There’s a scene in the movie Straight Outta Compton – (it’s OK: you don’t need to like rap to get this analogy) – where Eazy-E goes to confront his manager Jerry Heller.
Given that their band N.W.A have made so much money, Eazy-E wants to know, how come he is still living in penury?
Heller explains that “business is business.”
Eazy-E protests, as well he might, that this just isn’t good enough. Heller is his manager. It’s supposed to be his job to represent Eazy-E’s financial interests. N.W.A are one of the biggest rap bands ever. So where has all the ****ing money gone?
Heller repeats the only defense he has. “Business is business,” he explains.
In this scenario, for Eazy-E read: you and me. (Unfortunate because it means, shortly afterwards, we all tragically die of AIDs)
And for Jerry Heller, the incompetent, embezzling, total fail of a manager, read: the science community responsible for the great global warming scare.
For “Business is business” read “the science is settled” – or “just trust us. We’re scientists. We got the PhDs and the lab coats and you don’t, so never mind your pretty little heads as, on our say-so, your taxes rise, your freedoms are curtailed and your economy is bombed back to the Dark Ages.”
Am I saying that the scientists responsible for bigging up global warming are a bunch of useless, lying, cheating, conniving, scum-sucking bottom feeders who by rights should be in jail rather than anywhere near a lab?
Some, I’m perfectly happy to concede, are not criminal fraudsters who have been deliberately misrepresenting the science because they’re in too deep and can’t bail out now. No, some, I’m quite sure, write and say the rubbish they do because they are genuinely stupid. Or hopelessly incompetent. Or because they’ve got kids to educate and mortgages to pay down and they’d really rather not consider the implications of their dubious work practises. Or because they believe in a higher cause, where politics comes before science, and think it’s appropriate to massage the raw data to shape the narrative in such a way as to galvanize individuals and governments to taking action…
But whatever their level of incompetence, venality, stupidity, left-wing radicalism or general uselessness they do have at least two things in common.
One, they’ve all got it wrong about “climate change”.
Two, they’re unconscionable scumbags.
Let me show you why with reference to last week’s bombshell admission by several leading climate scientists that they’ve got their facts wrong about “global warming.”
The Nature Geoscience study which prompted this confession was quite rightly described by one observer as “breathtaking” in its implications.
For a full scientific analysis, read this.
I’m just going to cut to the chase and tell you the only thing that matters about the study:
It’s the first formal admission by the climate alarmists that their computer models predicting runaway global warming are wrong. (They are “running too hot”)
Since these computer models are the basis for the entire man-made global warming scare, you can see why this study is such a majorly big deal.
You can also see why the alarmist scientists responsible for it have been so desperate to distract from its findings.
That’s why, when they launched the report last week, they tried to pretend that it was about something else completely.
Here is a perfect example of their misdirection, from the first line of the London Times coverage by Ben Webster, a journalist generally sympathetic to the alarmist establishment’s narrative.
Catastrophic impacts of climate change can still be avoided, according to scientists who have admitted they were too pessimistic about the chances of limiting global warming.
See what is going on there? The key significance of the study, according to Webster’s version of events, is that it means the world has dodged a bullet: the predicted rapid warming hasn’t transpired and so, as a consequence, we still have time to keep any further damage from happening by sticking to our emissions targets.
But Webster was too honest a journalist to have been taken in wholly by these shysters’ spin. As neither he, nor anyone else, could fail to notice, the study meant that:
The world has warmed more slowly than had been predicted by computer models, which were “on the hot side” and overstated the impact of emissions on average temperature…
Even the scientists themselves could not deny that this was so.
One, Professor Michael Grubb, was quoted as saying:
“When the facts change, I change my mind, as Keynes said.”
Another, Professor Myles Allen, was also quoted as admitting that the study said what it actually said (rather than what he wanted it to say…)
He said that too many of the models used “were on the hot side”, meaning they forecast too much warming.
So: game over for the biggest scare story in the history of science. Or so you might think…
Except the scientists had other plans.
This is what I mean when I say that these people are unconscionable scumbags. Even when they’ve been caught bang to rights, they won’t play honest and they won’t play straight. Just look at what happened next.
An attack piece appeared in the Guardian, co-authored by the slithy Professor Myles Allen, pouring scorn on the idiot deniers who had grotesquely misrepresented the findings of his learned paper. Even its titled oozed victimhood: When Media Sceptics Misrepresent Our Climate Research We Must Speak Out.
One of the writers Allen attacked was Graham Stringer, one of the few British MPs openly skeptical of “man-made global warming” – possibly because, with his university degree in chemistry, he’s one of very few MPs who actually understands the science.
Another one, almost inevitably, was me. Myles Allen and I go back some way. I like to think that we cordially despise one another. I’m pretty sure I remember him glowering at me from the benches years ago when I was in an Oxford Union debate on climate change alongside (former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer and prominent skeptic) Lord Lawson. Possibly, Allen made a floor intervention, which no doubt made him feel frightfully important.
Allen maintains this image that he’s just a damned decent, serious scientist trying to get on with his job, quite above the petty politics of the silly arguments put forward by know-nothing denier polemicists. Problem is, Allen’s current academic status – he is Professor of Geosystem Science in the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford and Head of the Climate Dynamics Group in the University’s Department of Physics – is dependent on carbon dioxide being a significant driver of climate change. If that bubble bursts, then Allen’s credibility is toast. Hence the tone of shrill bitchiness mingled with panicked desperation underlying his pretend-scientific rebuttal of mine and Stringer’s articles.
While Delingpole and Stringer were making out that our paper was about something it wasn’t, it seems to have prompted much more interesting conversations among scientists around the world about what the true level of human-induced warming really is, and what the Paris goal actually means.
These are important questions. For such a tight target, the actual remaining carbon budget is sensitive to a number of assumptions, including even how we define global average temperature. Significant uncertainties remain, and while we believe our paper improves on previous estimates, it is by no means the last word. But debating the current level of human-induced warming and how it relates to the 1.5C goal feels a bit like discussing how best to steer a spacecraft into orbit around Saturn while Delingpole and Stringer are urging their readers to question whether the Earth goes round the Sun.
Do you see what’s going on here?
This is Allen’s “business is business” moment.
Like Jerry Heller in Straight Outta Compton he has been called out. (I’m not by the way, suggesting that Allen has done anything crooked or illegal. Just that he has spent years propping up science which is manifestly dodgy – and being blusteringly rude and snooty to anyone, me for example, who has tried to call him out on it).
Like Jerry Heller, instead of fessing up and saying sorry, he prefers to double down and bluster his way out by trying to blind his critics with some distracting nonsense designed to imply that there’s this special thing that he does as a clever, sciencey expert which mere ordinary people are unequipped to comprehend.
In fact, as David Whitehouse argues at the GWPF, this is a disgraceful case of “shoot the messenger.”
Neither Stringer nor I did anything more than repeat what was written in Allen’s original study – and what he and his colleague Michael Grubb said about it afterwards. It’s hardly our fault if the actual scientific evidence hasn’t gone Allen’s way, is it?
It isn’t just Myles Allen who plays this game, by the way. The entirety of the climate alarmist establishment play this game and have been playing it for years. Of course they have. This “trust us, we’re scientists. We know” bluster is all they’ve got.
And they’ve been getting away with it, by and large, because so many gullible fools in the media and beyond have been more than eager to take them at their word.
After I wrote my pieces about the bombshell study, I got deluged with hate orchestrated by people like this guy. His name is John Madden – he’s a music promoter, based in the English spa town of Cheltenham, and to judge by the smiley pictures he loves to post of himself with his kids he thinks of himself as a really lovely, warm, caring guy. But where to ordinary people like Madden get the idea that the science is so “settled” that they’re entirely justified in launching their bully mobs against skeptical journalists like me? Ultimately, I’d suggest, from people like Professor Myles Allen of Oxford University. If Allen and his ilk hadn’t been so dogmatic all these years about the certainty of their science and the about the stupidity and wrongness of those who questioned it, then maybe this whole debate would have been a bit less heated and unpleasant.
Here’s the well-funded climate alarmist propaganda site Carbon Brief throwing up the usual chaff. (“Climate models have not exaggerated global warming” it claims – which is cheeky because it’s the opposite of true).
Here’s a guy who makes videos under the handle Potholer54. He was so fired up with righteous zeal that he threw together this insta-rebuttal . It’s being lapped up on YouTube by all the people out there who desperately want the climate alarmist narrative to be true and who desperately want anyone who criticises it to be made to look a fool.
Well, of course, I understand where these people are coming from. If you’ve believed something passionately for years and years, then clearly it’s a bit of a blow when some evidence comes along which proves that you’ve got it wrong. It’s even more painful if, as in the case of Myles Allen and his fellow climate alarmists, your livelihood depends on the untrue thing being true.
Problem is, I’m afraid the way I feel about these guys is rather the way Eazy-E feels in that movie when he confronts his shifty-looking manager.
Sure it’s sad – a personal tragedy even – that for whatever reason Jerry Heller was a lousy manager and managed to lose his client all that money.
But you know what? It’s not as nearly as sad as it is for those of us on the Eazy-E side of the relationship.
We’re the real victims of this terrible, decades long scam – not the perpetrators.
And we should never let those scumbags forget it.