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Will Obama get BTU’d by Gore’s Carbon Tax?

More detail on Gore’s previous attempt to get a carbon tax levied on Americans. His hated “British Thermal Unit Tax” or BTU Tax became so loathed it entered the political vocabulary as a euphemism for giving a lot and getting nothing in return (in other words, getting royally screwed over).

As I pointed out in a previous post, Gore’s current success in pushing Obama towards a carbon tax is not his first attempt. Previously, as VP in the Clinton administration he had pushed strenuously for a “British Thermal Units Tax” or “Energy Tax”. Though Clinton slammed the suggestion when it first proposed, others in the administration saw it as a way to give Gore “enough rope” and persuaded Clinton to let Gore try to shepherd the bill through congress. Not in the hope that it would pass – very few people expected it to – but in the hope that it would irrevocably weaken Gore’s standing in the White House. Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen thought that Gore’s proposed carbon tax would be “a political and administrative nightmare” if it were ever introduced.

Sure enough, the proposed bill was introduced first to the House, where hapless Representatives were pressurized into signing it, and then to the Senate where it was shot down in flames, as senior staff members in the Clinton administration always knew it would be. The Carbon Tax BTU Bill now a flaming wreckage, Gore’s position in the White House was considerably weakened, and everyone (except Gore) went home a bit happier.

Reporter Bob Woodward – famous for his “Watergate” expose of Nixon gives us some of the background to Gore’s first attempt at a carbon tax. His account is interesting for the way it reveals that whilst most senior Democrats thought the idea was “loopy” they realised that Gore was behind the idea and were happy to let him run himself into the ground over it.

In his book The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House Woodward cites the reaction of the powerful Democrat Senator Patrick Moynihan, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to Gore’s proposal:

Over the last several months Moynihan had grown increasingly disturbed about the all-fuels BTU tax . . . With all the tinkering to satisfy special interests, the tax had grown so complicated that it would be an invitation to evasion. By one staff estimate, the BTU tax would add volumes to the U.S. tax code.

Bob Woodward, The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House

As the implications of Gore’s carbon tax begin to be realised by senior Democrats, more and more of them began privately voicing their horror at the idea to Clinton. Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota, the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee promised defiance to Gore’s BTU tax declaring “I won’t cut the throats of my people“. John Breaux, the Democrat Senator from Louisiana trashed the idea as “downright goofy“.

Gore’s first crack at a carbon tax, based on the British Thermal Unit, came to be known in the White House as the hated British Thermal Unit Tax, or BTU Tax. Indeed, so despised and so politically disastrous was the fallout from Gore’s BTU Carbon tax that it even entered the political vernacular. To “get BTU’d” was to get nothing for something. Keith Hennessey explains:

In 1993 then-Vice President Gore led the Clinton Administration to propose increasing the taxation of energy. Called the “BTU tax,” the Administration proposed to tax the energy content of a fuel source, measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs).

The three vote margin of victory suggests that House Democratic leaders had to twist the arms of reluctant Democrat Members to vote aye. In this scenario, if you are a House Democrat who does not have a strong view on the substance but is nervous about the politics of voting for higher energy taxes, you would like the bill to pass (so that your leaders get what they want and stop pressuring you) without your vote (so that you don’t give your opponent back home an effective line of attack).

Those nervous House Democrats who had voted for the bill with the BTU tax had the worst of all worlds. They had cast a costly political vote for no policy benefit.

A phrase soon entered the legislative vernacular. Senate Democrats had “BTUd” House Democrats.

Keith Hennessey: Will House Democrats Get BTU’d on Climate Change?

Given the history of Gore’s carbon tax, a tax so hated that it gave rise to a slang expression “to get BTU’d”, to get screwed over, the question now surely is “Will Obama also allow himself to get BTU’d by Gore’s carbon tax?”

Dumb as a Potato: Cold Winters Caused by Global Warming.

I’d say that “You can’t make this stuff up” except that obviously you can make this stuff up.

The Grauniad offers a laughable new argument that lack of Arctic sea ice is responsible for cold winters. Here it is:

“The sea ice is going rapidly. It’s 80% less than it was just 30 years ago. There has been a dramatic loss. This is a symptom of global warming and it contributes to enhanced warming of the Arctic,” said Jennifer Francis, research professor with the Rutgers Institute of Coastal and Marine Science.

According to Francis and a growing body of other researchers, the Arctic ice loss adds heat to the ocean and atmosphere which shifts the position of the jet stream – the high-altitude river of air that steers storm systems and governs most weather in northern hemisphere.

“This is what is affecting the jet stream and leading to the extreme weather we are seeing in mid-latitudes,” she said. “It allows the cold air from the Arctic to plunge much further south.

Guardian: Scientists Link Frozen Spring to Dramatic Arctic Sea Ice Loss.

Got that? Sure? Read it carefully, because we’re now dealing with such an incredible level of stupid that I’ll need to break it down to deal with it. So commit this argument to memory.

Okay. The Stupid. Part I: “The sea ice is going rapidly. It’s 80% less than it was just 30 years ago”  –

The Guardian is quoting a researcher here who is directly contradicting the UK Met Office’s own Chief Scientist, as quoted in their own article. In effect, you can take your pick of which fact to believe in at any given point:

She [Julia Sligo, Met Office Chief Scientist] also said that suggestions the volume of sea ice had already declined by 75% already were not credible. “We know there is something [happening on the thinning of sea ice] but it’s not as dramatic as those numbers suggest.”

The problem, she explained, was that researchers did not know the thickness of Arctic sea ice with any confidence.

The Guardian. Met Office: Arctic Sea Ice Loss Linked to Drier, Colder UK Winters.

What conclusions should we draw when the Guardian quotes one “Scientist” who is making a claim that another, senior scientist, has previously slammed as “not credible”?

Even this potato was embarrassed to be associated with the Guardian's climate coverage.

Even this potato was embarrassed to be associated with the Guardian’s climate coverage.


Now The Stupid, part II – not only is the Guardian retailing a claim that has been directly contradicted in its own pages, but it’s making a claim that is patently wrong on the basis of historical fact. It quotes this “scientist” as blaming cold winters on a lack of sea ice compared to “30 years ago”

The problem here is that 30 years ago we were still having climate scientists warning us that pollution was leading the earth into an ice age, as record low temperatures blanketed America, Europe and the northern hemisphere. As the Examiner reports:

A dome of upper level low pressure from the northern Plains into southern Canada combined with a deep trough pushed a cold front down to Tampico, Mexico bringing many record low temperatures for a large part of the country.
The mercury plunged to -51° at Wisdom, MT.  Wind chill readings were as low as -100° over a large part of North Dakota.  The high temperature at Minneapolis, MN struggled to reach -12°, a record for the date.
Many locations from the West Coast to the Ohio Valley reported record low temperatures for the date including: West Yellowstone, MT: -43°, Williston, ND: -38°, Valentine, NE: -37°, Virginia City, MT: -35°, North Platte, NE: -34°, Casper, WY: -33°, Lander, WY: -31°, Bismarck, ND: -30°, Sheridan, WY: -29°, Helena, MT: -28°, Missoula, MT: -27°, Lincoln, NE: -27° (broke previous record by 14 degrees), Sioux Falls, SD: -26°, Rapid City, SD: -25°, Pocatello, ID: -25°, Kalispell, MT: -25°, St. Cloud, MN: -24°, Omaha, NE: -24°, Shelby, MT: -24°, La Crosse, WI: -23°, Waterloo, IA: -23°, Duluth, MN: -22°, Grand Island, NE: -22°, Norfolk, NE: -22°, Cheyenne, WY: -21°, Kansas City, MO: -21°, Billings, MT: -20°, Minneapolis, MN: -20°, Dubuque, IA: -19°, Sioux City, IA: -18°, Rockford, IL: -18°, Springfield, IL: -18°, Madison, WI: -17°, Colorado Springs, CO: -17°, Des Moines, IA: -17°, Goodland, KS: -17°, Topeka, KS: -17°, Green Bay, WI: -16°, Concordia, KS: -16°, Spokane, WA: -15°, Pendleton, OR: -15°, Boise, ID: -15°, Burns, OR: -13°, Lewiston, ID: -13° (broke previous record by 10 degrees), South Bend, IN: -13°, Marquette, MI: -12°, Columbia, MO: -12°, Clayton, NM: -12°, Yakima, WA: -10°, Wichita, KS: -9°, Springfield, MO: -8°, Amarillo, TX: -7°, Toledo, OH: -6°, Fort Wayne, IN: -6°-Tied, St. Louis, MO: -5°, Detroit, MI: -4°, Olympia, WA: -3°, Oklahoma City, OK: -3°, Tulsa, OK: -2°, Wichita Falls, TX: 1°, Lubbock, TX: 1°, Abilene, TX: 2°, Fort Smith, AR: 2°, San Angelo, TX: 5°, Dallas (DFW), TX: 5°, Dallas (Love Field), TX: 5°, Midland-Odessa, TX: 8°, Roswell, NM: 9°, Quillayute, WA: 11°, Austin, TX: 12°, Salem, OR: 12°, Little Rock, AR: 12°, Seattle, WA: 14°, Portland, OR: 14°, Astoria, OR: 15°, Shreveport, LA: 15°, Austin (Bergstrom), TX: 16°, San Antonio, TX: 17°, Del Rio, TX: 19°, Victoria, TX: 20°, Houston, TX: 20° and Galveston, TX: 24°.

Examiner: Weather History: December 22: Record Cold of 1983, 1989 & 1990, Snowstorms, Wind and Ice

So, let’s sum up the Guardian’s argument here: record low Arctic sea ice coverage is happening right now and is also “simply not credible”. It’s causing the bitterly cold winters we’re suffering from, but then the supposedly higher Arctic sea ice coverage of 30 years ago ALSO caused cold winters.

Only one thing you can conclude from coverage like that: dumb as a potato.

Watch Now: Ukraine Declares State of Emergency as Spring Starts With “record snowfalls”.

RT is reporting that Ukraine has declared a state of emergency in its capital city, Kiev, and surrounding districts as Spring begins with  “record snowfalls”.

It reports that

The situation in the city is so dire that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has signed a special decree urging all government agencies to provide maximum assistance to victims of the snowstorm.

The military is also involved in rescuing the city from its snowbound condition as 550 servicemen are deployed to the capital to aid the community services.

RT: APCs Deployed on Kiev Streets, Emergency as Record Snowfalls Turn Ukraine Into Chaos.

A month’s worth of snow fell in less than 24 hours as record cold and snow hit Ukraine and Russia. Military and civilian forces are being deployed in a desperate effort to keep entrances to shops and metro stations clear of snowdrifts, let alone the roads.

A Kiev resident struggles to cope with global warming. (Photo credit RT).

A Kiev resident struggles to cope with global warming. (Photo credit RT).

Weather forecasters are saying this Spring is likely to be the coldest in decades, with the freezing wintery weather expected to grip until the end of the month with temperatures well below freezing:

The snow front is moving eastward and is expected to hit Moscow on Saturday evening or Sunday, lasting until almost the end of March. A gale warning is announced in Russia’s capital and the Moscow Region.

The synoptic service say that the current March may become the coldest in Moscow in the last 33 years as they forecast temperatures of around minus 9 or 10 degrees Celsius, which is around nine degrees below average.

Meanwhile, our source was unable to confirm rumours that Al Gore and Michael Mann had been planning to address Kiev University this weekend on the subject of global warming.

Bill Clinton Slams Carbon Tax: “Helps the Bond Markets and Hurts the People”.

Albert Gore II and the British Thermal Unit: the Untold Story of Gore’s Previous Carbon Tax Attempt. 

Albert Gore II (or plain ol’ “Al” Gore as he likes to be known) has thrown his weight behind the idea of taxing fossil fuels, linking to an article on the idea from his personal blog. Indeed, in an interview with Reuters last year, Gore boasted that “For 30 years, I’ve advocated a tax on carbon dioxide”. A remark that went seemingly unquestioned by the Reuter’s correspondent.

But for once Gore was telling the truth – just not the whole truth. He has indeed been a long time fan of the idea of a carbon tax, his keenly tuned political senses perhaps sniffing an opportunity for money-making and funding behind it. If this seems a little curmudgeonly consider that David Brower, the grand old man of American environmentalism himself bitterly concluded that the Clinton / Gore adminstration “has done more to harm the environment and to weaken environmental regulations in three years than Presidents Bush and Reagan did in 12 years”.

Gore had indeed previously tried to get the idea of a carbon tax seriously considered when he was Vice-President in the Clinton administration. The background to this was Gore’s infamously incompetent “downsizing” of the federal government (a GAO investigation later concluded that the vast majority of the “savings” made by the downsizing were mythical). Faced with scathing criticism from within his own party, Gore came up with a way to raise revenue and placate his buddies on Wall Street: a carbon tax.

Albert Gore II’s first attempt at a carbon tax has been largely erased from history, as it was killed in its early stages by Clinton, who was perceptive enough to realise that it would be seen for what it was: a transference on an unprecedented scale of money from the middle classes to the wealthy bond traders and stock market speculators. Here’s muckraking journalists Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St Clair on Gore’s first carbon tax proposal and Clinton’s infuriated condemnation of it:

Gore suprised everyone [at the White House meeting] by saying he favored an energy tax, based on the British Thermal Unit, or BTU. He explained that this tax would help fulfill pledges to the environmental movement, since it would fall most heavily on fossil fuels, particularly coal and oil. In the longer term, he argued, it would also encourage conservation and a shift to alternative fuels, meaning natural gas and nuclear power. Gore claimed that the Europeans and the  Japanese were waiting for the United States to show leadership and would soon follow suit. Deficit reduction, combined with the energy tax, would be painful medicine, Gore continued, but it would be a bold stroke, comparable to the heady initiatives of FDR’s New Deal. This prompted another sarcastic outburst from Clinton: “FDR was trying to help people. Here, we help the bond market and hurt the people who voted us in“.

Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St Clair, Al Gore: A User’s Manual.

Note as well that for all his populist posturing on the dangers and costs of nuclear power, in private Gore was touting a carbon tax on the grounds that it would inevitably lead to a turn towards nuclear power. The fact that, in another example of Gore’s bewilderingly complex political opportunism, he had previously shut down a promising research program that might have eliminated nuclear waste at the same time as generating electricity – a win/win situation if ever there was one – is simply par for the course for Albert Gore II.

Unsurprisingly then, Gore’s first attempt to push through a carbon tax was shut down by Clinton who saw through Gore’s protestations of saving the earth. Recognising that it would mean a truly epic transfer of wealth from the working population to the investment banks and Wall Street, Clinton told Gore to stick his British Thermal Unit and sent him packing. But, ever alert to changing political fortunes, Gore now thinks he senses another President is ripe to be persuaded of the benefits of a carbon tax. Expect to hear more from Albert Gore II and his chums on Wall Street.


Population “Crisis” NGO Links Global Warming to Sexual Violence and Teenage Pregnancy

Here’s a classic example of how Western NGOs use front groups in less developed nations to make claims that would be too tenuous for them to make themselves. Bipasha Dutta is “Senior Assistant Coordinator, Climate Change, Food Security and Governance … Continue reading

WWF Slaps Down Polar Bear Protection Bill So it Can Keep Using Them as Global Warming Mascot

Spiked Online has an excellent article which looks at the curious case of the polar bear, whose status as an endangered animal has increased at the same time that it’s population is rising.  The author, Rob Lyons, looks at how the polar bear has become worth more as a symbol or mascot of global warming and allegedly melting polar ice caps than as an animal in its own right.

Most shockingly of all, though, is the cynical maneuvering of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Faced with the possibility of increased protection under the CITES rules on trading animal furs and parts, the WWF said they would OPPOSE any such increased protection. Asked why on earth a charity supposedly devoted to protecting animals would be against a law which gave them greater protection, WWF “wildlife trade policy analyst” Dr Colman O’Criodain mumbled the following “justification” –

“If we were tempted to support it on the basis of trade being a major threat, it is not,” says Dr Colman O’Criodain, WWF’s wildlife trade policy analyst.

“We have to focus on what is the major threat and not distract ourselves with a relatively minor one. We can’t be arguing for the science when it suits us and then ignore it when it doesn’t suit our case,” he added.

BBC: Polar Bear Trade Ban Divides Campaigners

What on earth is he on about? Why would one of the best known and wealthiest environmental organisations be risking their reputation by failing to support a law giving greater protection for animals? Beneath all the verbiage from the WWF, Rob Lyons thinks he knows why: cold, hard cash. The money raised from the polar bear as mascot is simply too great to allow anything to distract from that –

Nonetheless, asking people to ‘adopt a polar bear’ seems to be a great vehicle for fundraising, even though WWF says that the money given will be used for ‘raising awareness of the threats of climate change that we all face’ and ‘will also help fund other essential WWF conservation work around the world’. In other words, those monthly donations may only tangentially benefit polar bears.

The claim that polar bears are under threat is a cynical attempt at emotional blackmail, designed to short-circuit debate about climate change while adding cash to the overflowing coffers of multinational green mega-NGOs. WWF alone reported a worldwide income of over €500million in 2011. Given the apparent health of most polar-bear populations, it’s time the whole fairytale about polar-bear extinction was put on ice.

Spiked Online. Adopt a Polar Bear?

The Orwellian construction of the phrase “raising awareness of the threats of climate change” points to the real use the money will be put to. Donate to save a marine animal, and your money will go straight to funding the propaganda efforts of this multinational organisation with it’s multimillion dollar income.

Thus, as the Examiner noted, at the CITES meeting to decide whether to ban the trade in polar bear furs and parts, there was the bizarre spectacle of the WWF siding with Canada, a country it supposedly has major differences of opinion with over the tar sands –

The ban was opposed by Canada, home to two-thirds of the world’s polar bear population and the only country to allow exports, as well as Norway and Greenland. In a move that baffled many conservationists, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) joined in opposing the ban.

Examiner: Bid to Save Polar Bears Shot down by Canada, World Wildlife Fund.

Even the Center for Biological Diversity was disgusted with the cynicism shown by the WWF, putting the money-making potential of the bear as mascot over the chance to protect them against hunting for fur:

But Brendan Cummings of the Center for Biological Diversity, disagreed. “It’s an unfortunate result after an ugly process,” he said. “Countries and organizations that wanted to keep the international trade in polar bear skins going for political reasons had to distort or downplay the science

Examiner: Bid to Save Polar Bears Shot down by Canada, World Wildlife Fund.

Given that the WWF Network’s income increased to 593 Million Euros last year (approx. 756 Million dollars, US) you can understand the amounts at stake here. Although perhaps WWF “brand strategists” like the wonderfully named Ms De’ath should consider whether even the millions of dollars in fund raising that the photogenic polar bears generate as poster child for climate change is worth it.

Global Warming Memes: Bill McKibben.

Bill McKibben and the Rockerfeller family money, made from Standard Oil.

McKibben rocking an Earth First! T Shirt on Rockerfeller money.

McKibben rocking an Earth First! T Shirt on Rockerfeller money.

Hypocrisy and Bill McKibben founder and recipient of Rockefeller funding, Bill McKibben has a new essay published in Orion magazine in which he attempts to re-define hypocrisy. Whilst, at a casual browsing of the article, it seems unremarkable on further analysis it indicates the root-deep rot and malaise that goes right through modern environmentalism.

McKibben cleverly begins his argument by framing it as an example of how people demand perfection in others before they will make the slightest effort themselves. He cites supposed reactions from cynics to his latest bus tour across America promoting awareness of climate change: “Do these morons not know that their bus takes gasoline?” McKibben has them asking, before replying, in the essay, “In fact, our bus took biodiesel”. He cites attacks on warming figureheads like Al Gore with his “two houses” (only two? I thought it was more) as examples of this kind of poisonous and debilitating thinking. If, he argues, we focus on what those who raise the alarm are doing, we are only shifting the focus from “the system” (where he feels it should be) to individual examples of virtue, which soon run up against limits of effectiveness. In other words, even if all those who evince concern about anthropogenic climate change were to sell their cars, forswear flights, move into an apartment, etc, it would not be enough – others would simply use up what they had given up. It is the system that needs changing.

So here’s the crux of McKibben’s argument then:

But if 10 percent of people, once they’ve changed the light bulbs, work all-out to change the system? That’s enough. That’s more than enough. It would be enough to match the power of the fossil fuel industry, enough to convince our legislators to put a price on carbon. At which point none of us would be required to be saints. We could all be morons, as long as we paid attention to, say, the price of gas and the balance in our checking accounts. Which even dummies like me can manage.

Bill McKibben, A Moral Atmosphere.

He then follows it up with the traditional environmentalist flourish: make a seemingly outrageous statement designed to rouse your readers and finish with a call to arms. Just driving a Prius, he informs his readers, is not enough if you’re not actively trying to change “the system” you’re not helping:

Because there’s a certain sense in which Prius-driving can become an out, an excuse for inaction, the twenty-first-century equivalent of “I have a lot of black friends.” It’s nice to walk/drive the talk; it’s much smarter than driving a semi-military vehicle to get your groceries. But it’s become utterly clear that doing the right thing in your personal life, or even on your campus, isn’t going to get the job done in time; and it may be providing you with sufficient psychic comfort that you don’t feel the need to do the hard things it will take to get the job done. It’s in our role as citizens—of campuses, of nations, of the planet—that we’re going to have to solve this problem. We each have our jobs, and none of them is easy.

McKibben wants to redefine hypocrisy on environmental matters away from what people actually do and what they consume and focus instead on their efforts to change the system. He argues that it is far more important that students become part of the movement to demand universities divest their funds from stocks and shares in oil companies than it is whether or not they drive to their lectures. For McKibben, what you do doesn’t matter as much as what you say you believe. 

But McKibben’s argument, far from unmasking hypocrisy, licenses it. It gives it legitimacy and justification. When McKibben claims that

If those of us who are trying really hard are still fully enmeshed in the fossil fuel system, it makes it even clearer that what needs to change are not individuals but precisely that system. We simply can’t move fast enough, one by one, to make any real difference in how the atmosphere comes out.

Why should we care, McKibben argues, if Al Gore has two palatial mansions (“houses” is a inadequate euphemism for them, let’s tell the truth here). Why should we be concerned that Rajendra Pachauri is chauffeured in a limousine one measly mile to his place of work? Why should we worry that McKibben himself takes oil money (for what else is Rockerfeller money if its not oil money?) and jets around the world giving speeches about the evils of oil?

McKibben’s plea that we not waste time pointing out the incongruity of those who urge us to cut back on our meat consumption, or change to energy efficient light bulbs whilst they enjoy the most opulent and extravagant lifestyles themselves (no matter how many solar panels they may have on their roof) is the most brazen hypocrisy of all. It would allow the Gores, Kleins, and Chris Martins of this world to continue their jet-setting around the world, their fat incomes and  their huge homes. As McKibben would have it, when those of us who work, pay taxes and struggle to heat our homes as the cost of electricity soars, point to the hypocrisy of being told by the man in 33 room mansion (Coldplay’s Chris Martin) or the man in the private jet (James Cameron) that our actions are destroying the world, we will be met with a reassuring verbal pat on the back and the assurance that all of that doesn’t really matter. What matters, if we were to believe McKibben’s redefinition of hypocrisy, is that they care. They get it. They’re working to change the system.

Yeah, right.


CNN Goes Conspiracy Theory: Climategate was a “Black Ops” Operation.

It seems that the latest release of emails accompanied by a short note from “Mr FOIA” has got the warmists over at Climate News Network (CNN) all hot under the collar.

Personally, I found the short note from “Mr FOIA” to be very short and simple, almost anodyne. No railing against renewables, no declaration of capitalism above all else, just a quiet defense of what he did on the grounds that openness is surely justified in such a massively important arena as the debate over global warming, with all the billions of dollars it generates.

Paul Brown at CNN, though, knows differently. Mr FOIA is almost certainly not some hacker with a conscience, he informs us. No, the notes that accompanied the latest Climategate leak, Brown breathlessly intimates, shows this to be a black-ops operation.


CNN says Climategate leak is pure “black-ops”.

Brown gives us the background as he sees it to the Climategate leak. It started during the Second World War, he tells us, when the art of the covert operation was first used:

LONDON, 16 March – “Black ops” is what the military call it – using false radio messages, news releases and newspapers, leaflets, and creating conspiracy theories so the enemy is confused, demoralized and loses the stomach for the fight.

It worked so well in World War II that, in every conflict since, all sides have used the dark arts. Many of their methods and secrets are classified, too effective a weapon to allow to fall into the hands of the enemy.

A classic example has emerged in the last few days. A new leak of hundreds of thousands of emails between climate scientists is revealed. The climate deniers are having a field day. A new Climategate looms

CNN:  Climategate Three.

Thrilling stuff, eh? Why write about boring things like evidence and rational argument when you can just rewatch a couple of James Bond movies and bash out a column the next day?

Brown believes he has evidence though. Firstly, he asks us to consider who might benefit from the Climategate leaks. The obvious answer – everyone who is currently being gouged to pay to defend against a non-existent threat – does not occur to him. It’s big oil, apparently. (And don’t you just love that circumlocution? “Big oil” with its connotations of secret societies and conspiracies being cooked up in smoke-filled backrooms.)

Secondly, Brown presents us with his killer argument, his smoking gun. Mr FOIA’s note claiming not to be American or English is proof that he must be American or English and not only that, but black-ops as well because, you see, that’s exactly the kind of fiendishly clever thing these special operations guys do:

Although the memo is written in perfect English, it comes with a classic black ops style disclaimer that the writer is anything to do with North America. He claims not to have English as his first language, so implying that he is neither British nor American.

Later, to underline the point, he says there is “no conspiracy, no paid hackers, no Big Oil. The Republicans didn’t plot this.  USA politics is alien to me, neither am I from the UK.  There is life outside the Anglo-American sphere.”

Do you see how that works? Mr FOIA’s denial that he is English or American means that he obviously is English or American and that he is part of a massive conspiracy as well. Phew! Heady stuff huh?

Gathering information for the Climategate Conspiracy theory.

Gathering information for the Climategate Conspiracy theory.

Finally, in a last flourish to seal his case, Brown notes that so perfect has Climategate been as a black-ops operation that it must surely go down in the textbooks as a prime example. Noting how the “deniers” have seized on the latest release of emails, Brown gives a rather fruity and over-excited commendation to the spooks who dreamed the whole Climategate conspiracy up:

All the climate deniers, gullible to a man and woman, have seized on it with glee. To them Mr FOIA is a selfless hero who should get a medal.  It is magic stuff. It is a classic of Black Ops. It ought to be in the training manual of every secret service on the planet. – Climate News Network

And here’s me thinking that the idea of a hacker realising he had access to UAE and deciding to release the emails was the most obvious explanation. Clearly I haven’t watched the X Files as often as Mr Brown and his pals at the Climate News Network though or i would have suspected the fingerprints of the smoking man all over this one.

The smoking man 'fesses up to the whole affair. (Hat tip: Paul Brown @ CNN).

The smoking man ‘fesses up to the whole affair. (Hat tip: Paul Brown @ CNN).



Canadian Member of Parliament for the Liberal Party, Joyce Murray has also started embracing conspiracy theories it seems, calling Climategate a “black ops” campaign which throws “fresh meat to the undernourished few remaining denial dogs”. Wow. “Denial dogs” – there’s a term of disparagement worthy of the Soviet-approved terms for condemning Western “running dogs” imperialists, huh?

See her Tweet here:


Joyce Murray on Climategate. "We're through the looking-glass here people . . ."

Joyce Murray on Climategate. “We’re through the looking-glass here people . . .”


Just a quick reminder of what they said about cold winters . . .

Hi everyone,

Been so busy recently I’ve had no chance to be blogging, but in light of the recent propaganda blitz claiming that cold, snowy winters are all part of global warming, i had to take a few minutes to round up some quotes from the archives. Just to remind us all of what they were saying only a few years ago. As RealScience and others have quoted a few gems (“Snow is now a thing of the past”) I’ll confine myself to a few I haven’t seen widely reported.

First off, let’s refresh our memory on what Uber-Greenie Mark Lynas told us in 2004:

. . . snow has become so rare that when it does fall – often just for a few hours – everything grinds to a halt. In early 2003 a ‘mighty’ five-centimetre snowfall in southeast England caused such severe traffic jams that many motorists had to stay in their cars overnight. Today’s kids are missing out . . .

Many of these changes are already underway, but have been accelerating over the last two decades. Termites have already moved into southern England. Garden centres are beginning to stock exotic sub-tropical species, which only a few years ago would have been killed off by winter.

Mark Lynas, High Tide: The Truth About Our Climate Crisis

Then let us remind ourselves of what George Monbiot had to say about winters and climate change back in 2005:

Winter is no longer the great grey longing of my childhood. The freezes this country suffered in 1982 and 1963 are – unless the Gulf Stream stops – unlikely to recur. Our summers will be long and warm. Across most of the upper northern hemisphere, climate change, so far, has been kind to us. Mocking Our Dreams.

Mocking your dreams, George? No, no. Just your ridiculous habit of claiming something as settled scientific fact one year and then completely recanting a few years later when his soothsaying falls flat (remember the end of meat in 2012?).

And of course, there’s The Independent‘s fatuous warning over lack of snow in winter and what it portends. NO! Not that one, I’ve already said I would omit repeating that here. I’m referring their “leading article” from December 2006. This somber editorial admonished us that the lack of snow was evidence of a “dangerous seasonal disorder” –

The countryside is looking rather peculiar this winter. It seems we have a number of unexpected guests for Christmas. Dragonflies, bumblebees and red admiral butterflies, which would normally be killed off by the frost, can still be seen in some parts of the country . . .

Some might be tempted to welcome this late blossoming of the natural world as a delightful diversion from the bleakness of this time of year. But these fluctuations should be cause for concern because it is overwhelmingly likely that they are a consequence of global warming

. . . all this is also evidence that global warming is occurring at a faster rate than many imagined. And it will not only be the natural world adversely effected by climate change.

The Independent Leading Article: A Dangerous Seasonal Disorder.

Finally, courtesy of the awesome long memory and extensive archive of blogger Alexjc38, we have the strictly impartial and scientific BBC and their “One Planet” program from early 2007. In a “One Planet Special” entitled with ominous finality “It Seems the Winters of Our Youth are Unlikely to Return” presenter Richard Hollingham thinks backs to the snowy winters of his youth and asks whether the run of mild winters was caused by global warming. He also speaks to climate scientists to get their views. Their conclusion? In the words of the BBC, they all give “predictions of warmer winters, for UK & [the] Northern Hemisphere”.

He speaks to people in Russia, China, and the UK who all reminisce about snowy winters in their youth and wring their hands over the present snow-less and mild winters (do you think they’re still doing that?). Finally, he turns to Brenda Ekwurzel who introduces herself as “the climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists”. Wow. “The” Climate Scientist, huh? Okay, so Hollingham puts the question to her:

Richard Hollingham: Now those of us who grew up with very cold winters, who tell our children that winter’s not what it used to be, we’re right, aren’t we?

Brenda Ekwurzel: Yes, absolutely. It has changed.
Summing up, Hollingham reviews the evidence of the people he’s interviewed, and the testimony of the climate scientists he spoke to and gives his opinion as presenter of the BBC’s One Planet on the outlook for winter under global warming:

Sitting here at the BBC, leafing through my old photos, I can’t help feeling nostalgic for proper winters. This year we had just one day of snow in southern Britain. Mind you, it still brought the roads, railways and airports to a standstill, and shut the schools. But as most people in London, Moscow, Washington, Beijing or Oslo will testify, a cold, crisp winter’s day with snow on the ground is infinitely preferable to the mild, damp miserable winters many of us are having to get used to. And it seems the winters of our youth are unlikely to return.

So, I look forward to the BBC doing a follow-up One Planet special to find out why the “predictions of warmer winters” turned out to be completely and utterly wrong.
Because we’ve all forgotten what they said only a few years ago, right?



Thanks to commentator, Slimething, on the Realscience blog for pointing out this article from the Western Mail (Wales Online) from 2007.

The article, entititled “Snowless Winters Forecast for Wales as World Warms Up” quotes one of the global warming movement’s key figures, Sir John Houghton, former head of the IPCC and former head of the UK Met Office:

Former head of the Met Office Sir John Houghton, who is one of the UK’s leading authorities on climate change, said all the indicators suggest snowy winters will become increasingly rare

He said, “Snowlines are going up in altitude all over the world. The idea that we will get less snow is absolutely in line with what we expect from global warming.”

Wales Online: Snowless Winters Forecast for Wales as World Warms Up

The post ended with the obligatory token comment from the sceptic side, just to show some gesture towards balance in journalism. Well known sceptic meteorologist, Piers Corbyn, director of London-based forecasters WeatherAction, was quoted as saying that the idea that snowfall would drop in Wales by 80% was “complete nonsense”.

Deniers, huh?