This is what passes for “balanced journalism” in the death throes of Fairfax Media.
“A note on Balance
“Some respondents used the survey to deny the scientific consensus that climate change is real and caused by human activity. Many objected to Stuff’s refusal to give airtime to climate change denialists accusing us of abandoning our journalistic principles by not giving “balance” and showing “both sides.”
“Balance is an integral journalistic principle. It’s relevant where there are competing views that have merit – for instance on the best ways to adapt or guard against climate change.
“But matching fact with fiction isn’t balance. When we write about global air travel we don’t quote Flat Earth Society members who deny the planet is round. Fake balance which puts reality on level pegging with nonsense is unethical.
“The evidence for the existence of human-caused climate change is overwhelming. This is not a good-faith debate of two equivalent sides. As the saying goes you are entitled to your own opinions but not to your own facts.” (My emphasis)
This poorly written and extraordinary mishmash of ideas purportedly comes from the pen of the “Stuff Editor in Chief,” if so, it is no wonder journalistic standards at Fairfax are at an all-time low.
It is difficult to analyse writing so impervious to reason or fact but try one must.
- There is of course scientific consensus that the climate of planet earth is constantly changing. Recent research at the University of Northumbria replicated in Israel takes a snapshot of earth’s climate over the last one hundred and twenty thousand years and establishes that warming and cooling periods occur regularly with the current warmer period expected to last until about two thousand six hundred recovering from the last cool period which occurred in the middle ages. The predicted rise in global temperatures over this period is two degrees. The probability being that this climate fluctuation is caused by the planets’ varying relationship with the Sun is a naturally occurring phenomena caused by fluctuations in the earth’s orbit around the Sun.The evidence relied on by the “warmers” for these natural variations being caused by human activity is the increased volume of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, and undoubtedly levels have increased. Before the current hysteria took hold sober and eminent scientists such as MIT’s Richard Lindzen, a world authority on climate, associated the rise in CO2 with the naturally occurring warming cycle, that is it follows warming it does not cause it. The evidence for this is indisputable. The internet is replete with books, peer reviewed papers and articles which debunk the global warming “crisis,” except that is in the rarefied atmosphere of the Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and lay journals such as Fairfax Media. The IPCC’s sole remit was and is, to consider only the effects of increased CO2 if any, on atmospheric temperatures, and in doing so has arrived at the conclusion that the increased levels of CO2 were acting as a blanket trapping warm air thereby creating a “greenhouse effect. This narrow remit precludes any consideration of other contributing factors and is therefore research carried out in a straitjacket.
As has been conclusively established by scientists, such as Emeritus Professor Dr. Geoffrey Duffy It became apparently early in the debate, but not to the IPCC that of the global composition of the gasses which could contribute to a warming of the atmosphere are: water vapour which comprises 10,000 parts per million, CO2 which comprises 406 parts per million and Methane(the current agricultural bogey man) 1.79 parts per million of which about 60% comes from livestock farming, landfills and natural gas production. The balance arises naturally from wetlands, forests and ground leakage Given these levels neither CO2 or Methane is capable of creating a greenhouse effect, and in all this sight is lost of the undeniable fact that without CO2 there would be no life on the planet The canard often previously cited by the warmers to support their conclusions is Mr. Michael Mann’s hockey stick graph of the climate warming at an unnatural rate. The theory is now so widely discredited that even the most ardent warmers rarely mention it, and without the hockey stick their cupboard is bare.
- Computer predictions are also routinely relied on by warmers to persuade the gullible public that; the atmosphere is warming, the glaciers are melting, and the sea levels are rising. As to atmospheric warming as discussed this is consistent with natural cycles which mankind is powerless to prevent. The evidence that glaciers advance and retreat naturally is overwhelming. For example, the warmers assert that the Greenland and Iceland glaciers are in permanent retreat as a result of global warming. In fact, the evidence shows that in 2017 and 2018 some of these glaciers showed substantial advances while others retreated. Curiously enough the warmers have lighted by accident on the natural cycles of warming and cooling in the case of Greenland which presumably was named to reflect its landscape centuries ago. The thinning of the ice sheets of Antarctica are also preyed in aid by the warmers. Embarrassingly such thinning as there has been is found to be caused by volcanic activity beneath the ice, while other parts of the ice where no volcanic activity exists are expanding exponentially. Exceptional sea level rises caused by man-made global warming is the greatest panic spread by the warmers, and they know they are on a winner here because many people on the planet live along seacoasts. It is a matter of immediate concern that the use of fossil fuels may result in their houses being swept into the rising oceans and it may be that as the current warming cycle gathers strength coastal defence will need to be strengthened. Interestingly in the current state of climate knowledge this matter has twice been litigated in the High Court where a local council sought to impose planning restrictions on houses occupied by coastal dwellers. In both cases the Council failed on the grounds that there is no evidence of sea level rise which could justify the restrictions sought. The result is conclusive. If there is no evidence of sea level rise along the Kapiti coast, then it is not happening in any of the world’s oceans as a result natural increases in the ambient temperature. One assumes that the warmers understand that “sea level” is just that and it cannot be higher in some parts of the ocean and not others.
- The puzzle remains why in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary do the warmers persist in their Doomsday predictions. Three reason present themselves:
(a) The demise of religion in the developed countries, but not, be it noted the Muslim or Asian countries where resources permitting, they are mining coal and pumping oil for all they are worth. People need something to believe in and the rise of the pagan religion of global warming fills the bill for young and old who have lost faith in the religion of their forefathers. This results in the extraordinary spectacle of Prime Ministers and Presidents sitting at the feet of a teenage Swedish girl who it is said suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and guided by what she says, implementing policies costing massive sums of taxpayer’s money on the faith of her fears and anxieties. It puts one in mind of the bearded placard carrying prophets in Hyde Park which were part of part of our childhood calling on people to repent because “the end is nigh.” They were treated as good sport then, but the current iteration is taken seriously.
(b) Follow the money. When presented with some pattern of inexplicable human behaviour a consistently reliable guide is to “follow the money.” In the case of global warming the pathway is unmistakable. Vast sums of money are being made out of the propagation of climate hysteria and its panacea, alternative energy sources. Once again, the evidence is overwhelming. Any energy source that has anything to do with sequestered carbon becomes the villain and must be supplanted by some other source. At present the front runners are wind and sun. The difficulty for the warmers is that neither is a reliable base load source of energy and if society is to continue to function as we have come to expect sun and wind require a backup source of energy. There are three at present; nuclear fission (nuclear fusion is still some way off), hydro, and coal and oil products. The problem with the former is that socialist governments in a fit of righteousness have declared nuclear reactors off limits, similarly coal and oil products. In the absence of these back up sources. The only way of overcoming the cost of the inefficiency of wind and sun is to prop it up with taxpayers’ money resulting in a direct financial benefit to the alternative energy promoters. Encouraged by this example the insurance companies were quickly on board with increased premiums for buildings located in coastal areas, but the expropriators of private money par excellence are governments by imposing taxes linked to the amount of Carbon Dioxide, and more latterly Methane which human activity contributes to the atmosphere. This is a Pandora’s Box the contents of which once released become a direct attack on the rural base of our economy without which the comfortable and hard fought for life, which ordinary people enjoy will cease to exist; but not of course the climate bureaucrats and those speculating with taxpayers’ money. The levels of hypocrisy among those who cry climate wolf most loudly is nauseating. Overwhelmingly they enjoy all the benefits of a carbon-based economy; motor vehicles, boats, air travel, heated and cooled homes and of course their ever-present oil-based computer devices while seeking to deny them to others who do not have access to the public purse.
(c) Destruction of the market economy. Maurice Strong who organised the first earth climate summit in Rio De Janeiro said this in 1992: “We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrialised civilization to collapse.” A Democrat Congress member agreed saying “Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.” Another Minister of state said, “even if the science of global warming is all phony climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.” Unsurprisingly the Russians considered then, and no doubt still do that climate alarmism is the quickest way of destroying the market economy which currently runs on carbon sourced products; oil, coal, gas, and for those few lucky countries abundant hydroelectricity. Such are the origins of the present climate alarms. The frightening truth is that these people rely on no scientific basis for their apocalyptic views.
There are of course any number of Lenin’s “useful idiots”, many of them stars of stage and screen, who enjoy a day out at a morally impeccable rumble. They contribute nothing to the debate merely parroting what they read or hear or watched from an ill-informed media. Apart from disrupting life for others by blockading cities and persuading primary school children to march to save the planet they are merely window dressing and will return to their comfortable carbon-based lives until the next outing. What is more serious however are the sleeper cells such as “Extinction Rebellion” which organises such events in the United Kingdom. Its raison d’etre is the destruction of the market economy. The three leading lights in this obscure cult are a Marxist academic, a retired plumber and a woman who discovered her mission in life only after two massive overdoses of hallucinogenic drugs. Their links with socialism are also clear for all to see and are endorsed in the United Kingdom by the Corbyn Labour Party, without peer the most openly Marxist led political party in British history. Cuckoo like in the “climate crisis” nest they have brought London and other cities to a halt while promising more to come including where necessary loss of life if needed to further their aims. For them the “climate crisis” is a gift from the Gods. There is no better way of enlisting the affluent and the young to their cause than to frighten them into believing that their comfortable lives are threatened by an existential crisis. Neither is it a temporary aberration restricted to any one country. Books such as “Climate Change The Facts” By Dr John Abbott and Dr. Robert Carter document how widespread throughout first world economies is this sinister infiltration of raw socialism in what should be a debate about climate among suitably qualified scientists.
- Scientific consensus. Unsurprisingly given the novelty and complexity of the problem there is no scientific consensus among scientists in understanding the workings of earth’s climate. Climate science is no more than the amalgam of a number of established disciplines including; physics, chemistry, engineering, biology and those who look into the evidence of how earth’s climate has behaved over millions of years. Until the evidence from all of these disciplines is collated and debated, we are left with no more than a range of possibilities. That carbon dioxide and methane are the sole culprits explaining the modest amount of natural warming that is occurring is about the least likely.The canard that there is a scientific consensus originated from a poll taken some years ago among a number of Californian scientists. A group of thirty or so were asked if they believed that human activity caused global warming. A few said yes, a few more said no and the majority expressed no view. The “consensus” is a conflation of the don’t knows and the yes people. Overwhelming this unscientific poll if it proved anything concluded that there is genuine disagreement among scientists on the subject of causes of global warming, but it has entered the canon of the warmer’s religion as evidence of scientific consensus.
The warmers should be careful what they wish for. Already there is evidence that in adopting the idea of man-made global warming lives are being put at risk. In South Australia where the cost of electricity is among the highest in the Western world gratis the closure of coal fired power stations, elderly people who cannot afford their winter power bills are dying needlessly of winter cold at an alarming rate. At the other end of the spectrum young children are being brainwashed into believing that their parents’ behaviour is bringing about the end of the world as they know it and the destruction of the planet, something which will do nothing to enhance relationships between parent and child or for the child’s peace of mind, and playing into the socialist agenda of degrading the ties of parent and child. For older children the relentless assault on common sense and every day observations is even more serious. There is no more at-risk group in any society than teenagers with their as yet not fully formed brains and personalities. They are being told that they have no future on a rapidly deteriorating planet (the latest prediction of the Heir Apparent to the British Throne for the tipping point is 2021 – updated from his previous prediction of 2017). If these fears mature into an increased suicide rate among this vulnerable group, then the climate alarmists will have blood on their hands. Joseph Goebbels would be proud to see that his work was not in vain.