Peter Foster wrote in “Don’t lie down with pandas”, (National Post, Mar.28, 2008):
“I suggested in Wednesday's column that tomorrow's Earth Hour TM - when a number of cities and citizens in Canada and around the world are dimming their lights between 8 and 9 p.m. - is a gesture both environmentally pointless and politically subversive. By the most optimistic estimates, last year's "great success" at the first such event in Sydney saved the energy equivalent of keeping one - yes, one -car off the road for six years.
Earth Hour's primary purpose is not to "raise awareness" about climate change, or give people an opportunity to see the stars, but to demonstrate the power of organizer WWF. Such power is not merely cherished for its own sake; it comes attached to the potential for earning big bucks.
I came across an example of the WWF's earning power at the recent Globe conference on business and the environment in Vancouver. The Cement Association of Canada had just produced its second "Sustainability Report." At a related session, earnest industry representatives emphasized the many steps they were taking to reduce their environmental footprint. They committed -- like the doomed carthorse in Animal Farm -- to do more and better in future.
What intrigued me about the session was the presence of Michael Russill, president and chief executive of WWF Canada. When he went to the podium, his tone was quite unlike that of the other panel members. He was not there to grovel, or to struggle with practical issues. He made clear that he was not an "advocate" of the cement industry. Nevertheless, he then talked about the "partnership" that WWF International had with French-based cement giant Lafarge, one of whose North American executives was on the panel. According to Mr. Russill, Lafarge had come to the WWF for help with work on restoring quarries, but this relationship had "expanded." One of the WWF's "stretch targets" for Lafarge was a reduction in its carbon dioxide emissions from developed countries by 10% below 1990 levels by 2010. "We are demanding and challenging and pushing," Mr. Russill said. The WWF, he said, saw its job as "raising the bar." (So much easier than having to jump over it.)
Mr. Russill -- a former oil industry executive -- laid out the "rules of engagement" with Lafarge. The "dialogue" had to be "CEO to CEO." Moreover, the parties had to be free to criticize each other. The WWF insisted on "transparency" and on third-party auditing.
In the interests of transparency, I decided to ask three questions: What was the cost to Lafarge of meeting the WWF's demands? How much was Lafarge paying the WWF? And, since the freedom to criticize was such an important part of the partnership, what criticism did Lafarge have of the WWF's approach?
The Lafarge executive on the dais suddenly looked like a deer in headlights. He didn't have a clue what meeting the WWF's demands was costing. Moreover, he would presumably rather have chewed off his own arm than criticize the WWF. It was left to Mr. Russill to reveal the price that Lafarge had to pay to have the WWF hold its feet to the kiln: 1-million, that is, around $1.6-million. (Mr. Russill subsequently came by to assure me that only a small part of the money came Canada's way. Apparently it was devoted to a "big carnivore" project.) Subsequently, however, I discovered, when speaking to Olivier Luneau, Lafarge's head of sustainability and public affairs in Paris, that the figure was actually (euros)1.5-million, that is, $2.4-million, annually over three years (a new contract is currently being negotiated).
In terms of WWF targets, Mr. Luneau said, Lafarge was on the way to meeting the intensity reduction of 20% by 2010, but was only halfway to meeting the absolute reduction figure of 10% in developed-country operations.
Mr. Luneau explained that he didn't have a figure for the cost of meeting the WWF's demands (beyond what Lafarge would have done anyway). However, he stressed that Lafarge's link with the WWF was valuable in terms of the company's credibility, especially when it came to input into the policy-making process.
Mr. Luneau said that the WWF brought professional expertise in reclamation, while its "stretch targets" were useful in getting the company prepared for the carbon-constrained world toward which the policy climate seemed to be moving: a little toughening up for a more draconian future.
The WWF thus seems to have found a very profitable and powerful niche for itself, both as business and political consultant, while at the same time somehow retaining its posture as guardian of the planet. This unusual combination means that it can happily bite the hand that feeds it. "Partners" may then proudly display the bite marks as proof of their environmental commitment. It couldn't work anywhere else but the environment business.
This both-sides-of-the-fence shtick reminded me of the modus operandi of Maurice Strong, the den father of radical environmentalism. It is surely not a coincidence that Mr. Strong-- who currently resides in Beijing-- was one of the earliest and most influential members of the WWF. Meanwhile, the Cement Association's Sustainability Report came about as a result of the "Cement Sustainability Initiative" of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The WBCSD was started by…Go on, have a guess!
So if you love freedom, and possess the slightest trace of ability to think independently, don't forget to keep those lights burning brightly between 8 and 9 P.M. on Saturday night. And in particular try to avoid idiotic retailers who want you to suffer eyestrain for an hour so that they can demonstrate their willingness to kowtow to the forces of darkness.”
On the very same day as Foster’s above column, the City of St. Catharines, in a regular local newspaper page that is usually meant for municipal notices, devoted a nice chunk of adspace to the WWF (World Wrestling Federation??!) propaganda effort, even printing the WWF logo twice alongside St. Catharines' own city logo, and providing the WWF earth–hour propaganda website. (St. Catharines Standard, page D6, Mar.28, 2008) “Take action against global warming. Turn off your lights,” the city’s ad warned/fear-mongered/coerced/co-opted/advised citizens in bold-typeface. What exactly is the relationship between the corporation of the City of St. Catharines and this world environmental lobby group? Who paid for this ad? Does this municipal alliance with the City of St. Catharines and the WWF exist formally on some written agreement?
Not everyone agrees with this WWF B.S.
On the Post’s website were several responses to Foster's above story.
APJX 683 (Mar. 30, 2008) wrote:
“How about for the next "Earth hour", we get the entire loonie left and their environmental cohort to stop breathing for an hour? According to the USDA, the average human expires 2 lbs of CO2 per day, so if we can convince the wackos to stop contributing all this CO2, hot air and pollution to the environment then the problem will go away. Forever. Just stop breathing for an hour, or however long it takes.”
[What…asking Suzukiites or Gorists to stop spewing their fear mongering climate-change rhetoric…don’t hold YOUR breath on that!
A Niagara Falls city councillor (and a provincial Liberal party supporter), Jim Diodati, said in the St. Catharines Standard (Mar.29, 2008) he is sure there's going to be a "mini baby-boom" nine months from now because when the lights go out, people will do what comes naturally.
But Jim - people are THE PROBLEM, aren't they?? More humans = more anthropogenic global warming, no?!
Humans exhale Co2, therefore, to 'save the planet', humans should be prevented from doing a lot of things... such as even being born! What the FLICK is Diodati actually talking about? Turning the lights OFF is apparently NOT enviro-friendly in the long run - or is it?
Think about it, Jim.
Jumping on the earth-hour-propaganda train doesn't require consistency: simply stating something makes it a fact! Niagara This Week (Mar.26, 2008) wrote:
"Diodati, who challenged Niagara residents to join Earth Hour, said reducing energy consumption is vital to reverse rapid global climate change. "How do you save the planet? One light at a time," he said." [!!]
This is the state of political-nutter hysteria that we have to deal with!! Inconsistent policy, platitudes, rhetoric, blended with an almost mystical, superstitious belief that something, anything must immediately be done to "reverse" climate change!
[This reminds me of the reports that Toronto's mayor David Miller, another holier-than-thou enviro propagandist, spent his time during the earth hour he so-endorsed, not sitting in the dark, but shopping at a well lit pharmacy! Do as I say, not as I do...]
Mase69 (Mar 30 2008, National Post web) wrote:
“I fear that the WWF and the "loonie left" are gaining many sympathizers among otherwise reasonable and thinking Canadians. Last night, prior to going out, I read a column in the Winnipeg Free Press by one of their regular contributors that said that "encouraging people to turn off their lights off for one hour" is "to send a message about the need for action on climate change"-----"that's the thing about a grassroots initiative-when it's launched at the right time and in a way that captures the public's attention, it can build momentum and in no time, become a unstoppable phenomenom." (sic)
Later, when my wife and I were leaving a birthday party for one of our grandchildren, several of the parents of other young children at the party said that they wanted to get home so that they could participate in observing Earth Hour by turning off their lights. I thought of staying and trying to convince these parents that (1) that global warming has been minor and non-existent since 2000, (2) that there is no correlation between increased CO2 and global warming, and (3) that the WWF is a lobby group that obtains millions of dollars from well meaning or scared corporations to fund it's agenda of radical enviromentalism. However, I would have been dismissed as an old man who is living in the past and does not understand that the world is changing. I might have stood a chance if I had been able to go one on one with all my reports in front of me.
On our way home at 8:30 p.m., my wife and I noticed many homes that were in complete darkness.”
WiartonWillee, Mar 31 2008, wrote:
“Peter Foster and others are right to raise questions about Earth Hour, but I think the most serious failing of the Earth Hour bandwagon is that it is counter-productive. In a city like Toronto, with its cold climate, turning off interior lights actually causes an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, not a decrease.
The proponents of Earth Hour, like the proponents of a ban on incandescent light bulbs, don't seem to realize that all energy dissipated inside a building helps to heat the building. In a building with thermostatically-controlled heating (which virtually all buildings in Toronto have), turning off interior lights has no real effect on total energy consumption because the thermostat will automatically trigger the heating system to compensate. In fact, doing so in a building which has fossil fuel heating simply trades electrical energy for combustion energy, and the result is actually an increase in carbon dioxide emissions because most of Ontario's electricity comes from non-combustion sources (mainly nuclear and hydro-electric), whereas even the most efficient gas or oil furnace produces significant carbon dioxide emissions. Moreover, many people who turned off their lights during Earth Hour lit candles which also produce carbon dioxide.
If the aim is to raise public awareness of ways to reduce our "carbon footprint", Earth Hour has been a dismal failure to date. There are ways to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions during Earth Hour, but for those of us who live in a cold climate, turning off interior lights is not one of them. Instead, people should be encouraged to turn down the thermostat, avoid using appliances which vent heat to the outside (dryers, dishwashers, air conditioners, etc.), and turn off all exterior powered equipment - especially motor vehicles!” [What -even hybrids... even solar vehicles??]
Calculatingly scaring children with deceptive doomsday scenarios is beyond the pale. Yet the environmentalists continue to browbeat and force their dogma onto kids.
Has any child asked Liberal MPP Jim Bradley (so-called Father of the modern environmental government, whatever that means; see: Liberal Jim "Aw, shucks" Bradley: Greenshevik Idol ) or Premier Dalton "Clean-Air" McGuinty why one of North America’s greatest Co2 emitters – the Province of Ontario’s Nanticoke coal-fired power generating station – is still open, despite the lies spread by these same Liberals that they were going to close “all” of Ontario’s coal-powered plants?? Where is the Liberal's "action on climate change"?!
What disingenuous malarkey it is to symbolically pretend that earth-propaganda-hour would do anything more than peddle “soft fascism”, as Peter Foster wrote in “Earth Hour’s soft fascism” (National Post, Mar.26, 2008):
“Light, both natural and artificial, has traditionally been associated with The Good. A critical element of civilization has been the development of ever brighter, more flexible, and more reliable forms of illumination, from the tallow candle, through whale oil and kerosene, to Thomas Edison's marvellous invention of the electric light bulb.
Conversely, the absence of light is associated with primitivism and ignorance. Is it not significant, therefore, that radical environmentalists are seeking to persuade citizens of the world to flick the switch? Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver are among the cities planning to dim their lights this coming Saturday between 8 and 9 p.m. as part of "Earth Hour."
The cause, masterminded by the World Wildlife Fund, WWF, is allegedly to raise awareness of climate change. But what needs raising is not so much awareness as knowledge. People are woefully ignorant both about the uncertainties of climate-change science and the implications of climate-change politics. However, the WWF has no interest in discussing or debating the issue. According to them, we should "stop talking and start acting." Check your brains at the door.
Far from being a harmless gesture of support for the environment, Earth Hour is symbolic of a spreading soft fascism, aided by well-meaning individuals and well-meaning and/or cynical and/ or scared corporations. Indeed, what is truly astonishing, and disturbing, about this turn-out-the-lights exercise is how many businesses and corporations have signed on to it. According to the WWF Canada, they haven't had one "no" from any company they've approached.
Loblaws, the foundering supermarket chain, which is seeking environmental salvation by bold strategies such as depriving its customers of plastic shopping bags, is now to deprive them of adequate lighting too. Molson-Coors and McDonalds are on board. Both the Air Canada Centre and the Rogers Centre will turn off their external signage and spotlights this Saturday. Also, although the Leafs are playing the Habs, the lights in the ACC washrooms will be turned down. So get ready, as the Aussies say, to "splash your boots."
Earth Hour was in fact pioneered last year in Sydney by WWF Australia, advised by advertising giant Leo Burnet. Leo Burnet's chairman, Nigel Marsh, demonstrated his skill both in semantic perversion and moral obfuscation when he declared: "I'm an optimist about climate change. The human race eventually abolished slavery and gave women the vote. We eventually work it out."
Get the implication? "Deny" the dubious science or dangerous politics of anthropogenic climate change and you're the kind of person who would support slavery and keep women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen!
The presence of Leo Burnet indicates that this is very much about business and branding (a bit ironic for the No Logo crowd, surely). Guidelines about how the Earth Hour brand must be used are available on the WWF Canada Web site, along with the information that: "The Earth Hour tone of voice is human, optimistic, inclusive, passionate and caring. The Brand should never appear to be aggressive or use scare tactics to incite participation."
How this squares with all the greatest-threat-the-world-has-ever-seen stuff escapes me, but what the hell, this is about business and power, not truth.
The mythology about Sydney is that it was a "great success," and that no less than 2.3 million "Sydneysiders" happily participated, along with a couple of thousand businesses, and that there was an energy saving of 10.2% during that hour-of-no-power.
The endlessly regurgitated 2.3 million figure comes from a poll taken by the Sydney Morning Herald, which just happens to belong to Fairfax Group, which just happened to sponsor the event (and pull in a lot of guilty green advertising in the process). How this figure gels with the number of Sydneysiders who actually signed up with WWF Australia to express support, reportedly not much more than 50,000 - i.e. around one-fortieth the number of "participants" -isn't clear.
And as for that energy savings, subsequent studies suggested that the actual savings from the event - in which external lights on the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour bridge were doused - amounted to 2.1%. Even the most optimistic estimates, that is, those put out by the WWF, suggest that the energy saved had been the equivalent of taking 48,000 cars off the road for an hour. Sounds mildly impressive, until you express this statistic in another way: it was the equivalent of taking one car off the road for five and a half years.
The WWF claims that Sydney demonstrated what we can do by voluntarily pulling together. Indeed it did. Nothing. Meanwhile, following the event, the head of WWF Australia immediately got on a plane to Singapore to discuss the event going global.
On a plane. To Singapore.
Eco Main Chancers in London followed up with "Lights out London." The illuminated ads on Piccadilly Circus were switched off for the first time since the Blitz. Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Samsung, TDK, Sanyo and Budweiser all dimmed their messages. Buckingham Palace went dark, along with Westminster Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament, and Canary Wharf. The tabloid Sun's page 3 pinup backed the move. "If we work together we can massively reduce climate change," she said. "It takes very little effort to be green."
WWF Canada, supported by - among others - the Toronto Star, Virgin Mobile, the City of Toronto, Toronto Hydro and Canwest's Global TV (Canwest owns this newspaper), is using Earth Hour as an opportunity to take its environmental indoctrination deeper into schools. It suggests that schools hold an event this Friday, and perhaps turn their gyms into cinemas, where they might show films such as - you guessed it - An Inconvenient Truth!
I would suggest that the biggest current threat to our planet is not either climate change or the financial "crisis," but the mindless conformist tendency to support ideas such as Earth Hour, which are aimed at the levers of both electrical and political power.
If you love civilization, freedom and the use of reason, keep on all the lights you need on Saturday.
Take Back the Night.”
Orson Welles could only have dreamed of creating mass hysteria on such a scale as has been created by the global-warming/climate-change - GreenFEAR TM -spreading doomsday industry! This gullible, mindless, unquestioning Dark-Ages belief in the scripts handed down from the Earth Hour’s Heart of Darkness is what we should really be scared of.
We see this propaganda peddled everywhere: here’s a report by Samantha Craggs (St. Catharines Standard, Mar.29, 2008) “Going lights out for Earth Hour, Local schools rely on sunlight for an hour during dry-run for global power down”:
“Thorold - The halls of Thorold Secondary School were eerily dark; chattering students reduced to dark shadows illuminated only by the natural daylight beaming through the windows.
But there were few complaints. No one questioned it. "Some of them are hiding in the corners," joked a custodian, unlocking a room in the dark. "But we know where to find them."
This was the high school version of Earth Hour.
In the gymnasium, science teacher Andre Huizers and history and geography teacher Deedee Alexander showed the 518 students a short Earth Hour video, followed by five minutes of Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth. One teacher portrayed Mother Earth in a recycling skit, while another donned safety glasses to conduct the "science experiment" of putting snacks in reusable containers instead of buying them from the cafeteria vending machine.
The students said the day was relevant to them and most will turn off their TVs, computers and desk lamps for an hour tonight.
"I'm going to invite friends over to sit and talk. Or maybe I'll do some candlelight reading," said Theresa LoStracco, 15.
With no school during the actual Earth Hour, which is tonight from 8 to 9, many local schools improvised Friday. Oakridge School was dark from 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., the same time Prince of Wales School flicked off its classroom lights. The District School Board of Niagara turned out the lights at noon.
St. Francis Secondary School had an hour of darkness and a whole day of utilizing as few lights as possible. Teachers exchanged computer-focused exercises for pen-and-pencil assignments. Unused computers were shut down.
"The kids are very aware of it," St. Francis vice-principal Brandon Atamanyk said of Earth Hour. "We have a composting program in place and they're into it. They're doing it at home."
At Thorold, the goal was to "not have a bunch of yammer, yammer, yammer from the old folks," Alexander said. But the coaxing wasn't really necessary either. Students were given a list of suggested activities for Earth Hour, which Alexander said she plans to spend with a few friends, "talking by candelight, telling each other how wonderful we are."
Thorold Hydro agreed to monitor how much energy was saved by the hour-long effort. Students also had related poster, poetry and science competitions that day, with the winning class getting a pizza party.
Even if the world's environmental problems aren't solved today, Huizers said, the symbolism makes it worthwhile.
"I'm hoping in the future, it actually becomes a movement that affects change," he said.”
The kids were shown only five minutes of the Gore-horror film? Which five minutes were they blessed to have been given the opportunity to see? Were there any other films shown to balance the ‘it’s-all-settled’ viewing schedule?! Or have we now apparently somehow surpassed debate in our schools in favour of "symbolism" and enviro-indoctrination?
“No one questioned it,” wrote Craggs, the reporter…yes: apparently, NOT EVEN THE TEACHERS !! This is precisely the point; how insidious this "mindless, conformist" obedience to Al Gore's cancerous, greenshevist dogma has become.
What a brilliant ‘dry-run’ for the kiddies, to butter them up for the big, dark scare-a-palooza the next evening: brilliant script-writing, brilliant stage-managing, brilliant manipulation of the student and the faculty mind, brilliant social engineering! The best of Brave New World and Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four and Fahrenheit 451!! The Soviets would have been envious of this propaganda!
We certainly need not listen to the “yammer, yammer from the old folks”, says "teacher" (propagandist!?) Deedee Alexander. Yes, Ms. Alexander… shall we ignore your use of discriminatory ageism as you wage your war of indoctrination in our publicly-funded classrooms?
Who’s doing all this ‘yammering’…could it be you, Ms. Alexander? Or, are you referring to David Suzuki, or Al Gore, both of whom are no spring chickens?
Are we even allowed to ask, or are we (let alone your students) just supposed to know what you mean? Wasn’t it a faculty comprised of relatively “old folks” who cooked up this whole little charade in their own school themselves, hopping on the bandwagon of darkness with gusto!!? Their entire effort was itself a ‘recycled skit’ of Gore’s parables!! And the kids, most assuredly, were encouraged and led to believe this peddled paranoia.
I’m almost inclined to think that Alexander was simply joking when she said she’ll spend earth propaganda hour with friends “talking by candlelight, telling each other how wonderful we are.” Yes, preaching to the choir, to their own mutual kyodiot admiration society… why discuss anything at all, when the climate issue is 'all settled'!! We are wonderful! This reminds me of Lawrence Solomon’s column “Why I wrote Deniers”, (National Post, Apr.5, 2008):
“Global warming has become a question for citizens, and not only scientists. Citizens must decide how serious the threat is and what to do about it, which cures make sense, and which might be worse than the disease. Alas, the answers to these questions depend on scientific issues of fierce complexity that few laymen are capable of confronting directly. So what are we to do?
Al Gore has an answer, and in some ways it is a very sound answer. Mr. Gore says, essentially, that we must rely on "the argument from authority." We must accept the word of experts who know directly what we can "know" only because they tell us. Go to the scientists and ask them. They have the right training and access to the best data. They understand the equations.
And what the scientists say, according to Gore and the United Nations and an overwhelming consensus of the media, is that "the science is settled." There is no longer any serious doubt that global warming is a grave problem already, that it is rapidly getting worse, that it is caused primarily by human activity, and that it will lead to catastrophe if those activities continue unchecked.
Then what of the "deniers" we have all heard about, those holdouts in the global-warming debate, complete with PhDs at the end of their names, who refuse to accept the obvious? Gore and company have a ready answer, repeated again and again: Pay no attention. These alleged scientist dissenters are either kooks or crooks who take the pay of the oil companies to spew out junk science and confuse the issue. Here's what Mr. Gore says about them: "Fifteen per cent of the people believe the moon landing was staged on some movie lot and a somewhat smaller number still believe the Earth is flat. They all get together on a Saturday night and party with the global-warming deniers." Newsweek, in a now famous cover story, called these scientists part of "the denial machine," funded by the energy industry and organized by corrupt right-wing lobbyists.
The very term "deniers" is a deliberate reference to the "Holocaust deniers" who defend the Nazi regime by claiming that Jews and their allies faked the Holocast to slander Hitler. Scott Pelley, of CBS's 60 Minutes, was asked by CBS Web reporter Brian Montopoli why he "did not pause to acknowledge global-warming skeptics" in his influential broadcasts on the topic. Pelley replied, "If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?"
When I first heard about the deniers, I did not doubt that either lobby groups or scientists could be bought. I work for an environmental group called Energy Probe, one of Canada's largest and oldest, and have seen this first-hand. We have been an anti-nuclear organization since 1974, when we began opposing Canada's nuclear establishment, and know that industry scientists can twist the truth to suit their paymaster.
At the same time, I also know firsthand that scientists with integrity can hold unconventional and unpopular views, because this was the case in the 1970s and 1980s with a set of scientists who were deniers at the time -- the small group of scientists who dissented from the conventional wisdom of the day that nuclear power was safe, clean, and inexhaustible.
“They were scientists of integrity who stuck to their principles despite the scorn heaped on them at the time -- unlike today, nuclear power in the 1970s had almost universal acceptance and almost no one in business, government, or academia would risk ridicule by questioning it.
This book really began, however, with a bet over a dinner in Toronto's Chinatown almost two years ago. Energy Probe and its sister organization, Probe International, had invited some fellow environmentalists from China to come to Toronto for an extended visit with us.
A dozen of us, including my colleague at Energy Probe, Norm Rubin, were gathered to celebrate their arrival. The conversation turned to global warming when Norm remarked on the science being settled. In part because I knew Chinese environmentalists aren't exposed to environmental debate, in part because I thought it likely that some credible scientists disagreed, and in part because Norm and I give each other no quarter, I challenged Norm to name three climate-change areas that he felt were settled.
Probably expressing more confidence than I had at the time, I told him if he identified the areas of expertise, I would find a credible dissenting scientist in each.
Well, the conversation took off on its own as good conversations do, and Norm never did propose the three areas, despite my prodding him. Nevertheless, I thought it would be fun to see if I could find the scientists whose existence I had so boldly predicted.
Besides, I also write a weekly column for the National Post. Like any journalist with column inches to fill, if I took the trouble to find these scientists, I certainly was going to get a column or two out of them. This would have the added benefit of forcing a response from Norm, because the way things work at Energy Probe, anything controversial that we write gets vetted first by the colleagues most inclined to disagree. Norm, among others, would edit and approve my first few columns.
So on Nov. 28, 2006, I wrote my first "Deniers" column for the National Post. To date, I have profiled some three dozen scientists, all recognized leaders in their fields, many of them actually involved in the official body that oversees most of the world's climate-change research, the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Some have even been involved as lead authors. The "Deniers" columns (I still occasionally write them) got by far a greater response from readers than anything I have ever done. Many of those readers were scientists themselves. Their e-mails and phone calls thanking and encouraging me made me feel -- well, thanked and encouraged, so I kept plugging away.
In the book, as in the columns, I follow a few rules. The most important is that I do not attempt to settle the science myself. Herein you will find scientists who disagree profoundly not only with some of their colleagues who support the doomsayer view but with other scientists profiled in this book. Such disagreement is the very stuff of science. More important, I am a layman trying to understand, and help other laymen to understand, how we should think about the global warming debate. For us, the answer cannot be to settle the science directly. For the most part, the layman must rely on the argument from authority, including a careful sifting of the credibility of the authorities and the relevance of their expertise to their particular claims for which they are advanced as witnesses.
The question of credibility brings me to another rule I imposed on myself: I would not play the numbers game. I would not rely on claims that 14,000 scientists signed one petition saying the planet is toast, or that 14,001 signed another saying global warming is a hoax. There are a lot of scientists in the world. By definition most of them are mediocre. Getting thousands of mediocrities to sign a petition is an impressive work of political organizing; it is not science. No, I was looking for a relative handful of scientists of great eminence, whose credibility (unlike their equations) would be transparent to the lay reader.
I have been asked many times why I titled my series and now this book The Deniers, in effect adopting their enemies' terminology. Many of the scientists in this book hate the term and deny it applies to them.
I could give several reasons, but here is the most important. The scientists are not alone in having their credibility on trial in the global warming debate. They are not the only "authorities" in the argument, and not even the most important "authorities." Most laymen, most citizens, owe most of what we think we know about global warming not to science directly, but to science as mediated by the media and by political bodies, especially the UN and our governments. We citizens, trying to discern what to do about global warming, must judge not only the credibility of the scientists but of those who claim to tell us what the scientists say.
To that end, as you read through this book, judge for yourself the credibility of those who dismiss these scientists as cranks or crooks, and call them The Deniers. - Excerpted from The Deniers by Lawrence Solomon (Richard Vigilante Books). The Deniers is available at Amazon Web sites, Barnes and Noble, and fine bookstores near you.
SOME LEADING DENIERS
Dr. Edward Wegman -- former chairman of the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics of the National Academy of Sciences -- demolishes the famous "hockey stick" graph that launched the global warming panic.
Dr. David Bromwich -- president of the International Commission on Polar Meteorology -- says "it's hard to see a global-warming signal from the mainland of Antarctica right now."
Prof. Paul Reiter -- Chief of Insects and Infectious Diseases at the famed Pasteur Institute -- says "no major scientist with any long record in this field" accepts Al Gore's claim that global warming spreads mosquito-borne diseases.
Prof. Hendrik Tennekes -- director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute -- states "there exists no sound theoretical framework for climate predictability studies" used for global warming forecasts.
Dr. Christopher Landsea -- past chairman of the American Meteorological Society's Committee on Tropical Meteorology and Tropical Cyclones -- says "there are no known scientific studies that show a conclusive physical link between global warming and observed hurricane frequency and intensity."
Dr. Antonino Zichichi -- one of the world's foremost physicists, former president of the European Physical Society, who discovered nuclear antimatter -- calls global warming models "incoherent and invalid."
Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski -- world-renowned expert on the ancient ice cores used in climate research -- says the U.N. "based its global-warming hypothesis on arbitrary assumptions and these assumptions, it is now clear, are false."
Prof. Freeman Dyson -- one of the world's most eminent physicists says the models used to justify global-warming alarmism are "full of fudge factors" and "do not begin to describe the real world."”
Did Deedee Alexander bother to introduce any of her students to the scientists which Solomon has been writing about for some time now? Has Alexander, and those teachers similarly-inclined, bothered to provide their students with other perspectives? Is it 'all-settled' in Alexander’s mind, in Alexander's classroom, at Alexander’s school board, and school boards throughout Ontario??
Here's another story on the mindless greenshevik indoctrination of school children in Ontario (although that wasn't exactly reporter Matthew Van Dongen's intended spin!) in “Joining the world for ‘lights out’”, (St. Catharines Standard, Mar.24, 2008):
“Heather De Luca plans to double her Earth Hour fun.
Like plenty of other city residents, the St. Catharines schoolteacher will spend Saturday between 8 and 9 p.m. in the dark.
The symbolic "lights out" will take place around the world, part of an effort co-ordinated by the World Wildlife Fund to promote action on climate change.
But De Luca and the 550 students at Canadian Martyrs School are planning a practice round.
"As a school, we wanted to do something, but obviously the children aren't here on Saturday," said De Luca, who teaches grades 2 and 3.
So the north-end elementary school decided to power down on Friday during periods 7 and 8 (that's 1:46 to 3:02 p.m.)
The students are pumped for both events, De Luca said.
They listen to an Earth Hour countdown over the PA system each morning. They've plastered posters around the school. They remind their parents - often.
"I think they believe they can make a difference," said De Luca. "They know the whole world is taking part and I think that excites them."
Not everyone agrees.
Some Earth Hour critics dismiss the event as tokenism. One city resident wrote The Standard vowing he wouldn't be "sitting like a boob in the dark" Saturday night.
He questioned why people place so much value on a single hour of conservation.
The first Earth Hour event took place last year in Australia only, involving more than two million businesses and residents.
The one-hour lights out reduced electrical demand by 10 per cent, and carbon dioxide emissions by 25,000 tonnes.
Locally, Horizon Utilities will be monitoring St. Catharines' hydro consumption to see how we do.
But supporters say the value of the event shouldn't be counted in kilowatts or carbon alone.
De Luca sees it as a teaching tool, a motivator for people to conserve and to consider the effect of everyday actions on climate change.
The students get it, she said.
"They know that using so much electricity contributes to global warming, and they all know what global warming is," she said.
"They see it on TV. They hear their parents talking about it. It's real to them."”
It must be "real" to the teachers too, then!
“They see it on TV”, says teacher DeLuca: so it must be real! The GreenFear-pushers are peddling their biased propaganda, right in St.Catharines' schools, while St.Catharines Liberal MPP Jim Bradley - Ontario's Godfather of GreenFear - sits back and chortles with delight as his toxic green hysteria seeps into society.
These kids are subjected to listening to a DOOMSDAY COUNTDOWN each morning - what kind of brain-washing is going on at this school? [...and what kind of mindless "reporting" is going on at the St.Catharines Standard?! What a greenshevist joke! It simply didn't occur to "reporter" Van Dongen how outlandish this all was!]
Far be it for a teacher to introduce critical thinking, alternate viewpoints, and discussion of media manipulation into the classroom: hey, they won’t understand THAT – they’re kids, after all!! We like to show them films of dying polar bears, melting ice, floods, and tornados! That they will (unquestioningly) understand!
Far be it for anyone to dare question (reporter Van Dongen won't!!) why DeLuca and her ilk, should be - literally and figuratively - keeping kids in the dark. And why not use the kids as cheap-labour dogma-mules in this socialist-sweatshop of a propaganda effort… it’s all for a good cause - the so-called public good of green socialism - right?!
Here’s what Peter Foster wrote in “Lightcrime” (National Post, Apr.2, 2008) about the environmentalists exploitation of captive school-children to carry out their political message:
“People's natural tendency to social conformity, particularly in the name of the "public good," has always been exploited politically. Its most willing volunteers are that proportion of the population who are, by nature, nosy neighbours. The Cuban regime has long used such people in "Committees for the Defence of the Revolution," or CDRs, to police local communities for such offences as "unexplained wealth."
George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four invoked the nightmare of "thoughtcrime," by which dictators sought to erase even the possibility of challenge to their rule. His Thought Police were based very much on the techniques actually used by the Soviets. They sought by surveillance and other methods to root out any trace of "unorthodoxy."
On Saturday night, the awful possibility of "lightcrime" appeared on the deliberately dimmed horizon. Who among those who knew about Earth Hour did not feel an internal compulsion to turn down the lights for fear of public disapprobation, even if they believed that the whole thing was either a pointless or subversive stunt?
Among letters to the Toronto Star - which devoted hectares of newsprint to the event - was one from a woman miffed at a neighbour for leaving on his porch light. "Was he afraid of a break-in or was he just sticking it to Mother Nature?" she asked. "At least my son and I talked about the stupid selfishness that has brought the world to the state she is in -- a subject not just for Earth Hour, but for a lifetime."
But what state would that be? The world has arguably never been in a better state in terms of the proportion of people who can look, under relative freedom, to a better future. Except, that is, for the economic destruction threatened by climate-change hysteria.
On Parliament Hill, "green activists" jeered at the lights on in the Prime Minister's Office. How long before such activists, like their "antipoverty" brethren, decide that they might get away with throwing a few rocks to demonstrate their commitment to the cause?
The Star admitted that Earth Hour "failed to meet expectations." It even admitted that the event might have--gasp--done more harm than good! "It might have played right into the hands of the scoffers, the Stephen Harpers, John Bairds and their ilk. Now they can argue that most of us would rather carry on regardless."
But at what might the scoffers actually be scoffing? It's not the desirability of public spiritedness or practical policies. It's the naive belief that -- if climate change really is the horrendous, apocalyptic threat that it is claimed to be, and that the entire world must slash carbon dioxide emissions by 50% by the year 2050 if we are not to face a Day After Tomorrow scenario -- dining by candlelight and singing Koombaya will make a whit of difference. Achieving such radical reductions can only come about through new technologies, which are as yet undeveloped, or by draconian legislation administered by a global "Weather Controller." Even Orwell could never have imagined that scenario. Enviro-guru Maurice Strong has actually proposed it.
The notion that we should "treat every hour as Earth Hour" may appeal to moralizers and masochists, but it is, as noted above, utterly irrelevant when it comes to the ridiculous pretension of regulating climate. "What will be so hard for Canadians to accept is the realization that technology can't save us this time," claimed the Star (nonsensically. Which technology did the Star ever forecast before it was developed?). "Instead, we will have to come to terms with our vehicular dependency, our oil addiction and all the rest. What will happen when the power goes off next time, not just for lights, but refrigerators, air conditioners, furnaces or TVs?"
The scarcely concealed relish of this statement reminded me of last week's excellent article by Andrew Potter, reproduced on this page, in which he described how some on the left view Armageddon as a "geopornographic fantasy."
The Star invoked the 2003 blackout as "a mythical moment when we put aside the things that usually define us and got in touch with something more elemental." Whatever the hell that means. But blackouts aren't going to happen because we are likely to run out of energy. They will only happen by accident, through political mismanagement, or if shortages are forced upon us in the name of conformity to an unquestionable ideology. (Please refer again to yesterday's picture, on this page, of North Korea at night.)
Meanwhile, the young and naive were trotted out on Saturday night to demonstrate that they were being terrified into conformity either at home or at school. "Earth Hour is important to me because my kids and grandkids will be living on this Earth," declared Morgan Baskin, aged 12, at an event at Holy Trinity Church in downtown Toronto. "I don't want my kids to be around for the end of the Earth."
The end of the Earth. That's what 12-year-olds are being taught. It sure beats monsters in the closet, since the prospect will terrify them by day as well as by night. This is child abuse. But this is also what environmental morality looks like. Nobody is safe from the pressure. Indeed, just as in Nineteen Eighty-Four, it is the young who are the first to be targeted, so that they can become "spies." Educators freely admit that they tell children to pressure their parents. Fortunately, they don't yet have to report them.”
The Green Bolsheviks - Greensheviks - are saddling up just around the corner. They’re being trained under our noses. Already last year the St. Catharines Standard ran a story of the local garbage police, students who were hired to analyze people’s garbage, then go back and nicely discuss (shame/confront?) these people with their garbage infractions. Lightcrimes are already the environmentalist's moral high-horse. Your use of "what is neccessary" will become subject to someone else's decisions. Your neighbour might narc to The Environmental Rights Commission that you use a 26 watt bulb, because the neighbour thinks you should only be entitled to use a 13 watt bulb...and only at certain times, no less, which do not interfere with the neighbour's proprietary sense of stewardship to the Earth Itself............
We should see what can come next: the greens will turn to Reds in a blink of an eye. Versions of witch-hunts, Kristallnachts, Inquisitions, and blacklists will surely follow.