Published by paulmacrae on 06 Jul 2023

Utopian social engineering of Net Zero promoters will be disastrous

The promised climate utopia will cost us our prosperity and our freedom, if we allow it

By Paul MacRae, July 6, 2023

Dr. Trevor Hancock, the first leader of the Canadian Green Party and now a retired professor of public health, has for several years had a regular weekly column in the Victoria Times Colonist promoting what can only be called a bleak vision of the future if we don’t abandon our industrial-technological civilization and return to a more “natural” way of being (smaller communities, less consumption, etc.)

He is, of course, firmly in the Net Zero by 2050 camp when it comes to “climate change” and the headline for his June 25, 2023, column is “Climate action needs a greater sense of urgency.”1 This column focuses on the “face” of global warming in the spring and summer of 2023—forest fires—and he notes that 2023 is having the “worst wildfire season in the past 20 years.”

This upsurge in fires is due, of course, to “global warming,” hence the need for urgency. Although, curiously, the number of fires in Canada has actually gone down over the past 30 years, according to the National Forestry Database (see graph below). If forest fires are one of the “faces” of global warming, shouldn’t the number of fires have gone steadily up for those 30 years of previous warming, rather than down?

In reality, “climate change” has many faces. For some, “climate change” means more and more-intense forest fires; for others more floods; for others more drought; for others more cases of extreme heat; and so on.

None of these problems, alone or in combination, are new; humans have been dealing with them for thousands of years, mostly with success. Why? Because we have found affordable, engineering-based solutions for all these so-called global-warming-related issues.

In our technological toolkit are better fire-management practices; better flood-control measures (the 2021 Sumas Prairie flooding in B.C. was caused by failure to maintain the embankment system, not “global warming”); better channeling of water resources to reduce drought; cooling measures to protect vulnerable people for the few days a year of “extreme heat” (the week-long B.C. “heat dome” of June 2021 comes to mind), such as air-conditioned community centres.

Piecemeal versus utopian social engineering

Philosopher of science Karl Popper called these practical solutions “piecemeal engineering,” which means tackling problems as they come up, as opposed to what he called “utopian social engineering,” which aims at some broader, overarching goal.

For Popper, the sensible reformer (or weekly columnist) may have an ideal blueprint of the society he/she wishes to create, “but he will be aware that perfection, if at all attainable, is far distant. The piecemeal engineer will, accordingly, adopt the method of searching for, and fighting against, the greatest and most urgent evils of society, rather than searching for, and fighting for, its greatest ultimate good.”2

In other words, if you have raccoons in the attic, the “solution” isn’t burning the house down to get them out but calling the exterminator.

But for social reformers like Hancock, piecemeal solutions aren’t good enough. Their “solution” to forest fires, floods, heat waves, or whatever the most prominent “face” of global warming happens to be at any given time, isn’t to ramp up measures against these evils. Their “solution” is to dismantle our technological civilization by drastically reducing the use of fossil fuels. This dismantling, reformers believe, will reduce carbon emissions and, over a few decades, bring global warming to a halt, or at least keep it at 1.5° Celsius above pre-industrial times (the mid-1800s).

Utopian approach ridiculously expensive

The social reformers aren’t deterred by the fact that this “burn the house down,” Net Zero approach will be ridiculously expensive— because, of course, they believe the alternative is a scorched planet. However, for those who care about what’s in their wallets, and believe reports of our impending planetary death are greatly exaggerated, the 2022 report by McKinsey & Co. should be an economic wake-up call.3

McKinsey estimates the cost of Net Zero by 2050 at $275-trillion globally, or about $9-trillion a year. This is not a trivial sum—Canada’s GDP in 2022 was less than $2-trillion.

McKinsey expects the fight for Net Zero to cost seven per cent of Canadians’ net household income per year. In 2020, Canadian household income was $96,000 a year, so households would be paying $6,700 a year to meet Net Zero by 2050, in addition to the usual taxes. In reality, since the underdeveloped nations cannot afford to pay their “full share,” Canadian households will be paying more than $6,700 a year—a lot more.

And, for our efforts, we will only reduce the global temperature by a fraction of a degree Celsius.

Lots of social engineering needed for green utopia

The social reformers’ “solution” will also require lots and lots of utopian social engineering. What can we look forward to in this Brave New Green World?

In his book Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning, ultra-alarmist George Monbiot quotes a veteran British environmentalist who, at a meeting, was asked: “What would Great Britain be like if it cut carbon use by the 80 per cent needed to prevent runaway global warming?” The environmentalist’s reply? “A very poor third-world country.”4

A “very poor third-world country”—is that what most of us want? Would most citizens vote to become poorer if given the clear option (an option that will be heavily sugar-coated—”just transition,” anyone—if offered at all)? Unlikely.

In fact, this future as a “very poor third-world country” sounds like a bad joke. But alarmists like Monbiot and the other climate social reformers are deadly serious: they want to substantially reduce our standard of living, and remove many of our freedoms, on the theory (so far unproven) that the “planet” can’t support the eight billion of us at a Western standard of living and that we’d all be happier with much less.

UN also wants to make us poorer (but happier!)

This smaller-is-better, utopian-engineering approach has the enthusiastic backing of the United Nations. For example, a 2021 United Nations’ Environmental Program (UNEP) report entitled “Making Peace with Nature” notes that environmental degradation has gotten so bad that

only a system-wide transformation will achieve well-being for all within the Earth’s capacity to support life, provide resources and absorb waste. This transformation will involve a fundamental change in the technological, economic and social organization of society, including world views, norms, values and governance.5 [emphasis added]

The report continues:

With successful transformative change, the consumption of resources would decrease in wealthy contexts and increase sustainably elsewhere. … Human ambitions for a good life would no longer be centred around high levels of material consumption, but around rich relationships involving people and nature, in keeping with diverse traditions throughout the world.6 [emphasis added]

Sounds great! But what about those stubborn and unevolved people who kind of like “high levels of material consumption” as well as rich relationships with people and nature? Alas, there will be holdouts, the report tells us:

Opposition from vested interests to transformations aiming to secure a sustainable and prosperous future is to be expected but can be addressed. …. Individuals and organizations have habits, procedures and ways of doing business that can yield a reluctance and resistance to change. Individuals and organizations can also oppose change that disrupts their livelihoods, market share and revenues, or that otherwise appear unfair.6

Imagine! Opposing measures that will disrupt our livelihoods, market share or revenues or—gasp!—appear unfair! Fortunately, the report has an answer for dealing with these economic and social Luddites:

Some opposition can be addressed proactively by redirecting subsidies to steer workers and firms toward opportunities associated with transformative change. Programmes fostering a just transition can include, for instance, retraining workers from unsustainable industries and helping them relocate in order to take up new jobs.8

Well, that’s a relief. Once the brutish, selfish, capitalist supporters have been gently persuaded that losing their livelihoods, etc., is a Good Thing (if history is any guide, this “persuasion” will include repression, prisons, concentration camps/gulags, and executions, lots of executions), we’ll all be freed from our selfish human nature and operate on the principle of “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Sound familiar?

Giving up ‘liberty and individualism’

Lest anyone think this anti-Western, anti-freedom ideology is confined to the ivory-tower bureaucrats of the United Nations, in 2023 Health Canada—in other words, with the backing of the Government of Canada—produced a report, “What We Heard: Perspectives on Climate Change and Public Health in Canada,” that strongly suggests Western civilization has to go. The report is based on interviews with about 30 health professionals. One of them is quoted (anonymously) with the implicit approval of the report’s three authors. He/she writes:

Ultimately, there are three core values in western society, and for that matter, in global society, that have to change. One core value is about growth and materialism. The second core value is liberty and individualism, which has to be rethought because the kind of individualism that is preached by neo-liberals is part of the problem. It advances the individual over the collective, it says as long as I get what I want, bugger you, and it leads to a huge number of problems, and it undermines the collective process. A third core value that has to change is around our separation from nature, and [that] somehow, we’re separate and apart from nature.9 [emphasis added]

Bad enough we’re expected to give up “growth and materialism”; we also need to give up “liberty and individualism,” two “core values” that have made Western societies the richest and free-est in the world, a wealth and freedom that is gradually spreading to other parts of the globe (if the climate alarmists will allow it). Without “liberty and individualism,” Western civilization would not exist.

Remaking human nature

As part of this utopian social engineering project, these reformers also want to remake human nature.

For example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent report (AR6) suggests that to reach Net Zero, we all must undergo an “inner transition.” It notes: “An inner transition within an individual typically involves a person gaining a deepening sense of peace and a willingness to help others, as well as protecting the climate and the planet.”10

In other words, our brains will be greenwashed until we’ve all learned to love Green Big Brother.

On my shelf is a 1981 book entitled The Reenchantment of the World, by historian Morris Berman that nicely encapsulates this climate-alarmist world view and the society it envisions, although it appeared before climate alarmism really took off.

Berman is highly critical of Western logical, rational, empirical, scientific thinking because this thinking divides up the world, so that our experience loses (or appears to lose) its primordial “unity” with nature/reality. It resembles Al Gore’s lament that

I believe our civilization is, in effect, addicted to the consumption of the earth itself. This addictive relationship distracts us from the pain of what we have lost: a direct experience of our connection to the vividness, vibrancy, and aliveness of the rest of the natural world. 11

As part of the European rationalist Enlightenment, Berman notes, “we hammered out a new way of perceiving reality,” shifting from “quality to quantity, from ‘why’ to ‘how’.”12 In other words, we have lost the sense of the “enchantment” of the world that less-rational, less-scientific peoples have (ostensibly) had, to (for Berman) our profound loss. Berman’s hope is that we can get this “enchantment” back.

If we do, like Hancock and the other Net Zero believers, Berman promises a much more fulfilling life for all of us! He writes:

Such a society would be preoccupied with fitting into nature rather than attempting to master it. … Technology will no longer pervade our consciousness and its presence will be more in the form of crafts and tools, things that lie within our control rather than the reverse. We will no longer depend on the technological fix, whether in medicine, agriculture, or anything else, but instead favor solutions that are long-term and address themselves to causes rather than symptoms.13

This future ideal society would be highly decentralized.

Characteristic of such decentralization are community hospitals and food co-operatives, the cultivation of neighborhood spirit and autonomy, and the elimination of such destroyers of community as television, automobiles, and expressways. Mass production will yield to craftsmanship, agribusiness to small, organic, labor-intensive farming, and centralized energy sources—especially nuclear power plants—to renewable energy options appropriate to their own regions…. One will not have a career but a life….14

In short, we would be returning to a social and economic version of the Middle Ages, which was clearly a much better time than today because, amidst the squalor, poverty, disease, early death, religious superstition and persecution at least we were “enchanted”! It’s “enchanted” people, after all, who believe in, say, witches.

Net Zero revives vision of Karl Marx

When I first read Berman’s book, and especially the paragraphs above, I thought, “How can any intelligent academic historian, much less any intelligent person, believe this nonsense, much less write a book about it?” The answer is simple: because Berman is a Marxist, in name or spirit or both.

Now, more than 40 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, after we’ve seen how well communism continues to operate in countries like China and North Korea, it is astonishing that Marxism still has any credibility in the modern world. And yet, idealism will always exist, and this idealism often attaches itself to the vision of Karl Marx.

This is why Berman’s wonderful new “enchanted” world, and the utopian world envisioned by the United Nations (“Making Peace with Nature”) and the Canadian government (“What We Heard”) sounds pretty much like (or, really, identical to) Karl Marx’s imagined ideal community once communism had been fully achieved:

In communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wants, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd or critic.15

This ideal communist society is definitely something to look forward to, once we’ve gone through the messy and murderous “gulag” stage….

Using piecemeal engineering to tackle ‘climate change’

All of this social reform and “inner transitioning,” this loss of liberty and individualism, this decline in our standard of living, this move toward a smaller-scale, more communistic society, is excused, for Hancock and his fellow believers, because of the overarching problem of “climate change.”

But any psychologist will advise that you handle a large, amorphous problem by breaking the problem into manageable parts. Similarly, the “solution” to an apparently huge problem like “global warming” isn’t to dismantle Western civilization and replace it with a lower-tech socialist utopia that, like most utopias, will almost certainly make our lives worse.

The solution is to break the global-warming problem down to its component parts and then deal with each part through the “piecemeal engineering” approach that has worked well in the past. Also, the piecemeal approach allows us to continue to use fossil-fuel energy while we move gradually and organically to a new energy system, almost certainly nuclear, that can still sustain Western-style civilization.

We haven’t lost our “liberty and individualism” yet, which means we, the voters of Canada and other democratic nations, still have time to halt the utopian social-engineering project of the Net Zero believers. But the clock is ticking and history is clear that once freedom and prosperity is lost, there is no guarantee we will get them back.

This is an expanded version of an article that appeared in the June 30, 2023, online edition of the Victoria Times Colonist.

  1. Trevor Hancock webpage,
  2. Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies, Vol. 1., p. 148.
  3. McKinsey Global Institute, The Net Zero Transition: What it could cost—what it could bring. McKinsey & Co., January 2022, “In brief,” p. viii. Available online and in PDF format.
  4. George Monbiot: Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning.Toronto: Anchor Canada, 2007, p. xv.
  5. United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), “Making Peace with Nature: A scientific blueprint to tackle the climate, biodiversity and pollution emergencies.” 2021, p. 15. Available online.
  6. “Making Peace,” p. 29.
  7. “Making Peace,” p. 29.
  8. “Making Peace,” p. 29.
  9. Heather Castleden, et al., “What We Heard: Perspectives on Climate Change and Public Health in Canada.” Public Health Agency of Canada, 2023.
  10. IPCC, AR6, Working Group III, Chapter 17, Section 17.2, p. 1737.
  11. Al Gore, Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit. Toronto: Penguin Books, 1993 (1992), pp. 220-224.
  12. Berman, p. 29
  13. Morris Berman, The Reenchantment of the World. Cornell University Press, 1981, p. 45.
  14. Berman, Reenchantment, p. 276.
  15. Karl Marx, The German Ideology, “Feuerbach,” “1. History.” Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1968, p. 45.

Published by paulmacrae on 20 Aug 2022

Global warming myths: A ’sixth mass extinction’

Claims of a modern ‘human-caused biotic holocaust’ are based on computer models and guesswork, not scientific facts


In a popular textbook on writing creative non-fiction, the authors echo a familiar claim of global-warming alarmists: that thanks to our carbon emissions, we are creating a “sixth mass extinction” that will wipe out most of the planet’s animals and possibly humanity itself. The authors write:

Your [the reader’s] life has witnessed the eclipse of hundreds of thousands of species, even if they passed out of this world without your awareness. (The current rate of species extinction is matched only by that of the age of the dinosaurs’ demise.)1

This belief in a “current” mass extinction (usually blamed on climate change but also, much more plausibly, on habitat encroachment) is widely held and often cited by the environmental and anti-global-warming movements. For example, eco-crusader and former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, in his 1992 book Earth in the Balance, contended that we are losing 100 species a day, or almost 40,000 species a year.2 Gore took this figure from a book by biologist Norman Myers; where Myers got his numbers is discussed below.

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  1. Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola, Telling It Slant: Writing and Shaping Creative Non-Fiction. Toronto: McGraw-Hill, 2005, p. 35.
  2. Al Gore, Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit. Toronto: Penguin Books, 1993 (1992), p. 28.

Published by paulmacrae on 18 Aug 2022

James Lovelock: From ultra-alarmist to climate realist

Lovelock outraged many Greens by endorsing nuclear power to reduce carbon emissions and by criticizing as irrational the green movement’s fear of nuclear generation

By Paul MacRae

James Lovelock, the inventor of the “Gaia” theory of planetary wholeness, died July 26, 2022, at the age of 103. 

Lovelock, a medical doctor and ecologist, came to prominence with his theory of “Gaia,” which proposed that thanks to human consciousness the Earth had achieved a kind of sentience. He wrote that he was not “thinking of the Earth as alive in a sentient way, or even alive like an animal or a bacterium,”1 but Gaia is nonetheless a “vast being who in her entirety has the power to maintain our planet as a fit and comfortable habitat for life” and she is “now through us awake and aware of herself.”2

As an example of Gaia’s power, Lovelock noted that although the Sun has increased its intensity by about 30 per cent since the Earth was formed 4.5 billion years ago, Gaia had rather cleverly put the planet in an ice age so it won’t burn up,3 a strategy that worked well until human beings began to heat up Gaia with our fossil-fuel emissions, creating what he called a “fever.”

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  1. James E. Lovelock, The Revenge of Gaia, Toronto: Penguin Books, 2006, p. 20.
  2. Lovelock, Gaia. Toronto: Oxford Univ. Press, 1979, pp. vii, 2, 148.
  3. Gaia, p. 20.

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Published by paulmacrae on 03 Jul 2014

Risky Business report misses the real risks

By Paul MacRae

A report written by top U.S. business magnates, including former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, warns that damage from climate change will cost billions of dollars and urges businesses to take action to stop global warming (“Global warming is serious business,” June 27, by Shannon Corrigan).

The report, entitled Risky Business, predicts that over the next century many parts of the world will be seared by heat and coastal areas will be inundated by several feet of rising sea levels, all caused by humans and their carbon emissions. For example, the report suggests that by the end of the century temperatures in Hawaii could be 2.2°-4.4° Celsius higher than today, with sea levels almost four feet higher.

Human activities have been raising CO2 levels over the past century, from about 300 parts per million to 400 ppm today. However, even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) admits in its latest report that, despite this increase in CO2, the planet has barely warmed since 1998.[1] The IPCC’s computer models predicted warming of at least third of a degree Celsius in that time.

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Published by paulmacrae on 25 Jun 2014

University of Victoria petition based on misinformation

The following is an opinion article sent to the Victoria Times Colonist on March 14, 2014. It was initially rejected by the TC’s editorial page editors (as have all my opeds over the past few years, even though I used to work there on the editorial page), then accepted, a month later, by the editor. By that time the issue was stale and I didn’t resubmit. I’m told the TC is now more willing to accept opinion articles from climate skeptics than it has been in the past, and I hope skeptics will begin to submit opinion articles critical of the “consensus”.

A student-led open letter to the University of Victoria is asking the university to divest itself of its fossil-fuel investments. “The science is clear,” the letter says. “Anthropogenic carbon emissions are causing rapid climate change worldwide.”

This is a bad idea for many reasons, but here are four reasons why the university should reject this proposal.

1. For a start, the student letter is based on inaccurate information. “Rapid climate change” is currently not happening worldwide, and hasn’t for at least the past 15 years. Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) acknowledges the reduced rate of warming in its latest report: “The rate of warming over the past 15 years (1998–2012; 0.05°C per decade) … is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951 (1951–2012; 0.12 °C per decade).”[1]

That is, the actual, observed warming over the past 15 years, far from being “rapid,” is less than half of the warming trend from 1951. And 0.05°C of warming is so small it can only be detected by instruments. Continue Reading »

Published by paulmacrae on 10 Aug 2013

University of Victoria promotes climate alarmism

University of Victoria home page raises fears of runaway greenhouse

“Runaway greenhouse easier than previously thought,” shouts a headline on the University of Victoria home page in August. A sidebar headline asks: “Is Earth the next Venus?” With pictures of belching smokestacks, the clear implication is that human carbon emissions are going to create this runaway greenhouse.

The home page text reads: “UVic researcher Colin Goldblatt (School of Earth and Ocean Sciences) has found that the amount of solar energy the Earth now receives could trigger the greenhouse effect, where the planet would be sterilized and left with an atmosphere like that of Venus.” Scary!

Under a “Read More” link is short summary of Dr. Goldblatt’s research paper, published in Nature Geoscience. While the headline this time is more restrained—“Runaway greenhouse effect possible but difficult”—the first paragraph rather breathlessly announces that a runaway greenhouse effect would be “easier” to trigger than was previously believed. Yikes!

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Published by paulmacrae on 20 Jul 2012

Back to the Future: Paradise Lost, or Paradise Regained?

By Paul MacRae

In June, a NASA climate study announced that the warm middle Miocene era, about 16 million years ago, had carbon dioxide levels of 400 to 600 parts per million. The coasts of Antarctica were ice-free in summer, with summer temperatures 11° Celsius warmer than today. The study concluded that today’s CO2 level of 393 ppm was the highest, therefore, in millions of years, and could go to Miocene levels by the end of the century[1]. It was implied, although not directly stated, that readers should react with horror.

A UCLA team, writing in Science, had already pushed the Miocene button in 2009, claiming: “The last time carbon dioxide levels were apparently as high as they are today [15 million years ago, again the mid-Miocene]—and were sustained at those levels—global temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit 1 higher than they are today, the sea level was approximately 75 to 120 feet higher than today, there was no permanent sea ice cap in the Arctic and very little ice on Antarctica and Greenland.”[2] Back to the Miocene! Scary!

James Hansen, the alarmist head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), regularly refers to past eras as a warning of the climate catastrophes that could occur today. For example, in 2011 Hansen warned: “[An increase of] two degrees Celsius is guaranteed disaster…. It is equivalent to the early Pliocene epoch [between 5.5 and 2.5 million years ago] when the sea level was 25m (75 feet) higher.” [4] Back to the early Pliocene! Horror!

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  1. 7-5.5°C

Published by paulmacrae on 01 May 2012

Alarmist climate science as a textbook example of groupthink

By Paul MacRae

A while ago, I received an email from a friend who asked:

How can many, many respected, competitive, independent science folks be so wrong about [global warming] (if your [skeptical] premise is correct). I don’t think it could be a conspiracy, or incompetence. …  Has there ever been another case when so many ‘leading’ scientific minds got it so wrong?

The answer to the second part of my friend’s question—“Has there ever been another case where so many ‘leading’ scientific minds got it so wrong?”—is easy. Yes, there are many such cases, both within and outside climate science. In fact, the graveyard of science is littered with the bones of theories that were once thought “certain” (e.g., that the continents can’t “drift,” that Newton’s laws were immutable, and hundreds if not thousands of others). Science progresses by the overturning of theories once thought “certain.”

And so, Carl Sagan has written: “Even a succession of professional scientists—including famous astronomers who had made other discoveries that are confirmed and now justly celebrated—can make serious, even profound errors in pattern recognition.”[1] There is no reason to believe that climate scientists (alarmist or skeptic) are exempt from this possibility.

That leaves the first question, which is how so many “respected, competitive, independent science folks [could] be so wrong” about the causes and dangers of global warming, assuming they are wrong. And here, I confess that after five years of research into climate fears, this question still baffles me.

 Climate certainty is baffling

It is not baffling that so many scientists believe humanity might be to blame for global warming. If carbon dioxide causes warming, additional CO2 should produce additional warming. But it’s baffling that alarmist climate scientists are so certain that additional carbon dioxide will produce a climate disaster, even though there is little empirical evidence to support this view, and much evidence against it, including a decade of non-warming. This dogmatism makes it clear, at least to those outside the alarmist climate paradigm, that something is very wrong with the state of “consensus” climate science.

There are many possible reasons for this scientific blindness, including sheer financial and career self-interest: scientists who don’t accept the alarmist paradigm will lose research grants and career doors will be closed to them. But one psychological diagnosis fits alarmist climate science like a glove: groupthink. With groupthink, we get the best explanation of “how can many, many respected, competitive, independent science folks be so wrong.” Continue Reading »

Published by paulmacrae on 16 Aug 2011

Climate science’s decade of deception

In order for a democracy to function well, the public needs to be honestly informed.

—James E. Hansen(1)



By Paul MacRae

A recent Rasmussen U.S. poll found that 69 per cent of 1,000 respondents believed it at least “somewhat likely” that climate scientists had falsified their research data to support the case for catastrophic human-caused global warming (CAGW). A full 40 per cent of respondents said falsification of research data was “very likely.” Only 22 per cent were confident that climate scientists wouldn’t falsify data.(2)

This is an astonishing poll result. Is it possible that, in their passion for the CAGW hypothesis, prominent climate scientists would knowingly fudge their data to mislead the public? Surely the 69 per cent in the Rasmussen poll were innocent dupes of what global-warming activists call the “denial industry.”

Unhappily, as I discovered during more than two years of research for my book False Alarm: Global Warming—Facts Versus Fears, the 69 per cent have got it right. Over the past decade alarmist climate scientists—including the top figures in the field—have been deliberately misleading the public on many climate issues. One might even say alarmist climate scientists have developed a culture of deception, a culture that is very clear in the “Climategate” emails.

Blatant dishonesty


Among many deceptions—too many to deal with here—one is particularly blatant. For more than a decade, the public has been bombarded by claims that the planet was not just warming but experiencing “accelerated”, “unequivocal,” “unprecedented” and “dangerous” warming. Yet the actual temperature record shows that during the past decade, on average, there has been little or no warming.

Only recently, faced with a gap between the climate reality  and alarmist theory that was too great to ignore, has official climate science begun to admit the facts to the public.

And so, in June, the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) published a peer-reviewed article that began: “Data for global surface temperature indicate little warming between 1998 and 2008. Furthermore, global surface temperature declines 0.2 °C between 2005 and 2008.”(3) (As we will see below, the cooling trend has continued past 2008 despite a warm, El Nino-influenced 2010.)

Early in August, a press release from the British Meteorological Office admitted there had been no warming—the Met delicately called it “a pause in the warming”—in the upper 700 metres of the world’s oceans since, get this, 2003.(4) Yet, for the past eight years, the Met has warned the public about a dangerous heating up of the oceans. Continue Reading »

Published by paulmacrae on 08 Jun 2011

Alarmist climate science and the principle of exclusion

In 1837, Charles Darwin presented a paper to the British Geological Society arguing that coral atolls were formed not on submerged volcanic craters, as argued by pioneering geologist Charles Lyell, but on the subsidence of mountain chains.

The problem, as Darwin saw it, was that corals can not live more than about 30 feet below the surface and therefore they could not have formed of themselves from the ocean floor. They needed a raised platform to build upon.

Charles Darwin as a young man

However, the volcanic crater hypothesis didn’t satisfy Darwin; he thought the atoll shape was too regular to have been the craters of old volcanos. There were no atoll formations on land, Darwin reasoned; why would there be such in the ocean? Therefore, Darwin proposed that corals were building upon eroded mountains, an hypothesis that, he wrote happily, “solves every difficulty.”

Darwin also argued, in 1839, that curious geological formations—what appeared to be parallel tracks—in the Glen Roy valley of Scotland were the result of an uplifted sea bed.

Darwin didn’t have any actual physical evidence to support these two hypotheses: he arrived at them deductively, through the principle of exclusion. A deductive conclusion is reached through theory—if X, then logically Y must be so—as opposed to induction, which builds a theory out of empirical data. The principle of exclusion works from the premise that “there is no other way of accounting for the phenomenon.”[1] Continue Reading »

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