Two AGW Myths for the Price of One

Let’s take two “zombie arguments” that global warming alarmists are fond of:

  1. The whole “seventies ice age” thing is just something sceptics dreamed up. No serious climate scientist ever really believed it.
  2. You can’t trust any scientist, or scientific organization that accepts money from oil giants, and especially not when those oil giants actually founded the organization. Totally untrustworthy.

Okay. Let’s have a look in the library and show how silly these claims are.

I’m sure you’re all familiar with Michael Sanderson’s enormously enjoyable book The History of the University of East Anglia. If you don’t have a copy, then order one now. Get two, and send one to a friend (or enemy).

Sanderson notes that in 1971 the university, based in Norwich, East Anglia, opened a new unit: the Climatic Research Unit or CRU. And how was this unit funded? Why with oil money of course!

A specialist area of ENV which rose to prominence in the 1970s was the Unit of Climatic Research established in 1971 on the initiative of Keith Clayton and with sponsorship from the Nuffield Foundation, Shell, BP, and others [p. 285].

Well, who better to fund a climate research laboratory than a group of multinational oil giants?

But who could they get to run it? It would have to be someone at the pinnacle of climate science, if the CRU was to be at the forefront of this field of research. Luckily, they found their man:

Its first Director was Hubert Lamb who had been in charge of the Meteorological Office’s research on climatic variation and was Chair of the United Nations Meteorological Organisation.

Quite a coup for the university, possibly the most eminent climate scientist in the world had agreed to head the new CRU. Even better, Lamb had a reputation and a catchy nickname to boot:

Professor Lamb came to Norwich as “the ice man” attracting much attention for his prophecy of world cooling and a future ice age within 10,000 years. Within a few years at Norwich, in which the heatwave of 1975-76 had intervened, he had switched to warning of global warming with dire predictions of forest and crop belts being shifted, melting ice caps and drowned cities.

As the history notes, it was great publicity for UEA and attracted a lot of media interest, and more importantly funding for the CRU. Plus ca change.

Have a read for yourself:

So there you have it. Two AGW myths for the price of one.

  1. The chair of the UN’s Meteorological Organisation was so sure of impending global cooling that he was known as “the ice man”
  2. The CRU was founded with money from multinational oil giants Shell and BP.

2 responses to “Two AGW Myths for the Price of One

  1. Excellent. Keep up the good work.

  2. The Climategate e-mails show that CRU went back to the Big Oil trough in 2000 …

    May 7, 2000 to Sep 11, 2000

    Scientists questioning the CO2/man-made global warming (AGW) theory are routinely dismissed as being in the pay of Big Oil. However, in 2000, CRU not only solicits funding from Shell (after already trying BP and Esso [0947541692.txt]), but also considers a strategic partnership which would also give Shell a role in setting CRU’s research agenda.

    KELLY meets with Shell several times in the summer of 2000 and summarizes his discussions to HULME and ORIORDAN:

    “Mike and Tim Notes from the meeting with Shell International attached. Sorry about the delay. I suspect that the climate change team in Shell International is probably the best route through to funding from elsewhere in the organisation including the foundation as they seem to have good access to the top levels.” [0968691929.txt] (Also see [0962818260.txt].)

    “What ensued was necessarily a rather speculative discussion with the following points emerging.

    “1. Shell International would give serious consideration to what I referred to in the meeting as a ‘strategic partnership’ with the TC, broadly equivalent to a ‘flagship alliance’ in the TC proposal. A strategic partnership would involve not only the provision of funding but some (limited but genuine) role in setting the research agenda etc.

    “2. Shell’s interest is not in basic science. Any work they support must have a clear and immediate relevance to ‘real-world’ activities. They are particularly interested in emissions trading and CDM.” [uea-tyndall-shell-memo.doc]

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