Climate Science; Winning The Science Battle, But Losing the Policy War

by Dr. Tim Ball on July 28, 2014

in History,Political,Politics,Theory

(Elaboration of my Heartland Climate Conference Presentation)

We’re drowning in information and starving for knowledge. Rutherford Rogers

So-called climate skeptics, practicing proper science by disproving the hypothesis that human CO2 is causing global warming, achieved a great deal. This, despite harassment by formal science agencies, like the Royal Society, and deliberate neglect by the mainstream media. It combined with an active and deliberate Public Relations campaign, designed to mislead and confuse. Most people and politicians understand little of what is going on so the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) strategy of using created science for a political agenda moves ahead.

Emails leaked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in 2009, exposed the practices of the scientists controlling the IPCC. They also exposed the supporters and acolytes of their deception. Many were apparently innocuous incidents or comments, but they need examination and context. Comments often seem simple, but on reflection say a great deal. Wealthy Canadian businessman, Conrad Black was asked why he wasn’t in politics. His five words, “I don’t need to be.” spoke volumes.

In a December 2011 email to Michael Mann, Richard Littlemore, senior writer for the Canadian web site DeSmogBlog wrote,

Hi Michael [Mann],
I’m a DeSmogBlog writer [Richard Littlemore] (I got your email from Kevin Grandia) and I am trying to fend off the latest announcement that global warming has not actually occurred in the 20th century.
It looks to me like Gerd Burger is trying to deny climate change by “smoothing,” “correcting” or otherwise rounding off the temperatures that we know for a flat fact have been recorded since the 1970s, but I am out of my depth (as I am sure you have noticed: we’re all about PR here, not much about science) so I wonder if you guys have done anything or are going to do anything with Burger’s intervention in Science.

This email alone effectively discredits anything DeSmogBlog says. It also shows that climate science, practiced by the CRU and the IPCC, was a public relations exercise. The phrase “fend off” speaks volumes. It illustrates the battle was for the minds of the people, complicated by the fact that they, like Littlemore, “are not much about science”.

Arts and Science

I taught a Science credit course for Arts students for 25 years. I know how few know, or even want to know, about science. I taught the course by telling students it was basically about “How the Earth works” and as future citizens of Earth they should have some understanding, so they are less likely to be exploited about environmental issues. On the either side of the ledger of a broader education, I studied the ‘history of science’ and frequently gave lectures in the course. A History of Science course should be mandatory for all students. I add the empirical evidence of hundreds of public presentations and radio phone-in programs over forty years.

Approximately 25 percent of Americans believe the Sun orbits the Earth. The reality is, it doesn’t matter for most people; as long as the Sun rises and sets on a regular basis, it is of no consequence. One reason it doesn’t matter is because Copernicus presented his hypothesis in 1543, but the proof did not occur until 295 years later in 1838.

Newton’s Theory is equally of little consequence for most, so long as gravity works and they don’t fall off. Even fewer understand anything about Einstein, including many scientists. The big change came with Darwin, as science intruded on everyone’s sensibilities. In a grossly simplistic way, opponents of Darwin argued that he was saying your grandfather was gorilla. It changed academia from two faculties, Humanities and Natural Sciences, and added the third and now largest faculty, the Social Sciences.

Several years ago I was invited by a group of retired scientists in Calgary to form a group opposed to the Kyoto Protocol. Their concern was the inadequate science behind the planned policy. Located in Calgary, with some of them employed in the oil patch, they faced a dilemma of credibility. They chose to stick strictly with the science – a decision I supported. They did, and still do, marvelous work and gathered support, but were marginalized early when a very small donation from an oil company undermined their credibility. It is a classic example of the power of PR and politics over science. Another proof was the remarkable success of Gore’s movie produced by Hollywood, the masters of PR (propaganda).

Public Knowledge of Climate Science

A study by Yale University produced startling results about public knowledge of climate change. Figure 1 shows the actual results, with people graded, as if for a school exam. Only 8 percent scored A or B, while 77 percent received D or F.

Figure 1

Source Yale University

That is all you need to know, but it didn’t satisfy the researchers. They decided,

To further adjust for the difficulty of some questions, we constructed a curved grading scale as an alternative scoring system.

There is no justification for applying “a curved grading scale”. Figure 2 shows the result. Now only 27 percent fail and 33 percent have an A or B.
How could the questions be too difficult? That adjustment condemns and negates the entire study. Some of the questions were badly worded and analysis was wrong because the authors didn’t know climate science. Regardless, the results are definitive and the problem falsely amplified by questions being difficult. Who decided they were difficult?

Figure 2

Figure 2

A cartoon (Figure 3) appeared in the September 1, 1977 issue of New Scientist. How many people would understand the joke? Maybe the few who read the accompanying article about the Milankovitch Effect, but not many others. Indeed, Milankovitch effects are not included in IPCC models.

Figure 3
Figure 3

It is likely that at most 20 percent would understand. Figure 4 shows the percentage of students with High Level Science Skills in many countries.

Figure 4
Figure 4

Figure 5 shows slightly higher percentages of Science skills of University Graduates – a select group.


Figure 5

Lack of science abilities or training extends to several important sectors, for example, lawyers and politicians. Figure 6 shows that 12 percent of law students at the University of Michigan were science and math graduates.


Figure 6

Media Failure

The mainstream media is the major group that failed society in the global warming debate. They abrogated the role of probing, investigative journalism, expected of them by the US Founding Fathers.

Few journalists have science training and increasingly produce sensationalist stories to fit political bias – their own and their employers. They are now the gossips in Marshall McLuhan’s global village. Like all gossips, they work on few facts, spread false information and spin stories, which combine to destroy lives. Jonathan Swift, one of the greatest satirist said, “What some invent, the rest enlarge”.

The IPCC deliberately used all these weaknesses to mislead people. Differences between the Science Reports of Working Group I and the Summary For Policymakers are too great to be accidental. Deception began with the definition of climate change. The media and the public believe they study climate change in total. In order to blame humans, the definition of climate change was narrowed in Article 1 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

“…a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over considerable time periods.”

Nothing was done to disavow people of their misunderstanding. In fact, it is reinforced with incorrect statements by the IPCC.

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change.”

Public Confusion, Political Reaction

A Pew Center poll (Figure 7) is representative of public opinion and places “dealing with global warming” very low (19 out of 20) on their list of concerns.

There are several explanations including,
– Lack of understanding.
– Confused by contradictory evidence.
– General suspicion of governments.
– Feeling there is nothing they can do about it anyway.

All this creates a dilemma for politicians. They are still afraid of accusations that they don’t care about the planet, the children, the future or any of the other emotional threats used to steal the moral high ground. From their perspective they are trapped between jobs and the economy or the environment. This seems simple and obvious, but environmentalism as a religion makes it very challenging.

Beginning with the US Senate vote on ratifying the Kyoto Protocol politicians profess concern about the environment, but opt for jobs and the economy.

…the US Senate voted 95-0 against signing any treaty that would “cause severe economic damage to the US”, while exempting the rest of the world.


Figure 7

Western politicians put on the cloak of green and remain afraid to discuss anything otherwise. A panel established by the Indian Prime Minister offset the morality issue in a different way.

“… the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change, said India would rather save its people from poverty than global warming, and would not cut growth to cut gases”.

“It is obvious that India needs to substantially increase its per capita energy consumption to provide a minimally acceptable level of well-being to its people.”

“India is determined that its per capita greenhouse gas emissions will at no point exceed that of developed countries.”

The important connection between the two quotes is the opposition to inequality. Kyoto took money from Developed Nations, for their sin of producing CO2, and gave it to Developing Nations, to help them deal with the negative impact. None of this, either the claims of the IPCC or the counter claims of the Skeptics, has anything to do with the science.

Government Control Using Climate Change Proceeds Apace

Maurice Strong and creators of Agenda 21 and the IPCC are not concerned. The entire structure was designed to bypass politics and needs of the people. Bureaucracies continue apace to implement the goals of reducing human CO2 producing activities. The key was the role of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) that put weather agencies in every nation in charge of energy policies. They are proceeding with plans to achieve the goal. Figure 8 shows the cover of a Climate Action Plan for the Province of British Columbia.


Figure 8

A Climate Action Committee produced the Plan as the government website describes.

British Columbia’s Climate Action Team was established in November 2007 to help the government reduce provincial greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020. It was made up of some of the province’s best minds, including nine world leaders in the climate sciences.

The nine included Andrew Weaver, contributing author for the computer modeling section of four IPCC Reports. (1995, 2001, 2007 and 2013).

The Plan is being implemented by visits from the Provincial government to municipalities. After one such visit I was invited by residents of Mayne Island (one of the Gulf islands) to make a presentation. They were angry because the government visit involved a screening of Gore’s movie followed by proposals to change policies and practices on their island. This involved discussions about banning all motor vehicles and eliminating roads.

The Plan is based completely on the findings of the IPCC. It includes a carbon tax and requirement for Smart Meters among other things. Weaver provided an insert shown in Figure 9.


Figure 9

Gordon Campbell was Premier of the Province when the Climate Action Plan was introduced. He knew that control and power lay with the bureaucracies. In his first term he introduced wide ranging new legislation. He knew about the gap between what politicians intended and what the bureaucrats implemented and assigned one or two politicians to monitor implementation in each department. Bureaucrats tolerated this knowing they’d survive the politicians.

Maurice Strong did the opposite by involving WMO bureaucrats in planning, implementation and production. He effectively controlled the politicians of the world. Elaine Dewar, reported in her book Cloak of Green, his ideal was to eliminate the industrialized nations. She asked if he intended to become a politician to implement the idea. He replied, no, you couldn’t do anything as politician; he liked the UN because:

He could raise his own money from whomever he liked, appoint anyone he wanted, control the agenda.

Dewar added:

Strong was using the U.N. as a platform to sell a global environment crisis and the Global Governance Agenda.

As Strong planned and Weaver predicted, others are joining. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) information on how States and lower government levels establish a Climate Action Plan is shown below.


Climate Change Action Plans

Learn how to develop a climate change action plan for your community.

Regional Climate Change Action Plan

A climate change action plan lays out a strategy, including specific policy recommendations, that a local government will use to address climate change and reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Examples of climate change action plans developed by local governments are listed below according to their states.
AZ, AK, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IL, KY, LA, MD, MA, MN, MO, NH, NM, NY, NC, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, WA, All States


EPA based its plan on the science of the IPCC that skeptics proved was wrong. The only opposition to these plans will come from lost jobs and economic failures.


Figure 11

Either the British poster in Figure 11 will persuade people and politicians, or, the clever word play of a bumper sticker will prove true.