Zombie science, Zombie politics
Zombie science, Zombie politics
By Dr Muriel Newman, New Zealand Centre for Political Research, www.nzcpr.com
Zombie science, defn: Science that is dead but will not lie down. It keeps twitching and lumbering around so that (from a distance, and with your eyes half-closed) zombie science looks much like the real thing. But in fact the zombie has no life of its own; it is animated and moved only by the incessant pumping of funds. Dr Bruce M. Charlton.
According to the principles laid down by Dr Bruce Charlton anthropogenic global warming (as advocated by Al Gore, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and our own Government), is zombie science. It is based on a false hypothesis that the increase in human-induced greenhouse gas emissions is causing dangerous global warming.
The facts disproving the manmade global warming hypothesis are indisputable: over the last decade man-made greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise, but global temperatures have fallen.
That is not what is supposed to happen, according to the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis. It means that the climate change policies being considered by our government are a waste of time and money.
So why is it, that even in the face of reality, some scientists remain false prophets?
Dr Charlton explains: “The classic account has it that bogus theories should readily be demolished by sceptical competitor scientists. However, in practice even the most conclusive ‘hatchet jobs’ may fail to kill, or even weaken, phoney hypotheses when they are backed-up with sufficient economic muscle in the form of lavish and sustained funding. And when a branch of science based on phoney theories serves a useful but non-scientific purpose, it may be kept-going indefinitely by continuous transfusions of cash from those whose interests it serves.”
And the vested interests behind the theory of imminent and catastrophic global warming disaster are extremely powerful. A vast international network has been established encompassing governments and environmental interests. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 played a key part. Supported by 192 countries, the Convention defined “climate change” as being attributable to human activity and set a key goal of preventing “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”.
In effect, by ratifying the Convention in the early nineties, those countries set in motion a political juggernaut that has been building in power and influence ever since to the point where it is now threatening the very existence of contemporary living standards. The United Nations’ IPCC has been the driving force: using a complicated methodology which involves continuous negotiation with member countries and a scientific method based largely on computer modelling, the IPCC focuses only on the risk of human-induced warming.
In 1998 New Zealand joined other countries in signing the Kyoto Protocol, which had taken the fight against human-induced global warming one step further by establishing country-specific objectives for the reduction of greenhouse gases. The Kyoto Protocol was ratified by the Clark Government in 2002, and targets were agreed in 2005 in a move that some said had more to do with Helen Clark gaining recognition at the United Nations than doing what was best for the country.
The 2005 targets involved reducing greenhouse gases emitted by New Zealand between the years of 2008 to 2012 down to the level they were at in 1990. At the time, most of our trading partners were taking a more prudent “wait and see” approach. To make matters worse, Labour agreed to include agricultural emissions in our target in spite of the fact that all other countries had excluded them. In our case these gases, which are mostly made up of methane produced by livestock during digestion, comprise almost half of our emission profile. The result is that New Zealand stands alone as the only country that has agreed to penalise itself for the production of food.
As a consequence of agreeing to Kyoto Protocol targets, Labour proposed to pass the cost onto the public through a carbon tax, but this was strongly opposed by National and ACT. Labour then proposed an Emissions Trading Scheme as a way of passing the cost onto the public. That was strongly opposed by National, ACT, the Maori Party and United Future, but passed into law just before the 2008 general election.
Despite winning the election and a clear mandate for a change, National looks likely to press ahead with Labour’s Emissions Trading Scheme with only minor modification - despite its earlier opposition and despite the significant deterioration in the economy to the point where it is likely to cancel future tax cuts!
While those promoting an ETS claim that they will be taxing people to “save the planet”, nothing could be further from the truth.
This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator Dr Christopher C. Horner is an expert in this field. He is a Senior Fellow at the Washington-based Competitive Enterprise Institute and author of the best-selling books “Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed” and “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming (and Environmentalism)”. In his hard-hitting article Dr Horner explains that an Emissions Trading Scheme will have no effect at all on the climate. He says, “Kyoto is inherently a mere political gesture, with zero chance under any scenario or set of assumptions of having a detectable impact on climate, even if perfectly implemented for decades.”
He goes on to warn: “The New Zealand government is discussing various forms of a ‘global warming’ tax to pay for an alleged, looming Kyoto liability. What they apparently have not informed the public is that this rationale, or rather excuse, for new taxation is actually something that does not need to exist. This is for several reasons.
“First is that no obligation could be incurred until after approved calculations of the five-year average of covered greenhouse gas emissions for 2008-2012 (the government projects this will be 2015); this could only be assessed in a successor to Kyoto, as the agreement expires at the end of 2012 and the proposal to make the "initial" pact enforceable under its Article 18 was defeated in 2005. Further, there is no reason a successor treaty, even if agreed, must include such liability and for New Zealand to move forward with discussions, having not ruled out any such condition, would merely bend over backward to retroactively changing these realities to the great detriment of its taxpayers.
Dr Horner reaffirms that an emissions trading scheme is simply a tax-grab: “All of this makes the government’s stance ever more puzzling and, inescapably, gives more fodder to those many who argue that Kyoto and its domestic implementation schemes are mere opportunities for revenue- and authority-grabs”. (To read the full article visit www.nzcpr.com)
Most politicians who bought into the movement against man-made global warming may have thought it was the right thing to do – others probably thought it was the easy thing to do. But when the evidence shows that the basic premise is wrong, they must surely turn their attention to that evidence and reflect upon their previously held beliefs.
The current President of the European Union, the Hon Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic, has lamented the fact that no other leaders will stand up against what is effectively socialism in drag. He has always regarded the attempts of the environmental movement to use climate alarmism to restrict economic progress as a direct attack on the freedom and prosperity of free societies.[3,4] For that is what it is.
There was some hope after the election that a Select Committee review into the Emissions Trading Scheme would take a fresh look at the issue. Sadly that does not appear to be the case.
Further, given that the Review was such a crucial part of the National/ACT Coalition Agreement, it has been extremely disappointing to hear that submitters have been culled liked sheep through a political quota system. Some, like an energy policy expert and former Minister of the Crown who asked to present his evidence, have been denied that opportunity in what must surely be one of the most blatant and outrageous violations of the publics’right to be heard.
I have no doubt that the committee has no wish to endure the discomfort of hearing facts about global warming that contradict the views of the environmental alarmist industry.
Given the dire economic position that the country is in and the fact that imposing an additional tax would make the situation much worse, surely the only responsible course of action is to put all such interventions on hold as Christopher Horner has recommended?
This week’s poll asks: Do you believe that all submitters who wish to make a personal submission to the Review should be allowed to do so by the ETS Select Committee?
FOOTNOTES (see http://www.nzcpr.com/research.htm)
1.Dr Bruce Charlton, Zombie Science: A sinister consequence of evaluating scientific theories purely on the basis of enlightened self-interest
2.UN, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
3.Hon Vaclav Klaus, Climate Alarmism to Realism
4.Hon Vaclav Klaus, No Progress in the Climate Change Debate