Public distrust over supposed man-made climate change has heightened following the East Anglia University data falsification scandal. Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit, has now admitted that global temperatures have barely changed over the past 15 years – during which time we had been told repeatedly that global warming science had been settled. Without such a major deception, could the climate change issue have mustered anything like the level of political support and institutional backing that most recently culminated in a high-level stand-off in Copenhagen? And now that the data is known to be tainted, will this support actually start to wane?
In the United Kingdom, acceptance of the phenomenon is so entrenched that there is a Department of Energy and Climate Change, with a cabinet level minister seemingly in charge of propagandizing on the subject. The nation’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which marshals complaints about truth in advertising, recently upheld complaints against newspaper adverts being run by DECC to scare people into believing in the hoax. More substantial elements in the government’s advertising campaign were cleared by the ASA.
Using nursery rhymes, the adverts read: “Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. There was none, as extreme weather due to climate change had caused a drought.” A second read: “Rub a dub dub, three men in a tub, a necessary course of action due to flash flooding caused by climate change.”
Some folks just have to take the fun out of everything. Yet it was not the distasteful use of childhood nursery rhymes to advance propaganda which curtailed the DECC advertisements but the explanatory wording underneath, that read: “Climate change is happening. Temperature and sea levels are rising. Extreme weather events such as storms, floods and heat waves will become more frequent and intense. If we carry on at this rate, life in 25 years could be very different.”
Ed Miliband, the cabinet minister responsible, brushed off the ruling saying that it centered around just one word. But it is a single word that makes a big difference, when “will” is changed to “could”. The fact is that it is impossible to prove a link between man’s activities and changes in weather patterns.
Justifying the campaign, Miliband told the BBC that the UK government has a duty to make people aware of the dangers of climate change. It is Mr. Miliband’s duty to extract money from taxpayers to pay for political advertisements designed to extract more money out of taxpayers.
In fact, the UK government is so keen on the idea of man-made climate change that for the past several years diplomats at its embassies around the world have been assigned to rally support for international measures to combat it. Is this the best way to use taxpayer’s money?
One has to wonder how it will all end. Will historians look back on the global warming/ climate change political cheerleaders in the same way that we look at the pre- World War Two appeasers of the 1930s, as misguided if well-intentioned? Or will future generations look at them in the same way we think of the orchestrators of the Salem witch trials? How will school books characterize the issue when it all finally comes crashing down? Will liberals be able to find new respectable vehicles for their relentless expansion of government controls? What will Britain’s DECC be renamed? Will people ever believe scientists again?
Ironically, it is not doubts over the validity of climate change theory but a combination of economic uncertainty and fears over government spending that may force President Obama and Congressional leaders to delay their cap and tax climate change legislation. In Australia, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd signed onto the global warming alarmism and then delayed his own measures due to similar economic concerns. If the political proponents of climate change policies can so readily acknowledge the harm they will cause, why would they want to pursue them at all?
Perhaps the toughest factor for British voters, however, is that all of its major political parties have enthusiastically bought into the hoax. The Conservative spokesman criticized DECC not for propagandizing in its advertisements but for unnecessarily exaggerating the supposed fact of man-made climate change.
With national and international bureaucracies vested in the theory of climate change, and political reputations tied to its existence, the hoax looks increasingly like the procession of another childhood character, the fabled emperor who wore no clothes.