Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach
This is the 30th anniversary of James Hansen’s testimony to Congress regarding “global warming”. It was his testimony that set off the disastrous 30 Year War on Carbon. There have been articles in the press celebrating the anniversary of his testimony and lauding Hansen’s role, but I see nothing to celebrate. It has been a war with lots of casualties, mostly among the poor who can least afford it. It’s a war that has increased my electricity price by 50%. I can afford that … but there are many who can’t. It’s a war that has plunged thousands of people into a new kind of poverty, “fuel poverty”. Fuel poverty is where in midwinter, you have to make a choice between heating and eating …
I shudder to think about what that choice must be like.
And sadly, one of the main casualties of this mad war is the reputation of climate science itself. The disreputable actions of far too many activist scientists have blackened the names of every honest climate scientist and indeed of the entire field.
How did we get into this insane fight against a natural component of the atmosphere? Much of it traces back to a very successful underhanded scam pulled off by Jamex Hansen surrounding his Congressional testimony during that summer thirty years ago.
Why do I call it an “underhanded scam”? Here’s a description of the chicanery from an interview with Senator Tim Wirth, one of the flim-flam artists who helped James Hansen with his Congressional testimony. The interviewer is asking Senator Wirth about the events surrounding that Congressional Hearing. The interviewer asks:
What else was happening that summer? What was the weather like that summer?
Senator Wirth: Believe it or not, we called the Weather Bureau and found out what historically was the hottest day of the summer. Well, it was June 6 or June 9 or whatever it was, so we scheduled the hearing that day, and bingo: It was the hottest day on record in Washington, or close to it. It was stiflingly hot that summer. [At] the same time you had this drought all across the country, so the linkage between the Hansen hearing and the drought became very intense.
Simultaneously [Mass. Gov. Michael] Dukakis was running for president. Dukakis was trying to get an edge on various things and was looking for spokespeople, and two or three of us became sort of the flacks out on the stump for Dukakis, making the separation between what Democratic policy and Republican policy ought to be. So it played into the presidential campaign in the summer of ’88 as well.
So a number of things came together that, for the first time, people began to think about it. I knew it was important because there was a big article in, I believe, the Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated on climate change. [Laughs.] So there was a correlation. You figure, well, if we’re making Sports Illustrated on this issue, you know, we’ve got to be making some real headway.
So these underhanded cheats set the stage for hyping “global warming” by deliberately choosing the hottest day of the year for Hansen’s testimony. Then they morphed his oh-so-movingly hot testimony into a very successful partisan political issue for the Democrats.
And the amazing thing is, Senator Wirth sees his deceit as something to boast about!
“But wait”, as they say on TV, “there’s more”. Here’s the next question to Senator Wirth:
And did you also alter the temperature in the hearing room that day?
Senator Wirth: … What we did it was went in the night before and opened all the windows, I will admit, right? So that the air conditioning wasn’t working inside the room and so when the, when the hearing occurred there was not only bliss, which is television cameras in double figures, but it was really hot. …
So Hansen’s giving this testimony, you’ve got these television cameras back there heating up the room, and the air conditioning in the room didn’t appear to work. So it was sort of a perfect collection of events that happened that day, with the wonderful Jim Hansen, who was wiping his brow at the witness table and giving this remarkable testimony. …
There you have it. Wirth and Hansen picked the hottest day, opened the windows, and disabled the air conditioning to create a made-for-tv illusion of global warming, nobody could deny it seeing Hansen and the Senators sweat … and now Senator Wirth is boasting about how clever they were. Can’t get much more pridefully underhanded than that.
They say that “Fish rots from the head down”, and the Thirty Year War on carbon dioxide is a clear example of that. The war on carbon dioxide was born in lies, cheating, deliberate subterfuge, and intentional misrepresentations by James Hansen and Senator Tim Wirth … and it has continued down that same path since the beginning.
They also say “As the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined”, and starting with Wirth and Hansen deceiving the US Congress, down through Michael Mann and his lies about the Hockeystick being validated, to Peter Gleick and his lies about the Heartland Institute, to Caspar Amman lying to get the Jesus Paper into the IPCC report, the field has had far, far too many devious, deceitful “scientists” shading the truth, ignoring opposing evidence, disabling air conditioners, and telling porkies to advance their allegedly noble cause.
And to advance their careers as well, although surely that is only coincidental …
The most amazing part of this story is that even though these scientific malfeasants fooled Congress, and even though they lied their keisters off, even though they stacked the peer review panels with reviewers blind enough to put Stevie Wonder to shame, and even though the governments and the universities and the scientific organizations and the mainstream media all bought into their deceit and lies, even despite the fact that tragically they poured billions and billions of dollars down the rathole in the process … they still haven’t convinced the core of the US population that CO2 is the double extra secret control knob that can simply be turned up and down to regulate the global temperature to the nearest degree.
Thirty years on now, and all that time they tried and they tried, and they lied and they lied, but they just couldn’t pull it off.
So what I’m celebrating today is the 30th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln being proved right when he said “you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”
And on this anniversary I’m also celebrating those who have fought the good fight in this war, and it is a long and tiresome fight indeed. First and foremost, Anthony Watts, whose original Surfacestations project morphed into Watts Up With That, the most successful climate blog ever. Next, Steven McIntyre, whose dogged pursuit of the smallest details showed just where the Hockeystick was fatally cracked, and who exposed errors in dozens of papers.
Among the professional scientists who have followed the facts and fought for the scientific method, I give big props to Drs. Bill Gray (sadly no longer with us), Roy Spencer, Tim Ball, John Christie, Pielkes Per et Fil, Willie Soon, the dean Fred Singer, the irrepressible Judith Curry, Craig Loehle, and many more honest scientists known and unknown.
Beyond them are dozens and dozens of amateur scientists, bloggers, journalists, and people from other disciplines doing or reporting on interesting original climate research—Jo Nova, Steve Goddard, Matt Ridley, Warwick Hughes, Jennifer Marohazy, Donna Laframboise, Roger Tallbloke, Bishop Hill, the delightfully mad Lord Moncton, Lucia Liljegrin, James Delingpole, Ross McKitrick, and many, many others.
(I apologize in advance for leaving out anyone whose name I should have mentioned, but rest assured, your contributions are known beyond the confines of my faulty memory.)
Next up for war decorations are the moderators of all of the climate-related blogs, particularly of WUWT. Since WUWT has a worldwide reach, it needs to be moderated 24/7. This is done by a global group of dedicated people who have selflessly donated their time to keep the doors open. Kudos to the moderators on all the blogs.
Next are all of the other active participants in the climate discussion, AKA the commenters. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from the comments on all of the blogs—there’s always something new, some different way to look at things, some insight about how I might be able to solve a problem.
Next, a special war medal for those who have show me and others where our scientific claims are wrong. Science progresses inter alia by one person trying to find flaws in the scientific ideas of another person. It is essentially adversarial, and nobody likes to be publicly shown to be wrong. Me, I hate it … but being shown wrong has saved me months, perhaps years, of following some incorrect understanding down some blind alley. It is the willingness of the skeptics to be wrong that will sustain people’s faith in the scientific process.
To round it all out, I want to give a shout-out to the lurkers, those who read the articles and comments with great interest, but rarely or never comment. The lurkers are the unseen nine-tenths of the iceberg that give it the mass necessary to bring down the big “ship of fools” …
Anyhow, that’s what I’m celebrating on this 30th anniversary of the start of the Carbon Wars—this mad, ad-hoc, unorganized, chaotic army of professional and amateur scientists, interested individuals, bloggers, people with unconventional scientific ideas, intellectual nonconformists, lurkers, climate curmudgeons such as myself, general weirdos, and a host of other in-laws and outlaws who have united under the banner of science-based skepticism, and who have fought the combined power of governments, universities, activist scientists with billions in funding, and the mainstream media to a standstill.
My profound congratulations to all involved. Not that the war is won, but at least we’re at what might be called the “Churchill inflection point” … well done to everyone, thanks for fighting the good fight.
PS—The “Churchill inflection point”? It is that point in a war that Churchill described as follows:
It is my best judgement that after thirty years of climate science being hijacked by activists, we are now at the end of the beginning of the fight to return sanity, transparency, and honesty to climate science.
PPS—when you comment I ask that you quote the exact words you are discussing. Your subject is always crystal clear to you … but not to others. So please, to avoid misunderstandings, quote the subject of your musings.