Sunday, February 28, 2010

Climate Activist Global Movement: Crumbling

Funny - how climate change has now been reduced to a daily soap opera. The media are having a field day breaking story after story about how global warming alarmists have exaggerated their claims, manipulated data, conspired to hide their methods from sceptic scientists and personally profited from their fraudulent claims.

In just three months, global warming has unravelled itself as the greatest scientific hoax of the century that even pales into insignificance the great ‘Piltdown Man’ fraud that had scientists claiming that they found the missing link between man and ape.

The climate activist movement in the meanwhile have ended up stunned as they watch the wheels falling off the cart - the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s  Assessment Report (AR) 4 - once considered their Bible. One blogger observed: "They were done in by a combination of bad science and politics. By exaggerating the certainties, papering over the gaps, demonizing the skeptics and peddling tales of imminent catastrophe, they’ve discredited the entire climate-change movement."

As activists are figuring out what went wrong, there are signs of increasing divisions within their ranks. Leave alone inter-organizational differences, their lack of coherence reflects itself in some cases even intra-organizationally. A case in point is Greenpeace UK Director calling for Rajendra Pachauri’s resignation while their India Country Office through a press release made it clear that they backed Pachauri. There appear four major fragments of what is left of the climate activist movement as we knew it once:

1. Waving the White Flag: Forgo Global Action to Return to Radical Grass-root Activism

"The climate change movement is dead; long live the climate change movement!"

So goes the title of the latest document by Rising Tide - one of the largest climate activist movements of North America. The document represents the views of a small but influential section within climate change campaigners. These sections have firmly reconciled to the reality that the Climate Change movement, as we know it is dead: "Those who still cling to the old climate movement have committed themselves to a sinking ship."

The document accuses mainstream climate change activist organizations of the likes of Greenpeace, WWF, Christian Aid, Oxfam, ActionAid etc of promoting objects of Green Capitalism: "Many in the climate movement have grown all too cozy with the status quo." The report goes on to make a scathing attack on carbon trading: "Transforming the fundamental elements of life into economic commodities serves only to further concentrate power in the hands of corporate elites"

It then criticizes how going to bed with corporates and applauding them for upholding carbon principles is just illusionary to the cause: "These groups, ostensibly fighting on our behalf, have chosen to ally themselves with the very system that we must dismantle in order to avert climate chaos, showing a glaringly shallow analysis of the climate crisis....the lines have been blurred between the two so much it is often hard to distinguish them." It reserves its choicest of criticism to those supposedly espousing climate justice: "While many groups have raised the banner of climate justice, not all live up to it.”

Download the PDF report here

2.  Strategically Go Low Profile

Such as been the  severity of blows to the theory of Global Warming and rapidity by which its credibility has fallen apart, most rank and file of the climate activist movement is left shell shocked and uncertain of their future. How can this be otherwise when award winning journalists with high enough leftist credentials and a staunch warmist supporter such as Praful Bidwai start lambasting the IPCC as in his article - The Himalayan Glacier Controversy

Most INGOs are pragmatic enough to see public opinion swing against their climate advocacy. Their predominant tendency then is to accord climate change low profile till as and when the tide turns it back in favour as their cash cow. A random check of websites of key NGO and environmental organizations including key climate players would confirm that in at least nine of ten cases, climate change no longer is their main headlines or disappeared altogether.

But local partners of these international NGOs are more pragmatic and go a step further. Some of the phone calls I had received as feedback on my climate skeptic blogs suggest these more non-descript  local NGOs  instinctively realize that global warming has run its course. They realize that it is only a matter of time that their climate program and staff needs to be culled. So all they want to know is the likely time-frame when funds will dry up and what’s the new development fad (scam???) which they can substitute as their next cash cow? Questions which I have no ready answers.

3. Stem the Tide: Arrest the free fall in supporter base

This category comprises environmental organizations like Greenpeace that are heavily invested in the global warming scam. With every new revelation of error in the IPCC Report, their supporter base takes a heavy hit. Strategies of this group are accordingly focused on halting the free fall of their supporter base.

The 23rd February 2010 email by Greenpeace-India to their supporters is a good illustration of their desperation. This e-mail tries to reassure their supporters through the spin that despite errors in the IPCC AR4, climate science is settled and the scientific consensus still remains of the view that climatic changes are human induced viz. caused by the use of fossil fuels.

The actual reality is just the opposite. Climategate (where thousands of e-mails and other documents had been obtained through a leak in the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia) and the huge holes punched into the IPCC AR4 have taken a huge toll on the credibility of the science of global warming and the scientists involved. This has forced the IPCC to give in to the rising clamour of doubts about the preparation of its climate science reports by setting up of an independent committee of experts to review its procedures. The preparation of their next AR, will accordingly adopt a radically different procedure that includes more representation and space to climate skeptics.

The worst case of temperature data manipulation were found in China where as much as 42 weather stations were found 'untraceable' and in Russia were readings from their coldest regions, including Siberia were summarily omitted to boost up warming. In almost 30 countries, skeptics have shown through random study of weather station data, that without "fudge factors", original temperature data clearly do not show a warming trend. To counter doubts of widespread manipulation to the original global temperature datasets, the CRU and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) will be jointly re-establishing them in a supposedly more transparent manner.

These two developments (review of the IPCC procedures and global historic temperature data) demolish the claims of Greenpeace that there exists a consensus regarding climate science and it is settled. In fact it is fairly clear that the debate has now only now begun in earnest with climate skeptics on the rampage.

The argument next used by Greenpeace is: "There are in fact only two real mistakes that have been found so far and neither point to any change in the basic premise of human induced climate change". There are actually a whole series of errors as listed below:
  1. Himalayan Glaciers - Claim that glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035. Read here.
  2. Amazon Forests - Claim that 40% of forests will disappear. Read here.
  3. Cyclones and Hurricanes - Claim that they will increase in frequency and intensity. Read here.
  4. African Agriculture - Claims that yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent by 2020. Read here.
  5. Sea level rises – Claims that it would rise by up to 82cm by the end of century. Read here.
  6. Costs of Climate Disasters – Claims that the world had suffered rapidly rising costs due to extreme weather-related events since the 1970s. Read here.
  7. Global Warming – Claims that global temperature rise has been accelerating. Read here.
  8. Alps – Claims that ice is disappearing from mountain tops. Read here.
  9. Coral Reefs – Claims they will die due to Global Warming. Read here.
  10. Alaska – claim by overestimating by 40% glacier loss. Read here.
The above list of errors collectively comprises the key scares that the warmist lobby including Greenpeace has been raising over the years. Each has been shown to be based not on hard evidence and hence their linkages to man-made causes are best, only speculative. Besides, the real criticism of the IPCC is that their reports that should have refrained from advocating specific environmental actions has actually done so which makes them on par with advocacy groups such as Greenpeace.

The Greenpeace e-mail further acknowledges that the Himalayan Glaciers may not vanish by 2035 but quotes Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh as conceding that they are still receding. These amounts to an attempt  to deliberate misquote. All Jairam Ramesh said was that the Himalayan Glaciers appeared overall in poor state of health; that some glaciers appear advancing while others receding and that global warming does not appear to be the cause where retreat was come across! All the same, taking in account there are over some 15,000 glaciers, there needed to be a more systematic study at a regional level to get a more comprehensive and accurate picture.

Greenpeace also cleverly side-steps commenting on the true cost the error has on the broader climate advocacy campaign across Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Tibet - countries the Himalayan Glacier encompasses. The Himalayan Glaciers has been touted as the Third Pole since outside the Polar Regions having the maximum concentration of glaciers. Around 9% of the Himalaya is estimated to be covered with glaciers, with another 30-40% additional area being covered with snow. 

Climate change activist have been claiming that it is the run-off from these glaciers and ice that feeds the major rivers and in turn, the people in this region. Now new peer reviewed research o has shown that glacier melt contributes a mere 3-4% of the Ganges’ annual flow. In fact, the Ganges annual flow has been found to depend primarily on monsoon rainfall and not the glacier melt. These new evidences highlight why  it is very difficult to generalize on the significance of Himalayan Glacier run-off on the state of health of major rivers as the likes of Greenpeace has been making out. Their whole climate advocacy campaign in recent years therefore conjured scare scenarios such as widespread water scarcity, floods, droughts, crop failures and decline in productivity, creation of massive population of climate refugees and even possible wars. All these scares are now being dismissed as mere speculation. 

Besides, the urgency for the governments in the region to act against such adverse climate predictions was the estimated timeline - 2035. The timeline was designed to particularly put pressure on China and India to sign on dotted lines a new climate treaty dictated by the West! In short, the Himalayan Glacier meltdown was the pivotal scare of climate advocacy brigade in this region. The discovery of the Himalayan Glacier error means that climate advocacy groups have lost their pivotal issue and hence their cutting teeth of their campaign! 

4.  State of Denial
As the house of cards collapses and burns around them, there is still a handful within the climate activist movement found still shrilly trumpeting the "save the planet" slogan. Oxfam-India is one ready illustration. “Adaptation to Climate Change in India: A Study of Union Budgets” is their latest report released on the eve of the budget day. Download the full Oxfam report here.

In this report, Oxfam takes to exclusively quoting from the IPCC AR4, pretending to be oblivious to the fact that the latter has ceased to be looked at as the Bible of climate science as even the IPCC has taken to reviewing their procedures because of widespread errors found in their AR4. In contrast, Manu Sharma, founder of Climate Revolution Initiative (CRI) admitted: "IPCC AR4 was certainly credible in early 2007 but all accumulating scientific evidence since then shows it can no longer be replied upon". The divergence between Oxfam and CRI clearly indicates that it is the mainstream climate advocacy organizations like Oxfam who  ostrich-like have their heads under the ground than the rank and file such as CRI who show better reconciliation behavior with reality.

The Oxfam report further disputes the claim of the National Action Plan on Climate Change's that the Union Government's expenditure on adaptation to climate change in 2006-07 was more than 2.6 percent of GDP and instead argues that it was a “measly 1.7 percent of GDP. According to a media report: The study revealed that, the budgetary provisions by Union Government, which can be considered relevant for adaptation, have paid a lot more attention to poverty alleviation (than other sectors within the adaptation framework) and the policy statements on adaptation with no mention of how poverty alleviation can be integrated into the overall adaptation framework and linked with the other relevant sectors.”

The study further argued that a National Adaptation Fund (NAF) should also be set up by the Union Government to provide dedicated financial resources to sectors that are vulnerable to climate change and that such a fund should be under the oversight and guidance of the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change! India has rejected any binding obligations to emission cuts as well as its international verification of these. The call for a NAF by NGOs like Oxfam India is basically a step to introduce these through the backdoor.

The government through its budget announcement gave a clear response to Oxfam -  ignored their recommendations in totality to reiterate the message that India is no banana republic for public policy to be dictated by INGOs! To rub in the message deeper, the Economic Survey indicated that in the next two decades India will triple India's per capita carbon emissions from present and further the Finance Minister during his Budget Speech reiterated that coal will be the mainstay as energy to the Indian economy.


  1. UN climate change panel to establish independent body to examine procedures

  2. The Institute of Physics in the UK, a body representing 36,000 UK physicists has called for a wider inquiry into the Climategate affair, saying it raises issues of scientific corruption.

  3. Global Warming is turning a devilish cult. Two parents shot their baby before killing themselves. Fortunately the baby survived.

  4. Rad the UK Telegraph article : "A perfect storm is brewing for the IPCC"

  5. Australian farmers are being told to grow olives, jojoba, pomegranates and other hardy crops in a bid to foil the impending climate change threat.Wheat and cattle farming will take a battering the New Rural Industries for Future Climates report says.

    The global scam is out to finish agriculture for trees

  6. The Guardian as a policy has discontinued the derogatory term "denier" to describe skeptics.

    This is an indication of the new found respect the skeptics have gained. In contrast, it is the Al Gore, Pachauri, IPCC and the warmist lobby that are today disgraced

  7. US-based Indian economist Deepak Lal, the author of In Praise of Empires: Globalisation and Order (2004) terms NGOs as the storm troopers of anti-globalisers.

    He has been so wrong. Climate Change has created a shift - Green Capitalism mentioned in your article.

  8. Swaminathan Aiyar of Economic Times had called for an impartial climate research not funded by MNCs, governmental groups or NGOs with private agendas. He also made call to the media to stop highlighting disaster scares while and start exposing these scares.

    He has a point. When the HIV scare broke out and was covered by TV channels, panic caused many to wear masks whose prices went through the roof. When they stopped their coverage, people did not bother. There is a lesson here that could be extended to climate change

  9. NGOs should take a leaf of Bjørn Lomborg of Copenhagen Consensus. An ex-Greenpeace activist, Lomborg argues that many of the elaborate and expensive actions now being considered to stop global warming will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, are often based on emotional rather than strictly scientific assumptions, and may very well have little impact on the world's temperature for hundreds of years.

    Rather than starting with the most radical procedures, Lomborg argues that we should first focus our resources on more immediate concerns, such as fighting malaria and HIV/AIDS and assuring and maintaining a safe, fresh water supply-which can be addressed at a fraction of the cost and save millions of lives within our lifetime. He asks why the debate over climate change has stifled rational dialogue and killed meaningful dissent.

  10. At the Europe's Emissions Trading System (ETS), the price of a ton of carbon reached a high of $38 in mid-2008 and has since plummeted to $12.60 on Feb. 17, 2010.

    This should come as a relief - carbon trading is dying.

  11. You wrote:
    In contrast, Manu Sharma, founder of Climate Revolution Initiative (CRI) admitted: "IPCC AR4 was certainly credible in early 2007 but all accumulating scientific evidence since then shows it can no longer be replied upon"

    This is a classic case of quoting out of context, the tactic denialist industry thrives on. My statement was made in the context of IPCC projections turning out to be underestimates of observed and forecast impacts. Whereas you use it here to imply that IPCC projections are overblown, the exact opposite of what I meant.

  12. Hi Manu!

    With your clarification, I stand corrected.

    Your quote was made some months back to the run-up of Copenhagen. The question is after all the key findings of IPCC exposed as speculations, do you still feel IPCC projections are underestimates of observed and forecasted impacts? If you do, then who does the term denialist apply now? If yes, what's the difference of view between us?

    Most of the media has dropped the term derogatory term denier or denialist. There are only warmist and skeptics now.

    Warmist subscribe to the belief that climate change is a recent phenomenon while skeptics are on the view that the climate has been constantly changing in earths 2 billion year history and therefore there is no need for alarmism.

    Warmist further attribute man spewing C02 into the atmosphere as the cause of global warming. Skeptics on the other hand admit, at best, there exists only circumstantial evidence of a link between CO2 and global temperatures.

    Despite hundreds of billions of dollars spent on research during the last two decades, the IPCC has still not been able to establish CO2 as the causation of global warming. So they tout correlation. So what's CO2's relative correlation to other natural variables?

    CO2 1895-2007 .43
    Solar 1900-2004 .57
    Oceans 1900-2007 .85

    CO2 1998-2007 .2

    As you see, compared to oceanic and solar influences, CO2 does not hold a candle. For a period 1998-2007, CO2 correlation values drop a pathetic 0.2 though its value rises a notch higher if the period 1998-2009 is considered.

  13. My statement you quote has been taken from Climate Revolution press release dated 25-Feb 2010 which presented compelling evidence showing that Indian policymakers remain completely ignorant of the trends indicated in latest peer-reviewed scientific literature on climate change.

    This certainly seems to be the case with you as well. I have no interest in engaging with you on your other points.

    If you wish to really pursue the truth rather than harp on a misinformed agenda, I'd suggest you look up the scientific sources mentioned in that press release.

  14. Hi Manu!

    So lets revisit your press release :

    "Manu Sharma, founder of Climate Revolution Initiative says, IPCC AR4 was certainly credible in early 2007 but all accumulating scientific evidence since then shows it can no longer be replied upon... "Those knowledgeable about climate science agree with Sharma. They cite more recent scientific analyses such as the UNEP's Climate Change Compendium released in September last year and Copenhagen Diagnosis published in November. Both paint an alarming picture on climate trends. The latter, for example, states that extent of sea-level rise expected by end century will be more than 2.5 times the IPCC projection for continued emissions scenario."

    - You are founder of the CRI who has gave this press release as given by the contact details.

    - Isn't it presumptuous to claim " Those knowledgeable about climate science agreeing with Sharma (you)"? You describe yourself only as a climate activist and renewable energy consultant. Not a climatologist. I am not trying to say that this mean in any way that you are not knowledgeable about climate science. I am sure you do in some degree or other. Most climate skeptics are also renowned climatologists and such knowledgeable about climate science. They include many IPCC reviewers and lead authors. Now more recently, co-chairs and even a past chair of the IPCC has joined the chorus to demand a review of the IPCC and a past chair even described IPCC findings as exaggerations.

    - You mention - UNEP's Climate Change Compendium and Copenhagen Diagnosis released on the eve of the Copenhagen. Forget that the timing of the release was to buttress a treaty., Even if it was otherwise, are you trying to say both these reports are accepted by the warmist community as alternative Bible to the IPCC? Having followed climate developments closely for the last several months, I do not get this impression.

    Back to your latest reaction, you talk of peer review. It might surprise you that not all peer reviewed studies are by warmist. They include those by skeptics as well. I have a list of nearly 400-500 studies by skeptics. True that their numbers are smaller to warmists. But it is equally true they are in proportion to funds made available to both groups. Secondly, Climategate illustrated how skeptic studies were kept out, their publications black balled and warmist taking over scientific journals to even do this. Even then, what came as a shocker was the IPCC resorting to Grey literature even a telephonic interview to back a series of alarmist claims. In one case of peer reviewed cited, authors of a study on rising sea levels have withdrawn their claims.

    I visited CRI website and noticed your RTI program is used to "confronting the government and making it answerable on action it has taken (or not taken) on issues related with climate change, energy efficiency and resource depletion." This objective fits well to the West objective of committing to an indirect binding treaty and international verification of its voluntary carbon emissions.

    While seeking more transparency of the governmental system, I notice there is no transparency about CRI or Green India funding sources or any self-declaration that the promoters and staff of these undertakings do not own companies or equity shares in renewable companies listed in India and consultancies that can profit from your advocacy. Why this double standards?

    Rajan Alexander

  15. Manu: Just came across a relevant article

    "Environmental extremists love to demonize the oil industry, the power industry, and business in general for their profit motive.

    When anyone criticizes the green movement, the assertions made by the environmental extremist movement, or their pet religion of global warming, greenies invariably attempt to brand critics as “pawns of big industry” or “on the payroll of the oil industry.”

    But what they don’t want you to know is that their profit motive is every bit that of the business sector. The environmental extremists want cash, and they’ll take it in tribute from the business industry as well as from the taxpayers.

    Australia’s ABC features an article today which cites the tribute paid out from companies like Exxon, as well as the big money that comes down from the taxpayers through government research grants. There is lots of money–big money–to be made in the “science” industry, researching how human activity might affect global climate and might cause planetary doom. No real results are asked for or required; as we have been told ad nauseam, “we cannot wait for hard scientific conclusions because if we do, it will already be too late.”


  16. Sorry: REF;

  17. This is why I do not wish to participate in "debates" with denialists... may I present to you:

    The Unpersuadables, by George Monbiot