Monday, July 23, 2007

Aussie Documentary Against Warming

Meanwhile, an Australian documentary poking holes in the religion of Global Warming has generated a counter-productively ferocious repsonse from the True Believers. The documentarian, Martin Durkin, asks why so defensive?

"First, the ferocity of the attack, I think, revealed the intolerance and defensiveness of the global warming camp. Why were Jones and co expending such energy and resources attacking one documentary? We are told the global warming theory is robust. They say you'd have to be off your chump to disagree. We have been assured for years, in countless news broadcasts and column inches, that it's definitely true. So why bother to stamp so aggressively on the one foolish documentary-maker - who clearly must be as mad as a snake - who steps out of line?

I think viewers may also have wondered (reasonably) why the theory of global warming has not been subjected to this barrage of critical scrutiny by the media. After all, it's the theory of global warming, not my foolish little film, that is turning public and corporate policy on its head.

The apparent unwillingness of Jones and others at the ABC to give airtime to a counterargument, the tactics used to minimise the ostensible damage done by the film, the evident animosity towards those who questioned global warming: all of this served to give viewers a glimpse of what it was like for scientists who dared to disagree with the hallowed doctrine.

Why are the global warmers so zealous? After a year of arguing with people about this, I am convinced that it's because global warming is first and foremost a political theory. It is an expression of a whole middle-class political world view. This view is summed up in the oft-repeated phrase "we consume too much". I have also come to the conclusion that this is code for "they consume too much". People who believe it tend also to think that exotic foreign places are being ruined because vulgar oiks can afford to go there in significant numbers, they hate plastic toys from factories and prefer wooden ones from craftsmen, and so on.

All this backward-looking bigotry has found perfect expression in the idea of man-made climate disaster. It has cohered a bunch of disparate reactionary prejudices (anti-car, anti-supermarkets, anti-globalisation) into a single unquestionable truth and cause. So when you have a dig at global warming, you commit a grievous breach of social etiquette. Among the chattering classes you're a leper."

Ouch, I think he struck another nerve there, and with good reason. The theory is starting to crumble away at every turn.

First there is the disturbing lack of warming since 1998 - global temps have been either static or slightly declining since that time. Then there is that pesky ice core data showing that increased carbon dioxide levels FOLLOW warmer temperatures, rather than precede them. Then the IPCC was forced to drop the infamously hoaxed "hocky stick" graph - the one that "adjusted" away the Medieval Warming period, and then there is that that unambiguous satellite data showing that the Earth's troposphere isn't warming, as it should if the theory is correct, but is actually cooling! Then there is that bizarre cooling period from the 1940s-1970s that can't be explained either (unless you take into account the activity of that big ball of fire we orbit - but I digress).

The whole enchillada is crumbling, just as everyone and their Grandma's dog is jumping onto the bandwagon. No wonder they see red.

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