It's a Conspiracy, I Tell You!

Global warming is a lie propagated to defraud on a monumental scale. No wait, it's a conspiracy aimed at destroying civilization. No wait, it's a scaremonger's tool being used to bring about the New World Order where a hundred million people will be killed each year until the global population is reduced to a small enough number it can be easily controlled.

Don't call for the men in white coats just yet. I don't need be shot up with thorazine and thrown in a padded room. I don't actually believe any of this. I'm just reporting the things I've read thanks to Mark Steyn's latest book, A Disgrace to the Profession, more or less. This book is supposed to be a response to a lawsuit Michael Mann filed against Steyn for calling his work fraudulent, where Steyn shows 120 "experts" believe things similar to what he said. The idea is, if 120 guys with PhDs think what Steyn thinks, his beliefs must be reasonable. In other words, they support Steyn by proxy.

The problem with this idea is Steyn quotes people who are total crackpots. I've discussed this before, talking about how he relies on people who say things like, we don't really know carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, we don't know humans are causing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to rise and oh, Michael Mann's work is wrong because temperatures for the northern hemisphere are somewhat different from those of the entire planet.

But that's all child's play. Any random whackjob and say global warming isn't real. That's easy. It takes real stones, however, to say global warming is a:

A Lie Aimed At Destroying Civilization


I'm not making that up. That is the title given to an interview with Professor Zbigniew Jaworowski, PhD (1927-2011), quoted in Section 54 of Mark Steyn's book. One might worry a headline isn't an accurate reflection of the contents of the story, but Jaworowski said things like this during the interview:

The IPCC thesis is based on research from the CRU. Scientists from the University of East Anglia have at their disposal enormous sums of money and political support. In practice, they simply obey the dictates of the United Nations, which is promoting the global warming initiative, in order to suppress the development of industry, which they claim is destroying the Biosphere of the Earth.... The anti-industry propaganda is aimed at the destruction of our civilization!

So Steyn's expert, Zbigniew Jaworowski, says global warming is just IPCC propaganda "aimed at the destruction of our civilization!" Steyn wants to go into court and tell a judge and jury it's okay he called Michael Mann's work fraudulent because this other guy called the entire idea of global warming propaganda being used to destroy modern civilization...

Except Steyn doesn't have the balls to admit that's what Jaworowski says. Steyn conveniently quotes bits and pieces of Jaworowski's interview to make sure he doesn't come across as crazy. For instance, Steyn's first quotation from the interview is:

QUESTION: This means that the scientists who are responsible for research in this field, lied to frighten people about a coming apocalypse. Why?

JAWOROWSKI: Indeed, these researchers are guilty of brazen fraud, bringing us into a trap, which has dire consequences. For many years they have been incredibly confident, ignoring any criticism of their arguments. But they had the overwhelming support of the United Nations, and specifically the IPCC, the United Nations group charged with examining the impact of human activities on climate change, which takes the lead in all this confusion...

After that ellipsis, Steyn jumps ahead some two pages in the interview. You might wonder, what comes immediately after them? Why, the text I quoted! Steyn quotes the text immediately before Jaworowski says global warming is just propaganda from the IPCC intended to destroy modern civilization, then conveniently skips that part so nobody realizes he's quoting a conspiracy nut!

Then Steyn chooses to quote Jaworowski saying he ends "on an optimistic note":

This illustrates how credulous the public and politicians have been for decades. They were falsely made to believe that they were well informed, with 90 per cemt [sic] certainty and full scientific consensus! Climategate might become a catharsis, a bitter medicine, that will free science and the public from the gloomy climatic phantom, save the world from global economic disaster, and allow us to enjoy the golden gift of Nature: our Modern Warm Period. Let it last long.

I put the [sic] there because the original interview says "90%" but Steyn's book changes that to "90 per cemt." It's not important, but I wanted to make it clear that wasn't my transcription error.

Anyway, what's interesting about this quote is it doesn't add anything to the case. It starts off with the word "this," which clearly indicates Jaworowski had talked about things which support his point. For whatever reason, Steyn doesn't quote those. I suspect the reason is they show Jaworowski believes strange things. For instance, three paragraphs prior to this one, Jaworowski says:

...Dr. Andrei Illarionov, disclosed the mechanism of falsifying the global climate trends and constructing the infamous hockey curves of temperature. The Russians transferred to the CRU center at East Anglia University all the temperature data for the years 1860-2005, from their 476 meteorological stations covering about 20% of the land surface of the globe.
From among these Russian stations, the CRU workers selected the data from only 121 stations, in such a way that in the years 1965-2005, the CRU made the temperature higher, and in the years 1860-1960 lower than the real temperature. Thus they created a false increasing temperature trend of 0.67°C.

Now, there are a number of problems with this argument. The work it is based on is from a person with clear biases, and it shows in his analysis. It's also clear Jaworowski doesn't know how the data was handled, as the CRU doesn't make choices like this; the WMO does. None of that matters though. Even if we accepted the technical work underpinning this analysis was correct, we'd still just be left with this graph:

9_23_Stations_121_476

Here's the thing, the official position of climate scientists, as expressed by the IPCC, has long been that human influence on global temperatures is "discernible" or "dominant" only after ~1950. The differences that graph show, attributed to the CRU supposedly manipulating the temperature record as part of some major conspiracy, have practically no effect after 1950. Why would there be a conspiracy to manipulate temperatures in the periods we're the least interested in?

While you think about that, consider what Jaworowski says in the next paragraph:

Almost an exactly similar falsification of Australian temperature data by CRU and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Global Historical Climate Network (NOAA/GHNC), was disclosed in December by Dr. W. Eschenbach. In this case, the temperature trend was "corrected" to be 2.5°C higher.

If you know who Willis Eschenbach is, you know he's definitely not a Dr. Leaving that aside, he also has a tendency to publish bad analyses. For instance, the supposed "falsification of Australian temperature data" referred to by Jaworowski is nothing like he describes. First, it's not about Australia as a whole; it's about a single station in Australia, named Darwin Airport.

Now, let's be clear about something: Darwin Airport is not Australia. I get that distinction may have confused Mark Steyn's "expert" Zbigniew Jaworowski despite his PhD, but we should all be able to understand when you look out the terminal window during a layover, you're not seeing the entire country of whatever. Countries tend to be somewhat large, with at least, say, few thousand buildings in them? Airports tend to be somewhat smaller than that, probably with only a couple dozen buildings.

Now that we have something of a sense of scale, let's remember, Jaworowski said all of Australia had its temperature (trend) adjusted "to be 2.5°C higher." The reality is some stations, like Darwin Airport, had rather large upward adjustments. Others had rather large downward adjustments. Most had much smaller adjustments. As one user commented on Eschenbach's post about some work people did in response to his post:

The initial analysis was very elegant and simple, yet informative. Nick Stokes took it a step further, by limiting it to post 1940. I bet many people here would not have guessed the shape of the distribution – hence, it’s informative. We see that homogenisation has subtle net effects on GHCN, not a huge one; we see that Darwin not representative, and we see that you’ll also find the opposite of Darwin. This does not tell us that the homogenisation method of GHCN is good, but it is a good indication that it isn’t some crude intentional fraud, as claimed by Willis.

Here is a figure showing the distribution of adjustments made to temperature stations:

9_23_16bgjdw

Presumably, it was just chance Eschenbach happened to pick a station that happened to have a significant warming adjustment added to it. He could have picked a different station and found a significant cooling adjustment. But if he had, he probably wouldn't have written a post about it. Jaworowski certainly wouldn't have relied on his work to claim there was a conspiracy to falsify temperatures for all of Australia. Who knows? Mark Steyn might not have wound up with this head quote for his book:

"These researchers are guilty of brazen fraud."

Which if you compare to the text I quoted from Jaworowski earlier, you'll note is actually a misquotation as that's neither the beginning nor end of a sentence like Steyn portrays. But hey, Eschenbach cherry-picked one station and made the adjustments applied to it seem like they were representative of adjustments in general. Jaworowski took that one station and pretended it was Australia as a whole. Why shouldn't Steyn cherry-pick part of a sentence and pretend it was the whole sentence?

But don't go away. There's still more. Jaworowski isn't finished. According to him:

On the other hand, it will be difficult to limit the desire to use global warming ideology to increase revenue for some and to create a world government.

I just want to pause here and stress I am not making this up. The "expert" Mark Steyn relies on really did say that, and he really does go on to immediately say:

Already in the 1960s, a report of a U.S. study group was created, composed of scientists, which was to present a forecast for world development. They looked at the coming period of peace, in which there would be no great war. The group's "Report from Iron Mountain," proposed a number of substitutes for war. One of them was to create a "fictitious enemy of the world" and have it be a matter of climate. In subsequent years, the proposal became almost pathological, or criminal, in nature.

What makes this so funny is "The Report from Iron Mountain" is a book admitted to be satire, at least, if you believe its supposed author. The book caused a great deal of controversy when it was published in 1967, and five years later, a satirist named Leonard Lewin said he wrote it. Some people, such as Jaworowski, seem to be unaware of Lewin's statement. Other people, namely conspiracy theorists, dismiss it by saying it is merely a form of "damage control."

Either way, it makes Steyn's expert look foolish. Either this guy is citing a book as proof of his worldview unaware it is the equivalent of an article run on The Onion, or he believes the book was part of a massive conspiracy which got unearthed by some heroic insider that people are now trying to downplay as part of that same massive conspiracy. And Steyn wants us to rely on this guy as an expert to be trusted!


It's difficult to follow that up, but there's still a bit more I think needs to be highlighted. Namely, Jaworowski follows that comment up by saying:

The Club of Rome held that "Earth has cancer; the cancer is man." Humanity as a whole has become a "fictitious enemy of the planet." That favorite of the environmentalists, Jacques Y. Cousteau, said that to maintain balance on Earth, everr year 123 million people should be "removed." Such statements, unfortunately, multiplied. UN representatives want to reduce the number of people on Earth to 1 billion or less.

Is it possible some UN representatives want to reduce Earth's population that much? Of course. There are tons of UN representatives. Some of them are bound to have crazy beliefs. Some might happen to hold that one. It's not a commonly shared one though. It's not like the UN sits around having meetings saying, "How can we kill 123 million people this year?" A couple people might believe something like that, but to Jaworowski, that's enough to show there's a massive conspiracy.

And I wanted to highlight that tendency before bringing up the second conspiracy nut of this post, Dr Walter Starck, PhD, who Steyn quotes as saying:

"The charlatan Michael Mann and his infamous hockey stick."

Again, that is not actually the beginning or end of a sentence like Steyn portrays. It's not important for today's post though. What is important, is seeing what Steyn chooses to quote:

The core alarmist proponents only comprise a few dozen, mostly third-rate, academics whose scientific reputations are minimal outside of climate alarmism. They co-opted the niche, little known interdisciplinary field of climatology, proclaimed themselves to be the world authorities, declared a global crisis, received lavish funding to research it and gained global attention. They have been aided and abetted by sundry fellow travellers who see advantage for various other agendas...

Although climate itself is presenting its irrefutable opposing argument, failed prophets never willingly concede defeat until their mouths are stopped with the dust of reality... Until the crunch comes, the rent-seekers and their useful idiots in the press will rant and rage without pause.

This time, Steyn's misquotation is more obnoxious than the last. The last part of this quote is not actually the end of a sentence. While he uses ellipses twice in this quotation to indicate he has cut out parts of sentences, he places a period at the end of the quote despite the face there is more to that sentence. That's very shady. Especially since that sentence went on to say:

their livelihoods and careers hanging on their ability to perpetuate the hoax they foisted on the rest of us.

Huh. Why would Steyn remove this text and pretend it doesn't exist? Could it be he doesn't want you to know his expert Walter Starck, PhD, believes global warming is a hoax? Maybe. Maybe not though. Maybe it's just coincidence. Let's see what the previous quotation removed said:

In this instance gob-stopping reality seems likely to take the form of severe winter weather leading to a widespread collapse of electrical power in an overloaded grid suffering from the underinvestment, malinvestment, restraints and neglect. All these stem from years of misguided climate policies.

That's boring. It was probably just cut for space. Maybe that's why Steyn cut the comment referring to global warming as a hoax? Let's check the first elision:

A conspiracy does not require secret planning. It can be implemented just as easily with a wink and a nod when the aims and methods are apparent to all the participants. It is time to recognise the climate scam for what it is: a conspiracy to defraud on a monumental scale.

Huh. Steyn managed to quote almost all the text in this section save the parts which called global warming a hoax or said there's a conspiracy. He did the same thing with Jaworowski's text, removing any reference Jaworowski made to the creation of a New World Order or efforts to destroy modern civilization.

He couldn't have done that without trying. He had to actively read what these two people said, see the parts that made them sounds like conspiracy nuts and choose to intentionally cut those parts out so he could use the other parts while making these guys seem like reasonable sources.

That means Steyn had to know these guys believe global warming is a lie propagated to defraud on a monumental scale, a conspiracy aimed at destroying civilization or whatever other nonsense they espouse. Steyn knew he is relying on experts who believe things like, global warming is a tool for the New World Order to kill off hundreds of millions of people to destroy civilization so that the survivors can be better controlled like the sheep they are. And he was okay with that.

But he wasn't okay with his readers knowing it. He went out of his way to make sure his readers didn't know when his experts believe in massive conspiracies, believe global warming isn't even real, believe carbon dioxide isn't a greenhouse gas, or whatever other crazy things they believe. Even as he relied on people who held crazy beliefs, he sanitized almost every mention of those beliefs from his book so his readers wouldn't find out about them.

Because apparently it's fine to be a conspiracy nut. Just do it in secret. We don't want Them finding out we're onto Them.

10 comments

  1. Global warming is an interesting academic issue. It is fundamentaly a boundary value issue and not an initial value issue. It is blown out of proportion by advocacy groups, and embraced by academics who are disproportionally left wing inclined. As overblown issue it falls under the definition of a racket: A racket is a service that is fraudulently offered to solve a problem, such as for a problem that does not actually exist, that will not be put into effect, or that would not otherwise exist if the racket did not exist. Conducting a racket is racketeering. Particularly, the potential problem may be caused by the same party that offers to solve it, although that fact may be concealed, with the specific intent to engender continual patronage for this party.
    The solution is clear: more nuclear energy as recommended by ecomodernists like Mark Lynas. India has a vast resource of Thorium sands which will not be remained untapoed given the scarce fossil fuel reserves in the rapid growing country.

    As it is a boundary value issue it is fully the responsibility of the developing world. See also the very inspiring talk of Hans Rosling.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_on_global_population_growth

  2. Hans Erren:

    Global warming is an interesting academic issue. It is fundamentaly a boundary value issue and not an initial value issue. It is blown out of proportion by advocacy groups, and embraced by academics who are disproportionally left wing inclined. As overblown issue it falls under the definition of a racket

    Nothing about the definition you quote covers something which is merely "overblown." I suspect that's because overblown issues and rackets are not the same thing. Plenty of issues are overblown but are not rackets.

    As it is a boundary value issue it is fully the responsibility of the developing world.

    I'm not even sure what this means, but... why would global warming be "fully the responsibility of the developing world"? What is the logical connection between the points here? How could the developed world possibly get to say it has no responsibility whatsoever?

  3. Brandon, please watch the video, it is extremely insightful. Whatever the developed world will do, it doersn't matter. Even if you would wipe out the entire developed world with an infectious disease, that would only reduce cumulative emisions by 10% in 2100. But don't get me wrong: I am all in favour for going nuclear.

    Yes climate science is a scam, it drains huge funds away from regular science: "Please give us more money so we can solve your 'problem' that we invented ourselves"

  4. I used to work for the UN Secretariat, in New York.

    As one result of this experience, conspiracy fantasies about the UN seeking world dominion or whatever for me conjure up images of people everywhere being forced to take very long coffee breaks and adopt a relaxed attitude to their to-do lists, together with an increase in the number of pretty good bars and restaurants.

  5. "The world is once again at a critical juncture. We are invading ourselves and attacking the ecological system of which we are a part. As a result, we now face the prospect of a kind of global civil war between those who refuse to consider the consequences of civilization’s relentless advance and those who refuse to be silent partners in the destruction. The time has come to make this struggle the central organizing principle of world civilization. "

    "The central organizing principle of governments everywhere must be the environment."

    "This moment requires we the people to rethink democracy as a global mechanism for enacting policy for and by the planet."

    At least some of these items I would classify as changes to modern civilization:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/10-solutions-for-climate-change/

  6. MikeN, I sincerely hope you aren't suggesting changing modern civilization is the same as destroying modern civilization.

    Szilard, that's a conspiracy I could get behind.

  7. It depends on how important people consider the things being changed.

    ISIS uses social media, but many people would consider it destroying modern civilization if sharia were adopted globally.

  8. So when X says 'Y wants to destroy modern civilization', they are not accusing Y of harboring a secret agenda where Y would say they want to destroy modern civilization, but rather Y wants do agenda M, which X considers M to be destroying modern civilization, while Y considers it something less.

  9. MikeN, that's not all there is to it. Person X does not get to simply feel M would destroy modern civilization and label it as such based on some feeling. If we allowed that, people could describe any and all pktential change to civilization as spelling its doom, which would ruin discussions.

    Destroying a civilization means changing it to such an extent it can no longer function. Perhaps some new civilization would replace it, but the old one would have to be broken to an extreme extent. Anything less than that fails to live up to the word "destroy."

    And beyond matters of semantics, I provided a reference source which could be examined for context. If you truly think my portrayal of the words I quoted was unfair, you can look to the context they were said in for support. If the quote was merely meant to suggest people wanted to make some relatively minor changes to civilization, the context should make it clear my portayal was unfair.

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