (XR) demonstrations was whether it was right for children to miss school to take part and whether their protest would have any effect.

It never occurred to them to ask why, since we have repeatedly been told that the climate catastrophe is now inevitable, there is any point in doing anything at all to stop it.

It never occurred to them to ask whether the likely effects on the economy and society of the draconian net carbon target to which this Conservative (!!) government has now committed the UK are remotely practical or desirable.

It never occurred to them to raise the deeper purpose of Extinction Rebellion. Its leaders have been quoted as hailing the movement as “the best chance we have of bringing down capitalism” and that people “might die” in the process of “bringing down governments”. As the Telegraph reported:

“They were exposed in an investigation for the think tank Policy Exchange by Richard Walton, a former counter-terror chief, who warned that XR should be treated as an extremist anarchist group intent on “revolution” aimed at achieving a breakdown of the state and democracy.”

It never occurred to the BBC to ask who might be behind Extinction Rebellion, since a coordinated world-wide movement like this does not arise through spontaneous action.

Evidence that has emerged so far indicates a cynical alliance between capitalists and anti-capitalists. This piece suggests that behind Greta Thunberg, the movement’s teenage figurehead, lies a powerful non-profit industrial complex which has manufactured and promoted a youth movement in order to “to unlock 100 trillion dollars from pension funds” in the “financialisation of nature”.

This piece by Paul Homewood highlights documents reportedly retrieved from Extinction Rebellion’s computer database which reveal that its aims include “to build structure, community and test prototypes in preparation for the coming structural collapse of the regimes of western ‘democracies’ — now seen as inevitable due to stored-up crisis. Thus preparing a foundation to transform society and resist fascism/other extremes. This includes creating Rising from the Wreckage – a citizens’ assembly based on sortition (random selection)”.

As for who is funding XR, among an interesting list of donors one name stands out, a name that it would be astonishing if it was not associated with a revolutionary global movement that simultaneously milks capitalism while it attacks it. Yup, you got it.

Homewood reveals as a “major donor” an entry for George Soros and his Open Society. Yet mysteriously, the amount of this donation has been uniquely blanked out and no such payment is recorded on the banking spreadsheet. Asks Homewood:

“Why all of the secrecy? Is the amount so large? Are XR worried about the PR implications of taking money from such a controversial source”.

Why indeed. Not a question that would be asked by the BBC. And of course, under no circumstances would it question the purportedly scientific evidence of catastrophic man-made global warming itself.

Yet the fact is that there’s no convincing evidence that anything out of the ordinary is happening to the atmospheric temperature, which has risen and fallen over the millennia and which was considerably warmer many centuries ago.

As Forbes magazine noted here, over the past 150 years the world has warmed by a mere 0.8 degrees – and even that has tapered off to essentially flatlining over the last decade and a half.

There’s also no convincing evidence that any such rise in temperature is caused mainly by high carbon emissions.

As climate scientist Vijay Jayara wrote: “There is poor correlation between CO2 emissions and global temperature. Between 2000 and 2018, global temperature showed no significant increase despite a steep increase in carbon dioxide emissions from anthropogenic sources. The same was the case between the years 1940 and 1970. When carbon dioxide concentration increases at a constant and steady rate and temperature doesn’t follow the pattern, we can be certain that carbon dioxide is not the primary driver of global temperature.

“…NASA’s page on solar influence clearly states that changes in the sun largely determine Earth’s atmospheric and surface temperatures.  Astrophysicists and climatologists measure these changes in the sun in terms of quantifiable phenomena such as sunspot activity and solar cycles. However, in recent times, NASA has succumbed to pressure from climate doomsday proponents.  NASA’s original page on the sun’s impact on our climate system is now hidden from the public domain” [my emphasis].

Moreover, as the Forbes piece also demonstrates, the infamous claim that “97 per cent of the world’s scientists” agree than mankind is responsible for catastrophic warming of the atmosphere is itself a bogus statistic.

Indeed, as I have previously written, among many other distinguished scientists who have spoken out against AGW are:

  • Christopher Landsea, a former chairman of the American Meteorological Society’s Committee on Tropical Meteorology and Tropical Cyclones and an IPCC author, who discovered that the IPCC was telling lies about the relationship between climate change and hurricanes;
  • Zbigniew Jaworowski, former chairman of the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, who says the IPCC’s ice-core research is wrong and that therefore it has “based its global warming hypothesis on arbitrary assumptions and these assumptions, it is now clear, are false”.
  • Dr. William J.R. Alexander, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Civil and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Pretoria in South Africa and a former member of the United Nations Scientific and Technical Committee on Natural Disasters, who has written: “I believe that global warming is the biggest scientific scam ever. There is no evidence to prove that the current climate variations are not a natural cycle.”
  • Gerhard Gerlich, of the Institute of Mathematical Physics at the Technical University Carolo-Wilhelmina in Braunschweig in Germany, and Dr. Ralf D. Tscheuschner, who co-authored a devastating paper in 2007 entitled Falsification of the Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within the Frame of Physics. This stated that there was no scientific basis to anthropogenic global warming theory whatsoever.

In similar vein, a recent study reported in the peer-reviewed Organization Studies found that “just 36 percent of earth scientists and engineers believe that humans are creating a climate change crisis. A majority of the 1,077 respondents in the survey believe that nature is the primary cause of recent GWCC. The media ignore a petition on the Internet signed by more than 31,000 scientists, including 9,029 PhDs, 7,157 with a master’s of science, and 12, 715 with a bachelor of science degree, all of whom dispute the global warming thesis.”

Much of the “science” of global warming is based on dodgy computer modelling, purporting to predict the future on the basis of wholly inadequate data. It has no more value than a cracked crystal ball. Some of it is actively fraudulent, as a number of former expert advisers to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have testified over the years.

And then there’s the fact, eloquently explained by the leading meteorologist, former MIT Professor Richard Lindzen, that researchers in the related fields of climate science don’t get grants unless their research supports AGW theory.

As a result of all this cultural pressure to enforce an orthodoxy there’s certainly no shortage of prominent scientists who are climate change alarmists, such as the UK’s former government chief scientist Professor Sir David King. A few days ago, he claimed that “extreme events linked to climate change, such as the heatwave in Europe this year, are occurring sooner than expected”.

The BBC, of course, reported this as undeniable fact. But it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny for a moment.

Data about temperatures in the USA from the US Climate Reference Network show that, in six of the past nine months, temperatures were below normal, — and the US temperature average is actually cooler now for 2019 than in 2005 when the dataset started. So is global warming only occurring in Europe?

King pointed specifically to the loss of land and sea ice. But the ice picture is much more ambiguous, with differences between the poles and between land and sea ice which are variously increasing and decreasing.

In March, a NASA study found the famous Jakobshavn glacier in Greenland was starting to grow again “after retreating about 1.8 miles and thinning nearly 130 feet annually since 2013,” but is growing the past two years (2016-2018). And for most of the past 10,000 years, the Greenland Ice Sheet was smaller than it is today.

As for the supposedly record number of wildfires, according to NASA global wildfires have dropped since 2003 by 25 per cent.

And forests are making a comeback. Since 1982, a recent peer-reviewed paper in Nature suggests, the earth’s tree cover increased by roughly seven percent.

These are just a few snapshots of a far more complex and less threatening picture of what’s happening to the climate that the alarmists would have us believe. Indeed, such is their unscientific hysteria that even some of the most prominent alarmists have become even more more alarmed by their activities.

Petteri Taalas, the secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), told the Talouselämä magazine in Finland of his concerns about doomsday climate extremists calling for radical action to prevent a purported apocalypse.

“It is not going to be the end of the world. The world is just becoming more challenging. In parts of the globe living conditions are becoming worse, but people have survived in harsh conditions.”

And he suggested that radical environmentalists are now a major problem:

“Climate experts have been attacked by these people and they claim that we should be much more radical. They are doomsters and extremists; they make threats. Much more radical action is demanded by Extinction Rebellion movement. They demand zero emissions by 2025 and ‘honest’ climate information from governments.”

By this, Taalas meant that deep greens have been abusing the reports of the IPCC, cherrypicking parts that they think will support radical action.

“The IPCC reports have been read in a similar way to the Bible: you try to find certain pieces or sections from which you try to justify your extreme views. This resembles religious extremism.”

What are witnessing is not the imminent extinction of the planet. It is the extinction of reason.

This article was first published HERE.