Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mark Hertsgaard, Climate Cranks, and "Conservativism"

This little factoid really bothers me:

There is a major paradigm shift in the climate story, in the climate problem. What changed, sometime around the turn of the century, was that global warming triggered outright climate change, and it did so a hundred years sooner than scientists expected. And so that huge shift in the problem – the fact that now we're locked into a significant amount of climate change, even if we do everything right--Mark Hertsgaard

Mark Hertsgaard and the Climate Cranks from Mark Hertsgaard on Vimeo.

The problem is that Conservative parties outside of the US have admitted to climate change, as this screen capture from the UK Conservative Party shows:

UK Conservative Party (You know, the Party that produced Margaret Thatcher) Policy on Climate Change:

Climate Change and Energy

The Government believes that climate change is one of the gravest threats we face, and that urgent action at home and abroad is required. We need to use a wide range of levers to cut carbon emissions, decarbonise the economy and support the creation of new green jobs and technologies. We will implement a full programme of measures to fulfil our joint ambitions for a low carbon and eco-friendly economy.

* We will push for the EU to demonstrate leadership in tackling international climate change.
* We will seek to increase the target for energy from renewable sources, subject to the advice of the Climate Change Committee.
* We will continue public sector investment in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology for four coal-fired power stations.
* We will establish a smart grid and roll out smart meters.
* We will create a green investment bank.
* We will retain energy performance certificates while scrapping HIPs.
* We will establish an emissions performance standard that will prevent coal-fired power stations being built unless they are equipped with sufficient carbon capture and storage.
* We will cancel the third runway at Heathrow and refuse permission for additional runways at Gatwick and Stansted.
* Through our 'Green Deal', we will encourage home energy efficiency improvements paid for by savings from energy bills.
* We will reform energy markets to deliver security of supply and investment in low carbon energy, and ensure fair competition.
* We will give an Annual Energy Statement to Parliament to set strategic energy policy and guide investment.
* We will work towards an ambitious global climate deal that will limit emissions and explore the creation of new international sources of funding for the purpose of climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Now, why can't the US Republican party and other "Conservatives" get on the same bandwagon?

See also:
Generation Hot
Mark Hertsgaard
Generation Hot on Facebook
Why Are Republicans Against The Science?
The Conservative Party | Policy | Where we stand | Climate Change and Energy


  1. Laci The Dog:

    Thanks for the post. It's not stuff that I was unaware of but other readers might not have been. I happily await a lively discussion of the points you highlighed, both pro and con, from an informed and engage readership. Oh, wait, my bad; this post has nothing to do with people calling semi-automatic handgunz, "automatic" or calling deliberately designed to resemble U.S. and other countries' actual, y'know assault weapons, "assault weapons".

    You'd get a lot more hits on posts like this if you dropped the term, "large capacity clip" in a few places. That bringz the gunzloonz like roadkill draws vultures.

  2. You're correct, the astroturf comes in when someone mentions gunz, not climate change.

  3. Why didn't they stop making SUVs during the medieval warming period? That would've nipped this in the bud!
    If only the Vikings hadn't insisted on those carbon-spewing power longboats, we'd have rainbow-farting unicorns by now!

  4. Oh noes say it is not so......

    New, convincing evidence indicates global warming is caused by cosmic rays and the sun — not humans

    The science is now all-but-settled on global warming, convincing new evidence demonstrates, but Al Gore, the IPCC and other global warming doomsayers won’t be celebrating. The new findings point to cosmic rays and the sun — not human activities — as the dominant controller of climate on Earth.

    The research, published with little fanfare this week in the prestigious journal Nature, comes from über-prestigious CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, one of the world’s largest centres for scientific research involving 60 countries and 8,000 scientists at more than 600 universities and national laboratories. CERN is the organization that invented the World Wide Web, that built the multi-billion dollar Large Hadron Collider, and that has now built a pristinely clean stainless steel chamber that precisely recreated the Earth’s atmosphere.

    In this chamber, 63 CERN scientists from 17 European and American institutes have done what global warming doomsayers said could never be done — demonstrate that cosmic rays promote the formation of molecules that in Earth’s atmosphere can grow and seed clouds, the cloudier and thus cooler it will be. Because the sun’s magnetic field controls how many cosmic rays reach Earth’s atmosphere (the stronger the sun’s magnetic field, the more it shields Earth from incoming cosmic rays from space), the sun determines the temperature on Earth.

    The hypothesis that cosmic rays and the sun hold the key to the global warming debate has been Enemy No. 1 to the global warming establishment ever since it was first proposed by two scientists from the Danish Space Research Institute, at a 1996 scientific conference in the U.K.

    The mobilization to rally the press against the Danes worked brilliantly, with one notable exception. Nigel Calder, a former editor of The New Scientist who attended that 1996 conference, would not be cowed.

    The theory will probably be able to account for somewhere between a half and the whole of the increase in the Earth’s temperature that we have seen in the last century,” Mr. Kirkby told the scientific press in 1998, explaining that global warming may be part of a natural cycle in the Earth’s temperature.

    The global warming establishment sprang into action, pressured the Western governments that control CERN, and almost immediately succeeded in suspending CLOUD. It took Mr. Kirkby almost a decade of negotiation with his superiors, and who knows how many compromises and unspoken commitments, to convince the CERN bureaucracy to allow the project to proceed. And years more to create the cloud chamber and convincingly validate the Danes’ groundbreaking theory.

    Yet this spectacular success will be largely unrecognized by the general public for years — this column will be the first that most readers have heard of it — because CERN remains too afraid of offending its government masters to admit its success. Weeks ago, CERN formerly decided to muzzle Mr. Kirby and other members of his team to avoid “the highly political arena of the climate change debate,” telling them “to present the results clearly but not interpret them” and to downplay the results by “mak[ing] clear that cosmic radiation is only one of many parameters.” The CERN study and press release is written in bureaucratese and the version of Mr. Kirkby’s study that appears in the print edition of Nature censored the most eye-popping graph — only those who know where to look in an online supplement will see the striking potency of cosmic rays in creating the conditions for seeding clouds.

    CERN, and the Danes, have in all likelihood found the path to the Holy Grail of climate science. But the religion of climate science won’t yet permit a celebration of the find.

    Financial Post

  5. The piece unhinged cites is posted as opinion.

    Unhinged needs to learn the difference between fact and opinion--especially opinion without any factual basis.

    As well as between reality and his overworked imagination.

    As I said, come back when your doctor has prescribed anti-psychotics.

  6. Your Lawrence Solomon Financial Post article grossly misreprese­nts CERN's findings.

    Here's CERN on what their study confirms and does not confirm with respect to climate change:


    We have found that natural rates of atmospheri­c ionisation caused by cosmic rays can substantia­lly enhance nucleation under the conditions we studied... This result leaves open the possibilit­y that cosmic rays could also influence climate. However, it is premature to conclude that cosmic rays have a significan­t influence on climate until the additional nucleating vapours have been identified­, their ion enhancemen­t measured, and the ultimate effects on clouds have been confirmed.

    As RealClimat­e points out:


    Establishi­ng a significan­t GCR/cloud/­climate link would require the following steps (given that we have known that ionisation plays a role in nucleation for decades). One would need to demonstrat­e:

    … that increased nucleation gives rise to increased numbers of (much larger) cloud condensati­on nuclei (CCN)
    … and that even in the presence of other CCN, ionisation changes can make a noticeable difference to total CCN
    … and even if there were more CCN, you would need to show that this actually changed cloud properties significan­tly,
    … and that given that change in cloud properties­, you would need to show that it had a significan­t effect on radiative forcing.

  7. My personal opinion is it ALL was caused by Right Guard Deoderant Spray which became very popular in the 60s.