James Delingpole is a journalist who takes a lively interest in the words and actions of climate campaigners and climate scientists. His often vivid writing might distract some from his importance as a contemporary philosopher, so here I examine a few recent sentences of his which contain what I have chosen to call ‘The Delingpole Conjectures’:
‘What I really should have said is that these [alarmist climate scientists] are a bunch of lying, cheating, scum-sucking, bottom-feeding, third-rate tosspots who don’t even deserve the name “scientists” because what they practise isn’t really science but data-fiddling, cherry-picking, grant-troughing, activism-driven propaganda.’
James Delingpole, 2015
Let us see what evidence can be found to lend credibility to these somewhat startling assertions, these conjectures. We (me, and all you good followers of CliScep) are, after all, not at all like the CO2 Cult members, who merely need a simple theory from which all else follows and evidence is of no concern since if it disagrees it will be modified, ignored, or derided, and if it agrees, well they are past the stage of needing its support to win political power. Thus they enjoy the benefits of deductive logic while we struggle with the burden of induction.
We list the Delingpole Conjectures below, and beside each present some evidence in exhibits which of course, given our aforementioned burden, are not given as proof but merely as indications of plausibility:
[alarmist climate scientists] are:
Exhibit 1. ‘ The short video contained 20 false representations, pretenses or implications, calculated individually and by mutual reinforcement to deceive.’
Christopher Monckton commenting on a 2016 video with some of the stars of scientivism (Mann, Dessler, Trenberth, Santer). Source: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/01/19/20-false-representations-in-one-10-minute-video/
Exhibit 2. ‘So 2015 was an exceptional year for weather, which is not the way some scientists presented it. None of them mentioned the “blob” and as for the El Nino it was the “little bit on the top” merely a minor contribution. Most of the temperature rise was down to forced global warming, they said. This is all sleight of hand, and a little inaccurate.’
Exhibit 3. ‘I’m a climate-fucking-scientist’ rap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiYZxOlCN10
Exhibit 4. ‘Hansen has never provided any evidence to support the idea that skeptics are either well funded or intentionally misleading the public, yet he frequently repeats this claim.
Dr. Hansen has suggested that fossil fuel corporation CEOs are intentionally committing high crimes against the planet – because they don’t believe his spectacularly failed mispredictions.
Hansen went on to say: “CEOs of fossil energy companies know what they are doing and are aware of long-term consequences of continued business as usual. In my opinion, these CEOs should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.”’ Source: https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/spectacularly-poor-climate-science-at-nasa/
Exhibit 5. ‘ Between this withdrawal [of a paper by Gergis et al.] and the Esper et al paper showing the MWP and RWP warmer than today, Mike Mann must be having a really, really, bad day. ‘ Source: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/18/gergis-et-al-hockey-stick-paper-withdrawn-finall
Exhibit 6. Schmidt insists on ‘debating’ with an empty chair. ‘We asked a dozen scientists to debate with Roy and most refused.’ Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V96k4BO2sBw
who don’t even deserve the name “scientists” because what they practise isn’t really science but:
Exhibit 7. ‘ A German professor has confirmed what skeptics from Britain to the US have long suspected: that NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies has largely invented “global warming” by tampering with the raw temperature data records. ‘ Source: http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2015/11/it-was-all-a-lie-german-scientist-confirms-nasa-fiddled-with-climate-data/
Exhibit 8. ‘I observed that the number of cores used in the most recent portion of the Yamal archive at CRU was implausibly low. There were only 10 cores in 1990 versus 65 cores in 1990 in the Polar Urals archive and 110 cores in the Avam-Taimyr archive. These cores were picked from a larger population – measurements from the larger population remain unavailable. ‘
Steve McIntyre. Source: http://climateaudit.org/2009/09/27/yamal-a-divergence-problem/
(and for a very informative overview of this saga from 2012: http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/5/9/the-yamal-deception.html)
Exhibit 9. ‘Academics who jump on the global warming bandwagon are far more likely to get big research grants than those who express doubts — and research is the lifeblood of an academic career at leading universities. ‘
Exhibit 10. ‘It has now turned out that many of the headline grabbing claims in the IPCC’s 2007 report were false: the prediction that Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035, that 40% of the Amazon rainforest will be lost,that African crop yields will be halved by 2020,  that sea levels are rising quickly and that extreme weather events are more frequent. … The problem is that these claims had no basis in the refereed literature … in some cases no basis in any literature at all, and that what basis they had was at best dubious and at worst spurious. No science of sound epistemic character would tolerate such claims made in its name.’ Source: http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2010/03/climate-scientists-behaving-badly-part-6-conclusion/
Further High-Level Views on This
Other philosophically-minded people have joined Delingpole in concluding that all is not well with climate science. Here are but three examples:
Exhibit 11. ‘In brief, we have the new paradigm where simulation and programs have replaced theory and observation, where government largely determines the nature of scientific activity, and where the primary role of professional societies is the lobbying of the government for special advantage. This new paradigm for science and its dependence on fear based support may not constitute corruption per se, but it does serve to make the system particularly vulnerable to corruption. Much of the remainder of this paper will illustrate the exploitation of this vulnerability in the area of climate research. The situation is particularly acute for a small weak field like climatology. As a field, it has traditionally been a subfield within such disciplines as meteorology, oceanography, geography, geochemistry, etc. These fields, themselves are small and immature. At the same time, these fields can be trivially associated with natural disasters. Finally, climate science has been targeted by a major political movement, environmentalism, as the focus of their efforts, wherein the natural disasters of the earth system, have come to be identified with man’s activities – engendering fear as well as an agenda for societal reform and control.’
Richard Lindzen, 2008/12. Source: http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.3762.pdf
Exhibit 12. ‘The evidence I have summarised is, I believe, sufficient to conclude that climate science has fallen prey to a corruption of its epistemic character. Not only did the individuals fail in various epistemic duties; they did not regard their faults as vices, but rather, as virtues, and knew that their activities were quite acceptable with the field. ‘
Nicholas Shackel, 2010
Exhibit 13. ”Previously, the final judge of any theory was experience: data were collected, and if the theory did not agree with the data, then the theory had to be modified. This took time, and an effort was made to distinguish clearly between a proven theory and a mere hypothesis. All of this has gone by the board: now we have no theory, no data, no hypothesis. The ultimate aim is to secure a consensus. Once this consensus has been achieved, the policymakers can legislate to their hearts‘ content. Since it is very easy to achieve a consensus on the notion that ‗the planet is in danger‘, new rules and regulations are being issued every day: it makes people happy. Data no longer serve any purpose. As we saw in Volume I, NOAA data on temperatures show no evidence of global warming. So what? We have to legislate to prevent global warming, because there is a consensus that it exists.’
Société de Calcul Mathématique SA , White Paper, 2015
Meanwhile, Back on the Ground
Philosophy is one thing, but what does this all mean for everyday life? Here is one recent illustration of harms being caused in the name of climate science. I note some Welsh villagers are angry about the impact of the CO2 Cult on their properties. Not for them the pitchforks, tar and feathers of an earlier age. They are going to sue the government:
Exhibit 14. ‘A Welsh village is to sue the government after a climate change report suggested their community would soon be washed away by rising sea levels. The document says Fairbourne will soon be lost to the sea, and recommends that it is “decommissioned”. Angry villagers say predictions of that the sea level will rise by a metre a year are alarmist, and have hit house prices and investment in the village.’
Others have been even less fortunate in the harm they have been caused by climate science in its dominant, modern form. Starvation, fuel poverty, acute fear of the future (not least in children), suppressed economic development (aka ‘sustainable development’), reduced industrial competitiveness, and environmental degradation from windfarms defacing landscapes and killing wildlife, or pollution from the mass-manufacture of solar panels in China. I have come from the high-level musings of one observer of modern climate scientists, through to the unpleasant ground-truth of what has been undertaken in their name. The Delingpole Conjectures do seem worthy of further investigation.
I suspect the Climategate files alone could provide illustrations by themselves for the Conjectures. Perhaps good readers could point to some from there or elsewhere since I make no claims to have found outstanding examples – merely some that were to hand. In the meantime, I have picked 10 posts from CliScep alone to help the interested reader dig further.