Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise has been watching the climate world since 2009. What she sees isn't pretty.

As the Paris Climate Summit Fades Into History, A Real News Story

A US Senate committee hears that climate science is so intolerant and close-minded, the integrity and reputation of science itself is threatened.

1972_UN_conference

Screengrab from a media report on a 1972 UN environment conference. Click to watch the video.

The UN’s COP21 climate negotiations have now gone into overtime, but the agony will soon be over. Even at this late stage, the BBC website continues to uncritically parrot French government and UN officials. These negotiations are central to humanity’s well-being. They represent a “big step forward.”

The BBC tells us, also, that Jennifer Morgan feels “optimistic.” She’s described as global director of the Climate Program at the World Resources Institute. We aren’t alerted to the fact that Morgan used to be the WWF’s chief spokesperson on climate. Or that she led the WWF’s delegation to the 1997 Kyoto climate negotiations. In other words, in lieu of substantive commentary, the BBC serves up the remarks of a professional activist long invested in the UN negotiation process. As if there was any possibility she’d say something off-message.

So goes the climate game. Mindless media scribbling. Stale political theatre. Round and round. Over and over. Ben Pile, who authors the Climate-Resistance blog, has drawn my attention to video footage reporting on a 1972 UN environment conference (see Part 1 and Part 2). Set aside the vintage cars and hair styles, and this could be a dispatch from Paris. We were in the midst of an “environmental crisis” back then, too. Humanity was selfish and reckless. Capitalism was bad. The evidence was “overwhelming.” Oh, and poor countries were demanding that rich ones pay reparations.

Fast forward 43 years, and the same wheel continues to spin in the same hamster cage. Meanwhile, the BBC misses the real news. Its website contains dozens of stories about COP21 and not a single report on the most electrifying development in the climate world this week. It didn’t take place in Paris, but in Washington, D.C.

curry_testimony_screengrab

Screengrab from a recording of climatologist Judith Curry’s recent testimony. Click to watch this video clip. See the bottom of this blog post for the video of the entire hearing.

A committee of the US Senate held a hearing on Tuesday titled: Data or Dogma? Promoting Open Inquiry in the Debate Over the Magnitude of the Human Impact on Earth’s Climate. Climatologist Judith Curry, of Georgia Tech University, provided verbal and written testimony. She described the “enormous pressure” those who work in climate science are under to conform to a single point-of-view. This state of affairs, she says, “risks destroying science’s reputation for honesty and objectivity.”

Anyone who truly cares about the good name of science should be alarmed by Curry’s testimony. Any parent genuinely worried about how climate change might affect their children deserves to hear that this highly qualified scientist thinks her profession has gone astray. That important avenues of research have been systematically ignored. That the data on which momentous conclusions have been based “is sparse and inadequate.” That, in its eagerness to pin the blame on humanity, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has paid insufficient attention “to natural causes of climate change, in particular from the sun and from the long-term oscillations in ocean circulations.”

Journalist Mark Steyn also testified at that hearing. As a vigorous advocate of free speech, he looks at the climate world and sees what I see: intolerance, disgraceful leadership, dishonourable conduct, and an appalling absence of maturity and fair play. To quote from Steyn’s written testimony:

too many people within the climate cartel are demanding that dissent from the alleged “consensus” should be not merely a civil offense but a criminal one – and far too many legislators and bureaucrats are willing to entertain it. Your colleague, Senator Whitehouse, is among those who favor criminal penalties for those who disagree with him on climate policy.

Humans are fallible. We make mistakes all the time – individually and collectively. But mistakes can only be identified and a more sensible course of action can only be pursued when people are free to speak their minds. Any milieu in which dissent is associated with the destruction of one’s career is, by definition, unscientific.

Both Curry and Steyn argue persuasively that climate science is broken. This simple idea calls everything happening in Paris into question. It raises the serious possibility that the global warming diagnosis is flat-out wrong.

The public has a right to know this. Shame on the BBC for keeping its audience in the dark.

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