my last column I promised I’d name the guilty names: all those morally bankrupt, intellectually tainted, mendacious, ignorant useful idiot shills who for the last several years have assumed the mantle of scientific expertise and loftily declared that the “Pause” in global warming wasn’t a thing, only a fantasy cooked up by evil deniers.In
You may say that I’m using a sledgehammer to crack a nest of cockroaches; that rather than crow in victory one should be magnanimous in order to prove oneself a better man than they are, Gunga Din.
I disagree. I want blood. Entrails too, please. Those of us who have spent years of our lives being mocked and traduced and demeaned by these verminous charlatans deserve our pound of flesh, not only for the sake of sweet vengeance, but also for the greater cause of scientific honesty and journalistic integrity.
This is no more than I would expect were the positions ever reversed.
Suppose, for example, that I had written in the Spectator an article on global warming and it subsequently emerged that it was scientifically illiterate, that I’d dragged the name of a good journalist (who had got his facts right) through the mud, and that I’d brought the title into disrepute by adopting a tone of lofty, scornful, apparent expertise entirely unjustified by reality: well here’s what I’d expect to have to do….
Apologise. First to the journalist I’d unfairly, perhaps libellously, maligned; next to the magazine’s editor for having been such a dogmatically wrongheaded prick; finally to the readers for having abused their faith in my due diligence and my supposedly superior knowledge. Indeed, I think if I’d ever got an article as comprehensively wrong as the one I’m about to mention, I’d feel so shit I think I might seriously consider never broaching the topic again.
So now, without further ado, let me introduce MARK LYNAS – activist, prominent environmental campaigner, and author of a very angry, high-handed 2008 article in the New Statesman (the left’s answer to the Spectator) called Has Global Warming Really Stopped?. This was in response to a piece by David Whitehouse which – quite controversially for the time – tentatively noted that the temperature record showed that there had been no “global warming” for several years and that this fact might, at some stage, become a significant issue.
Lynas was having none of it. His response brimmed with righteous indignation.
Here’s a flavour of the tone:
First let’s ask whether Whitehouse is wholly or partially correct in his analysis. To quote:
“The fact is that the global temperature of 2007 is statistically the same as 2006 as well as every year since 2001. Global warming has, temporarily or permanently, ceased. Temperatures across the world are not increasing as they should according to the fundamental theory behind global warming – the greenhouse effect. Something else is happening and it is vital that we find out what or else we may spend hundreds of billions of pounds needlessly.”
I’ll be blunt. Whitehouse got it wrong – completely wrong.
Lynas goes on to rehearse his involved and tedious cod-scientific explanation as to how David Whitehouse (formerly of the BBC, now science editor of the Global Warming Policy Foundation) apparently got it wrong.
Except, of course, as I reported yesterday David Whitehouse did not in fact get it wrong. Lynas did. So we really needn’t waste any valuable time reminding ourselves of the threadbare and rambling rationale Lynas (or rather, it seems from his piece, his friends at RealClimate) produced to try to poo poo the existence of the Pause. All that matters, we now know with hindsight, is: Skeptic Whitehouse 1; Environmentalist Lynas 0.
Now we all make mistakes. Today’s magazine article is tomorrow’s bogpaper. But for me what makes it much, much harder to indulge or forgive Lynas his error is the arrogance, the rudeness and the hectoring self righteousness of his delivery.