Last night I went to the Hammer Museum to hear Michael Mann of the IPCC and Brenda Ekwurzel of the Union of Concerned Scientists speak about global warming. I call Michael Mann and his colleague Phil Jones the Godfathers of global warming. Their computer models are the basis of the global warming claims. Michael Mann is the author of the “hockey stick” theory, which has been disproven by McIntyre and McKitrick , http://climateaudit.org/multiproxy-pdfs/ but Mr. Mann soldiers on.
I arrived early and was given a seat in the front row. Some ushers came around and passed out index cards to write questions for Q&A. I was disappointed as I intended to ask Mr. Mann why he fraudulently claimed he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. We were also told there were no pictures of video’s allowed to be taken.
The theater filled, interestingly, with an abundance of what I’d call hippies……a lot of Birkenstocks, beards, long hair, leather vests over t-shirts. A tall, wild haired man in tennis shoes, shorts and baseball t-shirt sat in the seat next to me. He greeted me warmly, holding out his hand for me to shake and said his name was Mark….and asked my name. I told him my name as he slouched down in the seat, folding his hands on his chest and stretching his feet out in front of him. He asked what brought me there. I told him I came to hear Michael Mann. He asked what my interest in him was. I told him I would probably disagree with everything he had to say. With that he sat straight up and turned his back to me to talk to the people on the other side of him. When the program started he got out a clip board to take notes. It had sign up sheets on it that said, “Citizens Climate Lobby”.
The moderator, Ian Masters, gave a rather long speech saying there was no doubt that there was global warming (he didn’t use “climate change”) and that man was causing it with his use of fossil fuels. He spoke about the insanity of the deniers. He said how Australia had been the pioneer nation that had embraced the reduction of CO2 but recently a “thuggish” PM Tony Abbott reverse their Cap and Trade laws. I had to put my hands on either side of my face to keep my head from exploding.
Michael Mann is a pudgy, bald man in a rumpled suit, but his vanity is revealed by the fact his shoes had two inch heals and lifts. His power point presentation began with these words, “the science is straightforward”. He said last year CO2 passed the 400 parts per million (to which I wanted to shout out, “the more CO2 the greener the planet”), he said we are warming and will continue warming. He said we have warmed a little less than one degree Celsius but if we don’t change course we will warm 4 or 5 degrees Celsius in the near future. He said the ocean was warming, the poles were melting and the sea levels were rising:
A picture of a polar bear appeared on the screen and he said they picked the polar bear to be the poster child of global warming to garner sympathy, but that the melting poles would eliminate their habitat. He showed a picture of flooding in Florida. He said their seasonal high tides have caused flooding in the past but the rising seas will cause it to be a permanent problem. To his credit he said hurricane Sandy was not caused by global warming, but that it was made worse by it. Someone needs to tell George Clooney that because George said he couldn’t understand after Sandy how anyone could deny global warming.
Michael Mann showed graphs and charts we’ve all seen before. He said he was thrust into the center of this debate because of his hockey stick chart. He said dozens of studies have supported his theory (neglecting to mention the empirical data has proven him wrong). He showed a picture of one Republican Congressman who agreed with him.
The next slide said, “Why No Action”. The first slide after, “Why No Action” was a picture of Senator James Inhofe. Mr. Mann thinks the Senator is standing in the way of green energy and the solutions to this global problem. This is the portion I thought was revealing. Mr. Mann said there has been no action because BIG oil, the Republican party (lead by Senator Inhofe) and the evil Koch brothers have poured lots of money in opposing the solutions (translation: don’t vote Republican). He must have mentioned the Koch brothers five or six times during his talk.
Next to speak was Brenda Ekwurzel, Ph.D. with the Union of Concerned Scientists, whose stated purpose is education aimed at increasing support for strong climate legislation (again, don’t vote Republican). She started by saying there has been an unprecedented increase in CO2 not seen in 800,000 years. Really? http://www.biocab.org/Carbon_Dioxide_Geological_Timescale.html
She spoke of being at the artic in 2011 and there was open water for miles due to the melting poles. She said the ice at the poles has decreased 52%. She spoke of how forest fires are worse because the warming is causing them to dry out (she fails to mention the Federal government not allowing forests to be logged, maintained or cleaned out). She showed pictures of dead crops in the San Joaquin valley as a sign of draught being caused by global warming (again failing to mention the Federal government turning off the water to the valley: http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970204731804574384731898375624
It’s this sort of misrepresentation that makes their argument so obviously fraudulent.
Ian Masters then took over the Q&A portion of the program. He started by saying “scientists don’t make things up”. Michael Mann elaborated by saying he couldn’t make things up because other scientists would challenge him (he forgot to mention the emails between him and Phil Jones discussing how they intimidated Scientific Journals not to publish negative peer reviews, by threatening not to allow them to publish their work…..and they were the Godfathers after all). Noted here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/25/climategate-men-bahaving-badly-a-short-summary-for-laymen/
“We hold each other accountable”, was his answer. But then he calls those who hold him accountable, “deniers”. He said deniers say he is paid by the government to support their policies. He said yes, they get government grants but that money doesn’t go into their pockets, it’s for their research.
These are some of the scientists holding him accountable: http://www.petitionproject.org
And some of his own colleagues: 650 current and former IPCC scientists speak out against global warming to Senate Committee:
Even though I couldn’t ask my question out loud, I did write it on an index card and passed it to the usher. I had put a star on the back of the card so I could tell when Mr. Masters read my card. He made a face as if he ate something sour and put my card on the table. Someone asked why we didn’t just have all cars run on batteries. The reply was “limited funding”. Another question was why we didn’t burn CO2 as fuel. Ms. Ekwurzel said it was too expensive to capture once in the atmosphere. She said CO2 would remain in the atmosphere for centuries. Neither of the speakers mentioned the effect of cloud cover and movement or the Sun on climate.
Someone had pointed out the empirical evidence showed 18 years of no warming and asked how they explained that. Ms. Ekwurzel said some of the techniques they used to collect the data were flawed and when corrected show that wasn’t true. Mr. Mann said many environmentalists think nuclear is a good alternative to fossil fuels but, although he admitted nuclear energy was not his area of expertise, he didn’t think it was a viable choice.
Several people asked about a revenue neutral carbon tax. One asked, “How can Capitalism be destroyed to save the environment”. About ten people applauded enthusiastically. To her credit, Ms. Ekwurzel didn’t think that was necessary but some combination of free markets and regulations was the solution. But she emphasized how critical the situation was. She said we are seeing the artic sheets disappearing even faster than we believed.
Mr. Mann again slammed the Republicans. He said the House Science Committee denies global warming. He said we don’t presently have a carbon tax because the evil Exxon Oil Company was funding disinformation. He said Grover Norquist even supported a carbon tax for a minute until “the brothers from Kansas” got to him.
After the program Mr. Mann signed his book in the lobby. I stood in line with his book. When I reached him I didn’t hand him the book to sign. I opened it and pointed to where it states he won the Nobel Peace Prize and asked him why he made that fraudulent claim. He looked as if I had hit him. A woman standing near said I was rude. I put the book back on the table and left.
I thought the most important and revealing statement made by Mr. Mann was the closing statement he made in response to what “people” could do. He said because this threat has been so politicized the citizens around the world needed to band together “under one flag” to solve the problem globally.
Wall Street Journal on global warming: http://on.wsj.com/wKtz8Y